Friday, November 28, 2014

A Different Black Friday Tradition

Black Friday always leaves me with mixed emotions. On the one hand, I don't want to begrudge anyone who wants to save money on their holiday shopping. On the other hand, I feel like Black Friday is nothing but a tribute to out of control materialism and a me-first mentality. Not a good start to the holiday season.

A few years ago, I started my own little Black Friday tradition. Ok, maybe "starting my own tradition" is overstating things a bit. I found that somehow I wasn't working on that day and decided that it would be the perfect time to clean out a few closets. Since then, it has become my Black Friday activity.

On Thanksgiving, we are supposed to get together with family and friends and take time to be grateful for all the things we have. It doesn't make sense that the next day we focus on what we DON'T have and then scramble around wildly to get as much as we can. Something as simple as cleaning out closets can take that grateful mentality and extend it one more day.

First, I take a good look around the house and really appreciate all that I have: the clothes in the closet, the food in the fridge, the books on the bookshelf, the toiletries in the bathroom, the knick-knacks and electronics and sporting gear and hiking boots. This is all stuff I am lucky enough to own; stuff that makes life a little nicer.

Then, I look things over a second time to determine if there are things I'm holding onto that AREN'T necessarily making my life better -- just a bit more cluttered. Do I really need 2 rain jackets? How did I end up with 5 navy blue T-shirts? How long have I had that scented candle that is still in the wrapping?Two years? Three? Why am I holding onto these things? Did somebody give it to me as a gift and I feel obligated to keep it? Am I afraid I might need it someday? No reason?

Now is when the real fun begins. I take stock of all the "extras" I have identified and ask: can I pass  these things along to somebody else? Maybe the scented candle would be perfect for Secret Santa or a Yankee Swap.  I know exactly who would enjoy that book that I've already read. I could part with a couple navy t-shirts (thrift shop). My niece has been saying she needs a raincoat -- the black one would look great on her!

Appreciating what you have and sharing it with others has a wonderful effect. I always end the day with fewer possessions, yet feeling way richer than I did at the start of the day.

I have yet to encounter a door buster sale that can do that!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thoughts on Thanksgiving

Monday, November 24, 2014

Its Good to Be Back

Oh, its good to be back. Like the feeling you get after returning home to your own place, your own things, your own bed after a long vacation. The vacation was great, but its great to be home again.

I took a little (ok, a long) vacation from blogging. For a vast number of reasons. And I just didn't know how to get back into it. I became a lurker for a while; I found that a good number of my old blogging buddies were on hiatus, as well. (we were all apparently vacationing in different areas because I didn't run into any of them in my travels) Maybe they don't know how to jump back in, either.

But, eventually, I just came to the conclusion that jumping back into blogging required only one thing: writing.

I started this crazy thing called blogging many years ago when I had no idea what I was going to do. I didn't start a blog to generate a big following. I didn't do it because I thought I was such an amazing a prolific writer that I'd become world famous. I didn't do it to generate income. (and thank goodness, because I'd be in the poorhouse if that were the case) I did it simply go get my thoughts out somewhere and to find my voice again.

I had no idea that it would become such an important part of my life. I had no idea I'd become part of a community. I had no idea I'd actually make FRIENDS with people I'd never meet in real life, by connecting with these little snippets of insight we all put down in our blog posts.

I've missed it.

So today, with no fanfare or expectations. I'm putting it down on the page once again. Blog post number one after a very long hiatus.

The hard part is over.


60 min yogalates 
3 mile run
15 min stretching