Taking Time

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When I was in Texas, I attended a workshop led by Dr. Keri Riggs on the importance of creativity, play, and fun and it was pretty mind-blowing. Life today is so fast-paced – there are always errands to run, things to clean, chores to do, calls to make, emails to answer, appointments to go to – that it feels like we are on a never-ending conveyor belt of things to do. Billy and I have been trying to reshape our lifestyle into one that does allow more time for fun and play and creativity, but sometimes we are not successful. We can get mired in all the minutiae of the life just as quickly as not. Finding the balance is hard!

Dr. Riggs asked us all to think of a time that we had fun, just really let go and had fun. And to think about what play meant to us. For me, that means many different things, as I am sure it does to most of you as well. Reading and writing, being out in nature, being with my friends at book club, laughing with my family about something or other, practicing yoga. Then Dr. Riggs asked about what gets in the way – and I am sure my list is again, the same as many of you all, all of the things I mentioned above. I also realized that for me too, that I can “Chevy Chase” a moment, that I have really high expectations of how I want and expect something to be, that I have a hard time being in the moment 100%, as I try to manage it so that my family has a perfect outing or moment. And I need to realize it doesn’t need to be that way sometimes. I need to step outside of that idea, and just be.

We also talked about what we can do to try to help us make the time for ourselves – we all know and have heard how important “self-care” is for us by now. And self-care can be just a small little thing too – a piece of that special candy you love and don’t treat yourself to, for example.  For we also learned, a treat is self-care – if it is something you do all the time, it doesn’t count, because it doesn’t actually affect your brain the same way as treating yourself. So it is important to switch it up! If you buy a big box of Godiva and eat a piece of everyday, it is no longer special right? It is there and you can have it whenever you want. And it loses that magic. So we have to make sure we switch it up sometimes.

A few suggestions I took from the workshop that I feel I can actually use are very simple – make a list and put things on the calendar. My very organized brain loves these ideas. Have you ever had time to yourself where you were completely overwhelmed by the fact you had some time, and then didn’t know what to do? (This also sort of happens to me in a book store – too many options and I can’t choose!) Dr. Riggs suggested making a list of fun or self-care type things that you would enjoy, then when you get 30 minutes, etc look at your list and choose one! And the calendar thing – so important I think. It feels sort of like you shouldn’t need to schedule free time, but sometimes you do, at least until it becomes habit I think. I have to schedule in blogging or I wouldn’t get a chance. And when I don’t keep to my schedule, I never get to it! This is something I am urging my husband to do too – text his friends and set stuff up, put it on the calendar! I never miss a book club, and it is because it is scheduled. But this is just how things work for me, it might not be the thing for you, and if that is the case, find the way that works for you. Remember the things that make you smile, and restore your spirit and soul. Find the things that feel like play and fun, and do them.

Right before I left on my trip, I texted my husband that when he got home from work, we were going to go on a picnic, even though rain was in the forecast. We kept it extremely simple – we picked up pizza rolls and cookies from the bakery and headed to a local metropark. Due to the weather, we had the place to ourselves, and it was a wonderful way to spend an hour or two. We opened up the hatch of our SUV and piled into the back together, watching the rain roll in, as the wind blew our hair around. Wyatt absolutely loved it, I loved it, Billy loved it. We were safe and warm and cozy, eating our cookies while the weather was a little wild, just out of reach. We got to see deer and have a priceless moment together, really. It was after work and we had dishes in the sink and laundry to do and I needed to pack and it was probably later than Wyatt needed to be out by the time we got home, but..it was worth it. And Wyatt was fine and everything got done eventually.

What about you? What kinds of things restore you? What do you do to make time for them?

A Bird’s Eye View

2019-03-25Saturday was a warm, bright, sunny day – the perfect spring day really.

Good thing we waited until Sunday when it was chilly, cloudy and gray for our family hike! Lol. Oh well. We dressed warmly and headed out – we usually try not to let weather stop us, unless it is extreme weather, of course.

So we headed out, braving the overcast skies and the cold air. We had a purpose to our walk this time too – to try out our new Kelty Kid’s hiking backpack carrier. We didn’t have a ton of time either, which ended up being perfect because we found a new cool place to hike when we want just a short little saunter in the outdoors. It is close to our home, and in a wetland area, which we normally don’t hike in for some reason, even though we live in the Great Lakes State!

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The trail was short but we saw so much during our adventure! We heard the whistle of the red-winged blackbirds, back in town after their winter away; we saw sparrows and chickadees, flickering about, singing and chittering to us from their perches high up in the still bare branches. We saw a plethora of waterfowl, from swans to mallards to ring-neck ducks to buffleheads (I love that name!) We even saw a beaver quickly duck under the surface of the water just a few feet in front of us! This was pretty cool, since beaver have just really recently returned to our area after 150 years – a very good sign regarding the ecological state of our waterways!

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As I said, we had a mission Sunday, to try out the Kelty. I was so impatient to get out and get going honestly, the excitement to see how it was going to work for our family was making me antsy! For us, it is not just a convenience but world-changing. As Wyatt has cerebral palsy, and is making progress every day with his walking, but we still need a way to get outdoors and take longer hikes right now. In our lives before becoming parents, this was something Billy and I did regularly and for vacations. Trips to walk the Appalachian Trail, trails “Up North” in Michigan, those are fun good times to us. It is so important for us to continue this, and share this passion with our son. We have so many national parks we want to visit – we just need to be creative! As Wyatt is getting longer and bigger (not necessarily heavier lol!) carrying him just in our arms isn’t cutting it. And honestly, it’s not cutting it for him anymore either. He needs to be able to experience the woods and trees and the birds and everything a little differently too – this way, in the pack, he can see looking straight ahead of him, see as we see, a whole new perspective! He can also reach up and out to touch things, learning and experiencing the outdoors in a new way.  He even got to use his own binoculars to look for birds! We loved it, and so did he!! He had such a great time, riding around on his dad’s back. He didn’t want to get out honestly, and wanted us to keep going! And we would have had we had the time. However, much longer adventures are now in our future!

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As we walked, I could swear I heard the hooting of an owl somewhere, although Billy missed it so I could have imagined it. I didn’t imagine however, the Bald Eagle that soared overhead. They really are such majestic creatures. It was a perfect ending to our walk, one that signifies more freedom for our family, with a visit from a Bald Eagle.

Catching Up

crackercrumblife.comMove along now, holiday season.

Is anyone else trying to catch up from the holidays? I feel like I put everything that I could put on hold during December on that proverbial back burner, and now it’s time to sort through it and get to it! Except I am feeling so crazy overwhelmed by my to-do list, I almost can’t remember what all I need to do.

I’m that person who always want to be super organized, but just isn’t. I know that this is just not who I am, so I roll with it, and plan to be the most organized that I can be, but I will never be that person who has the perfectly sorted rooms with cute and stylish baskets or whatnot, all with labels, that make the room look like it belongs in a decorating magazine. Although, that would be cool. I did however, start a mission last year to minimize our possessions, and I have slowly been going room by room. Very slowly, but it’s getting there. Having less stuff makes it easier to organize – obviously. Lol. And it does feel sort of liberating and cleansing to not be so weighed down by stuff. I could be a hoarder, perhaps, if I allowed it to happen. Now I just throw it in a bag or a box and drive it immediately to the donation center. Done and done.

But back to the now of catching up. I need to work on my business, get started on various projects, schedule appointments, figure out what books I am behind on reading and reviewing for my book review blog (quite a few!), stuff I want to do with this blog, and finish my office, which is currently housing boxes and boxes of books that I need to figure out what to do with, and cat items. The room is literally devoted to books and cats right now, there is no room for me. I need to reclaim some of the space (as we know the cats will not allow me the entire room now, after all this time) – as much as I love my bedroom, it is not the most conducive to working. More to getting really cozy and then maybe napping. Which unfortunately is not super productive.

Thankfully, my Passion Planner arrived. (not a affiliate link at all, I just love mine!) I love everything about it. I have so much I need to keep track of, most especially little man’s appointments! There are so many. He has a neurology appointment coming up, and I thought I had the date memorized, but when I went to write it in my planner, I found that the day was a Sunday, which I knew could not be right! I called, and found I had the right number date, but wrong month! See why I need a calendar? Lol. Lately, I always have three things close to hand – my planner, my notebook, and my pen case.

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Anyone else in the throes of catching up from the holidays? What are your tips? How do you keep track of all you need to do with all the your roles in life?

 

 

A Friday Look Back

First:

Snow! I love snow. I don’t like the accidents or problems it can cause, but – I love snow. Especially that quiet hush as it falls, or walking through a wood covered in snow. One of my top favorite things to do. Last month we went on an Owl Prowl, and the air was crisp and cold, winter was on its way. As we stood quietly, our eyes glued to the horizon for incoming screech owls, I closed mine instead. And just stood there a few beats, feeling the cold and the dark and the silence, soaking it in. The past few days have been full of snow showers, those big ol’ flakes that fall fast, and accumulate like mad. (and incidentally, we watched White Christmas, one of my faves)

We had a pretty great week!

Last Saturday Wyatt spent the day with 2 out of 3 cousins – we began the day with his Aunt Chrissy and cousin L., making gingerbread houses at the library. They were constructed from graham cracker and frosting and all this delicious looking candy – the hard part was keeping the kids from eating it all! I told Wyatt that we don’t eat our art usually. I think we did a pretty good job!

Next we headed to my dad’s  house, which is a little over an hour away, to visit and go to his cousin Brayden’s tenth birthday party. Wyatt went bowling for the first time! His Aunt Katherine held him and let him put his hand on the ball before she threw it. She claimed he gave her luck, as she bowled very well after his magic touch. We also spent the night at his grandparents that night, and I think that was another thing Wyatt enjoyed – a sleepover with grandma and grandpa!

Tuesday little man had an eye doctor appointment, my least favorite of his multitude of appointments. At 2, he doesn’t understand what is going on, and I imagine it must be scary and invasive. At least this time they didn’t dilate his eyes – that joy is reserved for next time. The doctor said that his eyes are improving (he has nystagmus), but he wants us to patch him for an hour a day for the next 6 months. It looks like the whole family will be hanging pirate style for a while, as I don’t see Wyatt keeping that patch on without a little encouragement. Any tips?

We are getting down to the wire with Christmas – and I am still not done! I need to buy a few more gifts, stocking stuffers, make cookies and take boyo to see Santa. Santa at least will be done tomorrow morning. Oh, and then wrap. How is everyone else doing? And I even decided to do a small Christmas this year! I felt for our family, that we were going to try to have more moments and less things, so we are doing just three toys for kiddo, books, and a pair of boots. For Billy and I, we are just doing books and socks and maybe a gift or two, but nothing big.

I think tonight we are going to wind down the evening with hot chocolate, wine for me, and a viewing of Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas. Anyone else remember that? I love that movie and I am so excited to show Wyatt. I remember the very night that it aired on HBO. We didn’t have that channel, so we went to my cousin’s to watch it. I was so excited! (and very young..) Still one of the top of my list Christmas movies.

 I am trying to blog more here – it is such an important thing to me. I really need to write, whether it is a simple recitation of the week’s events or something more fun, or even thoughtful. It’s how I process my days, the events of my life. So that is going to be a definite goal for the new year for me.

Anyway, that is my quick look back at the week! I hope you all had a great week too!