Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Hello, 2014! I have a word for you.

When I want to veg (and don't want to watch TV or read), I go to Pinterest. Odd, huh? I am just setting up more tasks for myself.  But I really love skimming ideas, finding creative to solutions to problems (that I may not have known I had), and browsing through new projects.

Here are some of my Pinterest plans for 2014:

I'd really like to do some more painting. I've had the paint for my son's dresser for months, and now that I've discovered the (purported) wonders of chalk paint, I want to paint ever worn-out, hand-me-down, yard-sale piece of furniture we own. Also, the kitchen, living room, and powder room.

This winter I have every intention of doing some fun snowflake crafts like these, and I think this would be a cheery, easy, and inexpensive winter door wreath. Also, Maggie and I are definitely going to make these or these. Or perhaps both.

I want to do more sewing. I have a pair of jeans that are too long, and I still haven't recovered the free chair from Brian's aunt and uncle (though I've bought and cut out the material), and I think making new pillow covers would give a couple of our rooms a lift (these or if I'm feeling super ambitious, this). I also just hatched the idea of a crocheted throw for our bed. How about this pattern in greens? And I want to reattach some heirloom lace to new pillowcases since the old pillowcases fell to tatters. And I think it would be fun to fancy up some of our napkins with embroidery (personalized or whimsical patterns?)

I'm always attracted to girls' clothing patterns (like this or this), and I really ought to finish the garland for Maggie's room I abandoned around October for holiday-themed projects. I want to convert a portion of her closet into a reading nook similar to this one, and I want to give more thought to initial art like this button M or self-standing letters I can paint myself.

As for cooking, I want to make weekly use of the slow cooker, at least through the cool months. There seem to be endless posts on easy, crockpot meals, but the one I've got in mind to start January off with is this one even though I know my kids won't eat it. Some other recipes I'm are eyeing are this one, this one, and this one.


I am nothing if not ambitious, am I not? And I've hardly scratched the surface of my Pinterest inspiration. I have several more intriguing, clever projects up my sleeves. And the Advent calendars I plan to start right away so they will be done in a year.


But then, there's the word I selected for OneWord365. Who's ready for the big reveal? It's...present. As in my present to my family is to be present. Get it? There is so much pun potential.

I am an INFJ usually. Everyone once in awhile I am an INSJ. Very borderline on that third letter. Either way, I am certainly a J, and as I understand it, that means I am a "finisher." And it is true that I don't like to leave a project unfinished. Checking tasks off my list brings me great satisfaction. One negative result of being a "finisher" is that I am often with my projects in my head, thinking of the next step and itching to get at it, rather than with my husband or my children. I wake up and immediately start planning out my day; at any down moment, I am thinking about what I could be accomplishing; I go to sleep at night thinking about what I will get done the next day. My brain is very seldom at rest.

The upside of this is that I am extremely efficient. I can get things done fast and often well. But, on the other hand, I don't want to look back on these years with my children and know that I spent more time on my phone or with my glue gun than with them. So, present is the word of the year. I believe mindfulness is also used, but I like present


So that whole Pinterest intro served two purposes:

1. To point out what I am trying to leave behind. I want to try to take on fewer projects so that I my attention is less diverted. I used to start several and then feel crazy because I was juggling too much. Now I am trying to start fewer (I'll try to stick to one at a time) and give them my time when someone important to me doesn't need it.

2. To make a list of projects that appeal to me that I can refer to when I don't need to be present elsewhere. That keeps the ideas from spinning around in my head. I actually learned this trick from the best therapist I ever had who had me keep a notebook where I could write down worries. Once I wrote them down, I could let them go. Any anxious people out there might try this; it's a good technique.

And, so far, so good, in the new year. I am having some success keeping my attention on what is happening at the moment. When I'm playing with my kids or eating dinner with my family, I try to think about what a pleasure those activities are instead of thinking of what I need to get done. When I'm cleaning bathrooms or doing dishes, I try to keep my mind on those tasks to keep from feeling overwhelmed by what all needs to be cleaned. I'm trying to leave my phone behind (sometimes).

Anyone else doing OneWord365?


13 comments :

  1. Great post Sarah! Your list overwhelms me, but I'm checking out the slow cooker ideas--all the ideas are so great though! But you are tempering yourself in a most admirable way. How/when do you leave your phone behind? That idea appeals to me, as does the goal of being more present. I'm going to work on that too, so keep writing about your experience of trying it. Also, the third letter for the MBTI is either T (thinking) or F (feeling). The second letter is either S (sensing) or N (intuiting). So are you an INFJ, sometimes an ISFJ, or an INFJ, sometimes an INTJ? I see some T in you (something I lack almost completely), but I also see some S in you. So I'm curious.

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    1. Woops, I meant second letter. No, you silly, I am almost all F, like you and Scott. I'm borderline N/S, edging towards N ever so slightly.

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  2. There's only one board on Pintrest I keep returning to - Beth's one. Have you seen it yet? You could spend hours there ;) http://www.pinterest.com/bethteliho/who-put-this-board-here/

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  3. I think being present is a great goal for 2014- not just for your family but for you too!

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    1. You're right, and strangely, I had not thought of that. My brain will munch on that one for a few days.

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  4. I'm horrible about starting projects until company is coming. Then, I'm amazing and paint walls and stuff. Sadly, I haven't put any of this stuff on Pinterest but maybe I should. I totally should except I don't want to post it because um. Well, yeah. Being present is big. Just think. When we were kids, our moms did not have cell phones. Or very many channels. Or iPads. Or Netflix. Maybe it was different but sometimes, I wonder if it was better???

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    1. Different. Better or not, I don't know. I was remembering how I had the rule of "come home when the streetlights come on" and how my children would never know that level of freedom...or safety. But I run out of patience with the idea that the past was better, like you see in so many facebook shares. There's good and there's bad, and we might as well make the best of what we have in the time we are living. Like Gandalf said to Frodo, in those words or something similar.
      Got a little philosophical there.

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  5. Ah, another introvert, eh? And another OneWord-er - yay for you! I love your word and I think that concept of being present is so very important in the world we live in today. We are so accustomed to dividing our time and attention that we have stopped realizing that it's not always a good thing to be multi-tasking.

    Pinterest mostly serves as a huge recipe book for me. I have so little talent or patience for crafts - kind of wish I did. I do think I should make the paper towel headband holder for Kidzilla, though. But somehow the thought of tying up an entire unused roll of paper towels makes absolutely no sense to me.

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    1. Yes, yes, introvert to the core.
      I love crafts (obviously). I love to create. But that's done in the kitchen, too! I don't know the paper towel thing. We don't deal with headbands much around here. Bow clips, yes, headbands, no.

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  6. I just thought of T because you can be so decisive, which I admire! Not that T means decisive. Anyway--want to come visit me when Scott's out of town the last weekend in January? You may have more exciting plans...

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    1. I think you're an extreme when it comes to indecisiveness. I'll think about visiting. Sounds like fun!

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