imperfection

Yay! A Fail!

Our washing machine broke this weekend so I procrastinated on a deadline.

Set the alarm Sunday night, planning for an early morning work session to compensate.

Sleep.

I woke up late today, my dirty jeans lay on the floor. No work session.

I wore snowflake leggings because my favorite pants are dirty too, and a little bit tight. It’s not even holiday cookie season. Not entirely cute since it’s supposed to snow tomorrow.

I went down the stairs to prepare dinner in the crockpot – stay a step ahead. Twist the cap off of the red pepper flakes, shake a dash – no- that was more like a pour. SHIT! That’s too many flakes floating in the broth.

That is going to be some spicy bbq chicken.

When making coffee at work, the grounds spilled all over the counter, drops of coffee dribbling on those white snowflakes. My signature move – spilling.

All day long I worried I was smoking out my little puppy while I worked. I imagined the house filling with red pepper fumes, sort of like mace or something.

I stuttered on the phone.

Forgot my wallet in my other bag.

Arrived late to a meeting.

Focused on too many things.

Got home. Of course, the dog was fine. Texted my mom.

“How was your day?” I asked.

She went to the dentist. Note – I need to call the dentist.

FullSizeRender (9).jpg

Yay!

A fail.

I stopped and smiled.

Yup – that spicy dinner was a fail.

And clean clothes must wait and smaller jeans may be a thing of the past.

I can see the imperfect in the world all the day long, but I don’t often like to acknowledge the imperfect beauty in me.

Today was my reminder to hug and to kiss myself. To give grace and permission to bend. To pinch my waist and say I love you too.

To make mistakes and forget and push hard against looming deadlines.

To go to sleep, only to try again.

Next time with less red pepper flakes.

Here’s to putting the perfect in imperfect.

 

 

Giving Light – Vanessa A.

img_0050-1
Small Bio: Vanessa A.- a 30-something wife and mom of 2 wild and crazy boys. I consider myself an imperfectly kind and honest person in pursuit of health, happiness, simplicity and meaningful relationships. Feel free to reach out on Facebook or email.
I’m honored to take part in giving light and sharing beauty today. As I reflect on the five beautiful things listed below, I’m incredibly grateful 🙂
1. Growth and Self-Discovery
I learned a while ago that I cannot control people or change them or force them to do things, despite my desire to intervene and be “helpful”. Thankfully, I have had the pleasure of observing others grow and come to their own realizations about life and happiness. Lately, I see this growth in those who are closest to me:

– My husband Matt has finally found his groove with consistent exercise. Despite my own, very inspirational (😉😉) health and fitness pursuits over the years, Matt found his niche on his own and he is happier, healthier, and less stressed. It’s a beautiful thing.

– My oldest son Grady is discovering how to be driven and focused through a cool game/task app called Habitica. In fact, the whole family has enjoyed tackling tasks through this app by earning pets and armor and destroying “basi-lists” and other monsters.

– My youngest son Drew is growing his expressions of helpfulness, generosity and empathy. These things come naturally for him but as we have embarked on our annual kindness calendar, he has been able to let loose and really enjoy his giving spirit.

2. Christmas Decorations

IMG_0168.JPG
It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas…
Growing up, I really didn’t have Christmas traditions with my family. Now that I have a family of my own, we have developed our holiday rituals and routines, and one of my favorite things to do is enjoy Christmas decor all December long.
…But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be… on your own front door.

3. Meditating

I have intended to implement a meditation practice for years but have had a hard time remaining disciplined. Well, it turns out that finding a helpful app gave me the extra boost I needed. I tried out Headspace and landed on Stop, Breathe, Think . Since I began using Stop, Breathe, Think a couple months ago I have meditated for over 3 1/2 hours total (most of the time it’s around 5 minutes per day). There are a lot of great features including finding the right guided meditation for your current physical/mental state. I’m grateful to see my desire for a grounding meditation practice finally come to fruition!

4. Feeling Better

14102938_1288520064532503_5199703510651179600_o
My dietitian/nutritionist friend Esther invited me to participate in a 16 week program to replace sugar and fast carbs with more healthful foods. I have been struggling to tackle my chronic migraines since age 17 so I figured this program was worth a try. Right out of the gate I learned some key things that have helped me succeed in limiting added sugars, approaching food in a new way, and in turn reducing my headaches and migraines significantly. Not only do I have fewer headaches, I have more energy and feel a whole heck of a lot better overall. Feeling better for the win!!!

5. Life is imperfect, a sense of humor is required

I often try to catch the occasional beautiful moments that happen between my children so I can post them on Facebook for everyone to see my perfect life. Obviously, I don’t intend to display only the good side, but sometimes I don’t even realize I’m doing it, perhaps it’s easier than baring the raw, honest self. Rest assured, me nor my life are perfect.
In this short 20 second video, I attempted to capture what I saw as a beautifully perfect moment only to have an imperfect funny surprise.
(tip: turn up your volume to view)
Thank for coming along for the ride as I shared my small pieces of beauty for today.
THE DEADLINE FOR ACCEPTING ENTRIES FOR THE GIVE LIGHT GIVEAWAY HAS PASSED. I AM FINISHING UP POSTING CONTRIBUTIONS. STAY TUNED FOR OTHER CONTESTS AND OPPORTUNITIES TO CONTRIBUTE TO 52 BEAUTIFUL THINGS IN 2017.

Squirrel Tail

Affirmations. Positive associations to words and activities that you want to bring into your life. You’ve seen the memes, and the quotes mashed over beautiful images that float through our home pages, Pinterest boards, and streaming Twitter feeds.

The thing is, in this time of growth, I am choosing to surround myself with these beautiful images that make my heart swell and remind me to breathe.

IMG_3408

This one, posted on the Facebook Page, Raising Ecstasy, seemed delightful to me this week as I choose to venture among new waves. And waves there have been as I juggle new responsibilities, and realize that with these new responsibilities comes new schedules and routines, and the letting go of what once was.

I know, I know, I’ve been using this space as an outlet for my process – thank you for those are still choosing to join me in my journey in career exploration. Some of you may want me to sugar coat the process of my job transition and neglect to share the true colors of the overwhelming swells of new. I feel to do so would be unfair to the process. Swells also have moments where the waves are calm, and I rest here.

I hope that for all of you readers who are embarking on your dreams, you can remember that the switch to pursuit of a dream come true isn’t fantastically easy over night. Or over, well, a few weeks. It takes time, and self-love and the ability to work a few extra hours in the hopes that the next morning may be a little bit easier to handle.  I stand on my ship and breathe in bravery – leaning over, and leaning in, one day at a time.

 

if

 

This past week I dabbled between overwhelmed and incredibly amazed at the beautiful potential unfolding before me. When Friday rolled around, I was ready for dinner with friends.  As six sets of hands picked at a massive pan of nachos resting on my kitchen table, I smiled a sigh of satisfied relief. I do have people that choose to invest in me – even if they live far away and we don’t hang out every week.

I also feel I conquered a major choice in our home ownership. When we moved in, our lower den was painted a shockingly bright, lemon yellow. Paired with an accent wall of sky blue, the colors didn’t exactly scream, “Come sit and relax.” When you put our dark blue couch and red lounge chair in the mix, the achieved rainbow effect was shocking to say the least. This weekend, with Dylan’s tasteful guidance, we transformed our den with coats of soothing gray and an accent wall to boot. Even though the paint was named, “Squirrel Tail” (eww, who wants squirrel on their wall?) I do find the achieved effect to be much more desirable. Ahh, I may be able to rest and breathe in this space too.

IMG_3419

If you want to reflect on imperfection, though, as the purpose of this blog suggests, I have to laugh that the lower portion of the walls perimeter remain in their shockingly bright, original hues. We have plans for wainscoting, but have to wait until next month to budget accordingly. Our banisters remain down, and the ladder sits poised in our living room, anxiously waiting the second coat of cutting in.

One step forward. Pause. Two steps forward. Pause.

This too, shall pass.

This transition, this covering of old, this beautiful evolution of a house into our home, shall become a reality.

What other affirmations do you find to be useful in times of self-doubt? How about when things feel under control, manageable, delightful and enjoyable? Do you whisper small statements of truth to bring you good and beautiful things?