Monday 5: (Pro) Life & other things I’m excited about this week

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It was another relatively quiet weekend in the Rodriguez household. Friday afternoon Nicholas and I played with Sally and Anne Louise (more on that later) and that evening even though we had planned to go out with some resident friends, ended up staying in and watching ‘This is Us’.

Saturday I got together with my friend Domi who just got engaged! So exciting! And that afternoon I said goodbye to Sister Kathleen who is being transferred to Miami! It was nice to catch up but also a little sad to part ways for now.

Saturday evening I spent time with my family and Sunday youth group and Mass were my main events. I also got to catch up with my friend Lizzie at a new oyster restaurant called Nico in Mount Pleasant! We had some delicious baked oysters and tasty cocktails.

All in all it was a nice weekend and I feel so blessed to have good friends to catch up with!

Here are some things I’m excited about this week..what’s on your list?

Docility

I feel like I associate docility with people who get walked all over. However, when I came across the term in this book I’m reading, it made me question that definition. It turns out docile actually refers to someone who is ‘easy to teach.’ I’m probably not one of the most docile people (ask any violin teacher I’ve had). But I think it is a good quality to have. In life things happen that we don’t want. People say things we don’t agree with. We are charged with tasks we don’t like. One option is to be grumpy about it and meet these challenges with a bad attitude, another is to be downright rebellious and avoid them altogether. A third possibility is to learn from whatever is happening to us. A break-up, being let go, an unpleasant encounter…certainly these things are not enjoyable and sometimes even heartbreaking, but being angry over time turns into bitterness and resentment. Maybe a better option is looking at it as a learning experience. What is life trying to teach us from this? How can we grow from it? It’s not easy, but this docile attitude is actually a much lighter load than anger, trust me.

Support system

We all experience suffering at one point or another. Sometimes it can be especially difficult, like just-make-it-through-the-day difficult.

Not fun.

But when times like these arise, we have the opportunity to be especially grateful for those who love and support us. Those who text us to check in because they know we’re going through something. Those who call just to listen. Those who open their homes to us to console and advise us. These people too, will be there for us when the joy comes. They will celebrate with all the authenticity in the world because they genuinely care for our well-being and are happy for us. These people should not be taken for granted and I am in so much debt to my support system. We need people like this in our lives and if you try to convince yourself otherwise you’ll find out to be dead wrong. Developing deep, meaningful friendships with people, especially those who share our values is essential to our well-being. It’s helpful to have friends who are peers (people around the same age, state in life etc). But it’s also great to be friends with people who are at different points in their life. For example Sister Kathleen is much older than I and she is a nun but I always learn so much from our meetings together. My friend Sarah is married and has a son close to my age and I also have learned much from her. My friend Bernadette is my age but married and with a baby…reaching out to people that have different perspectives and experiences can be incredibly valuable. I’m so grateful to all these people who have given me so much guidance and support, especially when tough times creep up on me.

This quote

I’ve never been a huge Lord of the Rings fan (I’ve only seen the movies), but as I’ve come across more and more of JRR Tolkien’s quotes I’m having a bit of a change of heart. They are so beautiful and true! This one I found to be especially wonderful and appropriate for this time.

“‘But where shall I find courage?’ Asked Frodo. ‘This is what I chiefly need.’
‘Courage is found in unlikely places,’ said Gildor. ‘Be of good hope! Sleep now!”

Love.

I’m not sure what those ‘unlikely places’ Gildor refers to are, but I hope I find them.

Reunion

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It was so nice to spend some time with Sally and Anne Louise again. Being with children is so nourishing to me. There is something so infectious and refreshing about their innocence, enthusiasm and light-heartedness. To see Nicholas running around with Sally and Anne Louise was very entertaining (although exhausting for him). We had an absolute blast running around a park close to their house and I am so grateful I still get to see them every now and then.

Life

Speaking of babies…today marks the anniversary of the infamous Roe v Wade decision that made abortion legal in the US. Even amidst difficulty and suffering, life is so precious. It makes me so sad that we take the opportunity of life away from unborn children. While I certainly can understand extenuating circumstances that often surround unwanted pregnancies, I think there is no difficulty that should prevent us from giving the person a chance. Hope is a very important virtue that we need to hang on to, for our sake and those of others. How on earth could we determine that a person we haven’t even met yet should not live? I am encouraged by all the mothers that have chosen life (including my own!), even when it wasn’t easy. They knew that they their rights were not meant to infringe on that of the child inside of them but rather to allow them to exercise the privilege that is partaking in the creation of another person. How amazing that we can do that!

Thank you to everyone who has chosen life for us.

xo

Miranda

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

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Happy Monday! I hope the time change didn’t throw you off too much (why can’t we just pick one time and stick to it?), although I’m not complaining that the days are now an hour longer!

This weekend my family and I went to Atlanta to visit some relatives who live in the area. I got to visit some of my favorite spots which I talk about in my Atlanta edition of the Monday 5. The list includes a fantastic bakery/restaurant with an amazing shrimp po’ boy, an adorable stationary store with hilarious greeting cards and the best upscale thrift shop I’ve ever been to.

I know the time change can be a little disconcerting, here are some things I’m excited about that might help you think of your own list instead of how sleepy you are.

 

The Book of Virtues

I’ve had this book in my bookcase for years and for some reason last week I was inspired to pick it up and see what it was all about. This compilation is written by William J. Bennett, who worked for the Reagan administration as head of the department of education before retiring and publishing this book. He separates the book into the various virtues (courage, honesty etc) and groups various poems, short stories, songs and excerpts from books that relate to it. I have enjoyed perusing this book so much, it is a great reminder of what we should really be working on and all the charming literature that is out there that Netflix often distracts us from. Some of what I’ve read so far includes Greek myths, a letter from F. Scott Fitzgerald to his daughter and Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘I have a dream.’ It isn’t a book that you need to read cover to cover, but it’s really worth checking out if you haven’t before. All I’ve come across is lovely and inspiring, and great to read to children as well!

 

Macaroon Boutique croissants

I absolutely love chocolate croissants. They are one of those simple (if caloric) pleasures that every now and then are such a treat! Most bakeries and many coffee shops have them, but there is one bakery downtown Charleston owned by a French couple who have some of the best croissants I’ve had in the states. Friday before we left for Atlanta we bought a few of them and so were able to enjoy some delicious croissants over the weekend. If you like croissants and ever are in Charleston, I highly recommend the Macaroon Boutique on John street! So yummy.

 

Needlepoint hat

One of the stops we made this weekend in Atlanta was a shop owned by another husband and wife called Steve Mackenzie’s. They have a little bit of everything from home furniture to tassel earrings. Their store is incredibly well-decorated and so much fun to look around in! They have those adorable things you don’t strictly need but fall in love with anyway (like emoji embroidered napkins for cocktails). While there, I came across these canvas hats that were had various embroidered details. I’ve been looking for a good hat (cute, fits well) for a while now and am so glad I found these! They are a brother and sister who make and design unisex baseball caps, the company is called Harding-Lane and you can check out their hats here. The one I bought is a faded red with a sailboat on it. So cute!

 

Upcoming mini-adventures

Before the trip to Atlanta this weekend, a few months had passed since my last travels over the holidays. It was refreshing to get out of the routine and explore some new (and some old favorite) spots and I’m excited for a few other short trips I have coming up! This coming weekend I will be traveling to Eastern North Carolina and I have another trip in early April as well! I think in general even the smallest of trips can be seen as an exciting experience to look forward to and break us out of the same old same old. You can be on the lookout for new special editions of the Monday 5 coming soon!

 

Anticipation

Speaking of looking forward to things, I’ve recently learned about the importance of anticipation and how it is more meaningful to some than others. A part of traveling that I very much enjoy is the planning beforehand. Finding the perfect place to stay, fun places to go and where to eat is almost as enjoyable to me as the trip itself. I love to get an idea of what it will look and feel like before I actually experience it, and often going in person feels more fulfilling when I had gotten a glimpse of what it would be like in advance. This pretty much goes for everything I do, whether it’s just a normal Monday or a trip or a night out, thinking about it before makes it that much better to me when it actually takes place. Not everyone is this way. Some people much more enjoy the spontaneous, unexpected or unprecedented kind of events or travel without the hassle of planning. While I see the positives to that, I have come to terms that anticipation is important to me. Knowing this, I make an active effort to plan for and let my imagination wander (just a little bit) to things I’m excited about.

 

I hope your week is a good one and you get to enjoy the newly extended hours of daylight.

xo

Monday