Taking Advantage of Silence

I spent about four hours total in the car yesterday.

I drove my uncle to the airport, and let’s just say that I was {safely!} able to eat my lunch while sitting in traffic on the way back. Driving to the airport = 1 hour. Driving from airport to internship = 2 hours.

DSC_1471

packed this avocado, double egg, sriracha sandwich to go + salad in a tupperware

Then I drove home at rush hour = 1 hour. While no one is a fan of traffic, I actually strangely enjoyed the alone time. Who gets 4 hours of alone time these days when you really can’t do anything but sit with your thoughts?

As much as I want to blast music the whole time when I’m in the car (especially when THIS Tori Kelly song just comes out!!!), I think it’s important to take advantage of silence. Time to listen to your thoughts in our busy society is sort of a privilege, don’t you think?

I like to talk out loud, even when I’m by myself (hence vlogging), so I’ve been into talking to God as if I’m having a conversation with a good friend. That may sound weird, I get it, but He lends a great ear 🙂 Doing so allows me to sort out any of my anxieties, joys, fears, excitements, questions, or frustrations with the driver who just cut me off.

If you have some time for silence, whether that be in the car or in the morning, make it your own.

  • Make a single mini goal for the day.
  • Reflect on a quote or inspirational story/blog post you read recently. How can you implement the lessons/ideas in your own life?
  • List the things for which you are grateful.
  • Choose one person you love, who you might be a little frustrated with at the time, and think about the qualities you love in him/her and the good memories you’ve had with that person.
  • Crank out some new ideas for your home, cooking, blog, etc.
  • Think about people who you haven’t talked to in a while.
  • Pick one thing that you need to improve (for me— punctuality) and analyze ways in which you can go about improving.

…and the list goes on. It’s incredibly easy to default to noise, because silence can be boring and uncomfortable when our minds know that there are so many things we could be doing. Trust me, I still itch to turn on the radio. But consciously taking advantage of silence can make a positive difference in your day. It certainly has for me!

___________

Other notes for the day:

The fish bone ordeal is somewhat under control, I think. My eustachian tube is definitely still feeling wonky and like there’s something around that area, but nothing hurts much at all anymore. I don’t think there’s a little fish bone hangin’ out either. I’m just going to wait it out and see if the discomfort disappears.

Speaking of fish, I made tuna cakes last night, which very much embodied the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

DSC_1473

tuna “cakes”…

These were tasty though!

Ingredients: Canned tuna, onions, garlic, a little bit of leftover brown rice, cilantro, paprika, cumin, mustard, black pepper, Greek yogurt, lime juice and zest, honey, and a couple eggs.

Directions and measurements: Throw some amount of everything into a bowl. Form into patties and pan fry. Hope for the best.

The first few were more like tuna hashes, but the last batches turned out a little prettier.

DSC_1475

As pretty as tuna cakes can get, that is.

And lastly, I ate a good ol’ favorite last night!

DSC_1480

Dried figs and Greek yogurt! If you’ve been reading for a while, you might remember how often I used to eat this pair. Like, obsessively.

Alrighty, it is past my bedtime as I type this. I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday! Embrace the silence.

So tell me:

If you have a long commute, how do you fill the time?

What do you do/would you do with a little bit of silence in your day?

What did you eat for dinner last night?

I Need to Focus + Energy Balls Recipe

Thinking-Out-Loud

Pretty sure Amanda came up with thinking out loud before Ed Sheeran

1) I’m so glad you all enjoyed yesterday’s vlog! Your comments totally made my day. Thank you! The terms “cute” and “adorable” were big themes in the comments though…

44a26c474859197a3f1d32ef069c585f

[source]

This photo is the story of my life. #ForeverYeungYoung

2) Shoutout to my friend Fiona for reminding me to change my age in my side bio. In the meantime, I also edited my About page and Blogroll. Check it!

3) I made balls yesterday! (<— balls jokes won’t get old.) They’re stereotypical energy balls, and they count as a recipe towards my summer bucket list! It’s kind of a cop-out, since this recipe didn’t take much thought or effort, but I’ll count it for now until my creative juices start flowing.

DSC_1386

Into a food processor:

  • 1+1/3 c. quick oats
  • 1.5 c. roughly chopped dried figs
  • 1/4 c. peanut butter (any nut butter will work!)
  • 2 scoops (1/3-1/2 c.) vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/3 c. almond milk (just enough to get the mixture to bind)

Pulse until the ingredients are well combined and wet enough to bind. Wet your hands with water and roll into 1.5 tbsp-sized balls. Makes ~20!

DSC_1388

Confession: I did not measure most of the ingredients. Those are just estimates. Luckily, recipes like these are very customizable and flexible!

4) I need to focus. I get way too distracted with technology and social media these days, and it eats up a lot of my time. I accomplish the tasks that need to be done, but I still find myself scrambling because I spent just a little too much time reading blogs or watching Youtube videos.

5) New goal (please keep me accountable): No casual perusing on social media/technology after I get home from my internship (anywhere from 5-6pm). If I go on to blog or do something with a specific goal, that’s cool, but otherwise I will spend my time reading or doing something productive around the house. This will hopefully help me get into bed earlier and feel more relaxed at night!

6) I also need to read more books— read things that are not pixelated. Basically, I need to be my own parent this summer: “No technology close to bedtime. Eat more to grow bigger. Do your reading.”

7) I liked this song when I heard it on the radio, but once I found out that it was a tribute to Paul Walker, I loved it.

Paul Walker was (and still is) my biggest celeb crush. What a beautiful man.

paul-walker

[source]

8) I am enjoying my physical therapy internship more and more every day. I’m learning bucketloads of information and practices on how to take care of the human body through movement. The best part is the people though. I love the interpersonal patient interactions and the one-on-one environment of this particular outpatient clinic. Can I just stay at my internship and not go to college?

…LOL. Dreaming.

9) If you ever make Gina’s cookie dough cereal (which you should, it’s delicious), make it with at least 1.5 tablespoons of nut butter. If not, two tablespoons. You won’t regret it.

DSC_1385

10) Happy birthday to the humblest, gentlest, grooviest, most hardworking and pious man I know— Pop! I love you ♥

DSC_0747

That’s it for today, friends! Hope you have a fantastic day. Eat more nut butter and unplug a little bit.

So tell me:

Who is your biggest celebrity crush?

Are you called cute often? Or another adjective?

Do you ever have trouble “unplugging”? 

Increasing Thankfulness for Family

Parent: “Hey, Alison! How was your day?”  {Good! *Move on to more work*}

Parent: “Do you need me to help you with anything?” {No, I’m fine, thanks. *Kinda wish to be left alone*}

Maybe it’s just because I’m a teenager (the age-old excuse), but I find myself subtly brushing off my parents at times. Perhaps I’m engaged in homework or blogging, or perhaps I’m tired from a long day. Whatever the case, day after day, my mom and dad (and brother) offer nothing but assistance, warmth, care, and concern, even if I give nothing but a short greeting in return. It’s easy to take advantage of family since they are with you 24/7. It’s even easier to take advantage of having a loving family at all.

f5b3819a0d1cbb2019218a3420f34b04

[source]

Right in my community, among my friends, among my relatives even, there are broken families. The close bond that exists among the members of dance company has allowed me to see the not-so-sparkly realities of the families of some of my closest friends. Reading my peers’ college essays and discovering their raw, personal stories has also been an eye-opener.

There is separation. Ignorance. Fear. Cruel words. Betrayal.

None of these things should ever be associated with family, but for some unfortunately, they are. God has been so gracious as to give me a family that is joyful, helpful, loving, and faithful. I realize that the things about my family that can annoy me on my irritable days–their extra cheeriness, their desire to converse with me, their extra hugs and kisses–are the exact things for which other people yearn. Some people can’t relate to phrases such as “like a mother’s touch” or “father-son bonding time,” and it breaks my heart. It’s upsetting, but without the reminder that a loving family is not a given, I would be caught up in the bubble of what I’ve always known.

3f39b45945d9116c8ed31f0f6bc81224

[source]

I believe that there are little things that can make the most profound changes in family relationships. Some simple ways to help slow down your time with family:

  • Sitting down to eat dinner with them
  • Saying good night
  • Big hugs
  • Family walks
  • Talking about your day with them
  • Doing something kind and unexpected for them, even if they never end up noticing
  • Saying please and thank you
  • Smiling to one another and making eye contact

d1f401482310574c2cb1d1e81989e4d6

[source]

And let us end this with a prayer 🙂

Help me, Lord, to be more patient with my family. To embrace even the most insignificant moments with them. To serve them and let them know that I love them. Amen.

So tell me: Just share any thoughts you have!