CoffeeBreakStory

shorties

3 Weekend Shorties: Words To Make You Pause and Smile

Today’s Shorties are not my own words but they spoke to me and so I’m sharing for your reading pleasure as well.

It’s Thanksgiving Week in the USA. We’re blanketed here with multi-layers of seasonal gratitude, family drama, and Black Friday sales notifications. 😲

So just like a couple of fish tacos washed down with a margarita would be a welcome respite after all the turkey and pumpkin pie, I thought these three Shorties would be a welcome break for your spirit! 🌟

The first one is a sweet reminder, the second is a soulful nudge, and the third? Well, it made ME laugh—so I say it’s a gentle chuckle! 😁

Refill your mug with your favorite beverage 🍺 (I won’t judge) —and enjoy!

shorties
los muertos crew | pexels

Shortie #1 | who are you really?

you are not a name

or a height, or a weight

or a gender

you are not an age

and you are not where you are from

 

you are your favorite books

and the songs stuck in your head

you are your thoughts

and what you eat for breakfast

on Saturday mornings

you are a thousand things

but everyone chooses

to see the million things 

you are not

you are not

where you are from

you are

where you are going

and I’d like

to go there

too

—mk | bella GRACE

shortie
fauxels | pexels

Shortie #2 | What Is Heaven?

Once upon a time there was a woman who longed to find out what heaven is like. She prayed constantly, “O God, grant me in this life a vision of paradise.”

She prayed in this way for years until one night she had a dream. An angel came and led her to heaven. They walked down a street in paradise until they came to an ordinary looking house. The angel said, “Go look inside.”

So the woman walked in and found a person preparing supper, another reading the newspaper, and children playing with their toys. She was disappointed and returned to the angel on the street.

“Is this all there is to heaven?”

The angel replied, “Those people you saw in that house are not in paradise, paradise is in them!”

—Edward Hayes, Feathers on the Wind

thanksgiving day funny
pixabay | pexels

Shortie #3 | A Pilgrim's Tale

He entered sheepishly and knelt at his wife’s bedside.

“Priscilla dearest, she meant nothing to me! Can you ever forgive me?”

She was flushed. “Yes, John. Love is forgiveness.”

“Angel!” He kissed her forehead, grabbed his musket, and left, slamming the front door.

Priscilla leaned over the bed’s edge to peer beneath.

“Miles!” she beckoned.

—Curt Homan, The World’s Shortest Stories

shorties

However you’re spending this weekend, take time to recalibrate.

It’s easy to get caught up in the seasonal hustle. Which is where these little Shorties, or #CoffeeBreakStories come to the rescue. Who doesn’t welcome a 1-2 minute diversion? 

Circle back here  or here to sample a few prior #CoffeeBreakStories. 

~.~.~.~.~.~.

Your turn:

  • Which was your favorite?
  • What’s going on with your weekend?

You can send your thoughts to me right here: maryv@shiftyourstories.com

…And thanks for dropping by! 🙋🏻‍♀️

organizing

Organizing: Proven Concepts For A Little Home Sweet Home

Homemaking: enriching art,  or unending drudgery?

If you ask Rebecca Phillips of RYouReadyToOrganize, it can definitely be the former. Because like anything else, our perception informs our attitude.

So she’s all about easy, steady steps to transform your home into the haven you deserve. Which means she goes beyond organizing: she also shares her passion for indoor/outdoor gardening and simple recipes (especially baking 🍞) to nurture our bodies and our spirits. 

Today’s #CoffeeBreakStory continues my series about Everyday Women Over 50 living contently on their own terms, regardless of the latest societal trend. Because after years of fulfilling others’ expectations and needs, now is our time to go deep with stuff that personally lights us up! ✨

RYouReady to meet a new friend? Grab your coffee ☕️ —let’s go!

Housewife, Homemaker, Domestic Goddess (oh my!)

housewife or homemaker

Let’s just admit that the term “housewife” gets a cringe these days. While it was socially acceptable 50-some years ago, it’s been replaced with Soccer Mom ⚽️ and, later on, Stay-At-Home-Mom (SAHM). Anything to justify and even dignify tending to the house. Though someone’s gotta do it sometime, no?

Even “homemaker” sounds quaint or old-fashioned to some. And women of a certain age (like me) remember the “domestic goddess” moniker! It was supposed to elevate the essential yet unpaid role. Somehow, it felt a little silly…and it continued to be an unpaid job! 🤷🏻‍♀️

For Rebecca, though, it’s all semantics. Certainly, she’s sensitive to people’s preferences. But in her view, creating and maintaining a home sanctuary is a timeless, worthwhile endeavor.

And she has no issue with calling herself a professional homemaker. 

I think that what I do is quite different from most organizers. What I do is all of homemaking. It’s not just organizing. So whatever you see as a homemaker for you…whatever your vision is? That’s what you should do! Your home is your castle. What kind of homemaker do you wanna be? (chuckles) I really don’t care…you decide what you want to do!

Now before you erroneously assumes my friend is the new June Cleaver, know that she earned her master’s in social work and administration. For many years, Rebecca was knee-deep with writing grants, assembling contracts, and guiding small businesses with organizing their paperwork. All of which formed a solid foundation when she decided to exit the corporate world and work from, on, and in her home. 

When she met and married the love her life at age 39, Rebecca willingly relocated across state lines and began creating a new life chapter. Fast forward 20+ years later, she has transformed her stay-at-home hobbies into a small business that promotes the beautiful art of homemaking. It’s a part-time endeavor that brings her full-time pleasure—plus some rainy day funds! 

RYouReadyToOrganize also serves as the platform for her to continue what she does best: encouraging and helping others create a happy place in their homes. 

My favorite is one-on-one: getting them to streamline or let go of things—you know, a lot of stuff that doesn’t serve them well and is weighing them down. It’s great!

And it all revolves around a little organization.

organizing goals

The Allure of Organized Stuff

Who doesn’t gravitate towards all the pretty pictures of uniform shelves, drawers, and closets pristinely and precisely organized by color, product, season? I’m no different. 😍 Home goals, amiright?

Yet how realistic is it to expect a well-loved, lived-in home to always look this way? Who cares to constantly be picking up, wiping down, and putting things back just so? Endlessly accordian-folding our panties (!) per Marie Kondo specifications? 🙄

Granted, a certain amount of maintenance is mandatory to fend off chaos. But Rebecca deliberately chooses to focus on what makes unique sense for each of her clients. She figures out what matters most to them, with what they own already.

Which means purchasing all new organizational systems is not always the answer.

Most organizers I know create a Better Home & Gardens room, take a picture of it, and say, “Isn’t this perfect?” (laughs) I don’t want that! Who’s gonna do that? It’s really a letdown. Many people have told me, they see those pictures and they’re beautiful, but it’s not gonna happen in their homes. They just wanna take their stuff and maybe add to it, or maybe repurpose it. So I’m not about perfectionism … I’m not about magazine covers.

For picture-perfect fantasy rooms? Check in with Martha Stewart or The Home Edit ladies!

For simple yet real-world home tips? Rebecca is our gal!  

Either Or

Introducing: Either/Or

And now, time for a game of “Either/Or” —a rapid-fire fun Q&A to find out what you and Rebecca have in common!

M: All right, I want to ask you a series of “either/or” choices and this is fast. No overthinking!

R: (gasp) Oh, drink!

M: (chuckles) Yes, chug that coffee! 

R: OK, it’s actually bone broth. 😇  (sips)… Ready!

M: Cook or Clean?

R: Cook 👩‍🍳

M: Cats or Dogs?

R: Dogs 🐶

M: Decorate or Garden?

R: Garden 🌱

M: Organize or Declutter?

R: Declutter. 🗑 (pauses) Believe it or not! Organizing is harder than decluttering.

M: IG or FB?

R: IG 🌅

M: Hawaiian Pizza or Fish Tacos?

R: Fish Tacos, yum! 🌮

M: Wine or Beer?

R: Wine!! 🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷

M: OK, game over. Rebecca? Sweetheart?? Put the wine down now… 🤭

R:  Oh—Okely-dokely! (Hic!) 😵 

Note to self:  feature less spirited options in the beverage question…

The Wrap on Organizing Concepts With Rebecca

organizing with Rebecca

Rebecca and I connected on IG over our mutual love for living with only the things that we truly need, use or love.

In a frothy social media sea of selfies and style, she is a heart-warming, down-to-earth soul. What you see is what you get. And what you’ll get is kindness and a knack for making your home comfortable and cozy.

When her husband retires next Spring, a move will be in their future. After a little decluttering of her own (’cause that’s life), packing, and settling into a new home, then what?

She foresees a lot of golfing, birding, and fishing in her future small town. Sounds like a woman who knows what paradise looks like in her next chapter! ✨

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Pick up those proven organizing, gardening, and cooking tips when you head over to Rebecca’s sites:

I am genuinely impressed with how she has identified her Happy Path and is living her dream, whether it’s in vogue or not. That’s my kinda style!

*Images of Rebecca were sourced from her website/IG and stylized by Mary 

Midlife Stories

Your Turn!

My hope is that sharing these Everyday Women’s stories will inspire you to shift with courage into what brings you joy!

  • How’s your #Over50 chapter going?
  • What’s new with you?

Click here ⬇️ to drop me a line…and thanks for stopping by! 🤗

maryv@shiftyourstories.com

shift with mary v
third trimester

Finding My Stride In The Third Trimester Of Life

Umm…what the heck does she mean by “my third trimester“? 🤔

This: I intend to live into my 90s (or die trying 😜) so I’m simply dividing my life story into thirds. And last month, I officially stepped into my final third when I turned 60! 🎂 🔥 🚿🚒 

(Humor me ▶️ )

WooHoo….Didja dance with me?? 💃🏻

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

OK, now I have to say, this new perspective on my remaining years  feels quite ingenious. Recently, I’d been fretting about how to Have Purpose, Keep Learning, and Remain Productive. I shared those concerns here, if you missed it. And all because I was still stuck in high-gear-career mode.

30+ year habits take time to shift! 🙄

Yet ironically, once I hit publish with that post, I felt my angst begin to dissolve! To be clear, I still had no epiphany as to exactly what I would do in my last trimester.

However, once I no longer viewed “retirement” as the great divide…the beginning of the end… an inevitable descent into old age and irrelevancy…I was able to exhale. To relax. To anticipate genuine glimmers of great possibilities ahead! 🌟

In other words, it was time to treat this third life chapter as an exciting, vibrant transition rather than a sad, downhill decline! 🤯 

Got your mug refilled? ☕️ Read on for how I’m defining life’s phases as I shift into the culmination of a life well-lived (’cause it’s not over yet!) 🌱☀️

1st Trimester: Finding Our Footing

Who am I
anastasiya gepp | pexels

Our first 30 years are really about figuring out who we are and how we fit into the world.

There is no singularly perfect timeline for this. Some may readily identify where they want to go and their path appears smooth and uninterrupted. (emphasis on “appears”—no one is without doubt and angst!)

Others take the “scenic route” which has detours and delays and even occasional dead-ends. Yet who’s to say this isn’t the best path for them?

In either case, we are developing self-awareness and seeking what lights us up, as we find a place in this world. It’s a trimester of tremendous growth, hope, and discovery.

And with focused intention, we can continue to hone who we are in the next two trimesters, as well!

2nd Trimester: Manifesting Dreams 'n' Goals

busyness
sarah chai | pexels

Next, our second trimester (ages 30-60) is about creating and building the life we want. 

Like most, I juggled family and work duties. Yet homemaking was not my first goal. In fact, I recall deliberately passing on typing class in high school as I was determined to be more than a secretary (OK, a wee bit short-sighted, per my permanently wonky keyboard skills! 😜) 

I had eagerly responded to the societal call in the 80s: “Go be anything you want to be—you can!”. My career path was made possible by the many, many tenacious women before me who demanded the power and right to choose a path outside the home. I found it thrilling. 

Yet that phrase, “work-life balance”? The reality was incredibly exhausting, since something always has to give. 🙇🏻‍♀️

3rd Trimester: Releasing Our Inner Child

third trimester
image by anderson guerra from pexels

This is the final trimester which brings us full circle!

Once again we’re back to figuring out who we are and how we fit into the world.

However, all the angst we felt in our 1st trimester with worrying what others think? Who cares! Time to let that go and pursue what we want. It’s our life!

And still basing our value on what we do for a living, how high we climbed the corporate ladder, how much stuff we amassed, and how much we earned? Time to let all of this go, as well! 

We are uniquely and intrinsically worthy just as we are! 🌟

It’s not an overnight process to release longstanding beliefs or ideas about what gives us purpose and validation.

We are essentially finding our footing again. But when we are patient with ourselves and the retirement process, we can start savoring the joy to be uncovered.

Now our inner child can relish the freedom of choosing how to write the script for our third trimester. 

It’s almost dizzying to consider all the possibilities before us! So yes, it will take time as we explore and try out new routines and activities.

Which is why starting with the basic pleasure of Simply Being is ever-so important.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Bonus: Don’t miss the humorous yet wise retirement revelations from Dr. Riley Moynes ▶️ I tracked with everything he said (except for the cinnamon buns 🥧 ’cause I’m a keto eater!).

The Wrap

third trimester

Achieving the 60-year milestone does not have to mean the beginning of the end.

To the contrary, this can signal the start of a very fruitful, satisfying period of our lives. It’s all a matter of perspective.

When I reflect on the last year, I recognize that I grappled with tunnel vision when it came to defining myself. I was also hard on myself with needing to figure things out Right Now

This can happen to anyone, especially when performance in the corporate world is constantly measured and subjected to someone else’s deadlines.

And even though I knew I’m in charge of my pace and direction from hereon, I still had difficulty with releasing old stories and writing a new one. I didn’t want to be judged by others. Yet I was judging myself all along! Not fun.

But now? I’m ready! 🙌🏼

I’m choosing to make it a positively soul-satisfying adventure that only I design and direct as much as possible—how about you?

What do you think?

  • Are you also between life stories?
  • How is the transition with writing a new one going for you?
  • What’s your biggest challenge?
  • What are some of your own “a-ha!” realizations?

Feel free to drop me a line at: maryv@shiftyourstories.com 📬

...and thanks for stopping by! 🤗

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