Week Two: Lessons Learned - It's Okay to Be Furry
Technically I am on my third week of retirement but since the week isn't over yet, I'll share what I've learned so far on my journey as of week two. Writing down your to-do list is enlightening. When I reread it on the blog I realized it was not really about finding myself but more about the need to find a cleaning lady. Will I really find Little Kelly under all the dust? I think Little Kelly will feel more "in control" when things are organized but I'm not convinced I will rediscover myself by cleaning my baseboards and organizing all my cupboards. Traditionally, I have looked at all these things...giant dust balls floating across my floors, fur on my baseboards, unorganized closets....as failures. My inability to get my life under control. Here is what I learned...these aren't failures but rather indications that I am enjoying my life. My house isn't spotless, this is true. But it is lived in. A real family lives here. One that has fun, is very active, and cares more about getting together with friends and family then having everything look pristine. This is a big leap for me, people. It's okay to be furry. Breathe, Kelly...it's true.
I did accomplish some things on my list...sort of. I did order the pictures off of Snapfish to put in my albums, I did get a tip on a guy that cleans rugs, I did exercise more...than last week, I did spend some time with my girlfriends (had a great lunch with Chris & Melissa!), and I am going to read more (I just ordered The Choice by Og Mandino and Sh*t my Dad Says by Justin Halpern). Thanks to Chris & Michelle for those two recommendations - I love that you guys are recommending books...keep it coming and put them on the blog so everyone can see!
I did actually cross a few things off too. I cleaned under the kitchen sink...it wasn't that messy afterall. I did wash all the windows...and learned that the reason I probably haven't washed them in so long is that the grates are hard to put back in. I did try some new recipes....some were just okay...and another one inspired me to add a recipe section. Check it out!
I did relax a few times...but still finding that tough to do. How is it that I used to get so much more done when I was working? I guess because I had a finite amount of time and I put things on my to do list that HAD to get done. I have too much stuff on my list these days. It's self defeating. My friend Melissa told me I was stressing myself out and she is right. I am. Here's my piece of advice...stop doing that. Stop putting 20 things on your to-do list when you really only have time for 5. It takes away from your ability to live in the moment and really enjoy life.
Speaking of living in the moment, I am making baby steps here. I didn't weed my gardens (on my to do list) but I do have breakfast each day on my bistro table out on my deck, reading the paper. (Side note: I got my lime green bistro table at Weston Nurseries last year for Mother's Day and I love, love, love it). I look at my gardens and I actually just smiled yesterday, enjoying the moment. My hydrangeas are coming out, my lillies are out, and I saw a hummingbird the other morning. They are cute little industrious fellows. In the old days I would have had breakfast standing at the island, speed reading the paper, eating as fast as I could, multi tasking, and never enjoying any of it. I have noticed my mind has slowed down and I actually listen to the songs on my iPod when I walk. Imagine that. When I used to walk before work I would be mentally reviewing all that I had to do when I got back, what I needed to do at work, what I had to do that night. I had no idea what songs were actually playing. I just noticed that if it was a fast song, I walked faster (if that is even possible...I'm a pretty fast walker in every day life). Did you know that in Single Ladies by Beyonce she doesn't put gloves on her hips, but rather gloss on her lips? I guess that was probably pretty obvious to a few of you. And if I had stopped to actually think about it, I would have realized that putting gloves on your hips was "stupit"...but really, who has the time to actually listen to the lyrics? Well, I think we all should. Then we wouldn't go singing about the "one winged dove" when it was actually a "white winged dove" (At one point, I did love Stevie Nicks).
I was more creative last week. SIX years ago we moved into our house and we decided to paint the tub surround ourselves...save a few bucks...easy enough job. Well, I just painted it last week. I didn't just paint it tho...there is a piece that is a panel that comes off so you can get to the plumbing. I grouted it with sea glass that we have found over the years. I then got my hot glue gun out (man, I missed that thing!) and I glued on a clam shell. It looks awesome! I was impressed with myself if I do say so myself. It definitely got the creative juices flowing. Look out, next week, I might have a hot glue gun party!
But the best part was realizing that I am a better Mom when I live in the moment. When Jack came home the other day he started playing basketball outside. I went out and joined him. I learned that when you do a jump shot sometimes your gut likes to make an appearance (eek) ...and it's better to play "pig" than "horse" because, honestly, we aren't going to beat 11 year old boys in basketball moves. But I also learned that he really enjoyed it and we had some great conversation about what happened at school that day. I made homemade chocolate chip cookies the other night at 8:30 at night. Old Kelly never would have done that. The mess, the time, the list ahead of me! But Little Kelly made them the other night. Jack lost in the semi finals (baseball) and I wanted to cheer him up. While he was crying in the shower I made the cookies and we all enjoyed them as a family and each took a turn telling Jack what he did great this baseball season. It didn't make it all better but I think it helped. Mimi and I slept on the couch the other night. The kids have been begging me to sleep on the couch some night. Old Kelly said "Couches aren't for sleeping on"....God, I sound like my mother. So, the other night, Mimi asked and once the boys went to bed we snuck down and snuggled on the couch. We fell asleep holding hands and she said "this is so fun!" in her sleepy little voice. It's the little things that make a big difference.
For those of you that are already enjoying living in the moment, you are probably saying "it's about time!" For those of you that have been like me and thought you were living in the moment, make sure you really are. The moments find you. Just grab a hold of them.