At the end of each month, I take stock of the previous month. What went well? What did I learn? What brought me a simple joy? These monthly reports are a way to encourage myself to take delight in the littlest of things. I find that Ten Things I Loved allows me to always see the silver lining, even when there are hard moments in a month. And taking joy in the simple things is paramount to how I want to live, making 10 things an invaluable tool for me. Here’s this month’s simple pleasures.
Things I/ We Did
1. Stand Up Paddling Lesson. When friends and I tried Stand Up Paddling at the US Whitewater Center last year, they handed us paddle boards and paddles, gave us a two minute lesson, and sent us on our way. It was just fine; we all picked up the basics easily and had a great time, but I was excited when I saw that our local parks and recreation department was offering lessons on the lake in town. A friend and I signed up and spent a gorgeous Saturday afternoon learning how to make fast and slow turns, how to navigate wakes from boats, and the best stroke form. Good times.
2. Partnering with Tami of Teacher Goes Back to School for The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher. So the idea for the HHST came during a Twitter exchange between Tami and I back in February. Both of us had been through the ringer as teachers and came out of our experiences clearly knowing how important self-care was in general and for our ability to offer the world our expansive best. We are so looking forward to offering teachers the opportunity to really embrace self-care, self-acceptance, awareness, and living their authentic truth through this powerful virtual workshop. Interested in joining us? We are offering a registration discount in honor of Independence Day!
3. Heading to the theatre with friends. I am WILD about actor and producer, Donna Scott. She produces and stars in amazing stuff in the Charlotte theatre scene and her work is always filled with insightful messages. In June, she produced and acted in Least Likely Friends, a powerful play written by Charlotte playwright Tonya Bludsworth. It seemed like the perfect time to get a group of friends to the theatre and so we did and had a wonderful time!
4. Beach Week! We visit the same North Carolina beach for a week every year and just love our time together. This year, Happy learned how to boogie board and really got into it. He also learned how to play Bocce ball so our days were filled with bocce ball, boogie boarding, and rain. Alas, it was our rainiest beach vacation on record but we went to the movies (Monsters U was quite cute) and played games (there were epic games of I Spy and Memory) to wait out the crazy storms.
5. Inspiring Passion. Purpose. Plunge Retreats. I worked with five different retreat clients this month across the various parts of their PPP journey (vision session, retreat, or follow-up session which happens about a month after the retreat) and I am just so inspired by them all. These retreats are like a bolt of electricity– so thrilling to see what people are considering and where they are going– and it is such an honor to be witnessing and cheering these amazing women’s journeys.
6. A huge grant for Circle de Luz. It has been a big year for Circle de Luz. We hired our first staffer in April– we had been completely volunteer run for five years!- and just received our largest grant ever that will provide comprehensive, critical college readiness support to our amazing hijas and allow us to kick off a comprehensive parent workshop series. It’s amazing. We are also half-way to our goal of signing on 60 new mijas for our Class of 2019, our newest class who will join us this fall. Please consider becoming a Circle de Luz mija. You will dramatically chance the lives of a lovely group of girls and their families which, we know, changes the lives of our global community!
7. Con A de Arte. This annual ArtSi event recognizing amazing Latino art in our community was plenty inspiring and fun in and of itself. To be recognized as Charlotte’s Leading Latino Artist for this year was totally the cherry on top. There were amazing performances, visual art, and inspiring speakers as a part of this lovely evening at Charlotte’s gorgeous Mint Museum.
8. Spirit by Lucchese Gold Chloe. I saw a friend wearing these shoes and I couldn’t quit admiring them. She raved about them (including the all important “They are comfortable!” tag line) and so I asked her if she minded if I ordered them, too. She didn’t, and so I searched the internet until I found them for 68% off of the suggested retail price. They just arrived, and they are awesome. I cannot wait to wear them!
9. Roaring Springs Wide Landscape Pad. So clearly I am covetous because at a meeting this month, a colleague was using this notepad. I am a big fan of the legal pad– I use them for everything- but always hate that their length can get in the way. Well, this pad totally solves that problem by turning it on its side. Just turn your legal pad sideways and that is what you get with this pad. It is perfect. I ordered a few from Office Depot to see how I would like it and I like it so much that I can barely use it– which is totally my MO when I love something, I try to save it for the most special thing I can think of doing with it. This month, I am going to just go for it and use up these awesome pages with all my ideas, plans, and musings.
On the Bookshelf
10. If You Were Here by Alafair Burke. My best beach read.
From the publisher: Magazine journalist McKenna Jordan is chasing the latest urban folktale — the story of an unidentified woman who heroically pulled a teenage boy from the subway tracks seconds before the arrival of an oncoming train. When McKenna locates a video snippet that purportedly captures the incident, she thinks she has an edge on the competition scrambling to identify the mystery heroine.
McKenna is shocked to discover that the woman in the video bears a strong resemblance to Susan Hauptmann, a close friend — and a classmate of her husband’s at West Point — who vanished without a trace ten years earlier. The NYPD concluded that the nomadic Susan — forced by her father into an early military life, floundering as an adult for a fixed identity — simply started over again somewhere else.
But McKenna has always believed that the truth went deeper than the police investigation ever reached and sees Susan’s resurfacing as a sign that she wants to be found. What might have been a short-lived Metro story sends the former prosecutor turned reporter on a twisting search that leads across New York City — and to dark secrets buried dangerously close to home….