what matters

Sweet November


IMG_2179 Sweet November, that wonderful season of preparation, thanksgiving, and rest before the holiday hustle and bustle.   The nights get cooler, the days get shorter, and we wait for glimpses of those first few snowflakes of winter (well, some of us do). But with the rush of the end of the semester, a full teaching schedule, and a few other projects to manage, the rosy glow of my ideal November fades a little.  I admit, this is usually the time of year when I put my head down, do what I need to do each week, and look forward to a fresh, new year when I can take a breath and hit "restart" on goals, plans, and living in general.  I get burnt out on my goals.  I get tired of my routine.  I lose focus.

But this weekend, I took some time to sit still, to be still, and I realized - life is too short to live with your head down.  There are so many things to enjoy in the moment (like the brilliant yellow trees, glowing in the sunlight outside my window right now).  Sometimes I find myself so wrapped up in my to-do list that it doesn't seem like there is time to anything but what is absolutely essential.  Does that ever happen to you?  This weekend, I was reminded (partly from reading this post) that we're given enough time for everything that matters.  It comes down to how we manage our time and the priorities we set.

What really matters?  Here are few things that came to mind:

1. Making time for that passing conversation with someone in the hall 2. Offering a word of encouragement to someone who is feeling overwhelmed 3. Baking cookies to give away to others 4. Making the people in my life a priority and being fully present 5. Going the extra mile with kindness and grace

This is how I want to live my days this holiday season.  This is how I want to spend my time: focusing on what matters.  The rest will fall into place, as it always does.  What will you make happen this month?

Intentional Rest


IMG_1583 Sometimes, you just need to rest.

It's something the go-getters among us and those of us with healthy work ethics sometimes struggle to recognize but really, you can't give and do and be all the time.  Sometimes, you need to time to be filled and inspired and refreshed.

Intentional rest is more than just taking time away from work.  It's choosing to spend time doing the things that truly fill and revive you.  For me, it's a way to clear my head and my heart, focus on what matters, and dream a little.

This weekend, I made time for intentional rest - lunch with SD at a new-to-us restaurant, time outside (our first spring-like weekend!), a trip to the farmer's market (our first time since November!), reading and writing for pleasure (a novelty these days), even coffee and sprinkle cookies on the roof of our building (with coats on...).  It's amazing how much of an impact these little things can have on the rest of the week.

What does intentional rest mean to you?  Maybe it's taking a leisurely walk around the neighborhood before dinner.  Maybe it's meeting a friend for lunch.  Maybe it's taking the afternoon to go for a drive with the sun roof open.  Maybe it's reading your latest book.  Whatever it is, be intentional about it.  Make time for it.  Those things are as important as anything else you do during the week.