“Love Begets Words”

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So, I’m doing everything I can do to avoid doing some last minute work on my book. Eating a cheese quesadilla, trying to make a snapchat video – which I always seem to forget how to do, playing with my grandboy, trying not to call my daughter to find out what my other grandboy is doing. I was even reading some works from medieval Ireland, “The Maxims of King Adfrith of Northumbria.” This one got my attention:

“Love begets words.”

My mind immediately went to Shakespeare, the Brownings, Byron…you know. So, I think this maxim is true.

Love really does inspire words. The beauty, passion and exquisite pain of it all. People who are wordsmiths have to try to describe it, document it, speak about it for all of us.

Tell the people you love that you love them. Use the words you have. They don’t have to be fancy. I love you is good enough.

Peace,

Jill

My New Book Coming August 1!

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I’m excited to announce that my new book will be available on August 1st!

Having been a teacher for 17 years I wanted to share some insights I have in the educational process. I wanted to take some pressure off of parents and students and help them see there is more to school than grades.

There are skills that students learn that are more important and more valuable than the subjects they study.

I describe 6 skills that not only successful students possess but successful adults.

I wanted to encourage parents to raise adults not children!

I hope you will share my book with anyone who has a child from Kindergarten to 12th grade!

Share it with teachers. I give away a few teacher’s secrets in my book which they will be glad that I shared!

Look for it August 1st!

Peace,

Jill

 

 

Instagram Love

In addition to my friends and family I follow a bunch of other people and companies on IG. I thought I’d share a few (doesn’t even scratch the surface) of my favorite Instagramers with you this morning. These are just a few of those who make me smile with their posts.

Chris Pratt is hilarious and just a good guy. He’s really cool about posting real moments. You get the feeling that this is really his personal IG account and not his publicist posting for him.

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When I was having my Smash Cake Frenzy, I watched some of Cupcake Jemma’s YouTube videos to learn how to pipe icing. She’s a cute, perky British baking master and she has her own shop called Crumbs and Doilies. You can see the amazing creations her shop turns out and you can follow her IG, too, at Cupcake Jemma.

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Jack Black! Just a hoot!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been following Hugh Jackman forever and he so consistent and like Chris Pratt you get the feeling that he is actually posting his photos. He’s just a real, down to earth guy and he’s not bad to look at either.

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I follow several IG accounts from Scotland because it is my dream to visit the land where my mother’s family is from. Visit Scotland posts beautiful photos from around Scotland.

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Pumpkin the Raccoon is a fun IG to follow. The photos of Pumpkin and his pals are so fun, great quality and the person who writes the captions makes me laugh every time! I went to an office supply store one day and lo and behold there was a Pumpkin the Raccoon wall calendar!

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Rhea The Naked Birdie is a sweet IG. A young woman in Boston has adopted a Love Bird that has a condition where it can’t grow feathers. She loves this bird and takes good care of her. Rhea’s followers make clothes for the little naked bird and her owner takes photos. The bird seems to love to pose! It’s crazy! My favorite post is a short video of Rhea wearing a crocheted Batman cape and running through the house (because she can’t fly – no feathers).

 

 

 

Bats of Queeland! These bats are not creepy they are SO cute.

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History Photographed is a great IG that posts old photos. Not just celebs like the young Jack Nicholson here but photos from history.

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I follow a lot of artists, too, and Matt Tommey is a sculpture basket weaver from North Carolina. He does amazing work!

 

 

 

 

 

Who do you follow on IG?

Peace,

Jill

#nofilterneeded

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My last post was about my addiction to the feeling new things bring. Thanks for the comments and responses. It’s nice to know it’s not just me, I’m not the only one.

I was scrolling through my twitter feed today and someone tweeted something to the effect of, “Stop discarding and start living.”

That’s the challenge isn’t it?

Discarding, downsizing and organizing can become addictive as much as buying new things. ┬áIt’s easy to get caught up in the eddy of the process and never really start living.

The challenge is to find the same enjoyment in living that we’ve found in getting new things or throwing old things out.

 

As I mentioned before, I see a lot of people come to minimalism after a crisis, as a way to sort through their lives and find peace and meaning. Minimalism isn’t the peace and meaning but a process to filter out the things that are blocking, interrupting, taking up too much of our time and space so that we can enjoy our lives.

The challenge is to move from the process to the living.

It’s not as easy as you would think, especially if you’ve lived life with pain and hurt. Maybe you didn’t turn to drugs or alcohol or sex or other popular addictions to numb the pain, maybe you collected, purged, hoarded, lived austerely. Anything that kept your attention away from hurt.

However, if you’ve come this far and rid yourself of the distraction and you’re left with yourself, the temptation is to go back, stay in the eddy of process where you were safe and it felt good.

The unfiltered, undistracted life is a little raw and real.

All the stuff and activity kept us cushioned and padded from the hurt.

To live without the padding takes time. Like when air hits a scrape, it stings, we recoil but the more you expose it to the air the less it hurts in time.

It takes time to learn to enjoy life’s flavor without all the condiments. The footage without all the CG. The photos without the filters.

Life with #nofilterneeded is a wonderful goal, can we get there? Is it possible?

I’m going to try.

How about you?

Peace,

Jill

 

Menopausal Monday!

I’m hot as Hades out here in the Western US of A.

Add that to the hot flashes and you’ve got a raging inferno sitting on this sofa.

I couldn’t sleep last night. I attribute it to the “hormone-ees” to quote Andrea Martin in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”

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The lack of sleep + the hormone-ees makes me a little crazy. So, join me on this Menopausal Monday and let’s enjoy this photo of an old lady with a cat on her head.

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Peace & cats,

Jill

Minimalism vs The Addiction

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Here’s how it is for me – I like to get new things but I don’t particularly like to shop.

I don’t enjoy the thrill of the hunt, the satisfaction of the bargain. That’s not my thing.

I just like the feeling of getting something new. It’s the feeling I’m attracted to, not necessarily the item.

So, you know, dear reader, that I spent months discarding, decluttering and reorganizing my life. I’ve got my clothes closet dealt with. I’ve got my house decorating settled. Towels, linens, kitchen tools, memorabilia, storage, well, just everything is fine. It was hard work. It was emotional work.

And now there’s really nothing I need to buy.

Oh, there is still a desire to shop because I like that feeling of having something new.

To be honest, that feeling is an addiction.

Occasionally I’ll get an urge to buy something new. It grows until I’m jonesing for that feeling. My mind starts running through my whole house trying to find something that I can justify replacing. I’ll resort to really stupid reasons to buy something new. “The coffee maker is dirty, I need a new one.”

Or I’ll get that itch that I’m bored with my clothes and I need something new. “Yes, I have a pair of black shoes, but I need a pair with a millimeter more heel. Don’t you understand?”

Then I get real practical. I’ll say, “I need a new organizing bin or rack or something that will “help” me. I really need another organizing tool, don’t I?” Nope.

“How about office supplies, I need new post-it notes and paper clips, right?” Nope. “But my paper clips are just silver, I think I need blue ones and post-it notes to match. Matching office supplies will help me be more organized, right?” Nope. Just stop!

“Isn’t there anything I can buy? I need a fix!”

But minimalism has messed me up. I can’t get a fix!

Because now when I think of buying something new I get a flashback of all those bags of items that I discarded. Bag after bag, box after box of junk that I didn’t need. I remember having all my clothes spread out all over my room and carefully deciding which ones bring me joy and which ones don’t. I love all my clothes and the beautiful relief of having  a spacious closet. I can actually go in it now without feeling anxious. I don’t want to ruin that so I find that when I thinking of buying something I remember that relief and joy and I think, “Whatever I buy will probably throw off my balance” so I don’t buy anything.

It doesn’t affect just my clothes, but my whole house. I think about the overwhelming burden of clutter and the weight that is now gone of not having to find a place to put it all and clean it all. Oh, I don’t want that again.

So, I find myself not buying anything.

But the craving for that feeling of getting something new is still there.

It’s frustrating. I have an itch I can’t scratch.

 

If someone else asked me what to do, I’d say, “Go do something you enjoy like hiking or your hobby or spending time with loved ones.”

But you know, honestly, those things don’t take that feeling away. It just gives me a reason to shop: I need new hiking boots, a new tool for my hobby, a new dish to put the potato salad in that I’m taking to the pot luck dinner.

It’s a modern day addiction fed by advertising that is everywhere and the stores that are so convenient that it’s crazy. These stores give you an experience, make you feel good just by walking in them and walking out with that delicious feeling of having something new. “Where shopping is a pleasure.” “It’s my pleasure to serve you.” The stores exist just to make me happy! Right?

I’m sorry but walking in the park is not quite the same. It’s good, but not the same.

So, I hate to leave you hanging, dear reader. I have no solution.

Maybe it really is like what I’ve heard drug addicts say, “You never really lose the taste and desire for heroin, you just learn to fight it.”

Got any advice?

Peace,

Jill

 

 

 

Clutter Control

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I’ve been here visiting my kids and grandkids for almost 4 weeks now. I’m living in a spare room with my computer, camera and a plastic bin of clothes. It’s great!

A neighbor asked if I would be willing to house sit for them while they go on vacation. I agreed to do it. Not a problem.

That’s what happened which led me to write this post.

There was a time I would not have agreed to help them out for one stupid reason.

The junk in my house.

How does the junk in my house affect me housesitting for someone? How is it even connected, you may ask, dear reader.

I’ll tell you.

Clutter Control.

When my house was filled with clutter and stuff crammed in closets and under beds and there was no organization, I didn’t know where stuff was and I didn’t know what I had or what I needed. It was Clutter Confusion!

Most of the time I shoved the reality of all that clutter out of my mind. It seemed too overwhelming to tackle, so I just wouldn’t think about it.

So, I would keep cramming the clutter in my house and in my mind. I was never free from it. Even when I wasn’t at home I knew it was there!┬áNagging me.

It kept me in a state of uneasiness. I never felt in control. I was embarrassed that I was not in charge of my life, but my house was. I always felt there was work to be done, something to clean out, sort out, organize. It was a horrible feeling.

Whenever anyone asked me to do something, my mental to-do list popped up and all the work I needed to do around the house started screaming for priority.

Clutter kept me from doing things I wanted to do.

So, now that I’ve decluttered and organized my home I know what’s in every closet and drawer. I know exactly where important papers are and they are safe. There is nothing to do at my house!

My home is not in control of my life anymore! Hallelujah!

So, now when I’m asked to housesit and I think about what I need to at home it doesn’t weigh me down and stress me out! There’s no to-do list to pop up and smother me.

It’s so freeing!

Isn’t it crazy to think how a bunch of inanimate objects can control your life?

Stay free my friends!

Peace,

Jill