It occurs to me that I should have given this post a better title because unless I'm Joanna Gaines, not many people care what I'm loving now. Also, I just have to get it right out of the way for those who know me personally and are reading this wondering why there is a cat photo anywhere near my website. No, I have not gone to the dark side. There is a point to the picture. Keep reading.
Anyway, I’m in California this week for two design related conferences. When this post goes live, I will be leaving the first conference in Palm Springs and headed to Los Angeles. I’ll spend a few days recovering from information overload there before heading on to more information overload in Beverly Hills.
I intended to leave you with a light little look at the things I’m loving right now in order to show that I am a real person who is not totally motivated by wallpaper or and who is not trying to sell you her services 24-7. Of course, each one of the identified things I’m loving right now would be casually tied to some amazing decorating item or other, subtly pulling you back into the “hire me!” abyss. To bastardize Shakespeare, all the internet’s a marketplace and the men and women merely salespeople in it.
When I got to thinking about what I’m really loving right now, I found myself with three categories, only one of which could relate to my business. Category one, the obvious, was everything to do with decorating. It's true. I'm a design nerd. I’m immersed full fledge in a world that I love. I could talk about pattern and color and wallpaper and tile and organizing and play rooms all day. And I do. My poor husband.
The second category involved things that were not actually things at all. I’m loving the joy and concentration on my youngest daughter’s face as she learns to play guitar. I’m loving the excitement with which my youngest son jumps up and down every time an American athlete is in the lead during these Olympics. I’m loving watching a group of nine young girls empower each other every Wednesday at Girl Scouts. I’m loving watching my middle daughter spread her wings and clarify to herself who she is in this world. These aren’t things at all, and they most certainly don’t lend themselves to a nice little product tie in.
The final category is also thing-less. Two days every week, I save 45 minutes to go jump on a mini-trampoline to loud music. That combined hour and a half is the most present I am at any given time. I’m probably more present there than I am during the two hours of yoga I do each week (what does that say about my personality?). I don’t think about the list. I don’t think about what happened during the week or where the week is going. I don’t think about what I can or cannot do. I just bounce.
As I write this, I am feeling amazingly grateful that I am in a place in my life where I can love what I do, have the presence of mind to see my children where they are (not always, let’s be honest), and the space to have an opening at self-care. I don't spend a lot of time on this blog getting personal or sentimental. I'm far too salty for that. But I do spend a lot of time online building connections and listening to people and learning from others. There is a lot of talk about self-care in the circles in which I travel. We as business people talk about self-care and balance all the time. But we as moms don’t always talk about self-care and we certainly roll our eyes at the concept of balance. We take care of all the things and fall apart on the floor when no one is looking.
I’m going to tell you something that is hard to say out loud, in public. I need more validation than one gets from parenting. I wish I could say being a mother fills my every need, etc., but I can’t. I need to know I’m doing something – anything – right. And I’ll bet you feel that way too. There is a reason inspiration quotes are all over Instagram (7.3 million hashtag uses at this writing!). They are the modern day cat poster, possibly a couple notches up on the classy scale, but cat poster all the same.
We all need validation. Sometimes we need a push, sometimes we need permission, and sometimes we just need a hug. Cat posters, y’all. Think about it.
I want to share with you some of the things that the various instructors I see during the week in bounce and yoga say every single class. Think of this as your personal cat poster. Here we go…
“Set your intentions.” What if we set our intentions before we started each day? What if we reset them as we went through our day?
“It’s ok to smile.” Really. I dare you.
“Find strength in stillness.” You don’t need to hang out for 60 seconds in a plank for this (but it helps). Get a cup of coffee and a magazine and sit for twenty minutes. The world will still rotate on its axis and your list will be there when your coffee cup is empty.
“It’s your class. If you need to take a break, take one.” Replace “class” with “life”. Permission is a very strong thing. Give it to yourself.
“Everything we do on one side we do on the other. This is how we find balance.” Imagine if you applied that concept to work and family? Or to what you give others and what you give yourself?
“There is always room for a new beginning.” Yes. Yes, there is. Every five minutes, not just on January 1.
“You can.” The answer to the question you didn’t know you had asked out loud.
"Let go of what no longer serves you."
“Close your eyes. Find your happy place. ” This one always sends me to Splash Mountain. Seriously, though, there are always going to be those times when we have to grit it out. Find your happy place and get on through it.
Enough real talk for today. Get out there and do something that refreshes you. Hit me up with the things you do to take care of yourself or the things you are loving now. Send me your favorite wallpaper. You can even send me a picture of your favorite cat poster, especially if it has a dog in it (animal preference, what can I say). I’d be totally down for that.
P.S. Special thanks to Beri, Courtney, Ashley, and Jessica at Define Houston for being the amazing humans and instructors that they are.