Archive for the ‘Habits’ Category

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Check this out

January 15, 2014

Googling “decluttering” or “home organization” yields a mind-boggling number of results with very few novel concepts.

A comment on a post on Apartment Therapy had a link to a post on Zen Habits which led me to click on the author’s bio which listed his other blog.

Follow me? ūüėČ

mnmlist is blowing my mind.

When you aren’t up to your eyeballs with OMGWTFSTUFF!!!!!!! you don’t need to organize. When you learn to honestly assess your needs vs. wants and be happy with enough you can quit the Googling about things you don’t need – like decluttering and organizing your home.

May seem like a big fat DUH … but if that’s your response you’re probably not thinking deeply enough.

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What a difference a day makes

April 25, 2013

Yesterday I did not have anyone to record Chloe being the biggest drama llama ever. She ran herself around on the lunge line for close to an hour, screaming her head off. We did end lovely and relaxed but drenched with sweat.

I hoped today she’d come around to her senses a little quicker – and she sure did!

It's hard not to be a drama llama! Someone has to be on guard!

It’s hard not to be a drama llama! Someone has to be on alert! (I am the one on alert, Chloe – you just chill!)

Snuggles make everything better

Snuggles make everything better. Perhaps it’s ok to not be zombie patrolling all the time.

Relaxed and straight - SUCCESS!

Relaxed and straight – SUCCESS!

Chloe learned right away that it’s much nicer to just¬†relax and stretch and get lots of “Good Girl!!” I have no worries about this one… in a few more rides we can actually work on real dressage work. Once we have this chillaxing thing down-pat ūüėÄ

And then FINALLY I got my Magic out – and of course he was lovely and sensible and just the coolest horse EVER.

Forward and into the contact - can ask for much more from a baby!

Forward and into the contact – can’t ask for much more from a baby!

And, more importantly, Magic is officially a family horse. He did not disappoint!

The 6'2" Husband looks right at home on the 15.2hh Dark Horse... :D

The 6’2″ Husband looks right at home on the 15.2h horse.

Clearly, Magic was not too concerned about The Husband’s less than centered seat ūüėČ We’ll work on that another day.

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Well that’s unexpected

February 12, 2013

In my quest to pare down and have quality over quantity I seem to have found an eff to give about fashion.

Wait – wut???

The Husband and I have almost completely re-wardrobed ourselves in the last two months. I can go years without shopping but suddenly I find myself doing it A LOT.

It’s ok – I totally need to. We both looked like hobos.

About five years ago I decided that the 60s aesthetic was for me. I wanted to avoid trend and stick with the classics. Well, that resulted in a ratty, worn out wardrobe as I wore through pieces faster than I could find new ones. Also, I ended up with clothes only suitable for corporate America or filthy, stained barn clothes. God forbid I had to look casual and presentable!

Now that my weight has been stable for over a year and I have decided that looking less than dog-eared is a good thing, I am kind of having fun with clothes. 

Don’t get me wrong – I still loathe retail environments with the strength of a thousand suns…

But today I have a kimono style dress on (me!!) and really cute new boots that I can’t wait to wear with jeans, too.

boots

Who woulda thunk it? 

Tossing the clothes that have clogged my closet for ages just so I had something to wear in favor of clothes I never thought I would be “brave” enough to wear is a reallllllllly good feeling!¬† Catching a trend or two hasn’t made me any less “me” and I haven’t suddently turned into a shallow twit (well any more than I was already!).

I feel pretty confident that those words said to me about 13 years ago – “you can’t pull that off” – will never again be spoken inside my own head. And if they are spoken to me again I will respond with a fist to their mouth. Maybe.

Now, hopefully, I can finally get that accessorzing lesson from¬†my beloved Umber Dove next week when I’m in Seattle. ūüėÄ

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Ok, I think it’s finally for sure…

January 23, 2013

… I think I am a grown-up. Finally.

Well, at least I think so.

Things that didn’t make me feel like a grown-up for sure:

  • getting married
  • having a baby
  • getting divorced
  • turning 30
  • joining the PTA (I thought that did it, but now I’m not so sure)
  • getting remarried
  • turning 40

This morning I realized that I am feeling compelled to keep a full fridge. I noticed that I was panicky at work yesterday because I didn’t have any food in the fridge there. I am so over eating out and would always rather eat something I made.

Every time I go in the kitchen I feel like I have to cook something to stock in the fridge for my family to grab.  In the last 36 hours I have cooked:

  • two whole roasted chickens, then broke them down in containers for Scott and John (yes, they were local hippy chickens from Whole Foods. I’m cooking happy meat twice a week for the boys – that’s less genocide meat they’ll be eating)
  • a whole large sheet pan of roasted root vegetables and split them up for Scott and John
  • a large pot of rice
  • a turkey and Gouda omelette for Scott
  • tofu scramble for me and Haley
  • 2 pounds of hash browns
  • crispy chipotle tofu nuggets
  • garlic ranch dressing
  • chick’n salad*
  • … and been to 3 grocery stores

* no one¬†makes a better chick’n (and chicken – but I don’t eat death)¬†salad than me.

chick

3-4 days of meat and veg for the boys
(note the tofu ūüėÄ )

 

We are down to 6 containers of yogurt and 1 box of instant oatmeal and feel like the world might come to an end if I don’t get to the store soon – even though the rest of the cabinets are stuffed.

I kept a partially stocked fridge until single motherhood – then finances prevented me from buying more than a few days of food at a time.¬†I’d shop and then we’d be a horde of locusts and wipe it all out.

Feast and famine.

When money got less tight we’d eat out more. Oddly we had more control over how much we ate because we weren’t eating ALL THE FOOD just because it was there for once.

Three weeks into our mission toward ending wastefulness (eating out, for example), and I think the locusts in our brains have full bellies and are getting used to the idea of “there’s always something to grab in the fridge.”

Happiness is a well stocked larder ūüėČ

fridge

my work drawer

 

I finally “get” why I feel like a kid when I visit my Mom’s or my Aunt and Uncle’s house – they are always well stocked with FOOD.¬† Now we are, too!

Yes, folks, this really is my exciting life ūüėÄ

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Things

January 18, 2013

less

Ironically, I find I am happier when I have less…

Have you ever noticed how your possessions and your habits become you?¬† They become insidious life-snatchers until you are your wardrobe, your brand new car, your fine taste in single malt Scotch.¬†Or worse… you are that pile of clutter in your bedroom, your debts, your dead-end job.

Periodically life brings to my attention that my shit has gotten out of control – or more specifically, my shit’s gotten control of me. I kicked off the new year by taking inventory of what is important but yesterday I was reminded that it’s not an inventory, it’s life.

There is a lovely, lovely woman in my office who is a few years younger than me. She is smart as a whip and sweet as can be. She just returned from maternity leave and is the most devoted mother to her 3 month old and 3-year-old daughters. She is successful at work and a genuinely nice person. Her 35-year-old husband died yesterday Рmost likely a heart attack.

If that doesn’t make you really sit back and think about not only what is important –¬†but also ask yourself, “what am I doing about that??” – I don’t know what will.

If today were your last day of life as you know it Рwas it good? 

Did it fulfill your vision of a good life?

I love my family. The very best days are days spent having fun with two of the sweetest and funniest people I know – the two people I live with. No one plays together like we play together – whether it’s roller coasters, traveling or skiing. We genuinely enjoy being around each other.

The daily grind is a serious damper on fun and I will admit that I am the most susceptible to stress in the house. If it’s not fun, I can be difficult to be around. I am “intense”, rigid and painfully direct when I am not on vacation mode. I know this must suck for my family and I can only hope that they know that it really comes from a place of “ohmygod I just want to be having fun with them!!!” I am annoyed with life, not them, but I don’t think they know that.

Less is More

This is my new mantra. I promise myself that I will say this before I shoot off my mouth. 

… Because if today was the last day of life as they know it, would I really want to be Dragon Lady stressed over the clutter pile? Or would I want to be Loving Wife and Mother?

Servicing the things in my life causes me stress. The only two things that are really important are named Scott and Haley. Well, and Lucas and Fiona.

This weekend is going to be busy with the horse show – but I plan on taking advantage of the extra day off to see some City sights and divest myself of some things…

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Quitter

January 15, 2013

I didn’t foresee it, but I feel like I’ve taken on a de facto new year’s resolution:¬† quitting Facebook.

It feels a lot like quitting smoking.

If you are a heavy user like myself, posting becomes a nasty habit that you do even though it may not be good for you or your relationships.  You give your smart phone more of your attention than the real world.

Everyone knows that I stand for social justice, the welfare of ALL animals and not just my pets, that I think we should have universal healthcare and that I think Grumpy Cat and Ermergherd are the funniest memes ever.  It frustrates me that fewer and fewer people really respect marriages and boundaries when it comes to the cutie from high school. And, really, it breaks my heart to see so many people bearing arms in their profile pictures in the wake of innocent children being slaughtered at school by the same such weapon.

I am suffering from overshare. 

People know too much yet absolutely nothing about me.

And vice versa. 

The worst part about frequent Facebooking is that it siphons off the really interesting things in my life that do deserve more introspection. I love to write and ramble and think. Blogging takes planning and care and observation and thought. Facebook depletes my blog material (how shallow!)

Readers that read my blathering¬†here choose to do so because they want to hear what’s really going on. They care about the minutiae of my life as much as I do.¬†They navigate here or subscribe, not just because I happened to be a schoolmate or they like to argue with me or they know I’ve always got a Grumpy Cat posted. People choose to stop by and have a peek into my life rather than me¬†vomiting my life up in their newsfeed. Or – even better – they’ve come here because the Google machines told them I can provide the information for which they are searching!

Google:¬† more validating than a thousand “likes!”

It’s odd to look at my phone and see no Facebook, Facebook Messenger or Friendcaster icons.¬†It’s odd to see all the cars in my neighborhood covered in frost, whip out my phone and then remind myself, “no one really cares that there’s actually hard frost in San Francisco.” It was lovely to doze off on the train into work this morning. Tomorrow I plan on… *GASP* … reading.

I haven’t deactivated my account and don’t really plan to.¬†If, after a decent time of no logging in at all, I can become a casual poster I may venture on occasionally. If not I will just shut it down.

That which doesn’t make my life better should not be in it.¬†

Due to this same feeling of overload I have sworn off 24 hour news. It’s all too much – yet all too little.¬†

So – guess what I bought without a lot of planning and marinating and shopping around from 100,000 different online outlets!?!¬† CURTAINS.¬† Yes, decor posts are on their way!! I won’t subject you to deep thoughts all the time ūüėÄ

And I CAN’T RESIST – HARD FROST – IN SAN FRANCISCO!!

frost

hey… who said quitting was easy??

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Another year has gone by?

December 31, 2012

Logging in here I realized that the last time I posted was 364 days ago. How did that happen??

Well, it happens when you lack focus.¬† 2012 was another great year for us –¬†full of travel and visiting family and quality play time for our family.¬† We are all healthy, enjoy good jobs, have great people and animals in our lives and live in a beautiful house.

Yet… we totally lack intention.

This was brought to my attention in October by The Husband.¬† I spent all of 2012 very very involved in horse activity.¬† It seemed like¬†every free minute I had (and a whole lot of minutes taken¬†from my family) were spent in horse-related activities.¬† Ironically, this made me very stressed and unhappy.¬† Thankfully I hitched my wagon to a bright little star that said, “honey… what does this have to do with dressage?”¬†

* Light Bulb Moment *

I was spending so much time around horses and horse people – but none of it had anything to do with my passion.¬† The Husband told me that he only cared that I was happy and I didn’t need to spend so much time trying to make other people happy.¬† He freed me of my perceived obligation to make the horses pay for themselves, I registered as an amateur for the first time in my adult life and I can’t wait to get out to the barn¬†every day again.¬† Now that I have pared down all my horse obligations to just ME + DRESSAGE (or maybe eventing, I am contemplating a sport change!) lots of new opportunities have come my way that will help me further my riding goals and help me fulfill my¬†complimentary passion, re-careering ex race horses.

It’s amazing what can come out of refocusing.

In the spirit of refocusing and living more intentionally I am hoping to live a life less obligated and more gratifying.  The things that are important to me are:

  • FAMILY:¬† time spent with family is never wasted
  • TRAVEL:¬† adventures are the lifeblood of our family
  • HEALTH:¬† without it, we have nothing
  • HOME:¬† fewer things, more beauty
  • HORSES:¬† still my greatest source of life lessons and inspiration
  • INTENTION:¬† great things do not happen by accident and to achieve the above we must plan and leave less to chance

I will be blogging this year about the steps we take to keep these things top of mind at all times.¬† In order to travel more, decorate better, compete again and be healthier we will have to engage in some behavior modification – which should provide for good blog fodder. ūüôā

I wish you all a very happy 2013!

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