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MONDAY CHALLENGE IN THE LAST TWO HOURS OF MONDAY!

At 10pm I received a Monday Challenge (reblogged below) to do something nice for myself.  Not one to turn down a dare, I felt ideas boiling immediately.  Truthfully, the thought of staring at Alex O’Laughlin for 2 hours made me blush like a crushing schoolgirl but I settled for celebrating the highlights of today, and defining one way to treat myself.

We're turning up the heat on Monday!

After spending Saturday and Sunday doing “Anything I Want,” I felt guilty dreaming of another day of self-indulgence! I, too, run constantly to make sure my kids get to sports, get homework done, play, read and get to bed on time before I crash and burn. Realizing that the change in perception matters most, today became a Monday like few others – holiday or not.

After ending the scramble to find childcare for my kids, I made peace with working today in order to stay home Good Friday – despite having my last day scheduled for the Monday before – good gracious! I celebrated that traffic rocked, hot coffee brewed at work saved me time and money, the executive brunch fed me without opening my wallet all day, I met a co-worker for lunch, that when I greeted with “Happy Monday!” I meant it.  I chuckled that other people barely growled coherently. Bottom line, I saw the benefits from allowing myself time to do anything besides what I should do!!

Besides blogging, reading remains my true rare indulgence. I’ve mentioned that I check out more books than I’d realistically read.  I especially love to read books about writers.

I love to wander and hop on their train of thought!

I’m not hoping to follow their money-winning plan word-for-word, just looking for the simple advice, for example E.B. White’s biography suggests to “write what you know” – a simple and common theme echoed by many. E.B. truly implemented the plan creating a masterpiece loved by generations.

Besides the gift of reading at least one chapter tonight, I will contemplate what “I know.” Notice I left off “better than anyone else.” It’s not important to prove to be the expert in the field, rather the expert of my connection to the subject, clearly communicating my observations and experiences. The luxury of the indulgence rewards me, but the magic happens with self-reflection.

Another great idea blooms!

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OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW

After my divorce, I downsized our living space twice in 2 years and landed in what I hoped would be a temporary apartment with a garage holding the rubble of our lives.

Garage - a work in progress

Some were quick to label me a hoarder, but, I stand behind my common sense behind my nonsense:
A) I could make money: I worked at a company that yielded piles of collectables.  With feverish fanatics trolling Ebay for such goods, I “knew” that I had a goldmine.

B) My situation was temporary: Why get rid of lawn chairs when soon I will have a home that I love needing to be furnished?

C) I wanted my kids’ lives intact:  I wanted to preserve their comfort zone, in their room amongst their toys, while their lives swirled.

D) I didn’t want my dreams nickel and dimed:  Although my dream for how I’d imagined my family changed, I wasn’t ready to let go of it in a garage sale.

So, I parted with easy stuff, bought to “pretty up our home” to sell it.  Originally, I enjoyed the parting gifts, but they didn’t feel right.  While fundraising for a cause, I held garage sales and hoped my goldmine would get me to my goal!  It didn’t, but I discovered that my neighbors treasured these gems! I have since given them more collectable delights.

Along the way, we’ve grown roots.  I still don’t love my apartment, but it’s almost the only home my children remember and I value how much that memory means to them. We’ve grown comfortable in the community, we love our neighbors, and we are building piles of memories.

Now, with a moving sale and a new year creating urgency, I am again in my garage.  We are not moving, our neighbors are. As I go through boxes uncovering unused things, I realize that we have thrived without them. I also see a family, setting up a new life, whose baby may love these things. I understand that these are just things. Now their value is based on how much richer our lives are by contributing to others’ joy. The bonus – we are no longer anchored in the past by things!

Ain't it the truth?