I’m just starting the 18 day break between my old job and my new job. I’ve learned that Seth and I handle days off in very different ways. When Seth has days off, he primarily wants to relax. If there’s something he has to do he will, like a previously scheduled doctor appointment. But otherwise he wants to hang out, play games, and watch YouTube videos or Twitch streams.
I, on the other hand, see days off as time to catch up on tasks I normally wouldn’t have time to do. Seth refers to these tasks as my daily check boxes. Today my check box was to ask him to set up shelves on his side of the bed that had been sitting in a leaned over pile since we moved into this house 3 years ago. Not all check boxes are things for him to do, but fairly often they are. He’s learned that by helping me complete those check boxes it reduces my anxiety for the day.
Listening to: Who That’s Good with Sadie Robertson
Podcast advertisements for FabFitFun always make it sound like such a great deal. 9-10 full size beauty/wellness items for $50! $40 if you use a coupon code on your first box. I don’t always keep up with beauty products/trends and I tend to use the same products again and again. Perhaps FabFitFun could be a way to branch out and experience a bit of luxury.
Then I thought about gift bags I received at The Happy Hour Live events I went to this year. Full of books, product samples, jewelry, and other items from sponsors. I think about how much time I spent getting rid of the items I didn’t want.
There was a book on talking with kids about sex. Having no interest in becoming a parent, I sold it on Amazon. A book in the second bag was a duplicate from the first, so I donated it to VNSA book sale here in Phoenix. I still have a Poopouri On The Go spray that I’ll probably donate to a shelter. I’ve used only one of the pretty cards from Mica May because I can’t think of another reason to send a card (sent the one to my parents when they got back from France.)
Some items I found a use for. Regular Poopouri bottles went into both of our bathrooms. I bought a cheap frame and used it to make a wall decoration out of the She Reads truth cards I received in both bags. An Austin postcard from the first bag was sent to my parents when we went back to Austin for the second event. I’m even sporting a temporary tattoo from the second bag this week.
Myllequin Smith recently published a book called The Cozy Minimalist Home. In it she talks about how she took on the full time job of stuff manager without realizing it. She kept a hoard of home decor items for future use and moved them several times over a period of years. It’s made me think about how much time I want to spend managing stuff. At this point I think the FabfitFun box would lead to more time unnecessarily stuff managing.
Listening to: Serial Season 3
Rachel Hollis encourages women to start their day by writing 10 goals in the present tense, as if they had already been acioeved. Thought that I would share my current list:
1) I work in a non-direct service job in the mental health field.
2) I do more with Homeless ID Project than just provide direct service on Mondays, which I continue to do.
3) I am being more selective about the book launch teams I’m on so I can fully support those books.
4) I’m answering the phone when a person I know calls and responding to text messages quickly.
5) I exercise 3 times a week and include Seth and Thor whenever possible.
6) I follow through with writing these goals every day.
7) I increase my Bible reading.
8) I continue to use discounts, coupons, and Ibotta on any transaction I can to save money.
9) I strictly limit the amount of naps I take.
10) I am generous and helpful to people around me.
What would your 10 goals be?
My current Starbucks habit is $3.42/day, 5 days a week. Totals up to $17.10 dollars/week. I’ve been thinking of quitting Starbucks again and making coffee at home. It would especially make sense given that my typical order is a venti iced coffee, black.
The money itself doesn’t really bother me, so while that would be a motivation to quit for a lot of people, it doesn’t motivate me enough to make the change. But what if I could put that money toward a goal? Toward making my life or someone else’s life better in a significant way? Maybe donating that money to an organization? Or saving it for a specific purchase? I think that might create the motivation I’m looking for.
What would you spend it on?
Listening to: Grit n Grace podcast
My best friend in 8th grade was full of big ideas. One specific memory I have is her idea to rent out a movie theater for all of our friends. My thought was “yeah, that would be great, but it’s probably not going to happen. What about our parents? What about this or that that could prevent us from doing it?’
I was focused on the limitations, the reasons why we couldn’t do it. In my adult life I often still focus on the limitations. Sometimes it’s a reluctance to ask someone for something, sometimes it’s concern about what others will think, sometimes it’s even not wanting recognition by others (which oddly makes me uncomfortable).
My question for 2018 has been “why not?” to try and break this pattern of limiting myself before I even start. I asked myself this question earlier this year when I applied to be on the Women’s Work podcast (and was selected for interview!)
The next step out of my comfort zone is to sell raffle tickets for a golfing event that the Homeless ID Project has in September. I haven’t done any kind of fundraising since I was a kid. A lot of that is discomfort asking people for things, especially money. Even wanting to help with this event I saw the entry fee per player listed at $200 and thought “That’s a lot, I can’t ask anyone to spend that much on something for me.” But Seth thought it was completely possible that we could get a foursome to pay the fee and play in the event. We’ll see if that happens and how many raffle tickets I can sell.
Listening to: Simply Life on Purpose with Kelsey Van Kirk
One of my favorite things to do is donate stuff and give stuff away. When I find I have an extra, I come up with a plan for where it can go on who it can go to. If I can’t find a person or agency that’s local, I’ll mail the item instead.
I’ve been noticing that I currently have 3 planners. One is a Passion planner that my best friend bought me for Christmas. One is an Ink + Volt planner that was part of my gift bag from the Happy Hour Live event. (Side note- they gave us a dated planner that started in January 2018 at an event in May 2018.) The third is a Panda Planner that was a Christmas gift from 2016.
I was listening to the Sorta Awesome podcast last Friday and the host was talking about Panda planners. This week I got the idea to post in the podcast’s Facebook group that I would gift my Panda Planner to the first person who responded. I got accepted to the group and was ready to write the post and then stopped. I realized that writing in a planner was something that I used to really like to do and wanted to make a habit in my life again. The Panda Planner and the Passion Planner are both undated, so I can use them anytime after I’m done with the dated Ink +Volt.
I want to keep the planner and that’s ok. Even though all of the minimalist authors and podcasts I follow would say to get rid of it if I’m not using it in the next 90 days. Even though my own mind is telling me that if I have 3, then 1 should be given away, I don’t have to. If I change my mind, I can gift it to someone in that group. For now I think I’ll keep it and use it in a future year.
Currently listening to: She Loves Journals podcast show
Our Sundays in recent weeks have been very relaxing and refreshing. We start with church, unless Seth served on Saturday. On Sunday mornjng I serve as a barista in the coffee shop for 2 hours and then we go to the last service.
After church is lunch and then alternating between hobbies (video games, TV, movies, reading, crochet), naps, and productive time. I usually try to do something beyond the basic cleaning. One Sunday I looked through all of our Facebook photos and ordered prints of the ones I wanted.
What does your day off look like?
Listening to: Going Scared with Jessica Honneger
I know people who despise going to work. Who become frustrated with the thought that all they do is work or get ready so they can go back to work. This has shifted my perspective on my work and my responsibility for my own self care.
I think that part of my job in this world is to take care of myself well enough so that I can work and contribute for as long as I possibly can. I’m in my mid 30’s and some small physical issues have started to arise. Slight pain in my right shoulder, for example. To think about how this issue will likely get worse as I get older and may prevent me from working consistently one day has led me to start taking steps to counteract it.
I’ve always carried a large purse as my mom also did (although she was caring for children for many years and had valid reasons for carrying a lot of stuff for us.) She developed shoulder issues as I grew up which still bother her today. I recently read an article about how heavy purses contribute to shoulder and back pain. I took out the heaviest items in my purse and added “clean out purse” to my Sunday night calendar. That small change has helped with my shoulder and I notice how much lighter the purse feels.
More small changes to come!
Listening to: Five Word Prayer podcast
A couple of years ago I signed up for Ruth Soukup’s Living Well and Spending Zero challenge. The idea behind it is to take 30 days and only spend money on items you absolutely need. For example, for food you would be expected to eat everything in your pantry before buying any more.
I’ve been trying to implement at least the food portion of the challenge into my every day. To make “what do we have?” the default question rather than “where can we order from?” I’ve completely stopped eating out for lunch when I’m at work. I keep food in the fridge and snacks in my desk. This week I spotted some spaghetti and pesto sauce in the cupboard. Enough time to cook the pasta, throw the sauce, pasta, and some shredded cheese in a bag, and BAM! Two days of lunches at the office. Tonight I found fish fillets in the freezer and added lemon, butter, salt, and pepper. Dinner, done!
In addition to continuing to make dinners from what we have, my other goal is to cut out Starbucks and make coffee at home.
Listening: Going Scared podcast with Ruth Soukup
For years I’ve had these bursts of energy. Usually early on in the week I get a lot done and keep looking for more and more I can do. By Wednesday or Thursday I burn out to a degree and face a few hours or days when I’m not motivated to do anything. That usually leads to doing so little on those days that by Friday I’m ready to tackle the world again. This renewed energy on Friday is probably also because I realize my productive energy will only have to last for a day and then it’s the weekend.
I used to be really hard on myself during those times of low energy/motivation. It used to get to the point where I was basically depressed 2 days out of the week. I would describe the early days of the week as my hypomanic days and the later days as my depressed days. Even though I know that these would not meet criteria for actual hypomanic or depressive episodes, it was a way of describing what was happening that made sense to me. I do have characteristics of bipolar disorder, although I don’t meet criteria for the full diagnosis.
I’ve been a lot more accepting of this tendency in recent years. I don’t beat myself up, so I don’t feel as down. I also recognize that this is just my pattern. It’s not that I’m never going to be productive again; I’m just not going to do much for those few hours or few days. My mood is significantly more balanced during the week, which is probably also helped by medication I take.
Listening to: I Hate Green Beans podcast