Day four of My January Rest and it seems like it has been weeks! Why? Because choosing to “rest” from certain activities, especially those you really like, want, or even perhaps need, can be challenging! I’ve said it is like picking a fight with your flesh and your flesh is like a two-year old toddler who’s screaming, “MINE! I want THAT!” At least that is what mine sounds like sometimes.
So what do Candy Crush, Real Simple and feta cheese have to do with anything? Well, I’m out of feta. And it just happens to be a staple in this house to go along with my homemade balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing. They work together just so, and I’m out! The truth is that I prefer feta for my salads, but I have other cheeses. That was challenge number one. Two, on the 1st, I was going to kill time and went to get my tablet…to play a couple lives worth of Candy Crush. Overall, I’m not a game player, but I have a crush on Candy Crush! As I started up the stairs, I remembered my thought of resting from playing for the month. I stopped in my tracks and turned around. I won that battle. Sometimes I simply forget, but this time I remembered and chose to walk away. Besides, I am going to need that 15 minutes a day to spend learning to blog!! I’ve been clean for four days now, but I ate some Nerds instead:)
Temptation three was reaching for the Real Simple magazine. Hey, this Rest thing is about making life more simple, but I put it down. One of my goals is to avoid reading any magazine, sales flyers (online or snail mail), junk mail, or even some of the routine things I do read. Why? To rest from consumerism and timely, trendy stuff in order to spend reading more timeless materials. I stacked up the magazines and removed them from the logical go-to sites. AND, replaced them with books that I’ve wanted to get around to reading. You would be surprised how many books you can get through a few pages at a sitting;o
In life there are good and bad choices. I’ve heard it said that it really is about choosing between good and what’s best. I’ve adopted a good, better, best mindset. If I tried change and upgrade to best in every category at once, I would implode (ok, think about swapping ALL foods for organic, free range, locally grown, gluten-free, etc immediately.) And that is only about food. We are all on a journey, one step and one bite at a time. I’m not anywhere near the best food list–did I mention that I ate Nerds tonight? But, I am seeking to make good, better and best choices, one day at a time. The trick is replacement. When you stop one thing, if you don’t replace it with something better, you will either go back to the old or perhaps even another worse choice. That is why I like thinking of choices as good, better or best.
I haven’t had to do anything heroic yet, like give up coffee because I ran out, but it is only day 4. While making Shepherd’s Pie out of leftovers, I found a block of cream cheese dated February 2013 (ew) and promptly threw it away. I was grateful to find fresh cheese available. Seeing if the squash that is in bad shape, is still edible, might border on heroic.
I’ve begun my February shopping list and feta went on the top. I’ve avoided a lunch out and had hot chocolate in, instead. And when my friend and I discussed getting together to eat out in February instead of January, she said, “We don’t have to go out!” She is helping me reach my goals and I won’t have to ditch my friends OR wait until February. I got gift cards to the Coffee Hound for a Christmas gift–for locals, that is my favorite, ever! So, I can get my cup before going to the studio to paint. And, I asked my daughter if she knew what month it was and she said, “January.” And I asked if she remembers what we do in January to which she replied, “But it is YOUR January Rest, right!?” to which I agreed, but reminded her that I feed her:). I told her we could go out once this month to eat, because we gave her a Christmas coupon to eat out. And, I avoided the temptation to take my girl to the movie. She was going with some friends and they had to cancel. I felt sorry, but then realized it was ok and that I was resting from spending…so, I didn’t say anything, and had peace at not going and not spending. I plan on reviewing some of those emails that I never get around to reading (that I signed up for) and store emails…and unsubscribe from them. Saying no to reading them, and still having to deal with them, makes me realize how many I haven’t kept up with. Same with the magazines. Last year I did not renew any and I think I haven’t gotten any new for a while now and I still have some in plastic!
I’m working on using things up, peeking into cabinets and pantries and looking for things tucked away and forgotten. I think I’ll break out our china, just because.
Last year I recall having several cancellations over the first couple of weeks which gave me some extra quiet time. I’ve already had two cancellations this year and with the storm coming, we might have a couple more. Next Tuesday, I am taking a large block of time for a quiet retreat to think, process and pray. I’m loving January since I’ve begun this tradition. It makes me think, re-evaluate the standard quo, and I find I appreciate what I have more…especially the freedom I have and the relationships.
It’s started to snow. The storms beginning. I am safe and warm and I thank God.
I love your blog, Angel! “Good, better and best” is wonderful self-talk language. Thank you for sharing it here. I like framing choices that way better than, “should or shouldn’t.” Even if the decision making process is the same, the language is preferable. I am thankful for the restful time in your studio Friday night spent visiting with you and your wonderful daughter during the First Friday art walk.
Love the challenge Angel, of January Rest. It will definitely help me line up with my “word” this year regardless if I chose abide or surrender. You gave me some reminders of things I had forgotten about the month of rest. Thank you friend ❤
Lynette, thanks for sharing your word for the year! I just heard this concept over Christmas and then another friend said she heard about it and then you shared–that’s three. I might have to land on a word after January OR keep “rest” as a way of life. In the spiritual realm, rest is trusting in Him to do and partnering with Him instead of striving. So, it could be my word!
This is a wonderful post, Angel. Thanks for sharing and inspiring others (like me). But give up coffee? I think I would have been out shopping on New Years Eve to stock up!
Thank you Janean! That lingo has helped and like you said, it keeps me from the negatives and “shoulding” myself. I have never been motivated, much, by negatives. It was wonderful having time with you and loved your sketch in my Christmas sketch book!
Thanks Jen!! I am SO excited to be doing this. LOVED our conversation last year about how vulnerable writing can be. It was a great time of processing and sharing. I almost didn’t start the blog, but, I felt compelled and I am having a blast. I appreciate your kind encouragement. It means so much.