Category Archives: Self Care

Prompting Change

When the snowball gets rolling, it just keeps gaining speed and momentum.  With the money situation in order (we became debt free in September 2016 and I meant to blog all about it, but it just didn’t happen.  Super exciting though!!), and the eating situation in order, I’ve moved into organization mode because I have the energy to do it now, and I’m getting a taste of how great it feels to cut out what is not needed in life and finally simplify.

I’m sure you’re heard of Kon Marie, the Japanese woman that wrote the book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and maybe you’ve even started sorting through your clothing, only keeping those things that bring “joy” into your life.  For those new to KM, her system is different than all others because she has you clean and purge according to category instead of room by room.  This approach allows you to really see what you own, really evaluate what you NEED, and really get in touch with what you truly LOVE and what brings you real JOY to own.

After our basement flooded last spring, I’ve been sort of forced to go through ignored boxes of things that haven’t been unpacked since we moved in 2007 to WA state.  My family has urged me to just throw the boxes away since we haven’t opened them in 10 years, but I can’t bring myself to do that because I know of a few key items that I LOVE, and I want to find them.  In going through the boxes, I’m finding all kinds of things and sorting them into categories.

Now with each category, I’m deciding what to keep and what to donate or toss.  It has been a VERY eye opening process.  I first gathered all of the Erin Condren brand items that I’ve collected over the past few years.


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I did not realize how much I had until I FINALLY put it all together in one place.  This covers most of my living room floor! Much of this was actually free to me since I run a blog for my planner (www.myerincondren.com) and I’ve received many referral credits for introducing others to the Erin Condren brand.  But it’s still an indication of allowing an area of my life to be totally out of control.

Next I gathered sticky notes.

Now that I’m a teacher, I am confident that I will actually use ALL of these in a couple of years.  I go through them very quickly in my classroom, so I’ve packed these all up in a tote and I’ll just grab them when I need them as the year/s pass.


They’re even pretty in storage!


Today I grabbed all the note pads that I had collected from various areas of the house.  This one made me stop and consider WHY I had this many notepads and office supplies in general.

I’ve always loved office supplies.  I had a stationery collection and a sticker collection that were sacred to me when I was a little girl.  I still have a stationery collection and sticker collection that I plan to use (and do use), but I want to focus on these list pads right now.

Why would I buy THIS MANY lists?  What in the world was I thinking?  Some of these are duplicates with multiples of exactly the same pad.  I’ve concluded that having this many list pads gives a false sense that everything is in control when in reality things are just the opposite.   Owning all the tools for order doesn’t result in order, and sometimes it can just cause more chaos.  It’s a dream, an imagination, this idea of being organized, and making a list is the way to get that started.  But wanting a dream and making changes to move toward a goal are two COMPLETELY DIFFERENT things.

Changing my eating habits has given me a much clearer mind and I’m learning so much about myself.  I evaluate everything I purchase now and I’m able to make clear distinctions about what I need versus the things I simply want.  I won’t be buying things that give me a wishful reality because my mind doesn’t need them, my body doesn’t need them, and the space in my home doesn’t need them.

The question now is, what am I going to do with all these pads?!!

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Poetry Challenge Day 12 – To MY English Teacher

Prompt: Write a poem consisting entirely of things you would like to say, but never would, to a parent, lover, sibling, child, teacher, roommate, best friend, mayor, president, corporate CEO, etc.

I know just who to send it to. It would only be better if I had become the principal and future boss to this individual. She really did damage my confidence for many years. But no longer!! I have risen above that memory and moved forward with gusto.

I do have some things to say…

TO MY ENGLISH TEACHER

My words you critiqued
Red marks all over the page
Never pleased your eye

Discouraged I left
English my new enemy
Because you were harsh

Now in life I know
Writing brings me joy and fun
Your opinion wrong

I write for me now
Words unfiltered to the page
Genuine and true

A book I may write
Despite your view of my words
I control the pen

By KMc
©2013 GraceWithoutTears
All Rights Reserved

Daily Life

It’s evening and I’m sitting here listening to my daughter practice the piano. Every note is joyful to my ears. When she was 5-8 years old, we took piano lessons, but she struggled and it was a lot of work to get through the practice sessions. We then moved 2 states away and went for 5 years without lessons. During that time, she would always go back to the piano and play what she could remember. I knew deep down she really liked it, so when she started school this year, I put her back into piano lessons.

She has improved so much in the past few months I couldn’t be happier! Her sight-reading has improved and her fingers are beginning to fly over the keys without effort! She has received numerous compliments about her hand position, and I’m happy for all the positive feedback she has received. Most importantly, I’m happy that she enjoys the process, and I see piano lessons in her future for the next few years!

Life continues to march forward. The weather here is bi-polar. One day it looks like spring is on the way. The next day we have 5 new inches of fresh snow. We already took the snow tires off the vehicle, but I think we jumped the gun a bit. We’ve thought several times that we should put them back on, but I think we will squeak through these last few weeks of winter without sliding off any roads.

I’ve been ignoring the paperwork. I just hate all the papers that come into my mailbox. I’d like a personal secretary to deal with all the papers in my life. I’ve gathered them here on the table so I can begin to deal with them. I’m not sure how the electricity is still turned on, as I don’t remember the last time I paid the bill.

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This is our table this evening.  It is very lived on!  Every single item on the table holds some sort of significance.

-Front and center is the awful pile of papers that I must attack tomorrow.  There are all sorts of unpaid bills in that pile, several from doctors and hospitals, and I’d like to just pretend they are not there, but they are.

-Bookworm Boy’s computer case is next to the left, and then his Geometry book.  He was sitting here doing homework for a while, and now he’s disappeared.  I’ll be calling him back soon to be sure he has finished everything for tomorrow.  His computer is next in the back corner.

-The center of the table holds a glass candle from Walmart.  I am very excited about the candles from Walmart.  I LOVE candles, and in the winter, always want some burning in the house.  It brings a calm atmosphere, and the flickering light is just somehow very soothing after a long day.  It’s something I do for me, something that I like just because, and it’s like a little gift to myself every time I see a candle burning!  I like having the candles in a glass jar as they seem a little safer, plus the wax can’t make a mess dripping anywhere.  I’ve discovered that the Walmart Mainstays brand burns evenly to the edges, a characteristic that I thought only could be found in a higher end candle.  Because of this, I see myself buying candles at Walmart much more often.  In fact, every time I’m there now, I’m always looking to see if there are any on sale.  Yesterday I was able to pick up Jasmine tea lights (16 per pack)  for $1 each!!  I bought all 8 packs that were there!

-My red water bottle is generally close to my work area.  I’ve been trying to drink more water each day, a goal that is ever before me, but somehow is easy to fail at each day.

-My cell phone is always near by.  What can I say about my iPhone?  LOVE that little gadget and practically run our whole life and business from its tiny little surface.  Technology is incredible and I’m thankful for the convenience of it.

-There is a birthday card for my mom that I will have to send her next year (sorry mom).  I simply didn’t get it in the mail on time.  Sometimes I get frustrated with myself because, in this circumstance, I bought the card in November, but then misplaced it, and when it was time to get it sent, I couldn’t find it.  It’s a great card, but unfortunately will have to wait till next year:(

-The paper just to the right of my MacBook is the class schedule for the school.  I was discussing with Bookworm Boy tonight his options for classes next year.  He needs one more science class, and he’d like to fit in one “fun” class along with the few required classes for seniors.  The Boarding School calendar was also part of the tools for that discussion.

-Plugged into the wall is an iPhone/iPad charger.  We now have one in the office, one in the living room, one in the dining room, one on each side of our bed, and the kids each have one in their rooms.  I have them all labeled so nobody can steal them from one another (a problem that hopefully will be solved now).  Can we say electronics overload here?

-My MacBook is on the table as I type this post.  I love this computer and will most likely be an Apple user for the rest of my life.  I loving how everything syncs together without any effort.

-The red table-cloth under the calendar is one that I need to “try on” the new table.  I think it will be too small, but before I donate it, I want to be sure.

-And finally, the red checked table-cloth protects my beautiful wood table, allowing us to work freely on its surface without the worry of scratching or damaging it in any way.  I’ll post about my table sometime in the future.  It was a gem of a find, and I LOVE it, and want it to last for many, many years.  The red checked cloth also reminds me of Laura Ingalls, as she described having a red checked table-cloth that Ma would put on the table in the evening after the supper was cleaned up.  There’s probably something nostalgic about using a red check table cover in my own home.  Perhaps it provides a sense of family togetherness, or somehow suggests a simpler time when life wasn’t so busy and complicated.  If nothing else, it makes me happy to look at it, and every time I can bring “happy” into my life, I will!

By KMc
© 2013 GraceWithoutTears.  All rights reserved.

Double Chocolate Mint

YUMMMMM!!!

Some nights just call for a cup of hot chocolate.  Last night was one of those nights.

I’ve been to a Starbucks twice in my life, but it was enough to be influenced.  I don’t think I’ll ever drink chocolate again without adding the mint.  Adding the mint just makes it 100x better!

Doing little things to take care of yourself, or in this case, to pamper yourself, are important when you are daily dealing with disabilities.  I’ve learned to carve out these little moments for me, and consciously enjoy them to their fullest.

This cup was hot.  I sipped it out with the spoon in tiny, burning little sips.  It took a long time.  It was wonderful!

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By KMc
© 2013 GraceWithoutTears.  All rights reserved.