Following my decision to get back on all of my bandwagons this past Sunday (you can read about it here), I’ve had a refreshingly productive and confidence-boosting week. My laundry is done. The floors have been swept and mopped. The dogs have been to the dog park every other day. And I’ve been to the gym! I’m telling you guys, boundaries are the bomb. To wit, I thought I’d keep the streak going by launching a series I’ve been mulling over for a few weeks now: Friday Finds.
It all started when I realized that I often hear a song, stumble upon an article, or read a quote and then catch myself thinking, “man, I want to share this with people!” Normally that thought is immediately followed by, “ugh, but where? I don’t want to write an entire blog post about just THIS, and it doesn’t necessarily fit in with what I was planning to talk about next. Mehhhh.”
Needless to say that after a few weeks of this I decided that I wanted to just start a weekly series wherein I shared with you things that had excited me that week: songs, articles, recipes, quotes, movies, people, whatever… Because like the Nesquick rabbit taught me, it’s important to “share the wealth!”
So, without further ado. Here are five things that I’ve been totally excited by (this week) recently that I’ve been dying to share.
5 THINGS THAT HAVE RECENTLY TICKLED MY FANCY
1. James Bay.
I love, Love, LOVE music. Up until a few years ago you’d be hard pressed to find me without my headphones on; in middle and high school they were connected to my portable CD player, in college they were connected to my iPod, post college, to my iPhone… It wasn’t until Lyme Disease gifted me with tinnitus and hyperacusis that I stopped listening to music ALL THE TIME so now that I’m better and can enjoy music freely again, time spent listening to the “perfect song” only means that much more to me. Anywho, a few weeks ago I caught the tail end of a song on the radio (which I rarely listen to anymore) and instantly needed to track it down because “dear God those lyrics were good”; this is when I discovered the pleasures of English singer-songwriter James Bay.
Does he write the most original songs ever? No. Is his sound the “next big thing.” No. But Simon Harper puts it perfectly in his review in Clash when he says, his is “an album of genuine intent, full of poignant reflections on romance, hope, fear, the past, the present, and the future. It’s got heart. And that’s enough for starters.” Damn straight it is. James Bay takes everyday feelings and describes them beautifully. See here and here.
2. This microwaveable popcorn maker.
I haven’t made microwaveable popcorn in quite some time. Partially it’s because the kind that comes in bags is really not good for you. (More often than not the bags are lined with perfuorooctanoic acid (PFOA) which has been linked to infertility, cancer and other diseases in lab animals. Most microwaveable popcorn also includes unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients like artificial butter flavoring, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, added colors, TBHQ, and preservatives). The other reason for my microwaveable popcorn hiatus was simply because following a roach infestation in my former apartment, I stopped owning a microwave.
For a while I was using this stove top popper that I found at Goodwill a few year’s ago. But now that I’ve moved and have a microwave once again, I’ve gotten lazy when it comes to standing over the stove for 5-7 minutes turning the handle so that my popcorn doesn’t burn. Well… Goodwill did it again! I was thrifting with my friend last week when I stumbled upon a glass microwaveable popcorn popper (for $3.50) and instantly I was tempted by the idea of “quick-and-easy” popcorn again. It’s glass, so I don’t have to worry about any funky chemicals; it’s microwaveable, so I don’t have to keep turning a handle to avoid burning; and since I add my own popcorn kernels I can make sure that no weird ingredients make their way into my otherwise inoffensive snack. Three things that combined are totally worth $3.50 to me. So I bought it. And then I picked up some organic popcorn kernels are Trader Joe’s and made my merry way home.
People, this thing is amazing! (Though I’m now wondering if any glass jar would serve the same purpose). Regardless, I threw in a layer of kernels and a tablespoon of coconut oil and four minutes later I had perfect, unadulterated popcorn that I seasoned with garlic power, nutritional yeast and some salt. It was heavenly! If you’re in the market for a healthier way to make popcorn in a microwave, I definitely recommend these. But if you’d rather avoid microwaves and have 5-7minutes on hand, I definitely recommend the stove top popper too.
3. This article titled The Gift Of Being Unattached In Relationships.
Not because I agree with everything written in it (I have my questions, my reservations, my doubts), but rather because she articulates some of the things that I’ve enjoyed learning within my open relationship: how to love someone without expectation, how to move past wounds so that your love isn’t based in fear, how to stay present and engaged, how to respect someone else’s journey and experience within a relationship, and how to stay whole even if you drift apart.
Granted, I think it’s entirely possible to explore the same things within a traditional, monogamous relationship provided both people are willing to do so, but as the author states,
“…unattached love is not easy. In order to truly love someone this way we have to first name and sit with our wounds; our fear of abandonment, rejection, and whatever else we have been conditioned, since birth, to expect from a relationship.”
Well, you know what else isn’t easy? Finding traditionally minded men who are chomping at the bit to sit with their wounds… I suppose I thought it would be easier to do so outside of a traditional romantic landscape. After all, how long can two people stay ignorant to their insecurities and expectations when they remove the most basic of relationship “rules”? Maybe I was naive. Maybe I wasn’t. (You’ll have to read some of my upcoming blog posts about it all to find out!). Regardless, I’m quite happy with the outcome: not only have learned what it means to really love someone else, but I’ve also (finally) learned what it means to really love myself.
4. The Bullet Journaling System.
I could actually write a whole post about this one. Honestly, I probably will (or I’ll work it in to a post about organization, time management and the importance of both). Needless to say, after years of trying to find “the perfect planner system,” I’ve been enjoying a version of this one (in conjunction with a separate monthly/weekly planner) if only because it allows me to personalize it however I see fit. I have a few friends who have also adopted this recently and all of them seemed quite pleased with it. So if you’re in the market for a productivity system that you can personalize, give this one a go.
5. This quote.
Again, not because I necessarily agree with it (I have my questions, my reservations, my doubts). But it got me thinking. One of the things that I do really like about it, though, is that it says, “if you are willing to” which suggests that we have a choice in how we look at things. And we do. We absolutely have a choice in how we look at people and situations that we encounter and realizing this has had a huge impact on my life. Learning how to “reframe” my perspective on something has been an invaluable skill to me and it’s something that I support my clients in learning because of the profound changes that occur when we choose to look at something from a different perspective. The part that I’m not so certain about is, “then you will, over a period of time cease to react at all.” Does reacting mean feeling? It sounds a bit like not caring and that doesn’t sound like something Yogi Bhajan would endorse. I think he’s using “reacting” in a different way here, but until I know for sure, I’m sinking my teeth into this idea with caution.
And there you have it peeps: five things I’ve been enjoying this past week.