Five Things Friday: Remember Me

Okay, truth. Today is Saturday. But let’s play pretend. Let’s pretend I actually did write this down when I thought about it.

The other night driving home, I was catching up on podcasts and listening to The Simple Show. Tsh’s guest was a woman who took the blog of her late friend and turned it into a book. She reorganized a few posts, added some context, and basically let her friend write her own book about her life motto – choose joy. It was a beautiful interview that’s totally worth checking out, and it got me thinking. What would a book about this blog say about me? Does my blog explain my life motto? Obviously, not everyone publishes drafts of chapters every time we click ‘new post,’ not everyone has been blessed that way or chosen to have that kind of message. But we all ARE leaving footprints. Where do mine lead?

Perhaps the more important question is where do I want them to lead? What do I want people one day to run across this site and take away about me? It’s all about perspective, right?

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Five Footprints I Want to Leave Here:

1. I adore my husband.
We fight over dumb stuff (but only dumb stuff) and we get agitated sometimes but this man is my best friend. I’ll never stop trying to impress him, to support him, to help him, to feed him. You don’t get to badmouth him, you don’t get to question his morals, you don’t get to sabotage him. We’re a team, even if we may have trouble getting in sync, that’s our problem, not yours.

2. I believe in God, Our Father, and I believe He works things out in the end.
He sent His son to live with us and teach us by example and die for us, because humans are never going to be perfect. His love is perfect and that’s enough for me. You can’t believe in that and accept His offering without accepting the responsibility that comes with it – to follow His rules. That’s where we (as humans) have trouble, but when your heart is in the right place, you’ll get better. But things that happen to us aren’t because of us, they’re for us. Collectively. What happens to you might be a lesson for me. He’s giving us lessons always, even if it feels wrong or unfair or hurts, the lessons always work out for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28).

3. I’m not perfect and some of these flaws are here to stay. And I can accept that.
I’m lazy by nature. I will always find ways to procrastinate work until tomorrow. Sometimes I still work, just on other junk, and sometimes I just watch My Diet is Better Than Yours and Biggest Loser and Shark Tank all day. I have an insane tolerance for clutter and dog hair. I feel like the people around me need to know my every thought (maybe that’s why my blog is stream of consciousness-personal opinion-word vomit). I hold other people to a higher standard than I hold myself. I do feel guilt over a lot of things I do, but some aren’t going away. I’ll always want someone else to decide where we eat. I’ll always go the extra mile and then complain about it. I keep striving to improve, but I don’t hate myself for being a work in progress.

4. Never stop learning and asking questions and getting new perspectives.
I read, I find podcasts, I read Wikipedia to inspire more ideas, I want to know why this is the best way before I make a decision. My 101 in 1001 is full of things I want to see for the first time or make myself do a second time or discover things I didn’t even know I wanted to do. I love my job because although I’ve been in the same area for five years, I’m still learning new stuff.

5. Do things that bring you happiness whenever you can, especially if it involves making someone else happy too.
Do you like cheesy old movies? Watch them. Do you enjoy working out? Pump it. Do you like singing or writing or dancing for others? Perform your heart out. Life is too short for just the “have-to-do” list and your soul needs to play on the “get-to-do” list every now and then. Laughter is so beautiful. I never pass up a chance for a pun or some wit (okay, okay, or “that’s what she said.” I find it hilarious,  no matter what my husband says) because I think there is always a light side.

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I’m sure more things – better lasting impressions – will come to me. Layers of legacies, if you will. But if I can leave at least this much, I think I’d be content. This is how I want you to remember me.

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Five Duh Moments

I only get sick once a year. Maybe twice. I think I missed class for sickness in college only a handful of times. I did develop (discover?) allergies, but a good Claritin-D or Zyrtec kept me going. I just had too much going on to be sick. Even that awful freshman year spring Tuesday schedule! In the four years at my job, I’ve never called in sick. I think we have sick time… I’ve never asked. Sick days aren’t really an option in the life I’ve had, and my body has been pretty agreeable with that plan this far.

But it’s upon us. It’s just a cold, I’m sure, that my husband harbored for three days and then passed to me, but when you get sick so rarely, you forget what it’s like. Suddenly you have the worst headache ever in history, the worst congestion ever felt by man or beast, and your throat is one hacking cough away from entirely disentegrating off your body.

Oklahoma is still in full winter (mud, cold, wind, clouds) so I’m less jealous today of the feed crew. I might be able to thank my stars today that they can handle things without me, and I’ll catch up on dishes and laundry. As I’m working, mulling over life and responding to podcasters in my head, some things occur to me. These aren’t earth-shattering revelations by any means. I can’t take credit for radical thought with this deathly cough. Ahem.

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Five Duh Moments
1. Take the trash out before it’s full.
The kitchen trash (an itty bitty can in the cabinet under the sink) is a major point of contention, for some reason. If you head off the problem, it’s not a problem.

2. Similarly, wash the half load.
When it’s really cold out, the washing machine has issues draining. If it can’t drain, it overflows and needs every remaining junk towel in the house (Please tell me I’m not the only woman with old, threadbare, or ridiculous towels in the mudroom.) and a couple of t-shirts from the rag bag. I hate running the washing machine (when it’ll drain, of course) half full but I hate piles of sopping wet cotton and stray dog hair worse. So I did it. It made me happy.

3. Take the extra blankets off the bed.
I was being cute last time I changed the sheets, and just topped the bed with a waffle knit throw. I froze that night. I layered an extra blanket on my side. Two days later, I realized my husband was cold too, so I threw the duvet on top. I melted under three blankets. For a week! No one has been comfortable in any phase of this setup. Why didn’t I just accept after the first night that my cute plan didn’t work, and replace it with just the duvet to begin with?

4. Accept that the floors will be muddy for three weeks…. or eight…. let’s call it June.
Perfect isn’t really a thing we’re going to hit. Perfection is subjective. Perfection is fleeting. Perfection actually isn’t sustainable within a happy life. You can find beauty in flaws, for sure, and even prefer them to perfection – once you accept that mud is going to keep happening, and it’s not efficient for muddy feet to keep out of a spotless kitchen, so stressing over keeping a kitchen spotless in these conditions just isn’t worth it. It will quit raining one day, this too shall pass, and then we can talk about scrubbing the floors.

5. You’re never going to feel like working out.
You going to have to make yourself do it anyway. Once you can breathe, I mean. You can’t wait until you “feel like” being an adult. We’re stuck here. So go balance your checkbook and pay the bills and send the birthday cards, and keep smiling.

Wherever you are, I hope you’re safe and dry and healthy. And appreciating the small things.

So the dishes are done. Laundry is done. Sheets are changed. I’m almost caught up on my reading in Matthew. Mail has been sorted. And they fed cows in the ick. Everything has a season.

Five Things for the New Year

Let’s be honest – I’m never going to be one of those bloggers who hits it big. I’m not going to write a blogging schedule and spend weeks on articles, I’m never going to hit the point I can monetize my readers (I think there are seven of you now), I don’t want to turn my life into a reality show. Young House Love got soooooo much flak because they Photoshopped an early baby belly out of a DIY project picture when they weren’t ready to announce her pregnancy. No thanks. I don’t even tell you my husband’s name most of the time, I really don’t want you passing judgment on me.

Wow. I digressed a little. All that to say, you get real me. I forget to post, even my Five Things Fridays. I write when I feel like it. And the time between a spark of an idea for a topic and hitting the publish button is usually about 20 minutes. I proofread for grammar as I go, and I skim through for the overall story arc as I go. I’m on my phone 99% of the time. You get cooler digressions and better hyperlinks when I’m on the computer. And you get my random thoughts, not a play by play of my life. You get the inner struggle of a farm wife with a city life, not necessarily proof of either.

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Luckily, the inner struggle isn’t all bad. You can struggle over good things, two awesome opportunities for your time. And I do. Oh how I do. Each new year brings more of that, as I make new file folders and put away the old, as I dream of what could be.

Five Things I’m Most Looking Forward To in 2016
1. Work-life balance
80 hours in two weeks. That’s not really so much to commit to, and that leaves a fair amount of time for life. IF you go home at 9 hours, or 8, and get your other Fridays off, and leave the computer at home. I don’t like driving home at 9 pm. I don’t like cancelling workouts and runs. I have another week of vacation coming this year, and I have to learn to use it.

2. Keeping habits
I have the best of intentions. I have routines written down for everything. My life is perfect on paper. Something in me wants to rebel against plans, though, and that has to stop. I’m going to get to work on a consistent and earlier schedule (and stay on track there), keep up on paperwork, housework, and workouts, get past Matthew in my daily Bible reading, and take better care of myself with haircuts and my beloved pedicures and stuff like that. I’ve got to keep my wanderlust under control or 2016 will go like 2015 and its predecessors.

3. My Passion Planner.
It’s so pretty. Find them here. I heard about them on a YouTube video and went looking, found the free sample pages, followed the Instagram. I like it. Half of me craves structure (the other half of me wants to demolish all of it, but see above).

4. Cleaning out
I’m not a minimalist, by any means, but I’m tired of stuff smothering me. I don’t mind having a ton of stuff I use, and I like having a stock of canned food and toilet paper and stuff like that. But the pile of sweaters in my closet that I can’t get even see? The room of stuff his folks left behind? The shelves in the garage I can’t even reach? Let’s talk about these. Make room for what matters, and then have lots of that.

5. The mystery.
On the flip side of over-scheduling my life is the fact life will do what it pleases. There is a bigger plan, there is a Master hand at work, and even if you don’t believe in God, we’re all pawns subject to death, taxes, other people’s bad choices, the weather, and the horrific noises coming out of Nashville. I kinda wanna know what surprises are in store for me, for my family, for society. Election years have so much potential. I think that’s why we fight so hard to prove one candidate’s vision and ability to get there is better. I love surprises.

Here’s to 2016 – to the things I want, and to the things that will happen anyway!