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Sun’s Shining and the Living’s Easy…

14 Apr

Yesterday, I facebooked (also, I love how Facebook has become a verb) that I was less than enthused. In truth, I was downright grumpy. I just was not feeling it. It was one of those days where the round of bad news just kept coming. DS has more than 18,000 articles that need to be approved, and a lack of copy editors. While, I am not faulting the company and I know they are working to rectify it, one article approval in the past seven days is a bit much. No one can live off a $16 paycheck. I found out the non-profit I do occasional work for has not received some funding. The particular funding was supposed to be paying my new, shiny, part-time job. Again, it’s not anyone’s fault, but it just was the mustard on my craptastic sandwich yesterday.

It had been raining steadily, and often heavily, since Monday evening. While I love a good, cleansing rain from time to time. I needed some sunshine, desperately. It was just one of those days where my mood was as bleak as the sky. I could not seem to get my head into the right space to pump out a different article. I spent most of my day reading the same research over and over.

Today…well today was one of those days that just made me want to jump for joy. After yesterday’s grump fest, I woke up determined to make today a better day. I was greeted by sunny skies and bird chirping. It was warm, and finally beginning to feel like spring in these western Philadelphia suburbs. FINALLY.

So, I set out to enjoy myself. Anne also had the day off, so it was even better that I could spend such a perfect day with my favorite person. We started off with a lazy morning, and probably too many cups of coffee. Then, we headed out to Marsh Creek State Park for an afternoon picnic and a walk along the lakeshore. Boat rentals are only open during the weekends for now, so we did not head out on the water, just soaked up the sun and enjoyed some conversation.

After that, it was off to Chester County Public Library to scoop up a new round of books. We parked in an area overlooking the creek that runs through the grounds of the library. Anne mentioned it would be fitting to see a duck floating along, because the water was moving very quickly. On the way out, a pretty, green-headed, male wood duck floated by, much like the one pictured above (thanks to Photoxpress).

With a new bundle of books, it was off to the local dollar store for some cheap frozen treats. We dined on our ice cream at the picnic benches at Miller Park. We finished up our afternoon adventure by reading in the shade and then taking a walk along the park’s woodland boardwalk.

This was exactly what I needed to lift up my spirits. I came home feeling renewed and rejuvenated. Tomorrow, I plan to do some more job searching and expand my client base. I love DS, but I am figuring out more and more about my long-term goals each day. It’s definitely time to grow.

What do you do to shake away the blues?

Growing in Gratitude…

6 Apr

 

I have not disappeared, at least not entirely. Its just been an extraordinarly busy few weeks. Gratefully, this is the first time in months when my plate has been so full and instead of feeling overwhelmed, I feel happy.

I’m grateful

When this year began, I was cranky, overwhelmed, and just generally feeling down about life. Things were hard, money was tight and my job was making me feel less than satisfied. Now, four months into 2011, I am truly “making it work”. Not only am I making it work, I really feel as if I am thriving.

I am finding myself re-engerized (did I just make up a word?) with work. I am passionate about the subjects I am writing. Focusing on writing home and garden articles helps me feel creative throughout my entire day. I really feel these articles can help people and I get to write about things that feed my own passion for creating a cute, comfortable home and garden on a budget.

My good friend Becky gave me a bunch of seeds for my birthday, and I am looking forward to starting my own backyard, vegetable garden as we fall into spring.

My (should have been) sister, Sarah faces similar financial challenges and recommended the book, Total Money Makeover, by Dave Ramsey. I checked out a copy from my local library last weekend and I am looking forward to diving in this weekend and learning as much as I can about how to get my money straight.

I am also enjoying my nannying position, and I am doing more work for my favorite non-profit, Security on Campus. I am passionate about this cause and looking forward to doing so much more to help promote victim advocacy and college campus safety.

I am even finding some time to craft in the evenings. Hopefully my own Etsy endeavor, Bee Weave will officially launch in time for the 2011 holiday season. Definitely, stay tuned for more details on that idea.

Things are looking up and I for one, am looking forward to dancing in the spring sunshine.

What’s good in your world these days?

Happiness is Sprinkles

20 Mar

Copyright: Photoxpress

Nothing makes me feel like celebrating like an ice cream cone covered in rainbow sprinkles. Even this picture makes me smile. After what was obviously a downer kind of week, I think I have shaken off all my blues, at least for today.

This is going to be a busy, hectic, crazy week so I am glad to I shook off the guilt and listened to my body telling me that I needed a break last week. I took a few days to rest and relax. Now, I am all geared up and ready to get going this week.

I have my regular work load, a meeting with a client about some new and upcoming projects. I am also looking forward to spending some days with my babysitting charge. I get such a kick out of that kid. Maybe I can come up with a simple craft project to do with him later on this week.

Then, next weekend its time for a birthday celebration with my in-laws and some good friends. I’m so excited! I’m not big on birthday presents and all I really wanted this year was some time to spend with my friends and family.

Yesterday, my wife treated me to lunch and then we went to see Red Riding Hood, which I highly recommend. Today, I spent some time working and I’m going to pick up Anne from work in a bit. Then, we’re heading down to my dad’s for family dinner.

Let’s hope I keep riding this happy train. It will certainly help me get through the week with grace and calm.

What is your go-to, cheer up trick?

Rainy Sunday Joy

6 Mar

copyright: PhotoXpress

Something about this quiet, rainy Sunday is bringing me such joy. Lately, I have been in the process of committing myself to my writing and I took on a second job as an afterschool nanny, so my work days are jam-packed. I am not complaining by any means, because I finally feel like I am finding some career balance.

Those jam-packed, crazy days make me enjoy these quiet simple ones even more. Today, I am relaxing catching up with the my blog reading and returning some emails.

Copyright: PhotoXpress

I am also spending some time crafting. As important as crafting is to me, it has gotten pushed aside for work and other things lately. I am still trying to find that balance, but its forthcoming for sure. So, I recently learned how to make granny squares and I’m working on a blanket for my nephew’s 6th birthday. I’ll share some photos soon.

I hope you’re finding some time for simple joy this Sunday.

Quest for Self-Love

2 Mar

As I mentioned in my last post, this is my year. I am determined to get through it with self-love, self-awarness and a huge, heaping dose of joy. I am completely in love with the girls over at Stratejoy. I’ve been motivated and inspired through three seasons of bloggers as well as by Molly herself. I’m also completely inspired by former Statejoy-blogger, Nikki over at the The Grateful Sparrow.

So, I am adopting the principles I have learned from these amazing women to turn this year, and this blog into a chronicle of my journey to self-discovery and self-love. I will share with you the things I am doing for myself, my family, my wife, my career. I will share the things that make me laugh, smile. The things I am just loving at the moment.

Don’t worry, I am not throwing away Erin Makes It Work staples like book reviews and recipes. After all, I find joy in the stacks at my local library and cooking in my kitchen.

Today, I share with you the face that always makes me smile.

 My super cute, always curious, sometimes bad bundle of fur. Meet Ziggy!

Also, just to put a little spring in my step, I painted my nails a bright, happy green…and I love watching my fingers fly over the keys.

Falling in Love with Myself

23 Feb

 

Often, you hear adults refer to their college years, or high school as the golden years or glory days. For me, the opposite is true. I can stand here and say that in my late twenties, I am experiencing a love affair…with myself.

As a girl whose always just been a bit outside of the realm of the popularity, a girl whose always been big boned and curvy, a girl whose always been more than a little goofy…I definitely did not always fit in. I struggled, especially through middle school and high school. I was not always a happy person, as a result I was not always a great daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend. It is difficult to give your best self to those you love, when you do not necessarily love yourself.

Love is a tricky concept. I have always found it fairly easy to love my family, friends and wife unconditionally. Even when they drive me up a wall, and with my family full of strong personalities, that happens, I love them completely. I have not always found it so easy to love me.

I am not sure when that began to change, but somewhere around 21 or 22, I began to realize that I had some toxic friends and relationships. I let those people stay around me because I’m not very good at ending things and also because I let people treat me poorly. I let people judge me and I let myself take those judgements to heart.

Things slowly began to change, and with time I began to surround myself with people that lifted me up in life. I began to develop true, deep friendships. The kind that last through distance and time. I found someone worthy of my heart, who loved me as much I should have always been loving myself.

So, this year, I am making a promise. Not to cut myself down because I still have a few extra pounds. Not to cut myself down because the idea of a conventional 9 to 5 job makes me cringe more than I can really say. This year, I am going to celebrate all the things I love about being me. I am going to take time to nurture those things and build them up. To celebrate joy at every turn. This is my year to shed the darkness.

I think I have always found the things that set me apart from the popular crowd a bit comforting. It made it easy to hide in my shell. Now, I find those things inspiring, because I am unique. I am worthy of joy..and so are you.

So here’s to….

  • being a complete and total book nerd and finding solace in the library.
  • understanding words better than people sometimes.
  • loving country music and rock belonging to the decades before I was born.
  • having amazing friends and crazy, loving family.
  • wanting to make a living being creative.
  • being completely in love with my life
  • being the kind of girl who takes her wife on dates to the park and spends hours on the playground

What makes you, you? What are you celebrating these days?

A Thank You to a Beloved Influence

17 Jan
Source: The Seattle Times

In large part, this man largely influenced by belief on race. I was luckily enough to be born some-20 years after the start of King’s Civil Rights Movement. I grew up in the South, at a time when segregation was something our grandparents talked about and something our parents vaguely remembered.

My entire life, I grew up in a world where I truly believed the color of someone’s skin did not matter. I still believe that. I am not going to sit here and tell you that I don’t sometimes feel uncomfortable around a certain person, without knowing them, but its about their demeanor and attitude.

Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcom X and so many others fought long and hard to be treated like equal humans. I would like to believe that had I been my age now, during the Civil Rights Movement that I would have marched alongside them, but I do not know.
Still, I wish for the ability to time travel, or write letters to the dead. I would just like to say this…
Dear Dr. King,
You did not fight and die in vain. While things here in 2011 are not perfect, you words, your wisdom and your actions have made a difference. As a child, I loved learning about you and the others instrumental in the Civil Rights Movement.
Honestly, as much as I loved the stories and the history, I did not understand it. How could a country which fought to free itself from British tryanny then judge people because of skin color? It made no sense to my five year old brain, and it makes no sense to my 27 year old brain.
For some of us, what you fought for is now ingrained in who we are. We live our lives where we believe people are equal. Thank you for your sacrifice, allowing me to live in this world.
Always,
Erin
I leave you with this quote, the motto of Key West, Florida.
“We are all equal members of one human family.”