This month kind of felt like a cheater month… I carried May along into June and did no new work on my word. (although the end of the month saw me full of FRAGE thank you, Nadia Bolz-Weber for defining my feelings so eloquently.) Knowing that was coming made the month feel like something was hanging over us all…and sadly, that feeling of more impending doom has not abated. And so you will see that this month I did no work with my word. I coasted on May’s work. Although, I did make a synopsis of where I have been with my word, and this was the exactly what I needed this month from Ali Edward’s team.
I have spent half the year, thinking about what filling myself means…what does it look like as I navigate life. I spent time thinking about being full versus being empty and I realized that there needs to be some empty in my life to appreciate full… and that led me to contemplating being content with what I have… realizing that I do not need every new thing to fill my days. Perhaps the best of all was the idea of stepping outside the frame to see the whole picture and that was such a joyful discovery!
Which brings me to May… and slowing down. I loved it! (Thank you May for providing the perfect thing to carry along with me!)
So a bit of my slow down June:
I took a new approach to gardening this year… no big veggie garden. But rather a few tomato plants in containers… which are doing incredibly well! This is good on a number of levels… first, I don’t mind being the “solo gardener” my containers of a few tomatoes and my few flower containers. The second bonus is that there is no longer the “water argument” with Steve. He complained every single day about how much I watered the garden. These containers are turning out to be the perfect way to fill my garden longings!
Next, I have been setting aside about 45 minutes each day to practice painting. Sometimes, I just watch a video, sometimes I play with colors (this is where I need the most work… oh boy, lol) and sometimes I actually paint! This is absolutely the best thing I am filling my days with and I have no plans on stopping. (FYI, for all of you who are looking for a bit of inspiration… Rick Surowicz has a plethora of free classes on his YouTube page. You are welcome!)
Finally, I am embracing a “rules free” summer of reading and that also feels so good! So reading, yes and lots of it! But it is all stress-free reading…which is exactly what reading should be!
As always, I want to thank Carolyn for providing a landing place for us all to share our progress. The Blogging Word Community is one that inspires me every single month!
See you all back here on Wednesday with some making (and reading, of course!)
This month was a month full of “ah-ha” moments. So many.
In fact, this month was so full, I even found a theme song… listen if you like and see what I discovered this month! The song starts at 1:40… (but if you listen to the bit of the talk before the song I found something magical there…do what you love, every day!)
Slow down, you’re doing fine. You can’t be everything you want to be before your time. — Billy Joel, Vienna
This month I contemplated what I am filling my time with. Do I over think? (Yes…) Do I under think? (Again, yes…) Do I think at all? (Oof… sometimes I don’t)
And then that quote… slow down, you’re doing fine.
I finally read Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks, and while there were some very repetitive bits, there were some very good nuggets waiting for me there and, if I am blessed to live to 80, that leaves me with just 968 weeks to fill.
And with those numbers in mind I am going to feel less guilt about “not doing all the things” … I know, but in choosing to not do all the things, I will have time to do the important things… without guilt.
The other thing I struggle with is FOMO… no, not fear of missing out… my FOMO is my fear of messing up. That perfection issue I have… and one of those little nuggets Burkeman shared was some wisdom from Rilke:
…the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. ―
Live the questions now. Gosh, what incredible advice…because I might not have the answer until tomorrow, or next week, or next month. Or, perhaps… never... and that is okay!
This kind of thinking has absolutely changed how I am thinking about my days… the lists I make (or don’t make and really… not making lists, my gosh it is freeing!)
And so what did I do with all the extra time I found this month… what did I do with the four weeks that May gave me? I slowed down… drastically.
I signed up for an art class… water colors… and I am loving the time I spend there every day. Why is it so good? Well because I am messing up… lots! What better way to overcome that fear than just messing up, right?
And there you have my very full May… full of so many ah-ha moments. And that is exactly what I want… to be full of the things that matter.
A huge thanks to Carolyn for providing a space for us all to share the discoveries we made this month!
See you all back here on Wednesday!
Four months into my word and I really am surprised at the Full Discoveries that April brought! When I began this journey with full I considered “being full” to have distinct boundaries. Either you are full… or you are not…and with that idea in mind, I began to look at what was full in my life and what needed more…fullness.
But what if full does not have distinct boundaries? What if it is less a feeling and more an experience?
And so I began thinking about what that would look like…what it might change… and, especially, what that would feel like.
The only people who see the whole picture are the ones who step outside the frame. ― The Ground Beneath Her Feet
What if the best part of full is when I step outside of full…or the boundaries I think belong to full?
I can tell you that even just thinking about this changed the way I consider things…and perhaps the best way to explain this is through the photographer’s lens.
Bonny hoped last week that I had taken more photos while at Presque Isle… and while I did take some photos (which I will share later this week… I promise!) I did not take as many photos as I had in previous visits… rather I spent more time looking beyond the frame. Seeing and experiencing more by spending a lot less time looking through my iPhone and it was so invigorating.
My “a-ha moment” was this: every minute does not need to be filled with doing something but instead by stepping into the moment, living in the moment… whatever the moment is… and in changing that one little thing I experienced so much more than I ever had before!
So here I am today… on the Monday-est of Mondays: Re-entry Monday… ugh!
I am wondering if that kind of full can only be had on vacation… you know, when there is not a normal routine or the usual task list of things that must be done. I speak from experience because in the lead up to vacation, I over-filled my days. I tried to do more each day – spring cleaning PLUS regular cleaning, and sewing, and knitting, and reading, and…I think you get the idea.
And you know what, although this is Perfect Vision Hindsight…very little of that was necessary…and if I had stepped into the day and looked at it completely rather than from my “list view” I might have realized that sooner (sans hindsight).
This month brought me so much to think about and I am going to step into May and be more conscious (and maybe more full?) of the moments (and hopefully less full of the unnecessary) on my journey to full!
A huge thanks to Carolyn for hosting us on our One Little Word journeys.
See you all back here on Wednesday!
We need much less than we think we need. ―
This month I have contemplated full from a different perspective… rather than comparing it to emptiness, I considered contentment.
And Maya is so very correct… I need much less than I think I need.
The Less is More concept is a foreign one to me because… being a True American…I always want the next best thing. Rather than being content with the overabundance that I have, I am quickly distracted to that next thing… (Hello to all my fellow Band Wagon Jumpers!)
So this month I slowed down, I thought more, and I waited longer to make impulse decisions.
Perhaps Pandemic Living had already set my feet on the path to slowing down and thinking about decisions. Yet, I still jumped on a Band Wagon or two recently… and lived to regret doing so. And that was after thinking about that decision for a number of days. So I increased the wait time… drastically. And low and behold… the urge eventually passed for almost all the things that I thought I desperately needed.
Instead of filling up with more things, this month I focused on being Full of Contentment. I spent some time with March Madness. I sewed… and worked on liking the necessary process required to get to the point of sewing. I read some unexpected books thanks to not having an entirely full Book Queue which allows me to do some “spur of the moment” reading. I gave my self permission to let go of perfection and played with water colors… and loved every imperfect second of it! I pulled out yarn from my stash and cast on for a summer sweater that I had been contemplating *buying yarn to knit*! And there was even a healthy dose of Bonus Contentment when I got gauge… The Knitting Gods were smiling! I put contentment in my Daily Gratitude Journal… more than once. It is a good reminder that more is not better… and contentment is exactly enough!
I am really loving this process of looking at what full means and I am eager to continue this journey in April!
A huge thanks to Carolyn for hosting us this month! See you all back here on Wednesday!
At the atomic level, the glass is 99.99% empty space. Hope this helps. ―
This month I have spent time thinking about the opposite of my word and while there are many antonyms for full, but I have focused on empty this month… and what is lacking, missing, needing a bit more of.
And I also considered what is overly full…overflowing as it were.
Of course the list of empty is significant… but perhaps that is always the case. After all, we gravitate to the things that we like, things we do best, things that are easy… so yes, there is lots that is empty.
But in making my list, I discovered that there are some things that are empty because not because I don’t like those things… but rather it is because I am not making time for them.
And once I got to the time quotient… oh boy. Yeah. I began to look at my empty and full minutes, and you know what… I waste lots and lots of time. Doomscrolling is the main culprit… Open app and before you know it an hour has just vanished…Hello Twitter, IG, and even web browsing (looking for recipes is a category unto itself…sigh) I am looking at you.
Now, I do not believe that cramming every single thing you can into your number of waking minutes equals a satisfied fullness… sadly, I think it is the exact opposite. You know… the full you feel after Thanksgiving Dinner Full… too much, uncomfortable, ready for a nap full that might be good once a year, but on a daily basis… hoo boy, not how I want my minutes to feel like. Instead of trying to cram more in… I have stepped back and really examined why I am wasting time… i.e. what am I really avoiding.
Yeah, that… avoidance is such an insidious thing!
And so this month I began to look at my day and how I spend it. Actually, I began thinking about this way back in January, but I have really spent time tweaking it more this month.
I am not a fan of lists, although I always had a lengthy list of “must do’s” and… confession time… so many things I put on the list always got moved to the next week because they were not completed. And those things just kept moving from list to list… but!! I had them on a list, and sadly, that is as far as it went.
So back in January I began trying a new way of “list making”… and it is having some good success, especially with the tweaks I have made this month! My new lists… “start” – “progress” – “finish”
When I began this in January I was of the mindset that each list needed to have the same amount of things… balanced, as it were… Oh boy, that was a big wake up! By the end of January… Progress and Finish were not having much success, and they kept growing…and approaching the the same result of what I was trying to get away from… lists that exist, but they are perpetual… same things, different week.
So I started by not putting anything on my Start List… it was gloriously empty. Which allowed me to work on Progress and Finish…with much greater success.
And suddenly, the lists are no longer the enemy… they are becoming partners in making my time count for something better than being wasted.
A month with less empty minutes is a very good thing! (and I hope that this leads to days that are more full!)
I want to thank Carolyn profoundly this month… she has kept her link up open even for very late stragglers (me!) But really, you should go and see what others have learned this month in their word journey!
See you all back here on Wednesday!
Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt. — Lao Tzu
My process of unpacking full…. has been full of defining – thinking – and writing. I really love full as an adjective: not lacking or omitting anything; complete. And in order to achieve that, I need focus on using full as a verb: make (something) full; fill up.
Okay… so at this point, you might get the idea that I am thinking this year is going to be incredibly easy! (and after all that work from last year, there is a part of me that thinks that I have earned an “easy” word!) All I need to do is fill my days… right? Seems too easy on the surface… and if you scratch a bit deeper… being full does not necessarily mean one is happy. Or to borrow from my previous words… it does not mean focused, intentional living. Because I spent a year working on releasing some very not good things that were filling my life.
And then I began gathering full quotes… and Lao Tzu’s wisdom just jumped off the page and grabbed me! And it is there that I started really thinking about what Mary Oliver might have meant in these lines from The Summer Day: “Tell me, what else should I have done?”
And I am beginning to see that being full does not necessarily mean being full up to the top.
These are the questions I have been mulling over this month as I start this new journey to being full. And as January winds down (how is there only a week left in this month??) and I contemplate what else do I want to fill this month with. Or perhaps the better question is what does not need anymore filling?
I want to thank Carolyn again for hosting us this year and for providing the tools to begin this process.
See you all back here on Wednesday for some very fun Unraveling!