This Doesn’t Happen Often Enough

Most of you have probably met my husband, Henry.

If you are acquainted with him at all, which is easy to do, you’ll quickly get a sense of his fun and adventurous nature.

If you get to spend very much time with him, which is also easy but may be less true for most of you, you’ll notice his servant heart and his willingness to go above and beyond in order to get things done.

And if you live in the same dwelling with him, as only few have, you occasionally get to witness this bit of glory:

Photo 266

And there is much rejoicing.

If there is a Facial Hair Manifesto (what a great band name!) out there, I’m automatically a staunch believer in it. GROW THOSE BEARDS! GROW THEM LONG!

Some manly facial hair, however, is rather frowned upon… especially in workplaces such as Henry’s, which fall into the “classy restaurant” category. So the mustache doesn’t come out very often, and only makes its appearance for 24 hours or so.

But when it does.. oh boy.

I can’t resist it. You think I’m joking, don’t you? Think again.

Advertisements

The Year of Three Journals?!

Yep. Forget the Year of the Horse. This is the year in which I asked for one journal for Christmas and ended up receiving THREE. Now, I know I shouldn’t be surprised. Sometimes if you ask for things for Christmas, word gets around and you get duplicates. And then sometimes you don’t actually need two Snuggies, or three CD alarm clocks, so you make a trip to Kohls for a returning spree. But sometimes, as in this instance, people just know what you like and know what you need. And sometimes, nay always, you CAN use three journals.

Normally I would use them one after the other. But this might be the year of using them all at once!

!!!!!!!!

One journal was given to me for a prescribed use, which I think is pretty cool. Kind of like an extended creative writing project for the year, with an emphasis on reflection, discipline, and thankfulness. I’ll tell you more about it later, and update you as I get it rolling. I’m excited for the project.

So that leaves two. My current thought is to make one of those into a personal field guide… you know, where you make notes of seasonal changes (or random changes too) in settings you visit regularly, or make catalogs or sketches, or just celebrate your outdoor surroundings. I’m like 80% sure that will be a use for one.

So that leaves one more. What should I chronicle in this one? What should I document? Should it be poignant and meaningful? Should it be lighthearted? Regular? Sporadic?

If you have any suggestions, lay ’em on me! The Year of Three Journals is at hand!

The Benefits of Being Houseridden

YOU GUYS.

IT HAS BEEN SO LONG!

I have several semi-valid reasons for my long blog hiatus, which you can feel free to accept or decline depending on your level of graciousness today. But really, it’s only blogging. The world is definitely still running despite my failure to blither about my life for the past month (give or take three months). Today, however, I feel that although it is indeed “only blogging,” it’s still fun for me. So I’ll start up again, I guess.

So why the hiatus? Well, I was planning a wedding – my own, actually – which was terrible, then I got actually married, which was awesome, and then I promptly came down with mononucleosis, which was terrible.

I now have a pretty strong suspicion that if I had not had little mono viruses cooking in my body for the last several months of wedding planning, the process would have actually been 90% fun, which is probably as good as one can expect. And 90% fun probably would have prompted some cute blog posts about wedding plans and clothes or whatever. As it was, my poor mother had to do most of the planning because I just couldn’t do it most of the time. Was it the pressure of creating a Pinterest-perfect day? Was it my lack of event-planning skills? My overwhelming hatred of making decisions? The answer is probably yes to all of those, and the result was a strange 10 months of crazy stress paired with excited anticipation of a day I’d been waiting for for 3 years. The day turned out fantastically gorgeous, not because of my awesome wedding skillz but a) the huge heaps of love we had all around us and b) the huge heaps of help that we were offered at every turn and c) my mom who is a wedding CONQUEROR.

Now that it’s done, marriage is fantastic. But was I going to blog on my honeymoon? Psh no. And, just for the record, I’ve been married for a bit less than 3 months, so please look elsewhere for any posts that contain marriage advice. Kind of a newbie here. I am, however, enjoying it immensely.

Annnd the mono. When viruses take over your body like the tiny gross alien invaders they are, they apparently make you more tired than you’ve ever felt in your entire 26 years of life and give you a headache that lasts for decades a month. You also get too stupid and groggy to drive or walk to the next room or say sentences, so your poor husband ends up propelling you through the day and feeding you and making sure you shower every 4 days or so. Suffice it to say that blogging was not a priority at that point.

While I was in the throes of illness, however, I did try to come out of my extremely grouchy and self-pitying mood and make a list of positive things about being houseridden. In the end, I only came up with two things, and one is only relevant because of my mono season coinciding with the Thanksgiving/Christmas season. But two is better than zero.

Benefits of Being Sick and Houseridden

#1. You get to forget that holiday conditions at malls exist, and for once in your life, shopping online for your loved ones becomes perfectly acceptable in your mind and not at all cold or heartless as it has in years past.

#2. You stick to your budget really well, because you never drive past a Target and therefore your money stays in your bank account where it belongs which is doubly good since you haven’t made any income in a month.

Other than those two, I got nothing for ya. It’s wonderful to feel almost like my old self again, and quite sobering to realize how much I take my health and mobility for granted every day. Here’s to working my job, cleaning the house, and driving around like a healthy person! Oh, and blithering about it on the internet. Get pumped!

Robot Heart

Here’s a Craigslist ad I would LOVE to be able to write:

“FREE: lots of emotions. Downsizing and need more space. some emotions are dusty but probably in good shape, haven’t used in a couple years. Call asap.”

Seriously, I just want to give them away. I don’t even care if they go to a good home. 

If we were talking about something else that needed time and energy invested in it, like a pet or a houseplant, people would just be all like “Oh hey, neighbor down the street, do your kids want my goldfish?” or  “Oh hey lady at church, do you want my ficus? I’m just too busy, too stressed, too whatever to deal with it right now, even though it’s super cute.”

But can you do that with emotions you don’t want to face? NOPE. You can repress them, but then someone gets yelled at and you usually end up being the one doing the yelling because you have so much swirling inside your heart that you just can’t be sane anymore.

(I sound like a psycho person don’t I.) (Oh well.)

I know there are many women and men out there who have 99 problems without EMOTIONS being one of them, and they’re ok with it. Because really, who wants to be saddled with someone else’s feelings? Especially on a larger than “Hi-How are you-Fine” scale. I’m just saying that I would LOVE to be able to give some of my more important feelings – the really meaningful, growing ones – the attention they need I need to give them in order to be a whole person. 

I’ve discovered that it does not take a whole lot to be a functioning person. A robot heart is about all you need. If the mechanics are working properly, you can at least wake up and get to work and feed yourself a meal or two each day. But to be a whole person, you have to invest, and you have to FEEL real things, and be faced with the exhilarating highs and devastating lows of true life, and it’s reallll messy, friends. 

It’s a thing that I’d rather not deal with, to tell you the truth. I’d rather not feel real pain, or real grief, and I even try and shield myself from pure happiness sometimes. I’ll be in a moment that is, on all accounts, perfect – but I struggle to get there, to let myself be happily content, and I invent worry into the moment. For me, experiencing a feeling deeply gives me the exact same feeling that walking backwards off a cliff gives me. I’ve been rappelling before – the terror of leaning out into thin air and hoping that your belayer isn’t taking a coffee break and the terror of not knowing how giving into this feeling will make you, well, feel…. They are the same fright. That probably doesn’t make any sense, but maybe it gives you a glimpse of the gravity of this for me. 

I want to overcome this fear so badly. Maybe one day I’ll discover that I’ve practiced feeling feelings so much that I welcome them rather than dread them. I hope so. 

 

I just remembered I have a blog!

…Actually that’s not true.

I’ve been procrastinating getting back into telling you all about my thoughts and feelings and emotions.

But I’ve been too busy living my life to write about it!

…Actually that’s not true.

But kind of.

Anyways.

Stay tuned.

 

The Delights of Budgeting

If there’s anything my parents have tried to instill in me, it’s belief in the benefits of a budgeting system. Some of my earliest memories my mom and dad both being very disciplined in matters of money. They definitely weren’t stingy, by any means. They were just disciplined. Many of their thrifty and common-sense habits rubbed off on me when I was still pretty young – buy store brand food, wait for things to go on sale, don’t buy things on impulse, buy only things you actually need… that sort of thing.

I’ve somehow managed to stick with most of those principles. I hardly ever buy name brand stuff, I NEVER make impulse purchases (except when I’m at Target)…… but I still buy too much stuff, most of which I don’t even need. This is why budgets are important; if I know I have a set amount of money for a certain area of my life and it’s gotta last the whole month, I spend my money more thoughtfully and (hopefully) less often, and the end result is actual money in my savings account because I didn’t spend unnecessarily.

Sounds great, right?  So why do I have so much trouble sticking with a budget or even making one in the first place? THEY ARE SCARY.

Because to even make a budget in the first place, you have to look at what you’ve been spending all along. You can’t just decide that you are only going to spend $100 on food this month if you’ve been spending $300 each month for the past year. You’ll just fail, and then you’ll feel awful and you’ll ditch the budget and have a horrible life. But it’s almost as miserable to bite the bullet and realize “I’ve been spending HOW MUCH on coffee?!”

Budgets are also scary because they require so much discipline. Perhaps a good place to start is to just take it one month at a time, or even one week at a time. If you have a target dollar amount to which you want to eventually limit yourself, try to see if you can reach somewhere in a range slightly above your target for, say, a month? and then strategize how to change your habits to reach your goal, OR figure out a new goal? I don’t know. These ideas are mostly for myself. If anyone out there has any good budgeting tips or strategies, holla at your girl over here! Let me know what works for you! (Or how much you hate budgets. I will sympathize!)

I think it will be ok.

Maybe today you are feeling a little overwhelmed.

Perhaps you are feeling lonely.

Maybe you see too many people every day, or too few.

You might feel tired of your routine.

You may just want to settle down and find a new normal.

You may wish you had your old normal back.

Maybe you’ve had too many hard days.

Maybe you miss someone.

Perhaps you can’t even pinpoint the problem.

All of these could be true.

But I still think it will be all right. Things will get better, and things are actually beautiful right now. 

You will find the beautiful things.

A Few Discoveries To Brighten Your Day

Here’s a list of things I have recently discovered. No need to thank me.

#1. Pink slime is real. You can come job-shadow me. I will prove it to you. Stop eating chicken nuggets.

#2. I love being engaged. There are probably a few better feelings in the world, such as eating donuts or hearing babies laugh, but it’s pretty great to know FOR SURE that you want to marry somebody, that they feel likewise, and it’s actually gonna happen.

#3. I hate planning weddings. Sorry I’m not sorry. I used to “plan” my own birthday parties, and even THAT was stressful, and now that I look back and realize that it was my mom who actually put all my plans in action, I also realize that I am physically and mentally unfit to plan a major event of any shape or form. Can’t a girl just get married anymore? GAH. I just want to send out an invitation that says “Everybody show up cuz we gettin hitched and then having a PARTAY” and then have everything magically just work out.

#4. My mom has been loving Taylor Swift songs for a really long time. Seriously? Who saw that one coming?

#5. Grownups are always tired. I have nothing else to say about this one, except to say that I’m REALLY looking forward to the rest of my life.