Embracing appreciation

I can’t really tell if my “take control!” month was a success, though I’d like to think it was. If nothing else, I kicked it up a notch at the gym and got a lot of pesky little tasks done that I’d been putting off for months. While the sentiment and motivation behind the month is still present (note to self: contrary to popular belief, stress eating does not make one feel better…), it’s time to switch gears. This month I’m focusing on appreciation and, as always, I’m using a quote to guide my monthly efforts:

“Remain in the present” is just another way of saying, “I commit myself to my life.” My life includes all those who are in my life. — Hugh Prather

May is going to be a little different for me. Normally I’d want to have a bunch of action-oriented goals to tackle a project or kick other goals up a notch. Not so much this time around. In fact, I’m fairly certain some of my normal goals are going to be pushed to the back-burner (that 55-mile goal is going to be really hard to hit with all my traveling…) but it’s going to be that way for good reason. I don’t want to lose sight of that.

Family time: It’s that time of year where I get the whole fam. For five full days it’s the five of us, and I couldn’t be more excited. The middle finished up grad school and the little just finished undergrad. It’s also my mom’s birthday, mother’s day and my parents 32nd anniversary, so there’s a lot to celebrate. And I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have a few tricks up my sleeve. I just can’t reveal it on my blog just yet.

Reading: I found a quote on Pinterest about a month ago that I almost want to turn into wall art to hang above a bookshelf: “Of course anyone who truly loves books buys more of them than he or she can hope to read in one fleeting lifetime. A good book, resting unopened in its slot on a shelf, full of majestic potential, is the most comforting sort of intellectual wallpaper.” I’m definitely my parents’ daughter. At any given time I’ve got a “to be read” pile next to my bed of at least five books. I absolutely love the library (and my electronic to-be-read shelf on their website is evident of how much I use it), but this month I want to appreciate the books I have. It’s time to tackle the books I want to read that I own. Instead of seeking out more, I want to read what I’ve already got.

Community: From my very first tour five years ago (!!) I fell in love with Columbia. Assuming the weather actually cooperates with me, I want to hit up the staples this month and appreciate all that the community has to offer. From the Farmer’s Market to Cooper’s Landing and the Maplewood Barn Theater (though that may be in June) to all the awesome trails and parks, I plan to get out and enjoy as much as I can of Columbia. And naturally take photos, which leads me to my next goal…

Photos: I’ve complained a few times before about how I need to switch back to using my camera. I love my phone, but the photos turn out grainy and don’t have a great quality if I actually want to develop them for the office or my apartment. This month I’m going to make an effort to use my camera more often than not. Particularly since I’m hitting up three new states while getting quality time with family and friends, I want to better capture those moments.

My goals don’t appear that substantial, but I think it will help keep me in the right mindset for the month. It’s easy for me to get overwhelmed and be too focused on productivity. I don’t want to be spending an afternoon at the winery on a gorgeous day with great company and feel like I coulda/woulda/shoulda gone to the gym instead (though those thoughts may creep up once or twice…). This month I’m pushing that aside to appreciate the things and people in my life because I undoubtedly have a lot to be thankful for and time is precious.

Plus the lack of aggressive goals gives me some time to focus on my 30 Before 30 list. I’ve actually been a little surprised by all the messages of support I’ve gotten and the handful of people who are now inspired to start their own. My hope is to unveil the list in the coming days so I can officially start the process. Just 10 more items to go (so if anyone making their own list wants to share a few items, I’d welcome suggestions!)!

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About dakotalizzie

I'm a twentysomething young professional living in Nebraska. My blog centers on the things I love - my family, dogs, friends, crafting, cooking, life chats and health. All these things help me lead the good life, and isn't that really what it's all about?

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