We get so caught up in the almighty dollar. It dictates whether we can eat, or clothe ourselves, what kind of education (if any) we get, and just about everything in between. So many people, myself included, have been too busy “earning a living” to just live. How much time is wasted while waiting for “a better time”. There is no better time than now and tomorrow is not promised. 

I didn’t come to this easily. In fact, it took some really harsh smacks by reality to get here. My husband suffered a severe accident at work several years ago. He survived, but he’s not the same. We’ve been mourning that loss ever since. Then my dad developed cancer, I lost 2 grandmothers–one to cancer and one to old age, another family member developed cancer, and an old friend disclosed that she’s now struggling with cancer again. While I have my own health issues, I’ve never had cancer. I cannot possibly begin to understand the personal hell each of these individuals has walked through in their journey. What I can understand is that time keeps moving, and while my job will be there tomorrow, my loved ones may not be. And spending time with friends and family enriches me beyond words.

So here’s a list of things I will not regret:

  1. Taking time to visit old friends
  2. Spending time with my family
  3. Instituting regular family activities with my kids
  4. Indulging my passion for a good book (or twenty)
  5. Allowing myself to just be
  6. Increasing the family musical instrument collection
  7. Prioritizing down time for both myself and my husband
  8. All the hours spent holding my babies 
  9. Finding the beauty in every day
  10. Anything done that brings some joy to someone else.

Instead of focusing solely on survival, I started focusing on the memories. I cannot regret that. 

Sometimes little bits of luxury are just that: little. The things that you take for granted until they’re taken from you. Things like your health, the ability to see the sun shining, hot water for a shower. A nice bowl of soup on a cold day. The smile of a child.

This week had the markings of becoming a terrible, no-good, very bad week if I would have let it. Nothing was going right. I was off track and off schedule both of which made me off-kilter. I felt out of control. Yet I managed to pull myself back in.

It was the little things that did it: the perfect cup of coffee, the sunlight shining on the snow, those tiny baby giggles. They didn’t cost me a thing. I have coffee, the snow is just outside the window, and the children are an incredible blessing on their own.

So much of life is about choices. We cannot always choose what happens to us. But we can choose how we deal with it. I can be bitter and angry over things I can’t control or I can be mindful of the blessings I have and all the little (and not-so-little now) luxuries that surround me.

NOLA Cuppa

That first cup of coffee in New Orleans! Can’t wait to get back!

Coffee a'la Dipity

Or breakfast last Saturday.

ImageWhile we didn’t quite welcome it in with a bang, our low-key family celebration was just what we needed. With 4 kids, including one newborn, “going out” on any night is a ton of work. When you add in a holiday and let’s just say that’s not happening in my world. Luckily, we decided that New Year’s Eve was a “stay in” holiday several years ago. Generally we have a fancy supper (prime rib anyone?), and invite friends and family over. This year due to various health issues and the new baby, it was just us. We really didn’t mind. 

As usual, I made way too much food. (Wait, is there such a thing as “too much food”–with growing boys in the house I don’t think so!) We had cheese/crackers, fruit, nuts, pizza dip, antipasto kabobs, chips, pretzels. Then for dinner we had glazed ham and cheesy potatoes. And dessert–chocolate strawberry cream cheese strudel. Yum!

The kids really enjoyed playing with some new games including my personal favorite–The Hobbit Scrabble. That’s right–it’s Scrabble with a twist! It was so much fun watching them try to make Hobbit words to get extra points. The New Year managed to sneak right up when we weren’t looking and before we knew it midnight had passed. I have to say a nice quiet ending to the prior year and a quiet beginning to this year suits me just fine! 

 

raspberryJust wandered over here to see how long it’s been. Wow! Over 2 years since I’ve posted. Not that it’s been over 2 years since I’ve had a “little indulgence” but I’ve been so busy living that I didn’t bother to write about it.

However, I recently found myself struggling to find ways to pamper myself without breaking the bank (especially with another baby on the way). It really is the simple things–an ice-cold glass of iced tea on a hot day. Walking in the rain. Sitting down to supper with your family. These are what keep you going through the hard times.

Since we bought our house last year, we were able to put a small garden in this year and have been enjoying the fruits of our labors. Fresh sugar snap peas, yellow beans, and my personal favorites–big fat black raspberries right off the vine!! That’s what summer’s all about.

Yeah…it’s been a while. Again. In my world, “real life” tends to be a huge time suck. Between FT work, FT school, homeschooling the kiddos, family issues, health issues, and general all around “other stuff to do” blogging tends to take a back seat (or in my case, gets shoved in a box in the trunk and buried under the jumper cables and spare tire).

Changing seasons are traditionally difficult for me to deal with. Lately I’ve been snappish, crabby, and heading into my seasonal depression. Something had to change. I left work today in a bit of a funk. This is not unusual-I work in a very emotionally and spiritually draining field and leave work in a funk many days. I was just unwilling to inflict myself on the family in all my cranky glory.

So I did what any girl would do–went out for some pampering. Luckily, my budget had some extra space this month so I could have someone else pamper me for a minute without too much worry. So, I had my “once a quarter when I remember and think to get to the shop” wax. Unfortunately, facial hair is a part of my life, seems to run in the family. There are very few things that make you feel less feminine than a unibrow and ‘stashe. They had to go. Ten minutes and several red, shiny patches later and I’m heading to destination number two.

Now would be a good time to tell you that the word “salon” is not in my vocabulary. Having been broke for so long, I can barely justify a $15 wax job once a quarter. Still, I was in a funk and needed something so off I went to the discount hair cut place. (I’ve been told just venturing through the door makes me uncommonly brave–since my standard response to bad hair is “I can just shave it off”, I’m not sure how true that is). They were having a massive sale on their already cheap services so for very little cash I got a shampoo, light conditioning treatment, and hair cut. Once we were all satisfied with the results, I was off on the next (and final) leg of my journey–home for coloring.

I have never in my life had my hair professionally colored. Generally, Da Man, my little sister, or whatever random person I can grab off the street would dye my hair for me. It was a long process because for the past many years my hair has been down nearly to my waist. It just so happened that there was a box of color and highlight color in my bathroom just begging to be used. Lucky for me Da Man was willing to be impressed into service spot check the color application for me. Even better, he caved to peer pressure helped me place the highlights.

My head feels lighter, my eyes are visible, and I’ve got a shiny new shade going on. Magically my funk disappeared. Apparently, I need to get back to my little bits of luxury on a regular basis. Everyone is grateful for the change in mood, including myself.

ATS represent! Durrah tells us what to buy and where to buy it.

HippyMom says you are your own soul mate. You complete… you. Dig it?

Ladyhawk manifests her latest huaca.

A different kind of shimmy hits Kozmique.

Melia takes a break from Debauchery week to snuggle with her Blankee!

Moving forward is MamaBirdie’s next step. Get it?

Nefertitties is the luckiest beach around, tetanus and all.

The Bean is a budding evil mastermind. Really.

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FunkyBlueLovin’ imagines me and you, and you and me… no, wait, she’s just manifesting her perfect life.

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Speaking of birthday parties, Scarlet Mae goes from peaceful beach retreat to preschool party central, in a matter of hours… with pepsi.

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HippyMom sucks, blows and gets dirty, with the help of a PervyBird.

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Stumbling on a cure for her ills, Yums gets all tingly.

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