Little Things for Which I am Thankful

I know this post usually comes out on a Friday, so please forgive me. I pretty much crashed on Thursday evening, early, and didn’t have a chance to get anything written on Friday. And then it was the weekend! Read more

Little Things for Which I am Thankful

#4 in my list. Rush Hour on the Charles.
#4 in my list. Rush Hour on the Charles.

It has been a very long week, and I’m just fighting to get through to October at this point at work, when I can start to breathe a bit more easily at work. It’s this way every year, so I am a bit used to it, but I haven’t always worked another job that required me to be at work at 5:30 am two days a week in the past, plus the freelance work. I’m not complaining, but it has just taken a toll on my energy. I’ve not worked out as much as I used to, and I can feel and see the difference in my body. Just some days I have had to prioritize sleep, as in like this morning. (I ask you, who gets 8 hours of sleep a night??)

  1. I am so thankful for all of the helpful comments and advice so many of you have given me this past week. You have no idea how much they are appreciated.  They have made me feel like I’m more a part of a community and I very much appreciate that. (This weekend, I plan to post my scooter on some of the RV forums and put together a flyer I can post on Monday on the bulletin boards at work. I also live close to another college, so I’m going to try to find out where I can post things there too.)
  2. Today is Pay Day from my full time job! YAY!! The reason I get excited is because I go and check my online savings account and see those account balances growing. I changed the nickname of one from “auto/scooter” to “motor home repairs” and that balance will continue to grow today. I am very lucky that the full time job pays every two weeks and the part-time job also pays every two weeks, but on alternating Fridays, so I feel like every week, I get to check and see those savings increase. It’s a good feeling, knowing I am saving for my future. Not just living paycheck to paycheck. Plus, I think I have figured out a way to eek out a little bit more of my budget to go to savings, so I will be changing my direct deposit at work today.
  3. I have a bit of work to do for my author this weekend, creating bibliographies for our chapters. It can be tedious, and my author admits that, but I’m one of those weirdos who actually doesn’t mind dealing with inane details such as “should this be in italics ofr small caps?” Perhaps it’s because of my day job, when I have to try to help people find things, and having (or not having) good information in a citation can make or break you. And you know what? It pays. It pays well.
  4. The photo above is of the Charles River during “rush hour.” I’m thankful to ride my bike home rather than sitting in traffic. I was able to stop and take a breath while traveling from one job to the other last night. I find that if I can sit and be still for even just a few minutes, it helps to ground me. Stresses minimize themselves, if only for a moment.
  5. This one is a longer one that I can’t put into just  a few sentences.

    Because I work where I work, I have the opportunity to meet with people from many different countries and walks of life. This can be good and this can be really bad. There is a lot of entitlement to deal with, and that’s one of my major pet peeves. I have never been taught to think of myself as better than anyone else, and as I always tell people, if I ever turn into “that person” just take out a gun and shoot me. I’ll know why you are doing it, no questions asked.

And I digress….so one of the good things is that occasionally, someone pretty cool comes along. Sometimes it’s a student with whom I stay in touch after graduation (you know who you are if you’re reading this), and sometimes it’s a very down to earth person who realizes that yes, even the “small people” are important too. That is the case with my lunch buddy from Monday afternoon. He has reached the pinnacle of his legal career in his country (and I’m not exaggerating in saying this) yet he made time to take me to lunch. Me, the lowly librarian. I helped him and made him feel welcome when he first arrived at my school as a visiting scholar three years ago. Ever since then, he has made time to see me when he is in town. He even sent me an invite to a very important event in his legal career, so I have it taped up to my wall in my office, in  a place of honor.  This same man also went out of his way to invite all the graduate law students from his country to dinner the next night. Please understand, these students pretty much worship him. You can’t say his name without their jaws dropping open.  He defines what a “Class Act” is, in my book.

But the greatest thing about this person – he has not changed. Success has not changed him one bit. In fact, he’s even more aware of who his real friends are. When I told him about my plans for next year, I prefaced it with “you might think I’m nuts to do this, but….” He told me that he didn’t think I was crazy, just very brave. (In his country, it’s not like it is here, where people can sometimes just say “you know what? This career isn’t working out for me…I’m going to now try “x, y, or z.”)

I told him what I do like about my job and he said “then you definitely have to do something in customer service, or dealing with people.” In fact, I am finding that this year, knowing it’s going to be my last, I am relating to people in a different way. I feel like I’m being more “real, or more me” and less the image that I think this place wants me to put out.  I even told my friend that part of the reason I had always liked him was because he didn’t put on any airs or act like he should be treated any differently than anyone else, even though at home he’s pretty much a superstar.

So, I’m thankful for people like him in this world. For his understanding that it’s ok for me to not necessarily follow the path that everyone expects me to take. He made me feel less silly in turning away from what I have achieved to pursue a new type of life. And again, I’m so grateful to all of you who left comments for me, especially this week, about the RV lifestyle. I appreciate all the support. Very much so.

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Little Things for Which I am Thankful….wellll……

Yep, the “welll…..” says it all.  It’s been that kind of week.

Ok, first, a picture of my kitty cat, Bonkers, aka, the Bonk Man. He’s mentioned in number 6 below so having his picture here is not completely random. (And it occurs to me I may have used it before, but hey, he looks super cute in it, no?)

Don't you just love his ears???
Don’t you just love his ears???

Let’s start with the draft of a post I had started yesterday, but didn’t get a chance to finish due to my running from one job to the other:

“I’m feeling like I am in a bit of a funk this week, and I’m not sure why. This morning I started to try writing it out in my journal because sometimes that helps. But I’m just feeling, well…really, bleh. Meh. You know the feeling. You just don’t give a shit about much.

My apartment is a mess, and usually this would bother me enough to spur me into action. Today? Yeah, not so much. Was supposed to work out with my trainer this morning – my last of ten sessions. Decided I felt like crap and just couldn’t do it this morning, so I cancelled. Feeling exhausted, even though I went to bed last night around 8:30, and only got up around 4 a.m. this morning. That’s more sleep than I normally get during the week nights.  Been drinking more coffee during the daytime, and not liking the fact that I think I need it to make it through the day. Usually, I only drink it at home and then just toughen up during the daytime.”

  1. I am thankful today to not be in such a funk.  After I wrote that yesterday, I made myself kick my own ass into gear. It was hard, and definitely slow-moving, but I got moving nonetheless.
  2. A family member of mine ended a relationship this week. Without going into details, let’s just say if I ever come upon this other (now-ex) person in real life, they are going to get a good ass-kicking, because no one makes a sibling of mine feel the way my sibling did, NO ONE!! (Seriously, people, there is a reason some people refer to me as the Tasmanian Devil. Don’t get me pissed off!) (Just kidding…welllll…..) LOL (Really, I am very protective of my younger sibling, so when someone puts that sibling down, I get really upset.)
  3. It is finally Friday. I seem to be including that a lot in my lists lately….hmmmm
  4. I’ve felt really adrift lately, not exactly sure where I want to be next fall, but just knowing, not here. Been getting really down thinking of what the workamping salaries might be like. But I realized this morning, I can make it work, I just have to work really hard at also getting some sort of online thing going to create a bit of a buffer zone, financially speaking.
  5. The scooter – oh…the scooter…those of you who are friends with me on facebook know already – I just don’t feel comfortable riding it. In fact, I’m downright scared. Yes, after getting the motorcycle license and everything. I just get this feeling in my gut when I’m on it, that I shouldn’t be. So, now I’m trying to sell it, either via craigslist, or even possibly to a dealer.  Only thing I am grateful for is well, at least now I know what I DON’T LIKE, and what I DO LIKE.  For me, that’s the simplicity of my electric bike. ❤
  6. This morning, my Bonkers, my white cat with the funky ears that make him look like a teddy bear, came up to me and sat on my lap. Although he loves for me to pet him, and he purrs a lot, he’s never done that before. He got all snuggly this morning too. I hope it’s a forecast of more snuggles to come with him.

So anyway, there you have it, folks. I hope your week has been better than mine. But I do know that overall, I’ve got it good. I really can’t complain. Sometimes, the tired part of your brain just takes over and makes you whine. Which is annoying.

So anyway, if you have liked this post, please hit like or subscribe, or drop me a line below. I especially appreciate the comments, as I really want to establish or help grow a community on here. I love talking with and (hopefully eventually) meeting with people that I feel like I really connect to.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

Little Things for Which I am Thankful (go hug your mom)

purpleflower

I like watching documentaries, and I like finding things to see for free. Sometimes the documentaries are not necessarily the most uplifting, but it’s those documentaries that can be grounding.

I know that my mom and I didn’t always have the best relationship. In fact, I stopped talking to her for about 8 months after my split from my ex-husband. I felt like she just couldn’t understand me and what I was going through, since I had been the person to leave the marriage, and not the other way around. I should explain – I grew up in a single parent household after I was about 8, and we lived with my mom. Our dad was still in our lives, but she had us most of the time.  At the time that it was just us four and the dog, she had been out of the workforce for about 12 years, and only had a high school education.

(Note, my use of the term “only” is non-judgmental, I am using it in comparison to my father’s bachelors and masters. I do not look down on anyone who didn’t go to college. In fact, sometimes, I think those people are much smarter than me, as they don’t have the student loans I still have all these years after I am out of school. My current salary may (or may not) be higher, but so much of it goes out the window every month for payments, that I definitely don’t live like someone probably would who made my salary without debts.)

The two documentaries I ran across were produced by HBO, but you can see them for free on YouTube.

HBO Documentaries: Paycheck to Paycheck

HBO Documentaries: American Winter

The reason I bring up my mom is because of a line in the Paycheck to Paycheck movie. She mentions things that you do if you’re a mom. You give up things so that your kids are taken care of. And I know my mom gave up a lot. She was in her mid-40s at the time and started cleaning houses so she could work and be home when we came home from school. And, for a while, she kept her working as a housecleaner secret from us. At the time, I thought it was because of shame, but I could be wrong. Let me just tell you, when you are in your 40s, like she was, your body can’t keep up to that kind of work for a really long time, especially if you weren’t in really good physical shape to start with. (Mind you, she wasn’t overweight but she wasn’t in shape to run marathons either. She was like most people her age.)

So anyway, instead of writing up a list today, I’m just going to leave this post at my being thankful for my mom and for having raised me the way she did. None of us ever got into drugs. We know the value of a dollar. We are self-respecting adults. She taught us to be hard workers. Actually, she (along with my grandma) taught us a lot of things. I don’t know if she will ever read this, but I’ll just say thank you, Mom, I think you “done good.” 🙂

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Little Things for Which I am Thankful

Oh my God, thank GOD it’s Friday, people. I am just exhausted this week. Could be the working of many jobs has caught up to me, or the 90-some degree heat we had this week, or the walking of my bike yesterday in the heat when it got a flat tire, or the fact that I have been leading tours to new LLM students all week, but I’m definitely a tired lady right now. But it’s been a good week too.

1. I paid $300 on my student loan and was rewarded with seeing that damn bastard LAL Loan balance go below $15K. Whooppee – that’s about $6K paid down on it in 11 months. While that may not seem like a lot, I’ve paid off a total of about $10K in debt over that time period while also saving a fair amount. When I add the two numbers together, it makes me really happy. It tells me that I am capable of really cutting my expenses and prioritizing, especially when the situation warrants it.

2. You read above that I got a flat tire on my bike this week. Yep, that kinda (ok, it really) sucked. It was really hot out I was not super close to a bus stop at the time. But I am thankful that (a) it was not out of the realm of reason to walk to a bus stop and (2) the fact that a bus was even an option. In a lot of other cities, I would have been royally screwed, and had to walk the bike for miles.  Also, something told me before I left to not worry about the extra weight that a bottle of water would give me – just to go ahead and fill it up. Thankfully I listened to my gut!

3. I’ve gained some new readers this week, and it’s definitely making me feel like I’m more and more part of a community out there. A community of people who have decided that maybe the “expected” way of life isn’t necessarily the only course you can choose. It helps to keep this in mind as you explain to others who know you in your regular “sticks and bricks” life that don’t quite necessarily grasp why living in any other way might be desirable. Not that I care what others think, mind you – if they don’t like the idea of living in a motorhome or think it’s “trashy” – well, they’re entitled to their opinion. Doesn’t mean I have to listen to it or allow it to have any effect on me. (It’s so freeing when you finally don’t care what others think!)

4. There have been a few very hot days this week but the others have been, well, just amazing. Very low humidity and such gorgeous breezes. I just sat down by the reservoir with Baby O on my lap yesterday and thought of how lucky I was to be able to enjoy it.  And, of course, she brought smiles to the faces of many people walking by. One person even said “thank you!” to me.

5. My Bonkers is feeling a thousand times better this week. Took him back to the animal hospital this week so a doctor of internal medicine could check him out, and they retested him for anemia. Luckily, the anemia he had last week seemed to be gone – his body had just slowed down making red blood cells while it was fighting everything else going on.

Not sure why, but I’m not questioning it but I woke up this morning in a really good mood, even though I’m working on the day before a long holiday weekend and am working this Sunday. Some people might hate to work, and I do love my free time, but every day I work now, I just keep telling myself, it’s money I can set aside for the future. For my new life, when I likely won’t make anything close to what I am making now, but will be more free to follow my heart. I can’t wait!  In the meantime, I will just be very envious of my older brother and sister in law – check out their blog – It’s Not a Slow Car, It’s a Fast House – they are going to be living in their van, Alta, starting in 35 days!!

By the way, in case you are curious – I’m going to be shopping for a scooter this weekend, and this is one of my possible choices (isn’t she pretty??!!):

Sym Fiddle II 125

Photo courtesy of Alliance Power Sports
Photo courtesy of Alliance Power Sports

If you have liked this post, please hit like or subscribe, or join me on facebook! And I love hearing from you, so please do leave me a comment! Have a great Labor Day weekend if you’re in the US and if you’re outside the US, just have a great weekend then!

 

Little Things for Which I am Thankful

Sorry I’m late in posting this today – it’s been a busy week, and I expect to be busy through the weekend. Yes, I’ll be working a lot, but I don’t want to let my author down. I’m lucky she has a lot of faith in me and my work product, and I’m not about to disappoint her.

Without a thought to his own safety, my boy Sebastian (with his buddha belly) protected me from the big, bad, paper towel roll!
Without a thought to his own safety, my boy Sebastian (with his buddha belly) protected me from the big, bad, paper towel roll!

1. TGIF. This was my first week back after vacation. Got paid today so I can afford to pay off Bonkers’ most recent vet bill. Almost $400 but he’s feeling better and that is all that matters.

2. Like I just said above, it’s pay day. Thank you, God. I decided to sign up for a motorcycle safety course, as I want to buy a scooter and if it’s over 50cc, in Massachusetts, you need to have a motorcycle endorsement on your license. Since I’m looking forward, I know I will likely need more than a 50cc to travel the roads out in Washington.  I plan on taking and hopefully passing the permit test this coming week, so that if I successfully complete the safety course, I can get my  license right then and there. From what I understand, I can ride a scooter at the course if I so choose, and that’s the plan.  They also provide helmets if you don’t yet own one. I figure this way, I can also test out which scooter or what type of scooter I can work best with.

So what about the electric bike you ask? I plan on keeping it for the time being until I buy a scooter. My plan is to buy the scooter toward fall when people tend to mark them down, price-wise, and don’t want to have to store them for the winter.  I won’t likely ride it much in the winter, if we get a lot of snow again, but I’d like to have it for the spring when I get the motor home (if all goes to plan.)  What I am thankful for, though, is that I could afford to sign up for the course, and also that it is held at a location that I can get to via the commuter rail and then a short walk. And I have next Sunday off because they need to do repairs at the gym!

3. I’ve had my apartment back to myself this past week.  It allowed me to deal with stressors as they came up in a way that is hard to do when you have a roommate. Some people just do better on their own, and I guess that’s me. And I found I was able to focus more on my freelance research, and be more productive in the mornings. I wish my former roommate well if she’s reading this.

4.  I received a notification that the newest issue of Motor Home magazine, to which I subscribe, was available. Yes, I’m that much of a dork. And here’s the great thing – I really don’t care what anyone thinks!

5. An online friend of mine has a son that just graduated from high school, and he’s in an area of California that is facing those horrible forest fires. So far, he’s safe, so I’m thankful for that.  It might be the last thing mentioned in today’s post but it’s the most important.

I hope you will all have a safe, or productive, or lazy-daze weekend – whatever it is you want for yourself! If you’ve liked this post, please hit like or subscribe below, or drop me a line!

 

 

Little Things for Which I am Thankful

Ok, maybe these are not so little!  But the pictures included in this post are ones where I just realized the simple beauty that is always around me. I love cloudy days (good thing I want to move to the pacific northwest, huh?)

Sunset in St. Lucia - loved the clouds down there over the ocean
Sunset in St. Lucia – loved the clouds down there over the ocean

When I was in St. Lucia, if I sat still enough, I was treated to the sight of so many sand crabs digging out their homes, and I  marveled at how efficiently they worked, plus how well they blended in with their surroundings. And finally, the last photo of the sky through the trees – my ex-boyfriend got me into noticing the leaves on trees a lot more. I took this last photo below while on our field trip in St. Lucia. Because it’s so humid, the climate is basically like a rain forest. Read more

Little Things for Which I am Thankful

Beach flowers from St. Lucia
Beach flowers from St. Lucia

Well, it was my first week back after the conference, and it was a busy one. Sorry I have not been writing much lately but I’ve been extremely busy and there just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day, sometimes. I know I’m not alone in thinking this way. Anyway, I hope that will change after this weekend. It’ll be my second attempt at passing the CES (corrective exercise science) certification exam. You need 70 points to pass, and on my first attempt, well, I got 69. My chiropractor said that’s pretty good considering I have not gone to an actual school to learn all of this. Self-learning anatomy and physiology is really hard, trust me.   I also know that I sometimes freak out when a test is timed, as this one is. (So, if I normally read your blog and make comments and haven’t done so this past week or two, I plan on catching up!) Read more

Little Things for Which I am Thankful

Bird taking flight
Bird taking flight

Just a very quick post before I head down to the beach to take a walk along the water’s edge… (btw, I had meant to take this bird’s photo while he was stationary but as I got closer, he took to the air. I think the picture came out even better that way!)

 

sunset on St. Lucia
sunset on St. Lucia
  1. I’m very thankful to have spent the time with friends again in the Caribbean, and that my presentation (seemed) to go well earlier this week. It was cool to see all these librarians who usually work in a formal setting getting up and stretching and laughing amongst each other.
  2. I met a librarian who my school really wanted to interview, but because of timing and other circumstances, it didn’t work out and she got hired elsewhere. She was really cool and she said I inspired her to start working out again. 🙂
  3. I’ve been worried about my furballs, and one in particular, this week, Bonkers, because he was sick. But my roommate (and her boyfriend especially) took care of him and he seems to be recovering well. I am so glad that he was not alone when he got sick and that someone who really cared about him was there to help him out, get him all cleaned up, made sure he was eating enough canned pumpkin, etc.
  4. I’ve been able to swim in the near-bathwater-temperature of the Caribbean every day this week. Many of the people around here take it for granted but I never would.
  5. There have been a family of cats that live at the hotel area where I am staying – they’ve been super cute and a lot of people here have been feeding them (although they still look a bit on the skinny side), so they’ve made me feel a bit less like I am so far from home.
  6. I am thankful to be returning home to my furballs. I have really missed them.
  7. I realized by being down here that I think the pacific northwest will definitely be  a good match for me. It was very overcast here in St. Lucia yesterday, and I loved it. I’m definitely ok with some grey days as long as I know it won’t be raining nonstop and also that the sun will eventually come back. As long as I won’t be freezing to death on all of those really grey days, I’m good to go. That’s the difference between the northwest and the northeast. In the northeast, it can just become absolutely miserable.

I will write more over the next few days, and add in lots of pictures of St. Lucia.  I put a few on facebook but that doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of how many I took!  (The little guy below was pretty friendly – we met him on our tour on Wednesday afternoon and he even let me pick him up and hold him!)

My buddy from our tour
My buddy from our tour

Little things for which I am thankful

She sleeps.... (just try not to say "awww" when you look at her picture...I dare you!)
She sleeps…. (just try not to say “awww” when you look at her picture…I dare you!)

As  I sat down to write this, my little calico Callie came over and started rubbing all up against my computer, so she starts off my list – I’m so thankful for all of my animals and their continuing to remain healthy even as they age. I like to think I have something to do with it, by giving them good food and a good home where they feel safe and can sleep as much as they want. Or, they could just have really good genes. 🙂

I’m all packed up and ready to go on my trip to St. Lucia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I know people think all I do when there is sit on the beach, but really, our conference is a good couple days with events at night as well, so I won’t have much free time after my first night there, until pretty much my last day there before I fly back. But don’t worry, I’ll still take lots of pics of the beach for all of you!! (Do I sound like I”m gloating?? Well, ok…maybe a little….lol)  I’m thankful my roomie is here to take care of all of the furballs – makes me feel a lot better to know their environment doesn’t have to change just because I’m traveling. Especially for Osito, that makes me very thankful. She tends to get nervous when she is in a strange place, which is understandable with her lack of vision.

With the help of two very good friends, I am feeling pretty good about the decision I made this week, to move to Washington State by next fall, if my savings plan works out the way I want it to. My hope is to start attending the National Personal Training Institute in Renton, WA in September, for their 6 month program. It’s $6300 if you pay it all up front, and it lasts for 6 months. The program consists of 300 hours of classroom time, and 200 hours of hands on time, which also includes an internship. They do have a program here around Boston, but really, I want to meet people in the field where I will be living, so I’ll put off attending until I move.  One of my brother’s lifelong friends lives out there now, and he’s been super helpful in answering all my inane questions.

With the decision to move, I have put off my decision to buy an RV or a tiny home and land. Since I don’t know for sure where I will end up doing personal training with clients, and I’m not familiar with the Seattle area, it just doesn’t make sense. Plus, I looked into the campgrounds near the Seattle area, even the state parks, and it would still end up costing me at the very least around 500 but more likely closer to 750/800 a month to rent a spot. I can get an apartment for about 650-700, I think, so financially, it just makes more sense to rent at first. Plus, WA does not have income tax, and Seattle’s minimum wage is $15!!!!  But they make up for that lack of income tax with very high property taxes. Just something else to think about.  I

I’ll also slow down my debt repayment for a bit to stockpile savings.  I will still make at least double payments on the private loan.  I think I’m better at stockpiling savings, and then if I can, pay a chunk of it before I move. We’ll see. The plan is still evolving, but with my friend L’s help, I saw last night it’s financially feasible for me to do this, and (hopefully, which is my word, not hers) not have to touch the money I’ve already saved for the tiny home.   Honestly, my fascination for tiny homes began when I saw people living in these tiny apartments. So now, I’m hoping my unattachment to things will help me find a small place out there that will also hopefully be easier on my wallet.   It’s going to all be about living simpler. I’m excited at the thought of downsizing my space even more.

I’m grateful for boxes. Why boxes, you ask? Well, they give my animals something to do, which is entertain me with their silly antics! I got lots of packages delivered this week (I get their pet food online), so there has been much exploring being done by my boys, Max and Sebastian.

I’m feeling like my life is coming together, like I’m figuring out my purpose. And it’s a good feeling. I  hope you will all have a wonderful fourth of July!