Snapshot of Life: A Challenge

In which I list my answers to a challenge Katie W. posed to her 101-blogging friends.

I have been very lucky to have two good friends working on 101 lists along with me. We’ve been able to talk about our specific goals, of course, but I really value our talks about the more abstract motivations behind a project like this. And I think we are able to express some of what we’re actually hoping to get out of our 1001 days in these blog challenges.

Katie W. masterminded the most recent challenge for our little group. Take a photo of items that summarize who you are.  But let’s go a step further, and take a photo of the things that describe who we are now and one that describes who we want to be… I’ve been thinking about this for about a month now. In the past two challenges, I’ve been focusing on what I want my life to be like, and how to get there. It is really easy to ignore the seeds of my goals in my life now. So, my snapshots of life are focused on things that I want to build on to get to my larger goals.

 A home that fits the best of us.

I’ve been reading and learning a lot about buying a house, since that is something the hubs and I are hoping to do within the next calendar year. It is really easy to forget that working on the place we are renting now is worthwhile. I need to balance the mindset of not buying anything specifically for this temporary space with the reality that we still need to live in a home that functions and cheers us.  I want our space to celebrate who we are now, not have boxes in all the corners because we can’t marry that with who we’d like to be when we buy a house. (Image source & image source.)

I have been very moody about how we’re decorating this house. One day I think that it is looking awesome and very much like us, and the next day I am ready to stop trying until we move. I need to see the things that will grow along with us, because I think that our decorating is interesting and on the right track to being comfortable. If I want things in our home that are important or interesting to us, I can’t beat myself up about not having “enough.” We’ll be building on these things for the rest of our lives. I like that we celebrate our relationship and our life together. I can’t wait to see what fills our walls in 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years. (Image source via pinterest.)

Feel awesome. 

It is very easy to dress like a bum when you work from home and technically never have to leave the house. But I enjoy looking nice, and I’m a big believer in dressing the way you want to feel. I try to make good wardrobe purchases, but still find it hard to spend the money on better quality items. On the other side, I also find it hard to part with perfectly good clothes just because I never seem to wear them. It is really easy to forget about some of the pieces that I own and really enjoy, but I think those pieces are the seeds of the classy, easy, streamlined wardrobe that I desire. I need to purge things that I don’t love so that I am left with the fewer, higher-quality items that I do. I can build on those items to get the wardrobe that will help me feel awesome all of the time. (Image source.)

Routines that support but not restrict me. 

I have been working on lots of small routines. Making the bed everyday when I get up. Cleaning a little bit each day. Taking a work break when I need one. These routines can certainly morph to support me as my life changes. Right now, I make my solitary mug of tea, but I can see myself meeting a friend regularly for a leisurely chat over some tea while our kids play. I can see making the cleaning routines a family event once my kids are old enough to help out around the house. (Image source.)

Be active and present in my life. 

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been losing a bit of sleep over my poor work-life balance. It’s something that I’m working on remedying for my own sanity. I’d like to focus on the fact that I am really working hard at maintaining a high level of performance at work, despite the personality challenges I’ve been facing there. Someday, I’d like to switch in my job that I think isn’t a good fit for me, though I think I’m good at it, for full-time motherhood, which I feel sure will be a good fit for me, and I hope I’ll be good at. Sticking with my BlackBerry now gets me closer to affording a full time attachment to a baby monitor down the road. (Image source.)

I have been working on some projects recently. Decorations, crafty things, and artsy distractions. But I haven’t been supporting myself with those activities by providing a workable storage space. I want to be able to take on projects and really enjoy them. Being present in the moment is really hard when you are hoping that the pile of stuff on the closet floor doesn’t become unbalanced and fall all over you. I’ve planted the seeds by designating a space, now I want my space to reflect my intentions. (Image source via pinterest.)

Live broadly.

I think that it is important for me to remember that while I haven’t done much yet, I’ve done some travelling. I’ve expressed interest in things that will force me to stretch out of my very limited comfort zone. And though I’m about to get an all new, blank passport, someday I’ll fill that passport with stamps. I think that each small step I take towards widening my interests and experiences will lead me in directions I can’t predict. I need to remember that small steps are still STEPS.

It was really interesting for me to take the idyllic life that I daydream about and find correlations in this chaotic one I’m living. I’m so glad I decided to interpret the challenge like this! I’m lucky to have some constants that I know will help me get closer to my large goals — great friends, a supportive and fun husband, and a desire to make the most of what I’ve got. I hope that I’ll be much closer to the person I want to be and the life I want to be living by the end of my 101 project.

Don’t forget to check out how Katie W. and Becky completed the challenge.