posts in category New Year

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Junk Journal or Make a Smash Book? Tough Decision.

The view from my window. Note the patched screen? My next husband MUST be handy. ;o) Really just a good ole ST who can fix things  and leave me alone, will be just fine with me. If only I had the resources of Murphy Brown and could just hire a painter/handy man to get things done. But alas, there is the need for intimacy and someone to take along on trips and movies. Those experiences are generally better with another human-and men are cute.

The second area I wanted to focus on this year is creativity. I have been intrigued by the lovely junk journals I have seen, including the one I purchased to use for photos when I went to Ireland. I was going to share some photos of it, but it is currently misplaced. It will show up eventually.

However, getting started has been a challenge for me. First of all, I threw most of my scrapbooking papers away last year. Over the years, I get less and less sentimental. In fact, a lot of the stuff I have, I now have because it was a gift and I am waiting for people to die so I can toss it out. So I want to get started, but I don't want to spend a ton of money on supplies. 

That is why I started thinking about smash books rather than junk journaling. Junk journaling suggests pulling out pages and sewing and covering bindings and oh, I could do it...but it isn't a start quick and get it done thing. And I am impatient.

What's the difference? This lovely article sums it up:

Junk Journal Vs Art Journal Vs Smash Book

So I think I am going to start with what I have. I have various journals and old books. In Ireland, my almost-ex-husband (just one more week or two), bought me an old religious text at a used book store. I used it to journal and sketch with oil pastels. It wasn't a work of art-je ne suis pas une artiste-but it was fun.


These are oil pastels:

Photo by Kai Tremblay on Unsplash

And so I ordered some paper ephemera which finally came in after about 3 weeks, and am ready to get started. Here are my goodies!

Now of course, part of me can't help but decry the lack of authenticity in my goods. These are made in China to look old. They will not have the charm of a truly repurposed postcard, for instance. However, they are within budget and get me off and running AND I can slowly start adding more "real" items to my collection of supplies. 

Whilst looking for my Ireland junk journal, I found this day calendar from 2017. It must have been a Christmas gift which was tucked away and forgotten. Oh well.

I'll post pictures on new blogs as I create. The goal is one post per area I wish to work on, per month.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Getting Fit-Why is it so hard?

This pic is absolutely not me. It makes my neck hurt just to look at it. plus I just couldn't pull off that shade of haircolor.

 I am looking at the first branch of my plans for the year, and that is the ever-popular one: Fitness.

Just saying that makes me want to jump under the quilt, cover my head, turn on my side, and dive into the quiet world of fantastical imagination (usually centered around romance, because that's how I roll). 

I haven't dove in as enthusiastically as I wanted. There are a myriad of things that are stopping me. First of all, inertia. It is easier to stay still when you are still. Procrastination is rearing its ugly head. I plan to exercise in the morning, and then morning comes, and it seems like cruel and unusual punishment to do more than sit quietly and sip my French roast and maybe do a few simple stretches and squats. I am only sleeping about 5-6 hours, which overall feels okay, but since I usually fall asleep within about two minutes of turning out my light, I think I might be sleep-deprived.

 I also have a fitness blog and matching Instagram (which I am not ready to share-I don't need my coworkers seeing me in a sports bra at this point in my life), but people are ALWAYS trying to sell something.  This is a problem for me because I get pride doing things for myself. If I figure out how to lose weight and tone up, it means something. If I go the gym and get a personal trainer (which is the ONLY way I see myself going to a gym), good for me. If someone else makes a suggestion-it doesn't mean as much. It robs me of my ability to feel pride in my accomplishments. Plus, saying no is hard for me. Now, a walking/jogging partner (a newbie like me) would be helpful. I think that would get me out the door-but since I have taken on a couple online courses to teach in the afternoon, I don't know when I would get the childfree time for that.

So there are all my excuses. 

On a side note, I was listening to an Oprah podcast on Spotify this morning (while slowly sipping my French roast), and one of the main points being made was how important it was to be true to your word. And Oprah cut in (she cuts in too much-I mean I like the topic, but shush and let the speaker unfold), and talked about how hard it is to be true to our word to OURSELVES. She talked about how easily she could talk herself out of not finishing a workout she had promised herself. And that is so true. When we aren't true to our word to ourselves, we just call it, "Changing my mind." Something to think about.

Knowing all these excuses, doesn't get my ass smaller, though. Actually, I don't "see" my butt, except in pictures, therefore I really worry about my stomach and my double chin. Every pound, I swear jumps to my waist and face.

I have to find ways to build this into my day without a lot of stress. 

I know the easiest thing to do is to put on my sneakers, dress Alec (because he walks in the door and strips his clothes off everyday), and just go out for a walk. There isn't anything hard about that. Except that-people will see me. That stresses me out a little. When I am home, I want to be home. Alone. Quiet. In pajamas and unseen. 

I have my 15-pound dumbbell. The exercise video I do with the weight, literally takes less than 5 minutes, and I feel pretty worked out the next day. There is NO excuse not to do 5 minutes of this a day.

The weighted hula hoop is easy, though it feels too easy and gimmicky to work. Tierney said it was working for her, though. The yoga mat isn't getting a lot of use because, it seems like too much in the morning. 

How can I build this into my day?

I need to have it all set up in the morning. I need the yoga mat spread out on the floor, the weight and hula hoop nearby, and the roku remote ready to go find a Youtube video for Yoga or others (I always used to love Cynthia Kerulik videos-apparently she was a thing for men to gawk at, but I always enjoyed listening to her quiet chatter while working out). It is just a matter of getting the ball rolling. The easier I make it on myself, the easier it will be to do it the first time, the second time, the third...until I feel like a habit has been formed. 

I think a HUGE part of the problem is the idea of fitness is linked with attractiveness in my head. And I will NEVER be young again. I need to retrain my mind to focus on how it FEELS to move lightly and with ease. How good it would feel not to huff and puff. How nice it feels NOT to have heartburn and to have your pants a little to0 loose rather than too tight. 

Now...I have written a whole lot of words here. Until I put them into action that is all they are. Words. I could do a check-in or a fill-in-the-bubble when you do it planner activity, but those don't work for me. My rebellious nature will kick that plan to the door. FREEEEEEDOM!

But now I have a plan. Set everything up the night before. Grab the dumbbell before I turn on the TV. Do the hula hoop the first 10 minutes of salivating over Damon. Just do the danged floor exercises WHILE I listen to my soul-growing podcasts. When I set it in motion, 3, 4, 5 days in a row, I should theoretically start feeling good about the new habit I am developing. Then I will let you know how it goes!

Monday, January 3, 2022

New Year's Resolutions-Getting ready for 2022


                                            Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

I didn't want to say New Year's Resolutions, but let's call a spade a spade. After a delicious 11 days off, tomorrow it is back to school for the second term. I have thoroughly enjoyed binge-watching The Vampire Diaries (rumor is it is going off Netflix in March), which I just found in November. I have enjoyed doing a whole big fat lot of nothing. It was wonderful. But now, I feel the need to stir things up, plan for the new year, and start making progress towards greater meaning in this crazy little thing called Life.

Do you make resolutions? How do you decide what to focus on?

My Resolutions

Below are a list of things I want to focus on this year:


First of all, I feel a renewed need to focus on fitness. Let's be honest. I am 48 and have carried and given birth to six children. No matter what I do, this has marked my body. And sometimes I do get discouraged. When energy and mood is flagging and brownie batter is calling my name, it is hard to stay focused on the fact that am overweight. Part of me thinks, "Well, no matter what I do there will be stretch marks and saggy skin, so why bother?" But part of me is also aware of the things I want out of life. I want to hike, all day hikes, which require a strong, healthy body. 


I want to start junk journaling. I have wanted to do this for awhile, but have put it off. First of all, when I have tried making/creating things in the past, the kids have always interrupted or messed with my supplies. However, I am tired of putting off what I want to do. I need to develop systems which allow me to quickly and easily put away my items and get them out when I want to use them. 
Here is a link to a video on Junk Journaling for Beginners.
Photo by Rhodi Lopez on Unsplash

Focus on Vision

I am one who likes to quietly experience life and then slowly contemplate my experiences. This is where I find meaning. However, I want to start focusing more on vision and planning a future for myself. Part of me abhors this-it such a high-maintenance TJ  (the link explains the different types. I am an FP, so TJ are sort of my polar opposite)  sort of thing to do. But really, whenever I try to participate in meditations or abundance mindset, I find myself struggling to even know what I want. 

What I feel like I want is romance and friendship and adventures and interesting thoughts and quiet nights and good books and an occasional fire crackling in the fireplace. And that is all good. But maybe, it is time to start envisioning more for myself. This is actually VERY hard for me. I remember watching people at work, and they had all these ideas for how to improve things, and I am over here like, "Hey, let's just all be friends and have fun together." 

While that is okay and is valuable, I also feel like there is a part of my brain that is quietly slumbering through life. It probably doesn't help that most of them are younger now and they do get together and I am sadly excluded-so I have no choice but to change my focus, haha). And I want to wake it up and shake it up a little. I know I often come across as flaky and unintelligent, and while I am a wee bit shallow (I like the way things look), I also know I am intelligent. It irritates the bejesus out of me when people are surprised at my tests scores or my ability to get things done. Just because I like boots and makeup doesn't mean I don't have the ability to think deeply. Now, thinking quickly, that  may be a problem for me. But slow thinking has its benefits, too, and both types are needed to get things done. 

Either way, when someone asks, "What do you want?" I want to have an answer.

Less Screen Time

I really plan to focus on less screen time for both myself and the boys. Time spent blogging and creating-not so bad. Time spent bingewatching a TV show and watching the boys scroll through Youtube videos (I don't allow TikTok), is a bit of a waste. I plan to develop limits and then ENFORCE them. The enforcement is the hardest part. When I have worked all day, and the boys are bickering, it is hard to hold my ground. But I can and must. I watched this horrific video by Mrwhosetheboss (who by the way is sexy as hell-I have a thing for British-Indians, I guess), and I feel like the whole world is slipping away from us and we are just dumbly watching it happen (It may have something to do with getting older, too).

The video I'm Worried about humanity's future is really an interesting one!

Less Perfectionism

Finally, I need to start nipping my perfectionism in the bud.  I often feel like I can't have people over unless my house is perfect, or I can't start a hobby without the perfect workspace in place. I have to stop that. I can't keep waiting until everything is perfect to live my life. If someone cannot realize that I am working fulltime and am doing well to keep up with laundry, kids, and dishes and wants to judge me because some things need work, I don't need them in my life. 

This is easy to say, hard to do. I want to be liked. I want make other people happy. But if Joe or Josephina Cool can't deal with my broken dishwasher, then are they really the best person for me?  Let them go find the perfect person with the perfect life. This insecurity over my imperfections is terrible. 
My workplace is going to masks not required tomorrow (thanks to our state attorney general), and while I yearn to breath freely, part of me is worried that people will see my larger than average nose again and BE DISAPPOINTED. Like Screw them. I *know*if someone likes me, they will extend this to my face, but ... this damned nose. Sigh. 

Anyway, more acceptance, less perfectionism. I think part of me wants to be more and higher. I want friends with money and beautiful homes, but I also know if I can't get there myself, they probably aren't my group. So I hide and...I'm a fruitcake, people!:).
Anyway, I will get a head start on this, by not proofreading this post. I hate proofreading and editing. Blah. 

So those are my basic resolutions for the year. I realize these aren't SMART goals. I plan to attack each individually in upcoming posts.

Happy New Year!
Please share what you hope to focus on this year.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Winter Break is coming!


The year is ending! While I enjoyed my share of 2020 memes, let's face it-it ain't the year that's the problem. I can't complain about this year, but I don't want to be too nonchalant about it. Some people have suffered greatly and are suffering still. 

What I am tired of is the politics. So tired of the politics. Listen, if this is all some scheme to take away our freedoms, your bitching over masks isn't going to make a difference. Now, if two years from now, Covid isn't a thing, and we are still wearing the damned masks, then yeah, let's throw a hissy. But now is not the time. 

I have been a bear lately. I hate it when I get down, because my mind spirals to worst case scenarios quickly. Some may have a kernel of truth, and some are just a runaway imagination playing with possibilities. But the thing is, even when the truth is evident, not everyone wants to hear your truth. I can only blame myself, for not being successful enough to quit the day job...but then I think woah! Maybe I am caught up in that capitalist rat race idea that I am just not trying hard enough. On the other hand, maybe I am not. I am not sure. It's kind of hard to step outside of your own paradigm and see things as they truly exist. 

So grumpiness aside, it is nearly time for the end-of-the-year festivities. I have plans!

Plans to reread Anne's House of Dreams (my favorite-around-New-Year's read), maybe the ACOTAR series, and to finish watching this season of Call the Midwife. Those are my grand and glorious plans for my week and a half off. I am super-excited. As you know, since I work both sessions of summer school, the winter break is often my longest break of the year. Although I applied for summer school jobs a couple weeks ago, I haven't heard anything and my insecurities are raging. What if I didn't do a good job last year? What if the person who usually hires me, and also sent me an invitation for Gabe to go reading tutoring, now thinks I am a poor teacher because my kid needs tutoring, and won't hire me? Those are the things running through my head. I was invited to the virtual learning orientation, but haven't got a job. Now I am wondering what I did wrong. Did I ask the wrong questions-did they uncover something about me they didn't like? I was so excited and felt cherished when I received the invitation, and now I I have bills to pay, and I am willing to work, people!

Hope springs anew, of course, and the day is glorious and bright, and while I acknowledge the fear and insecurity, I know there is a plan. The Universe is racing through its cosmic destiny, and I am where I need to be. Being fearfully and wonderfully made, I can rest assured in the knowledge that God's plan cannot be thwarted. And all is well.

And I can't wait.