August 24, 2016

Summer Fades to Fall

I've been meaning to share these photos from the garden for awhile. These were taken in the garden's prime. It certainly doesn't look like this now as everything is starting to fade.

One of my favorite things this summer has been sitting at the bistro set on weekend mornings while I drink my tea and my guy drinks his coffee. I usually have music playing and sometimes I bring my camera.

It is complete serenity at 7am in our backyard. I find it impossible to not feel at peace in that moment. We sit and sip and talk about gratitude and dreams. I would happily start every morning for the rest of my life just in that way.

This girl is always by our sides. First she strolls around the yard, exploring for any new smells since the evening before. Invariably she wanders over to the tomato or berry plants and helps herself to a little treat, maybe a trip through the catmint which will make the kitties crazy when she makes her way back inside and then she plops down near us, looking as content to us as we must look to her.

Like everything else around here, our gardens have been a labor of love, slowly being molded to resemble the vision in my head. I really have no idea what I'm doing but I never let that stop me. I just fumble along buying and planting, moving and rearranging.

I used to get frustrated with myself for working this way. Now I just embrace it as part of my process and I actually enjoy it. It's incredibly satisfying to keep at something that you know nothing about and to eventually create something that makes your heart happy.

When I think back to what this yard looked like when we first bought the house, I am amazed at what we have created. There is still much work to do ,but I'm enjoying every moment of the process.

These sweet pea were gifted to me by a blog reader friend. They make the treehouse look like an enchanted fairy house while they are in bloom.

Sadly, their time has faded and all that remains is this lone blossom that I've brought inside to enjoy. The light is changing, the mornings are turning cooler and the summer days are fading to fall.


August 18, 2016

Positive Changes

Last week was back to school for us and the kick off of a new routine for me. For those of you that feared that I was hinting about not blogging any more, well that is in no way my plan! While spending a lot less time in front of a screen is a critical part of what I'm doing right now, I love this little corner of mine and can't imagine abandoning this space.

I spent the week before school started, trying to figure out what I wanted my days to look like. More and more I am realizing that I push myself too hard and don't give myself enough time for things I love. I started by making a list of things that are life giving and a list of things that are life draining. It probably won't shock any of you to know that while the life draining list was shorter, more of my time is spent on it. That has to change. I have to give myself permission to do things that give me joy if I am to be the best me I can be. That ever present to do list is NOT going anywhere. If I work night and day for a month there will still be stuff on that list. At the end of my life do I want to look back and say "I got everything done on my to do list"? No way! I want to say I laughed, I had fun, I was creative, I loved my family and friends well and I made a lovely home. Those are the things that are important to me.

Let's be sensible here. Things still need to get done and I am probably going to be the one to do them.  I am happiest when my house is relatively clean, errands still need to be run and I need to make exercise a priority. I don't know about you but, aside from yoga, exercise is not on my life giving list. However being in good health certainly is, so I know I need to make time for it.

It's only been two weeks but I am already feeling the shift. My new schedule looks something like this AM: exercise, cleaning, errands, house projects. PM: Choose something from the life giving list and do it. Without guilt. Period. I'm working out the kinks and still getting used to stopping my work at lunch time. So hard to do especially if there is still stuff on my to do list. I think of this as a practice and it will take me a little while to get it right. Today I stopped ironing before my basket was empty. It may sound silly but that was a big deal for me. I am a keep going until I'm finished kind of girl. Or I was. Now I guess I'm a keep going until lunch time and then do something fun kind of girl. I'll take that.

The biggest change I've made is that I have blocked off Wednesdays on my calendar for the next month. That is what I am calling my Sacred Day and I've already become fiercely protective of it. It is my day to spend as I wish with no obligations. Last week I spent the day cleaning and organizing my studio and redoing my inspiration board. This week I spent it finishing a book, writing and being creative. I'll share more about my Sacred Day soon.

I'm already feeling less stressed from making these positive changes. I'm keeping an open mind and a flexible spirit about all of it. I know this is all part of my growing need for simplicity. I'm feeling less overwhelmed with this new schedule and so happy to be able to find time for more of life's small pleasures.