5 #Recess Ideas for Self-Dates!
It wasn’t until I read the book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron that I truly embraced self-dates. And to tell you the honest truth, the first one stunk. It was supposed to be for 2 hours and I don’t know why, but I chose to go to the beach and people-watch. I don’t even like the beach. I live 15 minutes away, but I’m more of a mountain girl. I sat on that beach for 2 hours! Doing absolutely nothing! Lame, but lesson learned.
I was so mad about my first date going so horribly wrong that I was determined to make the 2nd one more fun. I planned a trip to Ojai which is about 30 minutes from my home. I went on line and picked two new stores to check out and then had lunch at my favorite vegan restaurant called Hip (highly recommend it!). The first store turned out to be closed, but the second one was an open air bookstore – really! An outdoor bookstore and I bought more Louis L’amour books – it was fabulous!
As of this writing, my 19-year old has now taken herself on her first self-date. She got treats for the movies at the Dollar Store and took herself! Go Mug! Dollar treats, bargain day at our local theater – perfect for the teenage budget!
I truly recommend self-dates! The ultimate would be once a week, but if you can pull off once every two weeks or even once a month consider it a huge accomplishment as you will have gone from zero to something! Here are 5 Self-Date Ideas to get you started. Re-instate #Recess for Adults!
5 #Recess Self-Dates
The 5 Senses Date
#1 One of my favorite self-dates was last month when I decided to enlist the 5 senses and create a date around it. Touch, Smell, Taste, Sight, and Hearing. Start by making a list of your 3 favorite in each category and then pick your favorite from each one. Here is how mine played out: Touch – my favorite comfy afghan my oldest daughter made for me while dressed in my night shirt and slippers. Smell – wild orange essential oil in a diffuser to remind me of the orange blossoms in the local orange groves. Taste – what else? Sweet Potato Fries from Veggie Grill, of course! Sight – sat in my favorite room of the house and grabbed my favorite book by Josi S Kilpack, The Vicar’s Daughter. Hearing – gonna love this one…I ran the dishwasher. Weird? It is a childhood sound that I love because whenever we went to bed, my mom or dad would start the dishwasher – love that sound! Best date ever!
#2 This one was simple. I live on a University Campus with a beautiful library. There was a traveling exhibit featuring this area’s local agriculture history. Other than the one gentleman who talked my ear off for about 30 minutes, it was fascinating and I even toured the library for the first time after living here for the last 6 years! Check your local library or museums to see what’s on exhibit now or coming soon.
Something Old, Something New
#3 When I went up to Ojai, I picked my favorite restaurant Hip because I was familiar with it and then coupled it with something new in visiting the outdoor bookstore. The restaurant made me feel warm and comfy and the bookstore made me feel adventurous. Is there something you can couple with something old and familiar and still taste some adventure?
It’s Elementary, My Dear
#4 This one seems silly at first blush, but it is oh so fun once you’re into it. Collect at least 10 magazines and grab your scissors and a piece of poster paper from Michael’s or Target. Cut out anything that you like or strikes your fancy and then paste them with a glue stick on to the poster paper. Proudly hang it up in a prominent place in your home for as long as you can!
#5 Sometimes you just need a solid time-out #Recess. What is your sacred space? A temple, synagogue or church? Perhaps the library or a special place on your favorite hike? There is a choice of a couple of things you can do. One is that you just go sit and be. Take this time to simply be still, quiet, and savor the silence. Two is that before you head out to your sacred space, write down a burning question to take with you. Write it down on a piece of paper and put it in your pocket. Once in your sacred space, open it up and lay it beside you. Don’t overthink this. Don’t make yourself think about it, just knowing it’s there will help. Is there a solution or at least a next step that comes to mind? I will tell you that the times I’ve done this, I either think of a solution or a next step OR I get a feeling of peace that I just need to be patient and that the answer will come in time. Either way, I feel immensely better for having taken this time for myself.
Pick a date, set the #Recess time on your calendar, fulfill the date, then come back here and comment to let me know what you’ve done. Others will appreciate hearing back from you and get more ideas – remember, we are all out to help each other!
Taking Out the Trash
For Real This Time…
I don’t know how many of you are Mac Users (I’m a Mac, not a PC), but there is a little to-do item that I sometimes forget about. It’s very important to do, especially on my laptop where I do all my work where there isn’t a lot of disk space to mess around with. It’s a little chore called, “Empty Trash”.
I delete stuff all the time on my computer! From emails to tossing out documents or photos or videos. Memes I’ve downloaded and used and then no longer need. Photos of items I’ve put on Craigslist and sold…months ago. Screenshots I’ve taken for a specific purpose and now that purpose has passed. I created a word document for a to-do list and now that chore has passed so I toss it out. I put it all in the trash. Out of sight, out of mind.
But just like the trash we throw into our trash cans outside for the garbage man to take away, it’s not like that stuff just disappears. In the case of our household trash, it ends up in a landfill doing damage to our planet earth. And the files in my computer? They sit in the trash until I go take one more step and EMPTY THE TRASH!
I’m not sure why we have to throw out the trash twice, but we do. Of course, in the case of our household trash, I try to limit what goes into the landfill. I try to reduce, re-use, and recycle as best I can so the impact I have is less. And on my computer, I try to make a habit of regularly taking out the trash so that stuff is not just out of sight, but permanently gone.
Sometimes we need to mentally take out the trash.
First, IT IS a good idea to simply reduce, re-use, and recycle the mental garbage. Trying to put better things into our creative and mental space is definitely the first line of defense. Does watching scary movies give you nightmares that keep you up at night? STOP WATCHING THEM in the first place! Stuck in a bad habit or need to simply create a new one like flossing twice a day? Take the first step towards either one. Remember that it takes baby steps…moving forward, however small, is the key.
Second, we may think that we have taken out the trash but just like my EMPTY TRASH button you may need to permanently take it out. Setting it aside is not enough. Sometimes we need to take that extra step and permanently let it go. Here are a few examples:
- You’ve quit coffee, but still own a coffeemaker and coffee is still in the cupboard.
- You’ve forgiven a friend, but are still hanging on to hurt feelings that we can’t quite release.
- You were in a horrible relationship, got out of it, then are still mentally bashing that other person or worse, ourselves for being in the relationship in the first place.
- How much mental space are you taking up by not permanently deleting the trash? By taking that extra step to let go for real this time?
I’m not saying it’s easy, but this blog is just about awareness. If you are in a situation where you haven’t permanently deleted your trash – you are the only one who truly knows. If you read this blog and instantly thought of something in your life that this applies to – then this article is for you.
Do some mental decluttering, some soul-searching, some meditation, whatever does it for you to start taking baby steps towards healing – and EMPTYING THE TRASH.
Would love to hear from you! Please comment below and let’s start some chatter!
Poetry can be inspiring, motivating, heart-wrenching, powerful, but it always inflicts emotion. It can pull at my heartstrings or just make me laugh. Writing poetry is a hobby for me and I have decided to keep a notebook in my backpack just for this purpose. While sitting at the car wash a couple of weeks ago (why does it take them so long?) I penned this one I call The Big Fat Fail.
Enjoy and let me know what emotions you feel when reading it by commenting below. Feel free to share your stories of taking your “sucking lemons” failing moments and how you turned them into “sweet lemonade”!
The Big Fat Fail
Fail forward, they say! And I can’t disagree,
but it’s hard to focus while nursing skinned knees.
Bumps, bruises, scrapes, the inevitable aches,
the road rash of crashing, but that’s what it takes.
To live is to fail, that’s the lesson I’ve learned,
through age and experience, or just getting burned.
20/20 vision for me has ALWAYS revealed,
every fail that I’ve suffered has earned me more steel.
Failure = Opportunity! To this I confess,
I love who I am now, having passed or “failed” each test.
Be sad in the moment, scream, cry or kick,
but look for the good, and lickety-split,
you’ll find your opportunity, practice! Give it a whirl!
The Big Fat Fail can turn (I promise) into your pearl.
Want to read more poetry?
One of the things I talk about pretty often is not believing in Happy Endings. While you may be aghast at the thought…let me shed some light on my thinking and why I’ve chosen to be a Student 4 Life.
I don’t believe in happy endings.
First, fairytale happy endings are not happy endings at all. All fairytale happy endings just stop when the going got good or hit a high point. It’s a happy moment, but not a happy ending. Life goes on and it will not always be a picturesque scene with the perfectly cued music in the background. Cinderella had to learn how to live with Prince Charming and manage a castle, after all.
Second, I believe that our spirit goes on forever…therefore there is no ending. I am an eternal being that will never reach the end so therefore I’m not waiting for my happy ending…I better figure it out right now. If I can’t be happy right now then what’s the point? This fosters the belief that it’s ok to be happy today and not save it for a tomorrow that might never come.
Third and last, I always want to be becoming or arriving. I don’t want to become or arrive because that denotes an ending. I want to enjoy the journey not just the destination. Tim Ferris talks about mini-retirements in his book, The 4-Hour WorkWeek because he doesn’t want to arrive at retirement. He wants to enjoy life in the here and now. I like that idea.
If yesterday is gone and can only be used as a learning tool and you can’t touch a tomorrow, what does that leave us?
If you aren’t happy today, then what’s the point? There is something to be grateful for and happy about every single day, period. Even when going through hard times, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for and happy about. (Yes, I’m pretty sure that was a PollyAnna moment right there.)
Because of all of this I would like to dub myself a Student 4 Life. I always want to be striving for and learning new things. I want to be in a constant state of becoming. At this point in my life I believe I’ve shed the caterpillar part of me and have become a butterfly, but my journey doesn’t stop there.
I want to add more color to my wings.