Brown paper packages tied up with strings

Don’t you love the fun, little inanimate things that surround us? These are some of my current happy things – things that make me smile. Some can be found at Inklings Bookshop, but this post isn’t about advertising, it’s about urging you to look around you and find similar things that bring a little extra joy to your life. My first photo is beautiful paper. Paper is a weakness of mine – I love to write even my grocery lists on pretty paper. My mother used to collect stacks of fabric. I collect stacks of pretty paper.

Red Nalgene Water Bottle I know, I know. Some are saying that we should only be drinking from glass now, but this bottle matches my car and makes water taste better!
Mid-Columbian Magazine – a very new magazine featuring Central Washington. You may find people you know and their homes and businesses in this quality magazine that you will keep on your coffee table for months. This month’s issue features Yakima Valley artists and includes Jackie Prout from Oak Hollow Frames.

Steve Larson’s Watercolor Cards – this local artist never disappoints with his beautiful watercolor cards with matching envelopes. Sometimes whimsical, sometimes with an Asian or Native American influence, they are always stunning.

Love Your Local – It is so encouraging to me that Yakima people really get the buy local concept. We are so blessed to have such loyal customers who value the individuality and strength that local stores bring to our Valley. Urge your friends to shift at least 10% of their buying dollars to local stores and help ensure that they will still be here next year.

Hyacinths. Does anything smell better than a hyacinth? Their appearance, along with their colorful friends, the crocuses, daffodils, tulips and forsythia, seem to herald the season of Spring that then takes off at a full gallop! I find myself wishing it would all slow down a bit so I could savor each step from swelling bud to full bloom. Don’t miss it. Get outside a bit everyday for the Vitamin D and the beauty.

This gorgeous stained glass has been one of my happy thoughts for almost nine years. A sweet friend, Diane Wolterstorff, made this when we opened the store and it has been hung proudly in a prominent window ever since. What a gift of time, talent and love! Thank you once more, Diane!
Published in: on March 19, 2009 at 12:54 am  Leave a Comment  

One Month To Live

No worries. I’m not making an announcement or anything. I am just reading and getting ready to teach a study on the book One Month to Live – Thirty Days to a No-Regrets Life by Kerry and Chris Shook. Divided into four segments representing four principles, this book helps you take a good look at every area of your life. The four principles are: Living Passionately, Loving Completely, Learning Humbly and Leaving Boldly. I’m finding it a good book to study during Lent and during midlife and during the dreariest part of winter. The book encourages you to think about the dash of your life. The dash between your birthdate and your swan song.
Studying the book with others helps you make the changes that are so difficult alone. The book is most effective if you read a bit each day and make the steps that are suggested. So far, I’ve made a list of five things that I would change about my life if I knew I had only one month to live. Now, that is a perspective changer, isn’t it? Today, I also thought about the time wasters in my life. I realized that I’m a slave to my email, checking it constantly, so I tried an experiment today. I only checked my mail every two hours. I get business emails all day, so two hours seemed like a reasonable time frame. If I keep it open in front of me, when an email comes in I feel obligated to stop everything and read it and respond. Then, I’ve interupted any creative thinking I had been doing and find myself following rabbit trails that look like this:
“Oh, look. An email from my Penguin rep. I’ll see what is on special. Oh, I should make an order, they are offering free freight. Before I order, I should run a report to see what I need. OK, report run. I could make an order, but it is a pretty slow time of the year. Well, I should check the bank balance. Oh, I should pay some bills. OK, I need to call the accountant. Oh, look, an email from J. Jill. I wonder what they have on sale? I’ll just click and take a quick look. No. Wait. I don’t need anything. Delete that one. Quiznos is emailing a special. Gee, I’m hungry. Wait. It’s only 10 a.m. What was I doing? Oh yeah. I was going to make a Penguin order. Wait, there’s an email from someone named Danny. He says he needs me to be his business partner and that “behold, this is not an internet scam”. Delete Danny. Penguin, Susan. Stay focused. Oh, there’s an email from KIT with the local news. I’ll just take a quick look. Back to Penguin, when a happy tone announces I have an email from my favorite relative with a riveting forward about the danger of using plastic water bottles. Delete! Focus! I CAN’T!”
So, that is why I need to reign in this fabulous tool that wants to rule my life. I also kept a time journal today and you know what? The time I saved on email gave me time to tackle some piles on my desk that I’ve been avoiding and tonight I feel like I’ve made headway. The point of the book isn’t, however, to just save time, but to consider what good things I can do with the time I save. My five things seemed to orbit around relationships, so I plan to cultivate better relationships with my re-organized time.
I’ve done enough studies and read enough motivational books to realize that if I come out on the other end of this study having changed one thing that is a reasonable and realistic goal. So, ask me in a few weeks how it’s going and I’ll be ready to tell you what I’ve learned. I am also really looking forward to learning from the other people in the study. And my changed habits include building relationships, remember, so don’t quit sending me emails! I love them. And I’ll read each one. Every two hours. Wait, what is that sound? An email coming in? I wonder what it is?
Published in: on March 6, 2009 at 4:22 am  Comments (1)