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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. 

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?

Tributes Get Me Every Time

As many of you might know, I teach dance at a consortium of local colleges, called Colleges of The Fenway. While I took this past semester off, I still was able to attend the show. It was quite the treat because it’s actually the first time I’ve watched the show from the audience—I’m typically backstage calling the shots and keeping everyone (mostly) in line.

The first video here is from one of my fellow teachers, and my friend, Kristen. Her group danced this lovely piece, titled “Angels” in memory of our little girl. (Yes, I cried through the whole thing.) It was a beautiful tribute.

But it didn’t stop there…

A group of dancers from previous semesters (and who I look forward to seeing again in January) put together this jazz/tap mix for me. They took a bunch of steps we’ve done over the past 4 years and put them into this one piece. It was amazing awesome and truly moving. (Yes, I cried AND laughed through the whole thing.)

Thank you to my amazing dancers (and bloggers and coworkers and friends and family) for supporting me during the good times and bad.

The Happiness Contagion Gets Me Every Time

via: emojis irl lol

There’s this quote from John Cusack’s character, Lloyd, from the hit 80s film, Say Anything,

Get in a good mood. How hard is it to decide to be in a good mood and be in a good mood?

Happiness. It’s contagious you guys. This isn’t new, groundbreaking information. Think of how you feel when you’re smiling and someone smiles back at you. And how you end up feeling when you’re not smiling until you look at someone who is smiling. That. That feeling of happiness that comes out of nowhere and gets all up in your business.

So, “the happiness contagion” is actually something that I think about often while around others, say, in the office. You can either be the guy who’s usually a little grumpy, or you can be the person who when asked how your day is going, you simply respond, “best damn day of my life.” Because why not? You’re here. You’re alive. You’re employed.

Now, that grumpy person. Imagine they come bouncing into the office today in a good mood. You’d be surprised, right? But think of how that might affect your mood. It would probably make you happy. Or happier, if you were already drinking the sunshine-flavored Kool-Aid this morning.

In a world with so much bad—seriously, just turn on the news—it’s so much better to just choose happy. And if you think you can’t find anything to be happy about, hello, that’s what the internet is for. For instance, Real Life Emojis, seen above. Or baby animals. Or free overnight shipping on almost anything from any website ever… because that’s a thing these days, people.

No one can force you to be happy. Not me, not the baby animals and certainly not the robots that make shipping automation happen. But for today, and well, for any day, really, I’m going to ask you to get in a good mood. This is my way, today, of spreading the happiness through the written word. How else can we spread happiness today?

 

Journals (+ Writing Prompts) Get Me Every Time

Some Journals for starting 2015 | Gets Me Every Time

Yesterday I mentioned my top 5 reasons to journal. And well, that bonus #6 item got me scouring the internet for my next journal.* So, here are six of my top finds to fill with your greatest, or worst, memories, ideas and thoughts. (PS. These make great gifts too!)

one | two | three | four | five | six

Sometimes when I blog or journal,  I follow daily writing prompts, but I also love the idea of following one journal prompt to fill an entire journal. I brainstormed some that were really awful, some that might be good enough to turn into books and some just fun ones. So, above, some journals to fill. And below, some journal prompts to fill them with:

Journal Prompts for 2015 | Gets Me Every Time

  1. “This is what I dreamt last night”
  2. “The Dailys” (outfits, meals, movies watched, placed visited, exercise routine… etc.)
  3. “If I were a…” (Fill in with a dream occupation)
  4. Changing the world one page at a time (Ideas of how you’d change daily norms.)
  5. “My name is…” (Change your name, and write about your fictional life)
  6. “This one time during my childhood” (Write down as many childhood memories as you can.)
  7. “If I had a million dollars” (A different outcome every day)
  8. “Objects in my home” (Write the story of all the things you have collected in your home)
  9. “People I’ve met” (Start with your family, your friends, your coworkers, then go to the bus driver, your dry cleaning guy, etc… document their places in your life.)
  10. “An invitation to dinner” (A series of dinner invitations to anyone you want, what you’d serve and how it’d go.)

*NOTE, I have a drawer full of empty journals that I’ve been hoarding over the years, so I’m just going to admire these through the screen!

Slow Sunday Links Get Me Every Time

Gene Kelly on GMET

Another day, another week, another handful of links for you guys. The weekends here have become pretty lazy as we descend deeper into fall. But after rainy weeks, I’ll take these sunny weekend days so we can get in a few more evenings of grilling out.

Above, for those who have mistaken my concentration face for a pissed off face. “It’s just my face,” and apparently it’s genetic.

 Life lessons learned from blogging we don’t all blog, but we do all live

Yet another sliding door project but I like how this one’s not like all the others

How to build your tribe extra points because it uses the phrase “ugly cry”

AND why you should hang with people you admire total truth

Capsule collection podcast because it’s all the rage and my fashion sense is nonexistent

Do you have a habits manifesto? I didn’t even know I needed one… do I?

All the Podcasts Get Me Every Time

Morning Walk Daisies | Gets Me Every Time

Remember a few weeks ago when I was trying to figure out how to keep up with all the reading I want to be doing? Well, now you know all the reading includes throwing in a baby book or two, which makes it even more difficult to get to the “just for fun” reading.

Enter Podcasts. 

One of the things I’ve been trying to do the past few months is get in a daily walk. For a while walking and listening to music was fine. But a couple weeks in, I was getting bored with the same songs, same route, same, same, same.

And then I remember someone telling me they listened to the Jess Lively podcast while at the gym. So, I thought I’d give it a chance. And I liked it.

I liked it so much I had caught up on all the episodes and needed something else to listen to.

Well, this spiraled into a iTunes search, a web search and a lot of downloading podcasts to my phone.

Here’s what’s in my current playlist:

The Lively Show
Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me! (NPR)
The Solopreneur Hour
Elise Gets Crafty
After the Jump (Grace Bonney, DesignSponge)
Your Kick-Ass Life
The Accidental Creative

Oh, and the best part… these are all free. And there are hundreds and hundreds more where they came from.

Are you on the podcast bandwagon? What should I be listening to?

Reasons To Blog Get Me Every Time

WhyWeWrite

 

Sometimes, when I’m not blogging often, I think about why I started this blog in the first place. It was to create a place where I could write, and write just for me. You can read more about that, if you’re so inclined.

While the reason I started this blog was to write more hasn’t changed, it has evolved into reasons. Tonight, I’ll see some of my “blogging friends” and they’re another one of the reasons I keep blogging—the community, as in anything, keeps me going. One of those bloggers is Alex, who was the inspiration for this post, actually. (Thanks, girl. See ya soon!) Like Alex, I too like to write to commemorate events, remember trips and document life.

Also, I’ve figured out, and maybe this is what that mentor was trying to get at all along, that when I’m personally creatively satisfied, it’s easier to be creative at work. I’m fortunate that I have many creative outlets, but when trying to write professionally, the words always flow more easily when I’ve gotten my own words out of the way.

Lastly, I blog for you guys, my readers. Whether that’s one or 1,000. I blog to keep in touch, to share what’s new in my life with friends and family across the country/world. So, if I haven’t mentioned it recently, thanks for reading. Thanks for keeping me going.

PS. I found that great quote, but I had to look up the author too. Looks like I might add Anais Nin to my reading list.

Color Choices Get Me Every Time

ColorChoices_GMETCW from top left: BM Calm | BM Athena | BM Sidewalk Gray

As you now know, we are getting ready to move, but first, we want to get a couple fresh coats of paint on the wall. We started in gray land. We looked at blueish grays, purply grays, reddish grays, greenish grays and some gray grays. But then, we started to look at colors with more brown undertones. Something in the “almost white but not too white” category.

After several hours pouring over more than several paint swatches in various lighting scenarios, we settled on three colors to get samples of to test out on the walls. We’re painting our bedroom, our living area and our kitchen. And we are leaning toward two of these three colors. Can you guess which? Or do you have a favorite?

I’ll let you know what we chose soon, along with some stellar before and after pictures.

PS, the fourth swatch (behind the green text) is Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace. An almost white, but not stark white… there’s a place for that too. Also, don’t worry, this blog isn’t going 100% home decor—more crafts, burgers and the like to come.