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7 for seven

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7forseven_key-and-arrowLet’s face it // Mondays stink. Or at least we typically expect them to stink. That is why, every Monday, I post seven positives from the previous seven days of the week as a reminder of what I have so that the week starts out on an upswing. There is much truth in the belief that happy people attract good things, so it is important to start the week out right. Sometimes it’s the more grand, but other times, it’s the simple things.

1. BBQ W/ FriendsMonday night, a friend who touted that his BBQ would trump standing in the long (if you don’t live in Austin – wrap-around-the-building-long) lines for Franklin’s, decided to make good on his offer and have his friends over for dinner. To his credit, the BBQ was good, but the company — even better. And his wife’s chocolate ice-cream cake sent me over. Those people know how to host and their generosity and kindness toward their friends do not go unnoticed.


2. H-Town Visit. My sweet cousin, who is close to my age, recently had a baby girl. My sis, mother, and I drove down to Houston to see her new house, new baby, and visit with her family. First of all, admittedly, it felt strange to see my baby cousin (who I remember seeing as a new-born), holding one of her own, but of course it looked natural. She is going to be an amazing mother — IS an amazing mother. Her home was absolutely stunning, and her and my aunt had set out a nice spread for lunch of croissants, chicken salad, fruits and vegetables. It was just so great to visit with them and hold her sweet newborn. We absolutely fell in love!

3. Pool-Time.  What would Fourth-of-July weekend be without a little pool or lake-time? In ‘Murica, it wouldn’t be. So I dipped my tuchas in the pool more than a few times this weekend, and it felt divine. Actually, it felt a bit like warm-bath water — the Texas sun is brutal, but it felt better than dry-land. Happy Fourth, readers!!

4. Invisibilia.  It’s clear I’ve done my fair share of fan-girling on Lea Thau and her podcast, Strangers, so I decided to branch out and try some other podcasts while on my runs (alright, I finally ran through all Strangers episodes). One of the new ones I discovered is called Invisibilia, which is Latin for all the invisible forces that help shape our lives. The particular podcast I listened to was about fear. They interviewed (though not directly, she is highly protected), a woman who has every emotion in the spectrum, with exception to only one – you got it, fear. That part of her brain had been completely calcified. It was interesting, because what was found was that we often think fear can be a survivalist emotion, as it triggers our brain into telling us to get out of dangerous situations, but what she uses is… dun, dun, dun LOGIC. We don’t need fear. Yes, she has probably gotten herself into more sticky situations than people with fear, but she doesn’t actually feel the trauma from those experiences because fear doesn’t even register in her brain. So it begs the question — is it better to feel fear and stay out of those sticky situations, risking feeling the trauma after them? Or is it better to not feel fear, get into more sticky situations, but not register the fear at all? Something to think about for sure. At the end of the podcast, they left the audience with a simple (perhaps oversimplified) formula to help us with fear. Thinking + Time = Fear. Thoughts?




my running doppelgänger

my running doppelgänger

5. Mind Games.  Speaking of podcasts — I also started listening to This American Life and the episode I recently listened to was about mind-games. It was really scintillating (that word is truly awful, isn’t it?). Anyway, just a quick, funny story of coincidence (or not?) — The episode featured a guy who started a prank-troupe, only they didn’t so much like to say they pranked because that would imply setting people up to feel duped or foolish. Instead, they prided themselves on somehow making people’s lives more interesting or exciting by putting them in outrageous situations. To sum up the experiences – most of these situations just made people sit-back, laugh, and exclaim, “Ha! What the heck is going on!?”  What’s crazy, is that while I’m listening to this podcast, a woman steps out in the EXACT same outfit as me. I mean exact. Same pink Nike shorts. Same black Nike tennis shoes, same black tank-top with a black sports bra, and hair up in a pony-tail. Despite her having a blonde pony-tail as opposed to my brunette pony-tail, I had met my running doppelgänger. Only, she wasn’t running, just speed-walking, but I became so paranoid of her freaking out (I was listening to too much of that Mind-Game podcast), I slowed down to even our pace. Ha! I’m such a freak, but I couldn’t help but think… had I, too, been set up by this prankster?

6. Sick Saturday.  So yeah —  it was a sick Saturday in the not so stellar way. I went on a run, then for a swim, and then grew violently ill after sitting down on my couch. I didn’t feel any signs coming on, didn’t feel overheated, but suddenly I was praying to the porcelain gods, so much so that I became disoriented and weak, and all I could do was pray I’d make it to my bed. This was at about 4:30 in the afternoon. When I awoke, I expected it to be, at the most, a couple hours later. Nope. It was 11:30 at night. I felt so bad, and it scared me that it happened when I was all alone. I was so lucky that it wasn’t worse — but my positive take-way was more than that; I woke up to a billion texts (I’m a free hyperbolizer) from friends and family alike. Even though it was too late to text anyone back, it felt so good to know I had people out there that care.

7. Lessons in Reaching Out.  Sunday, I was really looking forward to meeting someone who reached out because I would finally get some resolution and peace after a stint in limbo-land in our friendship and because I honestly was just looking forward to the always good company no matter the result. I won’t dwell on why that meeting didn’t actually happen or how badly it made me feel because this isn’t the place I allow myself to not appreciate what I have and what’s been given to me as a result. What’s been given to me (among other things, I’ll mention soon enough) is the reminder that it’s so important to follow your instinct to reach out to others. On a day where I felt lonely and like no one cared, an old friend whom I hadn’t heard from in a really long time, reached out to tell me how much he liked and could relate to things in my blog. It meant so much to me and lifted me out of my stupor. If you are reading this, friend, thank you. Thank you for saving me from the hapless, unproductive depths of “no one cares about me.” You never know when a person might need it, so we should all do it more often. One person may not have the capacity to truly see me and care for me, but that doesn’t mean no one cares. It’s easy when heartbreak or disappointment happens to feel sorry for oneself and fall down the rabbit hole of feeling unlovable, but I won’t continue down that hole. Instead, I’m picking up my head, digging a ladder out, and rising above. I’ll only keep people in my life who value my time, honor my feelings, and act on their words.

I hope to inspire you to reflect on all you have to be grateful & that your week brings you even more positivity + balance + bliss!  Feel free to share your seven with me as well / or even just a couple!

Have a wonderful week!



Author: lauren

author of // key + arrow // a life + style blog aiming to inspire readers to make the most of what they have today without compromising quality or settling for less than desired {all the while convincing herself} // {austin, tx}

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