Back To Reality

Vacation is over and I’m headed back to work today. Luckily, I like my job and enjoy earning my own way in the world. All the same, I will miss the leisure time and having the opportunity to get stuff done during the week.

Scout has enjoyed it too. Here he is luxuriating with his favorite blanket and my book. If he looks irked, it’s because I woke him up taking his picture. I hate to tell him that we won’t get to relax with a book and a blanket today!

Happy New Year and Happy Monday. Here’s to new beginnings.

Happiness Is….

Happiness is a good book, a thunderstorm and an early bedtime. This new-to-me author has been surprisingly good and I’m on the edge of my seat, ready for the rest of the story.

Sadly, life has been too busy lately to do much reading so I take advantage of whatever free time is available after work to plow through.

What small thing brings you happiness?

Long Weekend

A three day weekend is like hitting a lottery that gives you extra free time. I like to use long weekends for adventuring but this wasn’t the case for this weekend celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I’m mostly staying home this No Spend Month. Plus, thanks to Covid, there’s nowhere to go and nothing to do once you get there.

Consequently, I spent Friday night and yesterday fussing that I was wasting time. After all, when you work all week, free days feel like a luxury that shouldn’t be squandered.

Yesterday, I walked at a local park and made an effort to look for different things to photograph. Like this.

And this.

So far this weekend I have made some really good vegan mac and cheese and watched the movie Jo Jo Rabbit, the wonderful documentary Streetlight Harmonies and a few episodes of I Love Lucy. I played with the cat, read some, wrote a letter on nice stationary, got a little rest and did some organizing.

Friends, my fridge is both clean and organized.

It was a nice balance of fun and work, active and lazy. When I think about it that way- it all seems like a good use of my time. Enjoy this day, friends.

Cutting the Cord

One of the best decisions I ever made came from a place of necessity. After my divorce, I had to find some ways to save money so one of the first things to go was my very expensive dish bill.

I don’t recall how much we were paying for tv but it was close to $100 a month. It bothered me at first that I couldn’t afford what I considered a very basic utility and right.

But you know something? I didn’t miss it for very long because it quickly became clear that I didn’t watch shows so much as I flipped channels. I had so much more free time on my hands because I wasn’t mindlessly flipping between HGTV and ALF reruns.

I live in the country where internet options aren’t great so I don’t use any streaming services but do have an antenna which gives me access to some fabulous entertainment. I’m listening to a great PBS concert while writing this and have access to a vegan cooking show, documentaries, some neat reruns and, of course all the modern stuff brought to us by the brilliant minds of network television executives today.

If the tv is on in my house, it’s to watch something specific and not to kill time. And since I’m not flipping through hundreds of channels all evening long, I have more time to read and to do other things I enjoy.

Not to mention, many tv shows (I’m looking at you Chip and Jo) and all commercials are designed to make you feel dissatisfied with yourself and your life. Plus, there’s just not much on television today that’s worth the brain cells you’re killing by staring at the thing. By minimizing my tv exposure, I have actually increased my happiness.

Thinking about cutting the cord? I say do it. If you’re on the fence, add up how much you spend on tv in a year and think about what you could do with all that money! Even if you invest some in a streaming service, you will be saving hundreds and possibly thousands a year!

It may feel weird at first but I promise you won’t regret it!

Found Time

I wrapped up a project at work this week and rewarded myself with a four day weekend. Everyone needs a little mental health time.

Thursday was cleaning day (doesn’t my living room look nice when it’s clean?), Friday was for adventure and today is dedicated to prepping for the new week. But Saturday, Leap Day, was found time and I used it to do something I never do: nothing.

I read, watched a movie and even took a long nap. It was a beautiful sunny day which should have been spent out hiking or doing something productive but I have no regrets.

Everyone needs a day to decompress and to hit the reset button. Leap Day was perfect for that. Today is a new day and a new month, a perfect time to start fresh goals or to recommit to old ones.

I Miss Those Days

college days

I commuted to Ohio University and often found myself with time to kill between classes. If the weather was good, this is where you could find me. Countless hours were spent sitting on this sunny hillside plowing through centuries of good books as I pursued my degree in English.

I miss those days. 

It was wonderful having nowhere to be but right here, sitting in the grass with a book in my hands. It was here that I read my first Ian Fleming book as part of a film noir class. It was here that I developed an appreciation for Indian literature and it was here that Jane Austin came to life.

I suppose I could go sit there with a book someday but I’m guessing you really can’t go home again. I don’t belong there anymore. But the memory – ah, the memory of the smell of fresh cut grass, the sun beating down, the feel of a book in my hands –  it’s the best memory of my college career.