Come Visit Me at Medium!

April 2019 I'm finding my way as a writer, and sometimes that means exploring where and how I'm sharing my writing. I started writing at Medium in March, and it's been pretty amazing so far. I'm still writing here, but am over there more often, so please come see me there!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

2019 Intentions

In the last few years, I've moved away from resolutions and towards setting intentions for how I want to feel, how I want my life to feel, how I want to live, and the things that bring me joy.  Resolutions always feel so... temporary and often unattainable.

As I've thought about diet culture and all of the knots tied around that in January, I have also gotten to thinking about resolutions in general and whether they are really worth making.  I don't want my focus to be on the short term or on specific tasks because things change, and choosing such finite things to pour energy into often just leaves us feeling like failures when our thoughts and passions wander elsewhere.

Setting intentions this year feels different for me.  It feels freeing to think about the places I want my energy to go everyday to continue feeling joyful and fulfilled in life.  I also think that with my job now and the stability of the last year, I have come to a place where I'm feeling like I can work towards a few things that never seemed attainable.  The fact that I'm not struggling to just get by, worrying about my kids, worrying about paying the bills, and doing all of it alone anymore means that I have more energy to work towards things that are really important and exciting to me.

So, here is my record for 2019, these are my intentions for this year, but also for life beyond this year.

Pinch Pennies

I have never been super good at managing the finances, but I've decided I'm ready to buckle down a little bit.  We get a cost of living pay increase in January of every year.  Last year, I signed up for some AFLAC insurance, so it basically cancelled out.  This year, I've started paying extra on my debt and then I will snowball the payments.  If I can manage to stop putting any additional charges on my cards, and add another $25-50 to my snowball each time I get a pay increase, I could be debt free by June 2021 (or earlier), including my 2010 Toyota Corolla.  This would be nice because it would mean we could actually start to have a savings, we could afford to travel and visit family or take a vacation, but also because it would help to improve my credit score, which has been teetering between fair and the edge of good for a few years.  Also, over the years I've thrown an obscene amount of money into interest charges, so it will be nice not to do that anymore.

This isn't really the kind of intention that I usually set, and it isn't something I've made myself do in the past, but I'm looking forward to watching the numbers go down!

Baby Snuggles

My best friend and one of the lights of my life is currently several days "overdue" with her second baby.  I am super excited to be a new "auntie" again, and barring anything crazy I'll finally get to be there to welcome someone I care about so much (who I didn't grow myself) into this world.  I'm anxious and overjoyed, and can't wait to support her and commiserate with her as she enters the realm of parenting 2 kids, and I am going to snuggle that baby every single chance I get.  Because baby snuggles are really ambrosia for the soul.

Spread Joy

If we are not here to feel joy, what are we here for?  People have spent countless hours trying to figure out why we are here and what it all means, and the only thing I've come up with is that we are here to enjoy it.  Love each other, nurture bliss, and be happy.  It makes me happy when I can help other people experience joy, whether it's participating in gift exchanges to send happiness to a stranger, supporting a friend, offering a hug, or sending flowers to surprise someone and brighten their day.  Share happiness, connect heart to heart, and spread joy.

Drink More Water

Okay, I admit that maybe this is more of a resolution.  Ha.  I have been doing better at work, but I still think I could be better hydrated.  Mundane.  But good.

Make Art

Creating is something I have discovered brings me incredible joy.  Beyond the things I create with words, I especially love creating beautiful things for people I care about, or that bring people joy.  Last year I was privileged to create a piece of art for a co-worker to gift to her parents, and it made me so happy.  I also created several Christmas gifts for family, and surprised a couple of reddit gift exchange matches with cross-stitches I made just for them.  I love being able to create beautiful things, whether it's adding some lettering to a card or package, or a cross stitch that takes me months to complete.

I would also like to collaborate on creating art with others, whatever that looks like.  I know some really talented photographers, and I'd love to work with them on some artistic photography as a subject.  I also have an idea for a coffee-table/inspirational type art/photography book, and am hoping to get that off the ground at some point, whether it's this year or in the future.

Wear Mascara

I know this one also seems fairly mundane as well.  But.  I got this new mascara in January (work Secret Santa FTW!), and I love it.  Spending 2 minutes in the morning to curl my lashes and put on some mascara so my eyes brighten and pop puts me in the mood to smile and have a good day.  I don't wear makeup a whole lot, but doing this one little thing takes minimum effort and gives me confidence and a little spring in my step.  So, I'm vowing to do a little self pampering by wearing mascara more often.

Reach

It's easy to stay in our comfort zones, and just keep on keeping on from day to day.  I think I want to reach more often.  Dip my toes into things that I'm not completely comfortable with.  Whether that's taking on a new project at work, signing up to take a scary test to get a professional certification (doing that in March!), sharing things in my writing that are vulnerable or personal, or putting myself out there with new people, I'm going to try to stand on my tiptoes and reach just a little bit further.

WRITE

This is a huge goal, and one that I think will be on my list forever and always.  I talk about how I have always been a writer, and that's never going to change.  I intend to keep putting down words and capturing my passion until I leave this world.  I have gained some confidence in the last couple of years in my writing, and the more time goes by the more serious I am about figuring out how to do this, how to connect with people, how to actually get to... book.  Well, bookS actually.  It's a little bit scary and a lot daunting, but I know that it's in the cards for me.  For now, I'm still here, but I'm starting, little by little, finding my voice more and more.

This year I'm hoping to find my way through focusing in on the big picture - the outline, the highlights, the message, what I really want to say in my first book.  Then I'll be able to start fleshing it out from there.  I'm already saving some from every paycheck and will be back on Orcas Island at Write Doe Bay in the fall, and I can't wait.  I'm a writer, and I intend to write.

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