February Thoughts

Now that my February break has come to an end, I figured I would update you on how it went. Firstly, I feel absolutely refreshed! So much so that over this past weekend I was really excited to reconnect with my people on socials today and get moving forward with my new work goals. And by “work” I mean discovering a new career path (i.e., get a new job) as well as writing, blogging, merchandise development, and posting videos.

Oh, yea, I started a YouTube channel!

The channel is titled after my second blog “Insert Adventist” as it is a visual reflection of all the things that go on over there—DIYs, food, plants, shopping, devotionals, God-stuff… basically, everything that isn’t about books and writing. I feel like something is happening in this season of my life and I want to document it; even if I’m the only one who watches these videos, I want to be able to look back and see the journey (because it’s much easier than reading through a bunch of old journal entries… or blog posts). If you’d like to hang out with me from time to time, head on over there and subscribe to the channel.

I feel so much more like myself because I allowed myself to take some intentional time to relax, rest, and adventure in ways that felt comfortable to me. I’ve got three videos coming up on the YouTube channel about my February shenanigans, so I won’t go into detail here. But, one thing I learned during this break—I actually do like eating breakfast.

Since high school, I have always said I don’t like eating breakfast. Eating first thing in the morning just didn’t feel good and my body didn’t like it, so I avoided it as much as possible. I’d typically just have something to drink—in high school it was breakfast smoothies my mom made me drink, and as I got older it became coffee or tea. And over the past several months, I started stress-eating in the mornings as my workday began. Giving myself permission to slow down (completely stop in some ways) and cater to my mind over the past month taught me something—I like eating breakfast, just not before 8:00am.

Being able to slow down allowed me to let my body feel what it wanted to feel and give it what it asked for. I still wake up at 6:30am. Those quiet, candle-lit morning meditations feel like a hug from God. Having no set plans and no time demands, I don’t rush my devotional time or getting dressed. At around 7:30/7:45am I start to think I want something to eat, but I don’t feel hungry. Still, I set a couple eggs to boil or toss some veggie sausage patties into the oven and by the time they are done, it’s about 8:00am. I make some chai with Simply oat milk, add toast or a bagel (apparently, even though regular store-bought bagels make me feel sick, I can eat the NY bagels my mom got from a friend and stuck in the freezer without any issues) onto my plate with my eggs/sausage, and leisurely consume breakfast in bed while watching one of my recorded home renovation shows.

You see, it wasn’t that I didn’t like eating breakfast, the reality is my body doesn’t want to consume food early in the morning (before 8:00am). Also, it needs time to process and settle what I eat before I head out for the day. In high school, I was out the door by 6:15am to catch the bus (except for the one year I went to private school and had to be at my before-school job at 6:30am so we left the house at 5:15am to get there on time); when I worked at the middle school, I had to be there at 7:30am; and when I worked property management, I had to leave at 7:30am to be there by 8:30. All of that was just too early for me to ever want to eat breakfast.

Even though my most recent position was a bit different—not having to be at the office until 9:00am and then moving into working remotely—I spent a lot more time getting dressed in business casual than I did when all I had to do was throw on jeans, a branded polo, and flip flops like when I worked in property management. Also, most recently, there was just a lot of stress involved. Honestly, I don’t think I even realized how much stress my body was feeling that my brain hadn’t processed until recently.

I say all of that to say, taking this time has been good for me. There are still a lot of things I need to work on (mind, body, and spirit), but I feel like I actually have the capacity to work on those things now. That was my hope in taking February to rest, and I’m glad I accomplished what I set out to do. I’m excited about what’s coming next.

New Desk, a Social Media Break, and a Month of Loving on Myself

Hello February and Happy Black History Month!

I posted on Instagram a few days ago, reminding myself that painted desks aren’t paint-proof. You see, I recently upgraded from a small glass desk (it was an office entryway table in a former life, and by “former life” I mean “at my old property management job”) to a big girl desk that I painted white.

I’ve been eyeing big white desks for some time as I gather my thoughts and ideas for my new home office (our move keeps getting pushed back, so we still have a couple months to go, but I have decided on a navy, blush, white, and rose gold color scheme), so when I came upon a big wooden desk on Nextdoor for $75, I had to snatch it up.

I spent a week and a half sanding, priming, painting, and sealing this desk. There are so many voices on the internet telling us chalk paint doesn’t need all of that, but this desk isn’t just a decorative piece. I use my desk for work, writing, journaling, eating, crafting, painting, and all other manner of things, so I want it to be durable and last several years (maybe decades). As I was painting a small vase (it came as a gift but the birds painted on it didn’t fit my preferences so I painted it blush), I reminded myself that it is imperative I get a clear topper for my desk if I don’t want to ruin it. I could clean paint off my old glass desk with a couple drops of rubbing alcohol and a paper towel, but that wouldn’t fly for this new desk.

Now, I’m on the search for an inexpensive sheet of clear acrylic to cover the desktop (glass would be too heavy and out of my budget). That way, I can have the clean white look I’m going for while also having an easy to clean top that won’t get ruined by a little paint. Bonus, I’d be able to use the top as a dry erase board! I found a shop on Etsy with decently priced pieces, but shipping for a 5-foot sheet of acrylic would be almost $60. It would also be a headache for the shipper and the mail service, so I’m going to see if I can source something locally that I can just pick up and save us all a bit of frustration. I’ll update you on IG once I figure that out.

If you don’t follow our Instagram page… I don’t blame you. I’m not particularly active over there. After all these years, I still haven’t figured out how to be consistent on Instagram (outside of doom scrolling when I’m stressed, that is). And, because I’ve been doom scrolling a lot recently, I’ve decided to take an early social media break this year. I usually take one around my birthday so I can spend more time reflecting on the past year and the year ahead, but I feel a deep sense of needing to reconnect with myself right now, so I’m taking all of Black History Month to disconnect from socials and reconnect with myself (and God) by reading, writing, and spending more time outside.

I will still be posting weekly here, though, so don’t go anywhere. I’m just taking a break from the noise and showing myself some love. I have monthly, weekly, and daily goals for February. My daily goals include starting a meditation practice and not rushing through my morning devotional time. Weekly, I want to spend at least one morning at the park, even if only for half an hour. For the month, it’s reading two books and drafting as much of my next collection of essays as possible. I have several pieces saved on my laptop that need a lot of work, as well as notes in my phone for pieces I need to draft. I need to rebuild my writing habit, and I also want to check out the local author resources at the county library near me.

Of course, I’ll let you know how my February goes, and I might have some new things to share when the month is over. In the meantime, let me know how you are making sure to keep in tune with yourself. Also, what are you currently reading? I need more titles to add to my mile-long list of books to read.