5 Choices That Are Saving My Life This Fall

Every once in a while, I like to jot down a few life-savers that are bringing some sort of stillness or sanity or grace to my daily routines.  Forever a student, I'm learning to be more fully present to what's going on right in front of me rather than being distracted by every random happening that wanders through my brain or intersects with my field of vision.

Multi-tasking is so last year, ya' know?

And the older you get, the lousier you are at doing it well.

I'm learning to focus on one thing at a time, preferably the person right in front of me.  I'm getting the knack of letting go of things that aren't mine to fix or control.  I'm listening to my body telling me what it's yearning for.  A drink of cold water.  A short afternoon snooze.  A healthy snack.  A brisk walk in the leaves.  An evening with absolutely no screens up and running.  A great big hug.

A hefty piece of chocolate.

Here's 5 choices that tend to recalibrate and redeem my days:

1.  Invite light to shine bright.
New England can be a gray place to be this time of year.  So the shades in the bedroom go up right after my feet hit the floor.  Every window in our home is curtain-less and I like it that way.  Two Yankee Candles in a luscious sweet fig scent get lit mid-afternoon.  Candles in the windows and the dining room chandelier get put to work around dusk ... which these days is shortly after 4 pm.

2.  Tuck a small book in your bag.
A bit weary of endlessly scrolling through my phone or paging through 4 month old magazines in waiting rooms has led me to bring along a little something to read while idling time away.  Keeping me company while waiting for a haircut yesterday was Maria's winsome and practical I've Been Thinking: Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life {especially the prayers at each chapter's end}.  My next carry along will most likely be a re-read of Anne's already beloved I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life.  {My review is here.}

3.  Get outdoors each day.
Even 10 - 15 minutes is better than lapsing into permanent couch-potato mode.  Catching a few rays.  Tending the remnants of flowers that refuse to give up hope.  Sweeping the patio of leaves and debris.  Great big bonus points for chatting with a neighbor or going for a long walk.

4.  Reach out via pen and paper.
It's become way too easy to shoot off texts right and left.  I'm resurrecting all those pretty note cards that have been tucked away for far too long, pulling out the colored pens, stamps, stickers, and occasional bits of confetti {when appropriate} to slip quietly into an envelope.  This week's notes have included a few thank-you's, a get well card, several 'atta-girl!' notes to granddaughters, a very few carefully chosen words to a grieving new friend.

5.  Agree with what God is doing.
In stilling myself and my schedule, I'm better able to listen for the Holy Spirit's nudges to pray for someone.  Chances are I've already told Him how I feel about a situation and what I hope He will do.  More and more I'm abandoning my laundry list of things He should be aware of {like He doesn't know?!} and my tendency to want to figure out and control outcomes.  So these prayers are turning out to be more agreeing with what He is doing, praying that His will be done, and offering up praise, praise, and more praise in the process.  Especially when I'm not able to understand His mysterious plans and can't fathom His timing.

I'm curious about what's saving your life this fall ... do tell!

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