zen morning: life is short edition

September 8, 2015

I needed to read this zen habits post this morning.

Yesterday went well, actually, or as well as I could have hoped.  Cameron is sick (just a cold, but with wavering temps and an endlessly runny nose), and so we didn’t do all that much yesterday.  We went grocery shopping, and (of course) hit the playground.  Annabel had a swim lesson, which was really fun to watch since she’s actually starting to swim on her own.  We met up with Josh for dinner as he escaped for a break from work, and that was really nice.

There were absolutely moments when I was lonely/frustrated/bored, but instead of entering into a chain of negative thoughts about myself (parenting skills, social life, maternal abilities, etc) . . . I just acknowledged them as thoughts and moved on.  Sometimes I had another negative thought after that, and other times I was distracted by something cute and found myself smiling again.

So, yeah.  I am happy with that!

Highlights from the Zen Habits post mentioned above:
I do not always love all of Leo Babauta’s writing these days, but the one linked above struck me.  It’s a simple reminder that since we have no hopes of doing everything (i.e., life is finite!), it is up to us to make the days we live meaningful and to appreciate the beauty in what is there rather than bemoaning what isn’t.

His reminders (and my elaborations):

Pay attention.  To your food, to your conversations as they are happening, to what you are reading, to the feel of the warm breeze on your face during a morning run.

Curate your days.  Oh, I love this.  We are all into capsule wardrobes and Kon-Mari-ing everything (yes, I still love her philosophy!) but do not apply the same principles to our time.  I realize that, say unloading the dishwasher may not spark joy, but at the same time there is joy to be found in the midst of many mundane activities that need to be done/serve a purpose, and very little in mindlessly scrolling through an insta-feed.

Be ruthless.  Say no and filter out what does not, in essence, spark some sort of joy.  Complementary to the above.

Be satisfied.  Leo’s own words this time: “We always want to do more, be more, experience more. And so, we’re never satisfied with the little we actually can do and experience. Instead, we can learn to be happy with what we’ve chosen to do, knowing that we let go of the rest for a reason.”  


Be okay with imperfection.  I think looking back on yesterday as a good day is a decent example of this.

Realize that we’re not really in control.  Ahh, this is a hard one for me.  Rolling with the punches is difficult for those of us who love to plan, plan, plan.  But he is right.  And the better I am about accepting this — and even seeing it as a positive thing, in that new adventures/learning opportunities await where I may not suspect them — the more unexpected aspects of life can be enjoyed rather than feared.

assorted weekend pix

happy times at the zoo (Saturday)

virgin mojito for miss A!
(her first “cocktail”)
(yes, this was an anomaly!)

spotted at the grocery store:  flow, a magazine for people who love paper (!)
it’s printed in the netherlands and very pricey, but how cool is that!?


  • Reply SassySparky March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    I had to stop reading Leo Babauta’s blog because it made me feel guilty for not being zen enough* but this was a lovely link to share. I do monthly goals and I hadn’t picked one for September yet but I think it might be "Embrace Imperfection." I need to work on turning around my negative thoughts, and when I have a bad parenting or relationship moment, I need to make sure that i move on and turn it around rather than letting it ruin a whole day.

    *which is silly because I don’t actually want to be a zen minimalist, I just wanted some daily tips on how to filter out the fluff and gain some focus and quiet space in my days.

  • Reply Lucy March 10, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    I love this, thanks for sharing. And I really enjoy Flow – I’m in the UK and just got their mindfulness special edition which is just beautiful. So worth it!

  • Reply beth March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Virgin mojito- how cute (and A looks delighted)!

    I still struggle with many of these things. The planner/control freak in me believes that if I jsut owrk enough at it I really can make things work perfectly (whatever that is). Intellectually I understand that perfect is not possible. But I still try to think 5 steps ahead of everything. Not exactly ideal for being present. And I have a lot of trouble jsut being present.

    I have really been enjoying your blog!

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