this is lemonade

A mindful, grateful, creative life: Life constantly hurls lemons at us. I’m on a mission to make lemonade as best I can, by God’s grace.


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Getting Into Gear

We are well into February, and thankfully, my rather shaky start to 2013 has stabilised somewhat for now, thanks to all your support and encouragement. (Really, I’m not just saying it – thank you.) End of January, I took my first tangible step to work towards my fourth goal as stated in the first post of the year: to give more thought and time to offline, tangible investments in my relationships. I bought this card which I just love and then I wrote and sent it off last week:

wiggletoes_card

Card from Pencil Diaries at Paperchase.

One thing that I have neglected in my personal relationships that I enjoyed so much in the past, was writing snail mail. Letting my loved ones know that I am thinking of them has not happened for too long, beyond sending a quick text, email or Facebook message. I had already been forming a plan in my mind, to write at least one card per month that is not a holiday or birthday card. It’s not even halfway as ambitious as Ziggy’s Illustrated Letters project, but I think it’s manageable for me.

I read Ginna’s February Goals post (haw haw, accidental pun) for her blog, My Pretty Pennies, on 1st February. What a great idea to link up and encourage each other to reach our goals! I’ve been a little slow to complete my post but I wanted to share the step-by-step goals I have set for February. All the goals I share are connected to my overall goals for 2013 to reduce the risk of overwhelming myself!

  • Write a card to someone for no particular reason, just to let them know I’m thinking of them
  • Complete a knitted surprise gift and send it by the end of the month
  • Fill a home made mini sketchbook by the end of the month
  • Clear my desk of things that are waiting to be filed away
  • Sort through old clothes that I have piled up as potential sewing material, deciding which to keep and which to donate

As I have explained, I don’t live life straightforwardly, so I won’t be too surprised if I get started on some side projects along the way. But now I’ve put this month’s goals out there, hopefully it will help me to focus and work towards getting them done! I’m excited to be able to cross the first one off already and to be almost through the second at this point. Hopefully, I will be able to cross everything off by the end of the month!

How about you? Have you tried regular goal setting? Does it work for you?


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Relax…

I can’t remember where I stumbled across this old news, but I’ve listened to the three music tracks below a few times this week. They were ranked as the top three most relaxing pieces of music in the world last year, based on how the rhythm influences your heart rate among other things.

The first one is officially the most relaxing. According to Lyz Cooper, founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy, it “contains a sustaining rhythm that starts at 60 beats per minute and gradually slows to around 50. While listening, your heart rate gradually comes to match that beat…And there is no repeating melody, which allows your brain to completely switch off because you are no longer trying to predict what is coming next.

I don’t work well to music in general because I get immensely distracted anticipating what is coming next. It’s worst with songs because I start singing along to them in my head (if not out loud). But I also get very distracted by people around me talking, walking around, making random irregular sounds by sighing, picking things up, putting things down, dialing a phone number…

We had some fun in the office yesterday afternoon after lunch. A few of us were feeling particularly tired and zoned out at the end of a long week, so we decided to put the music to the test. It just so happened that some sunshine started streaming through the window at the same time, after the lunch time downpour.

Some of us felt all too ready for a weekend lie-in as a result and one colleague found the first tune annoyingly boring!

I really enjoyed the resulting atmosphere however. It was so nice to be able to relax into the remaining tasks of the day. I think these three are going to be my go-to tunes when I find myself unable to focus whilst blogging too…let me know what you think. Do you work well to music or are you easily distracted by it?

  1. Marconi Union – Weightless
  2. Airstream – Electra
  3. DJ Shah – Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix)

(Links via Soundcloud)

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