*8Things: Fill-'er-Up

*8Things iconTwo trips to Spain and a few days into June, and I still feel depleted. Is that even possible? I mean, isn’t it Spring — nearly Summer? Shouldn’t I be feeling a bit more shored-up, a little more filled-up new life and rebirth and all that good seasonal stuff?

There are several things that are contributing this general feeling of being on “EMPTY.” Part of it is a string of family illnesses, topped off with a few days of killer migraine. Part of it is that the sun is still only making rare appearances. (I’ve yet to make it all the way through the day in short sleeves.) Part of is just the constant low-grade wear and tear of life as an ex-pat. And part of it is that I’m doing a lot of on-line care-giving without filling back up.

I know. When will I ever learn?

So in an effort to keep this “EMPTY” thing from being chronic, here is a list of *8Things I can do that I know will fill me back up.

The Fill-‘er-Up List

1. Time Outdoors. Right now my favorite version of this is an hour in the morning on my teeny-tiny bedroom balcony. It’s too small for a bistro table-and-chair. So I just pull a blanket out there and read in the daylight with the dog.

2. Beautiful Things. A trip out to the Louisiana Modern Art Museum would be a good idea. As would spending more time in the demonstration garden at the university down the street. (There are ducklings!)

3. Bathing in Poetry. Some musicians wash over me like warm water. I’ve been so into work lately that all I’ve had in my earbuds are how-to books. Mumford and Sons is working for me right now, but most of my favorite musical poets are more Winter music, if you know what I mean. I need a couple more musical sources that are all poetry and ripe for the Summer.

4. Eat Outdoors. The sun hits the blacony on the other side of our flat just in time for dinner. Often we are so tired we think it will be easier just to eat indoors. But really, it’s just as simple to carry our plates out into the sunshine.

5. Novels and Such. I need books that have nothing to do with work. Right now I’m reading The Book of Air and Shadows which is a great, mysterious Summer read. I’m also doing How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum as the read-a-long at Flock. It’s a lot of joyful fun!

6. Boundaries. No working on Sundays. Less time on line. More time unplugged. Certain things need to firm up around here!

7. Knitting. It’s odd to be knitting in the warm weather, but these long light evenings make me want to be industrious between dinner and bed. I’m making beautiful wraps for two ladies I love. I’m on my second version of Azzu’s Shawl, and with the kind help of Abby from Life at the Poles, I’m working on the  Maja as well. It’s so soothing, and seeing evidence of clear-and-obvious progress helps me out a lot.

8. Water. Drinking it. Swimming in it. Sitting by it. Water is so bedrock to me right now. (Can you mix that metaphor?) I had to step away from the pool this week in order to let my sinuses heal, and it’s really making me edgy. Hopefully I can get back in there next week.

*8Things iconWhat feeds you body and soul these days? What do you need to keep the needle off the big “E”?  Give us your *8Things: Fill-‘er-Up list in the comments below or  grab a button  and play along!  If you put your list on your blog, give us the permalink in the Mr. Linky below. Thanks for playing!

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Rebekah June 3, 2010 at 2:37 pm

I have a few beautiful, chill EP/album suggestions for #3, if you like acoustic, folk-y music: Iron & Wine’s ‘The Sea and the Rhythm’ & ‘Around the Well’, and Josh Ritter’s latest, ‘So Runs The World Away.’ Some of the songs’ titles on the second disc of ‘Around the Well’ even go with your circus theme, “The Serpent Charmer” and “The Trapeze Swinger,” and there’s a great cover of “Peng! 33” on disc 1. ‘So Runs The World Away’ is largely upbeat, and most of the songs are stories. :) Placebo’s ‘Battle for the Sun’ is also a good album for summertime (it’s a rock album with, on a few songs, a horn section!), especially the track “Bright Lights”, though I admit they are generally one of those bands you either really love or really hate.

I didn’t meant to write so much on one point! Lol. You brought out my music geek side.

Also, I say, “Me, too!” to 1, 5, 6, and 8.

Emma June 3, 2010 at 3:06 pm

I started to write my own post about this, thinking it would be a pretty quick list to create.

Instead, I ended up spending quite a while pondering it. And I think that’s a good thing! It’s been a useful exercise in reflection. Thank you!

Leslie June 3, 2010 at 3:44 pm

great fill you uppers! :D

cynthia June 3, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Dance parties! I like: kitchen dance parties (mixin’, bakin’, cookin’ and shakin’), before bed dance parties (get my jammies on, shimmy-shimmy like), and traffic dance parties (windows down, upper body only-moves) the best!

Mike June 3, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Great list!
I am totally addicted to Bon Iver (Justin Vernon) and his musical poetry right now. Listening to an album all the way through is so retro in the world of iPod, yet totally worth it with “For Emma, Forever Ago”. It may feel a little too winterish for your theme, but really, Spring/Summer in Seattle is feeling more like Winter this year anyways. In my experience the better poetry comes out of angst than from positive thinking anyways.

Matt Nathanson and Jack Johnson may fill your summer needs. I also heard great reviews for a band called Northern Departure at the Folk Life Festival. They sound similar to Mumford & Sons, though a bit more banjo and twang than my normal tastes. Might be a good pick-me-up.

And of course, I appreciate your love of knitting, being married to a “there’s never a bad time to be knitting” addict.

jewellspring June 3, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Have you discovered Owl City yet? That’s my main summer play so far. And watching the videos of Umbrella Beach and Fireflies may really resonate with your vintage-ness :).

Tabitha The KnittingJourneyman June 3, 2010 at 8:15 pm

I checked your site at just the right time today, in the midst of all my chaos here…you site here is also one of those things I use in order to slow down and relax during the weirdness of my day…thank you. ;)

Ami @ Writing: My Life June 4, 2010 at 1:09 pm

I really love your *8Things posts, and I’ve been meaning to join in on them for a while now, so since this topic came at the perfect time for me, I finally made my own *8Things list. I’m finding right now, in this moment, time outdoors is the thing that has been filling me up the most. :)

Tren June 4, 2010 at 4:44 pm


I’ve been struggling with low energy levels and migraines during the past long while, and I know that making time for my *8 things will truly replenish me and help me to feel stronger.

Thank you!


Ana Goncalves June 5, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Sounds like a positive list to help you feel alive and energized. I hope you find your balance. :)

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