Sundays at the Lake Newsletter – September 2019

Hello! I hope this newsletter finds your heart and soul well.

In an attempt to share information in a simplistic style, I am going to “steal” the format of Austin Kleon’s newsletter. Mr. Kleon is the author of Steal Like an Artist, Show Your Work and Keep Going. If you are a creative, I encourage you to check out his books. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Here are 10 things that are currently bringing me enjoyment or value in no particular order.

1. In my last post I mentioned Mel Robbins‘ Audible Original, Get Control of Your Life. This audiobook and printable workbook have given me direction and motivation to get moving on my goals. Additionally, I have found myself being far more productive. Next, I plan on reading her book, The 5 Second Rule

2. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on Netflix. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching Phryne Fisher, Australia’s leading lady detective, solve mysteries. Netflix describes her as a glamorous and thoroughly modern woman of the 1920s. I love a good murder mystery, a history lesson, and fabulous costumes. Here is a Pinterest page just about the costumes. 

3. hope*writers Tuesday Teaching – these mini-workshops with editors, agents, authors, and professionals in marketing, have been invaluable. To get information directly from professionals who are currently writing or in the writing business, has encouraged me and given me more direction than I think I could get anywhere else. I was so excited to finally to be able to tune in live last week with Jo Saxton. Looking forward to watching the ones I missed and tuning in to future teachings.

4. Water, fruits, and vegetables – When I make the good stuff easily accessible (cut up in a bowl on the counter) I will eat it! When I load up on the good stuff, there seems to be less room and less desire for the bad stuff.

5. Exercise – I am wanting to lose some pounds and firm up my muscles so I can be healthy and feel comfortable in my clothes. I started out walking, swimming, and doing water aerobics. I have also taken a liking to Jenny Fisher’s 15 minute workouts. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram. I’m trying a Pilates class next week. I’m not really sure what you do in Pilates, but as long as there are no choreographed dance steps I should be ok. I’m very uncoordinated. Long ago when I did Jazzercise, I was always about 4 steps behind everyone else and going the wrong way.

6. Playing Lego City Undercover with my son – This has been so much fun for both of us.  Two can play at once as you go undercover to hunt down an escaped criminal. If you are looking for a fun action game that doesn’t have cursing, sex, and gore, check this one out. 

7. My cast iron skillet. I love this thing and even though I have to wash it by hand and coat it with vegetable oil, I use it nearly every day. Cook, clean, repeat. It’s great for everything from chicken to cornbread.

8. Pilot Precise V5 RT pens – I’m a little obsessed with pens. Well, with office supplies in general. I first found one of these pens in my husband’s truck and although, I typically don’t like a fine tip pen, I love the way this one flows on the paper!

9. By His Grace Podcast – The multi-talented Misty Phillip interviews women who share how they were able to overcome seasons of adversity with God’s grace. I look forward to each new episode and have never been disappointed. If you are struggling, here you will find that you are not stuggling alone. Episodes are typically 30 minutes or less.

10. Jeff Goins‘ book, You are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One). This book is a quick read, yet chock full of information you will benefit from on your journey as a writer. It is a great resource for beginning writers. One of my favorite quotes from the book is, “Believe you are already what you want to be. And then starting acting like it.” Get your highlighter ready. I guarantee you will be taking lots of notes!

I hope there is something from this list you will find enjoyable or valuable. If you do please let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time, be well.

Lori

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Balance

As the one year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey approaches, I think back and can still vividly recall the days of rain that led to our evacuation and eventually a change in perspective.

As I watched the river behind us and the lake across the street slowly turn to one and rise, my heart raced and anxiety overwhelmed my body and mind. I watched as our belongings floated out of our yard and into the lake. As the sun set, I could no longer see what loomed in the darkness, but could hear the sloshing water under our house. I knew an evacuation was inevitable, as we no longer felt safe in our own home. It was a sleepless night. As the sun rose, our mailbox and fences were no longer visible and the water was making its way up the steps. My husband had me throw what I could into a plastic bag while he swam across the street to capture a small sit on top kayak so we could make our way down the street and up the hill to safety.

As I held on to my 5 year old son and my 1 bag of belongings (which I had to downsize several times because it was too heavy), we balanced, literally shifting our weight from side to side to keep from tipping over. My husband pulled us over a mile through knee deep water, to waist deep water and at one point, chest high water with currents. We did not know what condition our home would be in when we returned but it didn’t seem to matter. At that moment, I wasn’t thinking about what I left behind, only that right then, I had EVERYTHING I needed. I knew as long as we had each other we would be ok and a sense of peace came over me.

My senses were overwhelmed upon our return. Monstrous piles of furniture and other belongings littered yards. A layer of silt and mud covered everything and an indescribable smell lingered in the air for weeks as did the nightmares of rising water. The once peaceful sound of rain, ignited anxiety and I couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling that we had been violated by an unwelcome intruder.

After nearly a year of putting our home back together, things are mostly back to normal but the whole experience made me think about how precious my family is to me and also made me question what I really need to be content and happy. I think it comes down to what we did in that kayak to keep from falling into the water….BALANCE.

Things seems to work better when they are balanced…..your budget, your meals, your tires. When elements in my life have been effectively (not necessarily evenly) proportioned everything seems more stable and more joyful. I want to achieve more balance in my life so that I might be able to be more stable and more joyful when the unexpected happens.

This means balancing:

work and play

Laundry and dishes have to get done and meals have to be prepared but I can balance that with watching a movie or playing with my son outside. Happiness researcher Robert Biswas-Diener, is quoted in Time magazine as staying, “Don’t fit joyful activities into your days – fit your days around them.”

noise and quiet.

Being the mom of a 6 year old boy means lots of noise. Sometimes we turn up the music and play guitars and sometimes we read books on the couch.

bringing stuff in and letting stuff go.

When I bring in a new treasure for my home I make sure to let go of the items that no longer bring me joy or no longer serve a purpose.

busyness with rest.

It feels good to cross of items on my “to do” list but if I take a little nap or just a break to let my brain and body rest, I will feel completely recharged.

purpose and presence.

For several months, I have been writing in a gratitude journal and reading a short devotional each morning as I drink my coffee. However, lately what felt good and relaxing, was feeling like a chore. I felt like I needed to get it done before I could do anything else so I recently began waking up earlier just to sit on my porch and watch the sunrise and listen to the birds. There I sit quietly and think about the things I am grateful for and breathe and simply be.

Changing my perspective about what is important and putting into action a plan to achieve balance in my life is making a difference. It’s not always easy but I am finding that I am more joyful and I am certainly more thankful for what I have because you never know when it can all be washed away.

This post was published at NoSidebar you can see it here.