Work

Finding my happy place

I know it seems counter-intuitive, but a new app has been helping me to zen out!  Have you heard of calm.com?  I’ve opened it when I’ve wanted just basic spa-like music while at a clients and I’ve used it for actual meditation.  You can meditate on your own or use their guided meditations from 2 minutes to 20 minutes.  You can also choose different visual scenes, anything from mountain brooks to rainforest leaves.  (I of course will choose the ocean every time.)  I’ve been genuinely surprised how much I use it…and like it! (The only thing not leaving me zen about the app is their font choice…glad there is not too much of it!)

Calm App

Another Vivid Dream

Two nights ago I had another distinct dream.  The hubs and I were having to evacuate because of some sort of disaster (thank you Walking Dead marathon) but that was not the part that made such an impact.  Rather it was while we were gathered with other dislocated people, we ran into someone we knew 10 years ago and started talking about our lives and such.  Some how, in the way dreams work, we moved onto a conversation about design and then we were looking at the prototype of an Eames-like lounger.  I could practically sketch the thing right now it’s that clear in my mind.  What was interesting to me about it was that it was collapsible like those cheap-o sports/beach chairs that fit into their own bag.

The dream went on but the only thing that really stuck with me when I work, was the chair.  So… I went straight to my handy dream source (like I have before) and found the following explanation:

Chair Dream

I am at a bit of a transition right now professionally/vocationally and this was actually an insightful reminder for me to not be in a hurry or anxious about the future, but to continue to be open to my present.  And mostly I think it’s the last of the explanations: contemplation before action.  (Or rather as my sister would say: paralysis by analysis.) I’m evaluating several things right now and want to make sure I make the “right” move.  Thanks dream-brain for helping me unravel some pressure I’m feeling to make a decision!

weekend scene

This is more of a weekend reflection rather than scene.  It was kind of a funky weekend.  I’m feeling the need to chop off all my hair so that’s usually a flag that something else is going on.  I’m needing to feel in control of something.  So instead of running headfirst into some scissors, I gave this little space a facelift.  It was long overdue and I’m happy with how it’s turning out.  As always, a work in progress…

Also this weekend was a little weird because I intentionally didn’t take any photos other than the one below because the light was just so nice.  I’m trying this whole “be present” thing.  The weekend was indeed full…of the prosaic and the peculiar.  We made it out to the Saturday Farmer’s market and ate the most deliciously fresh breakfast tacos as well as spent some time at the studio.  I organized two months of neglected paperwork (i.e. unopened junkmail and a bag full of receipts!) and caught up on Downton Abbey.  (My official opinion of the season so far — meh.  But I’ll probably keep watching.)  And we had a few unexpected conversations and interesting “serendipitous” moments.  I’m always trying to be aware of those little signs in life that point of down one path or the other, but usually it takes a freight train and a bull horn until I get it.

I am officially on Day 3 of my personal challenge and so far so good.  I even wrote first thing on Sunday morning which meant writing at 5:30 in the morning.  I absolutely LOVE that when I was talking to the hubs about not being sure if I should try to write before we did our early Sunday morning thing or just wait until we came home at 9 and he said, “…I know, there sure is a lot that happens [on Sundays] before 1st thing in the morning!”  Touche.

But it’s been like the well was bursting at the seams and already since I’ve uncapped it, the words are pouring out.  The first day alone I wrote six pages and if I had all the time in the world I don’t know when I might stop.  But day-jobs are calling and I must answer…

Church Window

weekend thoughts — finding my direction

Compass

Full disclosure.  I’m in a funk.  I’ve been in a funk for a little over a week now.  All that creative energy I wrote about two weeks ago, out the door.  I also feel weird physically.  I’ve felt like I’ve been fighting something.  You know, whole body aches, sensitive skin, etc.  And it was unbearably hot this weekend, 107 was the actual temp on Saturday!  But that doesn’t mean I didn’t do some great things.  We finally had dinner with friends Friday evening at a new-to-us-restaurant.  It was delicious and the conversation carried us through the evening easily bearing the heat and humidity on the patio.  On Saturday my sister came over and we at a new-to-her vegan restaurant.  We then tried to relax inside our apartment, but sans insulation, this place gets hot!  And on Sunday we finally watched a movie that’s been on our list for a year now. (And it was wonderful.)  But… there’s a but.  I’m weepy, achy, tired, and crazy sensitive about everything.  And I’ve been having really weird and vivid dreams.  Yes, this could all be PMS, but that seems like such a cop-out (and an insult).  I’m very aware of my cycle and very aware of my PMS symptoms, but this is industrial strength crazy I’m feeling.  I was very aware that I was experiencing a lot of changes, and I thought I was very open and prepared for said changes, but maybe I’ve discounted just how much they would be affecting me.  Part of my frustration is that the changes are all really good and things I’ve wanted: working from home, living with my husband (full time), starting my own business… So why do I feel so funky?  I guess a call to my therapist is indeed in order…

[image]

weekend scene

I flew the coop on Wednesday of last week for a little business conference.  (I feel so legit saying that!)  I didn’t return home until Saturday afternoon and I had plans to do a photo shoot for some friends yesterday afternoon.  So not much time with the hubs or working on any creative projects.  And, this is probably one of the first times in a long time that I haven’t snapped photos of what I was eating over the weekend; it’s too bad because I ate (and drank!) insanely well, courtesy of my boss!  I’m looking forward to getting caught up at work and preparing for some cooler weather and holiday festivities.

weekend scene

The hubs stayed buried under model making supplies.  When I picked him up from his studio on Friday, I hardly recognized the space… it was a disaster!!  I could literally feel the pressure cooking in that building.  (I don’t miss finals!)  He will have to have pencils down this Sunday night.  Basically his entire week will look like this.  (And I’m sure next weekend will look eerily similar this this weekend.)  I wondered why I couldn’t seem to get enough sleep this weekend and then I remember that I had been working 10+ hour days last week (I even worked on a Friday!!!) and I’ve just got until Tuesday to keep it up.  (This is a reminder, file your tax extension rather than calling an accountant in a panic today!)  The weather was just wonderful — especially in the evening.  Texas in the Spring really is marvelous.  Friday found me on steps with a glass a wine (in our new cups!) and Saturday night we grilled (again), and Sunday I went for a run.  The trees in our neighborhood are wonderful, and this time of year everything is so fragrant.  It was just the rest I needed to deal with the craziness that awaits me at my office this week!

busy, busy

I was recently directed to a great article about being busy. I have always found it strange and interesting that talking about how busy we are seems to be the standard reply to someone we’ve not seen in a while.  “Hey!  How’s it going?”  “Great, I’ve been so busy!!”

Whether it’s with children, parents, work, friends…we’re all so “busy” all the time.  But the author of the aforementioned article wanted to challenge herself after she found that she was always saying how busy she was.  Her best weapon, writing down exactly how she spend her time.  What she found was quite interesting; she wasn’t exactly as busy as she thought, she was just spending her time differently. On keeping a time journal she says,

Owning up to how we spend our hours gives us more control of our time, and ultimately, of our lives.

I also find myself getting frustrated with people when they say they just can’t do x, y, or z because they are so busy (especially working out — and I put myself in that category!).  But the best part about the article is that the author reminds us that how we spend our time really is our choice.  I know we have to work around other people’s schedules for things, but how we manage the time between is all up to us.  The author summarizes by stating the following:

Change your language. Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.

I’m reminded again that so much of life is about choices.  So rather than complaining that I’m swamped at work (because it is 3-weeks to tax day!) I need to remember that even how I divvy up my time at the office is my choice.  And I’m choosing to take time to enjoy my surroundings, co-workers, and yes, even our crazy last-minute, busy, clients!

just keep swimming

I’m trying to find peace in the midst of crazies at work; it is 5 weeks until tax day so folks are beginning to lose their minds (and manners!)  I’ve been keeping my sanity by listening to one of my favorite bands Great Lake Swimmers.  And I can’t wait to hear their new album due out at the beginning of next month (just in time to carry me through the home stretch that is the first two weeks of April!)

(Listen to more of their music here.)