Quitting Gets Me Every Time

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I remember the first time I quit something. And when I say “quit,” I mean, I dropped out of the activity before it’s “season” had run its course. It was in 5th grade. You had a choice to sign up for the school chorus or have extra reading time. Well, since you can’t really quit extra reading time, you guessed it, I signed up for and then quit the school chorus. I remember the choir teacher being upset that I was leaving (not because I was/am a great singer) and, as I recall, I remember not being too upset by her reaction.

In 2015, I “quit” a few things. Two different jobs. Though, technically, I think I “resigned.” Regardless, I left two jobs. And I quit selling in my Etsy shop.* I also quite reading a book that I just couldn’t get into. As much as I wanted to like it and finish it. 50 pages in and I was done.

Here’s the thing I’ve learned all along the way, ever since I was in the 5th grade—quitting is completely and totally acceptable. Life is so crazy and short and complicated that if you’re doing something you don’t like, you should leave it behind. Don’t stick around just so you’re not a “quitter.”

Since it is the season of football playoffs, it’s worth quoting Vince Lombardi’s most overused phrase:

Winners never quit and quitters never win.

You know what, Vince? That’s not always true. Because a lot of the time, winning is just about being happy. And being a quitter doesn’t mean that you’ve given up. It just means that you’re on to the next thing. And think of it another way… sometimes quitting is the best thing—like quitting smoking, or any other bad habit; quitting a bad relationship; quitting one opportunity to go after a better one.

When I think of quitting, I like to think of the new beginning that comes directly after it. Walt Disney once said,

The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.

Not to get all New Year’s resolution/’tis that time of year on your butts, but it’s that statement is true in so many aspects of life. If you’ve got an idea, quit talking and make a plan. If you’ve got a goal, quit planning and get yourself in gear. If you’ve got a trip to take, quit talking and just go.

There’s nothing in the foreseeable future that I expect to quit. But I do quite like the idea of less talk, more action as something to put into practice more often. What about you? Anything worth quitting? Anything worth doing?

*There is a possible, ever-so-small, chance that Toyidermy will make a pop-up appearance on Etsy sometime in 2016. No promises though. 

The Internet Gets Me Every Time | Jan. 15th Ed.

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Made it through the second full week of 2016? Me too. No PowerBall win to report, so how about some links instead? Happy weekend!

More about the artist (and her family’s heart-wrenching story) of the book above.

A podcast featuring so-hot-right-now MaryAnne Moody.

Will blogs survive 2016?

This workout for the road.

Why Garlic bread is the best carrier for a meatball sandwich.

This lovely Ikea collection.

One healthy Mexican slaw.

One cheesy cauli-tot.

And some raw chocolate chip cookies.

A year of journaling prompts.

About making a list of 100 dreams.

Starting An Idea List Gets Me Every Time

12353394_1516436431989091_1305896528_nWhat’s the different between an idea and a goal? I ask myself this all too often. Do I *need* to accomplish all the ideas that I have? Do I have goals set that I actually want to achieve? Do I need them?

I’m not sure I have the answers to those bigger questions, but I do have one idea that helps me sort them all out. Actually, it’s because I have many ideas that they even need sorting.

I started an idea list. I know. Nothing ground-breaking here. It’s a notebook in my Evernote app and when I have an idea, I put it in there. So, when a concept for a book pops into my head, into the idea list it goes. Or if I think of a party/activity I want to be a part of, into the idea list it goes. And when I think of the perfect gift idea for that person who’s so hard to buy for, into the idea list it goes for safe keeping.

Recently, the things that have gone into my idea list are book concepts, dreamt-up websites I think would be useful and photos I’d like to take. Now, I know I won’t get around to all of them, but I hope that the ones that are still good ideas in a month or a year or whenever do get some of my attention.

There’s no goals and no pressures around the idea list. Just me and my ideas that I’m not quite ready to bring to fruition or bounce off anyone. The hardest part for me is trying not to bring them all to life.

I want to know, how do you keep your ideas safe and how do you know which ones to chase after?

New Year, Same Me, Gets Me Every Time

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Mr. Gets Me Every Time and I spent the holidays in Florida, visiting my family and it was a great, relaxing few days away from work/chores/cold. Sunny skies and warm afternoons were just what we needed. I just ordered a print of this photo I snapped to help me get through the rest of the winter too.

We’re a full week and a half into 2016, so I thought I’d hit you with a few “new year” type of thoughts.

On Resolutions. I didn’t really make any. Each day I’m trying to be a better version of myself (i.e. having more patience with myself & others.) And each week I’m trying to do things that make life easier (i.e. cooking a huge batch of chicken on Sunday, or packing a lunch the night before.) Like the title of the post says, new year… same me.

On One Little Word. Lots of people pick a word for the year and use it as a type of mantra for all types of situations they approach. I’ve done this before, and I can never seem to stick with it, so I didn’t really pick a word either. I did think about it though and the word that came to me was “open.” I’m keeping it pretty open-ended, though.

On Goals. Again. Didn’t make any plans for this. Thought about things like organizing all my digital photos or finishing project x, y and z. But, I’m deciding not to make it official. I did buy a planner, and I am trying to write down things I want to do, just to have a running list. (I also set a goal on GoodReads to read 25 books this year. I made it to 21 last year, we’ll see how it goes.)

On 2016. Basically, I feel incredibly grateful for how 2015 turned out. It was a year to reevaluate and reset. I’m looking forward to what the year ahead brings and I’m looking forward to sharing some of it here.

Book Report. Fall Edition

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It’s been a while since I last shared what I’ve been reading, so I thought a fall book report was in order before that winter equinox sneaks up on us in a couple weeks. I find summer and fall to be the toughest times to read regularly because all I want to do is spend some QT with the great outdoors. I did manage to find my way through a few books in the last few months.

For this book report, I went back through my Kindle “highlights” to give you a quick glimpse of one line that I loved from each book.

Read:
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee | Unfortunately, hate and prejudice are still too much alive in our country. The feelings behind this book are just as relevant today as they were when it was written. The reviews are right—it’s not as great To Kill… but it’s a quick read.

Prejudice, a dirty word, and faith, a clean one, have something in common: they both begin where reason ends.

Not A Star by Nick Hornby | Warning… this book does have a sexual nature. It’s a funny premise about parents finding out exactly how their son is physically gifted. There are two short stories in this book which was another quick read.

When you get older, it feels like happy memories and sad memories are pretty much the same thing. It is all just emotion in the end. And any of it can make you weep.
 

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Johnathan Safran Foer | I’m late to the game reading this heartwarming story about one family’s journey through two horrible tragedies — 9/11 and Dresden. It’s a great adventure that I’d go on with the main character if I could. Tears filled my eyes more than once.

“Oh,” he said, “she died twenty-four years ago! Long
time ago! Yesterday, in my life!” “Oops.” “It’s OK!” “You don’t feel bad that I asked about her? You can tell me if you do.” “No!” he said. “Thinking about her is the next best thing!”

Funny Girl by Nick Hornby | Hornby is one of my favorite writers so I flew through this story of the cast of a Brit sitcom and how one small town girl rose to the top.

I’m a writer. Life is supposed to pass me by, while I watch it.

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant | I honestly had to look back at when I checked this out from the library because it felt like I’ve known this story forever. I admit that I cried through some passages of this book. The stories of mothers losing babies are written in such a tender and real way. I had a hard time putting this one down.

If you treat every question like you’ve never heard it before, your students feel like you respect them and everyone learns a lot more. Including the teacher.

Stephen King on Writing | I’m not a Stephen King fan, but I am a writer, so I dug in. It’s half writer’s how-to, half memoir. There was a lot I didn’t know about King and his journey. The writing tips are mostly a dime a dozen. The takeaway if you want to be a writer (novelist), work your ass off.

The scariest moment is always just before you start.

Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead | A story about ballerinas, their dreams, the dreams they leave behind and the interwoven relationships between the dancers themselves. I loved imagining the dancers going through each step the author described and I started staging them in my head. Being a lover of dance, I could see this one turned into a movie.

How strange it was that a dream, once realized, could quickly turn mundane.

Congratulations, by the way: Some thoughts on kindness by George Saunders | I would love to go back and re-read my college graduation’s speaker’s speech. Unfortunately, I cannot even remember who gave the speech. I think if it was Saunders, I would have remembered. Lucky for these grads, they can read it over and over and over. It’s a quick and great read. But, ps, it’s also a video.

So, quick, end-of-speech advice. Since, according to me, your life is going to be a gradual process of becoming kinder and more loving: Hurry up. Speed it along. Start right now.

Didn’t finish:
Want Not by Jonathan Miles. | I just couldn’t get into it. I tried. I really did. I even borrowed it from the library TWICE. Just wasn’t happening.

Currently:
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert | Just diving in so this is my favorite highlight so far. I’ve been on the library waitlist basically since this book hit the shelf at the library. Excited to make my way through it over the next week or so.

…we all know that when courage dies, creativity dies with it. We all know that fear is a desolate boneyard where our dreams go to desiccate in the hot sun.

 

All the book links go directly to GoodReads where you can add them to your Want to Read shelf if you so desire. What are you reading now, and what should I read next. Would love a good fiction read for the holidays. Let me know!

The Internet Gets Me Every Time | Dec. 4th Ed.

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clockwise: anthro | copycat | similarshort game rules

The world is a crazy, scary place that we shouldn’t ignore, but when it gets so bad, I try to bury myself in good things.

1 | The 50 (new) healthiest foods
2 | Trending: Gifts in a jar that are super cute and easy to put together
3 | Your adult siblings may be the secret to a long healthy life
4 | Pantone announced it’s colors of the year and they’re soft and dreamy
5 | A gift guide for the DIYer as told by my girl, Prim & Propah

Hold your loved ones close this holiday season, friends.

Giving Tuesday Gets Me Every Time

It's the holidays, celebrate Giving Tuesday!
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“Giving is defined as the intentional transfer of ‘something’ to ‘someone’. When we can freely choose where to place our possessions – money, time, energy – the process of giving becomes a more meaningful experience for the giver and the receiver.” GivingTuesday.org

It’s “Giving Tuesday!” Yes. We have a day of Thanks. A day of crazy shopping. A day for online sales. And so, of course, we have a day to give. Big or small, giving can make a world of difference in someone else’s life—and it can also make you feel all the warm fuzzies too.

Mr. GMET and I like to give back every year by adopting a child off our “Giving Tree” at church and buying him or her a few gifts. We also like to give to some charities that are meaningful to us, such as our local SPCA and The Stork Fund.

There are endless ways to celebrate Giving Tuesday—some small, like helping out a neighbor, others big, like spending a day volunteering. How will you give back on this Giving Tuesday and the rest of this holiday season? Get started with these ideas from Wayfair:

Ideas for giving back on Giving Tuesday

PS. For every blog with the #BlogItForward badge (it’s on the right), Wayfair will donate $50 to Habitat to Humanity. So… if you have a blog too, you know what to do! And giving isn’t just for “Giving Tuesday,” keep on giving all year long.

Nexxus Diametress Gets Me Every Time

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Ever wished your hair looked as great as that girl in the shampoo commercial? Spoiler alert… it probably never will. Not because you don’t have great hair (you do, obviously.) It’s because TV commercials are magic. I know, I’ve been there to help oversee some of that magic. No, I’ve never been able to leverage some of that magic for my own hair.

But, recently, I tried out the Nexxus Diametress system and my hair feels magical and that’s a start.

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I’ve been using the three-step (shampoo-conditioner-leave-in conditioner) system for about a month now and I have no complaints. If it had just been a week, I’d chock it up to ‘new product shock,’ but we’re still going steady about 5 weeks or so.

All three Nexxus Diametress products leave my hair feeling clean and refreshed. And get this, someone actually asked if I had a haircut because my hair looked like it had been professionally dried. I promise, I’m not THAT great at drying my own hair. The biggest bonus with this system is that I can go three days without a wash. I just dab some leave-in conditioner on the ends and I’m good to go.

So, until I can harness the power of commercial magic for my own tresses, I’m going to stick with what seems to be working right now.

 

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes, though all opinions are completely those of me and my hair.

The Internet Gets Me Every Time | November 13th Edition

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1 | Sometimes we need to be reminded to “just keep swimming”. And next summer we’ll get it with Finding Dory.

2 | If you need another reason to dance, listen to Missy Elliott’s latest, “WTF.”

3 | As we’re in the season of thanks, here’s 8 uncommon ways to show your gratitude.

4 | It’s also soup season and here are a few recipes I’ve been eating up recently: Quinoa Veggie Tuscan & White Bean & Chicken Tortilla

5 | Shameless plug time. I’ve been super busy at work, and one of the things I’ve been creating is a Toast to Sinatra’s 100th Birthday (he would’ve been 100 on 12/12/15). Check it out and share a toast on Instagram.