In My Next 30 Years…

Today is the the last day of my 30th year. Tomorrow a new day and a new year for me!

 

Goodbye…regrets about what I should have done and didn’t

Hello…opportunities to regret some things I have done :)

 

Goodbye…sitting and laying

Hello…standing and walking

 

Goodbye…not leaving time for things I love

Hello…blogging, quilting, gardening

 

Goodbye… staying up too late

Hello…a reasonable bedtime

 

Goodbye…drinking soda

Hello…drinking water

 

Goodbye…dating guys who work at Little Ceasers

Hello…dating someone with benefits (the health care kind :)

 

Goodbye… waiting for life to happen

Hello… making things happen in life

 

Goodbye… letting my frustration with other people and their incompetence affect my days

Hello… taking care of my circus and my monkeys

 

Goodbye… flipping my amygdala

Hello… yoga

 

Goodbye… half listening when I’m with people

Hello… putting down my phone and being present

 

Goodbye… spending money on things

Hello… spending money on experiences

 

Goodbye… anger at the political system with no action

Hello… meaningful actions in causes I believe in

 

Goodbye… being scared to fail at new things

Hello… laughing when I fail and succeeding at some new things

 

Goodbye… 30

Hello… 31

Choosing Gratefulness

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I had a long weekend. I took Friday off and took some time to reflect. There have been some things that have happened lately that have reiterated the brevity, fragility, and fleeting nature of the life….more specifically the depth of my life. No one can possibly know the length of their life but I am in control of how I live the depth of my life. Today I am choosing to be grateful…I am choosing gratitude over self-pity, anger, and resentment.

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Here is a short list of things I am grateful for today:

-Rainbow Eucalyptus

-Bats

-Students who are excited to learn

-The jacaranda and yellow blooming trees (still trying to figure out the name)

-Friends who are positive

-Friends who give me gut and heart checks when I need them

-Pinterest

-Being able to buy healthy foods

-Lola the bearded dragon

-Mason jars

-Frozen cookie dough

-Fresh laundry smell

-My girl scout troop

-Tie dying

-Duolingo

-Fans that oscilate

-Having lunch prepared

-Coffee

-Mark and his generosity

-Finishing projects

-Spider webs

-Having 6 more weeks with these kids

-Mindy Kaling’s new book

-Clean car (I would be grateful if mine was clean)

-Watermelon seedlings

-My first tomato of the summer

-Knitted animals and gnomes

-Amazon deliveries

-Poppies and plumaria

-Heated pools

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I love this little photo.

A reminder that there can be beauty in the smallest things.

A reminder that there can be beauty in the smallest things.

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Things I Hate (and Have No Control Over)

I have been struggling lately. I know it’s hard to imagine that someone was effervescent and enjoyable as me would struggle with a syndrome like DGAF. For those of you who I have vented to, complained to, whined to, or just made mumbling sounds at as I walked away from….I’m sorry. My therapist says that I need to let go of things that I cannot control because negative feelings like frustration, anger, and bitterness happen because I am trying to control things that I can’t. I would agree with her…and add on that I also then feel shame and embarrassment for feelings such feelings because the person I want to be and the person I am are two very different people. So….here’s a list of things that I hate AND things I have no control over. As I write them down…I’m letting go of what I cannot change and forgiving myself for the things that I could change but am too lazy or too tired to change.

- The Koch Brothers….I know they are the boogey-men of the Democratic party but I hate them. I hate that they can buy elections like kids buy pokemon cards…gotta catch them all.

-Climate-change deniers, you are bastards and will burn in a fire furnace…of course that furnace is our only planet that we are destroying so you will probably both burn in a fiery furnace and then freeze like a human-popsicle. Both of these fates you deserve…and you’re taking the rest of us with you. It’s not like we have another Earth waiting in the wings for when we decimate this one.

-Teachers who alternately don’t care enough to do their best for their students and then also have martyr syndrome because they are doing such good work….you know by helping “these” kids.

-People who text, then I text back in less than 10 seconds, then they don’t text back for hours. I KNOW YOU CAN’T PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY THAT FAST! I HAVE SPEEDY THUMBS!!!!!

-Parents who put their weaves, nails, colored contacts, and booty shorts ahead of getting their kids more than one uniform or food. Add that to parents who yell at me while they are yelling at someone else on the phone (you can’t afford two shirts for your kid but you have an iPhone!) Oh in this case…it’s actually the same parent.

-Politicians who give breaks to corporations worth billions of dollars but then freak out about raising the minimum wage or leaving snap benefits at the same level…It’s unbelievable that some politicians work so hard at keeping the poor poor.

-Duke Energy. You are like if the Koch brothers and Darryl Issa had a hate child and then it systematically poisoned the southern half of the United States…but also bought of the entire state of North Carolina and half of DC so you didn’t have to be accountable for it.

-The nut-zos in the NRA. I get it….you want to keep your guns. I’m from Wyoming…I get it. However, that doesn’t mean that you should get to buy a bazooka or a AK47 without showing ID or some sort of background check. I mean the kid in PA who used a knife to go on a rampage hurt a lot of people but didn’t kill any…. imagine if he had a gun….it would have been Sandy Hook or Columbine or Virigina Tech or  ________ (Insert name of any one of the 44 school shootings since Newtown). At this rate I deserve combat pay just for teaching 2nd grade. Let’s look at gun reform in a logical and rational way…we need an systematic overhaul of how we help people with mental illness, we need to provide more support to kids who are outsiders to get them into a community, we also need to have a way to keep guns away from people who are not stable.

-The almost complete ignoral of the homeless problems facing urban kids. We are not doing right by them as a society. I see them show up in my class looking hollow-eyed and deflated at 7! Then just as quickly as they come…they disappear again. Where did they go? Are they safe? Are they fed? Will they enroll in another school? Will they learn to read? Will they fall into a different class where the teacher pronounces them DOA and just get shuffled along until they have kids of their own? Will they remember that I cared about them even though they were only in my class for a week?

-People who can vote but choose not to. I read somewhere that if people have a contempt for government then they will have a government that is contemptible. That’s what we have. The normal middle of the road people abdicate their moral obligation for voting to the crackpots, ideologue, crazies, and ass-clowns because they don’t think their vote matters. I know…I used to be someone who said…”I would rather not vote then vote uninformed” That’s a weak excuse to let the country go to hell in a handbasket because I was too lazy to get informed. For a presidential election the voter turn out rate should be in the 90%’s (In 2012 it was 58%…in 2010 it was a whopping 41%). When did the normal people stop voting? When did normal people stop running for office? Did they every start voting? Why don’t people in their twenties know that they have the power to effect change? We don’t have to let rich, old, white men rule our country…they are no longer the majority but have somehow still created a caste system of the haves and the havenots. Most of country is not who is interviewed on Fox news or MSNBC but that majority is giving the reigns over to those geniuses like Cliven Bundy and Ted Cruz.

-Citizen United and McCutcheon. I think we need to get a system like England. Each canidate is given ____ amount of dollars by the government and that’s all that can be spent for elections. It makes more sense then the over 2 billion dollars that have been spent in the last 2 years for elections….that’s not even money spent towards lobbying.

 

Ok…If you read this far then you are either a good friend who is worried about my stability or a bad friend who is documenting my decent into crazyville. Either way thanks for reading….my fury at the things I can not change peaked somewhere are the NRA and now has gotten back down to a manageable level. Time to leave these things behind and focus on the things that I can change.

I can continue to care about every kid who comes into my class for no matter how long they are there.

I can show my students that chaos and yelling is not how all adults function.

I can join Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety group.

I can talk about the importance of voting to people I know and volunteer for campaigns I care about….I promise not to do this on a first date though.

I can vote with my money everyday by consuming products that support my ecological values and political values. This may be tricky but I would rather spend time becoming informed then keep throwing money at companies who are doing bad things for people, communities, and the world.

I can become more conservative with my finances so that I don’t buy unnecessary things which will both support my ideology about saving money and also my ideology about conservation of resources.

I can do my job for my students in my classroom and remember that I can’t change other people. Not my circus, not my monkeys.

 

 

January 30 Day Challenge

30 Days of Non-Spending and Living Well

January 2014

ImageI got this idea from the blog, Living Well and Spending Less. Essentially 30 days of spending no money except on previously committed to amounts (bills) and essential items (gas, limited food). I just read an article about how if you put your goals out there in public then you are more likely to follow through because of peer accountability. This is a list that she made about things that qualify as non-essentials. 

There are a few expenses that should definitely be cut out for the month:

  • Eating at restaurants
  • Starbucks
  • Clothing
  • Hobbies–crafts, golf, etc.
  • Entertainment
  • Toys
  • Toiletries
  • Alcohol & other vices
  • Lottery Tickets
  • Furniture/Home Decor

I love to spend money on some of these things but I am committing to not to until February. I’m expecting that in a month of not spending that I the things that I “needed” I will find out that I don’t “need” those things anyway. I’m tired of cutting it close at the end of the month. I’m tired of not having money to travel to amazing places. I’m tired of feeling weighed down by junk that I don’t need and don’t necessarily even want. I’m tired of eating poorly on convenience food instead of eating whole foods that can be recognized as food. I’m tired of not really knowing where my money is going. I’m also tired of not having accessible cash in case of emergencies. I have done a great job of retirement planning but between now and 55 my saving habits are poor. I guess if I get bored I can always go for a walk…that’s absolutely free :) 

Here are my answers to the ground rules page: 

Grocery or Toiletry Items I MAY buy: 

toilet paper

fresh fruits or vegetables

chicken, beef, pork

butter, eggs

gasolina

Things I Have Already Committed To Paying For: 

rent

403b 

bootcamp/wellness coach

insurance

car payment

internet/netflix/hulu

water/electricity

Things I Absolutely CANNOT Purchase: 

-eating out 

-processed food

-entertainment (ie. movies, red box, bingo, bowling, mini-golf, iTunes, etc.)

-alcohol, going out, happy hour, etc. 

-anything from Target, Wal-mart or Costco (except aforementioned items)

-coffee/soda :(

Other Rules/Notes: 

I will buy or make Catherine a birthday present (any going out expense also counts as part of this)

I will buy stamps to send thank you notes and late Christmas cards to those important to me…spending money on relationships is a long time goal and stamped letters is something that helps build relationships. (..And I HAVE to send Christmas cards out before February or I might as well send Valentine’s Day Cards). 

Food/supplies for the animals will be an exception,( I did just buy Dubia beetles to start a colony so that this expense will be less in the future)…but no new fish even to replace the ones that I killed by accident. 

If you want to do this project with me then start here at this website, Living Well and Spending Less, How to do a Spending Freeze. 

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By organizing and controlling my finances and my environment,I will be able to enjoy what I have and what I do more and more; because those worries of not having enough money and too much clutter will be diminished.

 

Thirty Day Challenge

e505c5ad3ad4949ae6fed0889c6afd33Well, thanks to you who have spent the last year with me. Thinking about what I wanted to accomplish this year I realized that I don’t want to commit to a year of something. I am going to do things for 30 days instead! You can read about these things on this blog (I also plan to go back and hit the days that I didn’t get to document last year). This idea is inspired from a TED Talk by Matt Cutts. It’s a really short clip about changing one thing in your life for 30 days! Awesome! WATCH IT!!!!

Here’s some more inspirational videos!

My favorite YouTube crush ZeFrank1, An Invocation for Beginnings. 

And what inspirational go get ‘em YouTube binge isn’t complete without Kid President’s Pep Talk. 

If you were lame and didn’t watch those videos then you can get some inspiration from these quotes!

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Goodbye 2013

I have learned so much over this last year. About me, about my what makes me excited, about how I react to the world around me, about what I want and what I do not want out of this adventure called life. I can’t say that 2013 has been my greatest year to date but there were some great moments, a lot of those I shared with you all on this blog. So dear reader, thanks for being a part of my year and my life. Thanks for teaching me things and being willing to be a little silly with me. Thanks for reading my ramblings even when they were late or weren’t proof-read.

I wish I knew how my journey ended, or at least what was next. There are a lot of unknowns out there. Whatever comes or goes, I know that I will remember this year as the year that I lived every day a little more than usual. Thanks for sharing that with me. Cheers!

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National Egg Nog Day!

December 24, 2013

Happy National Egg Nog Day!

Cheers!

Cheers!

Egg nog is like Cadbury Creme Eggs. I try it every other year or so. I think that I’ll like it. I don’t. I keep trying though…maybe one day my taste buds will mature. Maybe it would be better if their were liquor it in…like the cranberry juice I had earlier. :)

Egg Nog Mustache (and teeth socks? eww)

Egg Nog Mustache (and teeth socks? eww)

 

Mudd Day!

December 20, 2013

Happy Mudd Day!

Here’s a little story about a man whose name was dragged through the mud and his last name happened to be Mudd.

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Samuel Mudd! Happy Birthday!

Samuel Mudd! Happy Birthday!

Once upon a time there was a guy named Samuel Mudd and he was born on this day a long, long time ago. He grew up and became a doctor. Then he was at his house south of Washington D.C. in April of 1865. A fellow that he had met previously rode up and asked to spend the night while he recovered from an injury. Mudd agreed and this might have been a poor choice on his part because he was later found guilty of being a conspirator in the Lincoln assassination. This guy made was apparently kind of a butt-face and not very nice to his slaves, but the proof of his role in the assignation of Lincoln has been disputed…especially by his relations. He eventually was released 4 years later and went back to his farm to live with his herd of kids and his wife.

The History Channel show that I watched a few President’s Days ago claimed that this might be where the term “Your name is mud” came from but it turns out that phrase was used before Sam Mudd was born. Apparently not all the neighbors were thrilled to have him back after his stint in prison.

I think this looks like a nice house...apparently so did John W. Booth as he fled south to escape capture.

I think this looks like a nice house…apparently so did John W. Booth as he fled south to escape capture.

Here’s a website with more information about the conspirators and what happened to them. I would also recommend watching Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and The Conspirators….both interesting, one more historically accurate.

National Re-gifting Day!

December 19, 2013

Merry National Re-gifting Day!

This is a picture I'm re-gfting to you...it's a portrait by an aspiring 7 year old artist.

This is a picture I’m re-gfting to you…it’s a portrait by an aspiring 7 year old artist.

I love re-gifting! If you’ve ever gotten a present from me chances are it has be re-gifted from someone else…if you give me a present I will do the world a favor and recycle the joy that came along with the present-receiving. Why? Because I don’t need things and it’s fun to give stuff to other people… as well as cathartic to get rid of stuff that I don’t want. I re-gifted a lot of things at school today. All of the teacher mugs and other teacher paraphernalia that I could find I lovingly re-gifted to other people at my school site. I didn’t leave my name on it. I also snuck about 20 mugs into the teacher’s lounge cabinet. You’re welcome, Co-workers! I’m sure they appreciated the gesture.

I also re-gifted some jelly beans to my students from a teacher white-elephant gift exchange. It’s really the only way I’ve gotten through this week. They will do anything for a chance at a jelly bean.

The jar of jelly beans that saved my sanity.

The jar of jelly beans that saved my sanity.

The teacher did her best today so she got a jelly bean too!

The teacher did her best today so she got a jelly bean too!

The most awesome things I have “re-gifted” or really white-elephant gifted this month was a giant dog bone. I took it to a friend’s party. The person who got it was not thrilled and I ask you why not?

Giant meat-bone gift.

Giant meat-bone gift.