Hey there Lovelies! Can you believe we’re almost halfway through 2021 already?! When I was prepping for today’s post, I realized that I didn’t update you about how my restoration-rejuvenation challenge went. If you don’t recall, check out the original post here.
On April 8, I did a journal entry to get a baseline on where I was at. I answered the questions: How do I feel about my life? Is my outlook positive? Am I happy?
My result was: I was about 8/10 positive and 6/10 happy. My happiness meter could probably use a little bump but my outlook was positive. I wrote in my journal “There are things that I focus on daily that lead me to believe I am unhappy.” That is absolutely true. But I also wrote about shifting perspectives will help me see the bigger picture too.
April was an up-and-down month. We had a couple of ups and downs with our family during the month: we were quarantined, my son had Covid (a worry for me), we got to spend Easter together, I reconfigured my schedule to better fit my life, and I got the news that we are moving sooner than expected. We began planning our road trip, canceled our road trip because Covid still had everything closed, and then replanned our road trip because our governor allowed baseball to open. At the beginning of the month, we got notice that my background check was beginning and we’d have to wait a couple of months to move, then at the end of the month, we got word that my background check was already completed. See – up and down.
What I did. I only missed a couple of the things from the original list.
- 4/8 – I daydreamed about our final home and petted my cat, Rosie.
- 4/9 – I looked for signs of spring, talked about moving with C, and petted the fluffies (we have two cats and a dog, all of them super spoiled because I am at home)
- 4/10 – More signs of spring, I got some amazing photos for the scrapbook
- 4/11 – this was a Sunday and I spent most of the day in my craft space scrapping away
- 4/12 – I had a homemade iced cream milkshake with cookies and cream ice cream
- 4/13 – I did an easy stretch yoga video and a deep breathing exercise
- 4/14 – I had a couple of glasses of wine, turned off the phone, and flipped through a couple of magazines – this was a hard day for me overall
- 4/15 – Coloring – I colored a mandala for a couple of hours
- 4/16 – Watch TV – I found a new show that I wanted to watch all by myself
- 4/17 – gardened and worked – I began to pull weeds in prep for new mulch and curb appeal for the house sale, plus I plopped in two new roses to finish off the garden and replace the hydrangea that didn’t make it last year
- 4/18 – date, try something new, nap, personal kindness – this was a busy day
- 4/19 – breathe/meditate – sometimes while I’m doing yoga I begin to meditate which renews my body and my mind at the end of a long day
- 4/20 – nap, rest – in the middle of the day, I felt tired and instead of pushing through with a cup of strong tea or coffee, I laid myself on the sofa for a couple hours
- 4/21 – remembering – I was going through Christmas pictures for my scrapbook and I realized how great life really is
- 4/22- Kindness, self care – skipped working this day because I was just dragging, went to Bath and Body Works to get new lotion because I wanted it
- 4/23 – rest, kindness, learning new things – I did a writer’s workshop this day and learned some new things, didn’t push myself too hard to work while doing it, win-win
- 4/24 – laughing, hobby work – I was in my craft space working on a scrapbook while Chris went to get groceries so that I would have to do it
- 4/25 – hobby, rest – this was Sunday and after church, I got 99% done with my December Daily scrapbook (this is an annual event hosted by Ali Edwards)
By the end of April, God had answered some prayers for me, changed some lives, and brought new perspective to our home. It appears that living the Good Life requires self-care and restoration. To restore, I connected to God daily in reading my Bible and praying. We go to church on Sunday, usually read a devotion as a family, and have dinner together. Sometimes, we will do a family activity, which depends on the weather, energy levels, and getting along together.
To care for me, I adjusted my schedule and did one or two little things for the amount of time that I had available. In my journaling, I counted at least six times where I wrote that I love this life. It’s so very true. It doesn’t have to be days or hours of rest and connection.
Even when things are hard and we’re in the middle of change a little self-care and connection to Jesus will restore the soul. A minute, five minutes, or half an hour of time will give you a connection to the great healer and a bit of rest for the weary soul. Whatever time you have available will be a good start.
Two things. I have found that two specific things make this few minutes a day better. The first is prioritizing myself. If I don’t prioritize myself – to take care of myself – I will try to guilt myself while I am taking my 5 minutes of me-time. I might also try to push it aside, tell myself I don’t need it, or let it be interrupted by all the other things that try to take my attention. The truth of life is that we need a few minutes a day of unscheduled time to just do what we like for the sake of doing it.
It doesn’t need to be a weekend at a spa, it can be giving yourself a home facial. You don’t need a vacation to restore yourself, you can spend an evening in your back yard or your guest room reading a book for fun. Turning off the phone on Sunday afternoon so you don’t check work emails (or just turn off the notifications until Monday morning). Prioritize you for just 1 minute a day and see if it makes a difference.
The second is remembering the good times. I love scrap booking, quilting, and generally making things. I reconnected with these loves in 2020 during quarantine. I had a box of memorabilia that I sorted through while decluttering. Because I was off work and decluttering the entire house, I decided to research and retake up this hobby. I found new tools and tricks and resources that weren’t there when I was a teenager. Also, it is giving me a chance to revisit photo albums, vacations, and family photos that had been tucked away for when I finished law school, building my practice, and restoring my home.
Seeing all these old photos made me smile for days. I also realized I’m not as bad a parent as I thought I was. I had harbored guilt for not being around as much when my son was younger. Flipping through photos helped me realized we spent a lot of time together, got to do some pretty cool stuff, and laughed a lot. It lifted my heart and changed my perspective yet again.
In conclusion, I was happier at the end of the month than I was at the beginning and I was more positive. My search for the Good Life is showing me how to live without running full-throttle-working every minute of the day. I’m learning that living the good life requires self-care to avoid burnout, boundaries to keep my five minutes to myself, and keeping all things in perspective. It’s the little things in life that matter the most.
Did you accept the challenge? What were your results? If not, are you willing to give it a shot? Prioritizing yourself for one minute a day is an easy priority to make – will you accept the challenge?
Do like what you’ve read? Do you want to follow along with me as I search for the Good Life? Type your email address above and you’ll receive new posts to your inbox when they’re posted. I don’t spam you and I don’t sell your email address. See you there!