Grateful 43 – Self-Care Activities

Day 33 – Self-care activities

What do you do for self-care? Which of these things are more necessary than frivolous? I have some things in mind and they could be called frivolous luxuries. But in my mind they make me a better person. I am grateful 4 3 self-care activities.

ONE. Epsom Salt Baths. I have been soaking in these crystals for years. And for years, the salts were just plain old epsom salts. Now they come in ALL kinds of varieties: Lavender , Chamomile, Ginger & Clay and Eucalyptus Spearmint. But my fave is still plain old, unscented  bath salts. I am grateful for these because not only do they help achy muscles feel better, they also help relax and revive me.

TWO. Naps on Sunday afternoons. That is my favourite self-care activity to do after lunch. It is hard to describe just how “decadent” this is especially when I have TONS to do. And this is especially enjoyable when the sheets have been freshly laundered. “When I was a child, I thought nap time was a punishment. Now as a mom, nap time feels like I won a vacation,” Pinterest. I am grateful for mini vacations that leave me refreshed and wanting to tackle the rest of the week.

THREE. Lunch with staff on Tuesdays. This is a work tradition. On Tuesdays we have staff meetings, prayer time, and then lunch. Our lunch time is not work- or other-focused (usually). This feels luxurious because it is time together where we are focused on each other. We share our joys and what’s happening in our lives. I am  grateful because we get to know each other better. It feels good to be “known.”

Your Turn . . .  What do you do that feels luxurious but is really necessary self-care?

 am writing a gratitude series titled Grateful 43. I will do this for 43 days. And I will write three things for which I am grateful 4 each topic. Do you see the play on the words 43 and FOR THREE?  Go here for the 43 Days of Gratitude JOURNAL Prompts

Related Posts . . .


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MORE vs less: Talk to the Hand – Being Proactive About What Comes Into Your Space

Day 14 – When new stuff tries to get into the house, “Talk to the Hand First.” Make sure you have a plan as to where it will live and take at least one thing OUT of the house.

Do you have a plan for items coming into your home? Whether you live by yourself or with others, there needs to be a “home STUFF controller” with a plan.

A Home Stuff Controller is similar to an air traffic controller. S/he directs the movements of particular items. Air traffic controllers direct the flow of aircraft into and out of a landing zone. Home stuff controllers direct the flow of items into and out of the home.

The home stuff controller’s plan ensures the coordination of 1000’s of items that come into the home each year. They ensure the following . . .

  • Items must be stored and rotated properly so that nothing spoils or gets lost in storage.
  • They must be easily found to prevent duplicate buying and panic-mode searching when something is needed YESTERDAY.
  • The items must be accessible so they can be used regularly.
  • A budget is followed when buying items.
  • When items are no longer useful, used or beautiful, they are properly disposed of.
  • And the controller ensures that the items meet physical needs (more times than not).

Oh, wait, for a lot of us, the “home stuff controller” job is vacant in our homes. We are so busy, that we don’t give a lot of thought to what will happen to the things we bring home.

  • Where they will go?
  • When will they be used?
  • Do they meet a need we actually have?

Lorie Marrero, author of The Clutter Diet, shares something in this this video, that helps. She introduces a habit that the home controller and, in fact everyone in the home, could master. It is called The Heisman Habit.

You may have seen the Heisman Trophy in college football. The player depicted on the trophy is fending people off with his outstretched hand as he runs with the ball, as if he is signaling them to stop with his palm up. You want to have that same attitude about what crosses the threshold into your home. Consider your shopping habits and refrain from buying things that you don’t need. Also, take care about what you accept from other people as hand-me-downs, how much junk mail you’re getting, and anything and everything else that’s coming into the house. Mentally stick that hand out, palm up, and think about fending it off! If you can minimize the inflow, you can keep things from accumulating. ~ Closet Maid

Talk to the Hand – Being Proactive & Protective About What Comes Into Your Space

For years I’ve had the rule that for every book in, (at least) one had to go out. But for some reason, I did not apply that rule to other things like papers and craft supplies. Well, the idea has clicked now. And I am excited to see how I can actually get into this Heisman Habit and be THE Home Stuff Controller in my home.

Day 14 –  31 Minutes of Decluttering = (mostly) Finished decluttering the OCC closet. There are a couple of boxes to go through. But I am done for now. This next step will take at most an hour. And truth be told, I spent more than an hour these past two days getting this closet decluttered and tidy. But it was worth the time.

Your Turn . . . Have you used this habit before? . . . If not, give it a try and then report back how it goes for you.

Go here for the landing page with all the posts for MORE vs less: 31 Days of Decluttering. #write31days  . . . I am joining 100’s of bloggers who are determined to write every day in October on one topic. To read more about #Write31Days, go here.

Join me in this experiment of MORE vs less.

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Grateful 43 – Ways I Find Peace

Day 32 – Ways I find peace

Life is stress-filled at times. It can get so busy that I forget to breathe (deeply) and take a breather. This type of living leads to depression, illness, and good old-fashioned crankiness.

But there is an antidote to this cranky, illness-prone, depressed living: do something that brings peace. On my stress-filled days, I need to turn to these three ways in which I find peace. They are always effective.

I am grateful for these three ways I find peace.

ONE. Read. A day of intentional peace is needed at least 3-4 times a month. This is when I can just READ all day. Right now I am into fiction. On a recent Sunday afternoon until bedtime, I laid on my brown, leather love seat and read The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby by Jenny Lundquist. I felt refreshed and more peaceful on Monday because I was able to get away from my world for a while. I come back with a different perspective.

When I am having a hard time understanding life or need encouragement to do God’s will, I read the Bible, especially the minor prophets. I LOVE how they responded to life’s HARD times. For example these verses from Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NLT) always encourage me to follow the prophet’s example to believe in God’s goodness which brings me PEACE.

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer
able to tread upon the heights.

TWO. Journaling. When I am uneasy, I journal. I don’t journal in a book that I keep. I write in any notebook I find or in a WORD document. I don’t usually keep these writings. To me the important part is writing to discover why I am uneasy and if there are any lies I am believing. Then I finish up with prayer concerning my discoveries. These insights and prayer times bring me peace because I am concentrating on TRUTH and am being empowered to follow the Truth.

THREE. Create. Creating always brings me peace. It is like I’ve had an internal massage. My mind lets go of worries and anything that needs an answer. Sometimes in the midst of creating I get an answer or idea of how to handle a worry. But that is not why I create. I create because it is FUN, satisfying, and brings me mental peace and at times clarity.

Your Turn . . . What do you do that brings you peace?

I am writing a gratitude series titled Grateful 43. I will do this for 43 days. And I will write three things for which I am grateful 4 each topic. Do you see the play on the words 43 and FOR THREE?  Go here for the 43 Days of Gratitude JOURNAL Prompts

Related Posts . . .

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MORE vs less: Do One More Thing Today

Day 13 – Doing “one more thing” was a great motivator for me today. Have you ever tried this mantra?

Do One More Thing — Just do one more thing. Do one more thing. Just do one. Do one. One.

This is my new mantra especially at the end of the day. I want to make my future self happy by being just a little more “declutter” productive each day. But does doing this one more thing make much of a difference? Truthfully, no.

No – not if today was the only time I did that ONE more thing. But what if I did one more thing, today and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, etc? THAT would make a difference.

So regarding your clutter, what is the one more thing you’ll do? Here are some ideas.

  • Set the timer for 3 minutes and see how many things you can fling. See this post for an explanation.
  • Declutter one book, one DVD, one item of clothing, one piece of paper, one fridge magnet.
  • Put the full donate box in the trunk of your car.
  • Put one thing away.
  • Unsubscribe from one online newsletter and delete that email.
  • Empty the garbage can.
  • Throw away one item from the fridge or freezer.
  • Put one item in the dishwasher or handwash one item.
  • Recycle one newspaper, one magazine, one plastic container.
  • Make an appointment on your calendar for YOU to read, create, take a walk, connect with someone, pray, have a specialty coffee and do nothing else, Sometimes the best thing we can do for our cluttered lives is to create space for ourselves to rest/refresh.

Day 13 –  31 Minutes of Decluttering = Today’s project was the OCC closet at work. I got so much done because I kept telling myself, “Just one more thing. One More. One!” I will finish the project tomorrow. I also packed my OCC boxes. I need to buy a few more supplies and pay for shipping for each box. This is also a project for tomorrow.

Go here for the landing page with all the posts for MORE vs less: 31 Days of Decluttering. #write31days  . . . I am joining 100’s of bloggers who are determined to write every day in October on one topic. To read more about #Write31Days, go here.

Join me in this experiment of MORE vs less.

Your Turn . . . What would you add to the list of Decluttering One More Thing?

Related Post . . MORE vs less: 31 Thing Fling

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Grateful 43 -Traditions

Day 31 – Traditions

“Family traditions counter alienation and confusion. They help us define who we are; they provide something steady, reliable and safe in a confusing world.” ~ Susan Lieberman

Because I moved around so much (at least 20 times) there were not a lot of constants in my home. But we had some traditions. …  pizza on Friday nights … the birthday kid called the shots … mom sewed our Halloween costumes … Wide World of Disney for Sunday night TV along with a bowl of mooshed chocolate ice cream …. dad helped me roll my Sunday morning newspaper at o’dark:30 … These traditions did two things . . .

  • 1st. Traditions helped anchor me to my family. The laughs, love, and meaningful moments built strong bonds and memories.
  • 2nd. Participating in traditions let me and others know who my group was. As a result there was a sense of “belonging” to my family.

As an adult, I still love traditions. I am grateful 4 3 traditions.

ONE. Ice cream & waffles for the birthday person’s breakfast. Yep, we have ice cream for breakfast, along with all the toppings. It started out as a way to celebrate the 4th of July. And then it morphed into a birthday celebration. Today I am eating such a breakfast since today is Emily’s 16th birthday. I am grateful we are celebrating her with this FUN, unique tradition.

TWO. Hide and then hunt for Easter eggs. Every Easter we stuff and hide eggs. Everyone (including the adults) collects the same amount of eggs, in theory. We always lose a few. I am grateful for the memories. … sneakily hiding eggs … trying to pry out clues as to where the eggs are hidden … begging for the eggs to be hidden in plain sight (I am the guilty party) … eating our treats.

THREE. Creating art with my oldest grand-daughter. The youngest one, (Sienna) is not old enough, yet, to enjoy this. Sofia and I “do projects” every, single time we see each other. We are occupied for several hours each time. The last time I visited Sofia, I brought 9 art kits. We did three of them. I am grateful for the way we can be creative with and supportive to each other. And it is just so much fun.

One of the common denominators about my traditions is that they are FUN.

Your Turn . . . Tell us about some of your family traditions.

I am writing a gratitude series titled Grateful 43. I will do this for 43 days. And I will write three things for which I am grateful 4 each topic. Do you see the play on the words 43 and FOR THREE?  Go here for the 43 Days of Gratitude JOURNAL Prompts

Related Post . . . Traditions: How to Get Past the Meaningless to Find the Meaning (devotional for women’s Christmas party)

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MORE vs less: Your Future Self Will Thank You for Today’s Action

Day 12 – Getting rid of projects today will thrill my future self tomorrow.

“At every stage of our lives we make decisions that will pro-foundly influence the lives of the people we’re going to be-come, & when we become those people, we’re not always thrilled with the decisions we made.

  • So young people pay good money to get tattoos removed that teenagers paid good money to get.
  • Middle-aged people rushed to divorce people who young adults rushed to marry.
  • Older adults work hard to lose what middle-aged adults worked hard to gain.”

~ The Psychology of Your Future Self by Dan Gilbert


“If you want to be happy, make your future self happy.” ~ Gretchen Rubin


“We often imagine our future self as a confident, superior person that exercises every day and does not bite his or her nails. We have romantic, idealistic visions of our future-selves, so much so that we easily forget that the future-self is actually … us, only tomorrow.

And if we don’t do something to support tomorrow-self, he or she will only be more nervous and distracted than today-self. . . .

The mess you make today, your future self will have to clean. Everything you do now is an investment in the life and happiness of your future self.”               ~ Milena Rangelov


Whenever you can, do something kind for Future You.

Future You is someone you love and care about. Future You is someone who you want to be happy, and you have endless opportunities to make that happen. ~ Wil Wheaton 


I first heard about the future-you concept from Gretchin Rubin. Since then I have seen this idea in multiple places. And I am gravitating towards making it more prevalent in my daily life.

“Whatever a man sows, this and this only is what he will reap.”~ Galatians 6:7

Your Future-Self  Will Thank You For Getting Rid Of Clutter.

Your Turn . . . Have you heard about this idea of doing things today to have a better/happier future-self tomorrow? . . . What is one thing you could do today that makes future you happier/better?

Day 12 –  31 Minutes of Decluttering = I spent time sorting my stuff into project piles again. And I decluttered miscellaneous art supplies and papers. I am looking forward to finishing this area because I now have all my watercolour supplies together and I am itching to get back at that medium. And I want to paint those ping pong balls. Do you remember me talking about them several posts back?

Go here for the landing page with all the posts for MORE vs less: 31 Days of Decluttering. #write31days  . . . I am joining 100’s of bloggers who are determined to write every day in October on one topic. To read more about #Write31Days, go here.

Join me in this experiment of MORE vs less.

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Friday’s Fave Five October 13, 2017

“Praise God even when you don’t understand what He is doing.” ~ Henry Jacobsen

This week certainly brought uncertainty and questioning with all the fires in Northern California and the horrendous mass murder in Las Vegas. So it is even more important that we recount our blessings! Join with Susanne and others at Friday’s Fave Five.

ONE. Monterey Trip. Last weekend my daughter, Elizabeth, and I visited my niece, Kadie, at University in Monterrey. We walked the beach, cooked fresh trout, strolled through a Salvador Dali Museum, chatted, drank tea, and made food together. It was a FUN, delightful time.

TWO. Reading. Threads of Suspicion is a book fellow FFFer Barb recommended. I don’t recommend you read this book until the 3rd book is in print. Unless unlike me you can wait patiently to have some questions answered.

THREE. Project Piles. I am decluttering 31 minutes each day in October. My newest kick is the craft/art supplies. I am sorting this table full of stuff into project piles and then putting them into see-through, large, ziplock bags. It will be much easier to see what I have. And it will be much easier to grab a bag and start because everything is there. … I have been able to release some projects. 🙂

FOUR. Small Group. We had our 3rd meeting last night. And again it was a lot of laughing, probing discussion, some tears, and vulnerability. I am honoured to partner with these gals as we do life together and grow closer to each other and God. I shared this link about taking an online quiz to discover your love language. Knowing this information might help us to love on each other better.

FIVE. Hair cut. I have been trying to grow my hair into a different style, but after 4 months, it is clear that style is not for me. I must have shorter, layered locks. So I had my hair cut like it usually is. And it looks so much better.

Your turn . . .  Share what you’ve been grateful for. In these times of devastation, it is more important than ever to capture those things and treasure them.

What I wrote this week . . ..

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