MayCember Meditation

It’s a stressful time for a lot of people — teachers/school employees, parents and kids, especially. Some people call May “MayCember” because it’s the time of year when there are a million extra activities on top of all the other normal everyday stuff you have to get done. It’s a lot.

So, today, I’m just leaving this beautiful image right here for you to gaze at for five seconds while drinking your morning coffee and contemplating the never ending to-do list. I hope you have some time this weekend to just relax and be still. It might seem frivolous to do nothing. Trust me, it’s essential from time to time. Did you know five seconds of being mindful of your breathing and nothing else counts as meditation?

I want to be on this boat right now with a thermos of hot coffee and a really good book.

New Year’s in September?

back-to-school-1622789_1920

School starts tomorrow! The beginning of a new school year always feels a little like January 1st to me. It’s a time for me to set new goals, decide how I want the year to go, change old habits that don’t serve me, and think of new ways to approach the daily grind. It’s very exciting.

I started to get really excited about this just yesterday, when I was cooking a whole chicken in the crock pot for chicken noodle soup while simultaneously making my family’s favorite Pasta Caprese for dinner. This summer was a perfect storm of a very busy activities calendar for my 12 year old, a giant volunteer project for me that required hundreds of hours of work, and some weird virus I fought from May through August that left me feeling totally depleted. Cooking for me is a joy when I feel like doing it. Otherwise it just feels like another obligation. So, cooking (truly cooking, not just assembling quesadillas and sandwiches) was one of the first things I ditched when I felt overwhelmed. I have to be honest, it was fantastic for a while. But, now I am feeling better and so I got the itch to cook again yesterday, and it felt good to be back.

As I do every year at this time, I’ve been considering what is important to me this year, and what I can ditch. Cooking is definitely at the top of my “important” list. Getting back to the gym is up there as well. I put my nutrition school on hold because I found I couldn’t balance my volunteer gig and my lethargy with studying. I can’t wait to get back to that. And I have decided this year I am committed to doing small projects around the house that will keep it in better order. Closet clean outs, painting touch ups, and decluttering on the regular are all on the list. Bonus: getting to listen to my favorite podcasts while doing projects will hopefully motivate me! (Pod Save America, Song Exploder, West Wing Weekly, S-Town, and Radio Lab are all on my fave list).

What to ditch? Procrastinating. Saying “yes” to requests when I really want to say “no” (hello PTA). Guilt trips.

Have I missed anything? What’s on your list this fall? Please leave a comment below so I can steal your ideas!

You might also like:

Maybe It’s Time To Try A New Snack

Crappy Dinner Party (It’s A Good Thing!)

 

 

 

Summer’s End

I always get melancholy at the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year.  I remember when my kiddo was 5 and starting kindergarten and how exciting it all was to have a little bit of time to myself finally!  And I blinked, and now she’s 10 and going into fifth grade.  And I realize how fleeting the years are.  Someone once said to me about raising kids: “The days are long, but the years are short”. I think that’s the most accurate depiction of the passage of time I’ve heard.

Reese first day of kindergarten
So excited for kindergarten!

The summer for me is a welcome break from the grind.  It’s full of lazy mornings and late nights and sitting on the couch watching High School Musical 3 snuggled with my girl.  It’s for pool days and zoo days and trips to the farmer’s market.  It’s for road trips to see cousins and playing driveway basketball.

reese and raquel
A long hug to say goodbye to a friend.

reese diving 2
An old-fashioned diving board can’t be beat.

reese, coco and grant in HS
Cousin time is the best in summer.

reese with bear at the zoo
Long days at the zoo.

The school year holds a lot of promise, too.  I will certainly get more done around the house.  The laundry maybe won’t pile up as high, and the tumbleweeds of dog fur that blow across my wood floors might get swept up in a more timely fashion. I’ll be able to focus more on my cooking endeavors.  And my regular trips to the gym after school drop off will resume.  I plan to read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. I am excited to tackle the closets and drawers.

But it also means tight schedules and rigid waking times.  Carpool and school activities. And homework.  Lord, the homework. And so many forms to be filled out.

But most of all, the start of another school year means another year has passed without my permission, and in another blink I’ll be helping her with college applications. Slow down, time.  Just slow down for a bit.

reese riding bike
There she goes…