Tag Archives: starting new hobbies

You Have One Year…


If you had one year to accomplish your goals, what would you do?

We recently moved to Missouri, and we are only here for about a year (long story).  The plan was that I’d get a part time job, something to help with car payments, or for extra spending money on the weekends.  As soon as the last box of odds and ends was unpacked, I started applying for jobs in the area.  I was feeling motivated and ready to be an employee. Days, then weeks went by with zero responses.  I’d applied for nearly a dozen jobs, and eventually heard back from two, letting me know that “we regret to inform you that at this time we do not have a position available“.  The only people interested in “hiring” me were the scam artists trolling SitterCity, which was incidentally my last resort for respectable work.  It didn’t take long to start feeling demoralized.

I expressed these frustrations to my husband.  It’s not as though I’m uneducated and inexperienced, I lamented.   I have the potential to be good at many different jobs, and doesn’t frickin’ life experience count as something?  I wondered if my husband expected me to “be successful” by earning of money.  Would he suspect that I was just sitting around the house drinking vodka, watching Netflix and writing (which I admittedly do quite religiously) and be disappointed in his unsuccessful wife who couldn’t even land a job as a cashier?

Everything happens for a reason. We are only here for one year.” my husband told me. “Time is already passing.  What do you want to do while we are here?  Decide what you want to do and then do it.  I will support your decision.”

I’d already considered what I really want to accomplish during the next year.  It didn’t really make sense to spend several months searching for a job, only to begin my exit strategy immediately after securing said job.  And, to be honest, I don’t feel as enthusiastic about working part time as I do about writing full time.  I have been looking for the opportunity to focus on my writing.  Funny how life works.  Here we are in a quiet neighborhood.  My kids go to school and give me a long day to write and think.  We have only about nine months left here, and none of my accomplishments have been work-related.  I am happy all the same.

What would you do if given a full year for anything you want?  If you had the time and resources to pursue any interest, goal, relationship, or challenge, would you do it, or would you squander the opportunity?  Take a moment and consider your options.  What about that new hobby you’ve been mulling over; or perhaps you want to revisit a skill from your younger days? Will you find a new friend to accompany you on adventures, or rekindle an old romance?  Will you make time for an exotic trip, or will you turn your home into a lush stay-cation spot?  What about learning a new language or picking up an ethnic cookbook?  Think of all the possibilities. The clock is ticking.



P.S. Besides focusing on writing for the next year, I’ve decided to try to learn German and Italian using the free online program known as Duolingo.  This is either a great idea or completely insane (I will be updating you on it, down’t worry).



32 Hurts!

Today I am in pain, but yesterday was great.  Yesterday was a good birthday.  Several adoring fans (parents) called to sing to me off key, I received lovely cards and gifts, and I had a pretty wonderful day.  I finally set up a Facebook account.  Please stop laughing at me.  I know that I mentioned in my previous post that I do not do technology.  For years now people have been asking me why I don’t have Facebook and I had so many good answers: creepy stalkers, Taliban spies, baby photo thieves, computer hackers, not enough time, carpal tunnel syndrome, PMS… the list goes on.  But now I really do need Facebook to help me network.  All I need to do is Friend ten million people on Facebook and convince them to read my blog and then I will be set.  Simple enough!

Anyway, impossible dreams aside, my birthday was awesome.  I got to do mostly what I wanted.  I did still have to go to work, but what I do for money is a pleasure.  Whoa!  Let me restate that.  What I do for money involves kids.  Hmm, somehow that’s worse.  Might as well just say it: I work as a noon aide at the neighborhood school, so for a few hours each day I basically herd 400 unruly children between playground and lunchroom, scolding and consoling in turn.  I am sort of a mix between Mary Poppins and R. Lee Ermey.  There are many reasons why I like this job.  Although I am not being paid hand over fist, I get to work minimal hours and I get free time for the rest of the day to do things like run errands, take naps, exercise, and hey, blog!  I also get to see my own children at the school, and who hasn’t had the dream of literally being paid to yell at their own kin.  An unexpected bonus of this job, and the reason I love going to work, is that I have learned so much about myself and humanity through the eyes of children.  It is amazing and humbling to be around a group of tiny people who put so much trust in you and depend on you so completely to wipe away tears, solve territory disputes, organize schedules, and be a disciplinarian without being a tyrant.  Very humbling indeed.  So I try to temper my drill sergeant spasms with sugary sweetness and have found that my method seems to be working.  The kids I have yelled at the most over the last year love me the most and give me the most hugs.  Go figure.

So after being hugged by more adoring fans at work I still had kids hanging out at my house (again the perils of being a favorite noon aide) and once I chased them off it was party time.  The hubby and girls surprised me with the most beautiful handmade outdoor coffee table, with a beer bottle cap grouted top!  They had been not-so-secretly working on it in the garage for several days and had hidden it under a sheet.  It is so cool, and I am afraid to put it on the deck and subject it to ugly Kansas weather, but I also can’t wait to sit on the deck when the sun comes up and have coffee on my new coffee table!  We also went out for dinner at my current favorite local Mexican restaurant, La Fiesta.  I like going there because the wait staff is very willing to coordinate with the kitchen staff and accommodate my several annoying food sensitivities, and the food is quite delicious.

Everything was going great until a horrendous migraine struck and I ended up curled up on the floor of our living room after the rest of the family went to bed.  Coincidentally, that is how I found the sweet, secret birthday message that my husband and girls wrote in marker under the coffee table.  It made me feel a little better. It’s the little things, ya know?  This morning I have a migraine hangover and feel every second of my 32 years.  Today will be especially rough.  Migraines always leave me loopy and weird, not the best way to start out a new year of life.  Life in Kansas has been rough on our family.  I can’t say living anywhere else would be easier, but it has been difficult to the extent that I cracked a joke to my neighbor one day: “I’m not Catholic, but I think we are in Purgatory”.  A devout Catholic, she laughed, and continued to be on speaking terms with me.  I must be on to something.

Coffee                                             My super cool new coffee table, hand made by angels!

Hello World!

How fitting that I officially begin this journey on my 32nd birthday!  I woke up feeling especially adventurous today, which is good because I still have no idea what I am doing or even if this blog is actually on the Internet.  I keep feeling like I am Creed in that episode of ‘The Office‘ when Ryan just gives him a Word folder to save all his random thoughts into so no one ever sees anything!  I am just so happy I can revise things over and over!  Yesterday when I was working on my About Page I accidentally added a link to an End Times site, and while that is hilarious, it isn’t quite the right kind of attention I want to draw.

If someone had told me two years ago that I would be starting a blog, I would never have believed it.  Why?  Well, first of all, I am horrible when it comes to computer technology.  I can type just fine, I can turn on my computer, and I can usually shop online successfully as long as no complicated processes are involved.  Sad, isn’t it?  This blog will be a learning experience (or a lesson in pain).  Second, I can be very shy and I am not in the loop when it comes to social networking.  While a lot of people really embrace technology, I tend to run screaming from technology into whatever wilderness is nearest to me.  Again, I will have to learn to use these social networking tools, or die trying, right?

Third and finally, as I began to research blogging and form a plan for how I wanted my blog to look and operate, I began to also doubt my natural abilities.  I started to wonder if I would be taking too great a risk.  I mean, blogging sounds too good to be true, way too easy, and there has to be a catch!  What if I fail at my goal to create this space for sharing my stories and adventures?  Would it just be easier to not start a blog and pretend I never considered it and became really excited about the idea?

Then I remembered something that my sister told me: “You are freaking awesome!  You need to do it”  And besides being awesome, I am also kind of adorable, so maybe this will turn out to be okay.  Also, I have realized that I don’t have to be perfect.   I know that I will never be the best out there, I will probably never present the most up to date information (although I will try), I will not know how to do everything immediately, and it will take time for me to learn how to be a great blogger.  But I will get there because I always reach my destination.  So if anyone really is reading this, I hope that you come back and visit again and see what I’ve been up to — I promise that you will not be disappointed.  I am a mischievous little shit.