One word, but it encompasses so much.
Here we are in the midst of February, and I realized that I still hadn’t formulated any goals for 2014. What did I want to do this year, what did I want to accomplish? What areas of my life could use some contemplation?
For the life of me, I couldn’t come up with concrete ideas. I would think of one, but it would disappear into a puddle of anxiety, and I moved onto another idea. This process would continue, until here we are: we are practically halfway through this month, and I still have nothing to show for my ruminating.
But there was one word that kept weaving in and out of my thought process: change. Big changes, small changes, just changes all around.
And I slowly realized that this year, this year I am not going to focus on a list of things that I feel I must accomplish because it’s a new year and that’s what one ought to do.
I am just going to change. And embrace it.
Of course the biggest change happening in my life this year, is my impending move to Portland in a few months. Moving to another state is one of the biggest changes one can make.
I want to just let the other changes in my life happen slowly, not something to mark off my list. I plan on writing more, reading more, being more intentional with my time. But these are things that don’t get crossed through with red marker on a piece of paper. I plan to be better with my time and be open to the changes happening in my life.
And after the tumultuous summer I had, I am open to all that life has to offer. I am all about second chances, wishing on stars, and tears of happiness.
2014 is all about change and I am ready.
We sail through our youth, impatient at the pace. The pace of time, not fast enough for small hands and gangly limbs. Bruised knees, grass stains on jeans, sticky fingers, with residue jam, long ago eaten.
Partake of the sweet innocence, running headfirst at the clock that seems to be ticking so slowly. We swing higher on the swings…up…up…up. Higher, let’s go higher. There’s more than our immediate surroundings, there’s so much more.
Definitively walking with a purpose, an adolescent swagger, youth is for the others. The others who don’t know what it’s like. Friendships, make or break, life or death, double dare you, though I don’t mean it. What happens on the blacktop, secrets shared, the trivial forgotten.
Because youth, in its essence, is a mirage. We believe in pinky swears, but want something stronger. We want to be older, better. Not so awkward, not so clumsy. But before the bell rings, before the sound of pencil hitting paper, let’s dream of our youth.
Let’s look back fondly on pigtails and heads-up 7-up, because this time, this time we will never get back. We fly through our childhood at breakneck speed, paying no attention to the stop signs, briefly resting at caution signs, but getting right back up to leave our youth behind. Running faster and faster, till your chest hurts, and butterflies feel like they are multiplying in your stomach.
We sail through our youth… because it’s easier.
We sail through our youth… because the alternative is something not to consider.
We sail through our youth… because we promised we would.
Howdy folks! Hope everyone is enjoying the last vestiges of their Sunday. Hard to believe that we pushing forward into the last week of January already! Um, hello 2014, slow it up a little will ya?
Sorry to have been M.I.A. on the ‘ol blog lately, but I’ve been busy taking care of my hubby who is recuperating from shoulder surgery. He had a torn bicep muscle that had to be re-attached, and a bunch of other medical jargon that doctors mention, that you just nod your head and go, “Uh huh”. He is healing very well actually and starts physical therapy this week. Unfortunately, this is the 2nd time he has had to have surgery on this shoulder, so we are hopeful that this time, it will heal properly.
Also, this guy has been tending to my husband as well, making sure he has had enough purring and cuddles to speed up his healing process.
I also checked out what has probably been my umpteenth personal finance book:
It was a few years old, but it had this oldie but goodie:
“To stay above water financially, you have to spend less than you make. You simply cannot meet financial goals if you don’t live within your means”.
Often said, but needs to be repeated, right?
I’ve read three books so far in 2014; I’m not quite sure what I want my goal number to be, and to be honest, I haven’t even written any goals for this year yet. But I know #1 on the list of course would be MOVE TO OREGON!!
Still excited about that one…still so, so excited!!
How is everyone else doing? Are you sad as well that the 49ers didn’t make the Superbowl?
When I was in the throes of my debt, I hid. I hid my emotions, thoughts and feelings beneath a mask. A mask that hurt to wear, but I put it on every day.
Sure, the circles under my eyes made my mask grotesque. And the furrowed lines in my brow, made my mask crack. But the smile was in place.
A smile that I didn’t recognize.
A pasted-on joker’s smile. “Sure, everything is fine”, my smile said. “Sure, I have my finances in control”, my smile said.
But my smile lied.
My face contorted.
When I felt there were no eyes upon my mask, I took it off. It was heavy. And it hurt my face. Bone weary, and this masquerade upon my person, made my head ache, and my jaw tighten.
And then someone would look my way, and I would quickly slip the mask back on. “Everything is under control”, I would say. “I can handle this”.
My smile continued to lie.
Pretty soon, the unthinkable happened.
I couldn’t take the mask off. What was happening? I pulled and pulled, but the damn thing would not budge. I began to cry. This isn’t how I wanted to live my life, frozen behind a façade.
But that was how I was living my life, and I was ashamed.
I begged and pleaded with myself. I can’t continue to go down this path. This mask hurts, and I am just… tired.
Spent, and exhausted, I knew that I had an original smile hidden somewhere beneath my layers. Somewhere beneath my skin, lay my happiness.
I dug deep, I scratched my surface, and I tore off my mask.
I lay myself bare, and vowed to never wear this, this mask of debt again.
I crushed that mask beneath my feet, and I smiled in the mirror. A real smile. And this time, I recognized that smile. I recognized the curvature of my lips, the upturn of the corners.
I recognize this smile.
Nope, that is not a typo! I am moving to Oregon!
No, I am not moving into the Pittock Mansion. I wish, but no. We didn’t win the lottery or anything…
Yes, it is a new year and a time for new possibilities. It is a time for change. This summer, my family and I are moving to Portland, Oregon. My husband is originally from there and for me, it has always been a home away from home. We had always talked about someday moving there, someday being a relative term and kind of just this obscurity that we just couldn’t grasp.
But that is no longer the case. We have grasped the Portland dream, and we are holding on tight, going all in.
I am beyond excited!!!
Normally I am a girl who does not adapt to change well, and have a hard time with leaving the bosom of a well-established comfort zone. But you want to know something? This Portland move has me taking a proverbial hacksaw to my comfort zone! I am bursting at the seams with change and it is washing over me
As for being a born and raised California girl…this cold-weather loving, lives in cardigans and boots wearing momma, is ready for my Oregon immersement. I can remember from a very young age, wanting to live in a different climate, so it is no surprise to me, that I will be leaving the golden state.
So there you have it. I AM MOVING TO PORTLAND!
Details to follow in future posts. For now, let’s relish in my good news
My secret goal was to keep track of how many books I read from January to December. The whole year, nothing but books.
Remember, this goal for 2013 was not part of my original list I posted at the beginning of the year. I didn’t want it to be 6 months into the year, and all I had read was a random book or two. That would just be terrible, especially for a book-lover such as myself.
So I gave myself a number that I thought I could work with, considering I chase after a toddler all day. I set my magic number at 3. 3 books a month equals 36 books in a year. I could do that, and hey if I read more than 36 books, then that’s just the icing on top!
Okay drum roll please……
How many books have I read?
Oh. My. Gosh. That is a heck of a lotta books!
Here are the books that have been read by yours truly, and depending on how good the book was, firmly entrenched in my brain:
- The Confession by Charles Todd
- Drift by Rachel Maddow
- Most Talkative by Andy Cohen
- Downton Abbey: A New Era by Jessica Fellowes & Matthew Sturges
- Garment of Shadows by Laurie E. King
- Locked Rooms by Laurie R. King
- Search The Dark by Charles Todd
- Watchers of Time by Charles Todd
- A Fearsome Doubt by Charles Todd
- A Cold Treachery by Charles Todd
- A Long Shadow by Charles Todd
- A Bitter Truth by Charles Todd
- Anthem For Doomed Youth by Carola Dunn
- V Is For Vengeance by Sue Grafton
- The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene
- The Secret in the Old Attic by Carolyn Keene
- To End All Wars by Adam Hochschild
- 1912: The Election That Changed History by James Chace
- When Trumpets Call: Theodore Roosevelt After The White House by Patricia O’Toole
- An Impartial Witness by Charles Todd
- A Mourning Wedding by Carola Dunn
- Manna From Hades by Carola Dunn
- A Colourful Death by Carola Dunn
- Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
- Peril at End House by Agatha Christie
- The Red Door by Charles Todd
- Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security by Jean Chatzky
- The New Frugality by Chris Farrell
- A Lonely Death by Charles Todd
- Halloween by Agatha Christie
- The Big Four by Agatha Christie
- Dead Man’s Folly by Agatha Christie
- Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson
- The Bloody Tower by Carola Dunn
- Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr
- The Mystery at Lilac Inn by Carolyn Keene
- The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
- The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington by Jennet Conant
- The Bungalow Mystery by Carolyn Keene
- Taken at the Flood by Agatha Christie
- Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too by Beth Terry
- The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
- Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie
- The Hidden Staircase by Carolyn Keene
Obviously my reading interests lie heavily with British mysteries, but I also love books that revolve around WWI, early 20th century politics, frugality, and personal finance.
What books did I really love? All of the books by Charles Todd. Yes, all
Drift, Rachel Maddow’s book was awesome-sauce, seriously. Politics mixed with military history and you have got a book that was enlightening.
Agatha Christie is my favorite mystery author, so all of her books are must-reads.
Zero Waste Home, was a minimalist game changer and it has really changed the way at I look at things. Also Beth’s book Plastic Free was an eye-opener; seriously, plastic is in everything! Want to change your life? Read these two books!
An absolutely fascinating book was The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington by Jennet Conant.
Who knew that the guy who wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a British spy in the U.S. during WWII? I couldn’t put this book down!
Another couple of favorites was To End All Wars (for all you WWI buffs) and 1912: The Election That Changed History. Can you tell I like history?
So there ya go! 44 books read in 2013. I totally surpassed my goal of 36 books to read this year
Go me, go me, go me, go me, go me!