There are some things that I’ve been discovering lately that I’m loving – a lot. They are affecting my well-being in extremely positive ways, and so I decided that I would share them with you.
(Notice that I said “things”. Not people, otherwise of course I would mention my wonderful family, friends, etc. People are always contributing to my life in positive ways! )
So here they are, in no particular order:
1) Exercising! I’ve strongly disliked most physical activities, most of my life – never played on any sports teams in school or college, never exercised on a regular basis, and I have really paid for those choices. Right now, I am seeing a physiotherapist for two different issues that would never have become a problem if I would have been exercising regularly, and keeping my muscles in good shape. These problems have ended up costing me a lot of money and have affected me in very life-changing ways. Once I realized this, I wanted to exercise, but couldn’t, until my body started to heal a little more.
Fortunately, I am finally able to exercise, and I am very, very happy about it. I love how it makes me feel, I love it that my body is getting stronger and healthier all the time, I love it that I’m making better choices than I have in the past.
My sister introduced me to the wonders of Leslie Sansone, so I’m doing some resistance training, along with pilates and yoga. Who knew that stuff could be fun?! I spent my whole life thinking I didn’t enjoy it, and now my body is craving it. But not at first. I had to get through the yucky stage when everything hurt and it did not make my body feel better. I’m glad that doesn’t last forever!
2) My Utmost For His Highestby Oswald Chambers
I think that anyone who knows me well probably knows that I quote this book all the time. I completely believe that no book should replace the Bible, but this book is the devotional book I’ve used over and over again for years. It’s only one page of reading a day, and yet Chambers packs more wisdom and challenging insight into one page than many other authors fit into a whole chapter. Always new stuff to chew on and feel uncomfortable about – in a good kind of way!
3) Organizing My House Using This Book:
My mom lent it to me, and it is changing my house, and therefore, my life. I cannot stand a messy house. Ours is not perfect yet, but there have been some noticeable improvements because of the ideas in this book.
Basically, the author takes the idea of “a place for everything, and everything in it’s place” a step farther, and suggests that there is a “natural” place for everything, and if we can find a tidy way to store things in the places where they naturally tend to end up in, we will have less to clean.
For example, if your family continually throws their jackets in a heap by the door, that is where they will most naturally put their jackets. You could try to train them to put the jackets elsewhere, or else you could just accept the fact that that is where they want to put their jackets, and put up some hooks or a coat rack right there. Then it’s almost as easy to hang the jackets up as it is to throw them on the floor.
Or let’s you have trouble with something completely hypothetical like, say, dirty laundry all over the floor. If you put a laundry basket in every bedroom that’s easily accessible, it will be just as easy to throw clothes into the basket as onto the floor. (It totally works, by the way. Hypothetically.)
My own biggest problem is my kitchen counter. I have a very nice place to file all my papers. I just never used it, for some reason. I could not tell you why. I just didn’t. And I have ALWAYS had a pile of papers on the counter, since we moved into this house. It drives me crazy.
Well, after reading this book, I looked at my pile of papers, and I thought to myself, “Apparently that is where I want to put my papers, so that is where they shall stay.” And I went and put my file system right there. No more paper piles! For over an entire month, I’ve kept it clean. That is nothing short of miraculous. That is how I know this book works. You can buy it here.
4) tinywhitedaisies – This is a blog that I recently discovered. No words, just pictures – beautiful, beautiful pictures. Of flowers and scenery and decorating and food. All my favorite things! It soothes my soul. Ben thinks it’s weird. He said, “Pictures of…doors?” But they were really pretty doors. Taking time in the middle of a busy day to look at beautiful pictures is such a great way to unwind and remind myself to think about positive things.
5) Project Life – I’ve written about it before, which you can read here, and you can check out the product here. It is amazing. This last year, I undertook the project of taking a picture every day for a whole year. There were times when that it was hard, but for the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed the project. It challenged my photography skills and creativity, and it captured so many memories from our year. I can’t keep a journal worth anything, but I was able to keep up with writing on a little card every day.
Here’s my big book:
So I had kind of decided that I would not do Project Life again this year. I wanted a break. I loved doing it, and I love paging through it, now that it’s done, but I wanted a break. But then something happened to me two weeks ago.
I was carrying my Project Life book over to the lodge to put the last finishing touches on it. I was walking down our front steps when I slipped and fell off the side, right into a snowbank. Everything I was carrying flew everywhere. All of the pictures along the top of the entire album got wet. I carried my poor, wet book to the lodge, and took out all of the wet pictures so that I could lay them out to dry. They filled almost three tables.
Then I went home to cry a little bit, and then I spent the rest of the evening watching a movie and forgetting about my problems for a little while.
Fortunately, everything dried very nicely, and all of those pictures are safely back in my book.
But here’s what I realized: As I worked with all those pictures, and looked at each one, I realized how glad I was to have them. It was a good year. I love the finished product, I love how the whole kit is set up, I love it that it was finished in January, and I’m not feverishly scrapbooking to record all of our memories from this last year – it’s all done already!
So I’ve decided to do Project Life again! I’m just going to do it by the week instead of by the day, though. That way, if there’s some days when I forget to take a picture, or there wasn’t anything really exciting to take a picture of, I don’t have to stress about it. We don’t have to try to live an exciting life just so I can get a picture of it! I’m looking forward to seeing how that approach works for our family this year.
And there you have it! The five things that I’m loving right now! What are yours?