I bet after all my chatter about Fall coming at a snail’s pace, you were betting on a post about seasons of the year. Surprisingly, I was referring to seasons that we go through in our lives, and the things that we spend time doing because of them.
Before we get to that, let’s recap the super weekend we just had in Alexandria. I don’t know how I ended up with so few pictures from a weekend involving a hike, four birthdays, a jubilee celebration for Sister Gerald, and some really awesome family time, but I did. “Absentmindedness” is still a symptom by the end of six months of pregnancy. Go figure. All I have to show for a fantastic time with my side of the family are these pictures:
My cute, cute husband rocking new trunks and Ray Bans
My darling Momma, queen of hosting whatever gathering ends up at her house
Wrapping up the sixth month… Excuse my glaringly white belly!
Newlyweds! Just got back from Alaska.
Aside from the weekend, Tim and I have been doing a lot of talking and trying not to get totally sucked into having cable. We have decided after a week of having it that we already watch more tv that we actually like less, so we are trying to consciously pick a few evenings a week with no screens (tv, computer, phone) in an effort to maintain closeness in our busy world and talk about things that are meaningful and important.
For the last month or so, Tim and I have been having discussions about lots of things, but one thing that keeps creeping back up is how we all have seasons in which we feel good about life and some in which we just don’t. I tend to want to make big changes about everything at the beginning of the summer while Tim tends to get antsy about the way life is from mid-to-end of summer. This leaves us spending the warmer months in sort of an emotional funk where we try to figure out why it is so damn hard to be happy with what we have.
The million dollar question of the week: Why is it that after we decide what we want and get what we said we wanted, we still don’t feel content/happy/at peace? How do you quiet the mind enough to be here, now, and enjoy what you have without letting the past or the future or what you don’t have get in the way of feeling full and happy and positive about your the life you have created?
This weekend, one of my trusted souls told me one of the greatest things she has ever learned is that “happiness is a choice.” I agree with that, and I think anything less than a full commitment to that belief (or to anything for that matter) will get you absolutely nowhere. Do you have any tips for letting go of everything irrelevant and making today enjoyable and positive? Disciplining the mind is no small task, and we are hoping one of you has a great tactic for calming the thoughts and claiming contentment. Anybody?
This is the current funk we are in, which we are troubleshooting in a few ways. We are big fans of intention boards. Does that remind you of The Secret? Perhaps. Don’t knock it ’til you try it. We made one when we lived in Anderson with twelve things on it (including yoga practice, a porch, a garden, a house, a baby, a UU emblem, and other things I don’t remember now) and exactly two years later, we have accomplished/found/created everything on that board. EVERYTHING. We took them down as we accomplished them, which happened to be half of the things about a year ago and then the other half just this summer. If you think it sounds crazy, the next time you feel dissatisfied as we all do at times, identify the things you really want to see or change in your life, find a picture representation (Google images is super) and pin it up somewhere you will see it regularly. Tim and I are getting ready to make a new one now that ours is empty. We are pretty excited about it.
I think intention boards work on several levels, but mainly because a conscious reminder of what you want triggers your subconscious to figure out how to make things happen as long as you keep your mind focused over a period of time, which is the hard part if you don’t have a physical reminder. If you can’t even visualize your life the way you’d like it to be, it’s time to spend some time in the quiet and figure that out first. Something you can’t even imagine for yourself is also something that is not likely to happen any time soon. Right?
A more ethereal explanation is the give and take of good things by the Universe, where you open yourself up to the things you want and God or the Universe or whatever you want to call it creates the opportunity for you. It is hard to stay focused on positive things in a culture as busy and noisy as ours, and this is something that has proved grounding for us and helped us trust the process of Life, knowing that things change and get better if we can keep our minds in an open, positive place.
Another topic of conversation in this house is obviously my growing belly and baby and how we want to give him the world. Hopefully this includes a worldview and general attitude of positivity, encouragement, and wonder. Hence all the work on our mindsets before he gets here. We are getting pretty excited about having somebody who resembles us grow into a little human who can play in the woods and go to Chicago for the first time and see the National Parks with us on summer road trips. So far, our tactic is to show him all the things we love about the world and then hope by the time he moves out he can make decisions about where to go and what to do based on the things to which he has been exposed. I think he’s going to be one rockin’ kid, personally. I can see how three more months of pregnancy might leave me reeeeeeally ready for him to make his appearance. I am already excited to meet him.
This weekend we will be in Onarga and I will try my hardest to be better about taking photos of the happenings. In the mean time, enjoy Labor Day weekend and some time away from work!