What I’m listening to this week…

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Well. How disappointing, WordPress.

Apparently, I can no longer upload video OR audio without paying for a plan upgrade. I do understand it takes money from somewhere to run these sites (are the ads they run on your blog page not enough??), but it feels like such a racket. The almighty dollar. Grrrr.

So, with my opinion expressed, IF you happen to be so interested in what music I am listening to lately that you are willing to go to Youtube and look it up yourself, here it is:

CAN’T STOP THE FEELING- Justin Timberlake
Never a big JT fan, I am finding myself liking his music better as he matures. This song, and especially the video, make me unreasonably happy.

FEEL IT- TobyMac

SEND MY LOVE- Adele

So, any more of these posts might be rather pointless.

 

 

In the beginning.

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On with the theme of simplicity…

I was thinking this morning about God’s original design for our lives. He never intended for us to strive and grasp and stress, but to live at rest in relationship with Him under His total provision, stewarding these things. (Genesis 2)

When Adam and Eve sinned and disobeyed God, as a Father He had to give them consequences. But even in His discipline, the life they were expected to lead was simple. Raise a family, work the land. And in His great kindness, despite their sin, God built rewards into that life. (Genesis 3)

Marriage is both hard work and a lifelong friendship. Children are both hard work, and a sweet blessing. Cultivating the land is very hard work, and yet there is the satifaction of a job well done, and the literal fruit of your labor. Even so, I can only imagine how much simpler it was without modern distractions and demands to focus on: 1. your relationship with God, 2. your spouse and family, 3. your job.

My, how things have changed.

Now hear me, I am not necessarily against our modern conveniences and way of life. Some things I really appreciate. But I do wonder how many of God’s innate rewards and blessings we are missing out on by trying to outdo Him and His natural order. I get this foreboding at times that technology and science are reaching a point where they are a modern day Tower of Babel, and it will all come crashing down on us. (Genesis 11) Then what are we left with?

God’s original design.

I find that a little bit mind-blowing.

Decluttering a life.

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I would like to be a minimalist.

I really would. The idea appeals to me on a deep level. Only what is necessary. Sigh. Oh, the peace and simplicity. Except….

Except I don’t think that is who I truly am.

I would deeply miss my collection of plants. And books. And my gallery wall. And my couch full of pillows. I like cozy, and true minimalism seems rather sterile. Let’s say I lean towards minimalism.

I have, however, spent the better part of a year getting rid of stuff. I’ve never been a hoarder or anything, but stuff has a way of multiplying over time, especially when you live with other people. Every so often the  urge to purge will hit again and I will spend days going through drawers and cupboards and closets. It feels so SATISFYING to give/throw away unused and unnecessary things. Cleansing. Lighter. AHH..order.

I am definitely not a type A personality- rules, schedules, and perfect order are against my natural tendencies. But I have a new respect for the peace and simplicity they bring. To an increasing degree, I crave it, actually. In many ways this has spilled over into other areas of my life.

Tossing the word “should” out of my vocabulary has freed me from a false sense of obligation to commitments or ways of being that I don’t identify with. My time can be invested in what I deem worthy. I can cultivate my character to be what I value.

I’ve learned to stop stuffing my feelings like that closet where everything goes to die, because eventually it bursts open and someone ends up under an avalanche of crap. I examine emotions as they ‘break’, and either repair them or throw them out by confronting or deciding to let it go.

I’ve given up habits that did not serve me well, were time-wasters, money-wasters, or all three. This has given me space to form beneficial habits that promote peace and well-being.

Declutter. Simplify. I’ve grown quite fond of these words. They mean less is more. They mean what remains is valuable and of quality.

I can live with that.

 

So this is 45

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They don’t call this middle age for nothing.

Smack in the middle of your life. And it’s such an odd place. A great place, but strange all the same.

So far from the insecurities of early adulthood, yet facing new ones as your children become grown and you have to find different things to fill your life with. So much more confident and comfortable with who you really are, and yet wondering who you have yet to become. Having lost many of the matriarchs and patriarchs of your family, facing the fact that your parents are aging and will not live forever, and on the cusp of one day becoming the matriarchs and patriarchs yourself. At this crossroads of laying down the things in life that either do not serve you well or should have never been so important anyway, and choosing new priorities, simplifying, decluttering. Discovering the need to stop wasting time and focus on things that truly matter, and desiring to waste even more of it just  floating along to whatever happens next.

I’m sure every age had these paradoxes. Maybe I was never so aware of them. Or maybe just never so comfortable with studying them, and letting them be what they are. I think where a midlife crisis comes from- either facing all this with fear, or only seeing what “should” be by now, and being angry because it isn’t.

I think I will choose to have a midlife concurrence. I will accept with grace the things I cannot change, and I will choose to change the things I can change and that need changing.

Or, in the words of Reinhold Neibuhr:

Vinyl-Attraction-Serenity-Prayer-Vinyl-Wall-Art-L13919843

 

musings. twilight

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all the windows down.
blowing on the back of my neck, cooling the last of the day’s humidity.

no radio, just the rushing wind and the rhythm of the wheels on the road.
red taillights chasing each other down the black curving highway lined by tall, tall trees.

the very last traces of rosy gold light to my left, smoky lavender blue to my right.
scents of sweet…jasmine maybe, from deep in the woods.

breathe deep. inhale. deeper. exhale.  in this moment nothing else matters.

life is good.

Life’s Little Ironies

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  • shopping for sunglasses on a day pouring rain.  🙂
  • calling someone an idiot while driving and then doing the very same thing entirely by mistake.   doh.
  • saying you hate something (e.g. a color, a song), and then being inexplicably drawn to it.   no.
  • telling your children not to be so critical, and before you know it, the next thing out of your mouth is criticism.   sigh.
  • running into someone whom you haven’t seen in quite a while and hoping they don’t remember that terribly awkward thing…they do.   they say so.
  • getting in the shortest line at walmart, woohoo! and then standing there for half a lifetime while the lady in front of you argues with the cashier, the csm, and the manager over ten cents while you watch all the other lanes fill up and those people pass through at warp speed.   why-y-y???
  • getting up early to be somewhere on time and ending up TWO MINUTES late. ugh.
  • that person you let in front of you in traffic then crosses three lanes and cuts off fifteen people.   my bad?
  • the bush you planted like ten years ago that has never bloomed, but you were too lazy to cut down last fall, blooms for an entire month this year.   well.
  • the day you’ve had no sleep and your hair is a cranky bird’s nest and you get complimented all day long.   eh?
  • when you forget about a third of your grocery list and have to take yet another trip to the store, but find all your items on big fat sale that day.   score.
  • writing lists and lists so you remember everything.   where’s the list?
  • you’re getting older so you need glasses, but not wanting to wear the glasses because you don’t want to feel old, but you put them on anyway because you can’t see, and the checkout girl tells you what cool glasses you have.   yes.
  • congratulating yourself on having all of the laundry clean, folded, and put away. then you walk back there and see one sock in the dirty basket.   oy.
  • something strikes you as totally hilarious and when you manage to stop shrieking and look around, all you see is eight pairs of eyes…blink, blink.   ha.
  • when the lady next to you is talking aloud to herself, but she makes so much sense you find yourself answering back..in your head.   what..
  • when you finally step into this milennium and get yourself a smartphone, and you still never talk to anybody.   hmm.
  • when you only get one gig of data on said smartphone because you will never use or need it, and suddenly eveything in the universe needs googled.   erg.
  • the whole time you’re writing this post your least favorite Alanis Morissette song is on repeat in your head and you know it will be all. day.   the irony.