Musings

The Importance of Community and Game Night.

Hello, friends! I hope that ya’ll are having a great Monday! Today was such a gloomy lil day,  which I usually enjoy, but I’ve been really craving some sunshine lately. April showers bring May flowers though, so that’s a thought full of sunshine on its own!

As an introvert, I generally default to wanting to be alone, but I think it’s times like those that make it all the more important to seek community. I grew up being so excited for holidays because it meant that I would be surrounded by all of my favorite people. It was always so fun to me and made me wish that there were more holidays. But you know what’s really amazing about being an adult? There’s nothing stopping you from making your own holidays! Anything can be an excuse for getting together with the people that you love.

That being said, I still get very nervous being the host, so I haven’t done that as much as I’d like to. My apartment is also the size of a hallway, but that’s neither here nor there. Hosting shouldn’t be about what your home looks like, but the sense of community felt is what’s important. I lose sight of that sometimes. I question what I have to offer, I don’t have the nicest apartment, I’m not the best cook, and I’m not the best hostess, but those things aren’t the most important thing when it comes to building a community. We all have our talents and when everyone is able to come together to create a fun night, it makes the night all the more special. There are so many ways one can contribute, making a homemade dish, supplying chairs, or even bringing a deck of cards. The list really goes on.

I think with social media we face a brand new problem, we’re so connected with one another and disconnected at the same time. I love that phones are able to connect us with people that are so far away from us, FaceTime is one of my favorites. I love being able to FaceTime Bobby when he’s away for work and I’ve been able to FaceTime my Grandma recently! It’s so much better than talking on the phone! There are so many wonderful ways that the internet allows us to connect with people and it’s a great way to make an online community, but I will say that it does not replace having that community in person.

Sometimes we aren’t so lucky to have friends near us, or maybe even friends at all. I remember my summer before college, all of my friends had already left and I felt so alone. I would bike around town and it made me feel a lot better. I yearned for that interaction with people and wanted nothing more than to feel that sense of community. I think that sometimes we just need to be around people, even if we don’t directly interact with them. Humans naturally need that interaction. I know that on days when I’m feeling especially down and lonely, it does me so good to be out and about.

Just as we need our alone time, we really need time with other people. A sense of community is something that is so important. As an introvert, sometimes it’s hard to recognize that I need that time with other people. And not to isolate myself! That’s another thing that I tend to do. One of my favorite ways to socialize with people is to have a good, old-fashioned game night. It’s especially great if you’re just getting to know people. It busies everyone and makes sure that there aren’t (as many) awkward silences. Add some yummy snacks to the mix and BAM, instant success.

The amount of social time people need varies, but it’s important for us all to build a community. I think that community is an overlooked aspect of life. I think it’s crucial that we don’t let community fade into the past. We have to be conscious in our efforts to create our own community filled with people who lift us up and help us grow.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope that you enjoyed this post!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

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Musings

It’s Okay that your Pinterest DIY was a Fail.

Hello, friends! Happy Monday! I hope that you had a wonderful weekend and were able to spend time with your loved ones. I had such a lovely weekend. I was able to spend lots of time with my favorite people, eat lots of yummy food, and most importantly, celebrate the fact that He is risen!

This blog is brought to you by my Sunday morning. I found a really cute Pinterest recipe for chocolate covered strawberries that looked like cute little carrots. I bought all of the ingredients and was so dang excited to make them, but when I got to making them… they sure as heck were not coming out as cute as I had expected. Something about me, that I’ve probably mentioned before, is that I am quite the perfectionist. This does not serve me very well, because I also have this thing where if I’m not able to do something perfectly, I just… don’t do it. I have this expectation of myself that I should be able to do something for the first time absolutely perfectly, which never is the case. I get embarrassed so easily and when I think there’s a situation where I could end up being embarrassed, I want to avoid it at all costs.

It’s not a good thing, because I don’t ever want to leave my comfort zone and as you know, not much growth happens inside of our comfort zone. Being embarrassed is natural, we can’t always be perfect at everything. Which may sound super obvious, but it’s something that I struggle with a lot. I want to be good at everything and when I’m not automatically perfect at something, I don’t want to do it. I’ve talked in previous blogs about how there isn’t as much fear if you consciously choose not to do something, because you can tell yourself, “Well, if I wanted to try and do this, I probably could.”, but at the end of the day, you really don’t know what would happen or how good you would or wouldn’t be at something.

I think that Pinterest DIY’s are a good example to use for many reasons. The first one being something that I hadn’t really even though about, until Bobby brought it to my attention in the midst of my Easter meltdown. The fact that a lot of things on Pinterest are probably edited in such a way to make them look perfect. Which isn’t to discredit the hard work the creators put into their craft, I merely want to point out something that we all probably know on a deep level, but forget about it when consuming online media. This applies also to social media in general, whether it be a Pinterest DIY, an Instagram influencer’s life, or maybe even a Youtuber’s romantic relationship. It’s so easy for us to consume this media and let it influence us in a negative way. We think that we can’t create or express ourselves because we won’t be as smart, as pretty, or as famous as other people. Which puts us into a box that restricts us from getting better at things, because we worry that we won’t be able to do it perfectly.

Another thing that I’ve said before in previous blogs is that sometimes we need to look at the big picture of things, instead of getting too focused on the little things. For this, I was so concerned with how this dessert ended up that I was forgetting how excited I was to see all these people that are so dear to me, I was only thinking about this Pinterest DIY. In my head, Easter was dependent on the outcome of it. Which I can go ahead and say was not the case at all. It’s so easy to look back on myself and think about how silly it is that I was so flustered about this, but Sunday morning, this was SO important. The mean part of my brain was telling me that if it turned out poorly nobody would like me and I was a failure and that I would never be good at anything. What the heck! All because of a Pinterest DIY! These mean and silly thoughts are only amplified when it comes to other things, such as school or work.

I wish I could say that I have advice for these feelings, but I’m still trying to figure out how to manage them myself. I suppose the biggest piece of advice I can offer is to practice, practice, practice, even if you feel embarrassed, or stupid, or like you won’t ever be good at anything. As hard as it is, that’s really the only way that you can learn to be better at things.   It does not benefit you if you only give yourself one little chance to be good at something. You’re restricting yourself and making it a given that you will never get any better at something. It’s much better to try your best at something several times and decide that you don’t enjoy it than spend your life wondering if you would enjoy it and maybe even be really good at it. I think it’s okay to enjoy doing things that we’re not really great it, but I don’t think it’s okay to try something once and decide we’re never going to do it again. And as for most of my blogs, if not all of them, this is mainly a big ol’ note to self.

I like sharing my struggles and experiences with the world on the off-chance it speaks to at least one person. Blogging is something that is a combination of things that I feel confident and also scared about. And the things I’m confident in or not confident in change day by day. I love writing and generally think I’m a decent writer, but some days I convince myself that I’ve never written anything good in my life. Putting myself out there on the internet is scary, I worry that people think I’m silly for trying to pursue blogging, but the other part of me loves it so much that I don’t want to stop, even if someone were to think it’s odd. I guess that the fear we feel sometimes is worth it when we’re able to find the things that we’re truly passionate in.

Thanks so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings

Note to Self: You don’t Have to Buy a New Dress for EVERY Holiday.

Hello, friends! Happy Friday! The weekend is upon us, thank goodness. I am so excited because this weekend is Easter and I get to spend time with not only my family, but Bobby’s family too! How crazy is it to think that in six short months they will officially be my in-laws? It’s so exciting!

I think it’s important to celebrate our small accomplishments, but gosh, some feel so trivial.  This being one of them — I didn’t buy a new dress for Easter. I typically buy a new pretty dress for every holiday, which is so wasteful, because I have so many pretty dresses already. I suppose I felt like I had to, so that when I took photos, I wouldn’t be wearing something that I had already taken pictures in. How silly is that! I looked at bloggers I liked and noticed that they seldom wore clothes more than once. I thought that to be a blogger I had to keep up with that and even try to replicate it! Lately, I’ve been trying to find fellow bloggers that enjoy simple living and don’t buy new dresses for every holiday. The people I followed were all lovely, but I found that following them on social media gave me this extra itch to shop. Keeping our social media filled with good influences as opposed to bad influences is something that I’ve really been working on lately. Along with trying not to use social media quite as often. I think that the two paired together can really improve our life.

I don’t think that it’s inherently wrong to love our possessions, but I do think we should avoid loving the idea of possessions. I think that owning things we do not love and cannot use is where the problem is. There are certainly dresses that I’ve bought that I did not love, I only bought them because I thought they would work for one particular occasion. Afterwards, it sits in my closet, unworn and unloved. To be clear, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting pretty dresses, I personally never feel more confident than when I’m wearing one. For me, they have purpose and I love them. For someone who does not love them, it wouldn’t make sense for them to buy them. I think the issue is buying clothes (or items) that you don’t love, or only buying something for one use. I’ve seen the idea online of shopping one’s closet, which I absolutely adore. I want to start doing this more. To fall back in love with what I already own and if I cannot do that, donate the piece so that hopefully someone can find joy and use from it. I am trying to get rid of pieces in my closet that don’t work with many items. I want to eventually have a closet full of pieces that can me mixed and matched with all my other clothing. This takes time and I’ve been slowly beginning the process of getting rid of useless pieces and obtaining pieces that I find to be more useful. Which sort of brings me to another topic: buying clothes that are timeless versus clothes that are trendy. Perhaps another blog about that? I get so long-winded in these! I need to be better about that, but it’s so hard when you’re so passionate about what you’re talking about!

I think I’ll finish the post here, so that this post doesn’t end up being too long! I hope that you enjoyed reading and I can’t wait to be back with another post on Monday! Happy Easter!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings

Thoughts One Has When Mending Jeans.

Hello friends! I hope that you are having an amazing week! I thought that I’d begin this blog with a little joke. One that I certainly did not make up, but a joke nonetheless. One that has certainly gotten many an eye-roll.

“Those your church pants?”

“No.”

“Then why are they so holy?” 

(Hehe!)

On Monday, I ripped my jeans while sitting down for dinner. Which is fine, but this is my THIRD pair of jeans I’ve ripped in the past couple of months. Two of which I ripped whilst at work! Which is totally embarrassing, but luckily Bobby was able to bring me a new pair of pants to wear.Which doesn’t feel great, but it did get me to thinking about a couple of things.There are many emotions that can be felt when ripping one’s jeans. (Or maybe I’m just a tad sensitive…) Annoyance — this was my last pair of jeans! Embarrassment — This is the second time that I’ve ripped my pants at work! Or even worry — I really can’t afford to buy any new jeans! And I have felt these things, but I’m trying to shift my way of thinking.

  1. I currently have three pairs of jeans that need mending, which is coincidentally the number of jeans I own. I much prefer wearing dresses or my overalls. My initial thought was to go buy a couple of new pairs, but instead, I’m going to mend the ones I already own. This will save money and I’ll also be able to practice my sewing skills. It’s so interesting to think about how our way of living hasn’t been around for very long. Our culture of buying, buying, buying is a relatively new one. The days of mending what’s broken seem to be long gone. I really don’t want to say that everyone is this way, because I know of some lovely people who put in the effort to fix what’s broken. I, unfortunately, have generally been the kind of person who buys new things when they break. I’m trying to get myself out of this consumeristic way of thinking. I want to love each and every thing that I own and I want to feel the desire to fix it. It also shows a sense of pride over one’s possessions, which I think is important too. Why own items that we don’t have a use for, or items that we don’t love? I suppose there is some sort of comfort in owning things, but I don’t want to receive comfort from things anymore. Or at least to that degree. I am working on being more conscious of what I own. I want to only own things that I love. This will also help me want to mend what I have, because I won’t want to part with it.
  2. Instead of getting down on myself for gaining weight and ripping holes in my pants, I’m choosing to be kind to myself. These things happen. They can be fixed. Our bodies, much like our lives, are perpetually changing. It’s important to take care of our bodies, but whether or not a pair of jeans fit is not representative of our overall health. This also had me thinking about something else that I really cherish about slow living. Slow living includes making food in the home, instead of eating out. Bobby and I have gotten a little lax about it and have been eating out much more than I’d care to admit. This week we’re doing a no spend week and it’s been wonderful, of course for the bank account, but it’s also forced me to be a bit more creative with what we eat. We’ve been having some really fun meals, using up items in the cupboard that may have been there for awhile. I think that it’s much easier to eat healthy when you’re preparing your own food and I think this is one reason that I’ve been able to be a little kinder about ripping my jeans. I’m making efforts to improve my health, so there is absolutely no point in beating myself up about weight.

I love the idea of mending clothes instead of getting rid of them because it’s beneficial for the Earth, one’s pocketbook, and one’s sense of worth. There’s such a sense of unique accomplishment when mending something, be it a dining room table, a cracked teacup, or even a frayed pair of jeans. While we’re being kind to our possessions, make sure we’re being kind to ourselves as well. 🙂

XOXO,

Mattie Mae