Wife to my high school sweetheart, boy mama to sweet baby boy Macrae, and two fur babies Shiloh and Milo, a full time high school history teacher, and overall enthusiast for life. Avid podcast listener, iced coffee drinker, and organized chaos manager. My passion is to encourage and inspire. To cultivate an intentional life, a life full of joy and an abundance of grace.
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Can you believe it? It is already May, this year is flying by so quickly as we count down the days to summer, to sunshine, and all the happy things! So a big happy, happy MAY to you! If I am being honest, the month of May is my absolute favorite month. There is so much societal and cultural pressure to make January the only time of our year where we are intentional with setting goals and declaring dreams, but what I love about this podcast and what I love about the Intentional To-Do list series that I am bringing to you the first episode of each month is the inspiration to evaluate where you are currently in your walk, in your journey, and to assess your location in regards to the places you want to go. That is exactly what we are doing right now as we look at the 4 things you must do this month all part of your May intentional to-do list!
If you started this year thinking, I want to feel better about myself, or I want to be more intentional with my relationships, or I want to incorporate more rest moments, or maybe more productive work sessions earlier in the morning, whatever it was that you started the year thinking I am going to DO this or BE this more – the beauty of the beginning of the month is the opportunity to assess and reassess in regards to the direction and destination you hope to be going to!
I feel like more than any other month, the weekends of May are filled with the MOST kinds of things! May is a great month for weddings, celebrations, anniversaries, weekend trips, parties… have an event going on, you name it, it probably is happening in May! We actually just got back from a weekend in Sarasota for a dear friend’s wedding and then we are heading out of town next weekend for a surprise birthday trip J planned for me! So I personally am feeling completely in my element as I am in the midst of all the teaching things, the weekend traveling, podcasting, and trying to keep my house together.
These are the moments where I truly feel like I can thrive in the chaos. Now it is absolutely worth mentioning this type of thriving in chaos is characterized by a makeshift hamper known as my soaking tub, the extra $7 I spent at Starbucks for my snack pack so I could have a lunch at work, relocating my make-up bag to the passenger seat of my car so I have a chance of wearing face make-up for the day! That is what I mean by thriving in the chaos. But my heart, my heart is SO, so full of all the things that May brings!
As a teacher, the month of May means even more crazy and exciting things! From Wrapping up the end of the semester, watching the number of items to grade slowly become smaller and smaller, that is after major marathon grading sessions of course. Preparing students for final, end of the year testing, AP exams. With the absolute joy of teaching seniors that means preparing over 100+ senior letters.
One of my most favorite things I do in the classroom, my personality is a little extra and I made the decision in my first year teaching (When I only had one, small class of seniors that I taught) to write my graduating seniors a handwritten graduation note (it’s the same message, just written on a separate note card for each student!) Well, I have felt morally obligated, and obligation that I truly love and take great pride in, and since then have written a hand-written note to every single graduating senior. You can check out more about a teacher’s letter to her students you can do that here! Of course there’s graduation, all the tasks that come with the conclusion of another semester, finalizing grades, watching the to-do list becoming a lot smaller day by day. SO many exciting things!
I think my absolute favorite thing about May is the anticipation for summer and all the freedom that brings. The freedom from the typical to-do list, the more relaxed nature and pace of life! The pure joy in living life more fully in the sunshine, free of a set schedule and set times of places to be! It’s that freedom and excitement that I love so much. And the month of May is basically an entire countdown of anticipation to those things, yet a constant reminder to be fully present and soak up the real moments within the everyday, to be sure that each moment can truly be celebrated for what it’s worth. I feel as if May is really the way we should be living every single month, yet because it’s full of so many fun and joyful things, it makes it easier to live more purposefully and in the present, yet with the same excitement and anticipation for the future!
On that same note, May has a unique pace to it. I feel like a lot of us can relate to the pace of May. It’s this beautiful orchestrated chaos mixed with all the anticipation and excitement. I feel like for so many of us our month of May can be so, so busy between balancing all the things. For those with children in school – May is a month of end of the year celebrations and check-lists to prepare for everything SUMMER! For those who work in education, May is a month of hustle as grades need to be finalized, all the end of the year tasks need to be wrapped up, classrooms need to be prepped for the closing of summer.
For many, I feel like May can be really busy, the type of busy where if it were any other month, we would find ourselves completely overwhelmed and stressed out, incapable of moving forward because of all the different commitments and stress of all the things, but for some reason, May feels different, it feels lighter. We still have that crazy to-do list, we still have an absurd number of things that need to get done with very little time to do it, but it still doesn’t feel that same way.
Maybe I am just speaking for myself, but the stress feels different in May. I think largely it’s due to the uniqueness of being able to see so clearly the season behind the craziness of May. Looking ahead to see what is next, summer! But goodness, I am so thankful for May, so thankful for everything that this month brings and so excited to share with you these things you need to be adding to your month’s to-do list!
So excited to bring you another intentional to-do list, this time with ideas on how to live your best life for the month of May. If you haven’t already checked out the April Intentional To-Do List, our second episode on the podcast, the purpose behind the intentional to-do list is to truly help you set intentions for how you want your month to be lived. To help set the standard for how you feel during the month. How your heart is, your mind. To set the expectations for truly living your BEST day, every single day this month. To do so with an abundance of grace, with intention, with a spirit of thankfulness, with abundant joy.
This is a kind of to-do list that is pure fun and pure joy!. A to-do list to help you cultivate a life lived well, an intentional and purposeful life. Not necessarily a list of things for you to check off, but more so of a list of things of where your heart should be! Of course, be sure you listened to last week’s episode, episode 6 where I shared the 5 ways to finally get ahead of your to-do list which is all about productive strategies to help you achieve MORE each day. But THIS, this intentional to-do list is truly about living each and every day this month with intention, and purpose, to be who you were truly called and designed to be!
I encourage you to go back and listen to the April Intentional to-do list for more ideas on how to live a more purposeful and intentional life. The beauty of this series is, it’s not exclusive to that month alone. While I am creating them with a theme to share for that specific month, the content is absolutely still applicable for the whole year. So, please, after you listen to this episode, go back and listen to episode 2 and be encouraged with additional ways to live your best life. Some of the things on that to-do list are so, so fun!
Here we go! The 4 Things You MUST DO This Month – Your May Intentional To-Do List. I am so excited for you to hear these 4 things.
Say it louder for the people in the back. Say it louder for yourself. Say it once more so you can start to actually believe it just a little bit more. Stop trying to have it all together all of the time! This hit me completely in the face when I was sitting down reflecting and thinking about what my heart wanted to include on this May Intentional To-Do List. Why do we feel like we have to always live up to the standard and expectation that we always have it together? By setting up that expectation, by creating that standard, we are really and truly setting yourself up for failure.
The reality is, the hard reality that so many of us try to not believe, is that it is impossibly to have it all together all of the time. Because guess what no one is perfect. And despite the army of perfectionists out there (myself) included, despite our tendency to truly feel like the sentiment of “I know no one is perfect, but I am still going to try to be as close as I possibly can be,” we need to remember that it is impossible to have it all together, all of the time. Therefore, we must stop trying to be!!!
Let this month be the month where you actively practice with intention, the art of not having it all together all of the time and being okay with it! To find the beauty in the chaos, to find your breath in the disorganized. To learn how to breathe through the messy and keep standing through the things that are completely out of control! Does that freak you out a little bit? Or does that give you a little bit of freedom?
I want you to live your life in freedom this May. To do so in a way where you feel like you can thrive in the chaos. Where you realize that you can embody grace. Where you find that the ordinary things, are what makes life extraordinary. That this month would truly be the best month because you are learning to let go and thrive!
Yes, yes, and yes! Tune into more moments of quiet throughout your week for the month of May. Start practicing this daily, or weekly if that is what is more possible. But be incredibly intentional here. Slow things down. Be more in tune to your soul. Purposefully embrace the quiet. You will be amazed at what you can achieve within your heart when you incorporate more moments of quiet throughout your week.
This doesn’t have to look spectacular either, it just needs to be done. Don’t get so consumed with the appearance of it that you lose the focus of the intention. The intention here is to get quiet. To turn off the distraction, to silence the noise, and to be incredibly present with yourself, your heart, your mind, and your spirit. Let the quiet be the room you need to grow. I encourage you this month to carve out moments of stillness and to be incredibly intentional about this.
I challenge you to plan ahead. Look at your day planner, look at your week schedule and specifically carve out intentional time where you can abide in the silence and practice the rest. There is seriously SO many good things in store for you, you just have to abide in the quiet and the moments of stillness to be able to clearly see and hear what those exact GOOD things are!
The third thing I want you to do this month is to seriously celebrate yourself!!! Do it, come on you absolutely, most definitely deserve it! Friend, you are doing a GREAT job! Celebrate it! This month make a goal to celebrate yourself at least once, with the intention of eventually making this a part of your monthly, and even weekly to-dos!
Is there something that you have done recently that you are proud of? Celebrate it. Is there a situation that you handled in a way that impresses you? Celebrate it. Are you barely surviving, falling completely short of thriving, but are still here and hanging on? Celebrate it!
What point is there to life? To our achievements? To our tasks if no one is there to celebrate us and cheer us on in the process? Be your biggest fan! Be your own cheerleader and be more intentional this month in celebrating yourself!
Is there something you really love that you can reward yourself with? Is there something you can do to carve out specific intentional time as a date with yourself to pour into your hopes and dreams? Do it!! Make a point to celebrate yourself because you most definitely deserve it.
This is something that I am most definitely doing this month. I have a beautiful gift card to Massage Envy that my sister gifted me for Christmas and I have an appointment with myself and a masseuse as soon as I finish the very last essay that I need to grade. I am making a priority this month to celebrate myself and you most definitely should too!
Embrace who you are and who you have always been. This one is SO much fun. Friend, embrace yourself and who you are and let this month be the perfect time to get lost in the yesteryears. Do it. You will have so much fun and most likely discover a piece of you that you long forgot about. Is it a movie? Is it a place? Is it a relationship? Be intentional with spending time to drive down memory lane and reconnect with your former self, I am almost certain there is something incredible to learn in this process.
I truly hope this May Intentional To-Do list served your heart so well. I hope that you found it encouraging and life-giving. I hope you take these 4 things to do during the month of May and slowly, but surely, adopt them into your everyday living. There is so much more of life to be lived and learned and appreciated when we take the time to slow things down, and intentionally be present in every single moment. Until next time, have the BEST day, friends!