Tag Archives: lifestyle

Keep It Simple, Keep It Real

Keep It Simple, Keep It Real

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

 

Keep it Simple…. Keep it Real.  

Sounds easy, huh??  Well, turns out (sometimes) it’s not so easy.  

Sometimes we become trapped by the Illusions of Life, and it’s hard to break free.

 

I recently had a birthday.

And like many people, my birthday’s not just a time to indulge in  

the-once-a-year-guilt-free-dark-chocolate-cake-n-mint-chocolate-chip-ice cream

it’s also a time for self-reflection.

 

This year I reflected upon the importance of “Keeping it Simple and Real”.  

Reminding myself to slow down and strive for clarity, balance and harmony.  

And remembering, sometimes the challenges in our lives, often teach us the best lessons.

 

I was a newlywed during the Reagan Era and was swooped-up into the,

More Is Better Mentality.  

Reaganomics resulted in the greatest Wall Street Bull Market since the 1920s.  

It was an Era of Great Prosperity… generating more wealth, for American families, than any other time in US History!!

 

And in keeping with Madonna’s (1985) mega-hit “Material Girl”… my lifestyle mirrored the relevant lyrics of the time:

Cause we are living in a material world

And I am a material girl

 

I checked ALL the boxes:

  • Town & Country McMansion 
  • Luxury Cars
  • Country Club Memberships
  • Black-tie Galas
  • Exclusive Resort Vacations
  • More & More & More!!

So, what insight did I gain from acquiring so much stuff during the 80s???

#1.  It was exhausting.

#2.  It made life chaotic, complicated and confusing!

#3.  Sometimes material things become a replacement for the

        more meaningful things in life.  

 

About a decade ago…there was one day that clearly put it all into perspective for me:

 

I was at a stop light and looked at the woman in the car next to me.  

She was lovely and had a look of luxury.  

Her hair perfectly coiffed, awesome sunglasses, expensive jewelry

and she had that confident smile and overall look of contentment.  

I noticed she was driving a Mercedes-Benz

and made a mental note to myself:

 

“Of course she’s HAPPY…

she’s living the dream in her fancy Mercedes,

with all of her  fancy “things”…”

 

In contrast, I felt worn-out, stressed, empty….

genuinely wanting.

It was easy for me to believe she had what I needed.

And as the light turned green, and I glanced back to the road ahead of me…

I noticed the Mercedes-Benz symbol on my own steering wheel

of my brand-new car.

 

Turns out for me, More wasn’t Better and Fancy things weren’t the answer!

 

Shortly after that day of reckoning…

I was faced with a choice between the two (material things or meaningful things), and I handed them all over in exchange for ___________.  

   (You Name It… Just Fill-in-the-Blank)

 Freedom

  Harmony

Reality

Clarity

Peace

                                                                          Truth

                                                                            Etc…

 

I handed it all back to the hollow person I shared that life with… (on a Silver Platter in fact, LoL) and I had No Regrets.

 

All of those Things were just providing smoke n’ mirrors to create an illusion and confuse me into believing, it was a Good Life…

when the truth was, I was in an empty relationship and I wasn’t living my life authentically.

I longed for something simple and real.

 

Don’t get me wrong… some people can live that exclusive “Town & Country Lifestyle”,

authentically and happily  (or at least I think they do??)…

it just wasn’t a good fit for me.  

It all became a band-aid and distraction to cover-up what was really missing…

what was truly important.

 

Of course, I still love pretty things and adventurous travel… But, I feel (at this ripe old age) the Bridges I’ve crossed have helped me to finally arrive Back  Home

Full Circle, where I belong, where I want to be.

 

Ironically, my sister sent me this Birthday Card which pretty much sums it up!!

.  

 

Keep It Simple, Keep It Real & Smile Along The Way!!!

 

After The Good Times

After The Good Times

Welcome Back!

 

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

EVERYONE Loves a Good Time… a party, vacation, the HOLIDAYS!!!

 

And some of us have a hard time after the Good Time… when everyone’s gone home and all that’s left to do is clean-up the mess.

 

Christmas is my favorite!!  The world of fun and joy opens right up during the weeks before Christmas.  Our house is filled with the sound of non-stop Christmas carols,  the aroma of Ginger Snap cookies baking in the oven, colorfully wrapped presents under the tree,  twinkling lights, and simply beautiful holiday decorations all around.

 

The anticipation of The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year is sometimes more excitement than I
can bare.
And vacations are the best!!  But when we get back home, there’s usually a pile of mail and heaps and heaps of dirty laundry.  Truth is, it is much more fun to pack your suitcase for a vacation, rather than empty it after you’ve returned back home.
 
So, how can we best navigate the transition from the Good Time to Back Home?  What are some Bridges that can help us achieve a more pleasant, and smooth RE-ENTRY?

 

 
I personally struggle to find those answers.  I’m the girl that actually kept her Christmas tree up until mid-February one year.  I just couldn’t bare to see it end.  So right before Valentines Day, I finally Took Down Christmas and quickly redecorated the house with festive hearts and cupids.

 

 
One of my closest friends has her tree un-decorated and at the curb by Christmas night.  Everything Christmas is cleaned up and put away until next year, all in less than 24 hours after “down the chimney St. Nicholas came with abound.”  There’s not even a crumb of a Christmas cookie or a strand of tinsel left behind.

 

I also had a neighbor that put an (electric) “Candle” in each window during Christmas and kept them up (and lit in the evenings) until Easter.  I actually loved seeing the candle’s glow throughout the long winter and into the spring… I thought it was a very cozy, warm touch.

 

 Those are only some extreme examples of how people approach transitioning from the Good Times to Back Home. Everyone handles things differently… in their own way… everyone has their own comfort zone.  And it would appear a healthy, balanced approach to transitioning lies somewhere in-between the extremes.
 
Ever since I was a little girl, I always loved a Good Time when people were happy and having fun… so transition was never easy for me.  Therefore, I have been working hard to navigate a healthier approach to Re-entry and have discovered some helpful Bridges.

 

 Be Mindful when you are Preparing for the Good Time

 

It’s a lot of fun when it’s a family event opening up 10 storage boxes of Christmas decorations, and everyone wants to cut down the biggest tree in the forest and after we’ve all hung our favorite ornaments in just the right spot, begins the excitement of who’ll get the honor of placing the Star on top… all while festive Christmas carols play in the background.

Then it comes time to Take Down Christmas and no one is the least bit interested in helping.  So, there you’ll be… most likely all alone, with no “Jolly Old Saint Nick” serenading you in the background.  Also, remember, the size of the tree is directly proportionate to the endless amounts of pine needles you’ll be vacuuming up until June.

Therefore, be mindful as to what (and how much) you put up during the Holidays… because chances are, it will not be as much fun (nor will you have much help) taking it down.

That goes for packing for a vacation as well.  PACK LIGHT.  The experts say “Pack your suitcase with everything you think you’ll need…and then take half of it out.”

There will be less laundry to face when you return, and emptying your suitcase won’t feel like an overwhelming task if it’s not bursting at the seams.

 

Be Patient and Kind to Yourself

 

Don’t be too hard on yourself.  Give yourself a day or two (if you can) to readjust after the Good Time.  Once you’ve gotten your energy back and reacclimated… then set up a reasonable plan.  Decide on manageable tasks you can accomplish in a reasonable amount of time.  Once you start checking off these tasks, you’ll start feeling efficient and will easily build the momentum to complete RE-ENTRY.

 

Home Sweet Home

 

Even though I love a Good Time as much as anyone… there’s nothing like Home Sweet Home.  Routine is so soothing.  There is peace and comfort that comes when everything is back to our version of normal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My wise Spanish Grandmother had the perfect saying  about those

Good Times”

she always said:

“Noches Alegres, Mañana Triste”

 

 

 Please take a moment and share the Bridges you use for a smooth transition for the Good Times to Back Home in the comment section below.

 

HOME: the noun

HOME: the noun

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

Today’s post is about Home: the noun!

Some of us have been thinking about our “Dream House” since childhood.

 

Would it be a chic penthouse in a bustling city, a cozy cottage in the woods, a log cabin nestled slope-side in ski country, an oceanfront gem or a McMansion??

 

 

My sister’s dream house was always either a sleek 1950’s sprawling ranch or a clone of the Brady Bunch House.

 And she’d decorate it ultra-modern, like something you’d see in  Architectural Digest.

 

My dream house  was a cozy country cottage and it had to be near water…. a river, pond, lake, or ocean.   The walls painted a soft butter yellow, smooth hardwood floors buff-shined to a warm golden glow and plenty of BIG windows framed with gauzy white cotton curtains.

 

We all have our dream-house-dreams and in the meantime we need someplace to live.

So, how do we make wherever we are living now, (at this moment in our journey) the most comfortable, inviting, coziest Home we can?

As they say, life’s not about the destination… it’s about the journey.

So, I believe… even if you’re living in a Van Down By The River… make it WONDERFUL!!

 

 

Here are some Bridges to help make your Home wonderful.  

 

Begin with your 4 senses: SIGHT, TOUCH, SOUND & SMELL

SIGHT

  • What’s your favorite color?  Surround yourself with your favorite colors when picking out paint color, flooring, fabric….etc

  • What do you like to look at? This will help you to choose wall art and even furniture styles.  Do you like to look at framed family photos or photo albums?  Find ways to display these things in your home.

TOUCH

  • What fabrics do you like to touch?  This will help when you’re choosing bedding, towels, upholstery for your furniture, and flooring.

  • What things do you like to touch?  This may help when you’re adding accent decorations to your home.  I like the smooth feel of chestnuts, acorns, seashells and sand.  So, I keep collections of these things all around my house in baskets, glass decanters or wooden bowls.

  • Do you like blankets & quilts?  (I can’t have enough!!) Keep baskets of them within reach of your sofa or comfortable chair.

SOUND

  • Music makes the World-Go-Round.   Check out one of the coolest systems that is now available called  SONOS.  If you can’t afford a Sonos or an expensive stereo system, then get a radio or portable CD player.

  • Open your windows if you can, and listen to Nature or the sounds of the city!!

  • Sing! (although, my family wishes I wouldn’t)

SMELL

  • What do you like to smell?

  • Fresh flowers… put some in a vase, even if you can only afford one!

  • Candles are a wonderful way of bringing the scents you love into your home that may not be easily accessible where you’re living: pine woods, ocean breeze, orange orchard, the choices are endless.

  • Cooking is a wonderful way to bring comforting smells into your home. Saute some garlic for a delicious recipe or bake a batch of cookies!!  Your house will surely smell wonderful.

  • Open up your windows and let in the fresh air.

How do you make wherever you’re living now Wonderful?  Post some of your ideas in the comment section below…

Enjoy the following youtube song, reminding us about how wonderful it is to COME BACK HOME…