LIGHT A CANDLE (plus wintery things and how we're trying to make this work)
I am finding my doing lots of "wintery" things since we've been self-quarantined for the last two weeks - anyone else? I thought come the end of March I wouldn't still be making so much bone broth, simmering cinnamon sticks on my stove, drinking lots of tea, making soup to freeze. But alas, things are different now...and with so much time at home, I am digging back into all of my favorite winter tasks. Its strange to feel like I am going backwards in the seasons and not forwards. But alas tomorrow is APRIL, and I think this new month is needed more than ever for all of us. Not that a whole lot will change, but a clean slate it always welcome! The thing I am looking forward to the most? Getting my hands in the D I R T!
Writing is something I have really been enjoying lately. I’ve always loved to sit down and write under “good conditions”, and it’s taken me almost 34 years to realize...hey, I can create those conditions! A cup of tea, a blanket on my lap (always cold!), and a candle...a candle makes the cozy magic happen.
Sitting feels better now than it ever has before (read: being home full time with 2 energetic kids makes sitting feel extra juicy!), and I am trying my hardest to really dig into this slower, more basic life we are living. We are in full quarantine, and have been for 18 days. We have had a couple awesome moments of talking to our neighbors over the fence, chatting excitedly to friends in their car while we have our window open. But other than that, it’s the four of us...with an occasional visit to my parents house, who also are quarantined.
As difficult of a time it is for so many, and us too on some days, I know I will enjoy looking back and reading these posts from this time.
I shared this "light a candle" idea on IG a few months ago, and there were so many people who loved it - which is how I know an idea deserves a permanent spot on my blog! When I sit down to work, whether it’s going to be for 20 minutes or 2 hours, I light a candle. I light the candle to signify the start of my intentional work time, and blow it out when I am done.
This little routine has made my work/computer time feel more enjoyable, more intentional, and much more cozy! I really like that there is an actual “start and end” to the time I am sitting down to work. Of course I get up and move around and don’t blow it out every time, but after years of trying to work in the tiniest little pockets of the day, this feels so good. Try it next time you sit down to do anything: respond to emails, read a book, write in your journal.
Little mindfulness hacks like this are real game changers. How can you get yourself to slow down a bit, be a little more intentional, and stay in the moment? With two little ones around this can be challenging, but it also just forces me to keep practicing! Day, by day, by day. Do you have any mindfulness hacks that help you? I'd love to know, please leave a comment!
[My husband works full time, and my work is part time. Some of you have asked how/when I am working. So I'll share! The most important lesson learned so far, is to communicate my needs clearly. It's well established and respected in our family that Adam's job takes the priority...but that I still get my time too, has been essential. For us this looks like about 45 minutes in the morning before Adam goes upstairs to work. And another 45 minutes at lunch. Followed by another 45 after dinner. Adam and I are clear with the kids that this is my time to work/have for myself, and while it was ugly and messy the first few days, we're finding our groove! I put 3 realistic tasks on my to do list...yes, only 3! And I put the thing I want do the least, first. Everyone's situation looks SO different right now. Give yourself tons of grace, practice speaking up and saying what you need, and remind yourself that this too shall pass]
Note: I only burn beeswax candles. I burn beeswax candles because they actually help to clean the air! And they are a great alternative to “regular” candles, which often are made with paraffin (a product of petroleum refining). They typically are scented (the reason so many love them) but the fragrances used to scent candles are often made of toxic ingredients. Read more about why “fragrance” is harmful in products, candles, cleaning supplies HERE and HERE!