It’s a little alarming how mentally re-energized I felt today (a Monday, no less!) after such a relaxing, low-key weekend. Plus after reading a book, six magazines and countless articles online, I feel more geared up and inspired about taking control.
First, I loved just the general principle of this article. It’s been on my mind for the past couple of weeks after I read Brene Brown’s book, as she cites the notion that we often wake up to thoughts of not having or being enough — I didn’t get enough sleep, there’s not enough time in the day, I didn’t finish all I wanted to yesterday. That sets the tone of the day, and not a very good one at that.
I’ve started to embrace my mornings (particularly on the weekends) even more because it’s uninterrupted me time. I purposely wake up a bit earlier simply because I hate feeling rushed. My morning commute gives me time to have coffee and mentally prep for the day, and getting to the office early means I have quiet time to check my planner, to-do lists and email (though I liked the article’s suggestion of not checking work email until noon so you can focus on what’s important during the morning hours).
But then what happens during the afternoon and evening hours? (I love this perspective that “thinking gets done in the morning, doing gets done in the afternoon, and relaxing, reading, socializing, and all that gets done in the evening.”)
As most know, a big focus of my blog is having a balanced life (aka: what in the world was I going to fill my time with once school was over?!). For some reason this quote seemed to give me a sense of assurance that I’m on the right path or at least have guidance about how to embrace my life when it feels a little dull:
Don’t know where to start adding color to your life? Take a three-pronged approach: fitness, philanthropy, and fun. Do something regularly that involves physical activity. Pick a charity and donate your time. Then think of what you love most and do something with that – take guitar lessons, start a blog about your favorite whatchamacallit, do one thing on a regular basis that you love that makes you happy.
I love it! That, to me, shows a fully embraced life. Now that I’m back to working out, spent some time with my adopted grandmother and got to do half a dozen things I love this weekend, I feel a 180-degree difference from my mentality last week. It seems to make a difference to have those three prongs instead of just zeroing in on one aspect of my life. Otherwise I feel like I neglect others or get bogged down with one specific element (but this could all be from years of having “you need to be well-rounded!” thrown at me).
While I’m being resourceful (and I fully realize how lame this transition is but I didn’t want to write a separate post…), I’m trying to take control of my finances a bit by being more strategic about new recipes/grocery shopping. It stemmed from a monthly goal I had awhile back about being more conscious about my spending habits on food, since I often try to tackle two new dishes each week. That adds up more quickly than I’d like.
Using many of the same ingredients from my spaghetti squash recipe the other day, last night I made a creamy caprese quinoa bake. I should tell you upfront, though, that I didn’t use quinoa. I thought I had some at home but didn’t, so instead I used couscous. Potato, potaato. (The really does not translate well written out, but you get the point.)
Other than adding turkey Italian sausage and mushrooms since I had those on hand, I didn’t make too many surprise modifications to the recipe. While I was a little nervous about using whipping cream, it really did make a difference. In fact, it was the sauce that made me wish I brought this for leftovers for lunch today instead of the last of my spaghetti squash. And try as I might, broiling the cheese didn’t work. After five minutes, I gave up. But it still looked (and tasted!) pretty great.
Let’s hope this attitude and positive perspective sticks around a bit!