reshuffling priorities

As I mentioned, my birthday was a couple of weeks ago.  Naturally, this means I get fairly introspective.  I am approaching this introspection differently this year, which is good – I’m not overanalyzing!  Or I’m not focusing on what I’m lacking in life rather what I feel is important and how to better focus on this.

I didn’t want to say but yeah… these are true, too!

I’ve been de-hoarding and reading some minimalist blogs.  MissMinimalist is a good one – I like how she says minimalism looks differently for each person.  This is nice to hear since I am never going to live in a 25 sq foot house.  Nevertheless, I know I want less stuff than I currently have.  Watching HGtv has driven this home even more.  Some participants say things like, “I need a bigger house for all of my stuff!” or “I need giant closets!”.  I’ve said these things too – in fact, in the last year even!  But I don’t want my belongings to dictate my future house/apt.

Then there are the larger life decisions – do I stay in MI?  Do I stay on my current career field?  I know, these are definitely the “biggie size” questions and I don’t focus on these everyday.  Although, I do keep them in the back of my mind.  I won’t make any of these changes for a year or so but since change is tough for me, it’s better that I think about these in advance!

My health is also my priority.  I made a lot of progress this past year and I’m looking forward to what I can accomplish/gain/learn this year.  Yes, running is included in this and getting a running coach was the first step in this area.  Also included is healthy eating and continuing to lower my anxiety.

Budget-smudget.  Why can’t I find budgeting exciting?!  While I do enjoy watching my bank account grow the urge to spend seems to hit once I see the progress.  Curses!  Many of my friends are very savvy with money.  Talking about money seems kind of taboo in our society but I’ve started asking friends how they do it.  I really do find it fascinating.  I also pin/read a lot of budget suggestions and tips.  Some of them definitely do not jive with my personality and others are decent ideas.  For me, setting these priorities is a great way to start.

friends and family! don’t thank me now but look what you’re getting for birthday/holiday gifts!

I feel good about these priorities.  They are spurring me into action!  Last weekend I realized my apt is completely lacking inspiration.  So, I’ve taken some action on this front – my home should be a place I enjoy not one I just exist in.  Not to mention, I have some nifty ideas that I can’t wait to share with you all!  And I dropped donations off, have the “sell” items in the car and have another “need to get rid of” pile started – yay!  Progress!

How do you go about setting priorities?  Do they change?

Are you good with a budget?  What are your secrets?!

running and birthday-ing

Last week I took a running and blogging hiatus.  I didn’t plan on it nor did I do it on purpose.  My birthday was on Monday (wahoo!) and then the rest of the week I was plagued with migraines.  Thankfully, I am feeling better this week and have jumped back on the running train.

Monday, 2/3 was the start of my plan with my running coach.  Sooo, having to admit to her that I didn’t get any running in was embarrassing.  I almost admitted I did a run on 2/2 but considering it had been a miserable 2 miles I decided not to even bother.

Jamie’s a way better coach than this!

Jamie was really sweet about it though.  She is the type of person/coach who you don’t want to disappoint.  This works WAY better for me than someone screaming in my face.  I also decided to watch some nature documentaries during my treadmill runs which is actually highly entertaining!  I start yelling and cheering for whichever animal is being highlighted.  I do get slightly heart-broken when a poor creature becomes a meal.

I’m fairly certain my cheers saved the sloth from the giant “jungle eagle”

And my first round of speed work was also on the docket.  Yep, no joke.  I’ve seen my treadmill speed average increase since I got back from Dopey.  What I like about speed work in general is when you pump up the number to run faster bringing it back down again feels so much easier.  Even if originally that lower speed felt tough.  Speed work can definitely display improvements or make me believe I’m improving!

As I mentioned, my birthday was last week.  I always get thoughtful around this time.  I evaluate my life and sometimes I base my life on a very unrealistic scale!  This year, I worked to put a new year into perspective.  It was helpful!  The weekend right before my birthday and then this past weekend, I’ve been spending a lot of time overhauling my apt.  Get this:  I FINALLY got rid of the last cardboard box from my move!  Big deal my friends, big deal.

I also have an overly filled car waiting to be dropped off at Goodwill and some items for consignment.  There are more clothing items to corral, too.  Clothes are one of the tougher things for me to get rid of.  I’ve watched some of my friends go through their clothes and they are some quick little whippersnappers!  Not me!  Then there are some other things that my mom gave me or remind me of her and those can’t go in one of the give-away piles either.  Medium-sized steps are still steps though so I’m happy.

Hope you had a nice Valentine’s Day and happy weekend!

a cat dish, celery seed & cinnamon

Aside from my grocery shopping experience a few other things of note happened this weekend…

On Friday, I had a meeting with a bunch of undergrad and graduate students.  They ranged in ages from 19-25.  One student was sort of sitting in a corner and I said, “James, you should say, ‘nobody puts Baby in a corner'”.  Cue me laughing at my own joke and students all staring at me.  Every single one of them.  “You all don’t know what that’s from?”  Again with the blank stares.  It hurt my heart a bit – our youths have no culture!

Harry Potter marathon weekend.  This was a nice change from all of the murder and mayhem I’ve been watching on Investigation Discovery.  Since our cable was upgraded I now get this lovely channel along with a bajillion others.  For this tv gal, this is awesome.

I also watched some House Hunters.  One episode featured this couple who were very elitist.  Nothing “matched their style” and they literally said, “This is SO suburban.”  Turns head,   “oh look!  There’s the rain shower I wanted!”.

Even their realtor made fun of them pointing out that a rain shower is in fact a dreaded suburban detail. I think they drove me bonkers because of how condescending they were.

I finally did some laundry and the rolling suitcase trick worked wonders.  I was going to pick up the last load and decided to take my trash out as well since this was desperately needed.  Sure enough as I was almost there I went down hard!  I landed on my “saddlebag” area and tweaked my knee a bit.  Oh and the car of people driving by saw the whole thing!

The aches and pains aren’t terrible though.  Good thing I drink so much coffee (creamer) and eat yogurt, I’ve got some strong bones!

I also posted some items for sale.  I’m working on selling my bistro table, some dishes and then  some throw pillows to give away.  I’ve heard of a site where people trade and sell their gently used work out gear.  I need to find this as I have gear with tags on it!  If any of you are interested let me know and I will post some pics.

Oh and an INMATE called me on Saturday afternoon.  Why yes, a recording said I was getting a call from _____ (didn’t catch his name) who is an inmate from a jail in MI.  That was all I needed to hear and I hung up.  Sorry dude – hope I wasn’t your only phone call but NO.

My original plan was to run yesterday.  I plugged in my Kindle since there is no way I can run on a treadmill without being totally entertained (there is some firstworldproblem sarcasm here) and changed into my running shorts.  I needed to waste some time while it was charging and for some reason I jumped into organizing my spare room.  Clone Amy strikes again!  4 hours later and while I didn’t run, I did make some progress.  I was going through this shelf of clothing and I found a container of celery seed, one of cinnamon and a cat dish. Umm… I got nothing.

Not going to lie, it’s times like these that I wish I was more “normal”!

I couldn’t believe how much work I got done in that span of time!  Since today is a snow day(!!) I can get a run in along with doing more work on the room.  Yes, I am very proud of myself!

Do was your weekend?  Please tell me you have found random spices in your clothes closet too

more de-cluttering

I’ve got 20 miles to do today so of course I’m procrastinating.  But I’m also typing on my new IPad mini!  I’m so excited!  Even better I won it!  Thanks Running Off the Reese’s!!

Okay, so typing a whole post without a keyboard is definitely going to take some practice. – keyboard will be here in a few days.  Meanwhile, yesterday I was extremely lazy for the first half of the day.  I’ve been exhausted this whole weekend.  I slept until 10:30 am yesterday (and today for that matter) so I wasn’t feeling all jolly-let’s-get-started-on-the-day.

After laying around and taking a nap I decided I should rise from my zombie state and actually use my muscles.  I tackled my bedroom.  It was messy.  It needed some TLC.  This was actually quite the undertaking as I also massively cleaned and moving a queen size bed 180* in very tight quarters on my own was a bit rough.

I am pleased with the results.  There is a pile to be donated, a pile to be thrown away and a pile to move to storage.  Then there is a pile I don’t know what to do with.  Ugh.  Here is where my hoarding comes into play!  I don’t have a place for it – or at least I don’t know how to create a place for it.  Does this make sense?  I’m going to pick up some bins today and as I’m packing things up I’m going to try REALLY hard to make sure what I’m putting in there is something I will want later.  It will definitely be a challenge!

I hope you’ve all had a restful weekend!  It’s time I get off my duff and do some running!

pride in ridiculous things

There are times when I am incredibly proud of myself for really silly things.  Or maybe a better word is mundane things.  I haven’t saved a puppy from some sort of life threatening experience.  I’ve never run a 4 hour marathon.  I can’t leap buildings in a single bound.  Nevertheless I am very proud of the following:

Exhibit A

Since I don’t currently have hot water I am using a shower that belongs to a friend who isn’t currently home.  They didn’t have a shower curtain (long story) and yesterday I only had time to drape the shower curtain over the rod.  This was a fairly ineffective way to keep water in the tub!  This morning I had a brilliant idea – it sort of came to me in my sleep:

shower curtainta-da!

Exhibit B

Right now, any time I go running

Exhibit C

I haven’t been able to open documents in my office for the entire summer from my e-mail account.  Truthfully, this has been a maddening problem.  I’ve had IT up there multiple times and each time either my account or computer have been diagnosed with a different ailment.  Today I decided to open my e-mail through Firefox.  Magically fixed!  I’m the Queen of the World!

Exhibit D

I have cut my morning routine down to 35 minutes.  Considering it used to be a solid hour, I am quite pleased with this time-saving change.  Even more importantly I’ve managed to cut my shower time from 20 minutes to UNDER 10!  Now, if I need to shave my legs it boosts it up to about 12 – but seriously!  I have been taking long showers FOR-E-VER!  I really do feel this is an accomplishment to not only document but to shout from the rooftops.

Exhibit E

Dwindling down my belongings.  Clearly I am proud of this considering I’ve already written at least two posts about this.  I have been a keeper of ALL THE THINGS for a while now (probably my whole life if I think about it) so these are major strides for me.  It’s also a huge step in embracing my anxiety and finding different ways to cope with it.  Big win!

this was sitting in the main office at work - faded, to be thrown out beach pictures.  I almost grabbed them to take home for some kind of project.  thankfully, I stopped myself but it was a close call
this was sitting in the main office at work – faded, to be thrown out beach pictures. I almost grabbed them to take home for some kind of project. thankfully, I stopped myself but it was a close call

Exhibit F

The (scale) divorce.  I realize I just wrote about this yesterday but I am not kidding when I say I almost went back to my scale-loving ways this morning.  It was so odd.  I fed Simon and my normal routine was to then hop on the scale (with a doom-like attitude).  I was headed that way with this thought in my mind and I had to remind myself our relationship was over for good reason.  I like to refer to this as a proverbial booty-call.  That I completely dodged it – go me!

Exhibit G

I may have mentioned this one earlier but my tub drain was clogged.  We are not allowed to use Draino or anything along these lines because it isn’t good for the pipes in my complex.  The slow drain was becoming more and more of an issue and I kept forgetting to turn in a work order.  Again – the light bulb went off and I plunged the hell out of that sucker.  The result?  Much better drainage!  YaY!

That’s probably it for now… I would categorize some of these as actually embracing my adulthood but I am guessing adulthood is more than figuring out how to rig a shower curtain with hangers.  I do kind of like my version of adulthood though.  It’s full of quirky moments and being able to think outside the box.  I see challenges and ways to solve them in a unique way that has helped me in all facets of life – not to mention make it very entertaining!  So I’m sticking with this for now!

adulthood

What about you?  What’s your version of adulthood?  What are you ridiculously proud of that others may scoff at?

on a de-hoarding roll!

I have a number of posts running through my brain at the moment so I’m trying to FOCUS on one topic today.  Haha, hopefully I won’t verbal vomit everything all at once to create a million word post!

hoarding 4Yesterday, Meagan came up to help me do some organizing and de-hoarding.  She was on her way to meet up with another one of our friends and offered to leave early and stop here in Kzoo first.  To be honest, I was a bit nervous to accept this help.  It’s embarrassing for others to see how much I save, what kinds of things I save and just the quantity of stuff I have.  There is a part of me that is ashamed.

Nevertheless, I said yes to her help.  I knew having Meagan here would give me the push I needed and I knew exactly where I needed the extra “oomph”.  Storage #2.

We hit up some of the best pizza in Kzoo to fuel our upcoming endeavor.  We got to my storage and it seemed even more overwhelming than I remembered.  But we simply started pulling stuff out and putting it in piles.  One pile was for my other storage, one pile for what I would be taking to my apt, one pile for donation and one pile for garbage.  The garbage pile grew quite rapidly!  Why oh why do I keep empty boxes?!  And then there were the plastic bottles and cans!  In MI you can take them back for $.10 so naturally I’ve been saving them for years.

please add a few more bags to this pile
please add a few more bags to this pile

In total, there were 3 laundry bins full of garbage.  Again, tons of empty boxes – I have nothing on why I keep these.  Next up 2 laundry bins full of donations.  Meagan’s car was packed to the gills that we immediately drove out to Goodwill.  I told Meagan if we didn’t do it right away I would sift through it and pull out items I might “need” later.  Then after Meagan left, I filled another laundry bin that will be taken to Goodwill Wednesday.  (I left it in the basement of my old building so I wouldn’t have access to it!)

there might actually have been almost 4 bins of garbage
there might actually have been almost 4 bins of garbage

Allow me to pause for a moment… last weekend I definitely had some remorse about what I threw/gave away.  I was nervous about this round because while I knew I didn’t need it (I haven’t used this stuff in a year or more) what if I wanted it later?!  As far as the clothes go, a lot of the clothing was from Gonzaga (my undergrad/grad) so it’s sentimental.  Meagan pointed out, “things aren’t the memories – you still have those.”  This also helped when it came time to give away a few things my mom had given me.  I needed to hear this…

We took bottles and cans to the store, made the run to Goodwill and took out the trash.  When Meagan would ask me what I wanted to do with something there were times when I couldn’t make the decision so I let her pick!  I also have a large pile to take to a consignment shop to sell, a table and chairs to sell on Craigslist and 2 TV’s that I am still not sure what to do with.

this wasn't even half of the donations
this wasn’t even half of the donations

So, how am I feeling today?  I thought I would in a sense, mourn the passing of my possessions.  But I am feeling surprisingly okay about it.  I thought I would want to go to Goodwill and buy all of my Gonzaga stuff back or get that roasting pan back (even though it was one of two).  What about those clothes I gave away that were way too big?  I could use those for when I am preggers someday (umm, yes, that is one of the reasons I held onto them for 8 years).  I don’t need them though.  (I will want cute maternity clothes, not clothes I’ve had for 10 years.)  In fact, at one point I told Meagan that the piles of saved stuff made me kind of sad.  Why did I put so much emotion in THINGS?!  I do think it’s a symptom of anxiety – at some point in time I wondered, “what if I NEED it?!”  And yes, I do know this sentence/sentiment is constantly shared on the tv show but I need to own it to fix it.

I can’t dwell on the sad part about it.  Instead I’m focused on my accomplishment!  We plowed through that room and I was decisive.  It’s time to get rid of some of this baggage – literally and figuratively!