This week I have been feeling AMAZING.
With all the energy I’ve had, the organization I’ve done, the creativity and inspiration I’ve felt, the delicious food I’ve prepared, the hairstyles I’ve braided, and the sheer amount of things I’ve gotten FINISHED… this week, I actually feel like MYSELF.
Pause. Realize how grateful I am. Keep going.
Let’s give a low-down on how wonderful this day has been so far.
Starting with breakfast, I woke up leisurely without any alarm– only my puppy whining at me to get up already. Not ideal, but I’ll take it!
I had the thought last night that I wanted to enjoy more of my meals outside on my balcony, now that I have the furniture prepared for use. So this morning I took my bowl of cereal (lame, I know) out to enjoy the breeze.
I can’t tell you how much being outside improves my entire day!
After breakfast, I took Leben down to the nature trail that runs through our property and we biked/ran about three miles together. This is the first time I have biked that trail, and I really enjoyed it! The woods are beautiful, and the trail isn’t too rocky.
These days it’s been difficult to achieve that tired (read: happy) puppy situation, because it’s just too hot outside. Even in the early morning, it’s hard for Leben to get enough exercise before getting tired of the heat.
Biking is something that gets his energy out quickly enough that we can beat the heat! Yay!
If he would actually swim (instead of just wading and splashing), that would be the perfect summer exercise. Oh, and if there was actually water anywhere in Austin. All the creeks are now bone-dry. Hooray for drought.
I came upstairs with tired muscles, breathing heavy. Sometimes I just love the way that feels.
Then came bath time… for Leben, of course! I’d been meaning to give him a good wash for days now, and I finally decided that today was the day. Having a clean dog always makes me happy, because I just can’t stop petting his soft coat!
To dry off, I walked Leben up to the mail center to mail some letters. Nothing is quite so lovely as seeing a hand-written letter fall into the mail slot, happily on its way to bring a smile to someone’s face.
I decided that today would be a fantastic day to go table-hunting. It’s the very last item on my furniture wishlist for the apartment, and after two weeks of searching I had had no luck.
Today, I had the BEST luck!
In the very first thrift store I entered (props to Salvation Army Family Store on Research Blvd), I immediately found JUST the table I had been searching for! Small, wood, nice finish. It was perfect.
Plus, the store was clean, bright, organized, and not cluttered. What a breath of fresh air when it comes to thrift stores!
The fantastic woman working there also gave me a GREAT deal on the table and was so incredibly sweet to me. Nice people make the world go round.
She also gave me a tip about another thrift store I had been meaning to visit this morning– she let me know that their location had recently changed. Meaning that I would no longer have to drive twenty extra minutes south of downtown to reach it. YES.
Even though I had already found what I was looking for, I decided to give the new place a try.
Boy, am I glad I did!
Vinny’s (St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store on W Braker Ln) just became my favorite thrift store in all of Austin.
This place is full of furniture, clothes, unique novelty items, and even has a significant craft/office section which I’m hoping can help replace the void left by Scrap in Denton.
What made the store so remarkable were the amazing items I happened upon! First, within the first five minutes of wandering, I came upon a BRAND NEW, never opened, gasp-worthy game of Settlers of Catan…. get this…. for $4.50.
FOUR DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS ARE YOU MAD?!??!
Considering that game retails for almost $50, and considering that you never find something THAT good in a thrift store, like, EVER, I held that thing tight to my chest the entire time I was in the store.
Then, the real tears came to my eyes when I approached the books section.
When I search for books at a thrift store, I’m not ever looking for reading material. The books you find there are always blah, commonplace, low-quality writing. What I go hunting for is crafting material.
I usually search for beautiful old hardcovers covered with fabric that I can repurpose into junk journals, or large coffee-table books with beautiful photographs I can use for collaging.
Today I hit the jackpot.
This store had an entire three shelves of beautiful leather-bound, handpainted paper, foreign-language tomes that were PERFECT for junk journaling– and, to top all else, they were each TWO DOLLARS.
Take a moment to understand that buying vintage, beautiful, gold-lettered, leather-bound hardcovers at a used book store will run you at least $15 a pop, $35 if the book is in a recognizable language.
I snatched up more than a handful of these babies, tears in my eyes, ideas already forming about what beautiful crafting I was about to get up to.
Just call me the queen of thrifting.
Checking out at Vinny’s, I also had the joyful experience of meeting a new friend!!
The cashier and I exclaimed together over the Settlers of Catan find, and then out of the blue she invited me to her weekly board game hangout with her friends. She wrote down her name and number and insisted that I text her next week and join them.
I’ve talked before about the rarity of finding friends that reach out to YOU and not the other way around. I’ve mentioned often feeling that if I didn’t put in the effort to keep up my friendships, very few would exist because we just would never see each other or talk to each other again.
That being said, it is such a joy and such a surprise to be APPROACHED for friendship. I was shocked, and so excited!
I’m so used to “going out and making friends” in a new place– in a concentrated burst of social effort, I talk to and set up coffee dates with as many new people as I can and force myself to go to random local events deliberately to mingle in the hopes of finding a kindred spirit.
I had literally just mentioned the night before that I was a little sad I hadn’t yet made friends in Austin. Being so busy with work and moving, I didn’t really have the energy to “go out and make friends” like I knew I needed to.
I just know that somebody is looking out for me right now, and I am so thankful. Even if this random board game meetup doesn’t go further than that, I am so excited for the chance!
Finally, after loading up the car with my treasures, I stopped by the Chinese restaurant next door for some lunch. Rice Bowl Cafe, thank you SO MUCH for an absolutely delightful meal.
Every bite was surprisingly divine, and the vegetarian options were plentiful. I just about licked my plate of sesame tofu clean. Thank God for Asian food!!
Plus, I now have two servings in my fridge for leftovers! Score!
The fortune in my fortune cookie was also so on-point I just had to laugh: “Impossible standards just make life difficult.”
Do you ever feel like fortune cookies see into your soul? Because I do. All the time.
I came home and promptly took a blissful two-hour nap on the couch.
I put the table together, played some fetch, and made myself some zucchini potato pancakes.
And here we are.
There is a very good reason for documenting your good days, no matter how mundane or normal they may seem. It’s important to be in the moment, to be grateful, and to give these days prominent importance in your life– that way, they have even more power to balance out the not-so-good days.
And, when one of those bad days comes around, it can be a really sobering reminder to go back and read a blog post or journal entry like today’s and realize that– truly– not every day has been bad.
There have been really good days, and there will continue to be really good days.
For whatever reason, some fresh air, white rice, old books, and friendly people are the ingredients for my perfect day off. It really is the little things.
I am so grateful for today… and the day’s not even over yet!
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” ― Rumi