Staging Your Day for Contentment and Happiness

I have a bad habit of taking quotes like this and picking it apart, agreeing or disagreeing. I guess it’s the conversations you have with yourself, invisible arguments with no one, LOL! While I do agree one must be comfortable with the details of their life before being happy, I also think that one has to feel spiritually connected as well, and satisfied that one is meeting our Father’s goals and doing His will. Scriptures indicate joy and peace as a fruit of the Spirit. Even with the mess going on everywhere in the world, it’s comforting to know that we can still maintain a level of joy and peace. The devil tries to overcome us and keep us with fear and anxiety to keep us stirred. Only God can bring a level of protection over man, our fear, and layer on the fruits of his spirits. And nothing can keep us from our God, not even death.

Staging Contentment

That said above, I work hard to have little things – little daily details in life that bring me joy – at work, at home, and even in the car. At work the things that I stage to bring me joy are:

  • Food – having what I need right there, and having options, including snacks, healthy options, and maybe chocolate πŸ™‚
  • Drinks – again having options – water, tea, coffee, and my greens and fruits
  • Gum, mints
  • Sayings, reminders, my daily calendar
  • Plants – even if they are fake
  • Family pictures around me
  • Ability to play music if I need – requiring ear buds
  • My daily calendar that brings encouragement
  • A nice computer setting background and theme – changes weekly lol
  • A working computer, functionality of the office equipment, back up office supplies so no running out
  • Working out of the way and beyond to avoid surprises but they still happen anyway, lol.
  • My window – which I’m having to close the blinds as it’s 80 degrees if I don’t

At home, hmmmm, that is so broad it’s hard to narrow down the details that bring contentment as so much does. But we are talking about staging your details to bring contentment. We do it without thinking about the fact that we are doing so.

  • Coffee – having coffee available makes me happy
  • Setting a routine makes me comfortable and happy
  • Having lots of food options in the freezer and pantry
  • Having control over the calendar and my time
  • Being able to schedule some down time and protect it like a fragile bird – lol.
  • Organization and function in the home
  • Decor and aesthetics
  • Greenery in each room lifts the mood – even if it’s a fake plant that doesn’t look fake
  • Positive sayings or Nic Naks that bring joy when you look at them
  • Family pictures
  • Loving Pets and Pets to Love
  • Favorite quilts in bedrooms and sitting rooms
  • Functional Washer and Dryer and other appliances
  • Easy to access items
  • No clutter
  • A To Do List – I’ll never be bored EVER!
  • Lots of drink options here too, including iced tea, wine, beer, mixed drinks if I want, after dinner drink – no not all at once. One a day – maybe two if dinner is late. It’s five o’clock somewhere and then it’s six o’clock! lol

In the car:

  • Car phone plug/cord, phone holder, gum, hand sanitizer, cup holder, drink, Alexa to go, audible, sunglasses – the obvious!

How detailed do we want to go here? I could go on at how I stage things to bring me joy through the day. The joy of everyday living! A comfortable bed, Vicks Vaporub at bedside for stuffy nose, sleep spray for a sleepless night – the staging is endless. Our every need met. We are rich in so many ways and spoil ourselves. So little in detail but yet aids in the contentment and comforts of our being.

Three shampoos in the bathroom – always – one a herbal essence, one a Suave Rosemary mint, the other is allowed to change to try new ones. These little things bring me joy. ;-). Certain types of cleaning supplies one gets used to that bring glee when you smell it or when it works. These little things bring happiness. Clean bed linens and towels and clean underwear. Blessing the nest! Ok I’ll stop!

Other than that I really don’t have much for you in two days time. So I simply chat about “staging your happy”. Hey it works for me. I hope it works for you!

Good Food, Good Times, Good Joy

We get GREAT JOY out of our menu planning board. Much conversation goes around it. I fixed spaghetti Wednesday night. Mainly wanted to give George a break as he worked in the yard this week, as we had a really rainy period from days last week making it hard to keep things under control.

Salad I fixed on spaghetti night with some fresh greens, celery, carrots, cheese, and splurging with garlic and onion croutons.

I even made garlic, cheese bread. I used up some hot dog buns as Mom and George like their white bread. I used a whole grain muffin for mine. Still bad with the butter and cheese. Mom likes bread almost every meal. I would be as big as a barn. I cannot do that.

You know what though? I’m craving bacon! Might have to fix some Sunday. I think we are having to lay low b/c of the rampant “illness” in our community. So maybe Sunday morning we will have time.

I had dinner with a friend at Memo’s in Mount Juliet last night. She got fajitas and they looked great. I got the 3 enchilada meal and although good, left kinda hungry. Three small folder over tacos of a sort, not much meat, not much of anything really – not even beans and rice. I could have added them (beans and rice) separately for $3 each. Was just not enough for an $11 plate of food. Quite pitiful. Not enough to compete with the restaurants around. Sadly, I’ll likely not be back there. Just didn’t meet the expectations. Taste was not anything special either. The others are better. I didn’t want it to be that way, but it just is. I could have easily made this at home. I had to eat more chips and salsa to fill up. Oh well. But I did enjoy the conversation with my friend Christie. We caught up a bit. Two hours worth of chatting.

Meanwhile in Texas

Someone else got to try spaghetti today -he was not sure at first but liked it! Once he got it in his mouth. lol

Keep your chin up out there. You have the power to make life how you want it – if only in the little details! Sometimes we can’t control the big things like we want, but we can control the little things and little details to make our days better. I’m sure I missed a LOT above – just the few things I thought of while sipping my morning nectar (coffee). We really are blessed in so many ways aren’t we?

What details of your day bring you joy? How do you stage YOUR day for contentment?

Burgers, Babies, and a few Yahoos!

Good morning, as I type this, although it may be afternoon while reading! It is Friday! TGIF! It’s been a quick little minute of a week! Packed with lots of work and a little bit of fun aside in the small crannies of time when we are not working.

We took Mom to get a burger Wednesday night. She eats a LOT of burgers during the week normally but is not driving up here. So I try to figure out how to make her world more normal. She and Fancy would go out and “get a burger”. Fancy got her own – not the bread but just the patty. Fancy couldn’t go this time though as we were going in and sitting down inside the restaurant. We chose a restaurant that we could be served – Burger Republic. I love that place! It’s been good EVERY time we have been. And it’s nice to get a good side salad with a burger instead of fries. They have a gluten free bun but I got the regular one this time.

George and I also enjoyed a Calfkiller beer. I couldn’t tell you right now which one it was, some kind of lager. It had a good taste. We have been to Calfkiller brewery before a few years ago- near Sparta, TN but it’s a ways out and a good day trip. As for the name – well – named after the Calfkiller River. Then you’d have to research that one. What a name huh? The beer was very smooth and pleasant. I sipped mine.

Guess who had his 6 month check up and shots? She is keeping him entertained. He LOVES and NEEDS to be entertained. He loves to eat and keep busy!

We got to face time him at his dinner last night. Katy fed him fruits and greens. She said “watch his face when I give him peas”. He made a horrible face and spit it out. She has to mix his fruits with the greens to get it down.

There was a retirement party at work yesterday. It was the first time we had been able to eat and gather together in our break room in a year and half. It was nice. We still had box lunches though and not buffet. It was Panera’s box lunches. Pretty good!

Then at home last night we had pork chops and Mom made an awesome banana pudding. I was about to take a pic of it but Mom had already dipped hers out so I didn’t take a pic. Nobody wants to see half eaten pudding. So you will have to use your imagination. That said, it was really good. Nobody was eating the bananas bought so Mom made the pudding.

Weight Loss Encouragement

I still have my 5 lbs of fat I ordered from Amazon. I think it’s important to realize just how much fat you lose when you lose 5 lbs or any number of lbs. I saw this yesterday on social media and thought it would be good to share. So it kindof gives you some perspective and makes you want to try harder.

We have really been eating well and probably more since Mom has been here. So something has to give. We have more breakfasts on the weekend and eat more meals, and taking leftovers for lunch that are more fattening. It’s all been good but I need to be careful and cut back some. It’s just been kinda like a celebration though – now that the BIG MOVE is over. We have been eating a lot of favorite foods and sharing the joy of our favorite meals with Mom and hers with us.

All that said, we have Corned Beef and Cabbage coming this weekend. And going out for Taco Tuesday at a new place in town —you guessed it —next Tuesday. lol

Mom’s House Build Update

The wood came in finally. It was late. So I think we are a week behind schedule – maybe two. They told Mom they were putting extra crew on it to get it back on schedule. We’ll see. They do have a timeline though and it is a domino impact with all the ones being built down the line. So they were to begin framing the house this week. So exciting!

Looking at the chart here, we are three months away from closing. I’m thinking it’ll be behind that schedule but we will see what happens. Maybe by Thanksgiving or Christmas.

It’s looking like our holidays will be busy! But one thing is for sure – on THIS MOVE, there IS NO TIMELINE! Mom will be anxious to get in there and we’ll help her get there as quick as possible – making it livable. I told her I’d stay over a bit on some weekend nights to plump and perty her up! But again there is no timeline on this end of things.

We will have to have enough time to do some shopping and prep for Christmas.

A List of Yahoos!

  • We get to go look at flooring tomorrow! YESSSSSSSSSS!
  • Today is Friday and we are going to eat pizza tonight! (Not working on losing those 5 lbs just yet!)
  • I finished reading the New Testament this year already. Reading the books of the Bible backwards. I’m in Amos now in the OT. Started in Jan I think. Only 2 chapters a day. Very doable! Try it! Every morning I journal a prayer of thanks and needs, worries, requests, and then read my 2 chapters. It really sets my day off right!
  • I have been able to work on the next video – every other morning – doing voice overs and editing mainly, music is next.
  • I found 5 minutes to stick a few puzzle pieces in.
  • Made reservations for Mom’s birthday.
  • I’ve been reading a book on the Kindle app of my phone at night, lol. It’s called “The Next Wife”, author last name of Rouda. A simple read and very easy to read without much thought, but one that has me very hooked! Page turner.
  • Also booted out an audio book I was struggling through and began “Where the CrawDads Sing. It’s really good so far.” Making me look forward to drive time.
  • I have a chunk done on my to do list. I’m at the point where I can work on the gravy now! That makes me happy.
  • The weekend is pretty open. We will manage to keep busy but it’s a good busy!

THANK THE LORD! LIFE FEELS SOMEWHAT NORMAL. NO BODY BREATHE or SAY a WORD because it MAY ALL CHANGE in ONE SWIFT HEARTBEAT!

And it usually does.

Ya’ll have a Good Friday. I’m working on Quarter End after my normal Friday duties are done, if there are no employee payroll issues (odds are good this week there will be) but we will do the best we can and then the weekend begins! Whatcha doing today yourself?

See ya’ll sometime on the weekend. Lord Willing’ and the creeks don’t rise. They might, rains coming!

Happiness Assessment and How I Reset Priorities

Had a great night’s sleep on Tuesday night. Not so much last night. Awake at 1:30 again! Remembered I’d forgotten about the darks in the wash – ooops – reran them again so I could hang and dry anything needed. I don’t like them to sit for too long. I was thirsty, and drank water. The dogs looked at me longly and licked their lips – ok – got up and got water for the dogs bringing it to them instead of getting them out of bed. All were happy again and we snuggled. I was fairly comfortable – just woke up and turned over every hour or so.

Yesterday, even though the night before last, my sleep had been full, I was seemingly unhappy. I noticed this mood and wondered why. Why does a persona feel unhappy when everything should be good. So what did I do? I decided to assess the situation. Problem solving skills coming to light. LOL

Pen and paper. Think tank switched to ON. I began to make a list of everything that bothered me or that I was unhappy about. Here’s the list.

  1. Dogs/Texas
  2. Flooring in our House
  3. Squashing of Dreams – what I want, George seemingly does not
  4. Work/Quarter End and January
  5. Worrying/Wondering over things
  6. Rude People and Why they are that way
  7. My Weight/Diet/Eating
  8. Dang Political/Racial Mess
  9. Dang Corona Feculance (Here is where I googled “shit” synonyms so as not to offend anyone – you are welcome).

I also made a list of generally things that make me unhappy and things that make me happy.

Unhappy went something like this: frustrated with “never enough time”, things break, people are rude, systems don’t work right, apps fail, others agendas are not my own, told “no” or “not now”, being ignored by others, barriers to whatever it is you try to do, getting packages open (packaging being better made than the product itself), and any limitation that stands in the way of MY WILL! lol

Happy went something like this: Happy when cleaning, organizing, learning, studying, doing things with my hands, making progress toward goals, ticking off boxes on a list, planning, accomplishing, and getting praises or words of affirmation from others – it lights my world and my face too with a smile.

My DARN WILLPOWER – How to manage it?

Oh dear!!! Prayer, hope, acceptance, letting go, changing, and fixing. It’s a monster!

Ok so good! I wrote down and figured out all that was making me less than happy. It’s not that I am traumatized by any of it, but certainly all of these things are making me NOT in a good mood, so it was a good little exercise.

So now what? Well, I decided that as a Christian I needed to pray over these things and to allow my faith to take over. Because my persona is wired the way it is, I often let things bother me, take life way too seriously, and am relentless until something is solved/resolved. I think that is ok. I will never change. God needs people like us out there. I won’t apologize for it as I’m God’s creation. I can only apologize to Him for not trusting more when it comes to the worry part. We are the people in life that get your details done. So many details. We solve your problems, we strive to improve, we make the process better. We ask the difficult questions and we critique a situation and we never stop.

And that is what comes down to my WILL. I have a strong WILL as they call it. You know, the one that people say this about you:

“She always has to have her way” about my relentless efforts to improve something or make it better.

“She worries too much” about the same.

“She’s never satisfied” about one problem solved and now on to the next one. Yes sir/ma’am, that is me.

“It’s always something” about my continual efforts to make life better.

What may seem like complaining to some is the critiquing of a process or situation to see how it can be better. Call it what you will, I’ll likely not ever change. Live with it or leave it. Live with it or lose it. Choose it.

So after praying over those things. And feeling blessed with the things that are going right, I realize that I need to focus more on God. I have to do this about once a quarter. I get pulled out of focus by so many things in life. Then one day I think – when did I last pray? When did I last study? Oops. It’s totally unintentional but you realize you are not spending time with God and then life starts to look dingy and ugly.

So, back in the LIGHT again. What is needed? Again more assessment, LOL.

What was that business book about priority setting in your life? The author had that excel chart to help you set your week. (Google of best business classic books on setting priorities). Ahhh yes, there it is. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. Oh wait, didn’t I make my own. Yes, it’s in my closet (aka office bookshelf). I made that Weekly Focus Worksheet just for this reason.

Weekly Focus Worksheet

  1. A list of your roles in life
  2. A list of all the weekly goals
  3. The focus for the Week (top 3)
  4. Goals for the Month in case you need to skip ahead
  5. Check boxes for remembering: Spiritual, Physical, Social, R/R needs
  6. Reminders for Birthdays, Shopping, New Recipes, Bucket List, Household Chores, and Online orders

These reasons are why I had to personalize mine. I made the form years ago and only used it about a month. It became cumbersome and I found a calendar booklet that had much of this built in to it. However, the weeks I DID use this, I felt content and I felt that my focus was where it should be. My roles to others, to God, and to myself were more in balance.

I redid the sheet some years ago to become more specific to the Weekends as that is where I had the most productive time. Again I only really used it for about a month til it became a habit.

I called it the Weekend Worksheet.

  1. Top 3 Focus
  2. Top 3 Cleaning areas
  3. A Saturday Checklist for: laundry, ironing, taking stuff downstairs for storage, emptying trashcans, cleaning kitchen, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, overall picking up of the house, surface cleaning.
  4. Shows to Watch – having self time is important too – it’s fun to decide what to pick for the weekend
  5. Internet orders
  6. Errands (as few as possible since it’s HOME TIME)
  7. Misc To Do items
  8. Upcoming meals and recipes to look up ingredients
  9. Items to add to the grocery list (this was before I had Alexa)
  10. Things to plan/remember
  11. Notes for everything else

So just glancing at these gave me contentment and made me smile again. Knowing God has my back and I also have control over my mind to relax and know that what I can’t control, He can and He will have it as Perfect as it needs to be. God is perfect and we are made in His image and strive to be Perfect as well, but because we are on this earth alongside sin and in our temporary bodies, we will never be perfect unless we are Perfect in Him. So I won’t apologize for trying to be Perfect. I do apologize to Him for ignoring Him or others which I didn’t mean to do while trying to do all that I do.

So I’ll pray, study, refocus, tick off boxes, and put things that HE wants me to think about in my mind.

I’m content already having gone through this process and made those decisions. “He Places My Feet”. I hope they put that on my tombstone. I remember it, then I forget it until I worry and then I remember it again when I ask myself why.

I hope you too, will find comfort in this process. What makes you unhappy? How do you assess your feelings? What process do you use to resolve? Maybe try some of these ideas?

  • A listing or critique of what is bothersome
  • Prayer and Faith and Study time with God
  • Focus and Reset Priorities
  • Set some Goals
  • Tick off the boxes
  • Move Forward with Glee πŸ™‚

I also listened to Dr. Cloud yesterday who mentioned something about mindfulness and how you can think of thoughts but not allow yourself to become captive of them. The Bible, he reminded us, even mentions not to let your thoughts take you captive. Imagine they are clouds drifting by – just allow them to come and go. Pray if need to.

And that is all I have time for. Matter of fact I’m running a little late now. Ahhh, that time factor again. I can’t wait til retirement and no longer managed by a dang clock.