Monday, June 29, 2015

6 Things I Learned From A Busy Month

I feel like I have at least a dozen blog post ideas in me as this month comes to an end. Some I have jotted down (as you may know, I love making lists) - hmmm, maybe I should make a few list related posts?! Too many ideas, and too little time - I must create an editorial schedule!

It's been a busy month that included a family trip to Quebec City so that I could attend meetings and a conference. This meant a lot of daughter-daddy time for my loves. Of course we enjoyed touring the city and eating great food, as well as the work that I did (*food tour post coming soon). Upon returning home, we received keys to our new home and the move began. We also celebrated father's day for the first time in our home, and I wasn't able to contribute to this month's Recipe Redux - so I'll have to be on top of that for July!

Now I look at the calendar and feel the need to reflect back on a few things that I have learned (or been reminded of) over the last 30 or so days.

1. My minimalist efforts helped with moving
I don't think many (or any) people enjoy the actual act of moving, they just want to reach the destination. With packing and unpacking, it did feel better knowing I had thinned our stuff in the last year or so, but it still felt like we had a lot (more work to be done). It's just a reminder that minimalism is a lifestyle, so I can continue to go through our house and thin things out so that I can spend more time enjoying life, rather than taking care of, cleaning, and organizing our stuff.

2. I don't want to be someone that "does it all"
This feels like a recent revelation. My husband would easily say that I try to do too much, analyze things to deeply, or get caught up in comparisons at times (another reason for me to unplug and get off social media more often). I think I always planned to be the type of mom that people would say, "how does she do it all?" until I recently realized that I'd rather be someone that people say "wow, she has a lot of free time" or "she's so happy" - not that I need people to comment at all, but it's taken me about 30 years to realize that I don't need to do what everyone else does, I don't have anyone's standards that I need to meet, and getting things done isn't what life is all about (although I thrive off a sense of accomplishment). This is probably obvious to a lot of people, but I think (I know) I'm too hard on myself because I expect too much at times. This revelation helps me to enjoy moments with my family or reading a "just because" type of book for enjoyment.
3. I enjoy unplugging
I recently shared a post reminding us to enjoy the weekend - not just photograph it, but live it. Last night I saw a commercial form Dixie - I like the underlying message to "Be More Here" and reduce distractions for family meals, etc. by going "Dark for Dinner". We know there are many reasons to eat together and be mindful in those moments. I sometimes feel like we're missing out on life by surrounding ourselves with screens. I will continue to aim for moderation with my use of media and electronics, as there is so much more I can do with my time.

4. I'm getting better at enjoying the little things
There are many components or dimensions to health and wellness - often people mention:
  • physical
  • emotional
  • social
  • intellectual
  • environmental
  • spiritual
  • occupational
  • etc.
Where we now live is almost like a new lifestyle. We have nature to look at (rather than a television) and I'm unplugging more, allowing myself more time for my hobbies/passions etc. which is all very important for overall health and stress reducation. We often think about eating well and exercise, but it's also important to find time for family and "me time". I hope my months ahead don't feel busy, but feel happy (and for personal contentment - productive in some way!)

5. I definitely value experiences over things
This relates to points above. I'm happy to have less things in my house and be able to spend more time enjoying the house and yard. We have some work to do, but a minimalistic focus will help us choose wisely and prevent us from filling our house with needless things. This should also help us save money for more trips, as we enjoy traveling and our daughter is pretty good at it so far.

6. Blogging helps me continue to learn about myself
I tend to post more about moderation, mindfulness, and minimalism or personal development and reflection with a bit of nutrition information here or there and a few recipes. I have high hopes/goals and ideas for the blog, but I still haven't nailed anything down yet. I know my lack of career goals at this point makes me feel like I'm wandering aimlessly at times, but I'm also still adapting to the new role as mom - a role I always wanted to play (you could say it's been my dream job). As much as I always wanted to be a mom and am grateful for the opportunity, I am still trying to figure out the balance of being mom, me, wife, and an entrepreneur.

How was your month?

Enjoy what's left of June!

Steph Langdon, RD