The other day Immy was telling me that they have something they do at school called Daily 5. This is a 50-minute period, split into ten minutes intervals, covering off the same five things each day (reading to yourself, reading out loud, word work etc.) I was immediately inspired to make my OWN daily five – five small (good) habits every day that I tick off my checklist, and that give some routine and structure to my mornings. Included as one of my daily five is the practice of Morning Pages which I have always been too intimidated to start. Three longhand pages every day? YES.
Basically Morning Pages are a big brain dump. You write and write and write until the three pages are done. It’s not meant to be neat, or necessarily even coherent. The idea behind it is not to keep it, not to reread it, not to do anything with it except use it as a tool to sweep out the dusty, dark corners of your mind. It’s a way to get all those weird thoughts and feelings that are hard to articulate out of your head (and heart) and onto paper. When I look up after my three pages are done, I feel lighter, and freer. This is definitely the hardest thing of my Daily 5, but I am officially hooked.
Our week in pictures.
These two snugglebums. Every morning starts like this, and every evening ends like this.
Valentine’s Day. This year I opted for something a bit more grownup for Immy, but still kid-appropriate. She was in heaven when I explained the concept of ‘layering a fragrance’. She drifted out the house in a sweet cloud of strawberry and cherry blossoms, with sparkling eyes.
On Monday I sent the BFG a link with the message – in case you wanted to get me something small for Valentine’s Day. I’d like to say I don’t do Valentine’s Day, that it’s all too commercial etc. but the truth is I squealed like a girl and threw myself on him when the doorbell rang and my goodies were delivered. Truthfully though, the card was the best part – he is the best card writer ever.
I felt like he got the short straw around here with his ‘gift”…but he insists that he loves it, and he is turning the cupcake topper into a fridge magnet. If I could insert a heart emoji here, I would.
Another thing I stumbled across last week was Ru Kristin’s Currently List. I love the concept of it – once a week, you fill out the list which has seven short prompts on it. I’m using this as a once-weekly exercise to keep a small notebook with my list, pictures, ideas and other things that inspire me. Ten minutes once a week feels doable to me – no long journal entries, just a couple of pictures that make me happy, a few minutes of creativity and a touchpoint for the week.
Here are my two pages from last week. I set aside ten minutes on a Tuesday morning to do it (which is a weird day in hindsight, but that’s how it worked out).
In keeping with trying to spend my time more intentionally, I checked out my Screen Time stats on my phone for the first time this weekend. I was frankly HORRIFIED at the amount of time I spend on my phone – mostly mindlessly scrolling through Instagram. It really gave me a shock to literally see all the time that I’m wasting – time that I could be spending doing a thousand more productive, enriching things. It seems that I pick my phone up, open up Instagram and before I know it, an hour has gone by and I have nothing to show for it. I spend almost 24 hours PER WEEK on my phone – an entire day every week that is just slipping through my fingers, never to be recovered.
I’m much more conscious now of picking up my phone in an idle moment, or as a way to put off doing something I should be doing (washing, tidying, admin) since the stats pointed out that I average picking up my phone 46 times per day. Now I take a book with me wherever I go, and just do the thing that needs to be done instead of reaching for my phone. I am pretty determined to keep it up, and to drastically cut my phone usage to something that feels less like an addiction, and more like a tool for keeping in touch with the people I love.
To end – the only thing nicer than Valentine’s flowers, is Valentine’s flowers in the late afternoon sun.