Monday, October 2, 2017

Me Time

So I decided that I would take this week for me. I am working a lot, several chair events and several clients. So I wanted to make sure that ALL my down time was for me. I also wanted my ex to have some concept of what it is to be THE full time parent, so the kids are with him for a week. The kids and I just returned from a trip to Rhode Island for Lu's fight career. The time in Rhode Island was pleasant. My car flat-lining 30 minutes from home was not. I still don't know if the engine can be saved or if I am looking at a new car. 

I don't have the money for a new car (or even for the engine repair) so I thought I would do something I haven't done in ages. I am going to get through this week with JUST the food I have on hand. With two exceptions. A friend has asked me out to dinner and another out to lunch. So I will purchase those meals out (and plan wisely). I have plenty to eat in the house. I just need to get creative. For example : Vegan Gluten Free Pancakes, Oats with fruit and seeds, Turkey breast, rice, pasta. I have a box of chocolate cereal, but I don't see myself eating that. It might not be that interesting, but I'll keep you posted. 

We stayed in this adorable little cabin in Voluntown, Connecticut (North Shore Woods Cottage Rentals) and I realized that I truly want to live in a tiny house (or a cabin). Lu stated that I could never live in a space like that. She was referring to all the stuff I have. She is correct I couldn't move into a tiny home just yet. But knowing that the space would be at a premium and that the space would make me happy I might be able to find a way to let go of more stuff. What Lu doesn't see is that I am slowly and steadily getting rid of stuff. Most of what remains is memorabilia. 

I have come up with a plan to tackle the memorabilia, we'll just see if I can remain motivated to continue to process the memorabilia and move forward. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

My Love Hate Relationship with Food

Food is not evil. Food is not the enemy. Food is Fuel. So how come I often find myself dreading the chore of meal planning and meal making?

Lately, it is because food has no joy for me anymore. No flavor. I find myself craving something super sweet or super salty and still not satisfied. I find myself eating without paying attention to flavor. Is that because I can't identify the flavor? Or is it because eating has become so mindless that I simply don't register the flavors?

I have fallen off the wagon. I have been eating Gluten and Dairy with abandon and this has been a tough allergy season. I have justified that many people are complaining about the allergens this season, but I know that I sneeze withing 20-30 minutes of eating gluten. My issue is that Gluten Free Bagels are awful. I love Bagels. And so does Sampson. There is no substitute. I need to get my life in order and get my body back on track. 

I am turning 40 in 109 days. I am not dreading 40. I am embracing the freedom that my life has and is continuing to become. As we women age society discounts us more, and expects less from us. We get marginalized and in that marginalization is the opportunity to live life. I won't set some lofty goal that I will be in the best shape of my life by my 40th birthday, because it simply isn't possible. However, I plan on spending the next 109 days working toward a healthy, sustainable life style. One where I have enough energy to get through my to do list (even if that means shrinking it to fit on a post it note), and I feel good in my clothes and my skin. 

I know that I haven't been getting my vitamins and minerals. So I am starting with some Smoothies. I love smoothies. I'll likely convert to porridge as the weather cools down, but for now I am going to enjoy my smoothies. Today is GreenaColada: Greens (Spinach), Pineapple (canned in juice), coconut milk (hey it is what I had on hand) and a dash of hemp seeds for some healthy fats.

I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, but I know I'll have plenty of opportunities to make healthy choices. I just wish we had an affordable salad place (Like Half Moon Salads) here. I despise paying $10-$12 for a mediocre and tasteless salad. I know I could make my own.... but that would mean dealing with the disaster that my kids keep leaving in the kitchen. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Day 1 Goals - 60 Days to Go

Please note I started this post the day after my last post, but life just got in the way. Updates are in Purple.

Today I plan to purchase some if not all of the moving boxes. I know I could probably cobble together liquor store boxes but this time I just want simple. 10 Small boxes for books and 30 Medium Boxes for most everything else. Then I am going to start with the 3 partially unpacked boxes in the kitchen. If I can minimize them down to one box I think that is a good start. There is also a left over plastic tote (without a lid) in the front hall closet. I think I'll take a stab at that one as well. I did purchase boxes. 30 Medium boxes. It wasn't enough. I wasn't able to get rid of as much as I had hoped. I had to stop trash collection on the Wednesday before I moved out. Move out was Sunday night. I couldn't trust the landlord not to fill the trash bins with his crap and cost me extra money. 

Then I am going to start a list of things I want and things I need for the new place.

New Curtains - I struggle with this one. Not more than a year ago my mother bought me curtains for my old apartment. The problem is they are not what I want. The color scheme is wrong and they have grommets at the top. I am not a fan of the grommet look. This is something that I will pack and move, then deal with once I move into the new place. Once I have taken stock of the wall colors and added my furniture I'll get curtains that I want. I'll sell the old (new, never used) ones to offset the cost. Now that I am in, I know that I need to get the curtains I want. I never get new or what I want. If I could find them used, I would. I want Blue/Silver for my Bedroom. I ordered Sampson's (rainbow) and I want Silver/Grey for the living room.  I'll work on listing all my old curtains this week. 

Bedding - I don't have a comforter and neither does Sam. New bedding also means I can reduce some of the multitude of blankets we currently have. I ordered Sampson a new Quilt and a Rug. I have not quite found what I wanted. Truth is, I found what I wanted last year at Bed Bath and Beyond and I waited (waited too long). Now I am simply waiting till I find the one I want. 

New Pillows - The pillows we have are very old, or new but cheap and didn't hold up. I'd rather trash them and get better quality pillows at the new place. I am entertaining turning the old pillows into some sort of bedding for the pets, but I think likely trashing and starting new is the best option.  YES WE HAVE NEW PILLOWS. Not quite happy with mine so I may be trying another type. The Chiropillow is looking like a good option for me. Sampson loves his pillows.  I trashed his old foam pillow (it was worn out and gross). I kept the remainder to use in the pet bed (a piece of furniture I bought from a friend) and for camping. This way when the get ruined I won't feel guilty about throwing them out.  

Bedside table(s) - I have two lamps and simple bedside tables would be nice. I'll keep an eye out at Garage Sales and resale shops over the next few months. The dog bed/crate doubles as a bedside stand, but I do want something for the other side. 

Large piece of glass to top my dresser. I'd like to have a bunch of candles on it in front of the mirror. I miss candle light. I find it calming and soothing. Still need.

Dishes - we do not have enough dishes. Sam and I have selected different patterns and I thought it would be good to get 2 plates, 2 bowls for each of us. We have plenty of glasses and I just purchased flatware.  Sampson's dishware has held up. He needs another plate and bowl. I need two bowls and another plate (mine broke), but I bought flatware. Somehow already one large and small fork have been lost.

Vacuum. I am using a small and not good handheld (needs a new filter), but I think a larger more powerful unit would better serve me with my pets. So I'll look into the replacement filter for the handheld and then likely sell it as well. Bought a Shark Pet Lift-away and I am so glad I did.

Things to get rid of:
Extra pots and pans. I love my cast iron cookware so I don't use much else. I purchased Sam a Copper Fry Pan and he loves it so I am going to purchase the larger one as well. Then I can sell the miscellaneous fry pans we have rather than move them. Again anything that doesn't sell can go to the refugees. Accomplished!

Pink and Green Fabric Baskets. I once had a vision of dying them black and continuing to use them. However anything without a lid isn't safe from Rory and many have started to break down. I think my best bet is to trash the broken ones and sell the rest. Accomplished!

So we have been in our new place for 3.5 months. We still have boxes to unpack (and boxes still at my parents). We however are making progress. I figured out how to make the huge section work. Now I just need shelving. This apartment has zero storage (except in the kitchen). The kitchen has plenty of storage but needs counter space. I'd LOVE to find a completely refurbished retro fridge and stove.  Things will be what they will be. One day, one improvement, one box at a time. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

When Life Hands You Lemons, The Universe Is Reminding YOU that You are Not The Suburban Outlaw

We are a mere 75 days into 2017 and I have already been thrown a curve ball. This house, this place Sampson and I thought was going to be our forever home, we have 61 more days here. In early February the Landlord/Owner breached our sale contract and declined to sell the property to me.  After I finished being pissed off, I realized it was the universe reminding me that I am simply not cut out for the burbs. I am a Country Girl with an Urban Heart. The same day we found out about the contract being cancelled I had multiple offers of places to rent. A reminder that I am surrounded by people who are better than the Landord/Owner. I have taken one of them up on her offer. The boy and I are excited about the move, but not looking forward to the actual labor of the move.

I have been wanting to minimize (and I thought buying a smaller one floor house would help me do that). I have learned that every time I plan to review, revise and downsize I come up with excuses. So I decided to get to the heart of the excuses. Bottom line, I grew up with very little, I married a man who could not provide what we needed and I am afraid of not having. So I need to face that. Face that even though I had little, my basic needs were met as a child. I had food, clothing (hand me down and worn out) and shelter. In my marriage my husband did not provide as he promised, but I made sure my kids had everything they needed and MOST of what they wanted. That meant that I went without. It is difficult for me just to let go, because I know that someday it might be needed.

Before Sampson decides I need to start in my own Hoarders episode, I have decided to make the next 60 days about downsizing. Why move what does not serve me? I never unpacked and settled in, I guess a part of me was always waiting for the Landlord to show his true colors. Especially once I discovered he tried to hide a serious foundation leak.

 My goal is to sort all the boxes currently packed in the garage. I plan to move everything to one side of the garage and slowly pack well labelled boxes and stack them on the opposite side of the garage. This way, when moving day arrives I will be ready to load up a truck and move. I have several pieces of furniture that I plan to refinish. That doesn't mean they are coming with me. They are not my style and even refinished I doubt they will serve my needs. I am going to refinish them and then sell them. If they do not sell before the move date, I will donate them to a group helping refugees locally.

My box goal is 40. 10 small boxes for books and 30 medium boxes for everything else. Off the top of my head I know I have my comforter from high school which is falling apart and has seen better days. That is straight to the trash as there is no saving it, and no usefulness left in it. I do wish I had a fire pit, then I would burn it instead of trashing it. I have a ton of old beach towels. I am going to cut them down into paper towel size rags (both the small paper towels and traditional size paper towels). Then once we are moved and unpacked Sampson and I will each get a single beach towel.

I know I have a bunch of kitchen wares that I do not want. I am going to take the first half of May off from Envy and limit my work days so I can move, clean and unpack. I'd like not to go back to Envy after that, but we'll see what my financial resources are and how my private practice is moving along. I'd like to temporarily divert the purpose of this blog to following my journey to minimalize, pack, move and unpack as a method of accountability.

Let's see if I can fit everything into a $19.99 a day moving truck, I think I can.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2016 FOCUS Recap

Instead for 2016 I am simply going to be focused. 

Focused on:

ABUNDANCE - There is abundance on this earth and I am fortunate enough to share in that abundance.

I will not focus on what I do not have, I will focus on what I do HAVE. The rest will fall into place.  -This actually worked for me for 2016. That is not to say there weren't times that I worried that I wasn't going to make it (you know like when I had to throw away half of my belongings and move into a 11x20 room with my son, 3 cats and a dog in my parents basement), but when I stopped throwing myself a pity party and focused on the fact that I had a place to live (rent free) WITH my pets and my son until I could get back on my feet everything else fell into place. I found a house to own (owner is going to hold the mortgage), a job that is in my field of choice and helps me pay my bills, a new to me car (that is pretty sporty), and an offer to join a massage practice that is slammin.

ABILITY - I am an ably bodied person capable of doing and learning, failing my way to success. 

For too long the little voice inside my head has said I cannot. And the support outside my head said YOU cannot and you DO NOT. No more. The voice in my head will be retrained to say I can try. I can try and try again. Sure there are some things that I will not conquer, but there is nothing that I cannot give a fair try and if it comes out a complete disaster, at least I can say I tried. - So I am still working on this one. I often doubt myself, but I am learning to say "I haven't yet learned how to do "X"' or "Failure is simply a step along my path. 

FREEDOM - I am free from all constraints, the Universe is my home and my guide. 

I will no longer seek anyone's approval or permission for my life. I will live the life that flutters in my dreams and that lingers on my mind. I will be the source of my own happiness. -This one was actually the easiest. I did not celebrate Thanksgiving this year, because I did not want to. I simply don't feel obligated to celebrate a holiday that is the epitome of the failure of the American History system. I stayed home, made myself a delish meal and enjoyed every moment of my intentional solitude. 

HAPPINESS - I am in complete control of my own happiness. 

These are the focus for my 2016. They are achievable, but will not be satisfied by January 30th. Only on the last day of the year can I look back and honestly evaluate if I was resolved in my focus or if I let myself lose yet another year of my life. Again, there were many (MANY) moments where I let outside influences effect my happiness, but it was only for a short time before I reminded myself that no one else has the power to control my happiness. While I cannot control the things that happen in my life, I always have a CHOICE in how I respond to what happens in my life. Is the glass half empty? Is the glass half full? Does it even matter? Shouldn't I just be grateful I have a glass and there is something in it?

So here is to the coming year and wondering where my 2017 focus will take me. 

Another Attempt? One Last Shot? Is it Worth It?

My life for 2016 was a virtual roller coaster ride. There were ups, there were downs and there were many stomach turning loop de loops. But as 2016 draws to a close and 2017 approaches I am ready to say good-bye to 2016 and hello to 2017. With that in mind I thought I might give this blog one more shot. I know Lulu is busy (she is in aesthetics school, finishing her Black Belt training, training for a title fight series in 2017 and getting ready to be a real adult) so I don't know that she'll contribute often (or at all). Regardless, I want to keep going with this blog. I enjoy blogging, whether I have readers or not. I am hopeful that as she moves a little over an hour a way from me and starts living her life, this blog might be a regular connection for her and I.

As I mentioned 2016 was a roller coaster of events and emotions, and while I am ready to close the book on this chapter and am eager to turn the page on my newest chapter, I am also very grateful for all the lessons I learned in 2016, all the experiences and all the memories with family and friends. 

I will be posting my 2017 Goals and Plan to make a Vision Board to share here. This will be my accountability page. Before that I found an old post recapping my 2015 goals, so I will be editing that and posting it in the next few days. I will also check to see if I posted any 2016 Goals and recap those as well. Hope that 2016 treated you well and if it didn't you are ready to grab the bull by the horns and start 2017 on a positive note. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

A New Dawn, A New Day, A New Journey

My life these past 15 months have been a whirlwind. Every time I thought I was out of the tunnel and that there was a light, it turned out to be an oncoming train and I had to duck into a new path along the tunnel and once again grope my way through the darkness waiting for the light at the end. 

There have been many good times, but much more stress. I have given up eating well. It is difficult to eat well when you have limited funds, and more so when you don't know where your next meal is coming from. Many times I have sought comfort in cheap junk food from the Family dollar. I am once again at my all time heaviest weight. I am once again lost in sadness and despair. Once again my joints crackle as I move and I am exhausted. Not the kind of tired that if I could just get a good nights sleep I would wake feeling refreshed and ready to face my foes. Instead, the kind of exhausted that you wonder if when you lay down to sleep if you might just never wake again. The kind of exhausted that has you frightened to drive long distances. My allergies are OUT OF CONTROL. Because I cleaned up my eating once before I know the profound impact this has on my allergies, my fatigue and my mood. 

Tomorrow I head out to Greenlakes with my parents, Sam and Ruffalo. While I have no control over the menu or the foods available I am recommitting to eating well and taking care of me. I will go ALL weekend without an electronic. I will hopefully have enough time to reset my sleep schedule. I will eat only whole foods and I will walk, meditate and reconnect with my inner self.