I wrote this beautiful, thoughtful, philosophical, photo rich blog post on Sunday night. There were links and quotes. It took hours. Just when I was dotting the final i’s and crossing the final t’s something happened and I lost it. All. No sign. Sadness. Thought maybe I would try to recreate that today and maybe I will. However I had a few things I wanted to get off my chest just in case I don’t get it right. *editing at 9:44pm to say yeah that’s not going to happen…bygones.
So instead I present to you: 5 Things I feel are undervalued and need more praise.
1. Getting outside in the fresh air (preferable somewhere really pretty and natural but it’s not a deal-breaker if you’re just outside on the sidewalk) for a brisk walk or a slow jog. Here’s my facebook update from earlier if you missed it.
Today I was feeling a little bit melancholy and was really REALLY not feeling like going on my run...but after every run I make a point to tell myself, "you certainly don't regret doing THAT do you?!" so although I sooooo wasn't feeling it, I sat in my car for a minute talking myself into it, then I made a mellow yet uplifting little playlist and decided to at least walk. I was a bit sore from yesterday and figured that I would just get out and enjoy the pretty day. The minute my feet hit the forest floor I felt better. There is a reason they use the word "grounded" . Having your feet on a natural surface is good for your soul, people. I walked for a while, feeling a little better with every step. Then I decided to just do a really slow jog. I ended up having the best run I have had in ages and ages. I was able to run for further and longer than I have in ages and ages. By the end of my run I felt positively euphoric. All the sad cloudy thoughts were replaced with thoughts of gratitude and resolve. The outdoors + exercise are real, powerful antidepressants. If you are feeling sad or depressed, see if you can manage to talk yourself into putting on your shoes and just walking outside...start there. Put your arms over your head and take a few deep breaths....
Look at the views I was rewarded with today..
2. Crock-pots. Seriously people. They are not sexy but they could not be more fabulous. I feel like we just do not talk enough about how life changing and wonderful the humble crock pot is. It’s not that I actually hate to cook. I quite like it when I have a plan and time and ingredients on hand. I really rather enjoy it. But! There is nothing I hate more than figuring out a meal at 4pm when I am at my most tired, frazzled and domestically unmotivated. A crock pot is not quite what I consider “cooking” but it means homemade food for my family and it lets me get it all out of the way at 10am when I have a moment to think. More often than not, it takes about 10 seconds to get something really tasty going. When you have 7 people going in 7 different directions at dinner time it’s another big plus. And truly, you can get pretty creative and healthy in there too, you don’t need to use cream of something soup or velveeta if you don’t want to. I am a great devotee to my crock pot and have never, not ever bought a block of velveeta substance. I refuse to call that stuff “cheese”. Sacrilege.
3. Laying out your exercise clothes, down to the socks and bra and hair tie before you go to bed. And your kid’s clothes too. Total game changer. Seriously can’t tell you how many minutes have been lost and swear words said trying to find matching socks or a running bra in in the dryer in the mornings. It’s amazing how much more in control you feel of your day just doing that one simple thing.
4. Canned pumpkin and boxed cake mixes. You all know you can do this right? Just take a cake mix, (I usually use a spice cake) and a can of pumpkin and mix them together. No other ingredients. You can kind of almost feel ok about giving your kid cake for lunch especially if it’s baked up into a muffin shape. That’s another thing. If you want to make banana bread or pumpkin bread but you don’t want to wait an hour to eat it, then make muffins instead. Bakes in half the time and portion control. Why do people make things in loaves at all come to think of it?
5. Good music. Which may be defined differently by everyone. But truly. Music. Just today it played a big part in stalling my downward cycle this morning by motivating me to get moving. Later, as I was doing some boring/essential online shopping Ella came and asked me to put on the “Happy song” and then instructed me to follow her moves. Which are a lot more challenging for me than for her. Had a brief bonding and blood pumping moment there. Music is good. I recommend mixing up your playlist often and asking for ideas from a variety of people. I have found some of my all time favs in my teenager’s downloads.
Ok so that’s my random hit list this week. Happens to fall on Works for Me Wednesday so I’ll link up with that. What’s working for you today and what are your game/life changers?