Forward in the Details

Hannah 1916-1917
My grandmother when she was in her 20s in 1916 or 1917

Birthdays and anniversaries always stir me to refocus my life. As it was my 10th anniversary last week and my 40th birthday is tomorrow. I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on how I live. So often these introspective moments bring big goals and crazy changes, and lately those change everything goals have been going forward. But sometimes it can get really easy to get derailed on the details. This year I’ve decided that taking on the those details as a way to move forward.

I have finally gotten around to reading The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron which I have occasionally dipped into but never have sat down and read. It is one of those right book for the right moment. Along with some more personal inspiration from some amazing women who have reminded me that I don’t have to go out and do every project that I come up with.

So I sat down yesterday with no expectations other than sitting with the discomfort of the now, and a journal. What came out was all about how I live the everyday life not big life changes. As I explored how I live my days I could see what parts of me and my world that needed nurturing. I found that there were eight areas that make up most of my life, and then I came up with ways to feed them. I wanted to focus on the daily and weekly rhythms not larger goals or cycles. These aren’t all action points some categories ended up with more ideas than I can possibly do, I am still in the process of seeing how to use these shifts.


~Start stretching every morning again, just 5 or 10 minutes.
~Take two long walks a week.
~Remember to wash my face every night, it seems small but I sleep so much better.

Writiing/ Reading:

~Write 20 minutes a day, other than journaling (I haven’t really wrote since last November)
~Explore new poets and keep a poem in my pocket.
~Blog twice a week.
~Always have a novel to read.


~Pack lunch everyday
~Make four family dinners a week, both for the family time and returning to the habit of cooking for pleasure.
~Eat breakfast everyday.
~Less coffee.


~Spend an hour a day working on “job” things even while I still have a semester left.
~Stay two days a week at the CAD lab to get my work done.
~Make connections.


~Sit everyday for five minutes (I’ve been using a meditation jar for this).
~Think before I speak
T- Is it True?
H- Is it Helpful
I~ Is it Inspiring
N~ Is it Necessary
K~ Is it Kind

~Collect images and words that inspire me and put them somewhere I can see them.
~Do some art three times a week (or go see some).
~Make space in everything I do to be creative.

Family/ Home:

~Be present with Alder for an hour every day, without the internet.
~At least three family activities a week.
~Four family dinners a week.
~Straighten the living room and studio before bed every night.
~Start laundry in the morning when I get up so it can go in the dryer before I leave.
~Organize when I do the rest of my chores (I am so thankful that Kevin has pulled most of the house cleaning weight for a long time but I need to do more.
~Don’t bring anything into the house that won’t add to the beauty of our life.

Friends/ Community:

~Have Sunday mornings as many weeks as possible with our friends.
~Make social plans every other week.
~Find ways to give back once a month as a family.
~Call my Dad once a week just to say hi.
~Write a letter to a friend every other week.

What daily practices sustain you?


One response

  1. I love this. I love the list of the practical and the inspirational.

    Can I suggest for your housekeeping goals?

    I recognize many of my own goals in your list, but I’ve not intentionally stated them. You’ve inspired me to do a similar exercise. I’ve been avoiding my journal. Always a sign I need to spend some time with it.

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