Welcome! This is part of my weekly (Friday) series called “What are You Working On?”
You can find out more about this challenge here or if you are interested in joining us, you can share photos with us on Instagram (#whatareyouworkingon) or join our Tao Te Ching Daily FB group for future prompts to remind you to share your week with us! Add your post to the Mr. Linky section at the bottom of this post if you want to add a link to your blog. Please be sure and check back and COMMENT on others in the challenge!
Each week, I will offer a list of categories and what I am working on in each category. Other participants may have different categories to describe their own interests and projects. I hope you will join us!
What am I working on? Here are some things…
This week has been a somewhat dry week for creating stuff. Not sure why. I did start knitting a new hat. Hats are super easy to knit and one of my goals is to knit a big enough stock of them that I can start selling them on Etsy next winter. I want to knit other stuff too, but hats are fun and easy and they use up my huge stash of yarn! Oh. And my fabulous knitting teacher, Chris Cahill, sent me a link the other day for a knitting project called the 2015 Baby Bird Nest Campaign. I’ve sent for the pattern. This might be a fun way to use up some of that extra yarn!
Well, I must give myself a pat on the back because I started working on my kitchen again. I didn’t get far, but I started and this is progress! I am re-painting my original cabinets but they have many (3) layers of paint on them so I am trying to strip them first so that I can paint them and it looks smooth. My dad has worked on many homes, and he suggested that I NOT take the doors off to paint them. He said they won’t close right after that. Sometimes Dad likes to do things the easy way and, not that I don’t, but the easy way isn’t always the better way. So I did try to strip them with the cabinet doors attached but it was just too difficult to get at everything in order to get a clean painting surface.
So I decided to use this first (single) cabinet as an experiment. I took the door off and will be sanding and repainting it and reinstalling it. If this door goes back on cleanly and closes nicely after I am done re-installing it, I will do the rest of them the same way. This way, I can take them all out in the yard on a sunny weekend, put them on a big tarp and strip them and paint them and put them all back on. It will help make the job go faster, and if I’ve learned one thing about my work style on these kinds of projects is that I need things in small bite-sized pieces in order to not get overwhelmed.
On other house projects, we are still in our first month of the longer paced SoulSpace Online Book Study on Facebook. We re-started it this month, and this week the topic was clothing. So I did my shoes. Close, but not really clothes. It was fun anyways.
I also went on a cleaning binge last weekend. It had been way too long since I had done so. I haven’t used my “3 hours of housecleaning” certificate yet, but thought it best to do that next month. I will, though, I promise. My house was just too messy to hand off to a total stranger. My goal is to have something scheduled by the end of May. I will keep you posted.
The first few weeks of this challenge, I talked about what I am trying to learn: mostly cooking and Spanish these days. But what I realized after reading Cynthia’s post (the woman who originated the Scattered Life Collective posts I used to do) is that one category I’ve left out that I really enjoyed what telling you about what I’ve “discovered” online. So this week, I will focus on that. I love going through my browser history and reminding myself of all the rabbit holes I’ve traveled through.
I will start with a cat video. Oh, don’t give me that eye roll! This is a GOOD ONE! Even John Oliver thought so…
ETSY (These are not affiliate links. Not this time, anyways.)
I saw this upper arm bracelet on Etsy and thought it was kinda cool. Funny thing was, while I was painting my cabinets I got a horizontal stripe of paint on my upper arm. I ended up going out to some shops that afternoon and had forgotten about it but when I looked down and saw it, it reminded me of those Amazon women of mythology. (Are they mythological?) I kinda liked it. Anyways, then later in the week I saw that Anthony Bordain had a tattooed arm ring similar to my paint stripe. Then I saw this, so I thought I would share. I hope the artist doesn’t mind my sharing it. It’s only $35 if you want to buy it! It’d be cool for a night out on the town, wouldn’t it? (Click on the image to go to their shop.)
Here’s another Etsy find. First, isn’t that bunny just adorable? I found it searching tiny knit creatures as this is one thing I might consider doing for my Etsy shop. The plural form of the word OCTOPUS came up in discussion this week. What do you think is correct? Is it octopuses, octopussies, octopi or octopodes? No fair using Google. But I did. See if you can guess without looking it up. I dare you! (Click on the image to go to their shop.) The answer will be at the very bottom of this post. Unfortunately, I can’t put it upside down to fool you. Or, I could, but that would require too much work.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am working on being aware of my emotions as part of my spiritual practice this week. Here is a quote from The Conscious Parent –
The more aware we become, the more we recognize all the ways in which we have been living in the grip of unexamined conditioning from our own upbringing, then imparting this to our children.
Starting next week, and throughout the next month, I will be writing about what this book is teaching me. This book study is the first part of an ongoing monthly book study that I am putting together to study books that support us to live our best life. I started with this book because it is one that I have been wanting to get into more deeply. It is one thing to simply READ a book, it is another to study and discuss it with others and to make the words more real and accessible.
We are discussing the book on a site called GoodReads.com. It is a community site for people who love to read and they have a feature on their site for discussing books. If you’ve ever visited a forum site, that is basically what it is. We will be talking about how to parent our children in such a way that we are able to support their own consciousness throughout life. The only way to (teach anything) is to MODEL this behavior in our own lives so we are going to give it a shot. Our world is very unconscious right now and we need to WAKE UP! I don’t just mean wake up and realize the earth changes, although those are important. I mean to wake up in the sense of being present for what is happening around you. Our children grow up and leave us so fast. When they hit their teens they sometimes disappear to find their own way. We can connect with them through being present and that is essentially what this book is about. So far, I am reading it and practicing these skills and it is not super easy! If I get caught up in an emotional snag, it is hard for me to wrestle myself out of it. According to the author of The Conscious Parent, Shelfari Tsabary, our job is not to get out of these emotional traps but to stay in the feeling of the emotion and identify it. Will you join us? It starts on May 1st, 2015.
By the way, speaking of spiritual practices – a big shout out to Pitso from South Africa! She reached out to me because I ask the people who sign up for my 81 Tao Te Ching Chapters in 81 days to email me and tell me about themselves. So she sent me an email the other day. It was so cool to know that some sweet soul in South Africa is reading my chapters on the Tao Te Ching. Good luck with your venture, Pitso. May your candle always burn brightly! If you want to sign up to receive my 81 chapters in 81 days, you can do so here. I always love hearing from readers, so let me know if you sign up!
After reading Cynthia’s latest #WhatAreYouWorkingOn post, I wanted to add this section to mine too. I am always working on building up the great friendships that I have discovered over the years. I have THE BEST collection of great friends ever! (My family is pretty awesome too, so I consider myself extremely blessed!) This section is about giving a nod to those people who I am connecting with lately…
Ashley. My friend Ashley and I used to work together and she has remained a good friend. One of our first big adventures we did together was the Warrior Dash in 2012. It was crazy. I never would have done that sort of thing if it hadn’t been for her. Now, we are both on FitBit and we have started a new challenge with each other. 30 days – whomever exercises 30 times first gets dinner! We have to text each other each day that we exercise to keep track. (Simpler that way!) It should be fun. Even if I have to treat her to dinner because she exercised more than me, it’s a win! It’s a win because we both got lots of exercise!
Michele. Michele Bergh is one of my super fab buddies. She is always doing something fun! On May 15th, we are getting together to do a day of sewing. Should be fun! We both like quilting and other sorts of craft projects and it has been a while since we have done that.
Kimberly. Kim is my sister. I call her Kim but most people call her Kimberly. I just have to give her a nod for the amazing work that she is doing on the SoulSpace Facebook group! Wow. Each week, she writes us these inspiring essays for taking care of our homes and it is so fun to read them! This week, she wrote about our coats and shoes. Who can write about coats and shoes and make it interesting? Kim can!
Last week, she wrote about clothes. I must admit that, although I did not go through all my clothing again yet, I have been thinking about my clothing style. Kim has always been a good point of inspiration for dressing well. When we used to live together, as adults, we were always the same size. Even now, hundreds of miles apart, we are the same size! When she moved out years ago, we just threw all of our clothes in a big pile on the floor and took turns choosing items to divide them up. To be honest, most of the good ones were hers so this was a rather generous way of her widdling down her collection. Now, when I go to visit her, she always has a few clothes to give me. (Maybe next time she won’t though because she won’t want to part with any because she loves them so much! haha!)
The first time I went through my clothes a few months ago, I gave a bunch of clothes to Goodwill and ended up buying more stuff to get up to a basic amount of clothing. But I didn’t really LOVE much of anything. What I kept was stuff that I wear frequently, is comfortable and is pretty decent, but I rarely LOVE clothing. So when I looked at my outfit in the mirror this morning, it made me realize that I have a ways to go with my clothing style. I will start with a more thorough examination of my choices each morning. And I will keep reading Kim’s inspiring messages to help guide me through it. I would like to also do some online browsing and see if I can discover my style. Pinterest is great for that.
Aside from my challenge with Ashley (30 days of exercise as I talked about earlier), I am a regular visitor of my local gym. Eric and I go faithfully twice a week. Tonight is gym night. I also try and walk to work every day but it has been UNSEASONABLY cold this last week and I can barely stand to even go outside, let alone walk to work! So on the nights when I am not walking, I just walk on the treadmill at the gym. This is made more fun with watching HGTV and listening to The Conscious Parent or my Spanish lesson on Audible. (The TVs at the gym have closed captioning.) Talk about multi-tasking! haha! On the days when I walk to work, I climb at the gym. I am climbing Mt. Everest on what is basically a moving ladder. So far, I am at about 19,000 feet so I am getting close. I think it is around 27,000 feet or something like that. I don’t climb very fast. Only about 1,000 feet per week so it is slow going. But there’s a t-shirt waiting for me at the end of it, which is oddly motivating. Then, afterwards, we usually head to the grocery store and getting something to eat. It’s our twice-weekly routine.
So much of taking care of our bodies is about awareness. This also goes back to the section on spiritual practices. One thing I have often talked about but have rarely followed through on is my awareness during eating. I am very aware of WHAT I eat, that much I have done pretty well with. I usually eat pretty well, except today when I forgot all about the “vegan before 6” idea and had fried chicken for lunch! I’ve been keeping a calendar in the kitchen of what we’ve been eating for dinners. No, I am talking about awareness DURING eating. I would really like to learn to eat more slowly and mindfully, but I always forget. Not just sometimes, pretty much ALWAYS. Maybe I could do like I did when trying to remember to bring my reuseable grocery bags to the store… for that, I was always forgetting and now I don’t anymore because I just kept consistently TRYING to remember. Then, eventually I learned to remember it and now I remember over 50% of the time to grab my bags, maybe even more. So I will do that and keep you posted. This is one of those lifelong habits that I want to develop but that I kinda suck at, so it would be good to tackle it.
The Newsroom. I’ve been talking about this new show we are watching. We are so hooked on it! The reason? It is positive. It gives us hope for humanity without being the least bit soppy or overly emotional and dramatic. It is captivating without presenting us with murders and crazy people. It is not stupid funny. There are no laugh tracks. It is just GOOD TELEVISION. Seriously.
Well, that is my week folks. How was yours? #WhatAreYouWorkingOn? Link up to your blog with Mr. Linky below, write about it in the comments or tell us and your friends about it on Facebook or Instagram by just posting a photo of what you are working on with the caption #whatareyouworkingon and we can all play along!