Monday, February 26, 2018

Big, Big Things

Last week I checked two very big things off of my 2018 to-do list.

First and foremost - my ex and I FINALLY went to the courthouse and filed our divorce papers.  2 years, 7 months, and 28 days since I decided that our relationship was officially over.  973 days.  23,352 hours.

While I don't recommend that people wait that long to make their divorce official, I am grateful that we were in a place where we could be civil.  Decide what needed to be decided over lunch and then go to the courthouse and file quickly and on our own without lawyers.  It took a very, very, very long time to get to this place.  But, I am looking forward to having it behind me.

Secondly,  I replaced my shitbox, credit builder compact sedan and got myself a beautiful, comfortable, safe, reliable, "luxury" SUV.  I could NOT be happier that I was able to have a good experience with a local dealership who helped me refinance the negative equity on the previous (damaged) car and get me into something I love.  Penny has been VERY excited to look out of the vista sunroof and I am just so RELIEVED to not be worried about the ticking time bomb that was my other car.

It feels so incredibly good to check both of those big things off my list.  I feel that now I can focus my energy better on other things.  Already, I am feeling my focus come back in how I am parenting.  I do not feel overwhelmed at the thought of planning meals or helping Penny stay on schedule. I am looking forward to getting home and relaxing instead of thinking about all the things that will be weighing on my mind.  I am feeling so very grateful to close this chapter in my life and move on to bigger and better!

Friday, February 16, 2018

National Tragedy Without Social Media

Wednesday afternoon I was driving from work to a performance that I was in.  I hadn't been on facebook all day (obviously) and didn't really have a chance to poke around the internet.  My ex called to speak to our daughter and while I was on the phone with him he said " How do you feel about what happened today?".  I was clueless.  Had absolutely no idea that there had been an incredibly deadly school shooting.  Beyond that - I work in a high school.  Not a single student or teacher brought it up during the day.  I found that fascinating.  Maybe they were in the same bubble as me - or maybe people really are saving their thoughts for the internet and social media.  The following day, after work, my boyfriend said that he was glad that I was not on social media right now since all of the sudden everyone was an expert on school safety.

So, when I caught a glimpse of the news at the Thai food takeout place I was actually able to process it and feel the emotions surrounding such an awful event.  I wasn't bombarded with it all day long like I would have been if I had been on facebook.  I've been able to read news articles and have discussions in person with my colleagues about it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Day 1 - No Social Media - Stream of Conciousness

Well - today confirmed it. I am for sure addicted to social media.  My hand would touch my phone and before I even knew what was happening I had clucked two different things to get to the facebook app (that I have removed updates from but Android wants me to be addicted to it and won't let me delete it). 

Also, it's valentine's day.  Do I really love my boyfriend if I don't write a sappy post on the internet about it.  Same goes for our anniversary on Friday!  If I don't brag to world about what a great guy I found two years ago do I even mean it?

Otherwise I am making my stage debut today in a staged reading happening at a local art center. I am thrilled and am so looking forward to it - but how will I know who was there if I don't see it on facebook?

So - Day 1 proves to me that I am making the right choice and that I should come out of this with a whole new respect for how I use these tools and what I do keep myself "busy" (or if I learn to just stay still).

Stick with me!

Lent - A Reflection

Generally, when I think of Lent - I think of my catholic friends growing up who gave up coca cola or french fries for the Lenten season.  When I think about Lent now as an adult I see it as a time to sacrifice something that could be replaced with prayer, presence, and self improvement.

This year, I have decided to give up social media and as a secondary - alcohol.  Now, social media and I have a complicated relationship.  I have several reasons to be active on facebook and instagram and could list them as excuses for why I should keep them.  My family lives far away, I have an excellent group of friends in a secret facebook group that I have been counting on everyday for over 5 years, I have many former students who I keep in touch with using instagram: these are all excuses.

What social media really does:  alienates me from my daughter, prevents real conversation with my boyfriend, interrupts my studying, distracts me during work.  I can do without all of this.

Here are my goals in the next 40 days:
1.  Be more present.
2. Study my ass off to be prepared for my history MTEL on March 31st.
3. Spend my "down" time being more productive.
4. Read.
5. Get outside and walk.

My reasons for giving alcohol up are a little deeper but I just know that it will be helpful for me overall to not rely on that glass or two of wine to destress.  I'm looking forward to finding some other ways to help me wind down.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

This Week's Books!

Recently I have gotten back into reading.   I've been using a kindle and downloading books from the library and realizing that I really missed having time to read.  So, I try to make it a priority again.

Since I am focusing on improvement this year, I have been tailoring my reading to that.  Here's what I've going going on this week.  MTEL History prep book (more on this later) and a self help book about being a crazy, over scheduled Mom!

What are you reading?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Improvement - The Theme of 2018

Recently, as often happens at the start of a new year, I began thinking about things that I could do to make this year better.  What are some things that have been lacking in my life? How can I be a better me in 2018?  A friend of mine picks a word for each new year as something that she has in mind instead of a resolution.  I think this is wonderful and decided to run with it this year. 


What does that mean?  This is something that I think that I get to decide and figure out during the next 12 months.  Initially I can thing of tangible things.  Improving my credit score.  Improving my health.  Improving my earning potential.

But what about the rest? What about improving my spirit? My heart? My knowledge?

This is where this blog comes in.  I have always loved to write.  I have always loved to share my life with others.  I have been reading a lot of really wonderful books written by normal women and moms like me.  I find their honesty inspiring.  I want to have something to be accountable to.  I want to have something that I can use as a sounding board when I feel like my friends and family might get sick of it.  I have a long way to go with my self improvement journey.  I hope you will come along for the ride.

Here's to 2018 and all that it has in store.

Friday, February 3, 2017

52 Lists for Happiness

I have a wonderful group of Mom friends.  We met online when we were pregnant in 2011 and have remained very close since then.  Sometimes, we all get together and work on a project together.  Something a handful of us took on this year is "52 Lists for Happiness".

I am only a few weeks in but I have found that it is really helping with my self-reflection.  Some weeks are much harder for me than others but I like that I only have to write a word or two.  It's been interesting to share these lists with my friends and see how they are similar and different.  I can be verbose, so it is actually a challenge for me to write less and really think about the important words that need to be written down.

How do you journal? Have you used a list journal before?