The Stuff I Never Did

When you work full-time, you quickly learn to prioritize chores and errands.  If  you’re like me, what you can’t squeeze in during the limited evening and weekend hours, gets shoved on a list of “Stuff I’ll Maybe Get to One Day When I Have More Time”.

My closets, cupboards, and garage have spent the last 9 years accumulating stuff.  Occasionally, I would find a couple hours to clear out some clutter or reorganize, but rarely enough to put a dent in the projects.

But now that I have time, I can finally get around to some of the stuff I never did.

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On the Other Hand: A Lesson in Perspective

The way we view life and the world around us is unique to our experiences and personality.   It’s hard to remember and make the concentrated effort to change our perspective, but if we can manage it the results can be more than worth the effort.

It’s both as simple and as complicated as changing our dominant hand.  Only about 1% of people are naturally ambidextrous.  Many people, such as myself, can write legibly with both hands, but writing with the non-dominant hand often feels unnatural and takes more effort.  Most people can train themselves to use both hands, but this too takes a concentrated effort.

One of the pitfalls of being in the majority (in this case right-handedness) is that you forget about the minority (about 12% of people are lefties).  This allegory can apply to many perspective issues and has taught me to rethink the way I approach the world.

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A Poor Hand Well-Played: The Moments that Define Us

Let’s face it. In life, people rarely get dealt a great hand to play.  In most cases, if you end up with a semi-decent collection of cards, you thank your lucky stars and make the best of it.  It’s never all good chances and circumstances or all bad ones, but learning how to make the best of a tough situation in life is not just a survival technique…

They are the moments that define us.

One thing I always remember when I am dealt a poor hand, is that…

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The Intentionally Unemployed

Today marked my last day at the office.  I am now intentionally unemployed.  Considering I have been working almost 18 years straight, stopping work feels somewhat unnatural.

Even though I cleaned out my desk and turned in my key, it still feels a bit unreal to me.

The Final Countdown: Setting a Schedule, Goals and Expectations

My last day at the office is quickly approaching.  This coming week will be my last one working outside of the home.

In anticipation of that change, I finally decided that I better attempt to set a tentative schedule, goals, and expectations for myself.  I could easily hang out on the sofa watching Netflix or reading books all day if I let myself.

Schedule

It sounds like such a simple thing, but really it’s fraught with inconsistencies. Good planning has to be like a tree.  It has to be both sturdy AND flexible enough to survive.  There’s still some question about how the mornings will pan out, but here is my tentative daily schedule plan:

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My 2017 Book List

Every year, I set a Reading Goal for how many books I plan to read that year.  In 2017, I got a little over ambitious with a goal of 75 books!

In 2016, I surpassed my goal of reading 50 books with 81 books, so I thought that 75 was reasonable.  It is definitely doable, but might have been a little overboard, even for me…but I finally achieved my goal with a couple days to spare.  Then I threw in an extra book for posterity.

I usually use Goodreads to track my books, and like to go through them at the end of the year to select my favorites of the bunch.

My 7 Favorite Reads of 2017

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Post-Holiday Vacation

The holiday celebrations are over. The gifts are all unwrapped. My house is still in chaos…time for a post-holiday stay-cation!

Christmas fell on a Monday this year, and while we would typically stay as long as possible in Michigan visiting family after the most rambunctious of holidays, this year we decided to drive home early.

Best decision ever!

I have become a huge advocate of the need for a break after vacations (even if you can only squeeze in an extra day!)

Why?

An extra day to do it all can make life much less stressful.

  1. Decompress! — If you have kids, you know that a vacation is a stressful, though often fun, adventure.  Your family makes lasting memories, BUT you also had to deal with all the drama of traveling, making a temporary home, and feeding your family while away from the comfort of your own kitchen.
  2. Stuff to Do — There is always STUFF to do after a trip. Unpacking, laundry, cleaning the car, preparing for the next day, grocery shopping, pick up a pet, water the plants, etc.
  3. Schedule Adjustment — Depending how far you traveled and what your family schedule was while into on the vacation, sometimes a day (or more) is needed to help get everyone back on their regularly-scheduled program before work/school begins again.

 

Trying to Do It All: A Supermom’s Advice to the All Moms

I am tired of society, both media and other moms, disparaging the supermom a.k.a. the “Mom Who’s Trying to Do It All”.

This usually refers to the mom who is trying to be perfect in every aspect of her life, rather than one who is just trying to keep everything under control or get everything she has to accomplished.

It is a positive thing to try to be the best you can at the things that are important to you.

As long as you are doing it for your own satisfaction AND not stressing out about what you really just don’t have the time or skill for.

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Quitting My Day Job: How to Make Money Working Out of Your Own Home

One question I’ve been asked is “What will you do all day when your kids are in school?”

Um, work.

A Different Kind of Work

Yes, I still plan to work. It’s just going to be a different KIND of work.

Unpaid work, for the most part, but for a couple years now, I have done freelance work in my meager spare time.  More spare time means more freelance time possible.

Most of MY freelance work is editing and writing academic papers.  It’s amazing how many people will pay you money to format their references into APA-format, correct their grammar, or ghostwrite their memoirs because they don’t have the time or skill to do so.

How to Make Money From Out of Your Own Home

Pretty much, I’ve learned that if you can do something not everyone else can (whether it’s sewing a costume, playing the oboe, dying hair, being home midday to care for pets, or creating spreadsheets) it is instantly a marketable skill.  The trick is finding people who need your skillset and are willing to pay a reasonable fee for it.

Here are ten websites to consider using for marketing your unique skills and talents online:

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