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.
Passion. Purpose. Peace retreat in Nashville. This was a dream come true. I’ve been wanting to host a two day retreat for a group for awhile and what better way to start then with a retreat in the music city with a fabulous group of women! It was like just the right people gathered together at just the right time and some serious magic happened. My heart came home totally full and I get to start October inspired, energized, and really aware of every intention in my heart. I just cannot wait until next time!
Vision board workshop with Circle de Luz seniors. You know I am inspired by sitting down and seeking intention and so it was especially fun for me to be able to do it with our Circle de Luz seniors this month as they got their thoughts together about who and how they wanted to be in their senior year, how to do that, and what it could lead to for their futures. Also, gorgeous vision boards. But I totally forgot to take pictures because I was so absorbed with being with them so you’ll have to take my word for it.
Getting back in the grove. Not just the from summer to school year groove but the whole I have so much more time to work during appropriate work hours for me groove since Happy’s now in kindergarten. A few years ago, BF built me an office in our backyard (because our sweet little cottage had no room in it for an office and a toddler—it was either he or I that got to stretch out in the one flexible room in the house and I deferred to him) that I call The Sugar Shack but I’ve never really been able to spend more than 2-3 hours in The Sugar Shack a week with the preschool work schedule. Now, I’m logging some time in the shack, planning out visions that I’ve just had to tuck away over the years and it is so exciting.
Updating Happy’s office. That room that I emptied when the Sugar Shack was built is now Happy’s ‘office’. It really needed some attention and this past month we finally put the finishing touches on it by hanging a 3 by 4 foot dry erase board for lists and drawing (We play lots of Hangman on it in an effort to work on sight words), getting a big boy desk for him and a big reading chair that we can cuddle on together. We got his artwork framed and started a more formal display wall of some pieces to go with a little twine display that lets us interchange some daily work from school. It’s a sweet little space that is now much more perfectly suited for where the little guy is in his life.
Pure Barre. To celebrate the one year anniversary of owning her own salon, my hairdresser came in on her day off and hosted a “cut-a-thon” where she and her co-workers donated all of their time and all hair cut proceeds went to the children’s hospital in Charlotte. She also had a small silent auction going during the day and I bid on a monthly unlimited pass for Pure Barre knowing I wouldn’t end up with it. Well, I did. So I have been taking my all power, no finesse self to Pure Barre classes anywhere from 4 to 6 times a week all month and I totally like it. Hooray to new challenges and adventures (and a practice that keeps me from ditching my workout at the last minute because Happy woke up early or something came through on my email since I have to sign up for class online and I would feel awful if I took the last spot, didn’t show, and someone else couldn’t go).
Walks home from school. We don’t live too far from school so BF drops Happy off in the morning on his way to work and then I walk to pick him up and we meander home (seriously, takes me about 10 minutes to get to school and about 30-40 minutes for the two of us to get home because there are snacks to be had, sticks to play with and bugs to investigate). In my head, I thought this would be a really sweet time to get the whole run down of the day. In actuality, it works a little bit differently. Happy complains that I don’t let him watch TV on school days (well, he can watch on Friday), that he doesn’t get to ride a school bus, and that he doesn’t get school lunch every day (it is a Friday privilege if he’s been good about following school rules that week) for about 15 minutes and then the good stuff happens. The walk to school for me has been a great transition from work brain to mom heart and when Happy sees me, he runs out of the door like I am the best thing he’s ever seen (until he instantly remembers about the television, bus, and school lunch). Those 10 seconds are my favorite 10 seconds of the day followed closely by that meandering walk home.
Warby Parker. I love Warby Parker—inexpensive, stylish glasses that allow you to contribute to the world, too, when you purchase a pair (for every purchase, they donate glasses to someone in need). I bought my last frames in 2010 and it was time for a prescription and even style update so I spent all of September using their home try-on service (this is another awesome WP practice—they send you up to 5 frames at a time to try on at home) to sample 20 different styles before deciding on which ones I wanted. They haven’t arrived yet but I cannot wait for my new spectacles.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Though I LOVE Roald Dahl, I somehow never read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was so fun to tackle this one this month with Happy. Now, I read to rent the Gene Wilder version of the film to watch with Happy (nothing against Johnny Depp, I am just nostalgic for the one I saw growing up).
Karate and Soccer. Happy has the type of boundless energy that needs to be productively channeled or the little cottage might just go down in what was meant to be a simple jump. This fall, we are channeling that energy into soccer and karate. He loves both; they are both challenges for him in different ways, and he’s always excited to go. Also, he’s pretty adorable in his uniforms.
Cleaning the attic and discovering The Soundtrack of Heartbreak and Hope. I have long wanted to get into our attic and go through every little thing up there so that we’re left with only the things we need (luggage, Christmas decorations) perfectly ordered. We hired a middle school girl who loves Happy as much as he loves her to come play with him while we tackled the attic and, boy, did we get an epic amount done (still need one more afternoon up there- that will be the much harder session as we have pictures, letters, books etc. to go through in that corner- but then we’ll be done). Among the finds? A mix tape from the early 1990s that I made after discovery a boyfriend had cheated on me. Listening to that tape was a visceral trip back in time but there was some great music on that mix and now we can all listen to it all the time because a friend very generously made it into a Spotify playlist (thank you, Kara!). Never say goodbye, baby.