what i’m into – that’s keeping me sane {march 2016}

What I'm Into. March 2016

It’s that time again! My monthly What I’m Into post, linking up with Leigh Kramer.

So, I have been very busy this month-but not necessarily busy doing the fun things – I have been busy working my part-time job which, understandably, has taken some of the time that I use to have for the “fun” stuff. This month has been about adjusting and determining the balance that feels right for me, which is going to continue into April, I am sure. Anywho, here goes.

  • My part-time position as Project Coordinator has been a two-fold sanity saver: it’s keeping me sane in that it is providing me an income stream that is helping tremendously with my level of financial anxiety and (2) it’s providing me with a much needed and appreciated sense of competency that being a mom has not yet afforded me.
  • The one thing that working part-time has not taken away from me is my reading time. Yes, I know it’s because I am making it a priority and I really am. I am beginning to make a habit of reading 15 minutes when I wake up as well as an additional 15-30 minutes before I go to bed. This is in addition to whatever I can squeeze in during the day. I have read 14 of my goal for 36 books this year and I am 6 books ahead of schedule. Check out my latest books vanquished here. This is very important to me because I know that the last two months of the year are going to be very difficult for me to read too much of anything and so the further I can get ahead the more relaxing my end-of-the-year will be. I know I am using words like vanquished and not relaxing but I do really enjoy reading and it does keep me sane.
  • What has slowed down for me this month, in proportion to last month, is my half-marathon training and I am petrified at the thought that I will not be as prepared as I wanted to be for it next month. However, while running my 8 mile and 10 mile training runs, I have come to the realization that I don’t LIKE or ENJOY running for two hours straight or longer. The runs were cutting into valuable time with my family  (and, ok, reading), and not something that was worth it in the long run for me at this stage in my life. While this realization is a little sad for me, it is nice to realize that I really enjoy the shorter distances (5K and 10K) and while I plan on completing the half marathon next month, through much pain, I am going to refocus my running on becoming faster, not running longer distances. At least for now.
  • Proud to say that I have stayed out of season long “rabbit holes.” Don’t have as much time as I use to. LOL!
  • Featured my second Enjoy Life Guest Post on the blog. Paula from The Geeky Shopaholic was kind enough to give us 5 Ways to Make Life More Enjoyable, something to check out if life could be more enjoyable for you.:)
  • Posted my second Enjoy Life Interview. I really like doing these! Read the first one with Love Notes creator, Jennifer Belthoff. By the way, Love Notes is starting up again on April 3. One of my favorite things to do; I rave here.  If you’re interested in participating, sign up. Goal is to have a sender from all 50 states and we’re still missing Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota.
  • It’s Spring! The cold is leaving. Yay! I absolutely LOVE the beautiful pastel colors of the trees, especially the purple ones. So pretty.

Not much this month! What did you do? Tell me!

quick lit – next page, please {march 2016}

 

 I love Quick Lit time – time to post what I have been reading this month.

Read:

  • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin: Modern Mrs. Darcy (Yes, her again! LOL) recommended this book for someone who has the Meyers-Briggs personality type of ISTJ: capable, logical, reasonable and peaceful, which happens to be close to my type, as the perfect summer read. The only problem was that it took FOREVER to get it from the library. I absolutely LOVED this book and I can see while the Hold list was so long; it has climbed the ladder to be one of my favorite novels of all time. I blew through this during the 3 and ½ hour flight home. So many great quotes. “He feels naked when speaking about things he really loves.” I feel like this too. And “Sometimes books don’t find us until the right time. Also very true, indeed.
  • Wildflower by Drew Barrymore: I really liked reading this series of short stories about Barrymore’s life and what she learned through them. Here she talks about her feelings for her mom; who quite arguably, could have been a better mom. “I want only to say thank you to her, because I love my life and it takes every step to get to where you are, and if you are happy, then God bless the hard times it took you to get there. No life is without them, so what are yours, and what did you do with the lessons? That is the only way to live.” My question to myself has become just that: what I am doing with my lessons?
  • French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure by Mireille Guiliano: I started reading Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman and became fascinated by the French mindset of how they enjoy life: living every moment in that moment. I remembered hearing about this book a long time ago and Oprah and decided to pick it up and see what it was about. I finished this one but am still working through Bringing Up Bébé. My two takeaways are from these two quotes: (1) “I also had to cultivate my appreciation for what I was having. In short, …[the] French way of enjoying those foods that can be friend or foe depending on how we treat them. The keys are sensory awareness, portion sense, quality, and an eye to the big picture of overall wellness.” And (2) “If you can’t name your pleasures, chances are you’ve surrendered to many of them. It’s time to start cultivating.” A problem that I have had until recently.
  • Every Day I Fight by Stuart Scott: When I met my basketball-loving Hubby 13 years ago, I started watching ESPN’s Sportscenter with him, which was often anchored by Stuart Scott. I began to feel like I knew him, I saw him so often. When he was first diagnosed with cancer, of course, I was aware and we saw him fight and go into remission a number of times. When he died January 4, 2015, it hit me a little hard. I loved this book because it gave me a perspective into what those who are fighting cancer may feel like in a way I pray selfishly, I will never be able to understand. This perspective is invaluable to me as I am a Chemo Card Angel. More about that here. I loved this quote by Scott:“Nerves are good. What are nerves, after all? They’re just energy.” Sometimes it’s hard working up the nerve to write these blog posts, I gotta tell ya!

Currently Reading:

Paused Reading

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: Had to return this one to the library (someone wanted it) and thus will have to get back to it later.
  • Daring Greatly by Brené Brown: Yep, still paused.
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: While not my favorite way to read, there is something to be said about reading books digitally, on a Kindle or other mobile device. You can do it while you are traveling at night! Started this while returning from my 10 Year Anniversary Trip. Haven’t been in the dark since and thus my digital loan expired. Not sure if I am going to re-borrow it but I am leaving the door open.

I have read 12 books out of my goal to read 36 books this year; I am 5 books ahead of schedule – a nice cushion for the Holidays when things get hectic.  I don’t want to have to make a big push at the end of the year to make my reading goal.

As usual, I am linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy. Check out what everyone else is reading over there.

What have you been reading?

an enjoy life interview: shenna “lashay b” townsend

I enjoyed doing my first Enjoy Life Interview with Jennifer Belthoff so much that I began looking around for more inspiring people to ask questions about their projects, overcoming fear, and how they enjoy life. I am so excited that Shenna “LaShay B” Townsend consented to be interviewed.

Photo. Shenna TownsendSienna  or “LaShay B” is a radio personality on Huntsville, Alabama’s community connected home for Hip-Hop and R&B. “LaShay B” is her personality handle. She received a softball scholarship to Alabama A&M University, where she graduated with a degree in Communications. I met her while helping with Team ML6 for the Annual Liz Hurley Ribbon Run, three years ago. I heard she was working on a project of her own, LaShay B’s Beauties, and got curious. She currently is in the middle of her 2nd Prom Dress Drive.

Check it out!

Tell me the story behind LaShay B’s Beauties Prom Dress Drive? I know there’s a story.

Photo. LaShay B's BeautiesYes, there is a story; there always is a story, isn’t it? It was about 4 or 5 years ago, I coached Butler High School Softball and while coaching, there were a lot of girls that were growing up differently than I did. I consider it a blessing that I never went hungry, my parents always supported me, and I had a great upbringing. I was enlightened when I saw some of these kids who were struggling with things I never struggled with. After coaching them, I was like, “Something needs to be done.” I thought, “You are in the community; you have a platform. Why not do it?” And that’s how LaShay B’s Beauties came about; I wanted to help teenage girls in our community and use my platform for something good outside of playing Hip Hop and R&B. I started three years ago.

 How has it grown?

The first year was 2013. Girls had to qualify with a certain GPA and had to be in need of a prom dress; I really wanted to reach girls who really needed help.

Last year, I was on Twitter and another radio personality out of DC was talking about doing a prom dress drive and I thought, “We could reach more kids that way.” She had major sponsors donating and I said that while DC is not Huntsville, we have listeners and so I got on the air and told them that if they had a new or gently used prom dress, “we need ‘em.” The goal last year was 26 dresses. And we got 100!

This year, the Prom Dress Drive will be open to any high school senior that is need of a dress. The drive will end on March 25th and our event will be at the Homewood Suites by Hilton in Providence on March 26th from 2 – 4 PM. Seniors can come out and select a dress and be entered to win hair, make-up, shoes, etc. from local vendors.

So, you are doing Prom Dress Drive right now. What are the other facets of LaShay B’s Beauties?

Prom Dress DriveWe did LaShay B’s Beauties Christmas of 2014 and we helped 10 DHR (kids that are in the system) girls. We did makeovers (hair, nails, and make-up) and we followed that up with the Prom Dress Drive.

I am inspired by people who have ideas and carry them out and one of the reasons that good ideas never happen is because people are too afraid to move forward. What has been your experiences dealing with fear, not just with LaShay’s B’s Beauties, but with fear in general? How do you deal with it?

I try to approach things with a confident attitude. I believe that “I can do things through Christ who strengthens me”. It is either a yes or a no. You are going to succeed or you are not going to succeed. You are going to learn from it or you are going to be stubborn. That’s how I try to approach everything.

This year, I had a fear of the Prom Dress Drive not working, only because our listeners last year gave everything that they had to give that could work for these kids. So I said that this year, “They don’t have anything else in their closets.” Then one night I prayed and I got up and said, ‘Nah, it’s going to work.” And I believe this year we will get to our goal of 100 dresses and we are going to do it. We have about 20 (at the time of this interview).

So when you started were there any particular challenges that you had to overcome. Were you ever like “woah! I didn’t think about that!”

Yes there were challenges. And there are still challenges. One was I was getting in my own way.

OK, interesting! Explain that a little bit.

Because this project is my baby, I wanted to have my hand in everything and the project had grown bigger than me. Which is awesome but I became overwhelmed! I think last year, we could have done more if I had just let someone help and not tried to have my hand in everything. That is a challenge!

Another challenge is that people think that their donation isn’t needed – that something is too small. Being in radio, I know a lot of other women in media who told me that they didn’t post about it because they felt like I had all the backing that I needed with my platform. I was like, “No! Everything helps!”

I have started earlier this year and I have more help.

At this part of the interview, Shenna said that I didn’t know that she talked so much, which, to be honest I didn’t. I told her that that was OK though. The “more the better; I’ll  just be editing!” We had a good laugh!

What’s your favorite quote and why?

I loved the Bible verse that I quoted earlier (Philippians 4:30) but this is going to be far out there. It’s a in a rap song, I can’t remember which, by Tupac Shakur and I don’t know why it stuck with me:

“Ain’t no killer, but don’t push me.”

Ok! Explain how you apply THAT in your life?

It’s just, don’t tell me no because I am going to figure out a way to do it. Don’t push me in a direction that says I don’t know how to do it or I won’t be successful because I am just going to try to prove you wrong.

My blog is called Shannan Enjoys Life. How do you enjoy life? I love getting ideas from other people.

Humm, I love to travel. I love my friends. I have friends from all over the country and we travel. We are about the same age and into the same things and we meet up every 5 to 6 months. I also like to spend time with my family. Cliché, I know.

A little. LOL. How can individuals get involved with your project?
If you do have a donation of a gently used or new prom dress and are outside of the Huntsville area, you can mail your donation to:

            WEUP, 2609 Jordan Lane, Huntsville, AL 35816

If in the Huntsville area, drop them off at the above address Monday thru Friday, 8 AM – 5 PM or contact me on Facebook and I will come to you. We will be accepting donations right up to Friday, March 25th.

 Thanks you so much, Shenna!

 Shenna can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.