Thursday, July 22, 2010

Falling off, getting back on, falling off, getting back on.....

Despite my lack up updates, I have not fallen off the planet. The kids at home this summer have taken a lot of extra time - well spent - but I certainly lost some of my forward momentum. Yesterday I went up to Germantown and had lunch with the former CEO of Brio trains who has started a new wooden toy company called Little, Little, Little company and was once again reinvigorated. He's struggling a bit with the new company, getting it off the ground in this economy, but really believes in the value of toys to help shape kids' lives and I suspect that passion will carry his company a long way.

I haven't done so well on my "spend money only on food and toiletries" for July challenge. As I look to my expenses tally to date, I see a lot of garage sale or thrift sale "bargains" that crept in including books, plants, basement shelves, iron planters for the deck, two lamps, a pair of shoes and two gifts (one purchased new). I didn't really "need" any of these things and while the total was under $50, that doesn't include the gas money and the time spent finding the deals;-). The hours I say I'm having a hard time finding are staring right back at me on this list. If I'd eschewed all shopping I would have had a minimum of 15 hours to spend on writing and working on my company. Thus, I dust myself off, and climb back on the wagon of staying focused on my goals.

Good wishes to all! Hope you're goals are coming to fruition, even if it's in bits and starts like mine.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 148 - Nightly Roundup

A good day for parenting, garden, spirit, FI - other categories got a bit behind. Good wishes to all.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 149 - Nightly Roundup

A wee bit discouraged tonight. Ironically, I've felt like I've been a better mom lately, partly just due to spending more time with the kids because of summer. But that has brought my writing/business/blog almost to a halt. Today I got an email from the lawyer doing my trademarks and almost found myself thinking - did I really expect to have things to trademark in an honest to goodness business? What are we spending on these trademarks?!! Very much the yin and yang of life I guess.
I read an article on Michelle Obama recently from Reader's Digest I think - it was in the free magazine bin at the library so it was probably a bit outdated. In it she said she learned from her mom that she could indeed have a career, be a mom, and still find time to work out and "do her own thing" (I'm paraphrasing here). She said she felt her mom had given everything to them - her children - without holding back enough for herself and that her mom had also encouraged her not to do that.
I have to believe there is something to that, but it isn't easy to find the right balance. I love my kids so much, but when they hit middle school, I don't want to be a third wheel hanging out at the basketball hoops with their pals because I don't have a life of my own;-). I do want to accomplish something that only I can, and not just through my kids. But at the same time, I don't want to shortchange them when I realize daily how needy and young they still really are. Anyway, thus ends my introspection with no resolution, but it was good to write.
In my dream world, five years from now, June 8, 2015, Greg and I and the kids are sitting at a dinner, with happy, healthy kids, I'm a published author and my company is financially successful, I have a great marriage, good relationships with friends and family, have inner peace, have achieved FI, am healthy and fit and feel beautiful, and my gardens have been photographed for some magazine and given a lot of people enjoyment on mini-garden tours and maybe laugh more in general - sometimes I'm way too serious. For all my own parents had their issues, we grew up with a lot of laughter in the house - my mom has a great sense of humor - and I was just telling Greg the other night how we don't laugh a lot here. We smile, are content, but need more true belly laughs.
Above are pics of my incredibly supportive mother in law waiting with Kai for Kirk's basketball camp to get over. Then Kirk looking at the high school trophies, perhaps dreaming of future days? Then my whoops - I've actually done really well not spending on anything but food and toiletries for four days now, but stopped at a garage sale on the way to the library and was handing over my dollar for the book and t-shirt when I realized these items didn't fit my challenge. But I was a bit too embarrassed to put them back;-). I will say even these short few days make me very conscious of how often I find myself thinking I need to buy x or y and how much time shopping takes!
Good wishes to all. A bright, wonderful world just keeps on coming! Eileen
P.S. I just took about 30 minutes to look back through the blog, which I realize I've been keeping a bit more than a year - first post June 25, 2009, and feel lucky and blessed for all the good moments and beauty the year has held. Many thanks to each of you who read this. I think of you as friends on a journey. Eileen

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Nightly Roundup

Doing well day 3 of the no spend other than food/toiletries. Kirk had his first day of basketball camp and didn't like it - he was a bit lost compared to the other kids. Grandma is up visiting so that is nice. We went to the beach tonight which was fun. Good wishes. Nada on the business/book. Very sleepy and off to bed!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

No shopping except food for a month?

I just finished watching the final part of Oprah's Debt Diet. Author Judith Levine of - On Not Buying It - My Year Without Shopping - was on and talked about how her year without shopping was one of the most peaceful, relaxing ones she's had.

This was very timely as I probably spent over five hours today getting a set of "bargain" living room drapes off Craigslist, a steal on two Leapfrog games at a thrift store, and a deal on a Gap sweater. But as I drove home, I couldn't help but wonder if I really needed any of that stuff and how I could have used those five hours to a more productive end.

Earlier this year I read "How I lived a year on Just a Pound a Day" by Kath Kelly and she wrote of a similar experience - just having lots and lots more time and peace.

So here's the challenge if you want to join me. Try to make it to the end of July buying NOTHING other than food and toiletries. Starting midnight tonight. Let's see how it goes. Hoping that abundance of extra time and peacefulness really sets in.

Good wishes! Eileen

Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 155 - Nightly Roundup

Busy, but productive day.

Marriage - check.

Parenting - Still reading lots of books on sibling rivalry. Kirk and I had a really nice time today out to breakfast and a trip to the library.

Bus./Book - Got about five more books on the revolution and vikings for research.
Spirit - Nice long chat with a dear friend on the phone tonight.
Garden - Decided to dig out some garden areas to put more lawn in the middle for balance - never thought I'd type that;-)
Finance - Doing good not throwing out food.
Health - passed on the Dr. Pepper calling my name...
House - Cut out some pictures of a magazine for ideas - will put them in a file folder I'm starting -
Bus. Vocab. Nada

Thursday, July 1, 2010

First "reading" of a chapter to a book club....

A friend was kind enough to invite me to read a chapter of my book to her book club. I was a nervous wreck going there. But I kept reminding myself this was my year for taking chances, going beyond my comfort zone, breaking new ground. I imagined as I drove along that if I just kept walking in the direction I wanted to go, under the fog of insecurity and worry and fear, a walkway or road would rise up to meet me. - This thinking in terms of metaphors is a by-product of too much time in my head;-).

I read my chapter and it felt a bit like bearing my soul to strangers (other than my friend). There were things they liked and didn't like. I came home rather exhausted, though I appreciated their feedback. Going to bed, I turned to page 51 in writer's book, "Most Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them" and had to smile when I read tip number 24 -"Don't listen to opinion and criticism from spouses, friends, and people on the street. If it's good, an editor will recognize that and it will be published." I book marked the page and may take that advice going forward;-).

I realize how much I need to work on my writing and have been thinking of taking writing classes. But the book I'm reading said beyond maybe one good class or a few how-to books on dialogue or character development, the time is better spent just doing the writing. I think that's true. I spend so much time reading about writing or researching the history - those are much easier than actually sitting at the computer and making the story appear.

Signing off for tonight. Good wishes to all. Eileen