Author Archives: lauraenglish
I have spent the better half of this first day of 2016 cleaning up and out my photos and albums (both physical and digital). It feels really good however as per my usual, I don’t have a stop button. In some ways this is how my perfectionism serves me well because as I persevere through the cleaning process, the end result is done, with nothing else to do. I like that about myself.
The issue is that I have hyper focus, I ignore people and my own self-care needs (like food and water). This is a short lived phase so I am happy to keep-on-keepin’-on.
My photos and albums are nearly organized and plans for catching up on my albums are in the works. The best part of this ritual is that I get to walk down memory lane. I know I am the only one who knows my photos so intimately and I think I am the only one who cares to this degree and that is OK.
My next task is to see if my other family members will download their stash so we can have a representative sample from this year. As the kids age our number of photos dwindles and it makes the photo albums seem a little lacking so I need all the images I can get. I also love to see what is important to the kids both about themselves and their friends. Of course I am only seeing the pictures they want me to see. In the social media world of Snapchat, I know I am not seeing all the photos taken and that is probably a good thing.
Given the fact that I spent most of the day on photos and a lot of the content on this blog features my photos, one could surmise that I value this part of my life. I do. My time is less focused on photography these days but today I had the joy of photographing my daughter and her friends during a downtown adventure. It feels good to start out the new year in this way. Perhaps this is a sign of things to come.
I love when my sister-in-law cleans out her closet. My closet benefits. This weekend I got some great items. I grabbed a pair of cool/funky pants that I was hopeful would fit. They did not. I brought the trousers to work and shopped them around the office. They were TOO cool/funky for my office mates. I put them in my purse to take back home.
On my walk home, I racked my brain to think of someone who would want the pants. No one came to mind. I had the thought that I wanted to be able to personally hand the trousers to the next owners instead of putting them in a donation bin.
Fast forward a few hours and I went to the mall to do some final Christmas shopping. I was in a ‘younger/hip’ store buying my purchase. As I went to pay, the pants fell into my hands. I looked at the young lady behind the counter and I asked “are you a 27”? “Yes I am”, she replied. “Do you want a pair of pants”, “Sure!”. As I handed them over, I realized that the pants were from a store in the mall and the tag was still attached. I had a split-second thought that I could be seen as a shoplifter offloading my haul. Alas, my new ‘friend’ said she trusted me.
How about that? Within hours of having the desire to personally hand the pants to someone; I did! I like to think that I might have made her feel as if it was her ‘lucky day’.
On a similar note…
On the same walk home, I was carrying a big bag of leftovers from an office luncheon. I had the thought that I would hand the bag to the first homeless person I saw. Wouldn’t you know, today there were none in my path. The food became my kids’ after school snack. It was THEIR lucky day!
I appreciate all that I have in my life; however, I am not one to value ‘things’. I make a few exceptions like my wedding band, engagement ring, photo books etc. The one thing that I have recently created that I adore is a photo ornament tree. I have every Christmas card photo since the beginning of our small family.
Last year I obsessed over getting every missing photo made into an ornament to complete the tree. The amount of pleasure I have toward this treasure feels almost a little skewed….I like that about myself!
Today I was messaging my mentor and I had mentioned that I want to pick up my camera again (it is getting dusty) and I want to shoot using the manual setting (which has always been a bit of a clumsy activity in the past). Then for some reason I decided to explore what using the manual mode means to me ‘metaphorically’. This is what I said:
slowing down, being more deliberate, willing to suck at it, expecting things to be more detailed and interesting, and in general, seeing things with a new perspective
How about that for a new mantra for the coming months!
What person/place/thing/concept is playing out in your life lately? Give some thought the qualities and characteristics of that metaphor and see how it can relate to your current situation or to answer a question you have.
I think this ‘right brain’ tool helps to bring a little more peace and expansive thinking to a situation.
It is rare to have quality connection with my teenagers. I believe it is in their job description. I would give both my kids high marks for doing their job well. But today was different; today my daughter spent 2 hours singing songs from her playlist. The jam session was probably one hour too long for me, but I was NOT going to be the one to end it. This type of interaction is a valued commodity to the adults in this house.
I am reminded of her younger days when she would give us a personally choreographed dance recital on an almost nightly basis. I would sit as her “audience” until she ran out of steam. I feel confident that those evenings of support and non-judgment influenced her confidence to perform in musicals and plays and sing solos on stages. I am in awe of her gumption.
Oh and the “thank you Momma” as she went off to bed tonight was like a sweet sweet chocolate morsel that I will savor. I am practicing consuming treats in moderation…so I guess this once-in-a-blue-moon connection is my no calorie sweet treat for the day.
A family friend told me it is good luck to say “rabbit rabbit rabbit” before saying anything else on the first day of a month. I learned this in 1985. I have rarely, if ever, been able to remember to do this. Today I did it!
I love that I started this month with a smile, and a memory of my childhood.
I had a pretty nice day…until….I came home and found that we had been ‘Boo’d’: a neighborhood Halloween tradition that I have never-ever enjoyed. It is like a live chain letter in the form of treats bestowed on the neighbor and they in turn must ‘Boo’ 2 other houses (treats and all).
So, the ‘Boo’ happens and I am not at all amused…but somehow my codependent-rule-following side of me perks up and says “I have to do this”. So instead of winding down my day to settle in with dinner and homework, I spend my early evening focused on getting treats at CVS, taking the form letter to Staples to copy and then as the absence of light descends on our neighborhood I go to the two closest houses where I know there are kids and I place my packages and run.
Here are my added peeves about this:
MY KIDS ARE TEENAGERS. This does not register as cool to them, so this “cute” trick/treat – became my job. Of course they noshed on the candy which THEY DO NOT NEED!
and….Why the “F” did I follow through with it? Why did I not let the whole game end with our house? I could have done that. That was a possibility. No one would expire if we stopped there.
and…normally I would reward my grumpy-mcgrumpster attitude with a glass of wine….but alas, I am not drinking as of late. I am doing a month-long cleanse (and I’m extending it for another month), so I only consume on very special occasions and “booing” neighbors does not register as special…it registers as inane!
So now I Haiku:
Booing is not cool
The tradition makes me grumpy
Why did I fall prey?
I love it when I think of something and then I see it in real life in some form.
Today is one of those days that thoughts became things spontaneously. Just today I thought that we need more umbrellas in our house, and UMBRELLAS were the parting gift at a networking event. While riding the Metro, I saw that Gallup has job opportunities: as I ascended the stairs of the Metro stop, the GALLUP OFFICE was the first building I saw. At work, I updated my Linkedin profile linking to my high school in Iceland (A.T. Mahan) and just now I found that an old HIGH SCHOOL FRIEND from Iceland commented on my Facebook page.
What I attribute this to is alignment, flow, and a hint to where my ‘sweet spot’ is for attracting what I want in my life. It also shows me that I am paying attention and it amps my desire to create more of the same. Good things are coming my way…and I am ready for them.
I love when things flow
With ease and grace to show me
I am supported
I am claiming the month of March as my birthday month.
I am going to celebrate myself in little and big ways every day.
I am doing this to practice celebrating myself ALWAYS.
My celebrations will be about me giving myself opportunities to do good things for myself like exercise, drink water, write, connect, create and sleep. AND I plan to give myself opportunities to treat myself to things like good coffee, a book, a movie, time with a friend, a new purse, dinner with my man…and more. All of these things I should be doing for myself on a special day or a regular day (and so should you).
My deliberate attention to self care, celebration of myself and expanding opportunities for fun can only lead to awesomeness. Join me…celebrate YOU this month. It is so worth it. And if you ever feel that it is SELFISH…say “pishaw” and reframe it as…it is NECESSARY. You being kind, generous, accepting and celebratory of yourself will teach YOU how to treat you, the UNIVERSE to treat you…and OTHERS to treat you. You being treated well is how then you can treat others well. It is one in the same.
If you are skeptical, just give it a try for a month (like I am) and see what transpires. Its just a month…chalk it up to research…and then afterward decide if you want to go back to your “old ways” or continue on the path of celebrating YOU! Awesome times are in store for the month of March (and beyond).