May 2016 – Choosing Means – 02


Today’s card says: Sometimes choosing means being brave. Sometimes it means listening to your soul even when it is not what would be nice. Even when you feel conflicted doing what feels right deep down in your soul.

I struggle with this all the time. What I feel in my core and what I feel is right to do, clash often. Or at least enough times that it makes it a struggle. I’ve spent a lot of the last two years really trying to connect with who I am and being at peace with that. Really embracing my soul. I’ve been trying to look deeper and try to differentiate between things that require bravery and things that my soul whispers me not to do. I work hard on who I am and always try to improve. Always try to challenge myself and see if I can become a better version of myself.

But I also want to embrace who I am. It’s much easier to improve yourself when you’re 100% at peace with who you are. And I’m in my 40s now, I want to be done doubting myself nonstop. I want to be able to the whispers of my soul and do what feels deeply right to me. Deeply authentic to who I am. Even if it’s not the “right” thing to do. Even if it might not always mean that I put the people I love first. Sometimes choosing means putting me first. Doing what feels right to me.

Part of growing up, to me, is embracing who I am. Being ok with the fact that sometimes my choices aren’t what others want. Sometimes I will disappoint people. Sometimes I will even disappoint people I love. But part of growing up, part of choosing is being clear with myself about when I am disappointing myself. When I am choosing not to listen to part of myself that I know to be true.

And I think knowing that I do in fact have a choice is a crucial first step in being able to make a choice. I did this recently. It was hard. I chose myself over others. I chose what felt deeply right to me. It hurt some people. It made me really sad to hurt them. But it still felt right. I know that given the option, I would do it again, even when I know it felt terrible to hurt people I love.

I can’t be true to myself if I won’t even let myself listen to myself. I can’t make choices that I am not aware of. So part of choosing is learning to listen to my soul. Learning to differentiate what my own true wishes are in a situation. Being aware that there is a choice. And making my choice with that awareness.


Choosing Means is a Monthly Project for May 2016. You can read more about my projects for 2016 here.

May 2016 – Choosing Means – 01

As I finished my April project, I had no idea what I was going to do for May. I feel like each year, there’s a culmination of events that somehow make it so I fall off my schedule. And then once I get off the schedule, I just can’t ever get back on. Days accumulate and I fall more and more behind and then I just feel like there’s no more point. Eventually the drive comes back but I can never catch back up on my projects. This point usually comes around June when the kids are out on summer break, I go home, and then come back to a lot of jetlag and just don’t feel like being on schedule anymore.

This year, the breaking point came much much earlier. (I hope this is not an indication of the new normal). On mid-March, we got David’s middle school results (which were wonderful) and then I just never blogged again. There was a flurry of activity right after and then I went to Zurich for work and I came back and I’ve been really sick for the last few weeks. I am still not back to 100% and there are around 3,478 things I am now behind on, not to mention an event at the kids’ school just about every other day now that school is almost over.

Sooo…. None of this is actually about my prompt. Let me get to that. When I was in Zurich, Ali’s April prompt for One Little Word, came out. For April, she had something around putting reminders to connect with your word and to answer a question around “what does it mean to …” so I decided that it would be my prompt for May. I made up 20 cards, all of which said “choose” on them and then filled out a card throughout the month. I will do my best to share them with some words and maybe that can help me get back into blogging this month, too.

There are not in order. But here’s the first one:

The card says: you get to choose how to use your time. Choosing to do one thing also means choosing not to something else. Be conscious of what you are not choosing by making the choice to spend your time this way.

This is something I remind myself again and again. It’s something that I think we all sort of know to be true but it’s one of those things like eating well, exercising, or flossing that we know but don’t do as often as we should.

In the last few months, I haven’t been so good at thinking about where my time is going and how well I am spending it. Especially in the last few weeks as I’ve been sick and spending a lot of time on the couch. It’s one thing to rest and sleep when I am sick but it’s another to watch TV and just make the time pass. I understand that sometimes it’s an necessary evil and my body was telling me I need to rest. But one of the things I know is that when I use my time unwisely, I often regret so very much when I look back. This is one of the main reasons I try so hard to organize my day and why I work so well when I’ve scheduled my tasks for the week.

I also know that the minutes I spend not being with my kids, not being with my family, not being with my husband, are all minutes that will not come back. Minutes I spend not taking care of my body will also not come back. Each of these decisions are small and inconsequential on their own, but they add up. Just like eating one piece of chocolate is not a big deal but eating 1,000 little pieces of chocolate adds up.

[As a side note, I was listening to Gretchen Rubin's Habits book this weekend. I've only managed to get through the intro but one of the things she said struck me. She said that something becomes a habit when we do it without thinking. Like brushing my teeth or putting my seatbelt on when I get in the car. I don't think about these acts at all. And if I am going to do things without thinking, I'd like them to be healthier choices. I'd like to know that the time I spend unconsciously is spent on things that are good for me. ]

When I think of what choosing means, this is one of the top ones that comes up for me. Years ago, I taught a class on spending your time called Reclaiming My Time and it was all about paying attention to where your time is going. Figuring out where you want it to go, tracking where it does go, and reconciling the two. It is one of the most powerful exercises one can do. Especially if you’re one of those people who always claims to have no free time. We all have so much more free time than we think we do.

Choosing means remembering to be specific and purposeful with my time.  It’s time for me to reclaim my time and to be specific about what I want to do and, just as importantly, what I don’t want to do. It’s time to pick up the pieces I’ve been dropping on the floor for a few months.


Choosing Means is a Monthly Project for May 2016. You can read more about my projects for 2016 here.

April 2016 – Lettering Wisdom – All

Here’s the end of another month. Here’s another quick look at them all:

and set two:

and set two:

and finally:

I really enjoyed this one. Onward to May.


From the Back is a Monthly Project for March 2016. You can read more about my projects for 2016 here.


Lettering Wisdom is a Monthly Project for April 2016. You can read more about my projects for 2016 here.

April 2016 – Lettering Wisdom – 20

All of these cards are drawn with the Micron pens and then I used watercolor pencils for the borders.

Card twenty says: You are not a drop in the ocean, you are the entire ocean in a drop.


Lettering Wisdom is a Monthly Project for April 2016. You can read more about my projects for 2016 here.

A Book a Week – Mindspeak

I read Mindspeak due to a random whim of buying it on amazon. It looked like a fun plot and I was looking for something easy to read. And it’s been a while since I read it. Like a long while. So it’s time for a confession:

I don’t remember anything about this book.

I even read the blurb on amazon and while it stirred some tiny thoughts in my memory, I still can’t remember a thing. Literally.

Which I guess is all you need to know.

April 2016 – Lettering Wisdom – 19

All of these cards are drawn with the Micron pens and then I used watercolor pencils for the borders.

Card nineteen says: I myself am entirely made of flaws stitched together with good intentions.


Lettering Wisdom is a Monthly Project for April 2016. You can read more about my projects for 2016 here.

April 2016 – Lettering Wisdom – 18

All of these cards are drawn with the Micron pens and then I used watercolor pencils for the borders.

Card eighteen says: It’s funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different.


Lettering Wisdom is a Monthly Project for April 2016. You can read more about my projects for 2016 here.

April 2016 – Lettering Wisdom – 17

All of these cards are drawn with the Micron pens and then I used watercolor pencils for the borders.

Card seventeen says: What you do speaks so loudly that I can not hear what you say.


Lettering Wisdom is a Monthly Project for April 2016. You can read more about my projects for 2016 here.

April 2016 - Lettering Wisdom - 16

All of these cards are drawn with the Micron pens and then I used watercolor pencils for the borders.

Card sixteen says: Just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to, doesn’t mean they don’t love you with everything they have.


Lettering Wisdom is a Monthly Project for April 2016. You can read more about my projects for 2016 here.

April 2016 - Lettering Wisdom - 15

All of these cards are drawn with the Micron pens and then I used watercolor pencils for the borders.

Card fifteen says: we are what we believe we are.


Lettering Wisdom is a Monthly Project for April 2016. You can read more about my projects for 2016 here.

A Book a Week – First Frost

I read First Frost because it looked sweet. I was on a long flight and this was on my kindle. Once I started it I read it all the way through. I had never read this author before and I didn’t realize this was actually a sequel to a story she published before but it didn’t bother me one bit.

If sweet, a bit magical family stories are your thing and you’re looking for a relatively quick read, this one is recommended.

April 2016 - Lettering Wisdom - 14

All of these cards are drawn with the Micron pens and then I used watercolor pencils for the borders.

Card fourteen says: You don’t know your limits until you push yourself past them.


Lettering Wisdom is a Monthly Project for April 2016. You can read more about my projects for 2016 here.