Whenever there’s a change in the calendar I can’t help but feel that it provides me opportunities to take a minute to access my life and be intentional about my life. As we approach the end of September, I’ve decided to put into words the what I learned throughout the month.
The month of September was quite atypical. My mom came from Brazil to spend some time with us, making my days a lot busier than usual. And then later my dad came as well to see where we are living and have some time off from work. Because of that, my routine was completely flipped up-side-down – not that I have many appointments or anything. Because of their visit, my days were planned differently from how I usually plan them, so I didn’t have much time to do the little things that make my routine such as: meditate, yoga, blogging, editing pictures, baking bread, personal pampering and so forth. On the other hand, I got to do many different things that I don’t usually have time, or opportunity to do. From simple things, like going to IKEA or Target – or any store as a matter of fact – just to look at the products with no expectations of really buying anything (my mom loves looking at different types of products they have here compared to the ones in Brazil) and walking around campus in the search for bunnies; to going to Las Vegas and getting to explore the canyons around and see a top-notch show on the Strip (courtesy of my dad who arrived in Vegas making it a road trip for us) and going to San Diego to explore the city by public transport (I LOVE public transport that works, btw!!!).
Since I’m not really used to doing that many things in such little time, I have to admit that I’m a bit exhausted. I love my parents, and it is amazing that I get to share a bit of what our lives are like here in the States, but at the same time 20 days is a long time to be out and about planning stuff every day. I guess I’m just not used to a busy lifestyle anymore.
All in all, I got to think about myself and how I cope with what life brings me and here is what I learned during the month of September:
1. Planning my days helps me have something to look forward to.
I usually have some sort of mental schedule of what I need to do during the week. But while my parents were here, I had a lot more on my plate than usual. It was not just my expectations, but also theirs. So each day I had a list going on to the places we needed to go and the things that needed to be done in my bullet journal. So whenever I needed to know where we should go next, I’d go straight to the list.
I know I know… there’s no big new that lists help people stay organized. But for me, it was something that I hadn’t had the need for in a long while. Going forward, I plan on continuing writing down lists of things I need to get done, to help me visualize and better plan my weeks.
2. Mistakes will happen, and that’s OK.
I don’t deal well with making mistakes. It brings me to a state of almost fury with myself because I feel that shouldn’t have done whatever I did. I become a completely different person until the mistake is fixed. This month started with me making a huge mistake on my bullet journal’s monthly layout. I usually do everything in pencil and then pen, but I felt confident enough and did it in pen. Long story short… I had to buy that white-thing that hides the mistakes. It’s there… and initially, I felt stupid for needing it. But after a whole month of looking at it, I don’t really care anymore. I guess that the lesson here is that getting angry at myself for making mistakes is just a waste of energy. Hopefully, I’ll remember this next time.
3. I enjoy drawing and I should do it more often.
Last week I couldn’t sleep. So I picked up my bujo and started drawing a Zentangle pattern that spoke to me. It not only helped sleep, but I had forgotten how much I enjoy drawing patterns and not really thinking about anything. My cousin gave me a set of brush calligraphy pens and pad for beginners from Pieces Caligraphy and I still haven’t quite started to use it. I practiced some drills before my mom had arrived, and it was so much fun. I am totally going to schedule on my weekly plans some time to practice calligraphy drills and try to draw some patterns before bed. I also have a couple of art project that I have in mind that I need to get started. I enjoy being artsy hence, I should do it more often.
4. There are different ways to meditate.
A few weeks ago I read this blog post on emotional control and while talking to Niki Meadows (the owner of the blog) she mentioned how meditating can be done differently. In a nutshell, it’s about focusing on the task at hand. So these last weeks, I couldn’t really find time to sit down and be still. So I decided to experiment with what Niki was saying. So I turned on my meditation app on the breathing mode while I was in the shower. The app guides the rhythm of the breathes so it makes it easier to focus – easier to me at least. And it actually works. I was able to read the bible and pray, as I usually do after I meditate, but it was enough to help me be still – which I desperately need to cope with anxiety. I shouldn’t skip on meditating just because I don’t have time to do it as I like to, but I can meditate while doing everyday chores.
5. I will always be my mother’s child.
My mom is one of the most loving, generous, selfless people I know. I had the expectation that I would be able to pamper my mom and give back a little bit of what she does for me. Simple things like taking her to the places she wanted to go, helping her pick stuff at the store, cooking for her; basically, letting her rest while she was in my house. The thing is that my mom spent most of her life giving to her children so she doesn’t quite know how to sit back. I learned that I should respect the fact my mom loves being my mom and that’s her way of showing how much she loves me. Sounds simple, but it’s a hard lesson to learn.
I’m looking forward to October. My husband will be back in school and I’ll be back at trying to make the most out of my time. Hopefully, I’ll get to the end of the month and at least realize that I was able to put into practice some of these lessons.
Tchau for now!
What lessons you learned in September?
Here’s a bonus for you! I have been listening almost non-stop to S. Carey. He is mostly known as the drummer of the band Bon Iver but released his first solo album in 2010. His musical style fits well with the sort of moment I’m living. It’s complex but simple; sad, but upbeat – all at the same time. So Song of the Month is In the Dirt, by S. Carey. Hope you enjoy it!