This year, I’m participating in Ali Edward’s One Little Word workshop. My word is savor, and I’m sharing a bit about how I connected with savor in the previous two months, how I did with my intentions, and my take on the month’s prompt from Ali.
Here are a few ways I tackled each of my intentions the past two months:
Savor the journey While I did a lot of minor things to make sure I was stopping to smell the roses in April and May, the main things that stick out are the trips we took. Jake and I went on a Mid-Atlantic trip and then a few weeks later we took the kids to Nebraska for our friends’ wedding.
We don’t travel a whole lot (we’ve taken three trips this year and that’s absolutely crazy for us), but I do think that I have savoring the journey while on vacation down to a science. I research things to do ahead of time, have a list of more things to try out than I have time for, and don’t set up a strict time schedule. That way, if I get lost or decide to stop and do something I spot randomly–no big deal. If a plan doesn’t work out, there are back up plans.
It’s easier to walk around and just take in a new place if you’re not rushing to get somewhere. That said, there are a few things that have to have specific times (like tickets to a Broadway show or a museum that closes early). For those things, I just make sure that there’s plenty of built in time to wander / get lost / stop and take photos on the way by leaving super early. That makes for some awesome adventures and some awesome journey savoring.
Savor the season Definitely did not savor allergy and sinuses season. Hah! But otherwise, we went to the park a lot, I spent a lot of time reading and working on the front porch when the weather was nice, and I also hit up the fun seasonal activities like dying Easter eggs. Love that stuff.
Savor lost There’s a bit more about this in the page I made for April’s prompt, but these two months I worked on letting go of guilt. I have a lot of guilt floating around in my brain: some of it is mom guilt, which I think is natural even if it’s not logical. Some of it is guilt about having to say “no” to someone I love who needed help and to an estranged friend who wanted to rekindle our relationship. I know what I can and can’t handle, so I need to let go of guilt for saying “no” when the outcome is really what is best for everyone.
What I struggle letting go of most is my guilt for not doing enough to fight social injustice. I am so good at sociology. I am so good at explaining social stratification in ways that people will understand it. I am so privileged and there are so many others who are not being given a fair shot. I don’t have so much hubris as to think that I alone can make a huge impact on the world, but I often feel like I’m wasting my super powers by not doing more in my area of study.
Savor 4 I feel like our family of four time these two months was kind of eaten by soccer season. This was the first time both kids were in soccer! It made me appreciate our numbers all the more, because I’m imagining how nuts it will be in the possible far future when we have three kids in sports at once. I’m exhausted just imaging it (and I’m not even the one running).
We also did a lot of family brunches out (I love it: don’t care if it’s cliche), had a few board game nights, and watched Cosmos all together.
Savor homegrown I pretty much gave up on trying to go to the farmer’s market during soccer season. I did pick up some things from the farmer’s stand in our neighborhood, but none of it is actually local until summer. Boo.
I went to the market when the kids’ games were close together and I could get out there before everyone packed up. I also enjoyed a few homegrown things from our garden. The bunnies got to a lot of things I planted (which I didn’t do anything to stop, because we like watching the baby bunnies), but there were many romaine and arugula salads on our table the past few months with lettuce straight from our yard. That was awesome.
Savor relationships These months were filled with people I love. We had so many great dinners with friends and family. I babysat my kids’ friends so they could all play together and bond. I had so many long nights talking and watching amazing TV with friends. Visits from and to friends from out of town. Lots of awesome little family outings together. In this area, my heart is bursting and I’m savoring every minute.
Savor every bite I didn’t keep up with making a new recipe every week these whole two months, but I got pretty close. I ate some of the best food ever while on vacation and also savored the week Jake was gone on business with food he doesn’t like: things on bones, shrimp, etc.
Savor the moment I still have good days and bad days with this one, but I think that the good days–the days where I can really stay in the present–are increasing in number. I am really proud of how I balanced things in April while I was teaching Project Life Lessons and My Details. I savored those moments teaching and other areas of my life didn’t suffer for it.
Savor the little things Watching the animals in our yard (there’s a lot of wildlife here for being in the middle of the city!) has become a favorite pastime for the kids and me. I’m also savoring the awesome perspectives the kids have on life at these ages (it’s so amazing to hear what they think about things) and am savoring my romantic and everyday moments with Jake. I’m also savoring my alone time. Before starting to work or create or read or whatever, I take a moment to bask in the glorious quiet. I need a balance between being alone, having time with Jake, and being with the kids, but I savor the little moments in each people combination.
Savor excitement Still going with things that excite me: 52 Projects, TONS of scrapbooking, reading amazing books, and playing my favorite old N64 video games (for April and May it was Banjo Kazooie and Legends of Zelda: Ocarina of Time).
I also enjoyed checking in with my word with the prompts. I actually ended up making these just this week: I usually make each month’s prompt at the beginning of the following month so the ideas will have time to incubate.
One of the prompts centered on free writing about something you need to let go of. I centered on guilt. I used the most let-go recent picture of me (you have to let of a lot of things to dive into a freezing ocean in your underwear just for the hell of it, right?). I decided to stick close to Ali’s take.
I printed this “contemplating me just before the plunge” photo at 8.5×11 for the background layout. Then I added a strip of washi tape to the top and bottom of the layout, used black watercolor paint to add the title and lines, and wrote until the space was filled up.
The other part of April’s prompt is in this post.
For May’s prompt — a messy journaling card collection with “I Am” statements — I decided to watercolor my own backgrounds and cut them up as if they were patterned paper. Instead of using a pocketed page protector, I added the cards to a 8.5×11 piece of cardstock and added outlines with thin washi tape. This way, both of these prompts can go in the same size of page protector.
I mixed the positive and the negative of where I’m at with my word: I’m savoring by documenting the everyday, but I’m sort of having (another) quarter life crisis right now. I’m taking in new experiences and trying to be better at saying no. I’m reconnecting with creative ventures and I’m trying to let go of guilt. This really gave me a good view of where I’m at right now: in some areas of my life I am so happy and so content. I am so savoring.
But in others, I’m struggling. I’m trying to figure things out. It’s hard. It’s not a fun process, and it’s not easy to savor. But I can continue with the knowledge that getting the hard stuff done now means less stress and more savoring later.
How are you doing with your word?