Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Accountability

With Great Spending, comes Great Accountability.

Oh dear.

That is all I can say.

Painting + upcoming house insurance (I forgot to account for that) + upcoming holidays = "Houston, we have a problem"

There is nothing I have created that cannot be solved. Long story short, I cannot wait until this Time of Great Spending is behind me. I am very much looking forward to living my quiet, modest little life, spent sitting in or outside our home and simply admiring all that has been accomplished.

The exterior painting of our home was long over due. It was the tipping point and the one expense I should not have added to this year's budget. But it had to be done. It was the right thing to do.

I have booked holidays when my financial state of affairs were in far worse condition than my present day situation. Sometimes you simply have to act on what feels right because that particular opportunity will never arise again. I have never regretted any holiday spending I have ever allowed myself. Never. I am certain this will be the case once again.

The house insurance? I can't believe it fell off my radar. I will plan for this expected expense next year. This was my bad.

It all works out in the end. If it hasn't worked out yet, it is not yet the end.

It's all good. I will be held accountable for all I have spent. No one has done this to me. I have done this myself.

This Time of Great Spending has been fun. But it must end. And that's all I have to say about that.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Empowered After One Cup of Coffee!

I was pretty slow on the draw this morning. I didn't get moving as early as I normally do. The first thing I did was throw in a load of laundry, "I shouldn't have waited until today ..." I silently admonished myself. No one made the choice to procrastinate but me. I took ownership of what I had done to myself and carried on with the morning.

I didn't have time to dawdle this morning. I had my morning smoothie, a cup of coffee and I started moving. "The painters could arrive today ... I must be dressed, up and about. I'll have a second leisurely cup of coffee later," I promised myself.

I seem to be moving in slow motion these days. As I watch our five year old cat amble slowly through his days, I see "me". I've slowed down. I amble a lot. At one time, I sprinted from the car to the house; the house to the garbage; from "A" to "B". Because I was always in a hurry? Because I was late? Because I could? Now ... I amble.

I used to be more agile. Doing "squats" when I exercised was no problem. Up. Down. Up. Down. Side to side and all around. I felt capable of whatever my exercise DVD instructed me to do. Now ... getting up from a squatting position after picking a weed? I can do it. But I'm not sixteen anymore. I'm not even 46. I'm not going to say what age I most likely look, but add twenty years to my existing age and you have an idea.

One thing led to the next, the next and the next. Laundry. Weeds - four ice cream buckets of weeds. Then came the vacuuming. The next thing I knew, it was 1:30 in the afternoon. The day is a hot one. I forfeited my second cup of coffee for a few glasses of lemonade instead.

At last, I was rewarded with a thoroughly refreshing shower. Washing (and taming) my hair never felt so good.

After a completely wasted weekend, I put in a good day's work today. And all it took was one cup of coffee.

P.S. It is amazing what our painters have done today! Things are shaping up fast. And it is all starting to come together. I noticed a cup of coffee on the doorstep - I'm not the only one who was empowered by a cup of coffee today.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

All I Have Are Ingredients!

I am sitting here in the afterglow of a perfect Sunday morning.

I have done "the hard things" on this morning's agenda. I am ready for a reward of the edible kind.

What I am craving has to be cooked. I hear this little whiny voice inside my head moaning, "All I have is ingredients!!"

Anybody want to go out for brunch? No! Wait!! I would have to wash my hair first. I can do more hard things. I can scramble some eggs and make some toast. That is easier than washing my hair.

But wait! I still have to wash my hair. Sigh ... the list of "hard things" is eternal. Maybe I just crossed the easy things off my list.

Hey wait again!! I haven't even cleaned the cat litter yet. What in the world have I been doing these past three hours?

I have been tying up loose ends from yesterday and I wrote a letter. I haven't done ANY of the hard things yet. No wonder I'm sitting in the afterglow of a perfect Sunday morning.

I have been following my whims and going wherever the morning has taken me. It hasn't taken me far. I think I better scramble up some ingredients and wash my hair. That is the least I could do with this most excellent Sunday morning.

Thankfully, I have all the ingredients I need to create an idyllic kind of day.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

All Over the Map

I've travelled so many miles today that I feel like I'm suffering from motion sickness. Honestly. And I have barely even left my computer desk...

I have been planning and scheming and trying to fit all the pieces for my October holiday into place. I foresee one of my most memorable holidays in the making and all I had to do was say "yes"!

Yes!! To attend a writing workshop with one of my best friends.

Yes!! To attending a 90th birthday party celebration with family.

It is all the ins and outs of each of these invitations has turned a simple yes into invitations for others to join .

Would you like to join us at a writing workshop? The answer - a resounding Yes!!

Shall we go to a dinner theatre and an invitation for another to join us? The answers - two more eager Yeses!!

I am hoping my third unasked (and perhaps unremarkable) invitation to a Sunday Brunch also results in an easy Yes!!

Would you like for me to check into some 2 bedroom BnB options? Another Yes!!

I could already picture Cousin Visiting Spots when my cousins said Yes!!, they could foresee the same thing.

Sometimes, a person simply needs to be invited.

Other times, a person needs others to take the lead which makes for an "easy yes" on the receiving end.

The yin and the yang of life. I am feeling the pull and the slack of life's ebbs and flows. All the ebbing and flowing have me feeling a tad sea sick.

It's time to look up and marvel at the way everything unfolds from here ...

Friday, July 19, 2019

Doing the Hard Things (the easy way)

A lot of invitations have been forthcoming recently. Each and every one of them have been "easy yeses". I'm going with the flow and the flow is taking me down a diverse and interesting path.

I'm shaking in my boots just a little bit as I type. I am a girl who loves uncommitted calendar pages and the pages are filling up fast. As I scan four months into my future, I foresee only six free weekends. The positive side to this scenario is that there are only three out-of-city events. I can do this. I CAN.

Some weekends revolve around preparations for painting (which are 95% complete and I do/have done very little, if any of it myself); staining the deck; one-day commitments; live theatre events; a writing workshop; a handful of family-filled-fun occasions, sprinkled generously with friends.

It is a very balanced itinerary. Work interspersed with fun, friendship, family and free time. You can see by the coincidental alliteration of all the "F" parts of the equation, the one part that is not like the others - "work". But work is essential to all that follows.

I have postponed my summer vacation in lieu of a fall one.

My summer vacation plans consisted of sitting still and staring at the house. Something I can work into those completely free days I can foresee in the upcoming months.

My fall vacation plans are new and interesting, mixed in with the known and familiar.

Balance. Life works best when everything falls into a good mixture of everything that sustains us. We need to work as much as we need to play. We (I) do best with enough down time to offset the busy time.

Health, happiness, family, friends, work and leisure. Hopefully this all ends with a balanced budget as well.

I'm waking up and doing hard things (making commitments) before I head into my days. It has been surprisingly easy. One step at a time. The months ahead are bound to be filled with new perspective, thoughts and ideas.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Need For Sleep

If I want to get up early (and I DO!), I must sacrifice my evenings (no problem!!) and go to bed early. Early to bed, early to rise should work but why is it that I never seem to have enough time in the morning?

This week, I have been up with the birds. Yet not one of my mornings have been long enough to do all I hope to do before I must leave the house.

I fall down into Internet rabbit holes and get lost. This morning's trek was fun and interesting. I can't go forward until a few vital pieces fall into place but if they do ... I have some planning to do!

I love when a suggestion aligns with life-as-I-know-it. When dates, locations, events and timing all correlates into an easy "yes", I am all in.

This little adventure involves revising my holidays. Holidays which I planned to revolve around sitting still and gazing at our newly painted and renovated home. I was very much looking forward to it.

Fast forward a few months and there are several occasions which all align in a perfect row. A fun and inspirational weekend with a friend followed by a family oriented birthday occasion and ending with an appointment which requires a day off equals a perfectly balanced week (eleven days to be exact).

I live in a world where a lot of my wishes (requests) are granted, so this may happen. Did I have my mind set on a week off in the summer? Yes. I booked off some days I thought would work for those who employ me and I was simply looking forward to following wherever those days may lead.

Here is to hoping a few wishes come true today so I can move forward with the next stage of planning.

There went this morning.

A morning where I hoped to squeeze in a few tasks for my day job before I left the house and formally started my day. Maybe I can squeeze in one little task if I stop writing right now.

I now see why people stay up late. You can extend a day so much easier than squeeze in a bunch of things before a work day begins. I work better under pressure. I am a morning person. I love my sleep.

I shall keep my early mornings. I believe my physical and mental health rely on it. Sleeping is my #1 way of taking care of "me". 

I am grateful sleep comes easy for me. I know this is not the case for many. What is your #1 way of taking care of yourself? Are you filling yourself up with what YOU need?

On a plane, they remind you to grab your oxygen mask before helping your child. You can't save anyone else if you are not breathing.

Grab your oxygen mask in whatever form it is for you. It is not only for you but it is for those who matter to you. Be kind to yourself today.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

On the Flip Side of Negativity

I just wrote my thoughts after being on the end of a conversation which was weighted down with negativity. Before I go any further, I must counter that post with a positive one.

I recently spent two of the fastest hours of my life with a long lost friend whose life has been far from perfect. Hers is not my story to tell but suffice to say, she has walked a difficult path. I commented on her sunny attitude and wondered aloud how she could come out with such a positive outlook. Her reply? She told me she took the goodness out of every encounter, gathered those up and it kept her focused on the positives.

I have mangled her words but I hope I held onto the gist of her response. She hasn't allowed the negativity to weigh her down. Instead she has actively looked for better ways to live her life so the past is not repeated.

A traumatic childhood affects different children who lived the same experience in such vastly different ways some times. Everyone is affected. They react differently. They never forget. The people I have known have taken that which could have brought them to their knees and used it to empower themselves instead.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, (at least) four of my closest childhood friends were walking through a childhood which was not safe, predictable, warm &/or loving. In adulthood, each one of those friends have immediately commented on the kindness of my parents. The way my parents made them feel was as important and vital as our friendship.

What did my parents know that I didn't? Did they simply treat everyone with kindness and respect? I tend to believe so. The friends who were lacking that parental relationship never forgot that kindness and the sense of safety they felt within our home.

Treating every single soul with kindness is the only answer I know. One never knows the path another is walking. Kindness always wins.