things I’m loving this autumn

I loved James Clear’s book Atomic Habits, and one line in particular has stuck with me: “Decide the type of person you want to be. Prove it to yourself with small wins.”

Here are some small things that I’m checking off as wins lately, I’d love to hear about yours in the comments!

(Almost) daily walks. I have always loved walking but haven’t always made the time. Shouldn’t I be running? I think. Walking feels less impressive, but the walks I do are better than all the runs I don’t do! With the hours of sunlight shortening, getting outside during the day is even more important to me. Even just a 20 minute walk at a good pace is enough to help me feel energized and uplifted.

I am making weekly trips to the library with books to return and holds to pick up for me and the boys. I used to run in and out, but I’m starting to make time to browse a little bit before heading off to the next thing. I love this experience because it’s like receiving a surprise gift, you don’t know what book will be waiting for you down your favourite aisle. This week’s surprise was Notes from a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider, last month’s was The Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking cookbook. 

I’m trying to have a smoothie every day, either for breakfast or lunch, and this one is my favourite concoction right now: 1 cup of almond milk, 1 banana, a couple handfuls of spinach, a scoop of Vega vanilla protein powder, a handful of blueberries, juice from 1 lemon. Delicious:) 

I don’t know about you but the 3 o’clock slump is hitting me harder these days. My body knows that darkness is just around the corner, and many days I’m finding myself reaching for the cracker stash, peanut butter and/or chocolate in the cupboard around this time, or pouring myself a glass of wine just minutes before the clock says 5pm. Not a habit I want to get into every single day. So while I cook dinner I put on some nice music and it usually gives me that lightness and joy that I’m craving. Two of my favourite Apple playlists for this are Piano Bar and Cooking with Jazz.

I’ve wanted to “wake up early” for years now, ever since having kids and my time became something other than my own. But I think my goals were too lofty. Right now my goal is to wake up just a few minutes before 7. This seems doable. Sometimes the boys are awake already, often they are not. Right now it means doing a few stretches in the kitchen to wake up, pouring myself a cup of coffee (always set the night before) lighting a candle and sitting down with a book of poetry (John O’Donohue’s Bless the Space Between Us is this month’s choice). I’ll say a prayer, maybe two. Perhaps spend a few minutes in meditation if the boys haven’t yet joined me on the couch. What I want this half hour to be is a time of delight, something I want to wake up for. Waking up before I need to begin the morning necessities gives me the sense that I am the one living my life, not letting life live me. I want it to be a space not of rushing or productivity, but of savouring. Giving God space to do in my heart what only he can do.

I’ll leave you with one of the blessings I loved from O’Donohue’s book:

For Presence

Awaken to the mystery of being here

And enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.

Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.

Receive encouragement when new frontiers beckon.

Respond to the call of your gift and the courage to follow its path.

Let the flame of anger free you of all falsity.

May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame.

May anxiety never linger about you.

May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.

Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.

Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.

May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder. 

xo Andrea

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