Posted in Tuesday Treasures

Tuesday Treasures–#5

Treasure:  Noun: “anything or person greatly valued or highly prized”
Verb:  “to regard or treat as precious; cherish.”

Cherish: Verb: “to hold or treat as dear; feel love for, to care for tenderly; nurture

When I think about the things I treasure, I rarely think about material items.  I mainly think about my children, my family, the friendships new and old that I value so much.  I focus on the memories we make together.  The way we laugh, cry and grow together.  Most definitely the people in my life are my greatest treasure.

But as much value as I place on relationships, I also have to admit I have material items I treasure.  The wedding ring quilt that my ex-mother in law made as a wedding gift, that even though I am no longer married, I still value the time, energy and love it was created with.  My grandmother’s wedding ring, that when I wear it brings me a strength I have always been able to count on.  Pictures of my children when they were babies and these new tiny beings, from before I knew who they would turn out to be.  My journals of words written to them throughout their lives.

I was prompted to think on the idea of what would I save in this house, what items of sentimental value, would I attempt to keep and be sad to miss if I couldn’t get them in the event of a fire or disaster.  What items do I cherish that much?   And when I thought about this, I realized my list is pretty small.  That is not to say that I do not like nice things, or that my house has a little amount of “stuff”,  but it’s to say that most of the things I own are replaceable.  Many of the items I have are not things I treasure.

So I have tried to adopt the idea and practice to only purchase items that I really like.  When going shopping (beyond grocery food items), I will place everything I desire into my cart or basket.  Then before actually making a purchase, I will go through the items and evaluate if I really like something, will it be pretty or helpful in my home?  Will it be something I treasure, am I happy to have spent money on?  Or is it another item that will collect dust or hardly be worn or take up space that could be used for something more useful?

Many times I will remove about 50% of the items I truly thought I wanted.  By taking the time to go through them and with the idea that I only want to purchase items that will bring value, joy or beauty into my home, I have been able to save money and to create a home that is filled with more items that I genuinely treasure and less of just stuff.

Having this practice or philosophy I have found brings me more contentment in my home.  Brings less stress as I do not spend money on items I end up not wanting later.  Brings less mess and clutter as I find that items I didn’t end up enjoying are not taken care of as well as those items I do. And brings more beauty into my home.

I challenge you to look at your home, your stuff that fills up the rooms and evaluate what would you keep.  What items do you cherish enough to never want to lose?  What material things bring you joy when you look at them or use them?  Is the list so long that there is no possible way that you could actually keep them all?  Is it so short that you feel you have nothing of value that you have kept in your life?

I think part of self-care and learning to better ourselves, is learning that when we surround ourselves with more of what we treasure, more items that bring us joy and beauty, the more positive energy we create and then the more we can in return share with others.

I hope along with having relationships you treasure, you have at least a few items that you cherish.  That when you hold them in your hand, you feel happiness, strength or a memory that brings you joy.  And if you don’t, if you are surrounded by items that weigh you down, that don’t bring you peace or a smile to have in your home or your life, that you remove them and replace them with the things that do.  Creating the life we want, a life we can enjoy may mean a de-cluttering, a re-evaluation of what should or should not remain.

Find what you treasure and hold onto those things, let the rest go.  Keep creating the life you desire, the life that makes you the best you.

Posted in Tuesday Treasures

Map It—-Tuesday Treasures #4

Treasure:  Noun: “anything or person greatly valued or highly prized”
Verb:  “to regard or treat as precious; cherish.”

Cherish: Verb: “to hold or treat as dear; feel love for, to care for tenderly; nurture

maps

I love maps!  Maps of all kinds. Nautical maps.  World maps.  State maps.  The Road Atlas we use on road trips.  Anything that shows new places.  With the lines drawn for roads, highways, cities, national monuments etc.  Maps are like are like a treasure to me.  They seem to have a certain feel and sometimes even a smell.  They open the door to the possibilities of different routes to unknown, new or even familiar places.  When I hold a map in my hand, it’s as if the first step to an exciting adventure has been taken.

Being a planner by nature, a roadmap is essential to any trip.  Even in today’s technological world, there is still a necessity to owning and reading a map.  Not all those exciting locations are updated in our GPS systems. The too tiny of a town, in the middle of nowhere or the off-beaten trail road, isn’t used so not listed as an alternative route.

But as we journey through this life, we can’t always follow a map.  There is no road map to tell us how to parent.  How to deal with changes or loss or anything unexpected.   We often think we can read a book and apply the new ideas. While yes we utilize these tools to help us, many parts of life are done on a “wing it” basis.   We do the best we can to navigate and hope to arrive at the destination we wanted.  Sometimes we get this right, other times not and often have many surprises along the way.

I just celebrated a birthday and see so many new things coming this next year.  New job opportunities, new adventures as I soon have a college-bound student and new travels.  Many of these are surprises and could be met with trepidation, but instead, I am attempting to grow and see them as exciting.

Today’s treasure is to celebrate the unknown and the unexpected.  There are so many things to value and cherish in this life if we can learn to embrace them as such.  Instead of always needing a map, a list, one particular way of doing things, may we be more open to trying new things, learning other ways of doing things and to sometimes throw the map out and go off the grid.  Maybe we can learn to create our own map, our own paths as we navigate this great treasure we have called life.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Tuesday Treasures

Tuesday Treasures #3

Treasure:  Noun: “anything or person greatly valued or highly prized”
Verb:  “to regard or treat as precious; cherish.”

Cherish: Verb: “to hold or treat as dear; feel love for, to care for tenderly; nurture

It’s the last day of October and that means celebrating Halloween here in my neighborhood.  Even though my kids are all big now, this still means a costume, treats and somewhat scary movies.  As I look around at all that have dressed up, the treasure I think on today is about celebrations and traditions.

Yesterday we celebrated my youngest’s birthday and I love the traditions we have as a family to try to make each one of us feel special.  For my kids, that means their Auntie makes them their favorite cupcakes.  This is a special treat every year they look forward to and makes them feel loved and treasured.   The birthday girl or boy also gets to pick whatever they want for dinner on their special day.

I think traditions are an important and valuable way we can show each other what we hold dear.  Some traditions give us the opportunity to teach our children how to create memories and how to cherish others.  They allow us to show others they matter to us, such as in birthday traditions and how important the entire family is, such as in a weekly family meal, or a holiday gathering.

Not all holidays are celebrated by everyone and that is ok.  Halloween is not my particular favorite, but I love that many folks take the time to follow their traditions and keep making memories.

It doesn’t have to be a holiday or birthday to create traditions.  You may have weekly things that you do as a family that create the same kind of memories for you and yours.  Maybe you take a family trip every year.  Or share the same stories on a specific day of the year.  Or maybe you give each year to a cause that matters to you, teaching the value of helping others.

However you can, I encourage you to take the time to create cherished traditions.  No matter if they are holiday related or not.  These create a positive memory usually and we can always use more of those.

I would love to hear what traditions you have.  Perhaps one of yours will spark a new one for my family or another.

Enjoy Halloween if you celebrate it!

 

 

Posted in Tuesday Treasures

Tuesday Treasures #2

Treasure:  Noun: “anything or person greatly valued or highly prized”
Verb:  “to regard or treat as precious; cherish.”

Cherish: Verb: “to hold or treat as dear; feel love for, to care for tenderly; nurture

Today’s treasure is about my kids.  Thinking about what I highly value and cherish, nothing tops my kiddos.  This is the norm for most of us, but this week’s treasure is about the TIME I get with them.

Time is a gift we don’t often spend too much energy thinking on or paying enough attention to in my opinion because we are too busy living.  We have busy lives; getting kids to school, getting off to work, shopping, running errands, making food, paying the bills, etc.  Often we are so busy taking care of life, that time goes by and we don’t seem to stop and think about how fast it all goes.  We might think about it for a moment, try to slow down and enjoy it, but we are often pulled to the next thing.

Maybe because I have teenagers and I am looking at one of them graduating in the next 8 months, (early), the process of looking at and applying for colleges is upon us and I am preparing for a new season, I may be more sensitive these days to treasure the time I get with them.   Maybe because I share them with their Dad and do not see my kids every single day, I am often aware of how fast the time is going.

But I wanted to talk mostly about ways to make the most of the time you have together. In our house, none of us are big TV watchers, so we spend more time playing games together, talking,  sharing stories of our days, cooking together, etc.  I have always tried to make sure that we connect every day, all together and one and one with them.

Today I am treasuring that the past few weeks have seen quite a bit of TIME together.  From a crafty night with my daughter, to a dinner date with my son, to family movie night we have been spending more time together.   For most of their lives, I have lived alone with them, in an environment of an open space floor plan, so we have always been in each other’s spaces, A LOT (too much they would probably say).  I ascribe to the mindset that love grows best in tiny spaces, in my world that seems to ring true.

Because we are rarely facing away from each other (ie; facing the television) we talk more.  We share our days, our thoughts and our frustrations more.  Not that we all always get along, I am Mom after all and they are kids, but for the most part, things are smooth these days.  I am very thankful that even though my kids are now teenagers, they still enjoy hanging with Mom some of the time.

So I wanted to say; take the time to cherish the time you get with your littles.  Before you know it, you are looking at them running out the door to build their own lives.  We do no get any moments back and they all go so fast.  I once heard a woman speaker say that she loved every stage of raising her kids.  She didn’t wish for a different time, or to get through a particularly tough stage, she tried to enjoy each stage of raising kids because she knew it was a short season of life.   I had young kiddos at the time, who took every ounce of energy, I kinda thought she was crazy, how can you enjoy the constant questions, the constant needs?  But I have tried really hard in the past 5-6 years to really apply this thought.  To value each stage, to cherish the TIME I get with them.

I thought I would share some of the things we do in our home to show that we value TIME together:

  • We play the High/Low game.  My kids’ Dad and I saw this in a movie many many years ago and I adopted the practice once my kids went to school.  Every day after school I ask, what was the High, what was the Low from the day.  Everyone takes a turn sharing.  This has sparked many conversations, created laughs and been a way to connect with my kiddos, to show them that I value them, that I want to know them and about their worlds.
  • We have at least one meal a day where we all sit down together.  This can be hard to do as they are so busy with sports and activities, so this has not always been dinner.  Sometimes it has been breakfast.  Often times this family meal has been on the go, sitting in the car, eating Subway as we are waiting for practice to start.  But we try very hard to at least once a day connect over a meal, maybe just a leftover practice from my own childhood, but it has been invaluable for us.
  • As I stated, we do not watch much TV.  As a matter of fact, I turned the TV on the other day for background noise and my oldest asked if we could turn it off, she would rather we be able to talk.  When the TV is on, we become more focused on that than each other.  But we do have one or two TV shows that we do watch together as a family.  Usually, this is a funny 30-minute program where we have our phones, laptops, tablets set away.  It’s an easy downtime, relaxing, change of focus for us before we go back to homework or the night routines
  • We try to make sure we laugh together OFTEN!  One year I added this as a family goal, to laugh daily.  Since that time, we have made this a priority.  With so much chaos and sad things in this life, it can be easy to get depressive and down.  Laughter covers over a lot.  Try to laugh often as a family, the feel-good emotions it sparks in our brains is invaluable.
  • We create together.  Not everyone is crafty, but in our house, we find ways to share creativity.  I am a quilter and a card maker.  My daughter likes to make dream catchers and other items.  My son is into programming and working on his youtube streaming.  Each of us has some kind of creative outlet and we try to support each other.  That can be by helping cut out fabric, gluing something, watching or providing feedback, offering an extra hand.  Being supportive of each other’s interests creates value as well.

Giving kids our time, slowing down to make sure they know they are important, gives back ten fold when they are older.  I feel very fortunate that my teenagers still want to hang out with me.  That is the reward I think for parenting and investing the TIME into them, not just to discipline and train, but to get to know each other, to show them who we are, and see who they are separate from us.  As we invest in them, they, in turn, invest in us.  Treasure the time now, let them know how much you cherish them, giving our TIME is how they know this!

 

Posted in Tuesday Treasures

Tuesday Treasures #1

Treasure:  Noun: “any thing or person greatly valued or highly prized”
Verb:  “to regard or treat as precious; cherish.”

Cherish: Verb: “to hold or treat as dear; feel love for, to care for tenderly; nurture

In this journey to take better care of ourselves, I wanted to start a series that would bring some inspiration and motivation.  I have always liked stories or movies about finding hidden treasures, and I thought this was a nice idea to apply to taking care of ourselves. To treat taking care of ourselves as if one; we are a treasure and two; to see the journey in doing so as a quest to find a treasure.

If we take the verb approach to this word; then we should be treating ourselves as precious.  We should act and behave as if we are highly valued and valuable. Do you struggle with this like I do?  As a mother, I find this can be really easy to apply to my children.  They are so very precious and important to me.  I value and cherish the time I get to spend with them, especially as I share them with their Dad.  We have a 50/50 split, so I do not see them every day.  As they grow, I realize more and more how fast this time is going and I tend to be a bit stingy with my time with them.  I am overjoyed when they want to spend their time with me; it can be hard during the teen years to get them to desire to hang out with the parents, so when they do, I hold onto it.  My children are most definitely my most important and valuable treasure.

But I also realize that in order for me to be the best me I can be, it is important to value myself.  To see that I too am valuable and learn to cherish myself.   But how do we do that? In today’s world of caring for children, spouses, possibly parents (as we enter into our 40’s and 50’s this is often a reality for many), working and all the other things we do as adults; it can be very difficult to find time or have the energy to take care of ourselves.

Look at the simple banner picture above, do you see the treasures in there? Let’s take a look at this to get some ideas about finding treasure:

I see the shells.  I see this as representing something beautiful.  We were at the beach this past weekend and my niece found a tiny, perfect sand dollar.  For her, this was precious! It was this tiny bit of beauty that she was extremely excited to have found, she showed us all with a huge smile on her face; she had found her treasure of the day.   What items are beautiful to you?  Do you keep pretty items in your home or at your workplace?  Do you search for the beauty around you?

I see lounge chairs in the sand.  To me, this is a symbol of relaxation.  Sitting back, enjoying the sand and waves for some is a great way to spend the day.  For many members of my family, this is their happy place. They love going to the beach and try to go as often as they can.  Even if just for an afternoon.  Personally, I am more of a swing, on a deck, by a lake, in the mountains kind of girl.  Where is your favorite place to be? Can you go there often?  Can you take a day or a weekend to visit this place once a month?  Or once a quarter or year?

As I have mentioned, I love Montana.  I can not go there as often as I would like yet, but I make it a point to go every year.  Something about that state quiets my mind, relaxes me and I value the scenery and the time I get to spend there.  Do you have a place that brings you relaxation? Can you find a way to relax at some point every day or every week at least?

I see a message in a bottle.  This makes me think of the words we speak; to others and to ourselves.  It seems easy to learn to speak in a way that shows how much we value those we love and care for, we desire to let our loved ones know that we care.  We actively try to speak lovingly.  But I think this is also is something we need to learn to apply to ourselves.  Much of what we tell ourselves is negative.  Many of us have a negative self-talk.  What would our days and attitudes look like if we chose to have a positive self-talk? If we wrote out positive messages and stuck them on the fridge or mirror.  I know many might mock at the idea of positive affirmations, but I have found they are invaluable when trying to change our focus, to care for ourselves and to make changes in our lives. Have you found a phrase or statements that help you create a more positive outlook?  Do you post these so you see them often?  Are you using words that build you up or tear you down?

I see coins in a treasure chest.  This can be the representation of any items you find great value in.  Items that you cherish or would save.  Like my niece finding the shell.  She valued that.  It was a precious find. For her, it was a pretty thing.  Not all of the things we treasure are about beauty.  Maybe you really value money.  For you finding a way to make more of it, to pay off a bill, to gift some to others, to save it, is of high value.  Maybe it’s finding a dress you love at the store that you can not wait to wear.  Or getting flowers from a lover or a friend.  These coins can represent anything you want them to be!   I find that the way I decide if something is of value to me, is to ask myself if I had a fire or flood or some disaster and could only take what I could carry, what would I take?  I have found this works well for me to maintain perspective as to what possessions I truly value and need in my life.  What do you own or desire that is of high value to you?

As we start this Tuesday Treasure journey, I will be searching to find things that can fit into this idea (treasure chest) of finding things of beauty, relaxation, words, and items or products that can help us to be our best selves.

As always, let me know if you have any ideas to add.

Happy Tuesday!  Find your joy today!