Fulfillment is not in your inbox

Are we connected on LinkedIn? If not – go ahead and connect with me there too. 

I’m going to be writing more over there too and this particular article hits on something that you’re likely feel some pain on this morning too: The inbox.

After a couple of weeks of slower work days (or completely free of work days) we’re digging back into our inboxes and it’s ugly in there.  Especially when you have people like Bob playing email tennis.

Email tennis:  Bob gets an email and immediately responds to one of the six items asked about in the email AND Bob adds people to the email thread, Bob gets an email back asking about the other items and Bob responds to one of them, Bob gets another email and responds that he thinks a meeting would be an even better way to handle this, Bob and the 8 person distribution now go back and forth at least five times about who should be in the meeting and when we can get everyone together. It goes on from there and it keeps everyone very busy for at least 65 hours a week.

Check out the full article right here!

Find Joy in the Clean-Up

I was watching Braeden play in the sink tonight, “cleaning-up” in his own little way, and breathing in the joy of his play and it reminded me of a lesson I’ve been learning (again and again) about finding joy in the clean-up.

Many people will be starting the clean-up of their lives in these next few days. We’ll tackle things with gusto and say things like “2017 is the year I’ll finally do it” and I love that good energy and the momentum that the new year can kickstart. The thing I most want to do this year is to find the joy in this clean-up, to look for it and discover it along the journey; subtracting the slog and the unnecessary hardship we make ourselves endure in the process of living these lives.

Recently a coach suggested that I look for the 2% improvement and it’s helped me integrate more joy. As I’ve been looking at all the 2% improvements I’ve made in the last few weeks they add up to a much larger improvement and often involve me slowing down, not taking the shortcut, or taking an extra minute in preparation. How can you integrate some 2% improvements? Here are 7 ways I’ve done it recently:

  1. Finding my favorite mittens instead of settling for the ones that were on the top of the pile or none at all. Warmer hands, a sense of accomplishment and in the hunt I found a scarf I ended up really grateful for wearing too.
  2. Put lemon in my water. It doesn’t transform it into wine, it involves just a tiny intentional choice to add the lemon and it makes drinking water more than 2% more enjoyable.
  3. Que up a podcast while doing a chore I don’t particularly enjoy: folding the laundry or putting away the groceries. It takes an extra minute but it makes ALL the minutes of doing the task way more enjoyable. I had been so focused on getting it over with that I lost sight of the value of the time that I was giving it.
  4. Over-share alert but one I think busy women are guilty of and one that I realized I was doing a lot: I’m not holding it. When I recognize I have to pee I go to the bathroom, I’m not holding it while I try to fold that load of laundry or run that errand.
  5. It’s dry in upstate NY and the winter has many months to go – I added a few drops of lavender essential oil to the coconut oil jar beside my bed to make my before bed lotioning session a bit more relaxing.
  6. Stopped trying new vinegar types for salad dressing. I love rice wine vinegar – it is by far my favorite and I had this idea that I needed to have variety and while that may be true one day the 2% improvement today is recognizing that I have a favorite and enjoying it without apologies or feelings of boredom that I do not have.  You may feel that way about your t-shirt, or your breakfast, or how you like your coffee or a million other things. 2% improvement means enjoying something I love completely without looking for the next best thing. 
  7. Taking in the people I love with our hellos and goodbyes. We’re busy, everyone is and in the hustle and bustle of the end of the year I did a lot of going through the motions. 2% improvement here has me looking and admiring the people I love as I say hello to them and goodbye to them, making eye contact, complimenting their choice of smile or clothing, giving them the real two armed hug and not the assembly line one.

So my question for you is in your own clean-up efforts, in the things you hope to feel and do in 2017, what would be your 2% improvement to that place? Want some accountability? Share it with our community on Facebook here.

You have all the days in front of you. Subtract the idea that you have to make this process hard on you and seek the joy with me.


Taking Stock

Earlier this week I read this post from Maggie Mason about Taking Stock it was inspired by this post from Pip and I loved the idea to get back into writing for fun in a way that felt….low pressure, take what you want from it, share, remove what doesn’t work. In 2007 when I started blogging (yup, it’s been a while) I met women from across the world who had voices to share – some of those women have dusty blogs….that I’m hoping they’ll reset passwords and take stock for themselves. 

Making: We’ve been doing a lot more baking since I started going with the flow and it’s been really fun to make things with the kids.  This is the hands down best pumpkin bread recipe. Braeden “helped” make Chicago style pizza last weekend.

Drinking: I’ve been missing cocktails. A lot. So I’ve started making fun fruit purees to add to ginger ale so it feels a little fancy and less like I’m missing cocktails.

Reading: The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire by Deepak Chopra and I’m loving it. It’s not a quick read and there’s a lot to unpack but there’s a lot of goodness like this nugget that has had me thinking: Intention is a force of nature.

Wanting: A really warm maternity coat. All the coats I’ve seen in the maternity sections are capes and these light breezy things. This is Rochester: I need an arctic level coat that can cover the belly through March.

Looking: At how big my kids are. How is it possible that they’re so big? They’re these people that dance and write stories and say I love you and give hugs and it’s mind blowing how much I love watching them be.

Deciding: Everything. I feel like I’m looking at so much through fresh flow eyes and making new decisions about the everyday stuff I had just been living in auto-pilot.

Enjoying: The show Timeless. It’s so good.

Waiting: To find out if we’re having a boy or a girl. It just doesn’t quite feel real to me at this point not knowing who is this person going to be. We find out December 2nd!

Liking: My husband. I really like him. I love him too but I like him too. I like how excited he is to come home at night and be with us. It makes me really happy.

Loving: So much! It’s hard to choose. I’m going to go with the leaves. They’re really holding on this year and it’s so vibrant outside today – writing this facing a window was a really good decision. These reds and golds aren’t long for this world but they sure are shining bright anyway. What an inspiration!

Pondering: Should I start looking for a second crib? Braeden still really LOVES his crib and I don’t want to push him out of it for the new baby, I also don’t want to buy a second crib if he’s going to be in a big boy bed really soon. I suspect we’ll get another crib. Why rock that particular boat…or cradle as it happens. HA!

Listening: To Braeden making various car noises in his crib. He’s not napping and he doesn’t want to get out of his crib so he’s just standing there making vrooms and beeps and fire truck noises. It’s a pretty sweet soundtrack.

Buying: A turkey – we’re doing a test turkey on Sunday to make sure our turkey game is on point for a big Thanksgiving. This is my favorite holiday – all give and gratitude and food and family.

Hoping: For a legit nap. It’s not looking good.

Wearing: Maternity pants. It’s happening, just getting on board with pulling up my pants 500 times a day.

Disliking: The election and how what was designed to create a strong union has deteriorated to show the weakness in our one republic and insulted much of what we were created to stand for.

Opening: Doors, opportunities, fortune cookies.

Giggling: When you put footie pajamas on Braeden he basically can’t even control the laughter – it’s infectious and it’s such a great way to end our days together.

Feeling: Blessed.

Embracing: Changing seasons. Today it smells like fall and in the best way!