The past few months have been a bit chaotic, mentally. As each day goes by I get more unorganized and more scatterbrained. Today I sat down to tackle some issues I’ve been procrastinating.

  1. Email inbox.
    Besides the usual (deleting those pesky newsletters & junk) I am terrible at keeping my inbox clear. I also lack responding to emails in a timely fashion. Today I manged to reply to Busy, an email six weeks in the making, and deleted items from my social/promotion tabs.
    How do you manage your inbox?
  2. Scheduling posts. 
    I have used this feature off and on but today I’m looking into a more solid plan to use scheduling for my blog. Usually each day I carve out an hour of my time to write an update. The post feels lacking or rushed and not from the heart. In the future I’d like to improve my content and post thoughtful updates.
    Do you use the schedule feature?
  3. Bookshelves.
    I used to be organized and I realize this every time I open up Goodreads. Years ago I discovered GR and the OCD side of me rejoiced. Now I am working on getting my bookshelves more organized and labelled efficiently for easy perusing. This will also help with reading challenges in the future.
    Bookshelves, to organize or not to organize?
  4. Memories. I take leisure photos but rarely manage to upload, edit, or review a batch before taking on a new project. This is a big task I need to get under control and it will take time but I am going to try to spend a small amount of time every day to get this done.
    What daily routine helps keep you sane?

That may seem like a lot to some and not many things to others, for me it is just enough for now. Time management used to be a strength of mine so I plan to remedy my current situation.

Do you have any tips for managing life, time, reading, self, etc.?


Smart Things

This list about advice from elders to a younger generation is perfect.*

*For those that don’t want to click over to the article.

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Eat right.
  • Be a family member not an individual.
  • Use sunblock.
  • Exercise.
  • Save money.
  • Be content.
  • Chase life goals.
  • Sleep right.
  • Maintain those teeth.
  • Collect memories not things.
  • Give back.
  • Face your fears.
  • Read at least 10 books a year.
  • Travel.
  • Meditate.
  • Be you.
  • Keep a journal.
  • Be a homeowner.
  • Maintain friendships.
Any items on this list that shouldn’t be? What other advice should be added?
Smart Things

Get Your Reading Done

How To Get More Reading Time

5 Habits via Jessica at BookRiot

All of us readers have this problem at one time or another–trying to squeeze in time to read. Here are a few tricks to get that book finished and that “to be read” pile down.

Read before bed, every single day.

Seems like common sense but that time spent reading before bed adds up. Set yourself a goal or time limit and stick to it. I have stayed up late finishing a book so I know the struggle but remember there is always tomorrow night to look forward to and a good book is worth the wait.

Read while on the move.

If you commute then you have the perfect opportunity for reading time. Also consider audiobooks, for those that walk or drive (I use audiobooks on the treadmill). I usually have one book picked out for commute reading. For example, a thin paperback that if it gets lost or damaged I would not be as heartbroken as if it were a more prized book.

Interact with other readers.

This will get you recommendations for other books. It will spread book love around because I know we all like to talk about stories we love. You may even forge a friendship over your passion for reading.

Lunchtime equals book time.

Reading during a meal used to make me feel like a loner, but I would rather have an enjoyable meal while reading than sit and pretend to be involved in the lunch table’s conversation. This habit of reading while eating was instilled at a young age for me and I still read at lunch during the work week.

Wake up and read.

I like to spend an hour or two on the weekend just reading. It is my relaxing time. My favorite time to read is when I wake up in the morning on Saturday or Sunday while I’m still being lazy getting a chapter or two in before I start my day.

When do you fit in your reading time?

Get Your Reading Done



Tension, stress and anxiety will disrupt your night’s sleep. I have been dealing with mild insomnia the last few months, always during the winter. Below is a list of suggestions that have worked for me and may or may not work in your case. I am not a doctor or licensed professional, follow advice/tips at your own risk.

Ways to Get More Sleep
  • Music
    • I would listen to music every night if I could remember to turn it on. Music designated for sleep is ideal, soft and mellow tunes, but I really enjoy the sound of rain or a sleep playlist with my favorite easy listening artists.
  • A warm bath
  • Herbal tea or warm milk
  • Limit caffeine after dinner
  • Avoid television before bed
    • Your bed and sleeping should not be associated with other things. Television is a distraction and keeps your senses alert.
  • Reading
    • I always read before going to bed, it helps me not to think about the day and to get lost in another world. The problem sometimes is not being able to stop reading.

Last night was an early night for me. I try to go to bed at the same time to develop a routine and so that my mind can get used to the “powering down” phase of the night. But I usually cannot fall asleep until one or two in the morning. I need to revisit these tips and try some others to get my sleep schedule back on the right track.

What sleep aids (not a sleeping pill) do you practice to get a good night’s sleep?



Wishing and Hoping

Today I wish I had more time devoted to reading. Here’s some tips to get more reading time in.

  1. Consider audio books, for those times when you don’t feel like using your eyes just turn your ears on and give a listen to your book.
  2. Always carry a book with you, pair this with the next tip to be most successful.
  3. Read more than one book at a time. I often go through mood changes so changing my reading material makes sense.
  4. Sharpen your time management skills so that you can earn some reading time for yourself later, even if it’s 20-30 minutes.
  5. Just do it–stop making excuses, procrastinating, or complaining about it. Go read NOW.

Celebrate reading Saturday on the National Readathon Day.


What are you currently reading? Best tips to get in more reading? Are you reading this weekend?

Wishing and Hoping

What’s Love Got to Do With It

Who are you in love with?

An innocent question enough but for this single gal it is a boring one. I am in love with no one currently. I am on the path of learning to love myself more. I hear that in order for you to love others, you should love yourself first. So I am working on that.

Evelyn from Abundance Tapestry came up with 17 ways to love yourself. Here are a few of my favorite:

  • Stop listening to the “negative Nancy” inside your head. Judging yourself too harshly will not accomplish anything but more bad feelings.
  • Karma will bite you back. Send kindness out into the world and you will experience it yourself. Positive thoughts are powerful.
  • Trust yourself and be honest, this will help confidence grow. Put yourself in situations where you will succeed.
  • Forgiveness is the most powerful tool you own. Use it.
  • Relax more. Take care of yourself, it’s the only body you get. You mind needs to be looked after as well. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

This is a tough process that I believe everyone deals with to some extent. Love is a deep, complex emotion and you won’t see changes overnight. I’m thirty something and still tackling this issue with myself.

What’s Love Got to Do With It

If You’re Happy and You Know It

Come on, get happy.

What made you smile today?

It is ten days into the new year and I’m still writing each day. My resolution was to do more, but I really wanted to create a habit of writing. I’ve read that it takes between 21-28 days to form a habit. I think it is easier to kick a bad habit in that many days but to acquire a good habit it should take longer. Another article states that in order for a good habit to stick 66 days are needed. Hogwash, maybe.

Some advice to try is tackling a small habit instead of a larger goal. I’m trying to increase my writing output. I want to develop a habit of writing every day. So instead of focusing on writing daily I am developing the small habit of getting on my computer and online. So I feel accomplished by just opening up my laptop. I don’t have to write, but it’s already open and ready so a little more effort won’t hurt.

Ten days in and I still feel motivated to write, I know toward the end of the month I might be struggling with this but I will still be accomplishing my small habit of logging on each day.

Any habits you’ve formed or given up? Best advice you have for others?

If You’re Happy and You Know It

New Year, New You

Are you content?

Nothing like a direct question to get into your psyche. After reading this question I did a little research to see if I could find a checklist of some sort to see if I “qualified” as being content or not. I did not find one. I did, however, find this poem by William Butler Yeats:

I CALL on those that call me son,
Grandson, or great-grandson,
On uncles, aunts, great-uncles or great-aunts,
To judge what I have done.
Have I, that put it into words,
Spoilt what old loins have sent?
Eyes spiritualised by death can judge,
I cannot, but I am not content.
He that in Sligo at Drumcliff
Set up the old stone Cross,
That red-headed rector in County Down,
A good man on a horse,
Sandymount Corbets, that notable man
Old William pollexfen,
The smuggler Middleton, Butlers far back,
Half legendary men.
Infirm and aged I might stay
In some good company,
I who have always hated work,
Smiling at the sea,
Or demonstrate in my own life
What Robert Browning meant
By an old hunter talking with Gods;
But I am not content.¹

Life really can’t be defined in terms of black and white, or being content or not. Emotions are rated on a spectrum and I’m positive contentment qualifies as a spectral emotion. During my reading of material I’ve realized that if I am not content with things (life) I need to make changes.

A New View

Focusing on the now is a big first step. Happy people don’t dwell on the past or rehash their mistakes. Being thankful for the positives in your life will help keep you optimistic, especially the little things. The small joys in life are a huge factor to having a sunny disposition. My favorite moment and small joy in life is that first sip of coffee in the morning, followed by my second favorite that first smell of coffee brewing. Those two moments (which happen almost daily) always put a smile on my face and start me out on the right foot for the day.

Something I have noticed in my own life that helps me deal with stress is decompressing. I tend to over analyze everything so reflection helps me stay rational. Things like keeping a journal or blogging, taking a walk to think about the day, or just sitting still daydreaming have helped me reflect. Another technique I heard about and now use is the 5-10 minute rule. When something goes wrong or sadness strikes take between 5-10 minutes and feel those emotions then move on. Don’t worry about it, don’t cry over the things you can’t control, feel sad then move on.

To be content realize money can’t buy happiness, comparing yourself to others only hurts yourself, and faking happiness until you’re really happy isn’t such a bad thing. Happiness is a choice. Today I’m making the vow to be happy. I’m going to practice compassion for others which will in turn help me not feel so alone in the world.

Do Things Differently

I’ve started to simplify my life. I’m fascinated with the tiny house movement and have realized that type of lifestyle seems divine to me. Cutting down on things is the perfect way to cleanse your house, yes, but also your soul. I’ve also begun to simplify my emotions. I don’t tend to fret the small stuff and forgiveness is the best tool we’ve been given. Life is too short for grudges and anger. I know when I’m older I’ll look back and think why did I worry so much?

Happy people do what they love. I am still working on this. Until I figure out what it is that I love to do my life will not really feel fulfilled. I have always struggled with perfection; I want it and I need it. This drive for perfection has made me unhappy so I’m learning to let it go. Nothing is perfect and to be content this is a lesson you need to conquer.

What Do Happy People Do?

Is there a secret to happiness? I don’t think so, it just takes some time. Happy people spend their time connecting with others. It helps get their mind off their own life and gives them perspective when reflecting on the negatives in their life. People that are content in their life spend time with others like themselves, they flock together. Happy people also spend time alone to unwind and are not afraid to be alone either.

There isn’t a step by step process to finding happiness. It can be as simple as loving yourself or as complicated as finding a purpose in life. Happiness is about learning from your mistakes or trying new things, finding satisfaction in a daily workout, or just admitting your flaws. I’ve learned that in order to be content it is all about the lifestyle you lead and the choices you make.

Let’s all start making good choices.

¹Poem is the property of its owner. All information has been reproduced here for informational purposes only.
New Year, New You