Hey there! I'm Nancy B. I attend college (international relationships) and am new at the momma/wife biz' so I've got bucket loads to learn yet. I've got a positive and eclectic outlook on life, so join me as I wander around this new period of my life :)
I want to show y'all these cards of mine. They're totally handmade (you can easily tell by my handwritting) and I make them for my hubby and family mostly. These are a few of my favorites and even though they're romantic/corny looking this is my style and not necessarily for Valentines Day. In fact, that's one of the main reasons why I'm showing these cards to you now practically in March and not on February the 14th, it would've been more common. And I don't just make these for specific holidays. This is a year-long kinda thing. I've been permanently making these little suckers once or twice a month for years now and I really enjoy it. I hope you enjoy them as well! Cheers!
Remember how a few weeks ago I wrote about mindfulness? Well today I have another thought to offer on the subject.
See, I got me a new crutch towards mindfulness. You know, as a tool. Turns out, my best shot at reflecting and drinking in experience and silence is, ta-da! An iron. 'Aint I a genius? ;)
Really though, I think It'll help me a lot in the future. As a wife, I have to invest some time in ironing every week and since only my hands are busy, and not my brain, I multitask. Sometimes I put on french lessons on a CD to listen to. Lately I've put on this japanese mini soap opera for practise. But today I really needed some time out to squeeze the most out of Belle Fille's nap. So I decided against anything that might interrupt the sound of peace (as in, none: silence) and prepared myself to be alone with my thoughts. Just me and no one else. Well, except for this other little voice in my head that might be my conscience. Hopefully.
Even though outside my head it was completely silent, inside the chit chat only stopped when I heard Belle Fille stirring in her room. A good two hours! Meanwhile I laughed to myself, gave an occasional snort of derision at some silliness and raised my eyebrows more than once to my insides. I tend to talk to myself a lot, but this time it was different. It was mindfull.
Usually I just let my mind wander, but this time I purposely led myself on from topic to topic in a fixed line. For me, a total scatterbrain, this is quite the accomplishment. I would have this thought and something slightly related but not at all in topic would pop into my head, and I would follow that thought until I realized I was digressing and forced my mind back into shape. This happend a couple of times, but all together I don't think I spent more than 15 minutes distracted.
I'm not sure if I'm kinesthetic but holding something physical like the iron really helped my focus. That, plus the lack of sound really gave me the momentum I needed to concentrate. It was like an anchor. Since we're on topic, I love anchors. I like what they're for, and what they represent. You know, like holding you up against the current; giving you strength to go against the grain. It also has an emotional value to me because at the because at the beginning of my relationship with Hubby I bought these identical keychains with anchors that we could both use without being too corny. (When the keychain broke, I took the anchor, tied it to a green ribbon and used it as a necklace)
So there you go. My anchor: Iron + Silence + Awareness = Mindfulness.
Well, at least that works for me. Now go find your own crutch! ;)
Today I thought you might like to hear about Belle Filles’ most recent experiment, but in her words not mine. Enjoy! ……………
Dae dae dae, dae…
Belle Fille stays stock still as her thoughts are interrupted by a high pitched screech imitation of Celine Dion.
“… You stood by me and I stood tall, I had your love I had it all…”
Oh momma. Didn’t you sing enough of that song at karaoke yesterday? Seriously?
The mother misses the young girls’ look of condescension mixed with humor, picks her up off the ground to dance with her, and continues her song.
The babys’ eyebrows knit together. Great, right next to the loudspeaker. (How do I turn this off?) The twirling is fun, but really mother, it doesn’t exactly help your performance.
The mom dances to and fro with her small child in her arms, but stands still as she nears one of the highest, most difficult part of the song. Facial expression becomes more dramatic.
“Light in the dark, shining your love into my life. You’ve been my inspiration…”
Augh, momma! I’m right next to you ‘ya know? How the heck do I turn this off?! Oh yeah…
Suddenly, Belle Fille looks at her hand and her eyes light up like the light bulb over her head. She’s holding a spoon. Hmmm… I wonder.
“…because of YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUU-…”
But the “you” is drastically cut short as the baby sticks the spoon into her mommas’ mouth, who gags and sputters slightly as she hurries to pull the spoon from her mouth before she actually chokes.
Hey! It worked. Let’s do that again! Belle Fille looks up at her mother with her typical apologetic/I got you but I’m so cute there’s nothing you can do about it look and openly smiles.
Now it’s the mommas turn to slightly frown, irritation and amusement plain on her face.
Hey husband, your daughter’s trying to kill me.
No I’m not, I like you. You feed me and take me to the playground and read to me. And you make funny faces when you sing.
Husband gets up from the couch where he watched the whole thing, heads towards the momma that’s still holding the baby in her arms, and says Belle Fille. That wasn’t nice. Say ‘sorry’.
No. Say ‘sorry’
The dad gives up, grins, and pecks them both on the cheek before he goes to the kitchen to make a bottle of milk. The mom kisses her likewise, but starts to sing again after having removed the spoon from her babys’ grasp.
You know, I've recently learned a bit about meditation, how disciplining your mind is something basic if you want to be disciplined (healthy) body. And though I'm no literate on the subject, it really caught my attention because of Mark Twain. He once said that he didn't worry about what he didn't understand; he worried about what he did understand. This in a religious context, but the idea in itself is so simple but deep. I mean, sure, there's lots to the world, school, and everyday life that I don't understand, but wouldn't it be great if the things that we do understand we made an effort to do well? That would make us so much more efficient.
Which brings me back to the only thing I know about meditation. It's not that the cliche "let your mind blank of all thought and ride with me through the universe and the flowers and bla bla bla...". From what I understood, the object of meditating is disciplining your mind. As in, getting it to think on what you want to think. Not what you're worried about, not that paper that's due tomorrow, not the cute little dog you saw a while ago... not that. Just what you want.
Are you working? Think about work. Are you resting? Don't think about work. Remember only as gives you pleasure, as Elizabeth Bennet would say.
Are you reading? Drink in the book. Imagine each scene, the characters' gestures, follow the plot. I amply recommend this, it's really relaxing to get lost in another world, but I'm afraid that, in my personal case, I do this far too much than I should.
Put your mind into things.
Savor the warmth of each hug. Try to separately taste the ingredients in your food and relish them. Look up at the bird that sings. Dance to the music. Enjoy each kiss.