The Good Stuff

Staying Present

Sometime last year, my best friend Megan told me about a daily inspirational text service called “Shine Text” that she subscribed to for free. Essentially everyday at whatever time you designate, you get a text with a short motivational message that focuses on one of the focus-areas that you indicated you were interested in when you signed up. It also usually includes a fun image/meme and links to articles and videos that further discuss the topic and provide action steps and advice.

Is it sort of cheesy? Definitely. But I do believe in the power of positive thinking, and with so many negative distractions that most of us have to overcome or try to ignore from day to day, trying to make a habit of reading my Shine Text each day is a goal that really has improved my attitude and mood.

Last month I received the image above and this message below, that has REALLY stuck with me lately:

“Our minds are expert time-travelers; bypassing the present to harp on the past or future 47% of the time… We get so caught up in the shams and delusions of the mind that we miss reality – what is happening now and here.”

The concept on focusing on what’s right in front of us and not dwelling on the past or anticipating what is to come too much, is not new. But lately it is something that I have struggled with a bit, so this Shine Text was perfectly timed.

I’ve always struggled with having too-specific expectations for things to come, and then have to deal with being very disappointed when it doesn’t turn out the way I thought it would. So regardless if the present is still good and positive, I sometimes miss out on appreciating those moments because I am stuck being upset about how it didn’t turn out instead. Another thing is that often, while I am counting down to something that I am looking forward too, I will measure the time based on all of the things both at home and work that have to be done in the meantime. This affects my attitude toward my “present” and belittles other day-to-day moments that deserve their own spotlight. Not that its bad to be excited for something in the future, but this is definitely different then setting a goal or even daydreaming about what we hope for.

I think these are easy patterns to fall into that are sometimes harder to identify. The Shine Text also shared this article, “3 Simple Steps to Stop Mental Time Traveling,” which didn’t necessarily present any groundbreaking advice, but instead broke down the challenge in a practical way that is a great reminder for how to approach each day.

I am a very observant and intuitive person. I know that those are two of my strengths, so I know that I am at my best when I shift my attention to the present moment, whatever that might be.

Being present makes me better appreciate what I have, rather than dwell on what I think I might want. It encourages me to get to the gym and say yes to spontaneous girl’s day trips. It helps me be more intentional with my conversations and commitments, and how I invest in “my people.” It makes me less anxious about what is ahead and better able to go with the flow. And it makes me notice the little moments like a stranger letting me use the last washer in the community laundry room, a new favorite jam or a flirty wink from my boyfriend.

Being present is better.

How do you focus on being more present?

And because this was a more word heavy post, here’s a jam that I have had on repeat lately. This is the slower version, but the upbeat version is great too!

Cheers!

 

So There's That Series

So There’s That Vol. 16

{Sort of like  a “Friday Five”  or a “Life Lately” except it’s probably not Friday, and I gave up on the idea of a catchy alliteration. These are some bits and pieces of my glam #postgradlife. See past posts HERE}

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1. Baltimore Weekend

Wrapping up a bit of catching up I needed to do here on the blog — one of my college friends, Kyle, had informed me and our mutual friend Katie, who lives in Baltimore, that he was going to be starting a family East Coast vacation early by coming to visit us. This was the DAY AFTER my 3 weeks of crazy traveling, working, moving/mom visiting…aka I was exhausted.

But despite that, it ended up being a great weekend and it was great to see one of my best friends from college who I hadn’t seen in a year. Katie took us to a Maryland Wine Festival outside of Baltimore and then we headed to an Orioles game, where I tried VERY hard not to fall asleep. #sorrynotsorry

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2. Life

I posted this on social media right before I began this really busy couple of months. It pretty accurately describes my view on how I try to live, or in the case of the “weird” part, how my life ends up going. It’s fair to say I’m accomplishing all of this lately 🙂

weird life

3. Gorgeous Timelapse of Washington DC

If you click on anything in the blog post, please click on this. This city is just so beautiful.

4. Columbia Basin Student Homebuilder Program

My little hometown and high school in Eastern Oregon got quite the shoutout the other day over on the Hill by Senator Wyden.

Growing up as an ag teacher’s kid I saw so many examples of the incredible value and true impact career and technical education programs have on individuals and the community as a whole. Without that focus on intra-curricular career development, I don’t think I would have pursued the dreams and goals I had, or be doing what I do now.

I always felt so supported by my community and so many wonderful teachers. Happy to see this new HHS program get this attention, and proud to say “that’s my hometown!”

5. A Letter to My Younger Self

http://allisonfallon.com/letter-to-my-younger-self/

I don’t reshare articles on Facebook too often, but this I had too. I read A LOT, and this is one of the better reads of its kind that I’ve seen make the rounds. Really, especially if you are a 20-something, check it out. This quote below from the article has been speaking to me in leaps and bounds lately.

Do what you

6. Titus

I was sad to hear that my Uncle Joe and Aunt Susan’s big ol’ pup Titus passed away. He was such a sweet dog and I loved having him around during our trips up to the family cabin.

Titus.
Titus.

7. Harry Potter Hater

So glad I have friends that are watching out for me…

(click here read about Grant’s HP hatred)

snip for bach

8. Star Wars

The original Stars Wars trilogy is returning to theaters this summer.

And one of those theaters in here in Washington D.C.
#THISISNOTADRILL
Since I can’t convince my uncle who raised me on these to make a special trip out here for them I need to find like-minded friends immediately…. stay tuned.

9. Wheat Harvest

I could seriously look at wheat harvest photos all day… good thing I kind of get paid to do that anyway. Check out is gorgeous photo story by Elliot Ross in the Washington Post and follow #wheatharvest16 on social media for updates and pictures from this year’s ongoing harvest.

Photo by my friend Greg Peterson (@gregpeterson33) near Assaria, KS.
Photo by my friend Greg Peterson (@gregpeterson33) near Assaria, KS.

10. Random Picture Roundup

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Not a fan of cats, but kittens make any day better. Also, yes that is Olaf chilliin out underneath my work desk…

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Our girl Ellie, my family’s dog back home, had a health scare, but with some new meds and lots of love she is going to be fine! She is seriously the sweetest dog you’ll ever meet.

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If you haven’t figured it out by now, my am in love with the rooftop deck at my new apartment building.

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Wesley Ray – 3 ish months
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Robin Michele – 2 ish months

My two favorite babies, Wesley and Robin in clothes that their Aunt Mandy got them. #babystyle #ohmyovaries

So, There’s That.

Cheers!

So There's That Series

So There’s That: Vol. 6

{Sort of like  a “Friday Five” except it’s probably not Friday, and I gave up on the idea of a catchy alliteration. These are some bits and pieces of my glam #postgradlife.}

 

1. This has been on my mind a lot lately.

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 I stole this from a friend’s Instagram. I revisited it about 5 times before I finally took a screen shot. This is my life right now. Stay tuned…

2. The coolest coffee mug ever.

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My bestie Megan gave me this for Christmas, and of course ordered one for herself.
We jumped into the Doctor Who fandom our last semester of college.
Please be easy on us newbies, we’re STILL reeling from the loss of Rose.

But PEOPLE this mug! When it warms up the Tardis disappears and reappears on the other side.
#MINDBLOWN

3. “5 Things Successful People Do to End Their Days Right”

A few months ago at a conference, this conversation came up multiple times in the workshops and again among friends. I think in particular, post grads struggle with the “after work till bed time” hours. Many of us go from very little structure, and always-changing routines in college, to 8-5 cookie cutter weekdays. We each swapped a few tips that we had incorporated into our routine in order to get a good night’s rest and finish day feeling positive and settled.

Later I read this article “5 Things Successful People Do to End Their Days Right,” and bookmarked it for future reference.

Check it out friends.

5. #PorkTips

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Sometimes, my job is pretty darn cool.
CLICK HERE
for a Flipagram “Behind the Scenes” of the video shoot.

 

5. What I’ve been reading.

My reading list is lonnnnnnggggg and pretty diverse.
But I’ll admit, if there is a movie adaptation coming out that I think I’m going to want to see relatively quickly, I will move that book up to the front of the list. Here’s what I’ve read lately.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand: I love history, and the WWII era has always been one of the most interesting to me. I was already vaguely familiar with who Louie Zamperini was as an athlete, but his whole story is so much MORE. It’s hard to grasp how people have survived such things. The book was very detailed, but easy to follow. If you skipped the book and just watched the movie, I highly recommend going back and reading it.

Paper Towns by John Green: If you have read/watched Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars,” and wasn’t a fan, don’t give up on the author completely (personally I loved it.) His stories might involve teenagers, but to be honest I don’t know if I would have fully understood or appreciated this book, when I was a teen. It’s a hard one to summarize without spoilers, but personally it’s reminds me why I love words and reading so much.   

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks: I’m a sucker for enjoying Mr. Sparks’ stories every nowand then, and this one is my new favorite from him. It’s poetic and has a bit different pace than some of his other stories. There’s letter writing and art, and there’s a cowboy. Sounds just about right to me.

6. Girl’s Weekend

 Leah’s work had her in Wichita for the week, so I joined her and Megan for an impromptu girl’s weekend.
Those are my favorite kind.

So There’s That.

So There's That Series

So There’s That: Vol. 5

{Sort of like  a “Friday Five” except it’s probably not Friday and I gave up on the idea of a catchy alliteration. These are some bits and pieces of my glam #postgradlife.}

1. Thanksgiving Vacation in Oregon

I surprised my family by coming home for Thanksgiving. I was able to stay for a whole week and spent most of it just relaxing and spending time with my favorite people. Oregon had a break from the lower temps and Thanksgiving Day was warm enough that my family was able to eat dinner out on the heated patio. Yah, my grandparents live the good life.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I was so thankful that I got to spend it with my family this year (for the first time since I moved to Kansas in 2009.) They are so patient as I do my thing out here in the Midwest. Over time I have come to realize that not everyone has this unconditional support, and for that I am eternally grateful. And I am thankful for my Kansas family. They’ve helped make this place my home and I am surrounded, in my not-so-humble opinion, by some of the greatest people around. I am thankful for this season of my life. It’s a season of constant change, challenges and more growing pains (do those ever subside?) But its also one of lots of learning, serendipity and just plain fun. There certainly is a lot going on in this world and I am thankful that so much of it is still beautiful.


2. K-State Kaiden

This story. This family. Cats man.

K-Stater’s have known about this little guy’s story for almost two years now, but ever since “Kaiden’s Play” during the 2014 Spring Game (featured below,) his story has spread. This is one of those things that makes it hard for me to understand people who don’t care for sports. Yes, I think Kaiden’s story would be just as special without K-State football, but the impact he has had on this team and it’s fans, that is what sports and family is all about. There are a lot of good articles covering this story but this one below is the most recent. Even if you aren’t a K-State fan or even a sports fan, go ahead. You will be glad that you did.

“Donors pitch in to send boy with leukemia to K-State’s bowl game”

 


3. Pinterest Cats

I’m really not a big fan of cats. But according to my Pinterest “Easily Amused” board, I sure do love a solid funny cat meme. It may or may not be from antagonizing all of my sister’s cats growing up…

And despite what she says, her current cat is well on it’s way to looking like that fat one.

(Click on the individual picture to zoom in. Links in captions.)


4. HannahBrencher.com

Been really digging what this girl has to say lately. She’s the mastermind behind The World Needs More Love Letters movement and is a true artist of words. I recommend checking her blog out.

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Instagram @hannahbrencher

 

5. Festival of Trees

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Enjoyed a fun “Ladies Night” at the Manhattan Festival of Trees with my bestie Leah. There was wine, yummy treats and lots of fun browsing and shopping. My family’s flower shop has always done a tree at our own local festival so seeing all of the creative, festive decorations was my favorite part. I’d say these three below were my favorites!

So, there’s that.