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 We/I Did
1. Mission:: Manifest With my passion for living on purpose and with passion, I am a big fan of mission statements and manifesto as they are both all about claiming who you are, what you have to give, and how you wish to give it. I often write mission statements with my Passion. Purpose. Plunge retreat clients and they talk afterwards at what a difference having a mission statement does for them. I wanted to capture that exercise and also add to it the power of the manifesto and so Mission:: Manifest was born. I loved this workshop so much and got so absorbed in it that I totally forgot to take pictures. But I was inspired to capture the power of this workshop and share it virtually (more on that tomorrow). Here is one of several incredible mission statements penned that day:
Through thoughtful observation, loving kindness and intuitive listening, I offer beauty, color and sanctuary to people’s lives in order to eliminate harshness and promote a sense of personal peace. ~Shea Barron
Seriously, can you read that and NOT be inspired? Mission statements: powerful, powerful stuff.
2. Yamato: The Drummers of Japan. We enjoyed a family night out at this incredible drumming show. It was so electric, inspiring, and creative. Riveting for all of us.
3. Hearing Anne Lamott speak. I am wild about Anne Lamott herself and her non-fiction (I enjoy her fiction, too, but when I read her non-fiction I think both “me, too” and “wow, I wish I had written this”). Her newest book is Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope, and Repair and, as part of her tour, she visited churches around the corner and shared just a sliver of her story (and her story about the story). I so loved hearing her speak at Christ Episcopal Church in Charlotte. She had so many wonderful thoughts to share including the importance of considering questions like why are you here and what is your truth, how we fill up when we give, and that the search for meaning, presence, and union begins with stopping. And these two gems for writers: write what you would love to come upon and 80% of writing is paying attention.
4. Surprise Spa Day. One of my besties totally surprised me by getting BF to arrange a sitter on a workday (and tell me I wasn’t working that day) and she picked me up and whisked me away to a spa just out of town. One body scrub, Swedish massage, delicious lunch, hot tub soaking, and pedicure later, I was feeling like the most spoiled and loved almost 40 year old around. What an incredible gift that I hope I am able to repay to this dear friend in a couple years!
5. Circle de Luz Inaugural Giving Party. We hosted our first Circle de Luz Giving Party and it was such a success– we offered wares, gift certificates, and alternative gifts that all supported Circle de Luz to all of our local supporters. It was a fun event with a great purpose and we were thrilled with it!
6. Turning 40. I don’t have much trepidation about aging in the conventional sense (wrinkles don’t offend me) but I am acutely aware that time is running out and it goes so fast. While I wasn’t interested in some big celebration (or more accurately: I was very uninterested in some big celebration), the celebration I got was just perfect. BF took the day off. We went to a movie with our boy. I had cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I received some incredibly nice and thoughtful and way too much gifts that made me loved and blessed. Probably my best birthday ever.
7. Monday Night Football. Speaking of best birthday ever, the Carolina Panthers played the New England Patriots that night on Monday Night Football in Charlotte and BF surprised me with tickets to the game. We stood and screamed our lungs out for four hours but it was oh, so much fun, especially when the Panthers won it.
8. “Doing something different with my hair.” So one of the items on my 40 things to do before I turn 41 list is “do something different with my hair.” What I have figured out over a lifetime with my hair is that it really needs to be long for my curls to work. The weight really helps the shape and helps me feel better about less maintenance (and I seriously am not willing to do much to do my own hair). But long hair can get a little boring sometimes (especially when you aren’t willing to style it other than letting it hang out on your head) and so I decided to get some highlights. 8 million questions later (my hair dresser, who I adore, must have thought she was on a job interview the number of questions I asked about the whole process), I present my highlights.
9. Thanksgiving. Who doesn’t love Thanksgiving? Always nice to spend time over a great meal with beloved family.
10. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion I talked about my love of the Rosie Project in my best reads from my 39th year post but needed to include it here, too, since it was one of my favorite November things.
What did you love in November? What fun did you have? What books did you love?