Monday 5: Commitment & other things to be excited about this week

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This weekend we had the best weather in Charleston. While Saturday was a little cloudy, the seventy degree temperature definitely made up for it, and Sunday was just perfect! I even found the motivation to go clean my car… something that has been on my to-do list for an embarrassingly long time. Better late than never!

I hope your weekend was lovely (good weather or not) and that your week is off to a great start! Here are five things I’m excited about this week (and that might get you a little excited too):

White blouse:

A while ago my mom gave me a simple white button-down blouse, which I promptly stuck in the back of my closet and left there without too much thought (sorry mom). A few weeks ago I purchased a pair of Lily Pulitzer pants which I realized would go perfectly with that top. And then I realized how well a simple white button-down goes with everything! Duh, Miranda. Jeans, a skirt, trousers… you name it. I love too that it doesn’t just go with about anything, it kind of makes any outfit a little classier… without going over the top. I’m very excited about this discovery and owe my mom a sincere apology.

Stationary

Recently stationary has been making a comeback and I’m so excited. In a world of one-word texts and emojis a handwritten letter has become kind of sacred. There is something so much more intimate about writing down your thoughts (whether a simple ‘thank you’ note or a love letter) than typing them out. Probably because it takes more time and effort, writing seems much more meaningful. I love brands that are coming out with not just cute stationary, but also clever and funny cards. One of my favorite brands is Slideshow Press. We have about a million of their greeting cards so when a thank you note or ‘you are awesome’ card needs to go out we can send one. Of course I love to write, and letters are one of my favorite medium for connecting with others.

Lemon crab cakes

This recipe from the magazine ‘Louisiana Cookin’ is one of my new favorites. So yummy! It doesn’t take too long and isn’t too difficult. The hardest part was probably forming the patties… turns out crab meat doesn’t like to stick together too much. Other than that it was simple and so tasty! It’s a great option for a dinner party or family meal or date night in! Highly recommend it. The downside of using recipes from magazines is that they are harder to come across online. So, I’ll be posting the recipe later this week in case anyone wants to try it!

Gratitude + humility

There are always so many things in life to be grateful for. Sometimes we see it and sometimes we have a harder time with that… recently I’ve been more aware of blessings in my life and how often I take them for granted. I realized that part of this was due to a lack of humility on my part. This may sound strange, after all what does humility have to do with gratitude? I think the good things in life (family, friends, good work, health) are often things that are granted to us. Meaning, you may eat healthy and exercise regularly and sleep well, but that doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get sick. Similarly, even if we are really good at what we do, that doesn’t mean we will keep the job or move up the career ladder. I guess what I’m trying to say is that we’re not the ones solely responsible for the good things in our lives. We don’t make other love us, they choose to. We don’t get jobs, we are hired. When we have something really good (like health or a loving marriage), to be grateful requires some humility. We didn’t make that thing happen on our own. Gratitude implies gift… this life is a gift and really the only appropriate response is a humble and sincere thank you.

Commitment

As millennials, we are notorious for our dislike of commitment. Getting married, sticking to a job, even accepting an invitation in advance often seems too much of a challenge for us. The reasons behind this are interesting to explore… is it the infamous FOMO that holds us back? I think fear of missing out certainly plays a role; but I think even that is a symptom of a deeper fear… fear of choosing wrongly. We don’t want to make a mistake… we don’t want to fail. Instead of giving our all to a few things, we spread ourselves out to avoid becoming too invested in one thing. This effectively protects us from losing something we might really care about. While this approach has it’s merit, I think in reality we’re losing more than we realize. Recently I’ve had to made decisions that require sacrifice. I realized doing it all wasn’t an option…I also realized part of the reason behind my hesitation to give anything up was because I was scared what I did stick to would backfire horribly. It’s true that committing to one thing/person is risky, but I think there’s something really beautiful about a worthwhile risk. There isn’t much certainty in life and if we wait around for it, we’ll be on hold for a while (forever, to be exact). Committing is an act of faith and hope… two virtues we have quite a lot to gain from practicing.

What are you committing to this week?

Happy Monday!

xo

Miranda

 

 

The most important commitment you’ll ever make

man on hillToday we hear a lot about young adults and our fear of commitment. As a generation, millennials tend to switch jobs more often, wait longer to get married and to buy a home. Various sources list different reasons for this. Some say it’s because we value lifestyle over economic stability (i.e. we’d rather be able to have a job that allows us more flexibility than get paid more), others say that we simply can’t afford to get married, or buy a car or a home (potentially due to our emphasis on flexibility > pay). And then there’s those who say it all comes down to our fear of commitment itself.

As a millennial who knows a lot of other millennials, I would say that each of these reasons may factor in to an extent. And while the fact that we may have a fear of committing- especially to other people- is slightly concerning, there is another commitment I’ve come to learn is actually more important.

Commitment to ourselves.

Ooooohhh, what’s that?

I’ll tell you.

As an avid reader myself, one of my favorite online publications is called Verily Magazine. All about lifestyle, relationships & health. I love how the contributors offer refreshing perspectives on today’s various issues and challenges and how we can face them with grace and a good attitude.

A few months ago, I emailed one of the Verily contributors named Zach Brittle. For a while I read Zach’s column called Intentional Marriage. I love his style and the great advice he offers as a marriage counselor. Even though I am not married, I  have always found relationships fascinating and love learning about what makes for a healthy marriage (#goals, amiright).

I decided to email Zach because I had recently entered into my first relationship and had a question that  I felt required a more experienced perspective. My question was this:
How can I be more selfish?

I know that may seem like an odd question – it kind of is – but it is also one that I feel is highly relevant and valid. When we start dating someone, I think a lot of us have a tendency to make the other person a priority over pretty much everything else…including ourselves. Family, friends, extra-curricular activities and self-care take the backseat as we focus on this new person who we want to learn more about – which requires a fair amount of time and energy.

The thing is, you can’t expect to enter into a relationship with someone and not expect your life to change. So where do you draw the line? How do you ensure you’re being fair to the other person and your relationship while also staying true to who you are and what you need. We can’t expect to be fulfilled by the other person; to do so would be a) not possible and b) unfair to the other person – so essentially incredibly unhealthy and a recipe for disaster.

nbd

Zach’s response was both very wise and very generous- not to mention super helpful. His main point was this:
Before you can commit to someone else, you have to be committed to yourself.

What does this mean?

In his words: ‘Crafting a plan for how to take care of your mind, your body, your heart, your soul.’

Genius, right?

How are you committing to yourself? What is your plan to challenge yourself intellectually, your plan to take care of yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually? A plan that you make and stick to. A commitment you make to and for yourself- not for anyone else.

Zach emphasized that really my question was about self-care, which is NOT selfish because it allows us to love the other person without any strings attached. 

You’re no longer looking to the other person to feel confident or to make you happy (again, not possible), but rather appreciating them simply for who they are. After all, isn’t that what we want, too?

We don’t want to be needed, we want to be wanted.

This topic is supremely important to me and a challenge I’ve decided to accept whole-heartedly. I hope you’ll consider doing the same, as your future (or current) s/o will thank you. I may even post this plan at a later date- please feel free to share any commitments you make for yourself! I’d love to hear about it.

Yes, our generation may face a fear of commitment, but that won’t end until we learn to commit to ourselves first.

Thanks, Zach.