Time Out

As with all good things overdone, I found myself needing a break from blogging for the last couple of days. I felt I’d started treating it like a job, and I began to think I needed to quit altogether, as I was putting way too much time and energy into what was supposed to be a hobby. I was really stressed about how to say everything in a way that would interest everyone. Don’t get me wrong, being interesting is part of the fun and creativity of blogging, and I enjoy the challenge, but I needed a time out, so I broke the tether.

While on hiatus, I managed to finally finish one of the two books I was reading. I was trying to read one book on my Kindle at night and the other during the day, but I found I was not enjoying splitting my focus, so I finished the shorter of the two (American Heiress) and got cozy with the second (Fall of Giants). Apparently, I’m in the mood for some fictional history this week! I am really enjoying all the different perspectives in Fall of Giants.

This morning, my son had to stay home from camp so I could take him to the doctor. He can’t seem to get rid of the strep he picked up from summer camp a couple weeks ago. Hopefully, he’ll start to feel better soon. He’s very rarely sick, so it’s tough to know he doesn’t feel well.

I’m currently watching the dog tear into a new stuffed cheeseburger toy. I guess I’m going to have to take her on her evening walk soon, but it is so hot that I don’t even want to go outside, much less walk for 40 mins.

Anyway, I’m going to give myself permission to not post every day, as a “good” blogger should, so if I don’t like the daily prompt, I might not have anything to say. I’ve been a little uninspired by some of the words lately, and I know my writing has been less interesting because of my lack of interest. Plus, I’ve not been creative enough so far to come up with something totally random on my own. A prompt helps me focus my thoughts.

Goodbye for now!

On the way to…um…well…

Fast is how I did everything during my college years. I supported myself, so I raced from home to class to job to class to job, repeating this all day long until I had to race home and study. On Thursday night, I sped away from my university campus to another one several hours away to be with my boyfriend until Monday morning when I woke up before 5 am to race back to my first class of the week. The summer before my last year, I decided I needed to quickly take the last few credits I needed, so that I could graduate in December instead of the following May. I bounced from job to job, looking for the elusive “life” that I had spent my twenty-something years sprinting toward.

As the years passed, I collected life experiences through marriage, moving far away from home, having a child and receiving a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. In the same way that I finally realized going 20 mph over the speed limit only saves you a handful of minutes, I began to realize that the mad dash from one minute to the next was getting me nowhere. It’s exhausting to always be in a rush. It’s stressful to my family when I’m rushing for no reason. Sometimes, rushing is a sign that I’m manic.

I’ve learned a few things along the way. Most of the time, not starting the dishwasher before I go to bed does not constitute an emergency, nor does finishing my current book just so I can start the next. If I am not ready to get out of the bed, the dog will have to wait. If my son needs something and I’m in the middle of something, he can either wait or figure out how to do it – he’s old enough. If I want to rush through buying the groceries, I better go early. If I rush my son to get his shoes on quicker, it will take him longer.

Knowing that I tend to get in an unnecessary rush does not altogether prevent me from doing it, but it makes me aware that I sometimes need a timeout. Sometimes I find it utterly depressing to think that I’m rushing my way to death, that I’m not taking the time to enjoy the journey.

via Daily Prompt: Dash

Beyond Reason

My love of books began far earlier than I can even remember. It is one of my defining characteristics. I often wish I kept a list of or owned every book I’ve ever read. One of my biggest fantasies is to live in a library or book store or have one of those amazing library rooms like I see in large older homes on TV. l read almost anything, fiction or non-fiction. If fact, there have been times where I’ve borrowed text books, just for fun (I know…ridiculous…such a nerd). I love discovering a new author. When I meet someone in a bookstore or library, I always ask them what book they last read that was really great. Like a magnet, the force field between me and books is invisible, yet very strong.

Interestingly enough, as much as I fantasize about hoarding books, I do not actually keep them. I am close to being a minimalist, because I would rather read than clean, so anything that requires furniture to store it is carefully considered. Once I’ve finished a book, if I’ve bought it, I either pass it on to a friend or drop it off as a donation to my local library.

In the last year, I’ve learned about goodreads, and I’m a huge fan. I finally have a way to keep track of all the books I’m reading, as well as the ones I’ve yet to read – I absolutely love it! Before I head to the library, I pull up the catalog online and look up all the books on my to-read category of goodreads, so that I know which branch to visit and what books I will be able to bring home (or if I can borrow it as an eBook). It also allows me to link straight to Amazon, where I can put books I can’t find in the library on my Wish List.

Lately, I’ve been into 3 books at a time. I listen to an audio book while I walk the dog, I read a real paper book during the day and I read an eBook in bed.

Here are the 3 I’m reading right now:

audio: Skewed by Anne McAneny

paper: American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin

eBook: Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

The best book I’ve finished recently: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

I’m very curious, what’s the best book you’ve read lately?

Hurry!

I’m the crazy girl who jumps out of bed each morning and makes a beeline to the Keurig to start my first of many cups of coffee. Phone in hand, I tap in my code while swiping left and right to see what’s been going on in the world while I slept. As I pass through each room, I cannot help but open up all the shutters on every window. It is, aside from making coffee, my most important task of the morning.

sunny room first thing in the morning makes my brain happy! I zip around between the kitchen and living room to set up my little stack of things to do: book, Kindle, laptop, phone. Coffee in hand, I sit in my favorite spot beside my little stack, and the day has begun!

“When sun shines, it not only brightens our day; it enlightens us, our soul, cleansing it of the gloominess that the night’s darkness had brought in” – Tista Ray

 

 

Your chariot awaits

Last week, my husband and I played the “If we won the lottery, we would…” game. We don’t play the lottery much, a few dollars here and there once or twice a year, but we do enjoy thinking about what we could do with a few extra dollars.

Like many people in our world today, we have a little debt following us around. Despite attempting to plan for unexpected events, we still manage to have random things happen to our vehicles and house that lead to hefty repair bills. This year, the pool liner gave out. Last summer, the air conditioning unit quit. You probably know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, here’s what we decide every time we play this what-if game:

  1. pay off all debt
  2. pay off all debt of our parents and siblings
  3. buy any family member who is currently renting a home of their own
  4. give all of these people a cushion to rest on for the future

Those are the obvious ones, right?

My husband’s wish list:

  1. upgrade the bass boat
  2. buy his own hunting property
  3. maybe consider hiring someone to mow the lawn and clean the pool (but he says he really doesn’t mind doing it)

My wish list:

  1. feel free to buy more books
  2. consider eating sushi every night for dinner (I love sushi!)
  3. possibly go back to school without the fear of student loan debt

Family wish list:

  1. consider a few minor architectural changes to our current home, nothing outrageous.
  2. take a scuba diving vacation – we’ve started talking about doing this recently

Here’s the thing: We like to think we wouldn’t change much. We would stay in the same house, our son would go to the same school, we would drive the same cars, my husband would continue to work for the same company. We like the size of our very normal house. Until our cars give out, why would we need a new one (we buy used anyway)?

I’ve seen the news articles and heard about the TV show where the lottery winners have squandered all the money on ridiculous and outrageously expensive things. I hope if the wheel of fortune ever turned in our favor we wouldn’t give in to these frivolous spending temptations.

What are your top two wish list items, aside from paying off debt? Do you think it’s possible to remain free from the temptation of over-spending with so much money available?

via Daily Prompt: Wheel

They’re all important

This word: Paper has really got me thinking. The longer I think about it, the more types of paper I can think of. There are so many pieces of paper that are important in my life.

Birth certificate

High School Diploma

College Degree

Marriage License

Life Insurance Policy

Will

Each of these pieces of paper have their own story to tell.

There are pieces of paper that link us to our ancestors, and those that link us to future generations. There are pieces of paper that we only use in cases of emergency. There are pieces of paper which hold our child’s first handwriting. There are pieces of paper on which a picture has been developed, holding treasured memories. There are blank pieces of paper waiting in our journals to reveal how we are thinking and feeling in a particular moment. There are pieces of paper bound together which hold stories for our entertainment and facts for our education.

One of my favorite sets of paper are my husband’s adoption papers, for without them I may never have known him.

What piece of paper do you hold dear?

 

 

 

 

I want to be Velma

“…and I would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids.”

I loved watching Scooby Doo cartoons when I was young.  I even enjoyed watching the recent movies with my son. I think I identify most with Velma. She’s quirky, a little awkward, and she’s full of interesting facts about all kinds of things.

I wish I could be even more like her.

I wish I could actually remember all of the useful things I’ve read about, so that I could relay that knowledge in a clear, concise download of information at a time when it is most needed. Instead, I feel like I throw little tidbits of interesting information into a conversation, then I can’t back up where I’ve read it or who wrote it. It’s as if I have just magically produced this incredible information out of thin air! (I’m not that smart!) It’s incredibly frustrating and embarrassing, because I claim to be such an avid reader, yet I can’t remember where I read anything.

So, I think…

Maybe I should take notes when I read. Except…what would I do with all of those notes – where would I even keep that many notes – how would I find the notes I needed in all those notes?

Maybe I should read slower. Except…I like to read fast – I like reading so much that I want to read as many books as I can get my hands on – I might have to get up and do something in a minute, and I just want to know what the author is getting at quick!

Maybe I should review the book online when I’m done so I can go back and read the review to remember. Except…What if I say something stupid in my review – what if I totally missed the author’s point – what if this author doesn’t even really know what they’re talking about?

Like Velma, I know people who can remember so many things from so many books at just the right moment. Alas, I am not one of them.

via Daily Prompt: Meddle