Monday’s Meditation: On How To Use Your Differences To Your Advantage

Monday, June 19, 2017

Despite the fact that each of us is magnificently unique, we refuse to quit believing in the notion of “normal.” It is what parents hope, in some respect or other, for their children to be, and it is what children, themselves, yearn to be. The journey from childhood innocence into adolescence could arguably be described as the recognition of “normal” and the deeply held fear of deviating in any way from it. This, of course, is why middle school is so gross.

Adolescence shifts into adulthood, and most of us begin to grant ourselves the right to our weirdness. As grown adults, we earn our own money, we decide for ourselves where to live, what to eat, what to wear, and how to spend our time. We don’t need to continue to squeeze ourselves into a mold that clearly doesn’t fit in order to be gainfully employed or maintain relationships.

Yet the fear of deviation persists.

We either force ourselves to stay on the “normal” path, or we delude ourselves into believing it’s where we want to be. Until we get bumped off of it, an inevitable occurrence in a world as varied as this.

We might have gotten bumped off the path by getting sick, or by having someone close to us fall ill. 

We might have lost a job and, as a result, had to dramatically shift our life style.

We might have had a problem with drugs or alcohol. 

We might call it quits on a marriage.

We might fail out of college; maybe we never went to begin with.

We might have lost ourselves for years, and then have spent several more working our way back to ourselves. Maybe we’re dating/applying for school/applying for jobs/ having babies older than most people now.

There are as many hypothetical ways to deviate from the “normal” path as there are kinds of people in the world. 

Beyond the logistics, beyond the therapy sessions, beyond the aim to return to a happy and fulfilled person, there is one thing that seems to plague people forever after: having to tell people about our deviation. We imagine meeting new people and having to explain it–the dark mark on our normalcy, and are filled with anxiety.

“I’m going to have to tell anyone I meet in the future that I’m divorced.”

“I’m going to be the first person these people have ever met who isn’t college-educated.”

“What if someone asks me about my job?”

“What if someone asks me why it took so long to get to this point in life?”

“What if they find out.”

The more self-actualized we become, the less of a shit we give about seeming “normal.” We follow our intuition, and we are motivated more to follow our bliss than to stay in line. The best course of action is to move closer in that direction, so that other people’s reactions to our unique life circumstances are not what define us.

But becoming self-actualized can take time, and we’re putting ourselves out there, with all our weird baggage in tow, today.

The surest way to reframe our stories to ourselves is to begin immediately to hold them as a benefit rather than a hindrance. 

See, when we’re worried about being rejected by others, our differences make us feel lesser than. When we own our trajectory, whatever it has been, we see that our differences are the best screening tools in our arsenal. How a person reacts to what we tell them about ourselves tells us everything we need to know about who they are as a person. Sucky, judgmental reaction–sucky, judgmental person.

The thing we’re petrified of having to disclose may just be the speediest test we can rely on for deciding whether or not to welcome others into our lives.

We are all auditioning each other. We have as much power as anyone else to cast someone into a leading role. 

The Ideal Storage Set-Up: Great Heights Within Reach

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

If we could build the perfect room from scratch, what would it look like? What features would it contain? Let’s have ourselves a little daydream…

I am 5’2″ and 1/4″ inches tall.

I carry a folding step stool inside my work bag, alongside a special reachy/grabby tool.

I am intimately acquainted with the concept of things being out of reach, and can rarely access the second lowest shelf of any cabinet or closet without standing on seriously committed tippy toes. I have a finely honed radar detection for very-tall-men while shopping. I call upon this for the times when I don’t trust the lower shelves to hold my weight, and/or the aisle is jam-packed with jars and there’s no place for me to get my climb on, and/or there’s too many people around that might judge harshly a grown woman climbing on grocery store shelves. 

Most of my clients are several inches taller than me, at least, and have no problem reaching whatever rogue items I’m unable to grasp. Plenty of people would have no trouble at all getting at the last remaining bottle of vitamin water zero on the highest grocery store shelf. Height is not, for lots of people, a limitation.

Yet the playing field is essentially leveled (ahem) when it comes to storage that spans floor to ceiling. Ain’t nobody that can reach all the way up there

Time and time again, clients who possess vertical storage set ups lament the impracticality of it. They regret earnestly the fact that they aren’t able to utilize the storage space that is fairly theirs, albeit beyond their proverbial grasp.

What happens to the storage space nuzzling the ceiling? Either it remains empty, or it becomes the final resting ground for whatever item manages to one day ascend to its surface. The first scenario is perfectly fine, the latter, not so much.

But imagine a world where shelves at all heights could be accessed by all. Where dead zones were Simply not a thing. Where reaching that one cookbook, or pair of shoes, or salad bowl didn’t require the first-world-annoying task of dragging the step stool from its hook, unfolding its hinges, and ensuring its placement wouldn’t lend itself to your falling off and breaking your neck. 

(Also, imagine if the solution was so darn chic you could barely stand it.)

The scenario described is not a dream world, my Simplifiers. In a word–or two–it’s a rolling ladder

Rolling ladder--dream house storage set-up must.

Image credit: Lauren Liess via Country Living
Rolling ladder--dream house storage set-up must.

Image credit: design by Amir Khamneipur for House Beautiful 

Rolling ladder--dream house storage set-up must.

Image credit: Styling by Megan Morton, photography by Annabelle Hickson via Inside Out

Rolling ladder--dream house storage set-up must.

Image credit: Jessica Helgerson

Rolling ladder--dream house storage set-up must.

Image credit: Little Green Notebook

Rolling ladder--dream house storage set-up must.

Image credit: Hayburn & Co.

Rolling ladder--dream house storage set-up must.

Image credit: BHG via People

8 Storage Totes For Easy Transport Of Summer Fun Supplies

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

‘Tis the season of toting.

No matter the life stage you’re in, and no matter the activities that fill your summer days, you’re almost bound to find yourself transporting goods from point a. somewhere in your space, to point b. a place for you to more sufficiently soak up some rays and/or wear out of children.

Whether you’re carrying the arsenal of supplies needed to make a magical swimming day, the components needed for a picnic in the park, or just the tools needed to dine al fresco on your deck, you’re going to be getting your tote on.

Why not make that stance easy, breezier by employing a sturdy, stylish storage entity that happens to feature toting-friendly detailing? 

Below, a selection of eight mobile-ready storage baskets just for you. Totes away! 

Storage baskets perfect for toting around summer fun essentials.

 

1. Big Luggy 

2. Leather tote

3, Heather crunch bin

4. Waterproof collapsible tote

5. Flax storage bin

6. Outdoor basket

7. Tassel basket

8. Piki basket