Showing posts from November, 2015

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up #SOL15

This month, my book club read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. It was a book that inspired a great discussion and confessions about our cluttered, messy ways. 

The author advises you to only keep items that spark joy. She invites you to almost personalize your relationship to your items, like thanking your shoes for their hard work when you put them away each day! When something isn't useful anymore or doesn't spark joy, she suggests you thank the object for its role in your life and then discard/donate it. Some things were hard to imagine doing, like emptying the contents of your handbag each day and putting every book you own on the floor to decide if it sparks joy or not. (Um, not doing that.)
I am a person with a lot of stuff and a person who holds onto a lot of stuff.  I somehow wonder how I would ever change these jaded ways for good, but Marie Kondo swears if you use her method, you would never be clutt…

Bah Humbug #SOL15

It might say something about my nature that as a little girl, I would start the Christmas countdown sometime in late October.  Cutting strips of red and green construction paper, I would create a humongously long Advent chain, weeks before Advent was even set to start.  A blue link at the top meant Christmas Eve and the final link, the yellow one, meant Christmas day.  Every night, I would tear off another link, knowing I was a little bit closer to the magic of Christmas.
So when did I start dreading the Christmas season? There, I said it.  I know, there are entire songs and movies and plays written about grumps like me who aren't in the holiday spirit. It's ironic that as a kid, Christmas couldn't come fast enough, but as a grown-up, I am resentful of how it is has invaded the fall. Sirius has been playing holidays songs while I still had Halloween candy in a pumpkin and when I had some time to shop on Veterans Day, I was serenaded by "White Christmas". 
The littl…

Back on the List #SOL15

My life is made up of lists of things to do.  As a third grade teacher. the list of "to-do's" feels rather endless and is always growing.  As a wife and mom, there are many "to-do's" that sometimes don't get done because of the teacher list, but still there are the essential things I must do, like fill out picture money forms, lunch menus, appointments, etc.  Laundry, cooking, dishwasher loading and unloading.  Laundry baskets that sit for days (weeks?) until I get around to putting the clothes away. Another "to-do" that is hard to do. 

Please don't get me wrong. I am so grateful to have these "to-do's." I am grateful beyond words for my family, my children, and my job.  It's just...there is no room for me on this list.  For the me that isn't a mom, isn't a teacher, isn't a wife, isn't wearing another hat.  The me that is just me doesn't make it on the list, no time for her. And it's kind of taking …

#SOL15 The Dance

"When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor.  It's to enjoy each step along the way." -Wayne Dyer
In the winter of 2009, my husband Mike, before he was my husband, agreed to take ballroom dancing lessons with me in preparation for our April wedding.  Once a week, we would drive 20 minutes from our apartment to the ballroom dance studio.  Dennis was our instructor.  He was dapper, always dressed impeccably, and he was patient! Very patient.  Our wedding song would be Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are" and Dennis choreographed a dance routine for us, teaching us the steps and adding more each week. 
Wedding planning can be pretty stressful stuff, but the weekly dance lessons were actually a fun escape.  We laughed and named the steps, including one called "Toss the Lady." We practiced during the week in the living room of our apartment, working together to master the first dance we would perform at our wedding reception.…