A Reading Challenge for You

The books on our shelves without titles on their spines.

It is these books we never see.

Never to be noticed,

read,

loved.

These books go unperceived.

 

I challenge you to read a book on your shelf that has a blank spine. Be surprised.

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How to Shop Minimally

Today’s post from the Daily Prompt inspired me to write about a concept I’ve been trying to adopt for a while. Replacement.

 

Today when I buy something I ask myself questions.

  • Do I need it?
  • Does it fill a void that I’ve been wanting to fill for a while?
  • And in relation to this post,
    • Do I already own something that can do this?

 

This unfolds another series of questions:

  • Why do I need this thing if I already have something similar?
  • Does this do it better/faster/more sustainably?
  • Do I need two of these things because one is always borrowed or used elsewhere?

 

I now have a rule for when I buy things:

 

For everything I buy, I must get rid of one thing.

This keeps me from falling down the slippery slope into hoarding again.

 

When I went to Goodwill the other day I donated at least 150 items of clothing. I then went in and bought 3 new things.

I had already met my rule by donating 50x the amount of things I was accumulating. But, there was a problem. I had bought a pair of jeans. I already have a pair of jeans.

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The pair of jeans I already have don’t fit well, I hemmed them (poorly), and they ride way too low in the back. I never wear them.

The new pair fits me wonderfully, I feel great in them and I’m not afraid to move around in them.

So, out with the old and in with the new, my old jean are one of the things I will be getting rid of today in my 30-day challenge. Along with an old box and a stained pair of socks.

via Daily Prompt: Replacement

The Best Life

He talks of plans, of dreams, for us,
of all the things we often lust.

The house, the car, the fancy toys,
are all too tempting to ignore.

‘We will have the best life’ he says to me,
and I nod, hold his hand, I agree.

But I’m not waiting for those days,
they only come from long delays.

A year ago, I was made his wife,
and that is why ‘I have the best life.’

Restlessness

The restlessness I feel tonight,

will only last until it’s light.

 

It’s all because I can’t ignore,

these jumbled thoughts, I’ve had before

 

I remember things I wish had’t,

Things that had been long absent.

 

My mind will rifle through these files,

when it knows I haven’t slept awhile.

 

And, when I’m done with past regrets,

I conjure up new things to fret.

 

Oh, how many nights I’ve troubled.

Behind my eyes, these thoughts have tumbled.

 

Pound by pound, they add up,

If only I had a measuring cup.

 

Because, I will watch and watch these shows,

Until that cocky rooster crows.

How I get back up again

You are lost, you don’t know what happened. You were doing great, being productive, going to the gym. You were doing everything you were supposed to do and it was ok.

 

So what happened? Why are you still in bed at noon? Why haven’t you showered since Tuesday?

 

I have been there, many times. Especially over the last year.

 

For weeks, I can be kicking ass, just to hit rock bottom in less than 24 hours. One bad day is enough to throw me into a 2-week bender of self-loathing and procrastination.

 

The loathing feeds the laziness and the laziness feeds the loathing.

 

I am not writing this post to give you a magical solution. I haven’t found it. I am doing ok right now but I dread the loss of self-control that I feel is imminent.

 

The best thing that I have going for me is the self-awareness of a problem. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know how to fix it. But I know it’s there.

 

I know what pushes me into these episodes. It’s loss of control. The lack of a plan causes me to freak out and shut down. For the past few months, I have had no control of my living situation. My husband is in police academy for 6 months and I have been living with my dad in the meantime.

 

Three weeks ago I was supposed to find out where we are getting placed. Someone was supposed to tell me where my family was going to be plopped for the next few years. Yet here we are, it’s January 24th and I still don’t know.

 

I finished my degree a little over a month ago. Since finishing, I feel like I have had nothing to work for. I can’t apply to schools, I don’t know where I’ll be. I can’t get another job, I don’t know where I’ll be. I can’t look for a place, because, you guessed it, I don’t know where I’ll be.

 

I know this isn’t the case for you.  There is likely something completely different going on in your life. But I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling this way.

 

I find myself trying to let go. To ‘go with the flow’ and ‘travel wherever the path takes me’. This is crap. This is the thinking that knocks me down.

 

What I really need is to work towards something. There are always things I want to work on when I’m super busy but don’t have the time. Now that I have the time, why am I not doing anything?

 

So, I set goals for myself. Do a lesson on Codecademy every day. 50 xp on Duolingo every day. Yoga every morning and running every evening. Even writing a blog post every day.

 

I am constantly failing at keeping these habits. But, I do find that every time I fall, I get back up again stronger. As corny as that sounds. I learn each time what went wrong and what went right.

 

Here is what I’ve learned so far:

 

  • Don’t take everything on too quickly.
    • Begin a new habit once a day or once a week. Whatever works for you. Don’t try to get started on all 17 New Year’s resolutions on January 1st.

 

  • It’s ok to have a bad day. But don’t let it take you down.
    • Everyone has bad days, it’s ok. But the next morning you need to get up again and start the day anew.

 

This brings me to my next point.

  • Get up when you wake up.
    • I don’t care if you read Reddit before starting your day or not. Get up.
    • Wake up, get up.

 

I find that I trap myself in bed by having all of my comforts so close at hand. My phone on one side and a good book on the other.

 

With this method, I end up lazing around in bed until to urge to pee is finally bad enough.

 

When I get up I have started my day. Somehow, taking that final first step is enough to get the ball rolling. The longer I lay in the bed the shittier I feel for being so lazy.

 

I don’t know if this will help anyone or not, I just know that it’s been helping me. Please let me know what you think or if you have any tips for motivating, habit forming, or being productive.