The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Christmas Decorating

I’m not much of a holiday person. If fact, I’d be happy to hibernate from Thanksgiving to January 2. I wrote about that here.

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Oh, Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, How barren are thy branches.

When it comes to Christmas decorating, I am beyond minimalist. Being a gardener and  plant enthusiast, I buy poinsettias and amaryllis. I throw a wreath on the door. I have a tiny little potted evergreen tree outside and I put lights on it.

And then there’s the Christmas tree. We have a fake an artificial, pre-lit tree that lives in the garage 11 months of the year. We have a box of ornaments that also lives in the garage. Hubs helps me locate the tree and bring it inside. Some years he’s mildly annoyed at this task; other years you’d think I was asking him to give me a kidney. Hubs and I are decidedly not the couple that drinks hot cocoa, plays Christmas carols, and decorates the tree together. He drags the thing inside and I decorate it. And for 31 years, I’ve been ok with that.

This year, I found myself not in the mood to deal with the tree. I decided to go through an exercise that I do with many of my coaching clients. I separated the “should’s” from the “want to’s.” Here’s how it played out in my head:

  • Society tells me I “should” put up a tree. After all, it’s Christmas time!
  • What will the neighbors think if I don’t have a tree in the window?
  • I doubt the neighbors are worrying about whether or not I have a tree, and if they are, that’s their problem.
  • I don’t want to spend the time putting up the tree and unwrapping and hanging ornaments. I’m just not into it this year.
  • We’re not having people over this season and hubs and I are rarely in the room where we I put the tree. No one’s going to see it.
  • The thought of taking down all of those ornaments at the end of the season exhausts me.
  • But I really love driving down my driveway after a long day at work and seeing the lit tree in the window. I will miss that if I don’t put up the tree.

By separating the “should’s” from the “want to’s” I did something a little unconventional. On Sunday I put up the tree, but did not decorate it.  Now when I come home from work, I get to enjoy the lights in the window as I drive down the driveway.

I told hubs I’m reserving the right to decorate the tree this weekend if the mood strikes, meaning he might have to excavate the ornaments. He sort of grunted in what I am interpreting as approval.

For now, I’m pleased that I only put forth the amount of effort that would give me joy in return.

What about you? Are your holidays filled with activity that brings you joy, or are their some “should’s” hiding about? I’d love to read your comments.

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How I get myself to the gym on Monday mornings

I have a love/hate relationship with Monday mornings. When I get to the gym, my week begins in the best way possible and I feel unstoppable. When my desire to sleep-in until the last possible moment gets the best of me, I spend the rest of the week skipping gym sessions and telling myself I’ll start over next Monday. Then next Monday the temptation to sleep-in is there again. See a pattern?

I’m coming off a nine month gym lay-off and my workout habits are not yet firm. That means I need to put plans in place in ensure my success until my habits automatic. My solution?

On Sunday evenings I sleep in my gym clothes! I did this years ago and recently my pastor mentioned doing this to make sure he doesn’t skip his morning workouts. I don’t have to do this every night (because, jog bras); only on Sunday nights. Once I complete that Monday morning workout, I’m motivated to adhere to my exercise schedule the rest of the week.

Today marks my third Monday in a row that I’ve gotten myself to the gym and gotten my week off to a positive start.

If you find yourself dreading that Monday morning workout, I invite you to give sleeping in your workout clothes a try.

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Snapshot Saturday: Before the Storm

Nashville is predicted to have a pretty severe storm later today. I wanted to get a run in before that happens. It helped me clear my head.

This week I had a lot of meetings without as much margin in between as I would like. Today, however, I’m going to take things at a relaxed pace. I have a noon meeting with some neighbors (we’re fighting “city hall” on something), and other than that I’m going to enjoy watching football and knitting. It feels great to take a breath and relax.

Here are a few pics from this morning’s jaunt on the green way.

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I’m skipping a presentation about self care

As I reviewed today’s schedule I could feel the anxiety mounting. I have appointments stacked one after another all day long. It’s all good stuff, but I also have some correspondence that I would like to complete and mail.

I decided that in order to remain serene today, I’ll skip my first meeting. Ironically, it’s a nonprofit CEO round-table and the speaker is presenting on self-care. Self-care is something I preach to others and am terrible about doing myself.

I’d really like to hear what the speaker has to say, but what I want even more is to come home tonight knowing that I was fully present for my required meetings and not distracted by the desk work that also needs to be accomplished. AND I want that correspondence to be off my desk and in the mailbox. So, until 10 a.m. today I’ll be writing, addressing, and stamping. From 10 a.m. on I will be mentally and emotionally available to everyone with whom I meet.

Come to think about it, I believe that’s the best way for me to practice self-care today.

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Capsule Wardrobe: Making Mornings Easier

Y’all! Last spring I stumbled upon capsule wardrobing while surfing the Net. I gave it a try for spring/summer and I loved it so much I spent last Saturday morning putting together another capsule for fall/winter.

I won’t get into the details of capsule wardrobes because you can find plenty of info with a quick Google search. In short, you build a wardrobe with just a few pieces that you can mix and match. Most people (at least as far as I can tell via my “research”) set up four capsules per year to align with the four seasons. I put together a fall/winter capsule simply because Nashville weather is so unpredictable that I need a variety of clothing weights and I don’t want to do a closet change-out more than twice a year.

The thinking behind capsule wardrobing is that it reduces decisions. A lot of people wear a “uniform” in order to have one less thing to think about; i.e. Steve Jobs wore a pair of jeans and a St. Croix brand mock turtleneck shirt. every. single. day.

When I pulled out my off season clothes I discovered they had required two large storage containers to hold all of them.

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Ugh. I had two of these full of fall/winter clothes.

I did a ruthless purge and I’ll be dropping off a big ole pile of clothes to a thrift store hubs and I support.

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I knew I wasn’t going to wear these, so why keep them?

I sorted through the clothes I decided to keep, and selected a few for the fall/winter capsule.

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See the space between hangers? I used to cram everything into my closet and ended up wearing only a few favorite pieces over and over.

You’ll notice some of the hangers are facing the wrong way. Those are clothes I have not yet worn this season. Once I wear an article, I’ll hang it back the right way. When it’s time to bring out my spring/summer clothes, any wrong facing hangers from this capsule means that item hasn’t been worn and I’ll donate it.

This capsule contains 6 pairs of pants, 8 skirts, 3 dresses that can be worn different ways, and 21 tops. That’s a lot of stuff by some capsulers’ standards, but again, this is two seasons worth of clothes.

Because I purged a lot, I only need one storage container to store my off season clothes as well as current season items that didn’t make it into this capsule. What am I doing with my extra container?

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I now have space for hub’s and my Halloween get ups!

I am so glad I discovered capsule wardrobes. Fewer decisions in the morning (or the night before) means more time for my morning workout as well as my meditation time before dashing to the office.

If you are looking for ways to minimize morning stress, I invite you to give capsule wardrobing a try.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Snapshot Saturday, in black and white

A friend of mine recently included me in a Facebook challenge to post seven black and white photos, one per day, describing my life. No explanations allowed. I’m curious to know if anyone can guess the meaning behind the camper photo.

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Half marathon training begins now!

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Source: MyFitnessPal.com

I haven’t done a half marathon since spring 2016. That year I completed the Frostbite Half in February, the Little Rock Half in March, and the Country Music Half in April. That feat of completing three halfs within 90 days earned me entry into the Half Fanatics organization. I can’t remember my own phone number, but I can remember my Fanatic number is 14549. I felt a real sense of accomplishment earning it. And since then, I’ve lost my mojo.

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Snapshot Saturday: Ashville

Hubs and I just returned from spending a few days in the Ashville, NC area. We were outdoors most of the time. I find nature to be very therapeutic. Here are some pics from the trip.

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I’m saving one picture for a future post. There’s a story behind it.

I hope where ever you are, you’re enjoying some nature today!

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Snapshot Saturday: 9/23/17

Today is packed with activity. This morning I’m presenting to a leadership class at Belmont University. The afternoon is all about college football. But before the day “kicks off” (see what I did there?) I took a quick walk among the roses. Just a few weeks ago there was no color in the rose bed due to my late summer pruning, something I did in hopes of having beautiful blooms to enter in upcoming rose shows. Here’s what’s blooming this morning.

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Snapshot Saturday, 9/16/17

Today I’m celebrating another trip around the sun. I kept things very low-key, beginning with a run on a nearby green way. I feel fortunate to leave near such beauty.

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