Monday, January 6, 2014

The Price of Intensity: $65

The first tenet of intentional living, as outlined in Life is a Verb, is intensity.  Intensity of living means saying "Yes" more often, making decisions that make you happy even if they aren't practical, reserving judgment and exercising curiosity, and celebrating even the tiniest things that you bring you bliss.

I'm getting better at this. Hopefully it shows in my daily reflections. But tonight, my conscious decisions to live intensely came at a price.

Before I delve into the explanation, let me start by saying that I wish I had a T-chart to help me explain how decisions to live intensely impacted my day. Maybe it's a teacher thing, but I like to categorize information with graphic organizers. So please, imagine that I'm describing to you one giant T-chart on a whiteboard and talking you through my day. It goes like this: the left column is titled All the Awesome Things I Got To Do Today and the right column is All the Awesome Things I Didn't Get To Do Today. I'm standing in front of the chart and talking with my hands. A lot. You're probably mocking me for it right now. It's okay. I have a healthy sense of humor.

Today, (these notes go on the left side of your chart), I did a lot of awesome things.

I did manage to wake up early enough to make those whole wheat chocolate chip pancakes I mentioned yesterday. I didn't realize we were out of chocolate chips, but I was able to substitute some leftover Christmas baking M&Ms.  It was a great way to put smiles on all our faces, just like I had hoped!

Once those pancakes settled, I changed into my new workout gear (odd juxtaposition, I know...but hey, they were healthy-ish pancakes!) and headed over to Tone It Up for the Monday workout. I also printed their Love Your Body calendar for my journal, though I didn't wear red lipstick today. Maybe tomorrow!

(Shout out to BFF Rachel, my resident fitness motivator, for introducing me to Tone It Up...I hear they have a television show too, but I don't know if I get Bravo, so I haven't seen it yet.) It was a pretty awesome workout and Bella had fun too. Her favorite part was stealing my bright pink Under Armour socks.

It's like living with Swiper. 

Next on our Awesome List (we are still in the left column), we spent some time in the kitchen. Bella loves to cook with me, so much that she asked all five Santas she saw this year (while noting beard color and length variations) for an Easy Bake Oven and he (they?) delivered! Today, we baked pink sugar "cookies" and topped them with "lemon frosting." Then, we used our daily birthday candle to celebrate her favorite re-discovered toy: her camera! 

I know, the "cookies" look gross. Hence the quotes. But hey, I mean, we baked them with a light bulb. 

Now, it's time to shift gears to the right side of the chart: All the Awesome Things I Didn't Get To Do Today. Cue ominous music and jeers from the audience. And go find the checkbook. 

After dinner, I was trying to think of something Really Fun to do. I mean, like super, lasting-childhood-memories-fun, worthy of being capitalized. Bella had been gazing longingly at the snow all day and I had tried my best to explain that when the air temperature is -4 and the windchill is -25, we really shouldn't go make snowballs. But what could we do that would celebrate the amazing cold without hospitalizing us all for frostbite and hypothermia? So I Googled it: "Fun things to do in sub-zero temperatures."

I got some ideas. Two were executed and go on the left side of the chart: blow bubbles and watch them freeze (cool) and freeze colored water inside balloons (should look cool tomorrow when we pop them). 

And then. 

"Hey, Adam. Will you come outside and take some pictures of us? I'm going to get over my apprehension that I will probably burn off most of my skin and actually go throw boiling water in the air to make a snow cloud for Bella!"

"Hey, Bella. Let's put on your boots and coat!"

Armed with boots and leggings (not even real pants, that's foreshadowing), two oven mitts, and one steaming tea kettle full of boiling water, I led my little family (dog included) out to the back deck for what should have been a minute of exposure to the elements, tops. Remember, the goal was Really Fun. Intensity of living. I have to go back to work tomorrow, so let's go out with a bang!

The bang was the door to the garage closing and locking our butts outside. 

The kettle was abandoned as we raced to each of the (five total) doors of the house and found each locked. Windows, locked. Garage door impossible to raise from the outside. No key hidden. No keypad on the garage. No cell phones. No cars in the driveway. Windchill in the negative teens, at least. It was a scary few minutes and, I'm not gonna lie, we panicked a little. 

Thank goodness for good neighbors with phones and phonebooks. And locksmiths. 

My goal of living with intensity earned a locksmith $65 tonight. And it made sure that we won't forget the time Mama wanted to make snow.

So, put "Throwing boiling water in the air when it's below zero outside" on the right side, the list of Awesome Things I Didn't Get to Do Today. Bummer.


Flip the page. New heading: Things to Look Forward To. "Throwing boiling water in the air when it's below zero outside." See what I did there? That's living with intensity. 

How can you bring more intensity to your life? And more importantly, what epic stories will you have to tell about it later?

Live on. 


  1. Girl you are rocking it! I have to say that your locked out story caused me to chuckle a little because it is something that would have happened to me. It will be a great story.

    1. I'm glad you chuckled because I have told that story a gazillion times today and laughed harder at each re-telling! It's so funny now! I'm glad I'm not the only one!