What do you do when you’ve got free time? I finally found out…

A bit of backstory: REST & CHINESE HERBS

During X-mas vacations I got sick twice, a strange mix between a cold and allergies was the first, i took nothing but time out, I figured that this was a sign I needed rest and in three days I’d be good… and so it was!! by the fourth day I was up and about doing my stuff, no, not MY stuff (reading, painting, blogging, pinning…) the “my stuff” that no one else will do: dishes, laundry, cleaners, beds, etc… so, yeah, I was out and about but slowly becoming depleted once again… housework does not feed my soul, in fact, it’s the other way around: housework feeds from my soul till I can do it no more… and that’s when i got sick again, with a weirder mix of a cold with the shivers and a cough as dry as the desert we live in, then my son, then my daughter… QUARANTINE! When my children caught it too that’s when i decided to go to our chinese medicine doctor and get help, but most of all eliminate the possibility of it being the influenza virus… thank God it wasn’t since there was no high fever which is a clear symptom to it… so there went another week of my vacations where rest, liquids and my chinese herb drops were prescribed… so I rested… of course all this resting while you are sick does not count as free time, I hardly touched my laptop, my eyes hurt, my joints hurt, my head hurt and I secretly enjoyed it because I had finally been able/ given myself permission to STOP…

My children and I watched their new favorite movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (one of my favorite’s way back when, se acuerdan chicas?!) till they could recite their favorite lines from it: hey,  batter, batter, swing batter! Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy swing batter… remember that one 🙂

The weird virus finally left the building and so did my children, X-mas vacations ended though I still had  three weeks before I started classes…THREE WHOLE WONDERFUL, BEAUTIFUL WEEKS and I was well rested… the combination of energy and free time is like few other marvelous things in life, in my life at least 🙂

so back to the question at the top of this post: what do you do with your free time?

I revisited Pinterest! yay

I read here and there! yay

I blogged a bit, made up some stories…Yay

and, this week, my last week before going back to school…

I painted!! double yay!!! why the hell hadn’t I done it before? because I didn’t remember how good it felt! :/

The idea of painting didn’t just pop into my mind. My painting supplies are so well hidden put away that it wasn’t until i signed up for some free Philosophers Notes on The 80/20 Principle…

OK, so I spend 80% of my time doing 20% of the things I am able to do… so I’ve got to make this 20% count… it’s got to be gratifying, it’s got to feed my mind and soul, it’s got to feel worth-while…hhhhhmmmm

I took out my paints and paper and beautiful brushes (Oh, how I love thee, let me count the ways…)


It felt so good, washing dishes and making beds just wasn’t cutting it for me 🙂 anymore…

here’s what resulted from my day painting…

No names for them yet… though I have some more in mind following the technique of the one that kind of looks like a landscape… for my painter fiends out there, it was mostly dry brush, I love dry brush but it does use up a lot of paint…


So, have you heard of the 80/20 Principle, in over simplified terms, according to Wikipedia: The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

here’s a link to the PDF file of Richard Koch’s book The Secret of Achieving More with Less

I listened to the mp3 file from Philosopher’s Notes by Brian Johnson and decided I wanted to give the book a try…

Medium_largeThen Leo Babauta in one of en*theos Optimal Living 101 chats mentioned that when you want to cut down on your expenses start by finding the stuff you need for free… jajajaaa which is when I located the PDF for the book! so cool!!

I am writing as my mind is dictating…

this is my last week of vacations, next Tuesday I go back to work…

I don’t know if there will ever come a time when I won’t feel a bit nervous of going back to trying to teach teenagers… it is an uphill battle, God grant me strength, courage, but most of all SELF-CONFIDENCE!! They can not see me hesitate, they can not smell the fear, jajajaaa (joking) I AM HERE BECAUSE I’VE GOT SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO TEACH THEM…

I’ll miss my free mornings to pin, and read, and write and paint, but I’d miss teaching if I left…

through out all this, I learned many important things (from the Hay House webinars, the Optimal Living chats, the wonderful blogs I follow) however, and this is no way lessens the importance of the previously mentioned, I learned to value REST, if I had not rested, if I had not listened to my body, if I had run to the doctor as soon as the symptoms appeared and had continued with the help of meds, I would not have rested… but I listened, and the appreciation of this came from listening to Louise Hay…

I had always thought I was permanently out of vogue, never up to date on stuff, having recently discovered how fabulous those Harry Potter movies are, jajajaaa…and now, just recently discovering the impact Louise Hay and Dr. Wayne Dyer can have in a willing soul and mind, these people are veterans in this mind-body healing wave, I had not paid attention, I was a bit disappointed in myself till I heard this magnificent Buddhist proverb:

The teacher appears when the student is ready

Aaaaahhhhh, I love repeating it because it puts so many things in perspective for me…

and I was ready…

talk to me people… have you read the 80/20 principle?

how about this proverb? does it resonate with you?

xo everyone, read you soon


18 responses to “REACT… TO THE 80/20 PRINCIPLE

  1. Aaaaah, so happy to read this! and judging from the smiley it was memorable for so much good stuff (a day can be memorable for ugly stuff too, though this was not the case) Happy birthday (again) I can tell you, the 40s are packed with surprises, our attitude is what makes the difference between them being good or not so good… I’ve been sidetracked many times, but i give myself a time out, place my hand over my heart and get back on track…it’ll be the start of the best time of your life..sending many birthday hugs and kisses

  2. Thanks my dear friend!! I really value your encouraging words 🙂 …Brain Johnson, Oh yes!! damn my brain, I read it… please refresh my memory Stu :/ it was an exercise/practice… aaarrgghhhh (I’ve got the pdf in my other pc…) I’ll know the answer before the day is over 🙂 big hug to you my friend

  3. It’s not one I’ve read Alexandra – but I’m familiar with Pareto’s principle. As I always say – timing is always perfect, even when it seems it’s not. Good for you for getting on with all these activities. We are lost without the creative process, that’s for sure. Stu 🙂 PS: Brian Johnson was one of the great thinkers that agreed to feature in my previous book “How To Change Your Life.” Keep it up girl.

  4. I want to read the book though for now it’ll have to be in pdf format :/ the whole principle and the many examples Brian Johnson from en*theos gave really sparked my curiosity and made me consider the possibility of it being true! However, doing more with less sounds a lot like a saying we have : la ley del mínimo esfuerzo, that is the law of the least effort, which is something we frown upon, nevertheless I am open to a change in mindset 🙂 thank you for your lovely response to my paintings, i’ll let you in on a secret, it was as if time stood still while I painted, I did all 4 in about three hours, I could not believe it, and they turned out quite nice :)… That bug was heaven sent, jejejeeee… Xo my dear friend

  5. Alexandra, love your paintings! I haven’t read the 80/20 book, but have read a lot about this principle for many years. I don’t know if it’s true for me, possibly! Glad to hear you have been getting a chance to renew your body and soul in the last few weeks! Karen

  6. Hola MUM! gracias…hay dos cosas que nos paralizan: el sentimiento de culpabilidad por el pasado y la angustia por el futuro…en medio esta el día de hoy, I’ve got to make it count… haciendo pinturas feas y bonitas, escribiendo cosas interesantes y bobas, pero sobre todo disfrutando y aprendiendo del HOY! xo mum, gracias por tus palabras mumsy

  7. Mi amor, I love the landscape, that is how you feel right now, my wish is for you to continue like that enjoying each day as it comes.

  8. Oh!!! Happy Birthday! Welcome to the club… I’ve just recently started paying attention to my health, because, surprise, it is in my hands! who knew?! when we are young, health is just THERE, it’s a given…but turn 40 and you have to work for it… so when TLC did the trick I realized I’ve still got a bit of that youth health in me… hope you have a lovely day and please make your celebration memorable!! huge hug to you, Little Bear, and Annie, xo

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