Posts Tagged With: random

Plans for January

2016 is, unfortunately, front loaded.  If you read my last post, I have a lot of plans for this year, and I’ve already been working on about half of them.

  • The Big Move!

It’s three weeks away, and I can’t tell you how excited I am.  There’s a lot to do, though – packing up the house here, finding a house there, planning a long road trip to see family almost immediately (three days) after we get back.  We’ll be living out a suitcase for about three weeks.  Once we get back from the road trip, we’ll have a house and some of our stuff – the stuff that’s been in storage for four years (which we’ll need to sort through – ugh).  We’ll have to wait another three weeks for our stuff from Finland to arrive (which includes most of Baby J’s toys, almost all of my office/writing stuff, and the other items that have made our house a home for the last four years).  So February and half of March will be discombobulated as we wait to really get settled.

  • 30 Day Challenge:  Organize!

I think this is actually the one that made me come up with the idea of doing a different challenge every month.  With The Big Move coming up, I needed a way to get through the house, and I was looking for a simple “organize one thing a day” plan. I used this one from Milk and Cuddles, and modified it to suit my needs.  I actually started around December 20, so it’s more than 30 days, but January will be cut somewhat short (probably about five days) due to packing and moving, and I missed some days around Christmas.  Plus, I needed the time!  Things are progressing nicely, though, and I’ve already gone through most of the house.  A lot of things have been moved into the office for further sorting and cleaning out, so I’m working my way through that now.

  • 30 Day Fitness Challenge – Strong Knees!

My knees are pretty bad, so when I found this 30 Days to Stronger Knees Challenge, I knew this was where to start, especially if I wanted a good base for the rest of the year.  Like with the 30 day challenge, I had to keep The Big Move in my mind as I planned this – since some of the equipment needed will be packed up prior to the end of January, I decided to start a few days early.  (That’s also why this challenge got done first, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to do it until April, since the equipment would be in transit.)  So far it’s going well, I haven’t missed any days yet.  I don’t know that my knees are stronger yet, but I’ll let you know at the end of the month!

  • Start a Podcast!

Podcast has been started!  It’s a writing podcast, so if you’re a writer (or are just looking for a writing prompt) or if you know a writer, please share!  It’s called The Writing Promptcast, and it’s a writing practice within a podcast, using word prompts, giving you no excuses about finding the time or inspiration.  Check it out!

  • Use a bullet journal

You guys, this has changed my life.  I first heard the term “bullet journal” about six weeks ago, while listening to a podcast about a TV show.  I didn’t pay it any attention.  Then, while browsing (read: wasting time on) Pinterest, I ran across several posts about it, and started looking into it.  I am the worst about “keeping” multiple journals…and by that, I mean starting a notebook about one thing or another, writing five pages, and putting it aside.  (This notebook is all about photography.  This notebook is where I’ll keep all the stuff about the move.  This notebook….  Ugh!)  The bullet journal puts all that stuff into one notebook, and typing that it sounds like a serious no-brainer, but I love it!  I’m still adjusting my format some, as I use it and see what works for me and what doesn’t, but two weeks in I’m a convert.  (That’s the other great thing, it’s totally customizable.  Some people are way artsy with theirs, others are bare bones.  If you need a page to keep track of blog post ideas, recipes, books to read, movies to see, whatever, you just make that page yourself and move on.  Do your own thing!)

  • Work on “finding myself”

If you read my blog post from a few weeks ago, I talked about how I’m really having an identity crisis lately, so something I wanted to do this year was take a look at who I am, what I want, and what I need to do to feel comfortable with myself again.  I’ve found a couple of questionnaires online, all about finding yourself, and I know it sounds kind of hokey, but I feel like I need it.

  • Do morning pages

I had really wanted to start this one off as a 30 day challenge, but I also wanted to get on it ASAP.  So instead of making it a monthly challenge, I decided to do it on top of everything else.  So far…I’m not loving it.  But I’m trying to give it a chance.  I think that once I start working on one of my novels again, it will be a great place to work through some story problems, but for the moment, it’s a cross between a daily journal, a writing journal, and a to-do list, with a lot of “I don’t know what to write” thrown in.

  • Write a short story a month

As a part of the Podcast, I started a story challenge, and it’s only right that I craft a story myself.  I should also add to my writing plans for 2016 that I want to work on enjoying writing again.  So this is part of it.  No end goal of being published, just writing for the fun of it.  Remembering why I used to love it so much.

  • Books I’m currently reading (2 of 16)

Finishing up a couple of books I started in 2015:  The Spice Necklace and Bet Me.  I need to finish The Spice Necklace before the move, because it’s in print and I’m close enough to the end that I don’t want to put it in my suitcase because I’m two chapters from the end.  So I need to finish it in time to box it up to be shipped back.  Hard deadline on that one.  Bet Me is in e-book format, so I have a little more leniency there.  Still, I expect to finish both by the end of this week.

  • Get my email cleaned out and organized.

I currently have 100 email accounts.  Okay, that’s an exageration.  It’s only 15.  But I’m working on getting it down to 5 (one of them is for Baby J).  I’ve narrowed down the ones I plan on using, and as I sign up for new things I’m using one of these 5, but I still need to change all my current online accounts, as well as notify friends and family.  This may take a while…

  • I really wanted to start sending birthday cards this month, but with everything else, it’s just not going to happen.  Or it might, who knows.  No promises.

So, like I said, my plans for the year are pretty heavily front-loaded.  I hope it doesn’t hamper my progress.  I’m trying to figure out how February is going to work with everything, since we will literally be nomads for much of the month, living out a suitcase.  I just keep telling myself, it’s basically like the last two (10-day) vacations we’ve taken.  It won’t be as bad as I’m making it out to be, I’m just stressing.  My mental reminder:  They’re just plans.  Plans are meant to be changed.

How is your January going?

 

 

Advertisements
Categories: Random | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Identity Crisis

Ever since I was a teenager, I dreamed of being a writer.  Published.  Books in the store, on the library shelf.

Four years ago, my dreams came true, and I not only fell in love and got married, but I moved to a foreign country and didn’t have to work.  I could finally write full time.

Now, as we get ready to return to the US, I have almost nothing to show for it.

That weighs heavy on me.  Not simply because I had my dream and did nothing with it, but because I had the dream that so many other people have and did nothing with it.  I not only feel disappointed in myself, I feel ashamed.  I feel like I wasted this dream, a dream that others would have killed to have realized.

I wish I could say new dreams have replaced old ones, but that’s not the case.  In fact, I feel almost as if I have no dreams anymore.

I’ve been suffering a bit of an identity crisis lately.  I often feel like I don’t know who I am anymore, and I have these random moments where I stop and think, “Who am I?”  A lot of it has to do with being a mom now.  I was stuffing Baby J into his outerware the other day and really had this “This is me?!” moment.  It’s made more difficult because I don’t really feel like I’ve been “ME” in quite a while, so when I have these “Who am I?” moments, and I think back to who I was before, it’s a very distant memory.

I’m struggling to find myself again, and I hope that in doing so, I’ll find that spark of creativity I used to have, and the drive to do something with it.

More soon…

 

 

Categories: On Writing, Random | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

This or That: Buy or DIY?

Are you the type that sees something in a store or online and says, “I could make that!”  Or do you buy it and save yourself the time and effort?

I’ve looked online at quiet books for kids, and I love the idea, but I thought, “I could totally do that!”

I may be in over my head.

We’ll see.  I know I won’t get the whole thing done, but I hope to have some pages for our next vacation in a couple of months, something to keep Baby J busy on the plane.

What about you – Are you a Buyer or a DIYer?  Let me know in the comments below, and you’ll be entered to win some poppyseed soap made by yours truly! (Scent TBD – I have to see what scents I have available.) I made poppyseed soap as wedding favors when we got married, and I’ve had quite a few requests for more from family and friends since then. Time to make a new batch!

Photo by Nicki Thatcher, http://www.capturedbynicki.com

Everyone who comments on This or That Thursday in the month of July will be registered to win homemade poppyseed soap. Winner will be announced in August.

 

Categories: This or That? | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

This or That: Blue skies or grey?

One of the few things that gets me through the winters here is the prospect of Finnish Summer:  two to three months of bright blue skies and damn near perfect temperatures.  But this summer has convinced me that I could never live in Seattle.  It’s mid-July, and I think I can count the number of good days we’ve had on my hands – and I missed half of them while in Croatia.  It’s been grey and rainy and cool.  I don’t think we’ve even made it to 70°F where I live (except for those days I missed).  Even with the Croatian break, and the upcoming trip to Barcelona, I’m dying a slow death here.  I’m done with grey!!

But I know some people love this kind of weather.  Some people don’t care for blue skies.  Are you one of them?

Let me know in the comments below, and you’ll be entered to win some poppyseed soap made by yours truly! (Scent TBD – I have to see what scents I have available.) I made poppyseed soap as wedding favors when we got married, and I’ve had quite a few requests for more from family and friends since then. Time to make a new batch!

Photo by Nicki Thatcher, http://www.capturedbynicki.com

Everyone who comments on This or That Thursday in the month of July will be registered to win homemade poppyseed soap. Winner will be announced in August.

Categories: This or That? | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

This or That: Mountains or Ocean?

I feel like I’ve done this one before, or maybe I’ve just talked about my absolute adoration of the ocean in a previous post.  How yes, mountains are pretty, but the ocean, the sea, is my first love.  Ah, yes, here it is.  “The ocean moves, it dances, it sings. It destroys and cleanses and gives and takes away. Mountains erode. Slooooowwwllllyyyyy.”

Of course, if you’re really lucky, you might get both, like we did last week while in Croatia.  Such a beautiful contrast!

near Dubrovnik, Croatia

near Dubrovnik, Croatia

Which do you prefer, Mountains or Ocean?  Why? Let me know in the comments below, and you’ll be entered to win some poppyseed soap made by yours truly! (Scent TBD – I have to see what scents I have available.)

Everyone who comments on This or That Thursday in the month of July will be registered to win homemade poppyseed soap. Winner will be announced in August.

Winner of June’s giveaway is Jen!  (Actually, Anonymous won, but since I don’t have a way of telling if the person who claims the prize is actually the person who commented on the post, I decided to re-draw.)  Jen, I’ll be sending you a pretty picture in the mail soon!

Categories: This or That? | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

This or That: Red or White?

Red or white what is up to you, but let me know which you prefer. Perhaps you would rather have red wine instead of white. Or maybe you just chose white towels over red. Red tulips? White roses?

I will almost always go red, with anything. I’m not sure when I developed a love for red – it was never my favorite color. But suddenly I had a red couch, and my wedding shoes were red, and my wedding was white with red accents, and now I want red accent walls and throw pillows and…well, just splashes of red everywhere. (The red couch is gone, so don’t worry, it’s not like I’m putting red throw pillows on a red couch!)

So, Red or White? Let me know in the comments below, and you’ll be entered to win some poppyseed soap made by yours truly! (Scent TBD – I have to see what scents I have available.) I made poppyseed soap as wedding favors when we got married, and I’ve had quite a few requests for more from family and friends since then. Time to make a new batch!

Photo by Nicki Thatcher, http://www.capturedbynicki.com

Everyone who comments on This or That Thursday in the month of July will be registered to win homemade poppyseed soap. Winner will be announced in August.

Winner of June’s giveaway will be announced next week, so stay tuned!

Categories: This or That? | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

This or That: Walk or Run?

Some people are runners.  Some hate running with a fiery passion.  Me, I’m a runner at heart, but a walker by injury.

I’m one of those insane people who likes to run.  I hate walking (for exercise).  I feel like it’s a waste of time – by running you can go much farther in the same amount of time!  Running helps calm my monkey mind, helps me zone out, erases all the scribbles in my head.  Walking just makes it worse. Unfortunately, about 6 or 7 years ago, I injured my knee.  Still not really sure what I did to it.  I went to the doctor, I had an MRI, I went for physical therapy.  No one could tell me what was wrong, and nothing made it better.

I miss running.  I so wish I could do it again. Once we get back to the US, maybe I’ll be able to go to a specialist, or maybe I’ll check out acupuncture.  (Yeah, I miss it enough to be stuck with a hundred needles…)

So what about you?  Which would you prefer?  Everyone who comments on This or That in the month of June is registered to win a 4×6 print of this photo:

House by the Sea

Categories: This or That? | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Inspiration Tuesday

Even if you're not where you're supposed to be, or where you want to be, you can still thrive. #inspiration

A post shared by Sara Johnson (@bysarajohnson) on

Categories: Inspiration Tuesday | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

This or That: Speak or Hear?

Would you rather have the ability to hear, but not be able to speak, or be able to speak, but not hear?  And what I mean is: would you rather be able to understand others but not be able to communicate (talk, write, etc), or be able to communicate but not be able to understand others (hear, read, etc)?

It’s an often talked about fact in the expat community, that you lose some of your speech while living abroad.  You stop using idioms, because they don’t translate in a different language (or because non-native English speakers (or whatever your language) don’t understand them).  You have to look up words in the thesaurus a lot more often (case in point:  I had to look up “translate” in the previous sentence because the only word I could think of to convey my meaning was “transmit”).  You start using words for things that foreigners use (car park instead of parking lot, baby cot instead of crib, take-away instead of to-go).  I often find myself struggling to find the right words for things lately.  The language barrier is compounded, for me, by not usually talking to more than two people most days, one of them being a 1 year old.

Being a writer, a lover of words, I find this development…somewhat disheartening, to say the least.  Words used to flow out of me, my mouth, my pen, my keyboard, but I’m having a harder time of late. I have a plan of action…if I could only find the time to put it in place…

So obviously speaking (aloud or in print) is important to me.  But what if I could communicate, but not hear/understand?  Well, that would suck, but at least then I wouldn’t hear the bullshit spouted by some people, the hatred, the bigotry.  But I also wouldn’t be able to understand my husband, or my baby, when they say they love me.

Interesting conundrum.  I feel like it’s self-centered to say that I would rather be able to share my feelings with the world, put my thoughts out there, than hear what they think.  But I would rather tell my husband and son I love them a thousand times and not hear that they love me, than to not be able to tell them.  And that seems a bit less narcissistic.  I hope.  🙂

So what about you?  Which would you prefer?  Everyone who comments on This or That in the month of June is registered to win a 4×6 print of this photoHouse by the Sea

Categories: This or That? | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

This or That: Cool Weather or Hot?

Which do you prefer?  In mid-June, would you prefer to live in a place where it is 50°F or 90°F?  In mid-January would you prefer it to be 30°F or 50°F?

This week’s This or That brought to you from 50° Finland.  (IOW, I want it to be summer already, damn it!!)

In case my position needs further explanation, I like heat.  I would far prefer to be in a warmer climate than a cooler one.  While I absolutely love the typical Finnish summer with perfect mid-70° days, I love a good 90°+ day (assuming you have working air conditioning to go along with it).  I love the feeling of being in a cold, air conditioned building (mall, office building) and walking out into the heat of the day.  I always feel like I’m thawing out.  I miss that feeling.  Although, I will admit that I don’t miss burning myself on the seat belt or the steering wheel…

So, what about you?  Let me know in the comments below, and you’ll be entered to win a 4×6 print of this photo:

House by the Sea

All comments for This or That in the month of June will be eligible for the giveaway!

Categories: This or That? | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.