What Are You Living For?

Monday, May 22, 2017

I've been feeling stuck, lately. That I'm just moving ahead in life at a snail's pace - and not really living with color or passion. Surely, there's no drama in my life right now, no exciting build up working it's way into something, there's no electricity in the air around me. It's gotten me down - wondering what I'm living for? (not in the death way ... but in the what's my "why" way ... so relax!)

Life is about discovering your purpose. Some people learn this early on. Maybe they were born to be a musician and put their creative spirit out into the world. Maybe they were born to be a parent and raise super amazing human beings. Maybe their purpose is in enjoying the world's offerings and traveling so much that they've touched every corner of the world. Some of us - take a while to figure out what our "calling" is. I'm not religious at all - so I don't know if I believe in like God's purpose for us. But I do believe that we're here for something, right? I mean - otherwise, what's the point? But I digress.

So I've felt stuck. I heard a quote a while ago, "What is your why?" And it wasn't actually pertaining to our life's purpose but pertaining to our goals and why we are doing the things we're doing in life - or why we want certain things. Such as, "I want to lose weight" - ok, but why? What's driving that desire? And supposedly when you dig down deep into that - you'll discover your inner true motives and hopefully can start to work towards that better. I want to practice this with you.

Here's my thing - I DO want to lose weight. Why?

  • To feel good in my own skin
  • To not worry about how clothes fit
  • To chase after my kids in the long run
  • To be off medications that I've been on since giving birth nearly 3 years ago
  • To feel desirable to another human being
  • To be confident enough that my daughters see me as a role model
  • Because I don't feel like myself with my extra weight I'm carrying around
Looking at that list above, I notice that a big theme is self-esteem and confidence. So yes, I want to lose weight but really what I want is a better self-esteem, self-love and more confidence in my external appearance. Will losing weight fix all of that? Nope. It'll help, surely. But that's not the root of the issue, and I'm aware of that. I know that I have a lot of work to do in that arena - but I can take care of myself in the interim and that means taking care of my body. 

So what's your "thing"? What's your why? Let's dig in together.

Single Mom Money: An Update

Friday, May 19, 2017

My last update on Single Mom Money was from March of last year! What! Sorry guys - it's been a year but I promise I'm still working on my finances.

So what's the same?

  • Still following the Dave Ramsey plan and on Baby Step 2 (Snowball debt)
What's different?
  • I traded in my car (and $606 monthly payment!)
  • Paid off debt - about $20,000 worth
Yep - you read that right, I debated over and over if I was going to trade in my beloved CRV in. I had a crazy high payment and about a year and a half to two years left to pay on it. Roughly translated to $13,000 worth of debt left on the car. I wasn't originally planning on trading in my car. I loved it and wanted to keep it. But something clicked in me in November 2016 and I was perusing the internet and stumbling upon a Hyundai Sonata with only 62,000 miles ... but it was a 2007 (nearly 10 years old). I decided to take the girls out with me and test drive it. Hoping to shake it out of my system and carry on my way. 

I pulled up, told them exactly what car I wanted to see, looked at it inside and out, put my car seats in the car and took myself, the twins and the car salesman on a test drive. Afterwards we walked in and chatted about the car and price. And I walked out of the place putting $2,000 down and retrieving a very small loan from a credit union where my interest payment was only $170. I had a $200 car payment since October but have since paid off the loan in full last month. So today - NO CAR PAYMENT. The Hyundai is not my dream car at all - but it works and is a good size for me and the girls. I nicknamed her Sally as in Sensible Sally - because she's legit, like a sensible mom-car. It has less miles than my CRV had when I traded it in, and I've had no problems with it so far. And again - NO CAR PAYMENT.

I've also been diligent about paying off the rest of my debt which is mostly student loans and one small credit card. In 2016 I paid off over $20,000 worth of debt - getting rid of 3 out of my 7 student loans. I'll be paying off another student loan by June and will be left with my small credit card ($3,000) and two student loans. I should be in a good position to start saving all throughout 2018 for a down payment on a home just in time for the twins to start kindergarten - fingers crossed in my ideal neighborhood. 

So whew! I've been quiet but you can see I've been up to a lot! I hope you're taking care of your single mama money too! 

Favorite Podcasts

Monday, May 15, 2017

I love podcasts - I need to listen to something while working, to be productive. Whether it's people talking, or soothing sounds, or music - something needs to keep the back of my busy head busy while I'm plucking away trying to be productive. And yes, I realize that's strange. I got into podcasts about 2 years ago when the twins were around 8 months old and we started going on walks around our neighborhood. They were babies then - so didn't demand too much attention while we perused and didn't speak to me back so instead of getting lost in my thoughts, I found that I liked listening to other people chat about random topics.

Around that time, I did a post on my favorite podcasts and some of them are still relevant. You can check out that list here. But I wanted to do an update of which podcasts I'm currently digging.

Young House Love Has a Blog - I love John and Sherry Petersik and their blog was such a huge home improvement hit. They've scaled back on the home improvements and blogging and have shifted to published two books (covering great DIY ideas!) and now a new podcast. I can listen to this married couple talk all day - they cover tips and tricks of things around the home, interview well-known designers, and their favorite products.

S-Town - A newish "whodunnit" podcast covering a small town and a murder of a local teen. All while the narrator hangs out with a colorful character - John B. Macklemore. 

Raise Your Hand Say Yes with Tiffany Han - All about empowering women through a variety of tools in the creative process. Can't start? Unmotivated? Need to speak up? Tiffany connects with a variety of guests to discuss some of the basic steps we need to clear the clutter and get more creative.

Stuff You Should Know - Interested in why people itch? Or if someone can actually die from a broken heart? This podcast takes a deep dive into a variety of topics and things that we might never know the inner workings of. Super informative and great to have running while cleaning around the house ... like I use it for :) 

What are your favorite podcasts?

Getting Older ...

Monday, May 8, 2017

This year has been a doozy, so far! Luckily in 3 short weeks, I'll start a whole near of life - year 34!

At the age of the 33 I found my first gray hairs, and yes I know I'm lucky since there are many women who find those suckers a lot earlier in life. I also grew gray hair in my EYEBROWS! Like what?! And now the final straw - seasonal allergies! I have never had allergies before in my life, and I rarely get sick. I attribute it to my father - we're built like brick houses.

Then this past weekend, I got a terrible sore throat and had so much post-nasal drippage that I was starting to wonder if I was getting sick, yet again since I was just "sick" a few weeks ago. We were outside a lot on Saturday and my eyes were watering, my nose dripping and even the girls were concerned that mommy was "sicky". But we persevered! Made it through a local touch-a-truck event and then onto lunch with family.

Running in a semi!

But I've been a mess. I'm on claritin D and nasal spray. I feel like the walking dead and a big baby since people have allergies all of the time. I'm not the first person to have allergies!! So now I'm attributing it all to the fact that I'm aging. (feel sorry for me, okay?)

Anyways - it's funny. Our bodies are always changing. Just like life, right? Moving forward, upward, downward, whatever - things are never ever the same. That's just part of life. So we pop in some pills and hope for the best - so that we can keep trucking along in the adventure!

Missing the Boat ... Or not?

Friday, May 5, 2017

You ever look back on something and just wonder ... did I miss my ship? Did I close a door that was actually meant for me? Maayyyybeeee my gut wasn't right and I walked away from something meant to be in my life.

I'm here to tell you - you didn't miss your ship. Not even a little bit. I recently had this happened. My gut told me "No" and I walked away from something. And ever since then I've been curious. Maybe if I had given this relationship a try - maybe that was my person and I totally walked away from her. So not surprisingly (because I'm a communicator) I reached out. We chatted a bit and I realized (yet again - not my ship). I think, though, that she was meant to be a friend and maybe that's what I was missing.

Either way - I'm in a point in my life where I feel like I'm coasting. I have said this a few times to my friends, that I feel like I'm not "living" - there's no color in my life. And I'm grasping at things that will turn that around for me. This person was another "thing" that I was hoping would bring me to life. But guess what - my gut was 100% right and I should have listened to it in the first place. Not my ship.

I just want to tell you to listen to yourself. Try to get in tune with your needs and wants. And sometimes that takes a ton of patience and practice and it won't come over night - but you do intrinsically know what you need. Even if you need to remind yourself a second time.

YOUR ship won't leave the dock without you. I promise you that. Stay strong.