Finding Meaning Where it Matters

Hi friends and followers! Last we talked, I was getting ready to head out for a father-daughter date as part of my #LifeOnPurpose series. We were long over due to spend some quality time together, so we headed to a favorite local restaurant, feasted on delicious dishes, and enjoyed catching up while listening to a jazz quartet on a patio. When you see the photos, you will know where I get my style and grace….IMG_4682

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And then, Day 25 happened. Day 25 had all the classic pieces of a bad day: thwarted plans, failed expectations, disappointment, and the pièce de résistance…a costly car repair.  I had all kinds of wonderful #LifeOnPurpose plans for the day and I accomplished exactly zero of them. None. Zilch. Nada. It was suuuuper frustrating, and made me feel (among other things), like my day was pointless.

I know how you feel baby O.

I know how you feel baby O.

Do you ever have those days? The good news about my not-so-great day was that it showed me how much I was focusing on my “meaningful activities” and not just living in the moment and being intentional in the small stuff. Like sitting with my boys on the couch. Or creating a healthful dinner. Or paying attention when someone else was speaking. True, I didn’t get to check anything off my #LifeOnPurpose bucket list, but I was so annoyed by that fact that I also didn’t allow myself to be intentional in the small day to day things.

So yes, Day 25 was an epic fail, but Day 26 found me motivated and back on track: Theo was getting into everything while we had things to accomplish so I set him up with a toy cleaning station out on our patio and for almost an hour, Mike got to read for his Masters and I got to get a few things done around the house.

Serious cleaning happening here.

Serious cleaning happening here.

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Wash. Rinse. Dry. Repeat.

Wash. Rinse. Dry. Repeat.

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Sparkling clean and sun dried.

Sparkling clean and sun dried.

Then, I had some work to take care of but it was simply taking photographs for a new project I’m working on, so I asked my family to accompany me. It was nice to take advantage of the time and pretty weather to be together.

Monkey see, monkey do.

Monkey see, monkey do.

That night, I made time to do something that is always meaningful to me, but not something that our busy schedule always allows – I had a girls night! It was great to get together with friends for dinner and to catch up and relax.

Day 27

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For Day 27 of my challenge I continued what I now realized was my #LifeOnPurpose theme for the week – connect with people. I began the day by having coffee with a friend. This friend and I have a lot in common and can spend a couple of hours chatting over coffee without missing a beat. Making time for these conversations is important to me, as I always leave feeling refreshed and energized – getting to talk for a couple of hours about topics that you actually care about will do that to a person!

Later that day, I took my boys on a date of our own. I had been wanting to take Theo out for a smoothie all summer, and it worked out perfectly to walk up to our town’s local coffee shop after the boy’s woke from their naps.

It was a beautiful day. Theo loved the smoothie almost as much as he loved sitting out on the patio, counting trucks as they drove by and waving to people. Oliver was content to sit in the grass and feel the new texture against his baby skin. And me? Well I got to just sit back and soak it all up.

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My walking buddy.

Day 28

Today I I focused on something I now realize I’m really bad at – listening intently when others talk. No fun photos or anecdotes for today, because dangit, it was really hard! I’m going to continue working on this though. The hubs tried to give me a few specific pointers on how I could improve, but I don’t know, I wasn’t really listening…

Day 29

I think that Day 29 of my #LifeOnPurpose challenge has been my favorite. The morning started out not so great for personal reasons. To let off some steam, I decided to go for a run. On my way out, I asked my husband to come up with something for us to do as a family to end the day on a good note, and I was off.

I came home and Mike informed me we were going to have a family picnic. He and Theo grabbed the picnicking essentials, I prepared the picnic snacks, and together we headed to our backyard.

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this simple idea. We had so much fun relaxing on our blanket, eating finger foods, and watching Oliver as he nibbled on a graham cracker. To top off the experience, we saw someone in the park behind our back yard was setting up a hot air ballon, so we walked over to watch. The whole afternoon was relaxing and fun, and I already know this is going to become a special memory. IMG_6867

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Momma and her boys

Momma and her boys

Watching clouds

Watching clouds

Messy eater, but hey, he is new at this

Messy eater, but hey, he is new at this

Spotted! Hot air ballon.

Spotted! Hot air ballon.

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Up, up and away!

Up, up and away!

This week I saw a question: “Mindful, or mind full?”

This question perfectly sums up what I’m learning from my #LifeOnPurpose challenge. My mind is full of a lot of thoughts. I’m always thinking, planning, learning. This is certainly a strength, but it is also one of my biggest weaknesses. This week I realized that I have a home brimming with meaning and purpose. I have a family that I not only love, but enjoy so much. I have friends who encourage and refresh me. And, I have the ability to see meaning in every day things when I look for it. Now that, is pretty amazing.

Wanna catch up on the rest of my journey? Read more here:

This post is part of an on-going series, #LifeOnPurpose, where I’ve challenged myself to do something each day for the next 40 days- no matter how small – to slow down, notice my surroundings, and be intentional. It is part of my effort to live less on accident and more on purpose. You can read other posts in this series here:

#LifeOnPurpose
Day 1 & 2
Day 3 & 4
Day 5 & 6
Day 7 & 8 
Day 9 & 10
Day 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15
Day 16 & 17
Day 18-24

 

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