Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Book Notes: Better Than Before

I was so excited to see this book up for review at Blogging for Books. I subscribe to Gretchen Rubin's newsletter and have been hearing about it for some time.

Favorite Quotes:

I am happier without the brownie. (my paraphrase)

We all must pay; but we can choose that for which we pay.

We set out to be wrecked.

Having fun is important, if only because it’s easier to demand more of ourselves when we’re giving more to ourselves.

In a good trance, or flow state, time passes swiftly yet feels rich, and when I emerge, I feel energized and exhilarated. In a bad trance, time feels neither full nor empty, and I find myself sitting with my mouth half open, regretting the time I’ve wasted.

But while concentrating on my habits might seem small-minded, in the end, mastering those habits would allow me to put these questions out of my mind, to transcend them. I could turn all my attention to worthier matters, and yet be assured of the solidity of the architecture of my everyday life.

Easy is more important than fabulous.

The true aim is not to break bad habits, but to outgrow them.

What I Thought:

There is something here for everyone. She emphasizes that different things work for different people, so the most important way to change is to know oneself. My favorite idea from the book is that habits lessen our need for self-control because the choice has already been made.

The information is a little dry in places, but overall, I found it full of valuable insights. I enjoyed the stories about her family and friends. Her theory on treats vs. rewards was revolutionary for me. One habit that I've already changed, thanks to her theory about continuing vs. stopping, is to write more.

So what am I? A questioner with varying obliger or rebel tendencies (depending on the situation), married to an Obliger. I likes to start more than finish, abstain, and sprint to the end.

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, April 13, 2015

A Friend's Wedding

On Saturday, one of my long-time friends got married. We have been pals since I was eleven, and we actually met at a wedding. Now we have come full circle, all grown up with families of our own.

I wish you the best, P! 

The King and I will be celebrating 14 years in June. As of last year, I have been dating/married to him for half my life.

Raccoon wants to jump on the trampoline since Kitty is sleeping. Off I go.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

No Electricity = Mandatory Vacation

Our lights went out around midnight last night and just came back on. Coincidentally, all of our technology was also without batteries, so we were on a complete, forced holiday.

But it turned out to be a good thing. We made it to Raccoon's soccer game this morning instead of going into town as planned. Then we decided to head to the nearest mall when we couldn't make lunch easily at home. The kids and I grocery shopped while the King went to do some other errands. Raccoon is big enough to actually help now, instead of just having to be entertained. He even kept Kitty happy by pushing the cart.

Next we went to an open air market to buy our fruits and vegetables, and two more ducks. One of our ducks passed away peacefully in its sleep, we're not sure what happened, so Raccoon wanted a replacement. The two new ducks (of course Kitty wanted one if Raccoon got one) joined our flock this afternoon.

We spent the evening playing games and roasting hot dogs over a bonfire. The kids fell asleep quickly before their bedtimes. The King and I stayed up talking by candlelight, and now I'm about to catch up with an old friend online.

All in all, a great day.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Neighborly Chat

Me: (Raccoon) says he wants to live here forever.

Neighbor: Are you planning on moving?


Then he can build a large house behind yours.

That would be nice, to live by my children.

I don't expect it. I have lived in nine different States/Provinces (and many more houses) in my three decades. The longest I have consecutively lived in one house is three years. The King and I do own a house, bought March 16, 2006, which we periodically share with his mother. I said no this afternoon, but we are planning on moving at some point in the future. We are always planning on moving.

The neighborhood where I currently live has about 70 houses, divided between three main families. Generations of each family live down each side street. The children will inherit land from their parents, and pass it on to their children. They will build their own houses and marry and never leave that neighborhood.

I can't imagine what that feels like, to know I'll never move. The first word that comes to mind is trapped. There is wanderlust too deep in my soul to settle for long. But I hope to hold on to our little half-acre, to give my children someone to come back to that will always be home.