Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What Inspires You?

We're midway through January, and I'm glad! Winter already feels long here. The days are so short you blink and you miss them. My translucent skin scares small children. Snow and dirty slush are daily reminders of the season, a season I'm more than ready to leave behind. Even my dog wants spring. She misses our daily walks.

I took this picture on a walk this summer. All that luscious green!

To combat the negative spiral of "winter thinking," I made a list of things that inspire me because I need all the inspiration I can get this time of year.

- My houseplants are the only green around me, and I'm thankful for them.

- New music from the library gets me out of a funk. I'm enjoying a few soundtracks at the moment. (Thanks for Sharing soundtrack and Dan in Real Life soundtrack)

- Healthy black bean dip puts a smile on my face (Tex-Mex Black Bean Dip recipe linked).

- Fruit smoothies in the morning do too!

- I still try to get outside for a quick walk with Sophie if it isn't raining and if the temperatures are above thirty.

- Strong women get me motivated. I cut out a picture of Allison Sweeney (featured in last month's Redbook) and pinned it to my bulletin board. She's healthy and real. I like that.

- Favorite Bible passages lift me up. I write them on index cards and keep them in my office.

- Daydreams help too. It's fun to think of the future, the more outrageous, the better!

- Sports. Practices, games, and all the running in between get me out of the house and talking to other parents.

So many things inspire me! I just have to stop focusing on winter and start focusing on the good stuff!

What inspires you?

Have a terrific day!


  1. Your pic put a smile on my face, Jill! Thanks so much for the great shot. I was looking through the Burpee seed catalog last night, dreaming of the garden I would have this year. (It always turns out better in my imagination than it does in reality, LOL).

    Here's to a short winter!

  2. I love garden books, Kathy! We downsized our garden last year. It was easier to manage and we yielded plenty of vegetables. Happy daydreaming!

  3. I'm not sure what inspires me - the daily run of duties is pretty intense, and working through some challenges to get it done puts most everything else aside.

    I used to find music inspiring, the that capacity seems to have been lost. It's kind of like I traveled further down the road than most of the people writing the songs, and what seemed to be courage or defiance of fate are now just false bravado and chest-thumping. Ditto songs of acceptance and peace - "You wouldn't feel that in these shoes, dude."

    My arrogance seems to be showing. Sorry. But I'll let it stand.

    Maybe what's most inspiring is that the challenges can be met, and even if they have to be met again tomorrow, today was still a win.

    1. It's hard to be inspired when life feels dark and dreary. Classic, bluesy jazz inspires me. Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Stan Goetz--no words, just feelings. Try it! :) And your bottom line about challenges is spot on.

  4. We just returned from visiting our daughter, who lives in northern France not far from the English Channel. It didn't get light there until around 9 a.m. and began to get dark by 4 p.m., so I got a taste of the short days you're experiencing. It can be depressing and has definitely has an effect on our California girl.

    One helpful tip Adriana's awesome French friend gave her was to put up a poster that looks like a window to a lush flower garden in full bloom, which can give the illusion of light and life. We suggested being sure to bundle up and get outdoors for a little while each day, especially if the sun decides to shine, and take a walk. Even a small dose of sunshine can serve to lift the spirits. Playing upbeat music can help as well, as you said, Jill.

    I wish I could send you some of our far-too-abundant California sunshine and swap it for some of your snow and rain. We are desperate for precipitation here in the Sierra Foothills. Last year we had what I dubbed The Winter That Wasn't. I fear we're in for another one. With next to no snow pack and the reservoirs lower than I've ever seen them, I shudder to think how bad our fire season will be come summer.

    1. Your trip sounded like soooo much fun! Just seeing your daughter would be a highlight, I'm sure. Yes, I'll trade you our snow and rain for sunshine. We get flooding and you get fire. Neither is good. Praying for your region.

  5. I've been juicing, at least I feel like I'm getting some of those healthy nutrients missed from the absence of sunshine! :) And I had to giggle at your translucent skin comment. I have to put on a bathing suit this weekend. Just should not have to happen in the middle of winter, lol!

    1. I threw up a little at the mention of a bathing suit! No!! Juicing is great! Makes it so easy to get those fruits and veggies in--good for you!

  6. I enjoyed this post. Your examples inspired me!!


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