Monday, April 30, 2012

Why I Love the Internet

There are all sorts of reasons to love the interwebz. Most of us can't remember (or don't want to) a time when we didn't have Google at our fingertips or things like Facebook and Pintrest as time sucks. There are lots of good things and lots of bad things about the internet and not nearly enough time to list them all. There are days where I wish I could force myself just to shut it all down and disconnect. Days where I wonder what I could have accomplished if I hadn't updated my status every fifteen seconds. But I digress.

There's a funny little saying out there that goes "I love my computer because my friends live in it". That is so true for me. Now, I have amazing and wonderful friends that live near me and I couldn't make it without them. But the internet has connected me with people all over the country that I never would have met otherwise and who are just as amazing as those right here. I've even made local friends because I "met" them online. The world has changed and this is how things go now and I'm not going to complain.

I have people in my life whom I may never (though I hope I will) meet in the flesh but I would do anything for them. I've seen their babies born, listened to their struggles, celebrated their joys and it is all just as real as if they lived next door. One particular friend has helped me in more ways than I can even tell her and the chances of us ever meeting or becoming friends (many of our beliefs are radically different) is about as likely as either of us winning the lottery. She's an amazing person who is just owning her life right now and she's such an inspiration.

I'm so thankful for her and for all of my friends and for the internet for bringing us together!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Good Intentions - Disappointing Outcomes

Every night I go to bed with all sorts of plans for the next day in my head. I'm not happy with a big chunk of my life right now and so I give myself pep talks about what I will get accomplished and how I can make things better. I feel good during this process. I feel like I can do the things I'm thinking about.

But then the next day comes and virtually nothing works the way I had planned. Sometimes this is just due to unforeseen circumstances. But most of the time I just fail. I'm not sure what happens in my brain between the positive pep talk and the disappointing outcome but it's beating me down.

This is all I've got. Sorry it was depressing.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Just How High Maintenance Am I?

I feel like in the scope of hippiedom, I'm really freaking high maintenance. I mean from all stereotypical standpoints, I just don't fit the hippie bill at all. Except in my mind, and that doesn't really count.

I finally got around to watching the movie Fresh today. If you haven't seen it, you should. Slightly (only slightly) less political than Food Inc. but just as eye opening. It features everyone's favorite farmer Joel Salatin and a number of others who are showing that you can do things the right way and still feed the world. It reinforced my feelings about being vegetarian since I can't really afford to buy meat that I'd feel comfortable eating. Funny thing though, I focused less on the ideas about our food and just got lost in the lifestyle. The people featured in the movie were all working with their hands, being close to nature, and it was just so lovely.

Along similar lines I saw a little clip from a recent episode of Anderson Cooper about a family living in a tiny house that they'd built for $12,000. They did all of the work themselves and their electric bill is like forty dollars a year!!

I want these lifestyles to some degree. I just have no idea how to get from where I am now to a place similar to those people while still working with who we are as a family and who I am as a person.

So, just how much can I give up in my high maintenance lifestyle to achieve some level of what I'm looking for?

I am very particular about things being neat and clean, so minimalism is perfect for me. But I still have far too many attachments to my things. There is a lot I can get rid of, but on some level I think getting rid of things like my books and pictures would change who I am. So how do I incorporate them into a scaled down life?

I can't grow anything (except children) to save my life, so how on earth would I ever raise any of my own food? I'm also not a huge fan of being dirty which really puts a wrench in things. So can I get over that and learn to love dirt?

I need directions for my directions for anything I try to build, and anything creative looks great in my head and horrible in reality. So how would I go about building anything I might need for the things I'm truly interested in doing? Can I learn this stuff? I'm past caring about breaking a nail, but still there's that dirty potential again. I'm not afraid to sweat though, so that's a start right?

I guess what I'm saying is, I'm tired of being so high maintenance, but I've been this way for a long time now and I don't know just how to get from one spot to the other. Stay tuned.

Fresh the Movie

Tiny House Family

Joel Salatin and Ployface Farms

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Long Week

This was a long week! Normally I have my boys several days throughout the week, but sometimes our schedule gets a little weird due to different things we have going on and one of us ends up with them a little more than normal. This week, my ex had them more and it felt like today was never going to get here! Going almost a week without them gives me serious withdraw. I enjoy having "me time" and I wouldn't change getting my divorce (unless we could have worked miracles), but you can't imagine how hard it is not seeing your kids every day unless you don't. So having them back today was wonderful.

It was a pretty good week in spite of all of that though. I got a lot done, got a lot of workouts in and this coming week is shaping up to be fabulous.

In other news I haven't been doing very well with the decluttering. I did so much work this week that by Friday the house looked like it should have been condemned so I had to clean. I did have the boys go through their books this evening and while they didn't really enjoy the task, I was really happy that this time they were much better about letting some of them go. I have a massive addiction to books and so their collection comes honest, but they actually have time to read their books so we were able to get rid of some they don't plan to read again and a lot that were way outside of their reading level now. The shelves look so great, but I forgot to take pictures!! It will feel so nice to donate those on Monday.

This week I also learned that I am totally obsessed with making felt food (now, if I could find the time) and that I'm really happy being single and think I might just keep it that way for the foreseeable future. Of course, my mind changes rather rapidly, so that could change before my next post.

Monday, April 9, 2012


I had an amazing sweet friend tell me that she considered me a role model in her life. I literally brought tears to my eyes. I thought it was amazing that anything I've ever done or said anyone could have held on to as a good thing and that was truly touching. But I have to admit that I felt like I was somehow deceiving her and everyone else that knows me. Another fried chimed in and said I was one of the few people she would trust with her life. Truth is, these people can trust me. I would do anything for them and love them both very much.

But I still feel like I'm being deceptive. I feel like all of the things people see me post on Facebook or hear when talking to me is just painting a pretty mural on the side of a condemned building. In the scope of the world my problems are miniscule, but we can only live what we live and that's what we have to deal with on any given day. Yes, thinking about other people's problems can put your own in perspective for sure, but we still trudge through our own problems either way. I'm healthy, my kids are healthy and a lot is good for sure. I sat down to write a confessional type post about myself so that people would know the real me but I couldn't even stand to write it down.

I love the people in my life and the sweet things they say and do for me. I don't deserve very much of it. I'm a walking disaster and I'm kind of glad I look better to the rest of the world than I do to myself.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What's Really Important

Recently a family in our community lost their son in a car accident. I didn't know the young man, but he shares the same name as my youngest and so reading all of the Facebook posts about him sunk in just a little harder at the thought of something happening to my boys. Along the same lines I was at work last night and a member told me that her husband had nearly lost his life in a car accident a month earlier. You never know when this ride is going to end and so you have to make sure you're focused on what is really important.

I found out this evening that due to my current work schedule I'm going to miss nearly every soccer game played by the above mentioned child. This is unacceptable to me. Now I know that I can't be at everything he does in his life, but if I'm going to miss something I want it to be because I'm with my other child at something or doing something equally relevant and important. That's not to say that work isn't or can't be important. I like most of the people I'm around in my jobs, but I'm not where I was meant to be and I don't have the time I need to spend on what is really important. All of my relationships are suffering because of where I'm at right now. I'm too busy and too tired to do the things that really matter. Very little of what I do (outside of the time I am with my kids) brings me joy and that's just not the way life was meant to be.

I have very high anxiety most of the time. There are a lot of things I haven't done in life because of fear. This has improved some over the past few years as my diet and exercise habits have improved but it could be a lot better. Seeing that soccer schedule tonight and all of the posts about the life of that young man gone too soon was an odd wakeup call. I've been living in too much fear and it has to end. When I was little my mom worried about money a lot and I always told her "don't worry, the money always comes" and it always did. I'm going to start living and working like the money will come and it will. It will come in the ways that I need it to in order to make sure I'm focused on the things that really matter. I know that further minimizing my lifestyle will help with this too. I'm scared, but I'm excited. To bed now because I'm going to need energy for this.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bathroom Round Two

The best thing about going through your house to clean it out a second time, is that it goes a lot faster than the first time. You also find that you agonize a lot less over what to keep and what to get rid of.

I started with the bathroom this time because I knew I could do it in a really short period of time and this second round is going to take a lot longer anyway because I just don't have the time to devote to it like I did last time.

So here are the before pictures (yes, please ignore the feminine products)...

Several things to point out here. Under the sink there was a pink bag and a clear box with a blue lid right there in the center. The pink bag housed a bunch of makeup. Some that I wore and some that I didn't. I cleaned out all that I didn't wear and moved the stuff I did to a much smaller bag that you will see in the after pictures. I may want to wear it for special occasions or something. The box contained nail polish. Lots and lots of nail polish. I only polish my toes and usually just use the same color, so most of that got pitched too. I did some some of it, just moved it to another smaller bag. I like to paint my nails at holidays so I kept some of the specialty colors. I couldn't believe how much I had though!!

The box on the top shelf in the closet contains some things I only use for traveling and odds and ends like backup glasses and goggles. Most of that stuff stayed even though I don't travel often. The purple bins contained lots of odds and ends like razors, my sons nebulizer tubing, etc. Under the toilet paper in the closet were two plastic bins. One had sample sizes of shampoo, and other toiletries, and the other had tons of unopened makeup that I'd purchased over the years. All of the makeup went. I did save the samples because they're what I use for traveling. The green bin on the floor of the closet contained what was left of my shampoo, lotion, deodorant stockpile that I didn't get rid of last time. I purged it even more and only kept what I will use. All of it got relocated to the purple bins after I cleaned them out.

So here are the after pictures....

The medicine shelf looks a lot fuller than it really is. Several of the bottles are almost empty and the shelf is pretty deep. We have a lot more towels than we use, but some of the white ones will be going to the rag bag soon and will be replaced with the purple. I still feel like I kept a good bit of stuff, but everything I kept is something I use daily, I just have a lot of backups. So, I won't be buying any more until I've worked my way through those backups. Good thing is that now I can tell what I have. I will not purchase any more lotion, perfume, or nail polish until what I have is gone.

My original plan was to have a yard sale. I could use the money, but then I remembered that my ex has our kids scheduled every Saturday from now until May so I just won't have the time. My mom works with a ton of women, I think I'm going to let her go through it first to see if she wants anything, then take the rest in for them. It's all brand new!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Getting Rid of the Clutter...Again!

If you're not a finely tuned minimalist you've probably noticed that after your initial purge items start making their way back into your house. Little things here and there, and before you know it, it feels like you never purged to begin with. I've been feeling like that lately and having a strong desire to go through each room again, but I haven't done it.

And then....

A friend of mine wrote up a post on Facebook about how she was really feeling the call to get rid of most of her families possessions. That sort of opened the door for a bunch of us to share how similar we all feel and now I've been bitten by the bug again. I mentioned it to the boys today and they were just fine with it. So I'm going to go through everything again. I can already think of a lot of things that I kept last time that haven't been used since, so they'll be going this time. I think I'll start with my bathroom and get rid of all of that makeup. It's warm here so I might do a yard sale this time since there should be a good bit less.

Perhaps my friends will share here from time to time about their own downsizing!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I Need a Bike

This picture was shared on Facebook a number of times recently over the rising gas prices. It's true, buying gas really sucks right now. Bad enough that I've decided I need a bike. That's not the only reason honestly. I've needed one for some time, but I'm scared.

I work pretty close to home some days and could run a lot of errands on a bike. I'd still need a car due to the distance I have to travel to get the boys to school, but I know I could cut my gas bill a lot if I had a bike. Plus the boys want to go on bike rides with me and its good exercise.

Here's the issue though. I was never much of a bike rider as a child and I sort of forget how. I know they say you never forget, but I do. So the idea of riding on the road makes me really nervous. In addition, the only bike I've ever owned was purchased for me by someone else, so I don't have the first clue about how to pick a bike or how much to spend.

So before I go trotting off to SBC please tell me how not to look like a moron.

Still Makeup Free!!

Since I posted about going without makeup several people have shared this story with me.

The Naked Face Project

I love the idea and their reasons behind doing it even if it wasn't my inspiration. I think it is very important to know why you engage in the beauty routines that you do and evaluate why you believe they are necessary. I had a frustrating conversation with someone today about a different (though somewhat related subject) and that's just what I wanted to ask this person. How would you answer if your daughter asked if she needed to do the same thing? I think its an important question.

Now, I am totally loving being makeup free. My skin looks good, no one has run screaming for the hills, and I don't see a noticeable difference in attention from the opposite sex (perhaps there has to be attention before you notice a drop off hmm).

Now as for the rest of the things these women gave up. Shaving, styling their hair, waxing, high heels and jewelry...

Shaving - NEVER going to happen. I simply cannot stand any leg or armpit hair on my body. Even one days growth makes me want to crawl out of my skin. It's not because I think I'm ugly with it, I just hate the way it feels. I have to be really sick not to shave.

Styling my hair - Probably also never going to happen. I don't have fabulous hair styled or unstyled, but if I don't do something with it I look like Alfalfa or Oprah before Andre gets a hold of her. I throw a baseball cap on or put it in a ponytail if I don't have time to do something, but this is just necessary for me to feel good about myself. Sorry.

Waxing - I get the eyebrows and upper lip done every two weeks. The money adds up but I love my hair stylist and again, I just like the way I look when this stuff is managed.

High heels - This is a tough one. I LOVE shoes and especially high heels. I drool over pictures of Manolo's and Jimmy Cho's. I have quite a few pairs of my own and just love having fun with different shoes. But, I could give them up and survive. They're bad for my feet and not something I wear all the time. So, I could give them up, but I don't want to.

Jewelry - This one would be easy. I wear the same earrings and same two rings every day. My mom gave me the earrings and the boys names are on the rings. I have other stuff, but I almost never wear it.

So overall, I think I'm a bit less high maintenance that previously indicated and I'm loving my makeup free existence. Even though my routine was pretty minimal, I feel better without it and I save time. Give it a try!