I started reading "Girl, Wash Your Face" by Rachel Hollis last week. I didn't even get through the introduction before reading a life altering paragraph; Rachel writes:
"That's why I do what I do. That's why I run a website and talk about how to make a centerpiece, or parent with kindness, or strengthen a marriage. It's why I researched thirty different ways to clean out your front-load washer before I taught my tribe how to do it. It's why I know the perfect ratio of balsamic and citrus to make your pot roast taste amazing. Sure, I cover a whole host of topics using my online platform, but ultimately they boil down to one thing: these are the elements of my life, and I want to do them well. The posts demonstrate, how I am learning and growing, and I want them to grow and encourage other women too."
In the margin I wrote, "Do the elements of your life well. That's a plural. Aka, home life is an element of your life."
For me it's really easy to get caught up in my work and I'm going to include my blog/podcast in the term "work" even though it's something I primarily do just for my own creative outlet. It's not hard for me to overlook things like a social life, playing with my dog, making a healthy dinner, exercise, or ya know...folding the laundry in the name of updating a website, finishing a business proposal or reading a book.
When I read this paragraph from Rachel it made me stop to think about what "elements" make up my life.
And because I've been all about that schedule making lately I decided to take a look there first.
If my schedule were to speak on my behalf and tell the world what was most important to me than recently, I think it would say:
Those are all awesome things (yay me!) but truthfully for me it's not enough.
I used to bake just for fun, I didn't mind driving a long way to hang out with friends, I used to enjoy Pinterest without finding it overwhelming but recently I find myself having a scarcity mentality when it comes to my time. "I don't have time for that" is something I often think (I try not to say it because it's an annoying thing to say) and I've judged women who have time to make a centerpiece (mainly because I'd really like to know how #insecurities). But the truth is I do have time. We all do.
When I think about what I'd like the elements of my life to be the list looks a little something more like this (and I reserve the right to change it at any time):
-Relationships (Wife, Daughter, Sister, Friend)
-Home Decorating/Cleaning (one day I plan to make enough where I can outsource that last half...does anyone really enjoy cleaning?)
-Baking/Cooking (Ryan is the cook in our family but every now and then I'd like to bring a dinner to the table that didn't involve going through the drive-thru or that couldn't have easily been prepared by a ten year old)
-Social Gatherings: there may be a better way to say this but I love the idea of having friends around the table, enjoying the baked goods and delicious meals with us as we share wine and play games
I was thinking about the last items on my list this Saturday as Ryan was at the gym when I looked at the shelf on my bedroom wall and realized I had another book that could help me with my current blind spots.
The book is All in Good Taste from Kate Spade New York. It's a compilation book of cute quotes, party planning ideas, recipes and so much more. I found it in a book store probably a year ago, it was something I HAD TO HAVE and then never really opened until Saturday.
I made myself a cup of coffee and went to the patio to enjoy it. I promised myself that I would only read it for a little while and that I would savor it, not rush it.
Here's what I've learned so far.
1. Gardenia's are on of the world's most fragrant flowers (I bought a gardenia bush on Sunday morning because of this)
2. Sponge cake is pretty easy to make. I didn't use the recipe in the book because I wasn't sure what caster sugar was but I found one on Pinterest and made it while Ryan was at work. Click on photo below to be directed to the recipe I used.
3. If you want to throw a party do one thing in masse (i.e. string 1,000 lights over the garden, light 100 pillar candles, line the ceiling with balloons)
What about you? If you had to list the elements of your life what would they be? And which of the elements would you like to spend a little more time on? Decorating is one of mine so I got my picnic table from storage. Maybe I'll learn how to make a centerpiece for it.