Giving Up (For 40 Days)

posted on: Wednesday, February 10, 2016

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[Making space to get my eyes off of screens and onto paper]

Today marks the beginning of Lent. I was somewhat raised in the catholic church (I’m also technically Jewish, by Jewish law, but that’s another story). Even still, I didn’t know much about lent more than the general idea of it. I practiced it once in college, giving up soda as my big sacrifice, but still didn’t completely understand the “why” behind it. This Sunday, our pastor discussed that he and his wife were giving things up and explained the “why” and the heart behind these next forty days.

I’m a little late (should have decided this before today), but I have my list. I also have a theme and that theme is to refresh and make space. Make space for God to move in my life, make space for creativity, make space to figure out some next steps for myself, and get refreshed for a wonderful new season. I know the logistics of it won’t be easy (old habits die hard, they say), but the result is going to be beautiful. I am expectant of that.

On that note, here is what I’m giving up for these 40 days:

Facebook + Twitter: There’s so much more negativity than positivity on my feeds these days and I always leave stressed, overwhelmed, and overall negative more than I feel positive. This being an election year, I know it’s only going to get worse. I know that part of it is following the right people, but giving myself a break from all of it for 40 days will help me see clearly who I find uplifting and who just makes me feel negative all the time. Negativity breeds negativity and it was starting to show on me. I don’t like that. This one is tough for many reasons, but I’ll still be on Instagram and Snapchat (@iamkatyhill on both) because I find both to be fun, inspiring, and positive. I’ll also post to Twitter and FB through Instagram, but I won’t be reading. I just need a break.

Excessive TV: This one is going to be tough, but I’m also excited about this challenge. I rely too much on TV as my comfort, as my background noise when I work, and as a distraction. In college, I would have Friends on in the background when I did school work because I had every episode so memorized that I could watch a little if I wanted to or just let it be my white noise. I asked my friend Erin what she was giving up and this was it for her, so it got me thinking. I have been noticing my excessive TV consumption lately, so this will be a great refresh. It’s also an excuse to discover new music, read some good books, and buy more vinyl (yes, please).

Sleep: More specifically, my current sleep habits. I’m usually up way too late and therefore sleep in later than I want to. I realized last night that I’m not really a night owl anymore, at least not a productive one. Even if I get a second wind, I’m never motivated to be productive and I certainly don’t do my best work when I try to be. Mostly, I just want to keep watching TV, which goes back to my last point. My goal is to be up by six every morning (maybe earlier, but let’s not get too hasty) and start my morning with prayer, journaling, and reading with a good cup of tea. I’ve noticed that when I start my mornings off earlier and get productive sooner is when I’m my happiest, most productive self. It’s just hard to convince my brain of that when it’s still dark outside, cold in the apartment, and my covers are the perfect level of warmth and coziness. It’s a sacrifice, but will be such a good habit for me.

I have some smaller goals as well that go along with lent, but those are my main three. As I mentioned, I will still be on Instagram and Snapchat and will also keep blogging. I just see this being a time of refreshment, getting out of habits that aren’t helpful, and of making space for clarity, creativity and joy.

Rabbit, Rabbit

posted on: Thursday, February 4, 2016

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It’s February! Yes, I am indeed a few days late to the party. I only just pulled January off of the calendar yesterday. I dramatically ripped that piece paper and threw January in the garbage. It felt good since January basically kicked my trash (pun fully intended). I actually felt like I needed a few days this week to recover from it. I’m just about there now, ready to see human beings and form cohesive sentences (for the most part).

The last two days have been cloudy and bouncing between monsoon-like, drizzly, and just plain misty. I actually like the kind of weather that makes the world feel gray, but it almost feels wasted on a winter weekday. As much as I love a weekend of gorgeous weather a chilly, rainy Sunday is the stuff of dreams. Nothing to do, nowhere to be, just relaxing with movies, books, and music.

On overcast weekdays I find myself unable to open my eyes all the way without the bright sunlight coming through the windows. My productivity takes a nosedive as I spend my time wishing I was curled up and cozy in that mussed up bed you see up there. In my dreams, my dogs would be completely clean at all times and somehow fit in bed with us and we’d curl up to watch movies. Sadly, that’s not real life when work needs to get done and the dogs are filthy most of the time (and too big) but, hey! A girl can dream, right?

Saturday, Saturday

posted on: Saturday, January 30, 2016

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Well hey, it’s Saturday. We did it! Not only are we done with this week, but we’re almost done with this month. All of the high fives and imaginary confetti for us!

This January has kind of felt like walking through mud, there’s no better way to say it. The month flew by, but the days and weeks dragged on, if that makes any sense. I’ve been in super hibernation mode because of it and it truly has been restoring. Sometimes you just have to say “no” and do what feels right for you, even if that means seeming completely anti-social for a few weeks. Self-care is so important and it had to happen. Come Monday, I’m hoping I’ll reemerge a more rested, social human being, but we’ll just have to wait and see about that. All the rest for the weary, I say.

We took care of getting our oil changed this morning. (I know, great blog material, the intrigue!) We were responsible and productive all before 9:30 on a Saturday. The trick here is to bribe yourself with carbs and caffeine (I wasn’t caffeinated before leaving the house), in the form of a walk for bagels and good coffee, then a trip for some pastries. It worked.

I’m now off to have some quality time with the handsome gentleman to my right. It’s going to be a gorgeous weekend and we plan to take full advantage of it. After a rough week, this kind of do-what-we-want weekend is just what we needed. I’m sure I’ll be posting on Snapchat and Instagram throughout the weekend (@iamkatyhill on both). Hope you all have a weekend that provides just what you need whether that’s rest, adventure, or all of the carbs.

2016: Expectant

posted on: Wednesday, January 27, 2016

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Well, it only took 3.5 weeks, but I’ve finally found my word for 2016. Expectant.

Expectant: “Having or showing an excited feeling that something is about to happen, especially something pleasant and interesting.”

Isn’t that beautiful? I just love that. On Monday, I had this wave of peace and excitement come over me and while I was talking to a friend on Monday about how expectant I was for this week, it hit me. That’s my word. I’m expectant that God is about to answer some major prayers for us and expecting magic. Expectant about how He is going to move in our lives as we step out in faith on some things. I’m just expectant that this is year is going to be so, so good for us.

We’ve been going through a long, rough season and we just need a good year. A really good year. Let me quickly clarify this by noting that I know that no year is absolutely perfect. Life is never perfect and it’s a constant ebb and flow, but some years are just really good. Every year of our marriage has had some major, stressful bumps in the road and we’re just ready for a restful chapter, a joyful chapter of our lives. We seek joy where we are, in whatever circumstances, yes, but we’re expecting that in just eleven short months, we’ll look back on 2016 as a wonderfully pleasant and interesting year full of love, life, fun, adventure, rest, and being brave. Amen

My Past Words:

2015: Adventure // 2014: Good // 2013: Steps // 2012: Shine