meditation thoughts

LOVEMy personal meditation practice has thus far been one of ebbs and flows; in a definite ebb the past few weeks. One of my “recharging” strategies is a monthly meditation class at the yoga studio that I like so much. Meditation with a group vs meditation alone is such a different experience. Both are beneficial and I love them in equal measure. Yesterday I joined the small class for an hour of guided meditation/movement and this morning I sat alone for seven minutes. Each method is a win in spite of the vast difference in duration and format.

I find that when I haven’t meditated for several days, coming back to it is a welcome homecoming but my mind is much more active and jumpy than if I stick with it for longer stretches. That’s normal I suppose and I am a believer that meditation takes practice to reap optimal benefits, even though the irony is that there is no wrong or right way to do it. It is about finding what works best for you; sitting in the traditional cross-legged position or legs outstretched, seated in a chair, standing up, laying down, or a walking meditation. You really can be mindful wherever you are and in whatever you are doing.

During yesterday’s class my mind was a whirl, my feet kept falling asleep, and my back ached. And yet, I came away refreshed and in a better mental state than when I had entered the doors of the studio an hour earlier. I received further confirmation that I was practicing in the right place for me when our teacher read from a book of one of my favorite meditation practitioners, Tara Brach, and reminded us that there is no right or wrong way to meditate. Your mind will wander and thoughts will come and go. Meditation is a process of coming back to yourself, over and over again.

You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes a day, unless you are too busy. Then you should sit for an hour. ~Zen Proverb

Stitch Fix vs. Gwynnie Bee

I used to really like shopping. When the right mood struck I’d take a few hours to myself and hit up my favorite retail havens to try on this and that and curse dressing room lighting and my hips. Because that’s loads o’ fun, right? Over the past couple of years though, I’m finding myself either falling out of love with the hunt for the perfect pair of pants, or I’m just getting old, lazy, and prefer convenience over time consuming browsing. These days I’m more into shopping online, with a twist. The twist being services like StitchFix and Gwynnie Bee.

A friend clued me in to StitchFix about a year and a half ago and the concept is pretty cool. You sign up for an account, fill out a detailed style questionnaire, take your measurements, hand over the almighty credit card number, and wait for the goodies to arrive. The goodies being a box of five pieces of clothing, including maybe a handbag or a piece of jewelry in the mix. You schedule your “fixes” as often as you like and give feedback on pieces you buy and ones you decide to send back. There’s a monthly styling fee and then you pay for pieces you keep, with a discount if you buy all five in the box.

Gwynngeometricie Bee is somewhat similar except that you get to browse the clothes online and then choose what to put in your “closet” (with StitchFix, a stylist picks for you based on your answers to the style questions, so you never know what you’re getting until it arrives), and depending on the plan you chose, they mail you one or more selections from your virtual closet. You keep the item(s) for as long as you want and can either purchase or send it back and GB immediately sends you another selection from your closet. Its worth noting that some people are wigged out that you are wearing clothes that other people have worn but GB cleans everything and I see no difference in that vs putting on clothes in a dressing room that have been tried on by strangers and haven’t been cleaned. Live dangerously people, live dangerously. Personally, I like the “renting” option because I tire of things quickly (shut up) so sending it back and trading it in for something different is right up my fickle alley.

Overall, I really like both services but have recently put a hold on my SF for now and have switched to GB, primarily due to sizing. I was on the very upper end of size ranges that SF provides, and am on the lower end of GB’s size range. Stitch Fix’s largest available size is about a 12/14. Gwynnie Bee starts at around a size 10 and goes up. I’m in a weird in-between place and some SF things would fit alright and some would just make me curse and then weep. So far I’ve received two GB items and they have fit perfectly. I am happy to say that I’ve lost 7 lbs teal printover the past month, so I’m not sure how long GB will work for me, but I’ll return to SF when the time comes. Options in all things folks…good for the soul.

I totally dig the whole subscription clothing concept. I like the element of surprise, getting a package with something fun in it just for me, “shopping” from the comfort of my home and my pajamas, and eliminating dressing room drama are all wins in my book. There are other services out there besides the two I talk about here…Golden Tote, Fabletics, and The Ms. Collection are ones I’ve heard of but haven’t tried. Yet.

The pics here (click to embiggen) are the two dresses I’ve received from GB so far. Sometimes being a girl is really awesome.

Peas ‘n carrots.
Finn

the nothing that turned into a post

I think of a jillion things to write about here during the day or when I’m in the shower or otherwise not at the keyboard. Then when I sit down to write, my mind goes blank and all I can think of is what I ate for lunch or what I did at work today. And who wants to read about that? Anywho. Brains love to shut down when you need them most.

I was thinking today about how incongruent my age is with my career (and I use that term very loosely). Meaning, I’m surrounded by younger people who are in higher level positions than I am. The other day I overheard someone say how they had “just turned 31″ and today another person was complaining about how they were “nearly a 30 year old woman with a good job and a house…” and apparently weren’t being treated as such by their parents. Yes, you know I rolled my eyes.

I know a lot of it is an education issue. Unlike all the 20-30 somethings at the office, I don’t have a Master’s or any degrees above my lowly Bachelor’s. Nothing is stopping me from going back to school except the lack of desire for anything other than maybe a liberal arts degree or something humanitarian in nature.

Besides the education thing, there’s also an ambition thing. Climbing the ladder or being high woman on the totem pole has never been my thing. The thought of having to manage people gives me hives and I have no desire to be a “leader” in that way.

Best I can tell, I’m pretty ok with all of this, as lazy and unambitious as that may sound to some. It’s just interesting to me. I find the difference between me and my office mates thought-provoking, or something. Our mindsets in no way match up.  Its like some sort of social science experiment/phenomena that I’m observing from inside the gray fabric walls of my cubicle.

Maybe that makes me weird. Probably.

So here’s to owning your weirdness.

wocka wocka wocka

Subject line because it popped in my head and I’ve always liked Fozzie bear. And because February has been a bit of a crazy month and wocka is a crazy word.

halfsies

Work has gotten wild with new projects. This is a good thing mind you, although the stress level has also increased with the new responsibilities. I went from being bored to being slammed with work. I do like being busy though. The days go by faster and there’s not much more demoralizing in my opinion than not feeling useful. Next month I’ll have been in this “new” position for a year. Time flies.

There’s been icy weather which totally botched a planned trip to Orlando. Pretty bummed about that one but it was just impossible to go. The kiddo has missed seven days of school because of the weather. Seven y’all. This momma about went crazy until the after-school program opened “snow” day camps and I about kissed their faces off.

There’s been some weight loss (bam!!!) and several yoga/meditation classes. I’ve found my yoga studio home. I love it so much and would take every class if I could. The fact that they stress body positivity for all sizes and have meditation classes is such a bonus. The instructors are amazing and it’s such a positive environment. Love.

Several stints of overnight babysitting have occurred to help out a family member who is in school on Saturdays. Kiddo has LOVED that. Mommy is usually just really pooped out at the end of it all. Ha. There’s about a year age difference and they play pretty well together minus the occasional argument over whatever kids argue over and many many fart/burping jokes. Ugh. I thought that was only a boy thing. Sadly mistaken.

Thankfully, the next couple of weekends do include some nice date nights for The Accountant and I that will require dressing up and being social. I am quite capable of that at times. Hooray for adult time! Tomorrow we will don cocktail attire and go dancing (or at least watch others dance). Fancy pants!

Swimming pool progress is being made and the backyard has a lovely pool in a hole in the ground that is surrounded by a muddy hot mess of gravel, dirt, equipment, pipes, pumps and all kinds of things that I have no idea about. Its really a disaster right now but I know it will be beautiful once it’s all finished.

Dad has had some health issues that have scared me but he seems to be doing better lately. Worrying about your parents well-being as we all age is such a role reversal. Not cool. What’s that quote…”Today is the oldest you’ve ever been and the youngest you’ll ever be again”.

And now, bedtime. After I watch an American Girl doll fashion show. I have front row seats.

repurpose!

What do you do with hundreds of extra race t-shirts? Make tote bags from them of course!

A local non-profit held a 5k that essentially got rained out and lots of racers didn’t show. Result? Gazillions of extra shirts sitting in boxes in a back office. I was looking for a volunteer project for January and viola, say hello to my new gig as a Master T-Shirt Bag Maker. The organization will useTshirt Bags the bags for thank you gifts and goodie bags for sponsors, clients, etc. I think its a really unique idea and cool way to repurpose shirts when original plans for them went awry!

Volunteers are using this tutorial to make the bags and after a couple of practice runs using old shirts of my own, I got the hang of it and whipped out twenty of them. I delivered them today and came home with twenty more shirts to make into more bags. This is a no sew project, or else I wouldn’t be able to help because my crafty skills do NOT extend to needle, thread, or sewing machine.

Mad crafty skills y’all.

I love this

REVERSE LIVING

Life is tough.
It takes a lot of your time,
all your weekends,
and what do you get at the end of it?
Death, a great reward.
I think that the life cycle is all backwards.

You should die first, get it out of the way.
Then you live twenty years in an old-age home.
You are kicked out when you are too young.
You get a gold watch, you go to work.
You work forty years until you’re
young enough to enjoy your retirement.
You go to college,
you party until you’re ready for high school.
You become a little kid, you play,
you have no responsibilities,
you become a little boy or girl,
you go back into the womb,
you spend your last nine months floating.
And you finish off as a gleam in someone’s eye.

Norman Glass