Thinking Out Loud 1/22/15: Kindness, Pencils, And Cute Grandparents

Good morning! Thursdays are my days off, which meant sleeping in and leisurely enjoying my cup of coffee, two of my favorite things. I don’t have any big plans for the day, but tonight my place of employment is having a company-wide party. Work parties can be hit or miss, but I think it will probably be a good time. To get my day started on the right foot, I’m linking up with Amanda to do some thinking out loud! Without further ado, here are some things that have been on my mind:

1. Kindness goes a long way

I had an especially difficult customer interaction first thing on Monday morning, which did not set a very nice tone to my day. Shortly afterward, however, I told another customer to have a nice day. Her unusual response was, “You, too. May people be kind.” That small comment entirely changed my outlook for the day, and I was reminded of how far kindness can go.

2. Sometimes, inspirational calendars know what’s up

We have this little calendar in our bathroom. Usually, the inspirational messages don’t interest me much, but yesterday’s struck me. We have the opportunity to be the light in people’s lives every day, whether through kind words and gestures, helpful advice, or just by offering our presence and listening ears. We also have the opportunity to be the light in our own lives, gently guiding ourselves toward the right path when we are struggling. This past week has been one full of anxiety for me, and I have had to rely on others to be my light many times, in addition to trying to illuminate the best path for myself on my own.

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3. Pencils are the best

Who decided that adults have to use pens? I don’t know why, but I have somehow felt that pencils were something to be left behind in my youth, along with Barbies and Polly Pockets. The other day, however, I grabbed a pencil to write in my journal because I didn’t have a pen on hand and I remembered how fantastic they are. I don’t know about you, but I appreciate the ability to erase mistakes now more than I ever did in elementary school. And you can’t beat the sound of lead on paper, or the feeling of a soft pencil transferring from your hand to the page. Who’s with me?

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4. Duolingo needs a new phrase-writing staff

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Seriously? What the fuck kind of sentence is that, Duolingo?

5. Helping others is incredibly rewarding, as long as you’re drawing your own healthy boundaries while doing so

My grandpa has been struggling quite a bit lately with loneliness and depression. It can be a tough job trying to balance supporting him and caring for myself, which is an area that I am attempting to navigate. I love that he feels he can count on me, but when he expects visits every single night and nags about me not being around, I can end up feeling resentful and I find myself dreading visits at his house. Since I have been able to set healthier boundaries for myself, I enjoy the time that I spend with him much more. Rather than sitting around sulking, I have fun playing with my dog and I am able to appreciate how adorable my 89-year-old grandpa really is.

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6. It feels fabulous to get rid of that which no longer serves us

In my attic/closet cleaning extravaganza last weekend, I found this pullover sweatshirt. It’s a perfectly good pullover, but the memories that I associate with it are painful. I bought it before I started working at summer camp two summers ago, which was one of the darkest times in my life. Although the clothing itself is perfectly fine, I knew that I didn’t want to wear it again simply because it represents such a painful time for me. Fortunately, I have a coworker who adores this shade of green. I gave it to her, and she was more than happy to accept it. I hope that she is able to make new, wonderful memories in it.

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7. I have an addiction…

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..to stationery. I am obsessed with paper products and it is getting out of hand. Honestly, I could probably write a thank-you note to every person I know and still have a few left over. This indulgence is probably fairly benign, however, so I have no plans to stop anytime soon.

8. Homemade deodorant is the bomb

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I started making my own deodorant about a year ago, and I would never want to go back to the store-bought variety. This stuff is amazing. I roughly adapted this recipe, and I used lavender oil and tea tree oil for fragrance and antimicrobial properties. It lasts all day (even on sweaty days), smells great, and is extremely economical. Give it a try!

9. The recycling bins in my area got a big boost this past weekend 

IMG_4897Along with oodles of old homework assignments, I also found a ridiculous amount of these awful magazines in my cleaning adventures. I loaded them all up in a box, and off to the recycling bins they went! Hopefully they will be turned into something less damaging in their future lives.

10. Normal does not equal healthy

Over the past week, I have struggled with feelings of laziness and inadequacy. Normally, I would be exercising more. Normally, I would be eating less. The problem with this reasoning is that, over the last couple of years, my version of normal has been far from healthy. A big part of recovery is getting your brain and body accustomed to a new, healthier normal. Each time that I challenge my disorder head-on like I have in this past week, alarm bells of breaking the routine are bound to go off. I have found it helpful to look back on the last couple of years and remind myself how painful and miserable my baseline has been, using it as motivation to find a normal that genuinely feels good to my body. Normal used to be a bowl of lettuce with salsa on it for lunch. That is not normal for me anymore, and that is a wonderful thing.

That wraps up this week’s edition of Thinking Out Loud! What are you thinking about these days?

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4 thoughts on “Thinking Out Loud 1/22/15: Kindness, Pencils, And Cute Grandparents

  1. It definitely feels good to let go of things that don’t serve us anymore — both habits and physical objects. I go through and purge my home pretty regularly because clutter drives me insane and actually makes me feel really anxious. It always feels like a nice fresh start 🙂 And I can -completely- understand your love for stationary. I got a new planner a little while ago and it totally ignited this crazy stationary obsession in me. No shame!

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