Eye of the Storm – Honor Yesterday You

Congratulations! You made it through another week! Let’s take break shall we? Last post in the Eye of the Storm series. Let’s get started. 

Today we will continue the theme of honoring yesterday you. One of my favorite ways to represent this is flower bulbs. In the fall I take the bulbs from various places:

  • Bulbs I have ordered from various catalogues
  • Transplants I dug up from around the yard to move to a better location
  • Gifts I have received from friends and neighbors

I plant them in pots and spots all over the garden. And wait.

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas… all come and go. And we wait.

Snow, ice, Valentine’s Day come and go. And we wait.

The weather finally breaks and smidges of green start to peek out. I have no idea what it is, but I know it is pretty. I know Yesterday Me set up this moment of beauty for me to rest in.


This tough season will pass and brighter days are ahead. Maybe there is something you can do today as a gift for Future You. I am not talking about pushing harder today to get more accomplished for tomorrow.

What if Today You could say no to something today that would benefit Future You? If you are not sure where to start, I would love to help you. Download this Sustainability Checklist to help you figure out what is serving you or draining you. 

red tulip
By |2020-06-22T14:27:24-04:00June 23rd, 2020|Mental Well-being|0 Comments

Eye of the Storm: A Time to Rest

The world is exhausting for me right now. How about you? I am tired. I need to rest. And it is only Tuesday…

Last Friday after reading the headlines and a short scroll through Facebook, it was just overwhelming. No matter what the topic, it was seething with hate from both sides:

  • Racism
  • Pandemic
  • Politics
  • Economy
  • Unemployment

The fact that it had rained for 10 of the last 13 days did not help.

So I went to back to bed after breakfast. It was too much. I had to start my day over again after staring at the wall for quite some time.

It helped, but that is not a sustainable plan. As a general rule, I cannot just throw out my calendar and go to bed. One of the interesting things is that “doing nothing” can be incredibly exhausting. There is a lot of science behind this that we will get into later, but here is a great summary. It can be crazy making, but don’t gaslight yourself if you are doing less and feeling it more.

Let’s keep it simple. Back to the basics!

Sustainable Productivity suggests the basics are split into three categories:

  • Health and Fitness
  • Mental Well-being
  • Physical Surroundings

In case you have been on the struggle bus along with me, I thought I would share a few tips that I found helpful. This weekend here are a few things I did this weekend to manage my heebie-jeebies.

Health and Fitness

1 – Get outside

Anytime spent in nature is therapeutic for me. What this looked like this weekend was reading on the porch, crafting on the porch, eating meals on the porch… See a theme?

2 – Sweat equity

Getting my sweat on clears my head and calms me down. These days that looks mostly like time on my road bike.

Mental Well-being

1 – Meditation

NO! KEEP READING! This is sitting quietly and trying to clear my brain. I have no special clothes and I don’t sit cross legged on the floor. I don’t have music or incense. I fight monkey mind and breathe. For 12 minutes.

2 – Hobbies

I am mainly focusing on reading and crafting right now for my hobbies. I had a hard time reading at the start of quarantine, but have found some great reads lately. Also, by using the supplies that I already had around the house for crafting, I have been able to tackle some projects that have been on my to do list for quite some time.

Physical Environment

1 – Clutter

This weekend I put away some glasses that we love and represent fond memories, but we don’t use on a daily basis. I have been putting off dusting because I am SO TIRED of moving these glasses. When I packed them up, it created empty space that brought so much more joy that I had expected!

2 – Digital garbage

Google has been flashing a warning at me for MONTHS to clear out files or buy more storage. I finally sat down and did some clean up. I deleted almost 15 GB of digital clutter from Gmail and Google Drive. Not only did it free up time, but saved me money!

Your turn – where can you make some changes to create a more sustainable life? You might have an overall feeling of blah, but don’t know what is causing it. If this is you, I would like to invite you to use the Sustainability Checklist for a few days to help identify what is and is not working for you. 

You can also join me on Facebook to chat more in a group. You are not alone. We can do hard things!

By |2020-06-19T16:50:12-04:00June 2nd, 2020|Mental Well-being|0 Comments

Eye of the Storm – Come Back Stronger

About five years ago I had 2 orthopedic surgeries back to back and was in a boot for over 3 months. Translation: No exercise.

We sold our house, but could not settle on a new one to buy so we moved into an apartment. Translation: No gardening.

Since I could not drive because of the boot, I worked remotely for 12 weeks. From the uncomfortable rented couch while Bixby had a desk set up in our bedroom (see previous apartment woes) about 15 feet away. Translation: No alone time.

Considering all of the above we naturally thought it was the perfect time to get a puppy. Translation: No quiet.

Excitement on Lucille’s “Gotcha Day” – little did I know the energy a puppy took!

My mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law came to the rescue with a bedside garden. This kit was really dummy proof, but I ignored that fact and really felt accomplished when this amaryllis bloomed to life.

The bedside garden that saved my sanity (and probably my marriage, if I am honest).

Later that year we moved into our new home. I decided to just observe the new yard for the first year to see what I was dealing with before starting to plant much. Plus there was not a lot of free time – puppies, am I right?! The amaryllis stayed on my night stand.

The next year I planted it in the yard and nothing happened. I was pretty sure I killed it. Never in my life did I think it would come back stronger. And then, though the magic of Mother Nature, the amaryllis came back with a vengeance. A glorious, rich red vengeance.

amaryllis - come back stronger
That same bedside amaryllis living her best life outside in the garden today.

I have thought of this often this year. 2020 has been difficult to say the least. But we can learn from Nature.

  1. Growth that you are not even aware of can be happening underneath, out of sight.
  2. There is a difference between death and dormancy.
  3. Sometimes what shows up after that dormancy is a truer version of the original.
  4. A season of rest will help us come back stronger.

Are you in a hard season right now? That season might be a Tuesday, COVID-19 quarantine, the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, or all of these wrapped together in a neat package called 2020.

I would like to suggest you take a moment to breathe and think about a time when all seemed lost and gone only to have it flourish even better than before.

Like Fawkes in the Harry Potter series, sometimes we have to go through the ugly phase in order to rise from the ashes better than before.

Like the amaryllis in my garden, sometimes we have to be dormant for a time to come back stronger and more beautiful.

By |2020-05-16T09:40:24-04:00May 19th, 2020|Mental Well-being|0 Comments

Eye of the Storm – The Benefit of Rituals

Happy Tuesday! Let’s take a coffee break for a moment while we rest in the eye of the storm shall we?

I made it through 2 Masters degrees without coffee. There was no new mom sleep deprivation that needed an afternoon caffeine boost; the kids were too old for afternoon naps when Bixby and I met. Diet Coke is usually my caffeine of choice.

Then Bixby and I spent a week in Seattle and BOOM – I love lattes.

coffee mug
Coffee mugs were custom made for us by LouLou Belle Pottery.

The problem is that I only like coffee from 1 or 2 places in Seattle, certain Starbucks in Greensboro, and of course – the latte Bixby makes for me. I think that is pretty much the definition of high maintenance.

coffee break
High maintenance is delicious!

The benefits of coffee are endlessly documented. I even drink it with whole milk to bump up the nutrients in a non-processed way.

But my favorite part of my coffee break is my barista. Since I am so picky, I generally only have coffee at home. When Bixby brings my coffee to me, he uses the swirls of the milk as a Rorschach test to pretend he is fancy enough to put pictures in my coffee. Read: he make shit up about the what he has swirled with the milk. And he nails it every time.

Here is Sunday’s coffee. Clearly the MSU Spartan in my coffee, right?! He is so talented.

It is such a small part of the day, but I really look forward to it. Small rituals are important to relationships. Strong relationships contribute to our mental well-being. Considering mental well-being is one of the three pillars to a sustainably productive life, this coffee break is more essential than ever!

Let’s get a refill then make it a Terrific Tuesday!

By |2020-05-13T09:42:34-04:00May 12th, 2020|Mental Well-being|0 Comments

Welcome to the Eye of the Storm

In a hurricane, the eye is the place to take a breath, get a reprieve. Before the rest of the shit hits the fan. Living in a hurricane is not sustainably productive – no one can live continually in fight / flight / freeze. Eventually your body will stop you.

Live footage of my Tuesday.
Not really, more like a Florida weather report.

We cannot stop the hurricane, but we can look for the eye. We can pause in the eye. We can create more space in the eye. Not just during the hurricane that is COVID-19, but the hurricane that is life sometimes.

That is what my intention is for this weekly series. Here is my vision:

  1. Scheduled. Posts will release on Tuesdays because as mentioned before – Tuesday sucks. This also will give us something to look forward to. According to research on happiness, people enjoy looking ahead much more than looking back. The joy of anticipation will be part of our reprieve.
  2. Brief. Because seriously – we should be working, studying, looking for a job, washing our hands, etc. Ain’t nobody got time for a long read.
  3. Collaborative. Together we are better. Yes, I am an introvert, but I have come to appreciate the value of having a tribe. If you have something that brightens your day, helps you stop and take a breath, or just fills your tank – send it to me!

For today, I will go first. Let’s pause in the eye, bring the breath down into our body and calm the chaos in our minds. Let’s do the needful to make a Sustainable You!

This is the phlox that is in a giant patch at the end of my driveway. It blooms for about 2 months every spring. I love it because it is like a welcoming beacon whenever we return home!
By |2020-04-30T09:58:15-04:00May 5th, 2020|Mental Well-being|0 Comments
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