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RIP Lily

January 12, 2012

My beautiful Lily passed away today from a reaction she had while in recovery after her spay surgery. I am distraught. I feel lost. I honestly don’t know how tomorrow will go waking up without her adorable little face to great me. I miss her already.

I came home after getting the news and have been crying, reading pet loss message boards, and searching for a pet urn all day. Lily was my family. I can’t believe that I will never again see her little face peer around the corner to stare at me, hear her cute little meow, or shoo her away from playing with my hands and/or feet.

Lily meant the world to me and I will love and cherish her with each passing day. I feel comforted knowing that I gave her the best possible life and that she is now looking down on me.

Financial Woes

January 8, 2012

I picked up a book at the library recently called SHOO, Jimmy Choo! A Modern Girl’s Guide to Spending Less and Saving More by Katey Hill. I’m only half way through but I’ve already identified a few ways to help myself out financially.

Gotta love the library. Also, I've NEVER bought a pair of Jimmy Choo's.

1. I need to have a have yield savings account. Pronto. This is actually quite easy. I have a tax refund coming to me in the next month and can open an online account in a few easy steps!

2. I need to spend way less money on housing if I ever want to pay off my debt. Ugh. This one depresses me because it means I will have to move. There are some really great places in my area that have nice two bedroom places. I could get a roommate and save over $300 a month. August. Blergh.

3. I need to budget myself to avoid “absentminded spending” which I identified as my major problem. The book suggests taking cash out every time you get paid and NOT using credit cards or debit cards except for budgeted expenses (like groceries, etc.). I’m going to give this a try and see how it goes.

The book is reminding me of things I have already been taught in a way that I don’t find “preachy” like many other financial books. I’m excited to finish it!

Prepping

January 5, 2012

My adorable kitten is being spayed next week and I’ve been mentally preparing myself for this day for a while. It’s just amazing to me how quickly people get attached to their pets. I know I’m going to be a massive wreck next Thursday when Lily is at the vet’s all day. I also evidently am supposed to use a special type of litter or shredded paper for her? I need to do more research.

Resolutions

January 2, 2012

As I started seriously thinking my resolutions for 2012, focusing on the idea of purpose, I decided to focus these resolutions into three major areas. There is a belief that as humans we are all comprised of body, mind, and soul. The soul is the part of us that connects us to others and to the world; the mind is our combined thoughts, feelings, and knowledge; and the body is the physical form that carries these two things. My goal is to work on setting smaller tasks within each resolution each month and tackling my resolutions step by step.

Body

  • Get more restful sleep
    I am a deep sleeper. I never wake up to sirens or Lily’s constant playfulness at 2am. I’ve even slept through earthquakes. But I want to identify how restful my sleep is. I sleep with the light on in my closet to avoid complete darkness and I almost never “prepare myself” for sleep. I have found that changing these two things would help make my sleep more restorative.
  • Cook more
    It’s so much more convenient to eat at a restaurant or grab a pre-made sandwich than to create a meal for yourself. I really enjoy cooking, but I am so tired when I come home from work that I normally just have a bowl of cereal or snack on food that isn’t good for me. I want to cook more, at least four times a week. I’m make healthier choices when I cook for myself and it will help me save money!

Mind

  • Read 36 books with at least 10 nonfiction
    I read 36 books this past year and it was a lot harder than I imagined! I am the type of person who can go two months without reading anything and then power through ten books in a month. I’m hoping that I can focus on spreading out my reading.
  • Take up a new hobby or activity
    I wrote take up a “new” hobby, but I would be thrilled with starting something up again that I have put aside. Like…scrapbooking, stamping, or sewing. But, I really want to take up hiking when it’s nice out again.

Soul

  • Seek out a congregation that supports my faith needs
    As a child and young adult I was an avid church goer. As I grew up and moved to new places I felt overwhelmed to find a new church home by myself. It’s an intimidating task going to a new church by yourself. Last month a friend and I got to talking and found out that we are both in the same place with this. So she and I will be trekking out together to find a group that supports our needs.
  • Take as much time to work on myself as I do on my work
    This resolution is about harmony and balance. I have been working in the same field for almost seven years and this is a challenge that everyone faces. I have done a much better job not taking work home, understanding that I can’t do everything, saying no, and not working 70 hour work weeks (unless absolutely necessary)! But, when I am home I am not taking time for myself. I want to spend my time at home wisely (with my new hobby) rather than just watching TV day in and day out.

2011…Out!

December 31, 2011

I spent today finishing up 2 books in order to achieve my 2011 goal of reading 36 books. What a day. I’m tired from sitting on the couch reading all day. I really enjoyed setting a reading challenge for myself (thank you to Goodreads for inspiring that) and enjoyed reading all of the books I did this year. Some of the books I read this year will easily be added to my internal “favorites” shelf while others are not books I would ever pick up again. It happens.

I have decided that for next year I will keep my reading goal at 36 books but I am challenging myself to read more nonfiction. Honestly, I’m not usually the type of person who gets anything out of a nonfiction book, but I was so inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project that I have decided to dedicate more time to nonfiction. So, officially the goal is 36 total books and 10 of them must be nonfiction. I’m pretty sure only 3 of the books I read this year were nonfiction so that’s a pretty big leap.

I’m headed to a friend’s for NYE to celebrate with champagne and Star Wars Wii. What a great way to ring in the the new year.

Happy New Year!

Live in the now

December 30, 2011

I put the “pro” in procrastinate. Seriously. I am the type of person who says “I really want to redo my dresser” in February and well…it still isn’t done. I’m fairly good at remaining on top of things at work, but in my personal life I’m terrible at follow through.

Today I went to the grocery store. I figured it would be good to start out the new year with a fully stocked pantry and fridge! But, when I got home and opened my pantry I was too overwhelmed to put everything away. Let me begin by telling you that my pantry is a combination pantry/linen closet and many of the shelves were taken up with old towels and sheets. I realized that it would be really nice to clean out the pantry and make more room for food so I can see everything and items don’t go to waste. Being the procrastinator that I am, I promptly sat down and read three chapters of a book.

But, it kept weighing on my mind. So, I got up and cleaned it all out! I condensed the linens to the top shelf and made room on three shelves for food! After rearranging everything and taking a step back to look at my work, I was thrilled. I had decided to do a project and actually saw it through! Let’s just hope this energy can continue on next year and isn’t just a one day thing.

And now, with a super organized pantry, I can get to cooking!

Why New Year’s Resolutions?

December 29, 2011

I’ve been doing some reading on resolutions. With the new year fast approaching I’ve been brainstorming like crazy to create some resolutions that I can actually keep.

I was going to model my resolutions following guidelines I found on a blog posting featured on freshly pressed about a week ago, but then I began reading The Happiness Project. Well, this book has already changed my view on how I set goals for myself. I’m about halfway through, so I can’t speak to its full impact as of yet, but I’m imaging that this book will help me greatly in designing my resolutions for 2012.

But first, as Gretchen Rubin did with her year long happiness project, I must determine my purpose for setting resolutions in the first place. I have had new year’s resolutions for at least the past ten years. I can only think of one of those resolutions that I’ve actually seen through. So, if I set an average of 2 a year for 10 years…that’s only a success rating of 5%! Not great statistics. I believe that my inability to achieve success is due to not fully understanding my need to make resolutions in the first place. Did I do it because all of my friends were? To better myself? To try and feel better each January after failing on the previous year’s resolutions?

Regardless of the reasons I have had in the past for setting resolutions, I have decided that 2012 needs to be my year of purpose. While I have kept myself busy and happy (both professionally and personally) in the past, I have had a feeling lately of purposelessness. I think that everyone goes through this feeling at some point in their life and I have decided that I want to tackle it head on. So, I am setting resolutions this year to help myself find purpose in this great expansive world. I have decided to set up my resolutions based on the area of my life I wish to discover purpose in, develop the purpose I know I have, or put purpose back into something I am already doing.

I’m going to work diligently over the next three days to develop a full set of goals for 2012!

Well of course Calvin is perfect.