Saving Sanity: Five Things I Can’t Live Without

Lifesaver by emdot

Lifesaver by emdot

I’ve come to realize that chaos is not such a bad thing.

I used to be the type of person who had to have a plan for everything. And I do mean everything. I had contingency plans for my contingency plans. I was a bit of a worrier and filled with anxiety about every little thing.

My desire to micromanage my life was rooted in the fact that I wasn’t happy with my life.

If I kept myself busy with lists and goals and projects I wouldn’t realize that I was not, in fact, living. I was existing.

Sometimes when crap hits the fan, that’s when shift happens.

My internal shift began several years ago. I can’t pinpoint it exactly, but sometime in 2007 I began slowly waking up from the coma of externally imposed expectations.

I reverted, I doubted, I ran from progress during the next few years. But sometimes, in those glorious moments of clarity, I kicked butt.

Fast forward to today: I’m a better person, not because I gave up my list-making and goal-setting, but because I no longer distract myself from life with these things.

Do I still love a good goal-setting session? Heck, yeah, but I no longer define my self-worth by the projects I take on or how many items I can mark of my to-do list. Although I still enjoy the feeling of crossing things off.

I wish I could remember every puzzle piece along the way that has gotten me to the point, but, sadly, I can’t.

I would like to share five awesome sanity savers that help me both savor life and make more things happen.

1. Mavenlink
Mavenlink rocks my world. Seriously. I use it as my project management, time tracking, and invoicing system. I recently added a project called Tivi Jones Personal, which helps me keep track of important personal stuff like when I need to give my dog a bath in case I can’t tell by his smell.

2. Evernote/Dropbox
I cheated on this one, but I’m an Evernote and Dropbox groupie.

My laptop has been acting up a lot lately, so I turned it off for a few days in favor of using my super ancient eMac. Not a typo, I did say “e.” That’s how old it is, but it works fine and I was able to access all of business documents via Evernote’s web interface and Dropbox’s server. Because Evernote and Dropbox sync with my laptop, iPhone, and online, my data is available anywhere.

3. BookBook
I love my BookBook wallet/iPhone case mostly because it’s cute, clever, and looks like a little book. I also love it because it forces me to keep only the essentials in my wallet.

I used to have a huge wallet that, at any given time, contained at least 20 receipts, 15 cards, six post-it notes, $2 in change, and three fortune cookie fortunes. With BookBook, I’m down to four cards, $1 in cash and one fortune cookie fortune (trust me, it’s one of those really good “…in bed” ones). Plus it holds my iPhone.

I never thought I’d be able to make a quick run to the store without carrying an arsenal in my over-sized bag, and now sometimes I just carry my keys and my wallet. BookBook has helped me de-freaking-clutter.

4. Instagram
Because life should be documented with tons of pictures. Period. Plus it’s a nice reminder that there is SO much beauty around us and we should take note of it as often as possible.

5. My dog, Grumpy
Grumpy is my adorable 10-year-old Miniature Schnauzer who I adopted June 16, 2012. I love him.

He’s jealous, needy, doesn’t play nicely with other dogs or men (uh, love life, much?!). He has a tendency to eat extra dark chocolate and do his creepy stalker stare when I’m eating or entertaining friends. But I love the little guy.

He reminds me to take breaks, roll around on the carpet, play, go outside, drink lots of water, and enjoy naps in the living room during the middle of the day.

And believe it or not he reminds me to ask for what I want, because in his adorable little way he does just that every time he needs to go out, is hungry, or just wants to cuddle with mom.

What are the sanity savers that you can’t live without?

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