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It’s that time of the week again! And even better, since tomorrow is July 4th, this Wednesday is like a Friday!! Double yay! I really hate that word, btw. It may not seem like it because I think I may use it all the time. But really, what word can you even substitute for that? Deep thoughts here.
My Wednesday Wish List is going to be all over the place today. Inspiration has hit me big time this week and I want to share all the things that have influenced me.
1.) Take a break!!
For those of you who read my post yesterday, you know that Jeremy and I had a little mini getaway for the weekend. It astonished me just how big of a difference that weekend made for me. I knew it would be good for me. I knew I needed it. Everything I read said to do it.
But evidently I didn’t know how much I needed it.
All those people that say how important it is? They’re right! I came back renewed and refreshed and ready to take on life. It’s not like it changed me or anything profound like that. But imagine it this way. If life were measured by an enthusiasm scale from 1 to 10, mine before this weekend was hovering around a 3 or 4, probably. Now, I’m not saying my life was terrible or that I was depressed or anything like that. I just mean it felt like life had become so mundane, such a routine. I was like a machine going through the motions.
Since I’ve come home on Sunday, I feel like my “enthusiasm scale” is now staying at a consistent 10, if you will. I feel compelled to go complete those projects in the garage now, to stay up late and watch that TV show I haven’t seen in four years, to spend too much time cooking a dinner that my kids probably won’t eat. For no other reason than because I enjoy those things.
And maybe it’s because I’m at a point in my life where my “littles” aren’t quite so little anymore. My oldest is four and my youngest will turn two in July. They still depend on me obviously and need me but not as much as before. I feel like I kind of rediscovered this dormant part of myself this weekend that has had to hibernate during that season of teething and colic and up all nighters.
So I guess my point is, go take that trip. Whether it’s a vacation, a weekend getaway, or even a day trip. Feed your soul. Do something that makes you feel like you. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to be grand. I firmly believe you can’t fill other cups if your own is empty.
You don’t have to have small kids to need this break. Maybe you care for a loved one. Maybe your kids are older and play on travel ball teams and you can’t remember the last time you sat on the couch in your own home. Or maybe a night away for you looks like a date with Netflix with a bowl of popcorn. But, take the time for yourself. Okay, rant over. Moving on.
For the 12 years that I’ve been out of school and working, 11 of those years have been spent commuting to and from work. The amount of time I’ve commuted has varied through the years and ranges from anywhere from over an hour one way to 30 minutes one way.
Years ago, I started listening to audiobooks in the car. It was a way to turn that time into something enjoyable. My commute these days really isn’t long enough to get into a book too much anymore but I still longed for something to fill that time. I remembered hearing someone talk about podcasts but I really had no clue what they were or what they were about.
What are they anyway?
Well, my friend, let me just tell you. I have become obsessed. If you have an Iphone all you simply have to do is click on the purple podcast app that already comes preinstalled on your phone. And now at your disposal are thousands of different podcasts on any subject imaginable. (If you don’t have an Iphone, go to your app store and search podcast to find your phone’s way to listen.)
What are podcasts exactly? Imagine them like a blog with audio. Instead of you reading the author’s words, you now listen to the author say it out loud. Some are funny, some are inspirational, some are entertaining. Whoever you are and whatever your interests may be, there is a podcast for you.
Another reason I think they’re so great? I have two small kids. It’s such a no brainer for me. Most of the time I’m listening to things that inspire me. To be a better Christian, a better wife, a better mom, a better writer, and so on and so on. What better way to turn that time in the car that I used to view as a burden into something positive? I try to take advantage of this time to the fullest.
Some of my favorite podcasts:
- Serial by This American Life. This one is not inspirational, but it bears mentioning because this is the first one I ever listened to. I think I found it by googling top podcasts or something. There are now like 3 seasons but at the time I listened there was only one. The first season is all about an imprisoned man named Adnan Syed who was found guilty of murdering his ex girlfriend in high school. The podcaster, Sarah Koenig, takes you through the whole case that was put together against him, bit by bit. One week you’re sure he did it, the next you want to proclaim his innocence. They made an HBO miniseries about it that I haven’t seen yet. So, if you’re wanting to dip your toes into the podcast waters, this one is a good one to start with.
- Young House Love has a podcast by Young House Love. This one was a no brainer. I loved their blog. I love them. I love listening to them talk about their blog.
- Hope*Writers Podcast. This one is a new favorite. I listen to it every morning on the way to work and every afternoon on the way home. It’s hosted by two longtime blog writers who have written books, their marketing and tech guy who has also written books, and the two bloggers dad who, you guessed it, has also written a book. They’re funny, kind, extremely knowledgeable and also Christian. I love them and their podcast.
- In This Together Podcast by Josh and Christi Straub. This one is an inspirational Christian marriage/parenting/family kind of thing. This married couple talks about their marriage and parenting struggles and also interviews different experts in these fields. They inspire me to be a better wife and mom and I love them for that.
3.) Cozy Minimalism book by Myquillyn Smith
If you’re still with me, I promise I’m wrapping things up soon. This is a book that I put on my wish list after listening to the author, Myquillyn Smith, speak on the Hope*Writer’s Podcast. She is one of the longtime bloggers that speaks on this podcast. Her blog is called The Nester and she’s been blogging over 10 years. Her whole concept on decorating is “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” Which resonates so much with me. As a home owner with allllll kinds of clutter, I can’t wait to be inspired by how she combines cozy and minimalism together. Here’s a link to the actual book or if a Kindle book is more your thing, you can find a link to that version here.
4.) “Pretty Girls” by Karin Slaughter.
I’ve read several of Karin Slaughter’s books before but none of them stood out to me quite like this one. I’d try to explain what it’s about but honestly the book’s summary on Amazon does it better than I ever could. If you like mystery and suspense type thrillers, this one’s for you. Check the book version out here. Find the Kindle version here. *Disclaimer- I do remember some parts being kind of graphic and hard to read but the book is so good I still recommend it.*
So that wraps up this week’s wish list. I hope something on here inspires you in some way. Let me know what books you’ve been reading and please, someone tell me a different word to use besides “Yay!”. Happy 4th of July!