If you ask me “what is your passion?” I will answer that it is “interior design.”
I think of myself as an active amateur interior designer because I like putting objects and ideas together to make any space, real or virtual, pretty. I love the principles of design and all the possibilities.
After some introspection I’ve realized that I’m a problem solver at heart and design is nothing more than solving the problem of how to live in a way that is congruent with your core values.
[Spoiler alert] The three most-used keywords, therefore enticing home features, in real estate listings are: granite countertops, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances. We have those three things so we are on trend should we want to sell this house, which we don’t.
Make no mistake about that.
But getting to my snarky point here, if you look at the photo at the top of the article you will see that it is of a gorgeous kitchen whose teal-colored cabinets and gold-tone handles make me drool. So much love.
However, as you continue looking at the photo you will notice that the kitchen has hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances, but alas and alack, the kitchen has marble countertops.
Now far be it from me, an active amateur interior designer, to tell domino.com that their choice of photo does not support the facts in the article, but it doesn’t. And it lends credence to something I’ve found to be universally true and shall share with you, my gentle readers.
Micheal Miller works for the dry cleaner/laundry service that we use. He drives the van to pick up then return Z-D’s dress shirts once they are clean and pressed with light starch. Nice guy, very reliable.
It’s my habit at the holidays to give a monetary tip to our laundry driver guy, who this year happens to be Micheal Miller. Thus I did that two weeks ago.
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Growing up I was the child of older conservative parents and was taught that one must always send a written thank you note to the gift giver upon receipt of a gift. This concept of proper behavior was ingrained in me to such a degree that for a few decades I judged people harshly who didn’t send a written thank you note.
It seemed like a slap in the face to me. Disrespectful, even.
Of course over the years society has morphed away from Emily Post expectations plus I’ve grown more forgiving. I don’t hold myself or other people to the high standards of my childhood. In fact, I’ve come to reevaluate what matters to me when I give a gift to anyone for whatever reason.
I’ve decided that I like the giving part more than the being thanked part. I do what I do because I think it’s important to do so, not so I will receive a written thank you note.
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Still, when I found a written thank you note pinned to an empty laundry bag hanging from the hook by the door on our front stoop, I was pleased to see it and said out loud to myself: “Micheal Miller has good manners.”
It was a sincere spontaneous remark. A blessing even.
One that put me in a happy place for the rest of the day as I mused on what seemed to me to be a random act of kindness, a throwback to a different era when a written thank you note was the done thing.
Such as this handwritten message of gratitude scribbled on a piece of paper by an almost stranger.
IF AFTER 900 POSTS on The Spectacled Bean you know anything about me you know that I adore images that summarize what’s going on.
While it’s true that I’m a wordy girl at heart, I’m not a word-exclusive snob so I find a visual image, such as the one I’ve shared here, can get to the point of a situation quickly and accurately.
Make it snappy, I say to my wordy self as I compose posts for this blog; tell the story in whatever way conveys your message clearly, I remind myself before I add an image.
Yep, that’s how I talk to myself when writing a personal blog post. Scintillating? Not so much.
ALSO, FOR THE RECORD, I found this image in a file on my old computer and realized I’d made the image in order to learn how to make a Venn diagram but had never used the image for anything because, I guess, once I’d learned how to make a Venn diagram I had no need for said image.
A Tuesday, a day of the week that sometimes can be difficult to embrace wholeheartedly.
A Tuesday on which I want to return to blogging after a long hiatus but am feeling awkward about how to start writing again.
This particular Tuesday to be exact.
THUS IN KEEPING WITH the concept of SIMPLIFY, my #OneWord365 for 2020, I thought for blog post #901 I’d write something light and easy, something sincere but a bit silly. Something that acknowledges that it’s a new year on the calendar but confirms that I’m the same old me.
Something, in fact, that might be construed as a catalyst for comments and conversation about your approach to blogging OR your word of the year OR your opinion of Tuesdays.
What’s new with you, kids? I’ve been away far too long.
In it she introduced her new vision for how her podcast will evolve during Season 3. In a nutshell, she’s loosening up about who she is and will be focusing less on productivity and more on authenticity.
I look forward to hearing what she says as she shares her transformation and her realizations about what matters to her now. And therein is the nugget of wisdom that I gleaned from her podcast.
It’s all in the now, the person who you are in this moment and how you will manifest as such. It’s not about what you’re doing, it’s about how you’re doing it and why.
Always the why.
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AS YOU MAY REMEMBER MY#OneWord365 for this year is streamlined.
Since I adopted it last January I’ve thought on it, not necessarily daily, but weekly as I organize my life, hoping to create a clutter-free home and the conviction that I can do things smoothly.
However, if I’m to be truthful here I’ve had a rocky year with this one word. It’s come to mean expense [roof, windows, computer] and idealistic dreams [the basement and garage are still harboring too much stuff] and, by the looks of the inside of this house, half-finished projects strewn about the rooms in messy heaps of indecision.
On the one hand I feel like I’m a failure about implementing the streamlined concept, but on the other hand I wouldn’t be as far along the path to becoming who I want to be now if I hadn’t focused on it.
I enjoy writing but feel that I need to get away from my ordinary routine, allowing me to reflect on how and why I’ll be doing what I plan to do in 2020 AND to decide whether or not my attempts to be streamlined have been a personal transformative experience or just another screwup.
Thus all that is left for me to say here is please enjoy whatever it is you do during the month of December. Make it a fun one. Take joy!
An acquaintance said that after going to a party for the parents of middle school boys who play basketball. She was making an observation about the group as a whole.
I got what she meant, having been to a few social events myself wherein people missed no opportunity to #humblebrag about their blessed lives, posing as someone more important than they might really be.
Acquaintance, who like me is an introvert with an extroverted personality when necessary, admitted that she’d played up in her own way. That is, she’d bought a new dress for this party, but one that she’d be wearing to other events.
I’m not sure I’d say that is playing up per se, but I got her point. She’d done something to make herself look better in the eyes of other people.
The conversation was short & lighthearted, but got me contemplating the ways in which we all play up depending on, I suppose, your need for external validation in a particular situation.
In my observation, and perhaps yours too, some people seem to need to belong to a group, any group, and will say or do anything to remain a part of it, fearing, I guess, the possibility of being alone.
I’m reminded of the old adage that there are makers, takers, and fakers. If I’m entirely honest, in various situations and at different points in my life, I’ve been each of these to some degree and that seems normal to me.
Anyhoo, getting to something that resembles a point here, all of the foregoing got me thinking about this idea of playing up. Here are my questions:
Does everyone play up? Is that a fact of human nature?
And if so, does that mean you’re a maker, making something of yourself by playing up? OR are you a faker by playing up? I can see both sides to this. What say ye?
I shall be writing this post, more or less, stream of consciousness-style as I attempt to figure out my new computer. Her name is Keyzia and she is an iMac.
She replaces Cora, my constant computer companion for the last 8 years. Cora is currently in semi-retirement in the dining room where I can access her as necessary whilst she gets the break she deserves.
Not to tell any tales out of school but Cora was getting a little forgetful, turning herself off willy nilly. Not starting up in the morning without prompting from moi. It was time for her to retire.
Keyzia is named for the fact that I now have a wireless keyboard so her name is sort of a heavy-handed joke on many levels. Plus I like the name, spelled many different ways, but always going back to what Biblical Baby Name explains thusly [link here]:
“Kezia was the second of the three daughters of Job, born after his restoration to Grace, health and prosperity. She was reputed to be among the most beautiful women in the land.”
And so with this short, yet sincere, introduction to Keyzia– and having now seen how this keyboard/screen and WP editor dance together doing a wordy do-se-do, I’m ready to add an image to this post.
Albeit this image has virtually nothing to do with anything here, but like I said this is a test post and this is an image I happen to have available so deal with it, kids.