Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert: I’m loving this book so much I’m taking tiny sips when I need inspiration. This has become one of those books that I read when I need a little kick in the butt or a little pick-me-up. In. Love. Oh! She also has a podcast called Magic Lessons. Listen and be inspired!Read More »
My husband and I are both middle children of highly intelligent and motivated parents. We are both in our early thirties and in our second (or third!) careers. We love to learn and to work, and we’re protective of our free time. In addition, we tend to over-commit ourselves. We go to meetups and groups and classes, and all of this is after our normal work day has ended. This may make us early-Millennial generation poster children, or it just may make us products of our culture and upbringings (are those the same things?).
Well before we got married, Hubs and I were already working toward common goals. We’ve always worked pretty well as a team, which is one of the reasons we work so well in our relationship. Back in our first year living together, we decided to make fitness a priority and ran a half-marathon six months later. We decided to make careers our priority, and we’ve now moved from jobs that weren’t making us entirely happy into more lucrative and fulfilling positions. And gosh-darnit, we put on a wedding. Want to test a relationship? Plan a wedding together.
So now that all the honeymoon stars in our eyes are clearing, and we’re actually planning on taking a honeymoon, we’ve started a Honey-do list. This keeps us responsible for our own tasks and gives each of us a sense of ownership over our household duties. And, we’re using the Kanban technique and Trello app I referenced in my earlier Little Bits of Happiness post.
Here’s a screenshot of our Honey-do board on Trello. This is what we use to track the household chores we need to do, what we are doing, what is blocked, and how we celebrate what has been done! We pull from the “Parking Lot” on our Monday night meeting. We have a full week to get through all that week’s tasks (or not) and then we celebrate and discuss our issues on the next Monday night meeting.
It’s been working pretty well! I have not done the worms (harvested the worm compost) or cleaned the floors this week (I also need to charge my phone!), but that’s for tonight.
I also assume that once we start doing big-kid things like buying a house or procreating, that Parking Lot list will be a lot longer. For now, we’re just getting used to the idea, but the weekly meeting and the board are great motivators.
What do you to keep yourself motivated for all of that extra stuff?
We all need a little bit of happiness in our life. I try to take my happiness as it comes: a breeze on a hot day, the way the leaves look in the wind, a flower growing in an unexpected place. Sometimes the greatest happiness can come from making your life and your surroundings beautiful.
It’s easy in this Insta-Pinter-Vega-Hipsta-Techno life to get caught up in the look of simplicity and beauty while really over-complicating our lives, but here are a few Little Bits of Happiness that I’d like to share. These are beautiful and thought-provoking things that help to get me through the day. I have in no way been compensated for endorsing any of them! All of these are my own opinions. But, if someone would like to give me a load of cash, I wouldn’t turn it down.
designlovefest: Beautiful lifestyle blog with amazing free backgrounds for your computer under the “Dress Your Tech” section. Oh la la!
design-seeds: “For all who love color” but really, I just love the plants. The daily curation of colors will inspire you to re-do every room in your house, and the flowers will make you want to run off and be a florist.
phickle: I’ve recently started fermenting, and it’s so delicious and easy that it’s really hard to stop! So far I’ve made pickles, sauerkraut, rubenkraut (from turnips), pickled radishes, and started my own kombucha from scratch. This site gives great tips and tricks, and the pictures are mouth-watering!
ChakraChime: I use this one almost daily for my 5-30 minute meditation (some days you just have more time than others!). The UX is great, the set-up is easy, and I love ending my morning sit with a chime or the sound of a monk’s bowl, rather than a phone alarm.
Trello: This is a to-do list and productivity app that uses the Kanban method for organizing tasks into assigned, doing, and done. You don’t have to know a lot about Kanban to use Trello, and you don’t have to know a lot about Trello for it to improve your life. We used it to organize wedding tasks (and our sanity) and now we use it to organize our household honey-do list.
LastPass: This password storage program is a total lifesaver. First of all, it generates strong passwords (a must) and then saves them to an app/extension/your computer for easy retrieval.
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin We’re all fighting to make our lives better and happier, but this woman made a plan and spent an entire year working towards happiness. More of a how-to than a story, this (cook?)book for happiness is full of fantastic tips. You should also check out the blog that grew from her several books, gretchenrubin.com for a daily dose.
Brain Pickings I am not one for deep philosophical preaching, but this blog will give you short doses of deep thought. It’s just enough to tide you over through the weekend, and maybe to bring you a little happiness in your life.
So those are my picks for this week. What brings a little bit of happiness your life? Anything that makes your worries smaller, your life more centered, your day more simple?