Tuesday, September 24, 2013

An unintentional update courtesy of some strong coffee.



Despite a blogging respite over the last few days, I have little idea what to write about. I feel a certain pressure to produce something profound, but alas. I keep thinking I will be infused with inspiration once my coffee kicks in, but I've burned my tongue twice and am now convinced Starbucks brews their coffee at 1000 degrees. How can it still be so hot?! Git. In. Mah. Belleh.


I should be studying for what will undoubtedly be a brutal exam next Monday. I considered writing a post about Biochemistry. Two birds. One stone. But if I have no desire to read about it, and my grad school acceptance depends on it, chances are good you don't want to hear about amino acids and functional groups, either. If so inclined, would you mind terribly to read the chapters and give me the CliffsNotes version?

The truth is, these last couple months have been trying. They've tested my patience, my relationship(s), and sent ripples through my existence. I suppose we all need times like these to retain a healthy perspective, but I'm over it. I'm emotionally exhausted. I've let these trials worm their way into my psyche, infusing doubt and resentment. Most days I'm fine, but some leave me wanting to walk away. Total physical and emotional abandonment of what has me in a funk.

The fact that I have a good life does not elude me. I also possess pretty healthy coping mechanisms. I'm not the girl that declares on Facebook that I "FHML" at the slightest hurdle. But lately it has been taking more work to see the class half full. In The Happiness Project, the author talks about the idea of pretending to be happy in a given situation. The idea is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. Act like you like something, and you just might start enjoying yourself more. While reading that chapter I found myself appreciating the science behind the concept, but pretending to be happy about something is so, well, un-me. Why not, though? Perhaps it's about time I start acting like I'm content with where I am right now. Because overall I am. I just tend to focus on what's next as opposed to my everyday existence. To become easily overwhelmed by the funkiness. I have written numerous times about my difficulty living in the now, so why not make a concerted effort to change my bad mental habits? There is a lot to appreciate. Fall has begun, my schedule is lighter, and I have more time than ever to spend with Little Man. So this week I've taken action. I'm going to start enjoying more of what life has to offer... because happier-ness is a choice. (I totally fabricated that word. You see, I'm not unhappy. But I could be happier. Which is the point of the book and my new resolution.)


On the path to less stress and a more effortless existence, Mario and I have begun a debt snowball system. I've mentioned this before, but the wheels are in motion. We sat down and wrote a budget. We definitely got the (snow)ball rolling, to the tune of several hundred dollars. On one credit card. We spent our entire paycheck on paper so there would be no frivolous spending. Bills got paid immediately so they would leave our checking account, and everyday money was sorted into envelopes. I had to actually enter the lobby of the bank and withdraw a large sum of cash for monthly expenses. It was weird. Gas, groceries, miscellaneous purchases, eating out, and "blow" money were sorted based on our predetermined budget for each. ("Blow" money is Dave Ramsey's term for cash that can be spent on whatever one chooses. My morning coffee will take up a lot of that. Mario and I both get an envelope of cash each month... and what we do with it is our business.) Budgeting is tricky, and I'm still figuring out the nuances of an envelope system. For instance, this morning I went to Target to grab some things. I bought household goods, food, and a sweater. One purchase, three envelopes. I don't carry all them with me, so I had to sort through the receipt and calculate how much to return or take from the various envelopes. But I paid with cash. No debit card. I know what I bought and was more selective with my purchases. I printed Target coupons before going and saved a good chunk of change. I like this system and the feeling of control and organization over our finances it offers; I'm sure with time it will become easier to navigate. Yesterday, after Kiddo asked for an expensive fresh-squeezed juice from the food co-op (which would have come from my blow money), I decided it would be awesome to get him in on the action. Because our house is officially on the market (as of last Friday), constant upkeep is necessary. We spend about 15 minutes every evening tidying up so that it doesn't feel overwhelming, and he's been a big help. I think he deserves his own blow money. At times I've wondered if Jared has been worried that all this money talk and house-selling activity indicates some sort of hardship. It doesn't, and I've tried to reiterate that we are doing this because we want to. Because we want to move next summer. Because anything that makes life easier and less stressful is a good thing. He is definitely old enough to join in and I can't think of a better way to teach him the benefits of being debt-free and saving for the things we want (and the future). 

It turns out I had a lot to say. As I mentioned before, we put our house on the market. After a lot of thought and discussion, we decided to go ahead and list it. Our realtor had some promising news (before it was, um, a lot less promising), so I'm choosing to be optimistic. You never know if there is someone out there looking for exactly what our house has to offer.

In the spirit of looking at the bright side, and changing my outlook to change my life, here's a glimpse into what my existence has looked like as of late... through a rosier perspective:


We live about 25 minutes from town. Tuesdays and Wednesdays Kiddo has activities at the Y. On Tuesdays there is enough time between school and play to go home for a bit. The time gap is much smaller on Wednesdays. I have decided to be intentional with that time. Over the last several weeks, I pick Kiddo up from school and we spend quality time together... usually a visit to a local coffee shop to do homework and enjoy a treat. Yesterday I had him walk the short distance from his school to the town square. I sat on a bench with a clear view of his walk, read a book, then we caught up on each others day over cupcakes. I've never met a more beautiful creature than that boy. While the weather is nice, he will continue to walk down to that bench to meet me.


One of Kiddo's favorite pastimes in the whole world is laser tag. There is a big arena about 90 minutes from our house, and when in the area we stop and let him play. He comes out soaked in sweat and grinning from ear to ear. While he plays, Mario and I do, too. We buy a cup of tokens and play games. Finding our inner kiddo is so important. As a grownup, it's easy to forget to let loose once in a while. This particular visit I was on fire.


The other morning Mario and I had a quick breakfast date before meeting with friends. This particular restaurant had the worst coffee. Have I mentioned how expressive my husband is? I snapped a few photos of his reaction to the brew's tar-like quality. We laughed. Hard. These moments remind me of why I committed to be with this dude forever and ever.


I've always been a sucker for cute woodland creatures. Target has a whole line of woodland-themed decor right now. I want all of it. Love, love, love. Perhaps a piece or two should make it into the October budget. Or onto my birthday list (October 10th in case you are feeling generous).


It's officially fall. As told by the glow-in-the-dark poop on the Halloween rack at Target. What did they feed that animal?! // Kohl's is open! Silly? You try buying a kid's white button down shirt for a school program with only a Target and JC Penney in town. // I'm so studious. Actually, I'm plagued with eye allergies thanks to bursting maples everywhere I turn. My eyes are constantly irritated (and I scratched my eye recently, calling for prescription eye drops), so contacts are out of the question. It's taken some adjustment, but I like mixing up my look. // I saw this cookbook at an antique bookstore Kiddo and I visited last week. It was darling and made me smile. // I accidentally made a high bun. I know mastering "The Bun" is a requirement of being a blogger, but this girl is not so talented. I literally threw it into a knot to get ready for CrossFit and discovered that I'd done it! Perhaps I can do it again, with more intention. (See how optimistic that was?) // Kiddo's school has a yearly yard sale fundraiser. I helped set up then spent the night with a couple other moms to watch the stuff and so we could be ready at the crack of dawn. I had two (whoa!) mojitos at a place called Margaritas and spent a great evening with a couple of amazing ladies. // A pair of flats I have had for a while decided to attack my feet. There was blood and blistering. (Gross, but we've all been there.) I had several more hours before heading home, and could barely hobble, so I stopped by a local shop to find something to get me through the rest of the day. These Sanuk slip-ons were $10 marked down from $55. Score! I've been wearing them a lot while my feet heal.


Last Friday started with CrossFit, then a day spent setting up the yard sale, running home to meet the realtor,  and returning to spend the night. Saturday morning came waaay too early. When we got home that afternoon I crashed on the couch for a couple hours which is so unlike me (I'm a nap-phobe). My furry boyfriend slept on my chest the whole time. He's such a snuggle bug. Swoon. On a side note: we volunteered to provide cupcakes for the bake sale that goes on during the yard sale. Mario made them because I ran out of time, but he didn't have time to make frosting. We served them anyway and I let it go. Making leaps and bounds in this resolution! // Kiddo is a natural photographer. He has such a great eye. I came across my last camera and decided it should be his. I can't wait to see life through his eyes. // Too many carbs. Food regret. I need an intervention. // My perch from the bench while I wait for Kiddo, book in hand. // I think CrossFit is trying to kill me. Since I've been back, the WODs have been craaazy. In case you were wondering, this means the first round includes 21 reps of each move, then 18 of each and so on for a total of 84 reps of each move. Today was 100 burpees and 100 kettlebell swings in 12 minutes. It hurt. A lot. // I love this kid. Even after all this time, I could still just sit and watch him. // His and hers lattes. Mario spilled his across the table and down the front of me. It's not the first time he's poured a beverage on me and it probably won't be the last. That boy is all thumbs. I laughed. // It's officially cardigan weather. Happy girl, right here.

2 comments:

  1. Is it sad that I love budgeting!?

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  2. Ahhhh, your posts as of late have been giving me so much food for thought. In so many ways, we are so alike. Like you, I seem to never be able to stay still and must always question my level of happiness (or unhappiness). I laughed when I read that you were thinking of Australia. When I was 26, I ditched law school to live for two years in Taiwan. Similar, no? I came back of course but have been forever changed by that experience. Changed for the better of course! Still today, I constantly think of leaving everything behind (except Chaughan and the girls) and moving somewhere else, somewhere totally different... southern France is top of mind lately!

    I don't think there is anything that we can really do about this constant questioning that we have, this need to analyse ourselves and life around us. I wish I could turn it off at times and live in the moment. But I suppose that for me, that is living in the moment... That is who we are. Somehow we have to find peace with that.

    I love reading your posts... I love how raw you are. Keep writing Sarah.

    Lots of love,
    Natalie
    XXX

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