Thoughts on a Tuesday

I am a proponent of keeping my eyes on my own paper.  It’s nearly always a best practice.  Sometimes I cannot help myself.

I was put off a bit by a recent intersection of blog-decor-land with St. Jude’s Hospital.

I have the highest regard for St. Jude’s – their care of their patients and their patients families is unequaled.  I just found it entirely distasteful that words like “influencers” were part of the conversation around children living with and dying of cancer, especially since these “influencers” were sponsored by a carpet company. It suddenly became about how fantastic this carpet company is rather than St. Jude’s.

Everyone has their platform, but I don’t like the commercial approach to expensive luncheon = helping people.   It’s just an expensive lunch, unless someone brings the checkbook.  I hope the carpet company brought theirs.  As for the blog-decor-land writers, it’s an easy filter.  I was disappointed, though.   I love to make a sale, probably more than most people, but I can’t imagine co-opting an opportunity via a cancer hospital.

These families need support on the other side of treatment – best case.  I don’t let myself think about worst case.  I don’t think high end flooring is the first thing on their minds.

That’s just me, though.

 

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Monday!!! – or – the week, on purpose

Happy Monday!  I hope you’re well and off to a great start this week!

We had an active weekend – I use “active” on purpose, because we weren’t merely busy, we were doing fun things, running kids to different activities, hanging out at the house, discussing Thanksgiving plans, cooking a slow Sunday supper.  It was good – loosely planned,  edited as necessary.  Way better than busy – in fact, I detest being busy.  I enjoy active, though.

I don’t do very well with a rigid list of to-do’s, particularly since I’m a recovering over-scheduler (read: busy work maker) and even after 20+ years in Houston, I do not have a grasp on the reality of the relentless traffic.  Every hour is rush hour, here, and somewhere between errands 3 and 4 things go off the rails, timing wise.  Still, an outline is necessary, because I have goals, and people who depend on me, and a business to see to – and with any luck at all a book and nap thrown in the mix.  Putting it on paper lets me see the things I think are important through a different mental filter, and helps me to prioritize them – or discard them – appropriately.

I was inspired by Janet at The Gardener’s Cottage – she makes a short list of monthly goals, and at the end of the month shares her successes, her take-aways, and her redirects.  I think this is very useful, and I plan to copy her beginning this week.  Taste of France gave a great explanation of the flow of days in the South of France – I’m copying that, too.  Both ideas offer a lot of relief to those of us who tend to make impossible schedules, become frustrated by them, and then abandon all forward motion for weeks at a time, awash in donuts and self-pity.

For this week, I’m focusing on the following :

  • eating out of the freezer and pantry until Thanksgiving – no store trips except fruit
  • cleaning out /organizing my closet for the change of season (fingers crossed)
  • scheduling two doctors appointments
  • cleaning out/organizing the garage
  • being in bed by 10:00

Nothing earth shattering, to be sure, but all worthwhile, and will be beneficial almost immediately.  Nothing like a little instant gratification to stoke the motivation.  They are personal, not related to work – work will want its own outline, so I’ll develop that one next.  In the meantime, any thoughts you have to share on successful un-scheduling would be most welcome.

With love and optimism –

Rachael

 

Could it be?

This morning we had a breath of Fall!  These days are few in southeast Texas, and it is very easy to complain that we’re cheated of seasons – but when it finally comes, when the relief from the heat and that quiet whisper of a breeze allows for coffee on the porch, and a long walk that is a pleasure for man and beast rather than a necessary evil, it’s an experience in gratitude like few others.   We relish it so thoroughly that I wonder if we don’t appreciate it just a bit more for it’s rarity than those who dwell in more northerly climes.

Our Indian summers can be lovely.  The long warm days are essential to the profitability of the agricultural and tourism industries on which our state so heavily relies for jobs and revenue.  Not to mention we get to enjoy a few more days at the beach, a few more dips in the pool…  Still, here it is – the calm of dimmer days married with the energy shift of crisper air.  Opening windows, heading outside.

With love and optimism –

Rachael

Suitability.

 

“My business is to preach to you the beauty of suitability.”  – Elsie de Wolfe

 

The results of the dicey but necessary hard work that represents the contribution, the fruit of having shown up, should be a ridiculously blissful blend of contentment and dissatisfaction, a gentle tension that urges to do more because we know we can do better.  Whether we are raising a family, a goat herd, or venture capital, we are hard-wired to strive.  As long as we take moments to rest and appreciate what we’ve got, that’s just fine.  Trouble comes when we’re striving for the wrong things, or even the right things for the wrong reasons.  Then we stall, and hide, and rationalize.  We can neither give nor get what we want, so why bother with any of it?

We try too hard, spend life blood and countless dollars, without taking into consideration what will actually work for us, what we might enjoy, or what will make us more accessible and useful to others.  All this reaching for what is not meant for us is exhausting.  It leaves too little of the “real” us – the part the world needs – to share.

Our homes are meant to be soft places to land, sometimes as the soothing backdrop for the life being lived there, and sometimes as respite from necessary time away.  It is a place we welcome others to share food and growth and sadness and love.  It is  wildly difficult for our space to accommodate us well when we have been careless with either its upkeep or its furnishings.  Not just neglect – like the flower beds are covered in weeds or the trim needs painting – but also placing things in our homes that are not useful in the life we live.  The objects become obstacles,  taking up room and displacing what we DO need.

As I look around the ten feet of space surrounding me right now, I see dusty blinds, haphazardly stacked books, an empty coffee cup, a chair that needs painting.  Distractions from my work, reminders of things left undone.   I do not see a pen, nor my sketch book, nor a cushion –  things that would make the space in which I’m working more functional,  more comfortable.  Making my workspace suitable – user friendly, attractive, convenient – is a mere ten minute journey, and yet the resistance to set out has lasted for over an hour.  An hour of creativity lost to fretting.  Shame.

I suppose, if my business is to preach suitability, my life should be in the practice.

With love and optimism –

Rachael