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A Few Of My Favorite Things

So this week has been a bit crazier than usual. Ben came down with a nasty cold early this week, so Sunday and Monday were spent care-giving, on top of my normal teaching and life duties. Then on Wednesday, Blair came down with kennel cough, so both family members have spent the week coughing and resting.

In thinking about this week's blog post, I wanted to talk a little bit about counteracting the busyness of life. For someone like me who works from home, it is very easy for me to get into the habit of thinking, oh goodness, there are 5 tasks for me to do around the house before I go to bed, and it's already 10:30pm. Instead, I should simply write those to-dos down and go to bed.

As my recovering perfectionism continues to attack, I need to find good ways to combat it and spend time resting in the evening, in order that I have a lot of energy to tackle the next day's responsibilities.

So I wanted to share with you all a few of my favorite things that help me rest, reflect, and have fun in the midst of life's adulthood duties.

1. Lavender Tea. This particular bag of French lavender is my go-to after a long day of piano teaching. It is a great transition from work to relaxation to bedtime, as I teach as late as 8:30 or 9:00pm.

2. Books. In the mornings, I start out with solitude and prayer and devotions. I've found this particular Bible extraordinarily helpful in discerning precisely what the Scriptures are saying. In the afternoons and evenings, I am currently reading Laura Bush's memoir "Spoken from the Heart." Ben and I have begun a new-ish tradition of reading books out loud to each other, and we've recently started Tom Sawyer. Nothing short of hilarious.

3. Foot baths. Thursday evenings have become my foot bath night, where I watch Thursday Night Football after teaching and soak my feet in some suds. I recommend this bubble bath. And yes, I fully admit that I have a ridiculous obsession with lavender.

4. Candles and Flowers. I usually have a candle lit in my kitchen while teaching, so it provides a nice fragrance without overwhelming my studio with a strong scent. And I also try very hard to have fresh flowers in my dining room, so as I take a small break from lesson to lesson, I can see those flowers and enjoy them for a moment as a part of God's creation.

5. Movies. I've set a rather unique movie goal. A few years ago, I thought it would be a great idea to watch all the movies that the American Film Institute recommended as the top 100 films ever. Unfortunately, I realized that a lot of their recommended films included a ridiculous amount of violence, language, etc. I am one of those movie watchers that needs a happy, funny escape, so I had to scrap my original goal. Now my goal has become to watch every Cary Grant film that was made, as I am a classic movie nut.

6. Music. I love having light music on in the background when I'm cooking, reading, or cleaning. My current go-to music is actually Johannes Kapsberger and his lute pieces. I know that this may sound really old-lady-ish, but I promise you that lute pieces sound much more modern than they appear. And, they are so relaxing that is makes even the most adulting task of taking the gunk out of the sink trap seem palatable.

7. Football. Did you really think you could be a post without my Packers?! :) They have quite a game ahead of them on Sunday, playing the currently undefeated Rams. Let's also not forget the Iowa Hawkeyes, who are crushing it this year at 6-1. Fall is awesome.

What helps you to relax after a long day's work? Comment below!

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