[Book Review] — How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World by Sophia Stuart

640ac579e274475fa52b82be25ebc360Let’s face it, we live in a craaaaazy world. I know I spend more time feeling overwhelmed with to do lists, places to be, etc. than I care to admit. Sometimes the best thing I can do is slow down and take some me-time to reset.

This is why I loved How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World by Sophia Stuart. It’s like the ultimate escape in and of itself, even as it gives you ideas of ways to step away from the chatter and insanity of life.

The book kicks off with simple, beautiful photos you can get lost it. It then flows into tips on how to simplify life, or at least make it more bearable. It ends with ways to unplug entirely. It even gives lists of great books, movies and music to help with unplugging.

This book will be beside my bed as my little get-away before bed and as a reminder to take a moment to breathe. It would make a great gift to anyone going through a tough time. I loved it! And I think others will, too.

I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes.

I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book from Hay House for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

Five on Friday: Things I will not apologize for

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1. I love coffee. I’ve finally 100% embraced this and refuse to apologize for it. Some people go get pedicures. Some people love massages. Some just go shop for whatever. MY “get away” is to get a good cup of coffee. It’s just my thing, and I love to share Instagrams from my coffee breaks. Sorry… not sorry.

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2. I am a Christian. Even more specifically, I am a Catholic. Somewhere along the way, this became a bad thing? At least that’s the vibe I’ve been getting lately from media. It’s no longer in fashion to be a Christian. In fact, if you’re a Christian you’re probably a conservative idiot who hates everyone that doesn’t see your way. I mean, that’s pretty much is what I’ve been getting from the chatter and noise in the media. (See my blog post from a few days ago.)  Am I exaggerating? Yes, of course I am. I know this. But you know what? Sorry, not sorry. I’m a Christian, and I’m not going to deny God. If you decide to dismiss me and judge me on that then… well. That’s fine. But you’re missing out on knowing a pretty cool lady. :)

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3. I like to take selfies and pictures of my cats and post them to Instagram. Cliché as hell, and I know it. But its not the only pictures I post. I just happen to be guilty-as-charged that I take these types of photos and… sorry! Not sorry! Going to just keep taking them as I wish.

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4. I am a driving snob. I like going through old posts via the app Timehop. And I’ve found I rant about drivers a LOT. Usually has to do with lack of turn signal use, blowing off yield signs, texting while driving, cutting people off, and tailgating or driving way below the speed limit. Oh and just cruising down the turn lane. Look, I make my mistakes while driving. I’m not perfect. But when I see someone blatantly blow off basic driving laws… I get pissed off. Because vehicles are not toys. They kill people. So… sorry, not sorry. I take driving very seriously, and I really wish others did, too.

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5. I am an Aggie. Not an Aggie fan. An Aggie. There is a difference. I don’t stand proud of Texas A&M University based only on the football team. I don’t wave my Aggie flag as just a fan. I have my degree on the wall, and my ring on my finger. Bash my school based on football, you’ll get an ear full. I’m proud of the education my school offers, the research its doing constantly, it’s sports — all sports — successes, and that impossible to explain family feel that you get as an Aggie. So, sorry, not sorry if I quickly correct you when you say, “Oh you’re an Aggie fan.” No, I AM an Aggie. There is a huge difference.

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Sunday Adventure-day

Ever have a day that starts out all laid back. Turns really weird. Then ends with you just feeling… rejuvenated? I just did yesterday.

070614-1My husband and I have started a little tradition of going out for coffee on Sunday after he comes home off the road. We have coffee and catch up from our weekend apart. I look forward to it all weekend, and its become a favorite part of my whole week.

This weekend, due to July 4th and my working at the bar when my husband had to be at the bus, my husband drove himself to meet the band on his motorcycle. So, I didn’t have to pick him up today, but I was up and ready to go when he got home. I grabbed my phone, wallet and helmet and we were off! We rode over to Starbucks, ordered some iced coffee, I grabbed a breakfast item, and we sat down outside to catch up.

After about an hour, we decided to hop on the bike and take a ride around the lake. It was a perfect lake day, and we commented that as much as were were enjoying the bike, we wished we were on the lake instead of on the side. But, hey, baby steps. We get more use out of the motorcycle than we would a boat, so be thankful for what we have going!

A perfect day for the lake!
A perfect day for the lake!

We road over to one of our favorite recreation areas, and sat at a picnic table just enjoying the breeze for awhile. After awhile, we decided we’d head home. We were going to grill hot dogs, and just have a chill evening at home. I asked my husband to stop at the restrooms on our way out of the recreation area, so we headed over there.

When I came back and got on the bike, we went a couple feet and my husband stopped. He told me to get off, as he looked at the back tire. Something was wrong.

Sure enough… flat tire.

Now what?

A park ranger drove by not long after our discovery, and we flagged him down to see if he had an air compressor. Nope. No go. It was time to start calling for help.

If there is anything you need to know about Nashville, its that we all look out for each other. This wasn’t so much a case of “find out who your friends are” as “which one to do we call first?” It took no time at all for us to have help on the way. While we waited, my husband said he was going to roll the bike forward and see if we could see a nail or anything in the tire. I sat down on the ground, and he didn’t even have to push it six inches and I saw it…

That white dot? That's a nail in the tire.
That white dot? That’s a nail in the tire.

 

The discovery of a nail told us right away, just adding air was going to do no good. We were going to have to trailer the bike home. So while we waited, we discussed how to handle it. We agreed I’d stay with the bike, and my husband would go get our truck and trailer and come back. When our friend arrived we loaded the helmets and bag with my wallet (I at least kept my driver’s license so I had ID on me) in the backseat and my husband left to get the truck.

070614-2I could definitely think of a worse place to be stranded! Families were everywhere, so I felt 100% safe the entire time. I called my Mom and caught up with my parents for awhile. I made friends with a dog that was hanging out with his family at the park. I also walked around. A lot. According to my pedometer, did about a mile and a half just wandering around the park. It felt great to do! I want to get more exercise these days, and I grasped the opportunity with both hands.

My cell phone was almost dead (I wasn’t planning on being stuck, so I didn’t exactly try to make the battery last earlier in the day!), so I turned my data off after awhile to try to save what little life it still had. It was kind of amazing to not be able to look at Twitter or Facebook. To not be able to post pictures to Instagram.  I found myself missing having a good paperback book to read, though.

It gave me a chance to just… be. I watched the water and felt the breeze. I enjoyed watching the families have fun together, and it just reminded there is still a beautiful simplicity to life. A simplicity that gets lost in technology and social media. A simplicity that gets lost in deadlines and trying to make the almighty dollar.

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Enjoying nature

What we expected to take less than an hour actually took closer to an hour and a half. After all my walking, I was starting to get hungry. My coffee and breakfast square was long gone. I also was keeping an eye on a couple guys that kept hanging out by a truck beside the bike. They were probably just hanging out visiting, but I was paranoid. And did I mention hungry? Hunger makes me a little irritable sometimes. And apparently ups my level of distrust.

I was super happy to see our truck coming my way, trailer on the back. I walked over and we started to load the bike up right away. We were just ready to get this done. Of course as we start that, the two guys who were hanging by the bike had to leave. Right then. My husband had to take the ramp off the trailer so one could back his truck out of the spot they’d been just hanging out in for the last half hour. It very much added to my distrust, but what really surprised me? I was only mildly annoyed. Normally I’d get super annoyed going, “Seriously? You have to leave RIGHT NOW? Can’t wait five minutes?” But instead I was so relaxed from my afternoon! I was able to just let it go within moments.

It didn’t take long and we were loaded up and ready to go, which also helped me forget any annoyance. Our adventure for the day came to a positive end (so far.)

Let's go!
Let’s go!

On our way out, we saw a deer. I like to think nature gave us a nice little, “Thanks for visiting!” in that.

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Yes, that is a real deer.

We both agreed, we were too hungry to go home and cook. If I’d have gone straight home, I’d have probably just sat down with a bag of potato chips and scarfed them down. Pretty much negating all my exercise.

So we ended up going to Buffalo Wild Wings (a favorite of ours) for dinner. Hot wings and beer on the patio! Which I guess still negated my exercise. But I didn’t care.

2014-07-06 18.41.33 When we got to the restaurant, my phone was at 3% charge. We cut it a bit close there! By the time we left, my phone had completely died. I felt so strange and yet also so… free. I had no purse. My phone was dead. I was literally walking around with nothing but my driver’s license.

Granted had I not been with my husband, I’d have been pretty freaked out and felt very vulnerable. I strive to never let myself be in such a position. But as it was, given the circumstances, I just felt so… light! I liked it.

As we we walked out, we ran into a friend we hadn’t seen in awhile and got a chance to catch up for awhile. I marveled at the friendships we have. On our way home, we both agreed we were exhausted. Full stomachs, the stress of the “adventure” we were sent on by a carelessly dropped nail, the summer heat, and the peace of feeling so thankful for friends we can rely on left us feeling very content and peaceful.

Oh sure, I’m not happy that we have to go into the expense of the tire being fixed. No one likes something like that. And it threw a wrench into our day’s plans. But in the end, I firmly believe everything happens for a reason. I’m taking this Sunday Adventure as a lesson in simplicity, friendship, and faith. Consider it a lesson very well learned.

The wife of a touring musician tells it like she sees it…