Juggling ideas and waiting…

     I want to create a successful YouTube, blog, and most recently, my own freelance writing business. It’s amazing how many online resources are available to help you through the confusing start-up process. 

     Though YouTube is my last priority due to lack of a  computer or camera that films, it won’t leave my mind. I have an itch to create and edit and find new creative ways to show my emotion through videos. I find myself jotting down ideas day in and day out! I can’t get my hands on a laptop soon enough. My bills next month should be significantly lower, so maybe if I’m lucky I’ll get my hands on one. 

     This WordPress site is not my blog. It is simply a platform holding me over until I buy my own domain. It encourages me to write every day (even though I don’t post that often) and constantly write down new post ideas. I can’t help but to think that this whole not having a laptop thing is holding me back, but it’s really not. I can create drafts, ramble on until my hands cramp from typing, and connect with others just like a ‘real’ blog. 

     Finally, I am in the very beginning stages of creating my own online freelance writing business. I’m doing my research and have confidence that when I launch it correctly, it will be successful. I’ve always enjoyed writing and I picture freelancing for the experience until my blog picks up and I can focus primarily on that. 

       As I reread all of this, I see it all sounds very hopeful. But I’m determined. I have a goal set- to make two grand a month through all of this within six months from now. That gives me plenty of time. That gives me room for growth and success and I can only plea to my future self that she sticks with it and doesn’t get discouraged! 

      It has been a personal goal of mine since early this year to create a future for myself in which I’ll never have to work at 5:30PM again. I’m in the very very beginning stages of getting there, but I am on my way! 


Exciting News + October updates

     Brisk air is finally lingering from the night into mornings as fresh light drenches the nearby buildings, providing a bright and happy sight to wake up to! I’m learning how to appreciate the return of cold weather, after spending year after year being bitter over the end of summer. Even though we’re just over a week into the month, I’m going to go over those goals I set up for myself earlier just to keep myself in check and to see if I need to revise anything about them. 

     In regards to all things food/eating out- I could be doing better. I pretty much only eat gold fish until dinner time, so I haven’t been putting much thought into making an actual lunch for myself or Alec. It’s not currently high on the priority list, though it should be. I find it difficult to keep track of matching lids for the food containers, anyways! I went about two weeks without grocery shopping, so naturally, I had a lot of nights where going out to dinner was the only option. However, I got multiple $10 off of $40 coupons for Harris Teeter in the mail, so that will be motivation to pick back up the good habit of making dinner every night. I’ve also been drinking a lot more coffee at home rather than at Starbucks. I love it. I still haven’t figured out how to use the coffee maker myself, so I just have Alec make it for us. 

     My budget has been easy to follow since I lost my debit card and haven’t been to the bank, which also means we aren’t swapping them every day either. Oops! I do have all of my bills under control and I haven’t been spending money as hectically as I did last month. I think I’ve only bought one sweater. Go me! 

     I thought this one would be easy, but I’ve let it slip away from me- waking up 20 minutes early to walk Dublin/get ready for work. It is SO easy to make up excuses to avoid this. I was sick for a few days straight and didn’t get up until last minute, but once I was feeling better, I was still getting up at last minute. And every night I set my alarms, hopeful that my morning self will get up off her lazy ass and walk the dog, but nooooooo! An extra few minutes of sleep is so much more fulfilling than a short walk & coffee, right?! *Eye roll* It’s just a matter of discipline at this point. I need to make it a habit once again and do my best to not break it. I am 100% a morning person, but only once I’m out of bed. I need one of those obnoxious alarm clocks that forces you to get up to turn it off. 

     It seems like baby steps are the only forward movement at this point, but I’m glad I’m not stagnant or moving backwards. In fact, I recently got my hands on some old cameras that I haven’t touched in well over a year. It is beyond exciting to me to have a variety of working quality cameras again, especially since I’m getting into blogging and have plans to start up on YouTube again. 

     Video editing was my main creative outlet for years. It connected me with my best friends and kept me busy. I stopped editing videos for the most part after my horse Hailey died. She was my inspiration for everything and I haven’t foud a reason to make videos or take pictures until recently. I’m falling in love with life the way I fell in love with her; passionately and unapologetically. Not one single detail about Hailey went unnoticed or unloved. Now I want the same for what surrounds me. I want to take pictures of what I wake up to and what I see throughout the day and take video of anything that I do and create content that other people can relate to and enjoy. 

     It is exciting news to me because I finally have a creative outlet again. I will make art again an even if I’m the only one who reads it & loves it, I will still be happy and passionate.  This blog is a fantastic tool for me to use while I get everything together. I primarily have cellphone pictures on here, but pictures are worth a thousand words, as we all know. It is so much easier for me to write when I have a quality visual I can attach to it. I find it offensive how bad of quality the pictures on my phone are. That will soon change! 

     Stay tuned for more regular October happenings 🎃

A note on falling into a routine.

​     I hate falling into a routine. Actually, scratch that. I hate being zapped into a routine. Being sucked into one. Being grabbed by the throat and dragged through one. Okay, that was a little bit dramatic. But having a routine whether it’s just for my morning or for my entire day can really suck the life out of me. Since I have a thing for spewing my personal information out to strangers, let’s take a look into certain aspects of my daily routine & why it ultimately produces failure & what I can do to improve it! In order to do that let’s go back. Waayyy back. 

     I never considered myself a morning person. I think starting about 7th grade (start of middle school/end of my parents being responsible for getting me to the bus) there was never a day that I was on time. All the way through my senior year of high school.
     But then I graduated and started working on a horse farm where we had to be up and ready by 7:30AM. I started to love mornings & had no issue getting myself up. I started getting exactly nine hours of sleep and I had my routine set. I would sleep from 10pm-7am, work about 12 hours, and then have approximately two hours of free time which I would spend showering/eating and occosionally watching TV or cleaning. And I repeated that every single day for six months. To this day, it has been my most successful routine. But it has been the most mindless; the most comfortable. I might as well have had no free time because I wasn’t using it to do anything useful with it. Though, to be fair, my life was my job, so there was no need to prioritize my time for social events or anything else like that. Plus, every day at work was drastically different which kept me on my toes.The routine I put myself in was a tight one that had little to no room for variances, but I loved it & it was perfect for me and my lifestyle at the time. 

     Fast forward to today and the routine I’ve tried to box myself in is quite similar. Thankfully Alec has been pointing out how boring it all is- how it’s not fun nor is it exciting in the least bit to fall into the whole “Wake up. Go to work. Come home. Eat. Sleep. Repeat” routine. I don’t think I would have realized I was getting sucked back into that if he hadn’t pointed it out. Mainly because that routine is all I’ve ever know for the past year and it’s comfortable and I know how to handle it. But comfortable doesn’t always cut it. Comfortable isn’t always good.

    Though I have a family, home, & job that I love I always have to ask myself if I have a life that I love. Too often the conclusion to that answer is that I like my life, I am content, but I’m not loving it. I’m not loving it because I make it boring. I set up these schedules for that I expect myself to follow day to day that don’t have any zany or unexpected aspects to them. And for me, it’s impossible to stay awake & look forward when I know how everything is going to play out. And although I am content and I’m happy, I’m mindlessly going through every day with a plan that is ultimately bland and repetitive.

     A good way to go forward from here is to stop planning the little things; to go with the flow. I’m under this mindset that has me thinking about what exactly I’ll do when I get home, in what order, and at what time. Which sets myself up for failure because if something is out of place then I’ll worry about how it’ll effect the rest of the evening, when really, it doesn’t matter. Going with the flow is something I’ve struggled with recently. I used to be able to do it with no problem, but the more comfortable & routine I make my life, the more uncomfortable it is to go with the flow. An unacceptable form of discomfort that I want to turn into a stranger again.
     Adding on to that, I’ve been actively trying to wake up about an hour to thirty minutes earlier every morning so I have time to walk our dog and lounge around before heading off to work. Alec generally won’t join me because he doesn’t have to wake up until a couple hours after I do, so whatever I decide to do won’t be influenced by him. Its been fun seeing how it plays out! Some mornings I jump up at the sound of my alarm, pumped and ready to get my day started, and other morning I sleep until literally last minute.

      With that being said, setting up a routine can be a helpful and successful tool to use to keep one’s life organized and focused. I’m not against those who stick to a strict routine like I once did. I realize the benefits they have the potential to bring to one’s life. However, sticking to a routine only leads me down a mundane and tasteless path. Breaking routine and being spontaneous brings back the fun and excitement that I once knew. Trashing the routine I’ve accidentally trapped myself in will bring me back to good times & encourage creating unforgettable memories. 

How to wake up from a nap. 

​Its amazing how outdoor areas that seem lifeless become active when you take a moment to be still and just watch. You don’t have to think; you don’t have to know a thing about birds or wildlife, you simply have to stop and stare. 

The other day I was glued to the couch after mosying around all day and taking an hour long nap. I was groggy and I felt like my wheels of motivation were hopelessly rusted shut. I wanted to sleep and avoid people at all costs. Despite feeling like I physically and mentally couldn’t move, I got up, threw on an oversized shirt, workout shorts, and strappy sandals, and set off (without Dublin, much to my dismay) to the w&od trails.
I passed over a bridge that has a small, gently flowing creek running below it. Surrounding the area is a huge plot of land that has some areas cut down to make room for telephone poles & other areas still thick with forest and shrubbery. However, it is blocked off with a black chain linked fence. I was trying to find a way to get pass the fence when just then, a doe and her baby spotted me. They weren’t yet on high alert, but they were definitely curious. 

I continued on and found where the fence ended. I believe the fence is there to keep trail users from falling off the side of a very steep dropoff, so I didn’t question whether I should be going around it or not. My sandals were surprisingly grippy, so I had no issue making my way down the drop off. I was a bit worried about how I’d get back up though!
Immediately I came across a patch of yellow flowers that monarchs were attracted to. There was quite a wide variety of other butterflies and moths as well, but I unfortunately lack the knowledge to correctly identify them or the camera to capture them.

I enjoyed the sight of monarchs fluttering about for a few minutes before walking on. I spotted a dead tree sticking out of a forested area that seemed to be hosting a lot of commotion! There was no way to approach it quietly, so the CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH I was creating gave me away long before I got close enough to see most of the birds up close. The doe and her baby hopped through the grass and into thick trees until all that was left of them was a faint flick of their white tail. I stopped and waited. Silence. I shifted my wait. CRUNCH. And a bunny sprinted off. I took one more step towards the dead tree. CRUNCH. And the tree became alive! The birds blended in with the tree so well that I didnt see many of them until they flew away. I was left standing face to face with a mocking bird. They’re very common around here and don’t seem timid. There were three of them watching me, hesitating to move closer, but curious enough to keep their eyes glued to me.

I was amused while observing them for a while. They have such a soft eye, yet bold personality. Mockingbirds have always been a joy to observe because they seem so independent and confident with themselves.
Very quickly I became distracted by the calls of a couple of woodpeckers in the distance. There was no way I could spot them from so far away, so I decided to head back home and return to this spot later with more time, a better camera, and binoculars.
I stopped one more time to watch a bee. It added a little ounce of sunshine on an overcast day!

On my way back home I was feeling as refreshed and observant as ever! The little forest friends made it clear that if you take a moment to settle down, take a breath, and relax then good things will come your way. Or run away if you’re too loud! Happy Tuesday, everyone. 

October Goals | Safflowering 

​As the month of October makes its way around, I’m determined to crack down on a budget as well as other various goals I have for myself. There’s no better way that I can stick to this than making it public and allowing others to see what my plan is. It’s recently turned from Summer to Autumn, so I see October as a fresh start. I spent my summer haphazardly swiping my debit card everywhere, didn’t take any job seriously, and set myself up for disaster. Now that I’ve recognized my faulty lifestyle, I’m here to fix it. And the beginning of Autumn is the perfect time to do so as the holidays are coming up soon and there’s nothing better than saving money & being able to spoil those around you! 

A stunning senset in late September.

First & most importantly I have a budget. Kind of. I’ve yet to come up with a specific number for that budget, but what I’m allowing myself to spend money on will be reduced significantly. My goal is to be able to pay all bills/debt without worrying if I’ll have enough left over. No more shopping online or because I’m bored or because there’s a sale. I’ll only be buying groceries, gas, occasionally eating out/coffee, and the misc. items we may need for our apartment, such as curtain rods or a laundry hamper. And do you want to know the radical idea that Alec came up with to be serious about it? Switching each others debit/credit cards every morning. Yeah, I didn’t even consider it at first. No way. There’s no way my account can keep up with his spending. But he made a good point- we won’t be able to consciously spend each others money. He’ll be less inclined to eat out for lunch every day & I won’t even consider spending money compulsively if it’s not my card. 

Which brings me to the next point. A very obvious point. Eating out is expensive! It adds up so quickly and it’s not even worth it most of the time. Especially not when cooking is fun, rewarding, and significantly less pricey. Not to mention healthier as well. I hate adding up my expenses just to see that I’ve spent more on eating out than I have on groceries. I’m very excited to see how much I can make my eating out category shrink. I also know that the more I prioritize cooking at home, the less I’ll be inclined to go out.

Personally, I’m fine going through my day without a breakfast or much of a lunch, but on the days I do make myself lunch, I am thankful to my morning self for getting it done. Alec, on the other hand, needs a lunch no matter what. I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to invest in a large amount of food containers so that I can prep our lunches weekly and not have to worry about making it the night before or morning of work. 

I’m also fine with Starbucks or drinking free bank coffee every morning when I drop off a deposit. But we have a coffee maker and we have coffee beans, so I’m going to sit down and read the instructions so we can finally start using it. I’d rather drink fresh coffee on the balcony with Alec and Dublin and not have to deal with people or diving, anyways.

Enjoying early sunshine

Finally, I’m going to start getting up 20 minutes early to walk Dublin and see what else is awake, such as the mallards at the local pond! It eats away at me knowing he sits around all day doing nothing since I don’t always walk him when I get home in the evening. I’m also a morning person as long as I get enough sleep the night before, so it’s a good way to start the day on a positive note. It might be a bit tricky for Alec to join me on this one since his schedule starts and ends later than mine and he prefers staying up late. But we’ll see. This morning I got him to agree (as he was mostly asleep) to start working out early AMs. 

So there we have it- a handful of easy goals that should set us up for success! I’m thrilled to finally have it all down in writing and published so there’s no backing out. There’s only room to move forward, improve, and learn. I’m even more excited to have what seems like an endless list of things to write about this month! Visit back soon for weekly updates and thoughts on how everything goes.