Today was a day of lists. I tackled more of my Shit List as it shall hence forth be known and I created FOUR different “lists”: Destinations, Budget, Holt Shit I Have 18 Days to Get Ready for School, and Thankful For. Well..I guess this is really two list, one balance sheet, and one log of observations. I am counting them all as lists. Lists only work if you keep up on them and don’t LOSE them. I have problem solved both potential pitfalls of lists…I have recorded them in places that would only disappear in the apocalypse and I am figuring if that happens the lists won’t matter…I will all of sudden have a very short and easy to remember list: Don’t die, find some food and water and a safe place to sleep. No lists needed for that time period of existence. And I have schedule time into my days to interact with each “list”…purposefully. Why am I thinking about lists today? I have no idea. I am a list maker…I like lists and goals and organization and game plans. In the summer all that kinda goes away because I really have nothing to do. No meetings or things to create or timelines to met. Well I do but not really…being on vacation for two weeks is awesome. two months…not so much. I can only get so tan and read so many books. But I have been thinking about a BIG list for some time. Now that I have been doing this for 15 weeks…what are my BIG takeaways? Oprah calls it “This I Know For Sure”. I like O…she is pretty cool and does some pretty cool stuff for people. If she can make lists about what she knows as true for her then I can to. And a lot of times her “for sures” match my own “for sures”. So basically me and O are DNA besties and brain twinsies so I am going to do what my twin does and think about my “for sures” of this struggle. So because me and O are one in the same and I am starting another list called “Thee One Who Struggles Knows This For Sure”. It’s a list title in progress. Anywhoos…on to the other lists…
My Shit List is recorded forever here on this blog. I can refer to it anytime I please and can keep an updated account of the progress of said list. I also have a paper copy sitting next to me in the notebook I use every day. The things on this list are things I HAVE to get done and will haunt my brain until I finish them.
Holy Shit I Have 18 Days to Get Ready for School: Created and stored in Evernote. I think I will share this list with my friend who will be joining me at my school next year. And that list is LONG…lots of little boxes to check off. The great thing about making lists in Evernote is that you literally get to check them off and then sync your left over items to your calendar…when I have not completed that task I am FORCED to accept that reality and plan a strategy for getting it done. Might be something she could use…thank goodness I can share from Evernote! Did I mention how much I love this app?
Thankful For: I found this awesome app called Happier. Its like Facebook but only for things that make you happy and thankful. Thats it. You can post pictures and describe why you are happy or what you are thankful for. Other people in the community can comment and give a thumbs up…nothing more. It too is an awesome app. I found it about a year ago then shit went to hell and I stopped using it. Research (aka Web MD) says that being grateful increases our happiness.
Happiness Strategy #2: Cultivate Gratitude
In his book, Authentic Happiness, University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman encourages readers to perform a daily “gratitude exercise.” It involves listing a few things that make them grateful. This shifts people away from bitterness and despair, he says, and promotes happiness. – http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/choosing-to-be-happy?page=2
Not that I have been unhappy but I have just not been feeling myself and I usually feel pretty happy. I think most people who know me would agree with that statement. Any unhappiness in my life is a straight 1st World Problem issue but I live in the 1st World so its all I know and if I am unhappy then I am unhappy. The only thing I can do in my 1st world situation is get happier so I can help others be happier. Make sense? It does to me and this is my blog so yeah. This too has a reminder function but I have kept it off on purpose. Not everything can happen on a schedule and being grateful comes at weird times. Like today…I looked up from my computer picture project and noticed that every cabin I could see had people at it and there were a ton of boats and sea doos and kayaks and paddle boards and kites on the water. And what did I think? “Man. It is SO cool that so many people get to enjoy this beautiful place. It is so awesome that so many people are doing well enough in life to afford a place like this. I bet they are sharing it with others and that makes it ever cooler. Even though these people and boats annoy the shit out of me sometimes when I am trying to read or kayak in peace…it is still awesome that there are places like this in the world”. Totally random. Why did that pop into my head? No clue. But it reminded ME to be thankful for my own situation here on the Lake…to reflect on what it took make make this place happen (and let me tell you it was MONUMENTAL and life altering in the most horrid and peace fulfilling way) and how important it is to record the memories of this space and physical space. But just that random thought made me feel better about the struggle. Again, I don’t know how or why. But it took my mind away from the negative and placed my thoughts in the positive. Being thankful and grateful works so I am sticking with that game plan and I am going to record my thankfulness as it comes. No schedule or reminder necessary.
Destinations: There are SO many places that I want to go and SO many places that I discover I want to go through social media. Thank you friends who post those amazing images of your vacations and weekend getaways! The Inn and Spanish Head….SO on my destination list! Also on the list: Sleeping Lady, Sun Mountain Lodge, The Resort at Coeur D’Alene. All local but oh so awesome looking! I also have some international destinations but those are for a different list. Again- using Evernote to track the destinations I want to visit. Evernote rocks.
My Destinations List inspired me to really think about my/our money. Me and the hubs combine everything. I had a meltdown last year because I had taken on way more work than humanly possible and needed him to take over the finances- which I was previously doing and he of course agreed. YEAH! But now I am feeling out of the loop and feeling the need to be back in the loop. We have some big financial goals that we want to accomplish and I have never been good at budgeting. I have money= I spend money. OH AMAZING new handbag at Nordstroms? Coming home with me! But its time to get real because these goals are BIG and I am over the small shit ( I still love you Marc Jacobs!): We want to buy a new truck for Grady in the next 2 years, move into or build a home in Gig Harbor ASAP, take two vacations a year (thats my goal…I want one local and one BIG trip and Grady can stay at home if he wants to be a poop head about it) and we want to pay off our current Subaru. On paper those sound like great goals…until you put a money value on them. A new truck is $60,000! OK…that was more than what I was expecting. Buying/building a home in the Harbor is at LEAST $500,000 (inset choke here). Two vacations add up when you travel in MY style…and we owe about $13,000 on my Subi. HOLY SHIT. Real adult life is EXPENSIVE. We both have great job and very little debt…but STILL! So we sat down and made a budget. BUDGET. We decided that we would each get $400 a month for “Fun Money”. At first I though that sounded like a TON on just stupid little stuff. Turns out things like getting my nails done and buying clothes and yoga and Starbucks ALL are now coming out of MY Fun Money! OH HELL NO! These are NECESSITIES! I NEED these things to function! Freaking bullshit that it is now coming out of MY fun money and not the general fund. But I got the point. I spend A LOT of money every month on me. But those things keep me feeling like me and do bring me joy and happiness so fine…out of my Fun Money they will go. It was hard to see those numbers on paper and real but it was what I needed. It is time to get serious about all this and start making a conscious effort to get the things in life that we want. After we have the things we can focus on the other things in life…memories, travel, experiences. So together we came up with out budget, set our savings around our goals, and prioritized. It feels GOOD to be on the same page and organized. We are going to use Mint, another app that is accessible 24/7 and links to all of our accounts at our different banks. We both have real time access and can work together to monitor and adjust. Mint requires some work to maintain so I have designated Thursday nights as my “Clean up Mint! night in my calendar, which of course will remind me when the day and time arrives. I can do this from my phone which means I will not have to pull myself away from Thursday Night Football. Thank you nerds who dream up the technology to make this all happen! This is going to ROUGH for me but like this struggle…I have to do it. Its time. This process also brought me back to being thankful. We both have GREAT jobs, make GOOD money, and have little debt. Not very many people can say that. We have worked hard and we have a generous family. Much to be thankful for despite the Starbucks drought coming my way.
The struggle today was no match for my..well..my day. I has SHIT TO DO and was busy doing that. I also finished my book The Martian by Andy Weir and when I am reading I have NO TIME for the struggle. My brain turns any book into a movie in my head and there is no pulling away from those dramas!
It was a great, on-plan day. No real cravings…no real issues. I think making all those lists helped. It lessened my anxiety about a lot of things and cleared up some pictures that had been covered in dust. Maybe that is something to add to “Thee One Who Struggles Knows This For Sure” list…that lists help lessen the struggle. Like I said…it is a list in progress.