A Year of Intentional Living | December 2020

A Year of Intentional Living | December 2020

I am joining Honoré to close out my word of 2020.

Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen Hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is. — Mary Anne Radmacher

This quote has served me very well this year… today, I am not sure if I picked it, or if it picked me. But these words became so important each day of this year. I almost gave up on this word early on in Pandemic Days, but I am glad that I stuck with it and finally stopped fighting it long enough to truly learn something.

December I purposefully lived with intention every single day. And my days included bits of all of Mary Anne’s advice! I listened. I practiced wellness. I played with abandon (thank you AC for really helping in this category! lol) I laughed… so much. I learned some new things this month and as a result knit the best fitting sock I have ever knit!

Perhaps December is the easiest month to “do what you love” but I really leaned in to the joys of this season. I sang along with all the Christmas songs. I nurtured my inner child and watched The Grinch (both the Boris Karloff and the Jim Carrey versions!)

I savored every phone call… the ones full of laughter, the ones full of uncertainty, and the ones full of frustration and tears… and instead of wishing things were different right now, I practiced living as if this is all there is. And while I have always understood that this is living – it somehow clicked in a different way this month. And I realized that those parts… well they are the parts that walk you to the edge. It is not about living dangerously, but rather living fully. I don’t think I would have even begun to grasp that concept in a “normal year” because I think this was the year for truly learning about being intentional and making it part of my life… an integral part.

But the question I have been thinking about for longer than December is where do I go from here. I started this word journey sort of haphazardly. No thought went into the first couple of words. My first word in 2016 was Gratitude (yet I could find no blog posts at all showing that I even spent any time at all learning anything about gratitude) and then in 2017 I spent the year with Joy. There are a couple of posts about that, but still no thought about why I might pick joy. And so, because I just really did not “get” the impact a word could have, I did not pick a word in 2018. However, as the year moved on something curious began to happen. A word started showing up (or maybe I just started paying attention) there were some inspirational emails that talked about it, and there were so many quotes! So I started 2019 with a new word Focus! It was a glorious year. I learned so much. I grew so much. It was exactly what I needed.

Intentional living came to me much the same way… inspirational emails, passages in books, and my focus led me there. So where will Intentional Living lead me? Two words kept circling round my brain – authenticity and vulnerability. They seemed to be the right next step, but something just felt off about both of them. The more I spent time with those words… pondering them… the more unsettled I became. And in November the big answer came for me. Yes those are simply brilliant words and likely a lovely step from Intentional Living, but I knew that there was some heavy work I had to do before I could get to those words. And that heavy work… well, it’s all about release…

release [ ri-lees ] noun
a freeing or releasing from confinement, obligation, pain, emotional strain, etc.

Just the thing I have been avoiding my entire life. I am not sure how much of this journey I want to share here, but my hope is to share the process of realease rather than the things being released. And of all people, Goldie Hawn’s words of wisdom will give me some guidance.

“If we can just let go and trust that things will work out the way they’re supposed to, without trying to control the outcome, then we can begin to enjoy the moment more fully. The joy of the freedom it brings becomes more pleasurable than the experience itself.” ― Goldie Hawn

I hope you will continue follow along on this journey to see where it takes me!

Finally, I would like to thank Honoré for hosting us this year!

You can see all of my Intentional Journey here.

100 Days of Hope | Week One

100 Days of Hope | Week One

When I got the first email about the Winter Solstice Project I thought that I did not need one more thing. But then the second email came, and I began to think more about the idea of a weekly project. The idea grew and felt like this is something I need to do in my week. So once a week – until March 20th – I am going to share some thoughts on hope.

Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us. — Samuel Smiles

This week the journey toward the sun began again, each day bring a tiny bit more light. For me this year, has felt like that… each day a bit darker than the day before and I have forgotten what hope looks like. I have forgotten that if I look carefully, there are tiny bits of hope every day… bits I miss because I am focused on the darkness. So Monday I started paying attention and here are some things that gave me hope this week:

A Mourning Dove who reminds me that hope can be a thing with feathers.
A 50 degree day in December.
A rosy sunrise after a long week of grey days.
The notification that a long waited for book is ready for pick up!
The promise of snow on Christmas.
Discovering On Being’s Experience Poetry 
Dr. Fauci
and this wisdom…it really struck a chord with me.

I wish you all a Blessed Christmas. See you back here next week!

Photo by Egor Kamelev from Pexels

Unraveled Wednesday | 12.23.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 12.23.20

The week of selfish knitting has begun and my heart is singing with the joy of it! I have cast on a new sock in a new way of knitting for me…toe up. And so far so good. I am not yet to the heel, but I am in no rush. I am savoring each selfish stitch!

I finished those darling dinosaurs! And I can’t wait to see Winston playing with them! (FaceTime for now, but hopefully I will see him in person before they become passé!)

I also finished some very late (but extremely large) socks. I have enough left over yarn though to make a pair of Han Solo Socks for Winston! (Smart me to knit the heels and toes in a complimentary color!)

The reading this week though… I could have lingered longer with Obama’s book, but it was due back to the library and the waitlist is exceedingly long, so getting back quickly was not an option. Mary asked what speed I listened at… I listened at 1.25 and laughed hilariously at some of the daughter comments about how he speaks slowly. Yes, yes he does!

The House by the Lake: One House, Five Families, and a Hundred Years of German HistoryThe House by the Lake: One House, Five Families, and a Hundred Years of German History by Thomas Harding
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One house…almost. One piece of land, for sure. What a fascinating story, excellently woven together. The connections, the “wait, what?” moments kept me engaged. The only thing that keeps me from giving this 5-stars is that it needed some editing, I think. It had parts that just dragged a bit, but still, this is a great story. If you like history… read this book. If you like stories about complex families…read this book. I recommend it highly!

A Promised LandA Promised Land by Barack Obama
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This might be the best memoir I have ever listened to. Read by President Obama, he shares incredible detail from his campaign, election, and his first four years. I laughed, I cried, and I was just enthralled listening to Obama. No drama Obama? Perhaps, but boy is this book is full of rich, smart, engaging stories. It made me long for the days of then… badly. I highly recommend the audio version of this book. Hearing Obama read makes this book.

Light of the World: A Beginner's Guide to AdventLight of the World: A Beginner’s Guide to Advent by Amy-Jill Levine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes, the thing you need most is a new voice talking about a very familiar time. Amy-Jill Levine is that voice, and her thoughts and input are most welcome. She brought new light to my Advent and for that I am deeply appreciative. If you are looking for a new voice, I highly suggest AJ Levine.

Next week, I will be sharing my best books of the year and I might even do a bit of a review of my year of making.

As always – if you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below! And thank you!

Monday Magic | 12.21.20

Monday Magic | 12.21.20

I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel. — Charlie Brown

I don’t know about you, but this is truly the Charlie Browniest Christmas ever because this is definitely the feel in my house this year. Steve has talked about it, my kids are talking about it. And I am sure as heck feeling it.

So what’s a body to do when you don’t feel the way you are supposed to? My “Modus Operandi” is to ignore, avoid, and squelch down all those “not happy feelings” and it works, for awhile anyways. Until that last straw arrives and then… whoosh. The dam is broken and ignoring and avoiding are no longer possible. The dam broke for me last week… and it was okay. I was not swept away. Yes, there were tears – lots of them. Yes, there was some fist shaking anger at all this. But it was okay. And while I would not call my current attitude “happy,” it is close. And better than that, today I am absolutely at peace.

And!!! That light at the end of the tunnel has not diminished at all! I listened to this cheerful little podcast on Sunday and my hope is growing! (and I laughed, which really helps that happy attitude…lots!) I am so thankful for all the brilliant scientists… they have made my hope grow and grow and grow!

This was a very sobering Google Doodle on Sunday. But this team gives me so much hope! Won’t it feel good to have people in the White House that have the same concerns about our planet as we do?

Finally, Clara Parkes shared this video earlier this month and I just loved it. It was the perfect thing to put on the television to watch while I knit. And!! Sherman also loves it! But did you know there are a couple dozen videos on the Movie Squirrel YouTube site?? This truly is magic and brings me such joy watching, especially this one, which is perfect for Christmas Week! Sherman and I wish you much joy as you watch!

I will be back on Wednesday, to share a bit of knitting and reading!

Unraveled Wednesday | 12.16.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 12.16.20

Greetings Unravelers!

Is the rapidly approaching Christmas adding stress to your season? I am progressing nicely on my few Christmas makes, so my stress level is low! On Monday, I had the most curious dream and so in-between laundry, I started going through my scrap fabric bin to see what I might find. Tuesday I sat down at the sewing machine and voilà!

This antique doll cradle has been in my home since before my girls! They used it for years, but for some time now it has just sat collecting dust in my home and it is time that a new generation plays with it! So I made a new bed and a wee pillow, and a linen sheet, because why not! The best part? The tiny quilt! I had made this piece in 1992 and entered it in the Tulip Time Quilt Show were it won second place. It is paper-piecing, and hand quilted and although the red fabrics have bled a bit over the years with washing, I don’t think it detracts too much. It was well used – the girls used it for their dolls and now it will warm Vivi’s!

On my list today is to finish a pair of Little Dino’s for Winston! I have one started, so they are “underway”!!

Sadly, I do not have any reading updates this week, but I am deeply immersed in A Promised Land! It is so good! Although, I am quite sure I’d listen to Obama read me the telephone book! It is fascinating hearing him talk about all the things!

That is all I have for today, as always – if you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below and thank you!

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