Finding Calm in the Crazy

September 12, 2014

in Life Lessons

finding calm in writingMy life has been crazy this year.

I planned a wedding, got married, launched a new blogazine, and merged two houses into one a couple of weeks before the wedding. And that was all in the first five months of the year. I went on to have the four younger kids here for a month, served as main taxi service to sports and camps, and helped my oldest just a few weeks before fall semester to re-enroll in college. After we got our oldest situated in school and moved into our home, Sean and I kicked off our major home renovation plans. With the big overhaul to the house happening, we will be living is some state of disarray for many months to come. Oh, and my business has more than doubled in size this year–so work has kept me very busy through all of this.

While it’s all been positive, I am ready to slow down. This isn’t the easiest goal to set for myself though. I am still a mom with five kids, and have a house that will have sections of it torn apart on a regular basis from now until spring. My business isn’t going to slow down either, and the kids’ sport schedules will continue. I know life will remain busy.

What I can do, to get to a less crazy place, is to find moments to be still–whether it’s my body or mind slowing down. This morning, it was enjoying my cup of coffee on the deck and writing before starting my workday.

Here are ideas I came up with to bring about calm in the midst of the crazy:

  • Read
  • Work in the garden.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Play a game with the kids.
  • Go on an adventure.
  • Sit outside and enjoy the cooler weather.
  • Write (for this website)
  • Go for a run on the canal.
  • Practice guitar.
  • Date night with my husband.
  • Organize something (the end result always makes me happy).
  • Cook
  • Schedule time with a girlfriend.

Even in the busiest of days, I know at least one thing on this list could be done daily. And with that, a little calm can be added into my crazy.

Tell me: what do you do that helps you to slow down?

 

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On Never Getting Old

August 16, 2014

in Life Lessons

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 8.57.25 AM

It is not length of life, but depth of life.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am never going to get old.

It’s not that I fear aging, but rather don’t want to be that person. The one who stops living life as an adventure because they hit a certain age. I don’t ever want to utter, “I’m too old to do that” when given the opportunity for a new challenge.

This isn’t about desperately holding onto society’s view of youthful beauty. That’s something I haven’t believed in. Instead, as my face changes, I find I like my laugh lines…the little exclamation points, adding a greater emphasis to my expression of happiness.

Being young is about maintaing a youthful state of mind.

For me, staying young has meant continuing to explore, learn, and experience life fully. In the last 10 years (age: 35-45), here’s a sampling of what I have done:

  • Taken up running
  • Trained and competed in half marathons, duathlons, and triathlons
  • Started this blog
  • Started learning guitar
  • Received a second degree (Photography)
  • Started a new business
  • Learned new skills (graphic design, coding, web development, for example)
  • Got married

Most recently, I took on a new challenge: Crossfit. I had that am-I-crazy conversation with myself, and realized it was something I had to try. I love it–the stretches, the workout of the day (WOD), the soreness that is inevitable, and the camaraderie with the other members of the box (gym). And, most of all, it’s bonding on another level with my husband (the Crossfit addict).

I still have many more things I want to do in my youth, for example:

  • Become fluent in a language
  • Spend a season living in Tuscany
  • Learn how to make gluten-free pasta
  • Re-read many classics
  • Read other classics for the first time
  • Start a gluten-free recipe blog
  • Expand my business
  • Obtain a Masters of Liberal Studies
  • Go to circus camp

I know these great experiences are waiting for me in the next ten years.

Tell me, what do you want to do in your youth?

What are you waiting for?

 

 

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Love and Money

September 30, 2013

in Relationships

love moneyEarly in dating, I told Sean a lot of things that would never happen in our relationship. We wouldn’t date seriously, exclusively, or marry. Ever, on the last one. He took it all in stride, never wavering in his confidence in himself or the possibility of something really great developing between us.

So when I told Sean after we were engaged we would never, ever put our money together, I think he took that in stride as well. Sean is professionally and financially successful so who had more money wasn’t the issue, but rather what I entered into the relationship with, would be mine on the way out; I didn’t want to live through financial uncertainty that comes with divorce again.

It was such a concern of mine that Sean received a long lecture on how I went from charging groceries, mounting debt, and tremendous financial worries post-separation to now being in a place where I had a savings balance I was happy with, my only debt was my mortgage, and financially I was worry-free. If we were putting ourselves in a situation where we would have to pay someone to break up (divorce attorneys), at least we would not have complications with division of assets and material possessions.

{Writing this, I feel I need to pause to mention Sean is a very patient man. You already knew that, didn’t you?}

Sean was shocked when one morning I woke up and informed him if he was interested, I wanted to merge our money. I was surprised I had come to this realization as well. I never wanted this level of financial complication with another again, but I also saw keeping our money separate more of a hinderance–who bought groceries last, how will we split vacation expenses, how to pay for the wedding, and how to pay joint housing bills–became more frequent discussions between us. It became obvious to me that merging our money was a way to simplify our life together.

While it may seem naive, I really can’t imagine a life without Sean so divorce is not something I believe will ever happen to us. And, if something unforeseen were to happen, I know us both well enough to know we won’t be one of those couples spending thousands of dollars to fight over the autographed Kat Edmondson CD we bought together at her Philly concert (it’s mine, Sean) or anything else we purchased together. Additionally, walking around our homes, mentally tagging items with an “S” or “K” just seems wrong. We have a life we are building together, and it should be from our money–not his or mine.

It has been a few months, and I continue to tell him what a great idea this was for us. Life seems so much simpler for us both.

Tell me:

How have you handled your own union–money and love joined together or just love?

How is it working for you?


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Match Helps Single Parents Find Love

September 30, 2013
Online dating sites were helpful for me as a single mom; I was able to screen significantly before committing to meet someone (time saver!) and, as unromantic as it sounds, it was efficient. As a busy, single mom, these were important factors for me. I always believed there were special challenges I faced as a […]
Read the full article → Singledom 0 comments

Making Time to Learn and Bond

September 20, 2013
Fully embracing life and being happy has been a goal that has remained a constant in my life since the split from my ex. In fact, shortly after our separation, I made a bucket list. Not things I wanted to do at an advanced age, but rather experiences I wanted to have in my life […]
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Holiday Shopping Goal: Find & Save

September 19, 2013
Sean and I have a busy life with work, five kids between us, a new home to decorate, and a wedding to plan. So last weekend when Sean brought up we should be Christmas shopping now to keep holiday craziness to a minimum, I immediately wondered how we would find the time. I have never […]
Read the full article → Mixed Bag 0 comments