Good Morning Sunshine!

I often have a 40 minute commute to work.   This is not unusual for many, and its not a big deal.  In fact, I really enjoy my morning drive.   The drive tends to be different based on the season we are in.   Thankfully, I see the beauty at each stage.

In the winter months, I leave the house and it is dark.  The kind of dark, where it feels like I should still be sleeping.   But as the miles pass, the sleepy sun makes its way and begins to brighten the road ahead of me.

In the summer months, the sun is already up.  I love watching the farm fields grow throughout the season.  There is something relaxing about watching the evidence of time as I witness this growth.     I always look for the ducks, cows, horses and alpacas that I pass regularly along the way.    

Now, we are closing out Summer and headed towards Fall.   Each morning this week, I have been struck by the beauty of the day as it greets me.  The dew on the grass, the animals doing their "animal things", the coolness in the air.   And my favorite, watching the sun come up.   Depending on where I am on my drive, I spot the sun peeking through the trees or rising above the mountains.   The colors are different every morning and change all through my drive.   It is entertaining but its also so peaceful.   

I love this time of day.   I find joy in the quiet beauty and the constant change, even though I drive the same roads each time.    I feel like each day has so much possibility.   Its like the proverbial "fresh canvas".   I feel like I am ready to face my day with a renewed energy and positive focus.    

I'm thankful for this drive each day.   I'm  thankful that it helps me start my day in a happy way.   When was the last time you noticed the sun rise?    Is there a time of day that speaks to you?   


It STILL Takes A Village

Some of my long time readers will remember that when I started Java Talk, I was a much smaller person.   Over the last few years, I've gained over 70 lbs.  There were many contributing factors, most of which are no mystery.   Despite the constant weight gain, I have found myself unable to make a move to do anything about it. 

Mostly I've been so afraid to go back to the mental/emotional prison I was in when I was "skinny".   The fear of living like that and reverting to being a binge eater has stopped me from doing anything that requires counting calories or points or cutting carbs or anything else.  

Another obstacle, if you will, is that unlike in the past, today I like who I am.   Sure I need to lose weight, but I know I am a good mom, friend, worker, etc and I'm comfortable with who I am on the inside.   That's good, right?   Yes, it is.   The catch is, because I feel good on the inside, I am often surprised by what I see on the outside.   

But now I want more.   More for me.    More for my kiddos.    I want to teach them how to make healthy choices most of the time.   How to indulge sometimes.  And how to enjoy being active.  

Recently, I've made a true effort to do what I already know how to do.  And I'm thrilled to share I'm moving in the right direction.  But this is not something I can do on my own.  I have the support of many and I'm so thankful for all of it.  There are those who share recipes.   Those who literally walk beside me as I log each mile.  Those who listen and celebrate my scale AND non-scale victories.   The saying "it takes a Village" is usually in reference to raising children.  I feel I am living proof that in most things that matter, it takes a Village.   And I'm thankful for mine.

How does your Village support you?


Still Learning

This week I had an epiphany about myself.   I'm 40 yrs old.  You would think I would know who I am pretty well.  But I am still learning so much about who I am and why I am who I am. And I'm thankful for that.

It is not uncommon for a co-worker to say that I am "so positive" or such a "morning person" or something similar.     It makes me feel good to know that I am known  for being a positive person at work.  In the moment, I usually make some joke about learning how to "fake being a morning person when I was student teaching". I cannot tell you how many times I have said that over the years.   I always laugh it off and move on.   But it still surprises me that people think I am a bubbly morning person because  I don't think of myself as one.   

Time for the epiphany...it occurred to me this week, during one of these moments when a co-worker was commenting on how positive I am, that at work, I AM an extrovert.  Not quite the same thing as a "positive person" but for me, being extroverted comes off as being positive.    I am an encourager.  I am a take-a-moment-to-vent-then-get-it-done worker.  I am a teacher to my peers.   I am a learner.   I have faught through debilitating depression and have trained myself to look for the good around me.   It's not that I don't get overwhelmed or frustrated.  It's not that I live in a fairy tale and can't handle reality.   It's that I choose to focus on the good and start from there.   

Ok, so that still wasn't the epiphany.   It's coming, I promise.   The thought that stopped me in my tracks was that, yes, I am an extrovert at work.   And I'm thankful for that.   Here it is...that constant energy takes a toll on me each day.   When I leave work each night, I'm fried.   Being outgoing and connecting to people, which I enjoy very much, is exhausting.   When I leave the office, I need to recover.   For so long I've struggled with guilt because although I'm thankful my kiddos are very involved in their sport of choice, I struggle with resenting the running around half the week when all I want to do is go home and "be all done".   Now I realize, it isn't so much I don't want to hang around the barn or freeze at the ice rink, I just need some recovery time from work.  I am an extrovert at work but there is a part of me that is still very introverted.  I need some quiet time.   And the nights we are running off to practice, I don't get that time to be off by myself.  Time to just be.   Be quiet.  Be thoughtful.  Be able to wind down.   

This isn't exactly earth shattering information but for me, it was a significant moment of self discovery.   And now that I recognize all that is at play, I feel a little better equipped to handle the nights of running around.  I can understand that I'm not a bad mom because I want to be home.   I love my children and I will support them in their activities.   And I will still long for the moment I CAN be all done.   I am who I am.   After work I need some down time.  I will try to remember as I'm feeling frazzled that I will still get some quiet and recoup but it will take a little longer.  

Such a simple thing really but this one thought really changed how I see myself.   Have you ever had a "stop in your tracks" moment?   I'd love to hear about yours.  


Easy DIY Freshener

I have two active kiddos. I have two kitties that come with three litter boxes. We are on the go most of the time. Read: many sources of stinky/stale air. Today, I saw something on Pinterest that I thought was worth a try. It was so simple to make and I'm so happy with the results, I had to share!

You need a spray bottle, 4 Tablespoons of baking sofa, 1 cup of hot water and a 1/4 cup of Downy Unstoppable. I'm not going to lie, I was a little surprised at the cost of the Unstoppable, but decided I want to give it a try so I bought it anyway. I'm so glad I did. It will make so many batches that it is worth the cost.

Mix all the ingredients and let sit and dissolve. Once the baking sofa and Unstoppable have dissolved, pour into your spray bottle and top off with more warm water. Shake well, then spray!

My house smells amazing! I hung my spray bottle in the laundry area and will grab it again when I want to freshen things up.

I read if you wanted a more natural room freshening spray, you can use the essential oil of your choice.

I'm really happy with this little project. Let me know if you give it a try!

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