Recently, someone asked me a question that stumped me for a minute.
“What inspires you?”
My mind actually went blank and I didn’t have a quick answer. Because honestly, lately, I haven’t been giving a lot of thought to being inspired.
Most of the time, I’m so busy crossing things off my to-do list and then trying to find a few moments in between to just be mindful about how I spend my time, that I don’t really think about the things that inspire me.
And after giving that some thought, I realized that not only did I struggle to quickly list the things that inspire me, I also don’t make enough time to seek out what inspires me.
That bothers me.
I think inspiration is everywhere, if we look for it. Taking time to look for the things that inspire you and resonate is another way to practice mindfulness and gratitude.
So in addition to documenting things that I’m grateful for, I decided to start taking note of all the things that inspire me, and documenting it on a regular basis.
Yeah. It sounds corny. But if we aren’t appreciating the things that move us on a deeper level, then what is the point of all of this, anyway?
So I made a quick list of things I love.
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Things That Inspire Me Now
My Daughter’s Art
I don’t think anything has brought me as much joy and inspiration as my daughter’s artwork.
Children’s art is my favorite because it’s so expressive and honest. It actually inspires me to follow and pursue my own creativity, which has been stuffed and repressed for years. Because, you know, we’re told we aren’t good at art, we can’t make a living with art, pursuing art isn’t practical.
I wholeheartedly disagree with that sentiment, by the way. So I encourage my daughter to pursue her art on a daily basis.[mailerlite_form form_id=9]
I love music so much. But you know what’s weird? I have the hardest time remembering the artists of songs. And I don’t follow particular bands or singers. I just go with whatever is on the radio or the music channel.
I grew up with music in the background of my entire life. My parents were constantly playing records and the radio.
I was a kid, I would take my little boom box and jump on the trampoline for hours while listening to top billboard hits on the radio (or the mixed tapes I had made.)
I remember One Night in Bangkok as one of my childhood faves. Couldn’t get enough. Such a weird and haunting song.cI probably listened to Steppin’ Out by Joe Jackon a million times. And can we please take a minute for Under Pressure?
I could write an entire post and list 100 songs about the music that moves me. So music, in general, is at the top of the inspo list.
I’m not talking about the hottest fashion trends. I’ve never been on point when it comes to being fashion forward. I’m sometimes a little late to the game.
We aren’t going to talk about how long it took me to accept that skinny jeans were back.
No, I’m talking about using fashion to really explore and express who you are.
I’m talking about wearing whatever you want as a statement, regardless of what people say you should be wearing.
For example, on Pinterest I’ve seen some headlines like “What to Wear in Midlife.”
Or, “Things You Shouldn’t be Wearing in your 40’s.”
No no. NO.
I’m forty-six and I’ll decide what I wear and how I wear it. I’ve a good part of my life second-guessing myself and playing it safe. Just wearing what I think would be deemed “okay and acceptable” by others.
But no more of that nonsense. I’m incredibly inspired by the instagrams of midlife fashion bloggers who are rocking it.
That’s how I want to start showing up in life: by wearing my joy.
I love how photography can capture a breathtaking scene, or a heartfelt moment.
It’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words. Whether it’s my story or your story, or the story of a complete stranger.
My Grandmother’s Work
As a widowed, single mom of three, my grandmother worked for Halliburton for a brief time in the 50’s.
She worked as a Jr. Draftsman and whenever she talked to me about it, I felt a sense of wistfulness that she wasn’t able to continue her career there due to family obligations.
One day, while we were talking, she pulled out this worn, folded and slightly yellowed paper. She unfolded it to reveal this work she did as a draftsman.
It’s a detailed blueprint of a wireline bridge plug. It shows in detail every piece that was used to manufacture the bridge plug. It appeared in training manuals that were used to show how the plugs were built and set in the well.
I was fascinated by both the piece and that she did this beautiful work. So as a surprise, I had it matted and framed for her. She was so proud of it. And I’m proud of her.
The ocean is my jam. But I love the serenity of water anywhere, really.
Waterfalls, lakes and even rivers mesmerize me and give me a sense of calm.
I can’t say I have a favorite season. But Fall might be the most inspiring season, in my opinion.
It’s something about the refreshing feeling and the crisp, clean air and beautiful colors.
I think part of it is that I associate fall with football season and happy memories of childhood.
But I also associate the Fall season with beauty. It’s a time of new beginnings with back to school, easing out of summer, and heading into the holidays.
I could get lost in blogs for days.
In fact, I have been obsessed with blogs since The Pioneer Woman threw her first steak in a cast iron skillet.
The idea that we can share our thoughts, expertise and just use our voice on the internet is still amazing to me.
I’m all about expressing yourself creatively and why I am finally allowing myself to jump into blogging now in midlife.
I just love the process of creating content and sharing it. Even if only my only reader is my sister and only because I ask her to.
Now that I’m navigating midlife and making more positive changes for growth, I’m noticing more and more midlife women who inspire me.
These midlife women are seeing stepping out into who they are and breaking out of the limiting roles and expectations society puts on us.
I especially love the Inta accounts of the midlife fashion bloggers. Go search #midlifefashionista, #midlifefashion or just search “midlife” and you will have plenty if insta inspo!
Just a Few More…
Acts of kindness.
A bold red wine.
Exploring the bookstore with a hot latte, and making note of all the titles I would love to read.
The sound of birds singing in the morning. Especially in the early spring after a long winter.
The sound of the wind rustling the cottonwood leaves at my parents house.
Yoga. But not until I actually get there. I resist going, but go because I know when I get to the savasana I’ll be so grateful that I went.
Savasana is the best and helps me to release a lot of anxiety.
What Inspires You?
Inspiration is different for everyone. And it’s important to take note and look for the inspirational things in our lives. Because like I said, it’s a part of gratitude.
How to Get Inspired
If you’re having trouble getting inspired, try these tips.
Think back to childhood. What did you love doing? What were you curious about? Try to recall – what were the questions you asked all the time?
Find a mentor. Go to the bookstore and see what titles move you. Find a podcast and pick a few that seem like they could inspire you in a creative way.
Color. Get an adult coloring book, a kid’s coloring book, or just google “free coloring sheets” and download a few free versions.
Start journaling. Just your thoughts and feelings in a stream of conscious style. No judging. No editing. Just write and see what comes up.
Get out into nature. Take a walk. Go for a hike. Sit under a tree. Just getting out into the sunshine (or rain) and fresh air can activate your inspiration.
Now Go Get Inspired
Create your own list of what inspires you and make sure you are seeking out daily inspiration in your life!
PS – Need a Reboot? Sign up for our free, simple, 5 Day Challenge to recharge your focus and your life.[mailerlite_form form_id=9]