Do you feel inspired when you see a blank sheet of paper like in this photo above? Or does it stress you out?
I don’t know about a lot of you but I journal just about every day. A blank page in a notebook is actually exciting to me because writing helps me to stay grounded and focus on what is going on in this befuddled brain of mine and put things in some semblance of order. Below is the abbreviated version of the thoughts rumbling around in my head for the past week or so.
I haven’t been blogging as much over the past week or so because I’ve been doing a lot of transcribing for my friend Elaine. Have to do the side hustle work when you can get it! None of that time is wasted as I am continuing to learn about topics of which I knew almost nothing about beforehand. The day I stop learning is a day I never want to experience!
I am continuing to do the Proofread Anywhere class with the goal of eventually being able to do that as freelance income. It’s actually helping me to become a better writer. I’m re-learning a lot of grammar rules that I forgot so long ago. So while it may appear that by going through those exercises, I’m digressing from my other goals, I don’t see it that way. I see them all melding together in a beneficial way.
Changes to finance goals:
With the new tax bill providing me with a whole $15 per pay check (note the sarcasm), I decided to increase my 401(k) contribution to 8% of my paycheck. An additional $9 per paycheck, but as anyone knows when saving for long term goals, every little bit helps. Plus, the government gets $1 less per paycheck this way if my calculations are correct. Every extra dollar for me is a dollar less for them, so I’m okay with that!
I’ve learned that many of my coworkers (including my boss) don’t have a 401(k) set up yet and the thought of that scares the bejesus out of me, to be my age (45) and not have anything saved up. That was the situation with my mom – never had a 401(k) and I REFUSE to let that become me.
I am starting to plan on paper for what I want to happen over the next 12 months, monetarily-wise. That involves making some good headway on my auto loan, of which the balance is currently $4,079.12. My monthly payment has been $141.42. I plan on increasing that to about $155/month. That way, I have made at least one extra payment on it by the end of the year.
I’m revamping my budget to see where things can be cut and how I can save more money on things like groceries. Becoming a full vegan will help, as a lot of the junk foods that I used to eat would contain things like cheese or milk chocolate, so I will be eating better as well. I’ve taken my lunch to work for years, but now it involves a salad pretty much every day and I’m learning ways to make the salad more filling (using tofu, adding peanuts, etc.) so I’m less likely to snack during the day or crave something that isn’t good for me. And really – veggies and other produce don’t have to be expensive if you are careful.
I have decided I really need to live by a budget if I am going to get ahead. A future post will lay it all out. I need accountability partners for it!
Due tomorrow for my Writing for Social Change class is a plan regarding what project I want to work on for the semester, with the goal of having something to publish. I’ve decided to write a memoir, and I’m learning that it’s definitely different than writing your autobiography. (That’s a good thing because my autobiography could probably be used by people who suffer from insomnia. They wouldn’t need any sleep aid after that! LOL).
From all the memoirs I’ve read, I’ve learned something. Also, I have realized that writing this blog is kind of like writing my memoir in a way. With each of my posts, I hope to touch someone’s heart or soul and inspire. That’s why I share as much as I do in my posts. I want to give words or comfort to someone else who might have experienced the same as me or had the same thoughts as me, but who just can’t put those into words.
By tomorrow, I need to and shall have a schedule prepared for just how I plan to accomplish that over the next few months. It is going to involve a lot of my telling my inner editor to Shut the F Up! 🙂 I am not sure yet how it will all unfold but I do know that animals will probably play a prominent role in my writing of it. My pets and my love for animals are behind so many of my decisions.
I have already asked my friend Dan if he would like to be a reader of mine for my memoir. He knows me very well and will be able to tell if what I’ve written just doesn’t sound like something I would say, or if something is coming across to the reader in one way but is meant to be understood in a different way. He’s always been blunt with me about things, and sometimes I even ask him to play devil’s advocate. He’s the one who tells me to “Focus, focus, focus!!” when I start telling him about all of my goals and thoughts and they seem to be bouncing all over the place. I need that, trust me! By the way, if you want to follow him on youtube, he is known as Wander Dano. After watching his recent video on why he chose his Class B, I have to say, he really has me thinking about saving up for one.
I wanted to thank those of you who have written comments or sent me messages about my dad. He died on Sunday morning, ten years to the day that his younger brother died from early-onset Alzheimers. It is for the best, and all of my siblings and I will be converging at Boston in the very beginning of March for his wake service. He is being cremated so it can be pushed back until then. Although the circumstances suck, it will be really good to see my friends again and to have all five of us together again.
Below is a picture of all of us at my brother’s wedding this past May. In case you’re wondering, I’m the short girl standing next to the really tall guy in the suit!!
We range in age from 44 (the groom) to 58 – if you ask me, I think we look pretty damn good for our ages!! My oldest brother, Mike, is on the right, and is currently overlanding through South America with his wife, Geneva. (And yes, “overlanding” is a real word.) You can read about their adventures at It’s Not a Slow Car, It’s a Fast House. He will be flying to Boston from Nicaragua. His wife, Geneva, writes most of the posts and she is a great writer, so please check out their blog. You’ll learn a lot! Living an unconventional life appears to agree with him, wouldn’t you say?
What kinds of activities do you do to ground yourself? How do you make plans or do you make plans on a yearly basis, or longer or shorter? Anyone out there willing to be an accountability partner with me about any of my goals? Especially my financial ones?? Please comment below!!
This post has already become much longer than I planned, so as always, I thank you for reading. Please share it if you think it will help someone else out, or resonate with someone.