When I decided to quit blogging, one of the things I knew I would miss was this weekly accounting of blessings. I even considered downloading a gratitude journal for my iPhone, but ultimately decided to hold off on adding anything new to my routine (and my already cluttered home screen.) I am going to be moving to a more erratic posting schedule here (more on that in a future post), but I know that the happiness highlights have to continue.
This is something I will make time for in my life.
Sitting down once a week to replay the highlights of my last week lays the foundation for how I look at the coming days. It forces me to reframe even the most difficult times. It’s an invaluable tool for living with depression, because depression can so easily nudge me over an invisible ledge into a hole of despair so deep that I can’t see anything good or hopeful.
At the best of times, a gratitude practice reminds me to celebrate. At the worst of times, it keeps my grip on reality firm.
That being said, here are a few things that I loved about last week:
I ran. I haven’t run in a very long time and I’m still not sure I want to keep running. I kind of hate running, but I want to want to run. I want to be able to go with Jared when he does these 5K events. I want to glow like my friend Courtney did after she completed her first race a few weeks ago. But mostly, I want to stop being afraid of my body.
So, I ran. Well, I ran and I walked along with Day 1 of the “Ease Into 5K” app.
And I did not die.
I was super productive with my freelance writing. After my “I need to quit blogging to pay for my kid’s braces” meltdown, I was able to get really focused on work. Better still, I maintained that focus through the end of the week. I usually stay focused for 1.5 days, so this is a win in my book.
As luck would have it, I had signed up for a free coaching session with a productivity coach a couple weeks ago. My appointment was this week and I got some great tips. She also introduced me to energy mapping, which I’ve been doing for the past 5 days now, and I’m starting to see some patterns that I might be able to use to be even more productive in the future. As someone who struggles with needing to nap every day – and hating that part of me – I’m really excited about this.
Jared and I were thrifting machines on Saturday. The kids have decided that they’d rather stay home than do any kind of shopping (officially a word!) with us. We’ve decided they are old enough to be locked in the house with a cell phone for a few hours. The result: fun mini-dates!!
This Saturday we went to an estate sale and a thrift shop and found a bunch of great treasures, including this awesome sign now hanging on our wall:
I also found cheap pillows I can use as inserts for new throw pillows, a table cloth that I can use for the fabric, and a sheet that’s going to be perfect for the t-shirt rug I’m making (since it turns out we don’t have any old t-shirts to upcycle. #minimalistproblems)
Speaking of stuff I’m making, I took on last week’s challenge to finish something. The coffee table and end tables we got for $10 from Craigslist have finally been painted – including the extra trim work I thought I’d “get around to – and finished (or sealed, or whatever it’s called.)
I have a tendency to be a great starter and a not-so-great finisher. I love the idea of projects, but get bored and distracted before I can tie up all loose ends and handle the mundane details. I’m making a concerted effort to slow the hell down and do things all the way, one project at a time, to the best of my ability, before moving on to the next Great Idea.
In short, I’m really freaking proud of these teal (and red) tables – and really excited to be able to move on to the rugs (and pillows!) for this room.
Teal paint – $10 in the “mistint” section at Lowe’s
Red paint found in the basement at an estate sale – $0
Sandpaper, primer, brushes – no clue. Let’s say $30?
Total for three living room tables – probably $60
(Incidentally, I try to post a new weekly challenge every week over here. Like the happiness highlights, it’s something I hope to maintain regularly because it is just as much a good thing for me as it might be for you. Feel free to check it out.)
And finally, I was so grateful to be able to attend another Pirates game at PNC park on Saturday night, this time with Jared and the kids. A friend gave us tickets in amazing seats, and it was a really great time even though it was a tough loss for the Buccos. That picture from the top of this post was taken during the free fireworks show after the game. The fireworks they do after the games here, with the city in the background and the Roberto Clemente Bridge glowing below, are some of the best I’ve seen.
My week was filled with beautiful things, a few even of my own making. What was beautiful about your life last week?