30 Day Challenge Update

It’s been a little over a week since I last blogged about my minimal spending.  I can honestly say that I am learning a lot about how I spend money and how I rationalize everything.

Last Monday, I walked into a furniture store and bought a new bed.  Now most people would say “that’s a luxury”, and my response is, “tell my back that”.  While I didn’t go to an expensive furniture store, I did buy a decent queen size bed.  I went to Kmart to try to find sheets, but nothing clicked.  I remembered that I had a gift card and went to Macy’s on a whim.  Found a sheet set I liked that was on sale, used a gift card my mom gave me, and all together I ended up only spending a third of what the sheets normally sell for.

On that same day, I went out and had dinner with a friend who was celebrating her birthday.

On Wednesday, a day before my bed would be delivered, I realized that the layout I envisioned wasn’t going to work, and I had to get rid of my dresser ASAP.  For most people, that would be an agonizing decision.  When my family moved into​ our current space, the movers told me that the dresser’s back was falling apart and it wouldn’t survive another move.  They had to put my stuff in boxes in order to keep everything from spilling out.  I threw out the mirror that detached itself from the dresser years ago.  I knew this day was coming so I rushed to have someone haul the dresser out of my room.  I made sure to hire someone local and check out reviews to see if others said they were cheaper than the national franchise.  They were.  Compared to what my family paid to have a TV and refrigerator hauled off $110 seemed reasonable.  I did feel sorry that the guy had to break up the dresser with his bare hands and haul the pieces down three flights of stairs by himself.  It was well worth the price.

I thought I received a quote at $185 for delivery before leaving the furniture store.  I knew that I had to pay cash for it and that was a separate charge from the furniture itself.  I would pay the delivery person after service was rendered.  Thursday I spent the day waiting.  I asked for an evening delivery time and I got 4 PM with a four hour window.  Fine by me.  I had a ton of things to do around the house.  I saw the guy pull up at 7 PM with my bed.  He was also by himself.  He hauled up a queen size bed frame, matress and box spring.  He hauled away my old twin mattress and box spring.  Unlike the dresser hauler, this guy and I actually had a decent conversation.  Told me that he is a contractor for the delivery service company and that he prefers to work by himself.  Says he gets the job done faster.  He even was nice enough to move my nightstand to another part of my room when yet another layout didn’t work.  After he showed me my paperwork the whole job ended up costing $180.  Since all the money was going to corporate, I just gave him the difference.  Not much but it was something.

About two hours later, my friend called me and told me to drive her to the ER because she fell and twisted her ankle badly.  I went to her house and asked her if she had food.  Nope.  Neither had I so that was a trip to Jack and the Box.  I paid for both of us.  

Friday night I ate dinner with friends and Saturday I went out with those same friends and ate lunch.  

Today, I bought groceries.

So through all of this, I learned that I usually spend money when I hang out with friends.  While I didn’t like ordering all the food that I did Friday and Saturday, I ate all of it so my stomach was bigger than my eyes this time.  The time that I spent with friends, supporting them and celebrating their presence in my life really makes dropping $16 per meal worth it.

  I also spend money when I feel like the convenience of having someone else do something for me would save me more​ time than money.  I also like to reward people who are trying to make an honest living.  I know when my body is telling me that something old will no longer be acceptable.  That getting rid of the old to make room for the new is a constant theme in life that the person we were yesterday isn’t the same person as today.  We must look at the signs that this thing can no longer do it’s basic job function and decide to get rid of it.  We must discard things that no longer work for us and expand ourselves to make room for the new and improved.  

And, we must also have groceries while doing so.

The 30 Day Challenge I Don’t Want But Need.

I was doing a bit of reading yesterday when I stumbled upon a blog entry about how to get organized.  I read through the list and the one thing that stuck out was a 30 day challenge not to spend any money.  There was obviously provisions in place if you need to pay bills and buy soap (Diva loves to shower.).  However, some of my more “I don’t need it but want it” purchases will have to wait.  Instead of buying new stuff, I just try to use what I have at home.

I can tell you that even though I stayed in the house all day due to flooding in my area, it was still hard.  I got a 50% off coupon for Michael’s in an email and had to stop short of praying for the flood waters to part for me like Moses and the Red Sea just to go out.  Diva loves Michael’s.  By the way, while I am not stuck at home, traveling ​on the roads is difficult, thanks for asking.  😉

So here I sit, waiting for the waters to recede back into the river so that everyone can get back to their normal routine.

Oh, and may the Fourth be with you.

Starting Over (Again)

I love spring.  It’s great to finally be able to get out of the house and not need a coat because it’s so warm outside​.  It’s an amazing time to clean house and truly discover what you value underneath all the junk.

I’ve been away for quite some time, reevaluating my life and how much time I’ve allowed to go by without any new material.  I had a discussion with someone who told me that it’s important to get my ideas and experiences out.  Well, this relaunch of the website is in response to that conversation.

Here I go again, wish me luck this time.  🙂

Any Day Can Be “January 1”

“We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.”
― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

I believe that people have the power within to change themselves.  While we can’t control what we grow up around, as adults, we have to come to an understanding that while we may not be responsible for the past, we are responsible with how it affects the present.  If we say we are empowered and free, then we must begin to act on it.   Yes, the road is harder for some than others and yes, some people can and will need help.  Ultimately though, change is possible.

Having said that, I’d to say that I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions.  Why?  Because I believe that anybody, at any time, can change for the better.  My “New Year’s Resolution” actually began in August when I first went to the gym.

Here’s some advice for your future self.  You don’t have to be at the beginning of the year for it to be new.  Your new year could start in July.  Or May.  Or November.  It starts whenever you decide that you want to change.  This is especially important when and if you ever drop your resolution.  Just pick it back up and start again whenever you’re ready, no matter what the calendar says.

My Year in Review, or, Why I’ve Been AWOL.

It’s been a VERY long time coming.  I’ve been gone since October.  Well, let me give you a few reasons why I’ve been gone.

  1.  I had an accident.  In October, I was involved in a very minor car accident.  So minor, the car had a small scratch and did way better than I did.  I hurt my back a bit.  A few days later, I fell down and hurt myself in multiple places.  I chose to focus on my recovery and just rest.
  2. The holidays came and went.  You would think that a person has enough time in the day to catch up on all the work they missed after an accident and still have time to do some holiday cooking and crafting.  Nope.  My time became jammed with going to my volunteer job and work AND cook a meal for a church potluck.  Also, I had to send out my yearly handmade Christmas cards.

3.  (The most legitimate, pressing reason)  I simply ran out of ideas and              hit writer’s block.

Yes, I had writer’s block.  It felt more like a spiritual block.  I had so much stuff happen to me in the past two months everything just happened at Ludicrous Speed.  I felt like just when I received a topic to write about, something else would happen and I would lose my train of thought or topic.  At the same time , my blog became like the winter, everything went dormant on the surface and burrowed underground.  I needed time to sort myself out mentally, physically, and emotionally before I came out of hibernation and blogged.  I know it’s a big paradox, but it’s true.  I was hiding underneath but nurturing myself underneath all the layers of Earth.

I feel fine now.  Christmas is gone, my back is mostly back to normal, and I feel like blogging again.  I feel myself slowly starting to emerge from my cocoon.  I feel reinvented and new.  I am ready to continue.  So here’s to a wonderful 2016.

Talent Show

On Friday, October 9th, I went to and participated in a talent show.  It wasn’t just any talent show,  It featured children, teenagers, and adults with Down Syndrome.  What made this talent show special for me was that these people were doing something most “normal” people I know wouldn’t.  I don’t know too many people in my circle of friends and family who have the courage to sing and be happy they accomplished something.  There aren’t too many people I know that can get in front of a crowd and start dancing.  Am I saying that “normal” people don’t do that?  No.  I am not.  What I am trying to say is this:  I saw people operating from a place without fear.  They didn’t care about who liked it and who didn’t; they just got out and did it.  I wish, for myself and for others, that we all can shine bright and do the things we were meant to do without fear and judgement.

They Can See Me, But They Cannot Touch Me

One of my favorite movies is Elizabeth: The Golden Age.  There is a scene where Elizabeth I is having dinner/entertaining Charles II, Archduke of Austria.  She gives him a piece of advice on how to handle your enemies.

Elizabeth I: I have a secret my dear.  I pretend there is a pane of glass, eine Glasscheibe, between me and them.  They can see me, but they cannot touch me.  You should try it.

I remembered this line today as I went by the river to clear my head and charge myself.  There were many different types of bugs all around me as I sat on a park-bench meditating.  As I sat, I could hear the sound of insects buzzing and jumping around me.  I would jump every time, thinking one might hurt me.  Just as I was going to give up fining inner zen I was reminded of this quote.

I began to think about what else people can see but can’t be harmed by?  There are many situations where people my talk about you, do wrong against you? Do circumstances not always go your way? Do you feel out of control to the powers that be, both good and bad?  I remember that although the bugs in life see me and buzz around me, they cannot touch me.

My prayer for you this week: May you find your glass pane and use it.  Know that what comes your way, you won’t be harmed by it.