I love how summer seems to awaken the senses. I can smell flowers and the neighbor’s grill whenever I step outside. Even though we have 5 senses I feel like there is one that gets neglected sometimes. It’s sort of an after thought.
Whenever we travel (and even when we don’t) my husband is a mega explorer. He loves experiencing new things on every level. It takes him forever to go through a garden. One thing that stands out to me is that he’s always having me touch things. At first I thought it was annoying and now I can’t wait for him to find a unique texture for us to touch.
Because of his exploratory nature I now remember the prickly cacti in New Mexico and the smooth marble in D.C. I remember what the clay felt like in Baton Rouge as well as the hard lava in Hawaii. It’s amazing how much more you can get out of an experience through the sense of touch.
Today, reconnect with your sense of touch. Feel everything. Go slow. Notice. Feel.
The packing has begun! We move in two weeks and we just spent the weekend packing up everything, but the necessities. It’s funny how after so many moves packing is just 2nd nature. We’re not stressed about moving and this isn’t the first time we uttered the words,
“Sorry we can’t come, we have to pack.”
We are very excited to move into Saint Paul. We’re both predicting that this will be a great change for us. I can’t wait to ride my bike to the farmers market and walk Watson in the beautiful neighborhoods.
Before you begin the busy week ahead, check out these fun links.
Bri hits the nail on the head with her thoughts on being 27. Click on her Instagram Photo to read all of the comments. I often feel the same way.
If you remember the 4 areas that I spend the most extra money on are:
Clothes Coffee EBooks iTunes
Once I saw my credit card statement from 2012 I decided I wanted to challenge myself to not buy those four things. And a challenge it was. I would say that clothes were the hardest thing to give up.
I successfully went 2 months with zero shopping until I we went to Santa Fe and I bought a tank top for $12. Now I’m not about to tell you that I’m beating myself up over a $12 tank top, but I will tell you that once I bought something my mindset shifted.
Even while I was in the store I wanted to buy other things. Once I gave myself permission to break my streak it was like the flood gates opened. I’m proud to say I only bought that one tank top, but the residual effects lasted for about a week. It’s amazing how all or nothing this is for me.
Here’s an update on the rest of my guilty pleasures.
The coffee wasn’t hard to give up, because I just stopped going to the coffee shops. I know this isn’t sustainable as part of my job often involves going there. To meet in the middle I started getting tea which is usually half the price and much better for me.
EBooks are a slippery slope as well. I did some research and found that the St Paul library has an EBook program. As soon as we’re done moving I’m going to get myself a library card and problem solved!
iTunes have been easy to give up. A funny thing happened shortly after giving up iTunes. I found an old iTunes gift card while doing some sorting. It had $15 on it and I took as a sign from the Universe. A pat-on-the-back of sorts.
I realize that none of these things are that big of a deal, but it’s important to me to be conscious of my weaknesses. Am I never going to buy these things again? Of course not. But now I have some perspective on what I need, what I want and what’s worth saving for.
Plus getting birthday presents is that much more exciting now.
Have you saved or splurged on anything recently? I’d love to hear about it. Share in comments.
I recently read an article (I can’t remember where) about a woman who took a vacation to Paris. And the thing she remembered most is that people weren’t glued to their phones nearly as much as they are in America. Now this is a generalization and she does realize that it was a short-trip point of view. However, her comparison really struck me and I know it’s because I am guilty of being glued to my iPhone.
I felt scolded after reading that article, but most of all I felt sad. We are given such a short amount of time not only here on earth, but with each one of our friends and family members. I don’t want spend that time looking at my iPhone screen.
I know I’m not alone in this either. My husband Adam quit social media all together because he recognized how much time he was sinking into it. I’ve listened to some people describe stories other people tell of an experience they were a part of, but they don’t remember because they were glued to their phone.
Technology is fantastic and it has a brilliant way of connecting us all, but it needs to be used carefully and in moderation.
So after a gut check I knew the right thing to do. I needed to change my ways. We (my husband and I) needed to change our phone habits. Once again I put pen to paper and wrote down a few quick rules. These rules directly correlate to our main issues and bad habits. They may or may not apply to you, but I think we can all challenge ourselves to look at the screen less and be fully present more.
Without further introduction here are the 5 rules to
We have gotten in the bad habit of reading the news, checking email or perusing Twitter while in the presence of other people that we should be engaging with. Although we’re talking we’re not fully present. Our eyes are on the screen and the other people have to stare at the tops of our heads. It’s sort of like answering a call while someone is talking to you and starting a new conversation with the “person on the phone.” So RUDE! Once I compared it to an actual phone call I was convinced that this was not the type of person I wanted to be. So I am committing to giving the actual living beings in the room my full attention. I don’t want to miss out on any precious in-person minutes.
Multitasking can be good, but when it comes to technology I think multitasking is down right silly. I found myself turning on a TV show then instantly opening my laptop or pulling up Twitter on my iPhone. Why on earth did I always have the need to have two screens up at once? I realized how ridiculous this was so now I’m vowing to stop multitasking. If I am so bored by watching TV or movies then I need to turn it off and find another, more engaging activity. [Note: this one has been tough for me, but I'm already feeling way more present.]
I didn’t think we had a problem (per say) with phones in bed. Until one night when I put mine away and Adam still had his out. At that moment I realized how crazy it was. We spend all day and all night on the internet and now when we have a few minutes to cuddle before we fall asleep we’re both….you guessed it…ON THE INTERNET! I think we have a problem when our iPhones take priority over cuddling or (ahem)! We are both vowing to finish our phone business before getting into bed. What a difference it makes!
This one was written specifically for Adam. After he quit social media he replaced a lot of his “checking” time with checking the news. There are two problems with this. The first is that checking the news takes a long time. There are many articles to read and it often takes a long time. The other problem, and I think many of you can relate, is that the news is depressing and sometimes frustrating. There really is no better way to make yourself angry than to quickly read the headlines. So when he continuously checks the news he’s continuously reminding himself of the sour state of things. Checking twice a day is plenty to still be up-to-date on current events.
This last one is for me. When I first started blogging it was all about my life. It was mostly a report of what I did, saw, and ate. Because that was my subject matter I took pictures of everything. Twitter and Instagram only made that habit worse. Well now, my content has shifted and I don’t need a picture of every latte and flower I encounter. It’s a tough habit to break, but I’m committing to only taking pictures of things that inspire me and that I actually want a picture of. I need to learn that it’s ok to just enjoy brunch without whipping out my phone. It’s just one more way to be present and live in the now.
Head up, eyes open! I’m living a REAL life. Starting now.
Can you commit to one or all of these rules? Do you have a phone rule of your own? Share in the comments below.
It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Where’s Watson? post, but recently he went somewhere fun. When we moved to Minnesota we had to say goodbye to our favorite dog sitters in New Mexico. We weren’t quite ready to find someone new so my sister would take Watson whenever we went somewhere. He loved it!
It worked quite well for awhile until my sister was going to the same wedding we were. Thus, we had no one to watch Watson.
We began the exhaustive search for someone new. We used the website DogVacay to find and interview a few options. Enter Lisa. She and her husband live out on a ranch near Stillwater. They have been breeding and racing horses at Canterbury for years. Needless to say they know animals.
We had our meet-n-greet a few weeks ago and ended up staying for a few hours just talking. We really hit it off and Watson seemed to love playing out there. That’s where he met his first horse!
We felt totally comfortable dropping him off last Friday before heading to the wedding. We knew he’d have a blast. Lisa even sent us a few photos while we were gone.
On Sunday we picked him up and we couldn’t believe our eyes. Here was our puppy who doesn’t really like going for walks in the rain, outside frolicking like a ranch dog while the rain came down. Everyone was working outside and he looked like he was helping. I have never seen him look so happy and content in his short little life. Everyone said he’s a ranch dog now.
It’s a good feeling knowing that Watson has a great time when we leave him somewhere. Between making new friends (like Maggie), exploring new surroundings and even getting to sleep with a stuffed toy in his tent, I think it’s quite the vacation for him.