Everyone seems to be in the mood for lists right now. A handful of bloggers that I adore have published list posts lately: The Life & Lessons of Rachel Wilkerson’s What I’ve Been Eating, What I’ve Been Reading, What I’ve Been Writing, What I’ve Been Wearing, Holly Would If She Could’s 16 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me, and SnackFace’s This Week’s Sounds, Scents, Sips, Snacks & Sights…
And with my hectic schedule lately, both at work and personally, I’ve been living and dying by my daily To Do lists. First thing in the morning I make a list of all the things that need to get done that day and before I leave the office for the day I take the list of tasks and put them in chronological order. Don’t worry, I’m not going to share my daily To Do lists with you. I thought I’d take a cue from my blogging idols though and share some of the details of what’s going on in my life these days.
What I’ve Been Eating:
I didn’t do a great job following a healthy diet in April or May, as I confessed, so I’ve been doing my best to rectify that over the last few weeks. Tons of fruits and veggies, and smoothies galore. Green smoothies, berry-based smoothies, and even peanut butter smoothies. Yum!
What I’ve Been Reading:
My boyfriend’s mother insisted that I read The Botticelli Secret by Marina Fiorato, and I ended up reading all 544 pages over the course of a weekend because I couldn’t put it down. Botticelli’s Primavera has been my favorite painting of his since I saw it in Florence when I was 21 so I was especially drawn to the storyline. I’ve also just finished Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink and was stunned by how much I related to each and every study that he discussed. Definitely keep an eye out for a Book Report on this! I’ve also just started Add More -Ing to Your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness by Gabrielle Bernstein, which isn’t a self-help book – I swear – it’s a self-transformation book. 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing how it impacts my daily approach to life as part of my #1 2012 goal to Be Positive.
Oh, and I have a serious fashion magazine problem. Like a – I need a 12 step program type of problem.
What I’ve Been Writing:
One of my goals for 2012 is to publish a piece of my writing and while this has been a personal goal for years, this is the first time I’ve officially written it down. Not to make excuses, but as a result of my spinal injury and my laptop dying earlier this year, I haven’t worked on this goal much so far in 2012. Hopefully this post will serve as motivation for me to start editing my first novel, I started writing it when I was 20 and wrote a large chunk of it while I was traveling around Europe by myself when I was 21.
What I’ve Been Wearing:
During May I submitted a handful of looks to a fashion challenge run by Definitely RA, you can so you can check out some of those looks – Mission: Put Together 2012 – Part I and Mission: Put Together 2012 – Part II. The challenge was great and I wish I’d had time to participate more, but even putting together a few looks was fun. And as part of my goals for June I wanted to make an effort to wear less black, especially on sunny weekends, so that’s been a major factor in choosing my daily looks. Definitely an adjustment not to automatically reach for the black pieces!
Some Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me:
- I don’t actively follow astrology but I’ve always believed that I embody many of the traits of my Scorpio sign – Determined, loyal, suspicious, discreet, introverted, dramatic, passionate, possessive…
- I originally hurt my back springboard diving in college when I was 18
- If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life it would be sweet potatoes. There’s an endless number of ways to cook them… Chips, fries, baked, mashed, in pudding. They can be sweet or savory. Hmmm… Now I kind of want to spend a weekend eating only sweet potatoes and blog about all the recipes I come up with! 🙂
- Sometimes I forget that I don’t really “know” bloggers. I begin to feel like I’m friends with people whose lives I read about every day. Does that happen to anyone else?
- I have three tattoos.
And so that we can continue to get to know each other, I’m going to re-start my short-lived Les Confessions series, where I post some “confessions” about myself and my life on a regular basis.
I’ve been listening to 70’s and 80’s music non-stop. From vintage Bon Jovi, Kenny Loggins, and Twisted Sister to fabulous 80’s movie soundtracks – Footloose, Pretty In Pink, Breakfast Club. The upside is that it’s really upbeat music that wakes me up and makes me smile every morning, the downside is that I dance at my desk. A lot.
I’m a peppermint junkie! Candles, air fresheners, essential oils… Whatever I can find. I’ve also been baking up a storm and I love the scent of raw cacao and carob powders as their heating up.
Peppermint tea – duh – and I have to confess that my guilty pleasure these days is Cherry Coke Zero or Cherry Diet Dr. Pepper. My boyfriend is horrified by the red color from the syrup but I treat myself to one a week! I’ve also rediscovered the Synergy Kombucha drinks, and I laugh every time I get carded buying them!
I seem to have almost forgotten about hummus when the weather was cooler but now that it’s warming up I’m craving hummus daily. Carrots, celery, sugar snap peas, and radishes dipped in spicy hummus is favorite after-work snack. I’ve also been eating my bodyweight in fruit on virtually a daily basis – pounds of grapes, cherries, apples, and bananas. Just can’t get enough!
This Spring was amazing with weekends in Sonoma, San Diego, and Sea Ranch, but June has been a gorgeous month in San Francisco and I’ve been really enjoying spending time in my favorite city. Walking everywhere, trips to the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market, lazy days spent shopping and wandering around the sun-drenched streets… Amazing!
So tell me, what have you been up to? Do you like to make lists to ensure that you get everything done that needs to be done each day?
You know those shiny, happy people who make everyone around them feel like a dark, ominous cloud? Well, I’ve never really been one of them. While I wouldn’t call myself a pessimist, I might not be the most positive person there ever was. Cards on the table. I’m a high-strung, Type A personality who works 12+ hours a day in a high stress, fast-paced environment. I don’t like to wait. I don’t like people who walk slowly. I don’t like it when things don’t go exactly according to my carefully laid plans.
It has been pointed out to me that perhaps my outlook could use some refreshing. Oh, and that I need to relax.
While the responsibilities and obligations of adulthood make being completely carefree a challenge for many of us, it may still be a worthwhile goal.
So with that being said, I am going to embark on an odyssey to improve my quality of life by being more positive on a daily basis. Changing how you initially react to things isn’t easy, but I’m committed to trying to make this change.
And what – you ask – does this entail?
(1) Be grateful: How can you appreciate things as they come into your life if you don’t acknowledge what you already have?
- I have an amazing family – They’re completely insane, yes, but they’re also warm, loving, supportive and loyal.
- I have unbelievable friends – I have met some truly amazing people in my life, from my best friend in junior high & high school who I don’t get to see as often as I like, to the girls that adopted me in college and without whom I wouldn’t be who I am today, to my work friends who make my daily life so much more enjoyable.
- I live in a gorgeous city that I adore – Just seeing the views from my office building puts a smile on my face.
- In an awful economy where jobs are scarce, I’m lucky enough to have a great, challenging job in an interesting field where I’m surrounded by bright, well-educated, hard-working people.
(2) Realize what matters: Does it really matter if you wait a few minutes for a friend to meet you for dinner? Does it really matter if every little detail of a weekend is planned out or goes according to those plans? No! What matters is being able to enjoy yourself and when you’re filled with stress and anxiety about everything you can’t control, you’re not enjoying yourself. In fact, you’re probably giving yourself ulcers.
- Accept what you can and cannot control.
- Realize that the journey, even filled with roadblocks & speed bumps, is just as important as where you end up.
- Find joy in the little things. Singing along to a great song. Sharing a meal with someone you care about. Laughing with a friend. Finishing an amazing book. These are just as important as the big things and deserve to be savored.
- Make time for love. All of the songs can’t be wrong, love is worth fighting for. Whether you’re having dinner with your family, falling in love for the first time, or just filling your day with people and experiences you love, make sure not to underestimate how important this is.
(3) Find Inspiration: Find something that reminds you to cherish what you have. It could be different for everyone, but for me, I love hearing what other people have to say. Reading a great writer talk about how grateful they are for the things in their life or watching a hilarious motivational video will make me appreciate what I have all the more. Here are some to get you started.
- Rachel Wilkerson is one of the funniest, no-nonsense bloggers out there and in this video, she talks about how women need to stop “hating” on their lives and think about how good they have it – Stop Being A Hater. She also tells you that sometimes its ok to just SHHHHH yourself.
- Everyday Life Lessons – This website is nothing short of inspirational, it’s a community of people sharing life’s little lessons. A little cheesy, but I think we all could use some cheese in our lives!
- The blog Polish My Crown is great to get yourself out of a funk, the About page simply says: “Polish My Crown is a go-to guide to encourage and inspire you to live your life to the absolute fullest by being your fabulous, magnificent self.” It’s unabashedly sweet and optimistic, but not nauseatingly so.
“There is nothing to hold you back except yourself. There is only one question to ask yourself here: “What would you do if you were not afraid?” Think about it.”
Do you think that you’re a positive person? Do you have a tip or recommendation for me to help my positivity?