Feeling positive about ourselves (or others, or our situation, or ____ (fill in the blank) can be difficult, right? In so many ways complaining, grumbling, or negative thoughts are what’s natural, and they’re what comes easily. However, we aren’t victims to our own thoughts (even when it feels that way). I know I’ve said many times on this blog that words have meanings, so I want to give you a little tool today to help aid you in feeling positive and healthy towards yourself, others, or a particular situation you might find yourself in in life.
The 5:1 rule. John Gottman, a psychology professor, had a “love lab” at the University of Washington. There, he studied couples, following them over the course of many years. One of his findings was the 5:1 rule. In relationships, to feel positive and happy about the other person and the relationship as a whole, there needed to be 5 positive interactions for each negative interaction.
Let that sink in for a minute! It’s not a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio. Clearly, as humans, the negative has a much bigger impact on us than the positive, which is why we need so many more positive interactions to help balance our the negative interactions that we have.
So I’m going to take this a step further. While this rule was outlined for couples, let’s expand it to ourselves, our relationships, and the situations in which we find ourselves. What if we allowed the 5:1 rule to play out in each of them as well?
When you’re struggling with feeling positive about yourself, someone you have to interact regularly with, or a situation you’re in (i.e. WINTER), you can choose to repeat positive or negative things to yourself. If you repeat the negative over and over, you’re of course going to feel negative, but if you train your thoughts on the positive, then perhaps you’ll find that your emotions might follow suit.
It’s worth the risk of trying, right?
DO you remember when I used to do my weekly nail polish and friday facts posts each Friday? When I went back to search on my blog it appears the last time I did one was March of 2016! For whatever reason I just felt like doing one this week, so here goes!
This week I’m wearing a new-to-me color: Essie’s baguette me not. (I put Essie’s set in stones glitter on top– because life is better with sparkle)
It’s a nice lavender color. It went on really smoothly, and 2 coats was sufficient to cover it up. It’s such a fun spring and summer color! And I realized that I accidentally matched my dress and nails this week- oops!
Ok- here are some Friday facts for the week!
My knee has been injured for 22 weeks now (UGH), but I’m finally to the point where I can swim comfortably. I need to write a full post on this but… I swam a mile earlier this week! It felt great to be able to get in a “longer workout” again, especially since the water feels so good on my knee.
I’ve added a few new plants to my yard this year, including these sunflowers and hydragenas. I can’t stop with the flowers… and I don’t want to. They feel good for my soul.
In mid-May I finally bought a Hydro Flask for myself, and I have been loving it all summer! It’s super easy to take with me (and I’m a firm believer of keeping water on me most of the time, especially in the summer), and because it’s insulated it keeps water cold for hours (seriously- the other night around 5 pm I put a bunch of ice and water in it, took it to a friend’s house, came home and went to bed, and there was still ice in it in the morning!). I’ve been loving it!
The key lime oreos that are out this summer- pure deliciousness!
I went into a meeting yesterday at work (it was 4 hours long), so I came prepared with snacks and all the fluids to stay hydrated. I may have been laughed at by almost everyone around the table… 🙂
Now it’s your turn to share! What’s one fun fact from your week?
Happy Monday! I haven’t done a “currently” post in awhile, and since I’m loving all things summer, I thought that I’d put one up!
Currently Drinking: SO much lemonade. I unfortunately get heartburn after drinking it more than 2-3 days in a row, but I can’t stop because… summer. It’s delicious.
Currently Eating: All the cherries. Since the third week of May I’ve eaten cherries 5-6 days a week, and I am enjoying them as much as possible as their season ends. I look forward to cherry season every year.
I’m also enjoying all the summer oreos- like these dunkin donuts mocha ones!
Currently listening to: Despacito because it’s summer and such a fun song! I’m also listening to a whole lot of podcasts.
Currently Watching: Switched at Birth. I started watching the show on July 4th, and I’ve made it through the first season. I am really enjoying it so far.
Currently Reading: Lots of books! I’m currently rotating through a book on trauma, the book “Being White”, the book “The Road Back to You” about the enneagram types of personality (there are 9), and “The Last Battle” which is the final book in the Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis.
Currently Smelling: Love & Sunshine lotion from Bath & Body Works- it smells like delicious summer! I’ve also been burning the Bath & Body Works Midnight Blue Citrus candle.
Currently Excited for: Honestly I just consistently look forward to pool time. I’m looking forward to being able to bike outside, being able to run again, and to spend as much time as I can outside while it’s still nice and warm!
Currently Wearing: My knee brace- my ever present companion for the last 21 weeks. Dresses to work, work out clothes most of the rest of the time unless I’m at the pool! I love summer clothes.
Currently Loving: A more relaxed summer schedule. I crave June, July, and August (although I find all sorts of ways to enjoy the rest of the year) due to a lighter work load, extended daylight to spend time outside, and time with flowers. I’m also loving having a pool to go to this summer.
Now it’s your turn to share! What are some of your “currently” statements for the month?
On July 10, 2014 I sat down in a chair and got my very first tattoo. I’ve spent three years thinking about the tattoo and explaining it to others. I’ve never regretted having the tattoo at all, and I love being able to share some of the story behind it (I tell the story of my it is well tattoo here). I find myself often staring at it, and it’s become a solid and grounding reminder to myself in difficult moments.
But recently, in the last few months, I’ve noticed something else emerge as well. This tattoo feels that it has become a part of me at a much deeper level. It feels that there would be something deeply missing from me without it, and I love it. The tattoo has slowly worked its way in to an increasingly more meaningful place in my life, integrating into the whole of who I am and what I’m about.
Tattoos have a cool way of doing that.
Now it’s your turn to share! Do you have a tattoo? If so- what is it and what’s the story behind it?
I love summer for so many reasons, including some extra time I have to read (and the time I have to read outdoors!). This month I read 14 books (I was at 62 books at the end of May), and have read 76 books so far for the year.
Here’s what I read this month:
A Gentleman in Moscow (Towles): I was really excited to read this book book, and I was a bit disappointed. I wonder if reading this particular book would’ve been better than listening to the audiobook. I just felt sort of… bored… throughout it. However, there were some really beautifully written passages though. 3/5 stars
My Name is Lucy Barton (Strout): I really enjoyed this book. This is written as an autobiography but it’s a fictional character, and I thought it was brilliantly done. This was a very quick read. 4/5 stars
10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works (Harris): This book is written by a reporter who had a panic attack on Good Morning America. This story is his journey to find a sense of inner calm and joy in the middle of a fast paced and hectic career. 4/5 stars
Everything, Everything (Yoon): A book about a teenage girl who is allergic to almost everything, and is therefore stuck in her house. A family moves in next door, and she’s confronted with life outside her house. Again, a quick read, and I really enjoyed it. 4/5 stars
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race (Shetterly): I have been REALLY really excited to read this book. I actually started reading this in April, but just couldn’t get hooked. I felt like there was way too much unnecessary detail given that made it drag on a bit. So, I returned the book and requested the audiobook, and that definitely helped. Can you find yourself both inspired and bored by the same book? There were parts I found so absolutely fascinating and inspiring and interesting. It was a very interesting story before, and one I previously knew nothing about. 3.5/5 stars
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America (Dyson): The title is pretty self-explanatory. This book discusses various aspects of racism and inequality, and the author shares some of his own personal stories as well. Many good reflections, challenges, and truths throughout the book. I value his vulnerability in sharing parts of his own story throughout.
Pride Over Pity (Lowry): Written by a person who was on 16 and Pregnant is on Teen Mom 2. I thought her story was interesting, especially some of the things that happened that the show didn’t show (or happened before she was on the show). 3/5 stars
The Year of Living Danishly: My Twelve Months Unearthing the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country (Russell): The author moves to Denmark for her husband’s job, and this book is her account, month by month, of differences she notices and lessons she’s learned about how the people in the “world’s happiest country” lives. It was interesting… 3.5/5 stars
Measure of a Man: From Auschwitz Survivor to Presidents’ Tailor (Greenfield): The title pretty well explains the book. I love stories of courage and resilience. It was inspiring how he took the horror he lived through and lived meaningfully afterwards. I listened to the audiobook and it was great. 4/5 stars
A Grace Revealed: How God Redeems the Story of Your Life (Sittser): Sittser lost his mom, wife, and daughter in a car accident, and wrote his story in his book A Grace Disguised (I really love that book). In this sort of “follow up” book, he talks through the aspects of a good story, overlaying that with his own life experiences. 4/5 stars
Gossip Girl #1 (Ziegesar): I watched Gossip Girl two summers ago, and I had a real desire to watch it again this summer. But then I found that there was a Gossip Girl book series and jumped right in. I’m not sure how I would’ve liked the book without seeing the show first, but I enjoyed it.
Barefoot (Hilderbrand): I actually had started this book last summer and then abandoned it within the first twenty pages because I felt a bit bored by it. I decided to try again this summer, and I’m glad I did. This was a fun and quick read taking place on Nantucket, following the lives of two sisters and one of their friends. Their summer takes some unexpected turns, and the trio of girls has to do their best to deal with all that has unfolded. 3/5 stars
Love and First Sight (Sundquist): I listened to this on audiobook, and I couldn’t force myself to stop listening. This follows the story of a high school boy who is blind and starts at a new school. It follows him as he confronts questions about his lack of ability to see, how he thinks about relationships, and what he wants out of his life. 4/5 stars
You Know You Love Me (Gossip Girl #2) (Ziegesar): This is the 2nd book from the gossip girl series. Fun and quick to listen to.
So that’s what I read for the month. If you’re going to read anything from this list, here’s what I would suggest: Love and First Sight and Everything, Everything.
Now it’s your turn to share! What book are you most looking forward to reading this summer?
18 WEEKS 🙁
When I hurt my knee 18 weeks ago, I’m so glad that I had no idea how long this healing process would take, because I would’ve felt incredibly overwhelmed by it all.
The question I keep getting from friends and people at work is “are you noticing any changes?”
The answer is: YES! A huge yes!
When I was in Florida over Memorial day, I was able to get into the pool and that helped to loosen my knee up a good amount, which has increased my range of motion. YAY!!
I’m able to walk longer distances and am down to only one crutch, which still provides a bit of weight off my knee while walking. I’m also walking more (short) distances with no crutches, which feels unbelievable. The fact that I can more easily get myself coffee or water or food feels so relieving.
And, a huge development happened a few weeks ago: I’ve been able to bike! I’m going for very short times 1-2 times a week, and it’s so painfully slow, but I don’t really care (ok- I a little bit care) because I’m biking-ish again and it feels so good (also weird and sometimes a little tight and painful).
See that pace? I’m pretty much moving at toddler pace, but I’m taking every minute I can get.
I’m still sitting a bit more, am wearing the compression sleeve, ice massaging, and putting my legs up on the well to help decrease fluid in my legs (bonus: this helps with POTS) as well.
So- am I close to running? I don’t think so. I don’t think I’m close to doing rides outside either, which grieves me a bit because it’s summer and gorgeous biking weather. But, I’m seeing progress and I’ll take it. 18 weeks down… I don’t know how many more to go…
Happy summer time! May signals a change to my summer schedule (the last week of the month), so I’m enjoying a slower rhythm, more nights chilling on my back porch, and more time to read! I also spent the last week of the month in Florida (I had a work thing down there), so I had some extra time to read around the pool and on the beach! In May I read 15 books, bringing my total to 62 books this year (for interests sake, I went to see when I hit 62 books last year- I did on July 18th). At the end of the post I’ll share my must read books from the month.
Here’s what I read in May:
Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home (Laura & Lisa Ling): Last month I read a book by the other reporter who was imprisoned in North Korea, so this month I decided to read about the situation from the Ling sisters’ perspectives. It was incredibly interesting, and was a really quick read.
At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe (Tsh Oxenreider): I really loved this book. The author’s family packed up and went on an almost year long tour around the world, living in various countries. This was a delightful book, and I so enjoyed not only reading about various parts of the world, but also the lessons the author learned about herself along the way. 4/5 stars.
I Got This: To Gold and Beyond (Laurie Hernandez): This book was written by one of the gymnasts from the 2016 women’s gymnastics team in Rio. This was an interesting, quick, and fun read, and I loved reading about her experiences in Rio and on Dancing With the Stars.
The Magician’s Land (Lev Grossman): The third book in the Magician’s series. It was interesting, and I appreciated some of the ways that he tied up the storylines.
The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands (Lysa TerKeurst): I actually didn’t even write anything about this book on goodreads, although I did give it 3/5 stars. There were some good takeaways sprinkled throughout.
This is How You Lose Her (Junot Diaz): I didn’t prefer the style of writing within this series of short stories. Quite honestly, I also didn’t love the main character at all, so it was hard for me to desire to know what came next for him or to root for him. 2/5 stars
Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path (Erin Loechner): I listened to this via audiobook, and I enjoyed it. The author was open about her journey to “slow” and more intentional living, and I appreciated the ways that she acknowledged how she was changing without making it “all or nothing”. 3.75/5 stars
Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely (Lysa TerKeurst): Again, she makes several good points throughout the book, but I still found myself a bit internally torn without words to put to why I was feeling that way. 3/5 stars
The Secrets of My Life (Caitlyn Jenner): This book was absolutely fascinating. I really enjoyed hearing more about her life growing up, the interactions with OJ Simpson (and how the whole trial played out within the family), his time with the Kardashians, and the candidness in talking about the transition.
Born A Crime: Stories From A South African Childhood (Trevor Noah): I didn’t know anything about the author before I read this book, and I found his story to be incredibly interesting. I found myself feeling thankful for his vulnerability and what he shared. I also appreciated the moments he stepped away from his story and gave a few pages of history and context for what was happening within apartheid, and then placed his story in that context. A must read. 4.5/5 stars
Writings to Young Women from Laura Ingalls Wilder: On Wisdom and Virtues (Laura Ingalls Wilder): This was a random choice in books, but I really loved The Little House on the Prairie series. I wouldn’t read it again, but there were moments that were slightly interesting.
Firefly Lane #1 (Kristin Hannah): i had a bit of a hard time initially getting into this book, but by about 30% through I couldn’t put it down. There were a few moments that dragged, but otherwise I was hooked. I may have even cried a little bit at the end, which was especially awkward since I was reading it on the plane. 4/5 stars.
The Silver Chair (Chronicles of Narnia) (C.S. Lewis): I’m slowly making my way through the Chronicles of Narnia (I started in the late winter/early spring of 2014), and this is the 2nd to last one. I’ve still struggled with the fact that the entire series doesn’t revolve around the 4 siblings, so every book has been a slight disappointment because of that.
What We Find (Sullivan’s Crossing #1) (Robyn Carr): This story takes place out west, based at a family’s store on a hiking trail. It was a fun story about careers, love and family.
The Rumor (Elin Hilderbrand): On vacation I love to read at least one book that takes place at a beach, and this trip this was the book! This book takes place on Nantucket, and actually has a quick reference to a book I read two years ago over Memorial Day (The Castaways). It was a fun, quick read.
Here are my “must reads” for the month: At Home In The World, Born a Crime, and Firefly Lane. All three are very different, so there’s a nice balance there!
Now it’s your turn to share! What book are you looking forward to reading this summer?
As you might recall, 13 weeks ago I hurt my knee and have been on crutches ever since. Yes. I’ve survived 13 weeks on crutches. So, I thought I’d give you all a quick update:
My knee IS getting better, albeit incredibly slowly. I’ve been icing and doing PT and compressing and elevating my heart out, and it’s definitely been making a difference. I’ve worked hard and, with a lot of effort, can bend my knee to 90 degrees, so while that sounds like a little thing, it’s definitely not! Like I said, it’s not comfortable and I don’t sit like that often- normally my leg is elevated and straight. The swelling has actually gotten a little bit worse, so that’s not ideal.
Mentally I’m starting to feel a bit fussy about the whole thing. I’ve done pretty well about staying upbeat about the whole thing (even in Mexico), but honestly I’m getting a little tired. If I had a set number of weeks that I needed to get through to get to the other side, I could handle that more than I could with it just being an unknown number.
I’m struggling with not being able to really carry things for myself. With crutches you don’t have hands you can use while walking, so I can’t get myself food, can’t get myself coffee, can’t do very basic things for myself. At home I have to not use crutches sometimes, of course, but otherwise I have people doing a lot of things for me, which is nice.
I’m feeling frustrated that I can’t go on walks, runs, or bike rides. I really can’t work out much at all, except for doing some upper body lifting. For 13 weeks. I haven’t gone that long without any exercise since… before I started exercising.
I’m really struggling with feeling comfortable sleeping. Every night I desperately want to sleep on my side, but I can’t because my knee hurts too much to do that. I sleep on my back, every night, without moving, and with my knee elevated. Fussy. I give myself 2-3 minutes on my side just to get comfortable, but then my knee hurts so back to my back I go.
But really, I just am frustrated with not being able to live the normal rhythms of life. But when I get tempted to complain, I think about how much worse it could really be, and that helps to ground me. Frankly, despite my frustration, I can move and walk and get things done, and I don’t want to take that for granted.
So, there’s a quick little update on how my knee is doing.
Well, at the start of April I set out to play the Minimalism Game. The rules are simple: day 1, get rid of one item. day 2, get rid of two items, day 3, 3 items, etc… for the month. In my first post I wanted to get to about day 15, and I felt like that would be a success for me. Once I made it to day 15 and was going strong, I decided I would commit to 25 days. So, how did I end up doing?
Well… I DID IT! I made it a full 30 days of playing the game, meaning I got rid of 465 items this month! WOAH. It sort of puts my “one item a day for a year” game to shame last year! Or, it got me warmed up, because I don’t think I would’ve been able to play this game two or three years ago.
turns out I don’t miss the 70+ magazines I tossed over the course of the month- yikes!
I’ve learned a few lessons over the last month:
1. I learned that there is a whole lot in my house that I don’t even realize that I have. When I REALLY went looking for items (especially deep in the back of cupboards and drawers), I found so my items I had no idea that I had… and that I no longer needed.
2. I found that, while I still struggle to hold onto items because of the memories, I’m getting just a tiny bit better at releasing them… and I’ll take that progress!
3. I realized that I really need to get a scanner so I can scan in some hard copies of pictures and documents and then get rid of them. I have 2-3 large boxes of pictures in my house, and I honestly don’t really have space for those boxes. So, a scanner would be perfect!
4. Making it a game makes it way more fun and motivating than it otherwise would be. I’d heard that but honestly felt skeptical until I started playing the game.
5. People will often comment with “I don’t think I could find that much in my house to get rid of.” And you can smile to yourself because, except for the rare exception, of course they could. And then you’ll remind yourself that you didn’t think you could do it two weeks prior.
6. I realized that I feel more relaxed when I walk into my house at the end of the day.
7. I’ve realized just how much energy it takes to look at so much stuff, and how that raises my stress level a little bit… which just motivates me to continue to clean a bit.
8. I realized that I have a lot more that I can get rid of.
So where does that leave me today? Well, like I said, I still have more items that I want to get rid of! I have a bag set aside for me to start tossing items into, and I plan to play the game again in June or July. I don’t think I’ll play for the full month this time, but I’d like to play for at least 15 days. We’ll see though- that’s what I said last time!
Well, here we are in May. I went to Mexico at the end of the March and honestly, I had a pretty hard time adjusting back after the trip. I just wanted to read more about the work that is happening there, and ended up spending a lot of time that I would’ve been reading processing instead. That being said, I read 8 books this month, bringing my total for the year to 47 books.
Here’s what I read in April:
Grit (Angela Duckworth): This book is all about grit- perseverance and passion for long term goals. She talked about her research on grit and looked at how people develop more grit (and all about deliberate practice!). She also crossed the information on grit with the idea of growth mindsets (I talked all about the book Mindset here )- I loved this book and found it really interesting.
The Magician King (Lev Grossman): This was the 2nd book in The Magicians series. It was interesting and held my attention, but I don’t have much to say about it. I’ll definitely read the 3rd book in the series.
Sunrise Point and My Kind of Christmas (Robyn Carr): These were the final books in the Virgin River Series. There are 18 books (I started the series back in August of 2016), so it felt good to finally get through it!
Slow Kingdom Coming (Kent Annan): I could go on and on forever about this book. The subtitle of the book is “Practices for Doing Justice, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly in the World”. This book explored 5 critical practices that need to be in place while helping, coming alongside another, and doing justice within the world. I highlighted so much in this book, and I just loved it. It felt beautiful and challenging and difficult and life-changing.
The World Is Bigger Now (Euna Lee): Several years ago, two US journalists were imprisoned and held in North Korea- this is the story written by one of those two journalists. It was fascinating.
Happily Ever After (Trista Sutter): Honestly, I was hoping that she would talk more about her time as the Bachelorette, but she really just hit on that story line a few times throughout the book. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the book, but I was hoping it would be so much more than it was.
Cold Tangerines (Shauna Niequist): I’ve read several books by this author, and style wise this book fits right in. She’s open and vulnerable in her story telling, and makes me feel, as the reader, that I’m sitting in her living room chatting with her. In this book she explores some of the small things that make up an extraordinary life.
If you only read a few things from the month: Slow Kingdom Coming and Grit
Now it’s your turn to share! What book have you loved lately? What book is next up on your “to read” list?