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10 Changes for the Last 155 Days of 2019

As of today, there are 155 days left in 2019. We are well past the half way mark, with 210 days gone for 2019. I feel like 10 changes is realistic for 155 days. Some will be easy. Some will be more difficult. All of them will be not only good for me, but good for the world (or at least the community). So, here goes my 10 Changes:

  1. Shop local. This will be good for numerous reasons. First, I have been really bad about the easy, breezy Amazon Prime purchases this past 210 days. I buy too much or spontaneously. Plus, Amazon is a wonderful innovative company, but it doesn’t always treat it’s workers great and it doesn’t give much to our local community. So, I’m going to try to raise our local tax base, support local business owners and really think about my purchases before I make them. This will include my holiday shopping. So, it will have an impact.
  2. Decrease my single-use plastic waste. I have been feeling more and more committed to this (note it has been a feeling, not necessarily an action) over the past few months. My family uses a TON of single-use plastics. I know I won’t be able to end it, but if I could just significantly decrease it, I would be happy. I’ve been looking at bulk shopping (we have a few places here where you can bulk shop for things like shampoo and conditioner and soaps) and will be doing that as soon as I use up some of things in my house already. Which are numerous. This brings me to…
  3. Use it up! Seriously. I have food items, cleaning supplies, body wash, lotions, soaps, books, scrapbooking stuff…the list could go on and on. And I don’t use hardly any and then I will actually purchase new stuff! Why??? I can’t explain it. But, I do. Compulsively. I have shampoo in my shower, but I bought a tester bottle at CVS two weeks ago and then bought a bottle of shampoo at Trader Joe’s this week. Why? Who knows? Again, those impulse buys get me every time. So, I’m going to do a thorough inventory of my house and commit to not buying anything new until I use up what we have.
  4. Read it or Rid it! I have so many books. That is an understatement. I have books in my room, the hallway, the garage, the living room, and more. I have not been reading much in the last decade and I go to the library pretty often. The books have just been sitting there on my shelves. I took two pretty big loads to the thrift store today and I’m going to make a commitment to only keep what I truly feel is worth keeping and get rid of the rest. I can get whatever I want to read at the library at some point, so I don’t need to have all these books in my home.
  5. Meal plan. I NEED to meal plan. We are so bad at not using food in our refrigerator and freezer. We eat out way too much, pay way too much for food we don’t eat, and we often have no idea how to make a meal out of what we have in our house. So, meal planning is a must. It ties in to #3 – Use it up. I buy stuff and then end up throwing it away because we don’t have a plan to use it. So, I’ve joined Kitchen Winners at Jessica Fisher and I’m going to try to really meal plan effectively.
  6. Digital Detox. I am on my laptop way too much and I tend to overuse my phone as well. So, I’m going to really try to digitally detox this Fall. I’m going to set firm hours for being online. I haven’t figured out exactly how it is going to work (one dark day a week would be nice, but seems a little beyond possible with my job and travel, etc.), but I’m going to put some limits on myself and commit to following those limits strictly. I didn’t take my laptop on vacation last week and it was pretty spectacular. I used my phone a little too much, but it kept dying, so it wasn’t too bad on most days. But, I’ve been bad on my laptop since returning home. And much like my purchasing decisions, a lot of it is not really necessary or helpful.
  7. Engage in my community. I used to be really active in the community when my DD was a baby. We went to a ton of local events and participated in a lot of fun things. But, since she started school, our participation the community has really fallen off. We don’t go to our Farmer’s Markets on regular basis anymore. We don’t do the downtown events when they happen. We skip museum events. I want to re-engage in these events for a couple of reasons. First, I feel like being involved in our community is important. Second, I feel like going to things like the Farmer’s Markets and museum events gives us access to people we wouldn’t necessarily meet or talk to in our day-to-day lives and those conversations can be important. In addition, it is often very fun! Once it is habit, I crave doing those events. But, when you fall out of habit, it seems like a lot of effort to expend.
  8. Do less. Better. This is my teaching philosophy for Fall 2019, so why not make it a life philosophy? I want to do the things I decide are important enough to do better. I’ve been floating through life not really doing well at anything. I now want to narrow my efforts to a few things and do those really well. What will those things be? Parenting, Home Management (including that meal planning, but also decluttering and keeping house better), Teaching and Coaching, and Leading Girl Scouts. That is not a small amount of things. In fact, it is a lot. Which is why I need to get off the laptop and phone and focus on doing them.
  9. Be hospitable. We are getting our backyard redone. It should be completed by the time school begins and we will have grass, an area for a patio table and plants, etc. I want to host people in our home and have dinner and play games and generally be hospitable. Our house is not great. In fact, it is mostly pretty ugly and worn. But, our backyard will be lovely, so we can use that until the rain comes. And maybe even then if we are strategic.
  10. Plan and implement. Last, but not least, I want to use my planner and actually implement the plans I make there. I am notorious at using my planner to write plans down and then ignoring those plans. I was better at using the planner and calendar in the Fall and I forgot way less things, but I would still not follow through with my daily plan and priorities. This next 155 days, I want to plan my days (at least a bit) and then implement those plans instead of just forgetting them. It sometimes feels good to abandon the plan, until the next day comes and I have even more things to do and still the things I didn’t implement.

So, there you have it, my 10 Changes to Make in the Last 155 Days of 2019. Let’s do this!

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Five Minute Friday – Willing

Well, it is another Five Minute Friday on a Saturday. I had the best of intentions of writing a post yesterday and I have two others that I started earlier this week and never posted. Sigh…I really do write blog posts regularly. I have 120+ drafts that I have started and never published on this blog. But, I’m going to get this one written and published right now.

This blog is one of those things where I am willing to do something, but do not actually follow through with doing it. This is a contradiction of sorts. Willing has at its foundation “will” which is a commitment of sorts. So, why don’t I follow through on things like writing, finishing and publishing blog posts? Why don’t I follow through on things like exercising and eating well? Why don’t I follow through on making my life better? Often times, I think willing comes into conflict with fear and causes hesitation. Or maybe it is less fear and more perfection. What if it isn’t good enough? What if I do all the things and I still don’t achieve what I want to achieve? What if I do achieve what I want to achieve and it isn’t that great? At this point, I don’t even really know what holds me back. I just know that I hold back. I guess I need to focus more on the process and less on the product. Baby steps. Small actions. Willing to act, without knowing exactly what the result will be.

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That’s it for today. It isn’t very long, but it is done and I’m going to hit publish on it. We’ll see how much I’m willing to DO this week.

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday on a Saturday – Take

take

I wrote this yesterday and then promptly forgot to publish. So, here you go…a day late!

Joining Five Minute Friday again this week. The prompt for this week is “take”. Here we go…

Take. It isn’t something we hear a lot about in our society. Not nearly as much as we hear “give”. I was taught about giving at a young age. It was valued and important. On the other hand, taking was something that was often seen as shameful. You don’t take things you don’t need. You don’t take without asking. You don’t take without being grateful and humbled. Taking always came with so many strings attached. And rules were not always totally clear. If someone offered, was it okay to take (the answer is sometimes…because you have to beware of taking things that may put you in a position of owing someone later, you have be aware of whether taking it will mean someone else who needs it more may not get it, etc., etc.).

But, what happens when we grow up and need help? If we are always focused on taking being dangerous or shameful, how do we better receive? Because in order to take something, we have to receive it. It is actually the complicated part. I’m not sure how to overcome the strange connections with taking in order to be a better receiver, an open receiver. The fact that I think there is a “better” way to receive, in itself, is a reflection of the struggle with the idea of taking.

So, I think we need to focus on how taking is receiving. Receiving doesn’t have as many of those unwritten rules and value judgments tied to it.

And, that’s it….the five minutes is up. 🙂

Get Sh*t Done

Get Sh*t Done: July Goals

I am linking to Steph The Bookworm’s Get Sh*t Done post for July and trying to motivate myself in some small way. So, I’m going to set some goals for the month of July.

  • Get outside! For part of the month, this will be very simple. I’ll be “camping” for a week. I put that in quotation marks because this year, instead of staying in a tent like we have the last three years, we are staying in a cabin next to the campground. It is furnished, has a full-size refrigerator, wi-fi and all the amenities, so it doesn’t really seem like camping. But, I’m hoping that it allows us to enjoy things more than we did last year. The tent was fine when it was just my DD and myself, but last year it was all three of us and it stormed one night and we had not put the rain cover on the tent (because when does it rain in July where we were? Hardly ever!) and it was rough. We still had a good time, but It was miserably hot and while everyone else we were camping with had an air conditioned trailer to go to, we did not. So, there was no escaping it. So, this year, we have a cabin with AC that is in the campground the group is staying in and we’re staying in what is supposed to be a cooler area (although with the way things are going, it will be in the high 90s there as well). Anyways, other than that week, my goal is to be outside at least 30 minutes everyday with my DD. Today I went to our local park twice. Once with just my DD to collect some driftwood to make a craft. Then back this afternoon with a friend of my DD’s for them to swim in the river. It was great. Tomorrow, we’re taking a friend to the local public pool to swim. The next day it is a water park in a neighboring community. After that, I don’t have plans, but will be making them.
  • Redecorate the house. I have been wanting to do this forever. I don’t know how much I will be able to do, but I have finally settled on a style of decor I want. Rustic Farmhouse. It seems to fit with all of our animals, our deer head mounts in the living room, etc. So, now I just need to focus on a few key pieces. A new dining room table and chairs is definitely on the short list. I also would not mind getting a new couch. My daughter’s room needs a makeover as well. It would be nice to get some paint on the walls after 10 years of living here. So, I’ll be asking our landlord. I would love some new floors too, but that may be too much to ask. We shall see.
  • Eat at home. I realize I won’t be able to do this every meal the whole month. But, I feel like we have been preconditioned to eat out almost once a day, every day. It is truly ridiculous. I’m a horrible meal planner because I will plan something and then find it too difficult or not appealing when it comes time to cook it. Mostly it is habit. Well, that and doing dishes so the counters and sinks aren’t overflowing with dishes.
  • Declutter the house. Seriously declutter. I got rid of seven coffee cups today, a monopoly game (one of the three or four that we own, all with different themes) and two stadium chairs we used once three years ago and never again. Tomorrow, I plan to continue on the route of getting rid of things.

I will leave it at that. That seems like a lot when I look at it. I plan to track my trips outside, my changes in the house, my meals at home and what I get rid of decluttering. I will do that for the month and report back at the end of the month with how I did. Thanks for the inspiration Steph!