Creating a vintage day.

Creating a vintage day. | JunqueRethunque.com

If you’re keeping up with my “vintage, repurposed life” theme (don’t feel bad if you’re not – it’s haphazard at best!!) you know I like to think of living a vintage life as more than wearing cat-eye glasses and decorating my home like a mid-century museum.

For me, living a vintage life means living each day as intentionally as I can – making it the best day it can be, despite circumstances. Sometimes, a curve ball comes along that makes it impossible to have a spectacular day, but even in the challenging moments, I try to step back and consider how my attitude and actions can make the situation better or at least prevent a total loss.

It doesn’t take a huge investment of time or money to start creating some habits that can help you feel more centered. I’m going to try to incorporate some simple steps into my days and weeks this year, and thought I’d share my favorites with you in case you’re looking for a few ideas.

Make time to meditate.

You may call it a morning devotional or prayer time, but it all gets the same result – pulling us toward the spiritual center that keeps us focused on the truly important things in our lives. When I spend a few minutes alone in the morning letting my brain and soul be quiet, I feel more relaxed and able to face a day full of people and tasks pulling on me in every direction. Seriously, five minutes a day will do. During that time, I let my thoughts go deep and wide. Sometimes I just have a quiet few minutes, and other times I find some amazing clarity about big decisions that I need to make and receive some of my best creative ideas.

If you need help quieting your mind, there’s a great app called Headspace that I have enjoyed using. The first ten sessions are free!

Coffee and creating time.

I have become a big fan of podcasts in the last few months, and one I listened to recently featured a guest who was talking about setting aside time for herself before anything else could have her. She drinks her coffee and knits in the morning, and even her kids know that if mom’s knitting, she’s not available yet. My son is my first priority, since I get up and get him ready and off to school each weekday, but I think the idea of doing something creative that coincides with a bit of good coffee is a great idea. I’m hoping to spend 30 minutes or so each morning doodling and caffeinating.

Ride my bike.

One of the only new things I bought during 2015, my Secondhand Year, was a nice road bike. I did get quite a few rides in during the first part of the school year, but then some things kind of spun out of my control and I haven’t gotten in the saddle for over a month. Ugh. I do love riding, and how good it feels to put miles under me and know that I am doing something to improve my health. I just turned fifty (50!!!!) and am trying to stave off the old body creaks and groans. The great thing about riding (or walking, running, etc.) is that you don’t have to do it every day. When I ride, it generally takes about 1.5 hours to get dressed, get to the trail, ride, get back, shower… so I would feel like I can’t spend that much time out of the seven I have to get work done each day.

One of the things I like about riding is tracking it with my Strava app on my iPhone. It tells me how far I rode, how fast, and what kind of elevation I tackled. You can also connect with friends who use the app and get updates on their activity – and they’ll see yours – and be a cheerleader for each other. Accountability is super-important for me. There are a few other apps out there, so take a look at what they offer to decide which one you like best.

Put away my social media.

Y’all, this one is H. A. R. D. I have been on Facebook since 2008, and have set up social media accounts for clients and employers during that time. I am not necessarily an “early adopter”, but I definitely like to try out the new things. But lately, I have found myself resisting that urge and wanting to hold paper and pens in my hands instead. I turned social media notifications off ages and ages ago. Last year I decided I was going to read 17 books from January to December, and I only read five. But that means I did read five, which is the same number I (almost) completed the year before. We spend less and less time in front of the television, but now I have to pick up a book instead of my phone during down time.

Friend me on Goodreads to keep in touch with what I’m reading and hold my feet to the fire if I need it.

Family time on the calendar.

Last summer we started hosting game nights at our house with a few friends. I have a great community of girlfriends but my husband and I don’t have (or didn’t have) any couple-friends. At times I have griped about not being invited out or over by friends, but then I wondered how easy is it would be to just do it myself? Obviously, pretty easy. But we have to PUT IT ON THE CALENDAR. It’s too easy to let entire days or weekends pass living in the same house but not really spending quality time together, so we have to make it happen on purpose.

I also need to make time on the calendar for date nights with my husband. He also has a bike, and we like to get out in the woods (but we don’t often), so we need to utilize the amazing outdoor opportunities we have in Northwest Arkansas and spend some time together.

Make better food choices.

I feel like I eat pretty healthy, but my weight tells me otherwise. Especially since I am now “a woman in her fifties”, my health becomes even more important as I look forward and want to be around for my kids and grandkids for quite a while longer. So this week, I have started keeping water next to me at all times, and have been eating salads once a day – either for lunch or dinner or at least with a meal. I already avoid processed foods pretty successfully, but we have been eating out too often. I’m no good at meal plans, but I can run to the store every couple of days and get stuff for a couple of meals. I’ve also been eating a small breakfast each day, and trying to have healthy snack options around.

So, there you go. Those are the things that I feel will make the most difference for me this year and help me live a vintage life. Do you have any things on your personal to-do list that you’d like to share? I’d love to read about them in the comments!

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