Priorities

I am traveling for work this week, and yesterday was a rather long day of airplane rides and car rental shenanigans. It was not a rough day, just long, culminating in attending a beautiful choir concert and dinner with lovely girlfriends (who were surprised when I ordered Jamaican beer, which turned out to be absolutely delicious – I can’t remember the name of it, alas!).

So I awoke this morning in a strange hotel room and tried to figure out my agenda before heading off to a lunch meeting today. I realized, much to my surprise, that what I really wanted was not breakfast or even a shower first, but a phone call to my husband and kids, a hot cup of coffee, vigorous yoga, and some spiritual music. This was a mighty odd experience for me, as I’m fairly certain that even 6 months ago I would have started my day with a big breakfast and a long read.

How interesting that when I stopped to really ask myself what I needed, my answer was not food. I will meditate on this today and seek understanding as to why this change has occurred in me.

Burning the Candle at Both Ends (or, I’d Forgotten What This Feels Like)

I had the distinct and lovely pleasure of spending Mardi Gras with a dear friend, Kaitlin, and her family last night. Kaitlin is one of many friends taking turns nurturing me while I am living apart from my family for a few months. (If you are new to this blog, I have moved to a new city to take a new job, but several months in advance of my husband and 2 young boys).

This was my first-ever Mardi Gras celebration, and oh my we did celebrate! Kaitlin treated us to delicious homemade crawfish etouffe, french onion soup AND king cake. Of course we washed it all down with plenty of beer. Then Kaitlin’s family went to bed and we stayed up until the wee hours of the morning, just laughing and talking.

Well, I’m really paying the price for all of the celebrating today. And I’m not talking about a hangover! No, this is just paying the price for staying up too late. I remember now: I didn’t even do this when I was younger, because this kind of exhaustion is not my style.

Yet last night was just plain old fun, and I hope we do it again. Just not until next year…

Trying to enjoy the whirlwind

Life has been awfully hectic lately: new job, moving to a new city, learning to travel a lot for said new job. And I’m really just, well, tired. I’m having fun and enjoying every minute. I’m really making a concerted effort to slow down and savor the moments, to get enough rest and care for myself.

But honestly, so much of every day right now for me is simply new, and it’s a lot to take in. I guess it’s overwhelming, actually, and I am getting worn down. In my quest to live to be 100, I realize that I need to pace myself.

I also need to strive for balance, which means I need to pay closer attention to what I’m eating, do more yoga, meditate more, and find more time to relax. And of course, not get so overwhelmed.

I think I have my work cut out for me!

Check-in on spending habits

It seems that my pledge to buy things ONLY if they meet the 5-year quality test is really working! Truly, even I am surprised at how easy it is to walk away from any purchase if I’m not convinced about the quality. From “cute” file folders on clearance to tank tops to furniture to little doodads for my kids, deciding on purchases based on this one criteria: will I still be happy I purchased it in 5 years? – has made a huge difference in my life.

Let me explain. I used to spend a lot of time window-shopping online (I have not had time for bricks-and-mortar shopping in the years since my kids were born), browsing around looking for deals, bookmarking pages waiting for things to go on sale, longingly gazing at items that I could not afford nor would ever buy anyway. However, since I made this 5-year-quality decision, I have been so disappointed by the quality of most things that I have just decided it’s boring to shop. I’ve started looking at the clothes, shoes, and furniture I already own with a very discriminating eye, too, and I have actually begun to throw away possessions that are disappointing in the area of quality! This behavior has completely shocked me, but I am loving the freedom that comes with knowing that the “stuff” I own is good enough for me.

I was already a fan of consignment shopping (including ebay and Craigslist), but I’ve even cut back on that. I’m just no longer willing to buy anything if it’s not up to my standards.

We are moving and building an addition to a house this summer, so I have a feeling this quality pledge is going to be a real challenge as I get the urge to decorate right away. But I think if I can stick to my standards and not compromise on quality, I’ll be oh-so-much-happier with the end results.

Here’s to consuming less and consuming quality!