February 25, 2015

Love, Rosie


Have you heard about Love, Rosie? I saw the trailer in a Buzzfeed list but didn't hear anything about it until it showed up on iTunes a couple weeks later.

I was thisclose to starting it all over again when it finished. It was great. A good will-they-won't-they love story about Alex (Sam Clafin) and Rosie (Lily Collins). The movie begins during their last year of high school and follows their friendship (and other relationships) over a twelve-year span. 

Between dreamy accents and to-die-for dimples, I let myself get caught up in it all and not think too hard about it. (Best way to watch it, by the way.) Covering more than a decade means it tries to pack a lot into a short time but the chemistry (and dimples) make it worth the rental fee. Best watched in sweatpants, with a big bowl of popcorn and a makeup-less face. And maybe a couple girlfriends too. 

February 24, 2015

Setting limits

My life shifted for the better since In Praise of Limits landed in my inbox a few weeks ago.

I let it sit in my inbox for a bit. It lingered in my head a lot longer. Then I decided to see what it'd be like to set some limits for myself, especially with things I love.

It's easy for me to go overboard. I swing between extremes of deprivation and excess. Neither works well for me. Imposing limits on myself feels like a more moderate approach, so far. Especially when it comes to these three things.

I regularly curl up on the couch to watch a couple episodes when I get home from work. Too often I start watching something and lose track of time until it's time for bed. I haven't entirely figured out how to tuck it in without letting it take over my evening. Watching two or three episodes or making sure I putter around the house before sitting down is shaping up to be my best bet.

Junk food
I've tried going without candy, chocolate and chips for weeks. I have ignored my limits and let myself eat whatever I want, whenever I want. Neither worked well. After buying a couple chocolate bars, some chips and a bag of licorice in one fell swoop, I decided to keep it as my month's quota of junk food. Once it's gone, it's gone. No going out to buy anything else until the next month begins. (Aside from the brand new bag of Mini Eggs Hubs brought home, it's great!)

Cleaning out my closet and giving away four garbage bags of clothes I either didn't love or didn't wear was... eye-opening? At least in regards to how I spend my money. It's easier to make decisions with less and it feels great to have extra cash in my wallet. I'm trying to steer clear of malls until necessary and wrote a list of everything I'd like to buy (running shoes, protein powder, books) and am slowly whittling away at it once I have the cash and find a good deal.

None of this is set it stone but, right now, it feels good to set limits. There's freedom in limits, oddly enough. I feel more balanced and together than I have in a while.

February 11, 2015

Cleaning closets and culling inboxes

I've been plagued by a false sense of obligation to the emails and empty shoeboxes taking my up life.

Getting rid of stuff puts me at ease. It always has. In elementary school I used to wake up on Saturday mornings and drag everything out of my closet. Every nook and cranny was emptied, wiped and vacuumed before I sorted and reorganized every shoebox and bin and found it a new place.  I still love doing it. Overhauling the physical stuff gives my mental stuff a little extra space too.

Before Christmas I felt overwhelmed by my stuff. Between juggling responsibilities and other unblogged challenges, it became too much. I couldn't shake the feelings of obligation – to everything! My full inbox. Cluttered closets. My mind was full, heart heavy. I was focused on maintaining my status quo instead of doing what I could to make it better. When I finally hit my limit I did what I always do: I cleaned.

On a quiet evening I pulled everything out of our spare room closet and sorted through it, reorganizing what I want to keep and creating piles of everything being thrown out or donated. Stacks of magazines and empty shoeboxes spilled out of the space so I ripped out pages of recipes and exercises, and recycled the old musty boxes. In an afternoon I went through everything in my closet and filled four garbage bags' worth of stuff I don't love or don't fit and gave them to a local thrift shop.

My inboxes and feeds felt cluttered too. More and more, I grew tired of following accounts that looked the same and left me with a lingering sense of obligation to fit a specific aesthetic and sartorial mold. Unfollowing a few left more room for my creative juices to simmer and bubble and pay attention to what I like instead of what I feel I should like. Dozens of unread email subscriptions have been trimmed. Rather than continually deleting the same emails over and over, I unsubscribed.

Purge. Purge. Purge. With every garbage bag I dragged to the trash or carted off to a charity and every time I hit "unfollow," I felt clearer. Lighter. Better.

I can handle more with less. Cultivating a simpler life is my goal. Less stuff, fewer obligations and a lot more of what I love.

February 03, 2015

Exciting news. (Fingers crossed.)