February round up

I can’t believe that it is already March. As I grow older, the years seems to go by quick. It is crazy to think that we are almost a quarter of the way through 2019. This year, I am following a group of goals, set month by month. This is much easier to track and attain that lofty year long goals.

I am using a special planner this year. It is a monthly planner by a company called Orange Circle Studios. Each month it has a goals section, where you can write down goals, and track daily progress. I love mine, and it is has helped me measure my progress. It has kept me really honest, and I think it has helped inspire growth.

These were my February Goals,

  1. Write One Page everyday
  2. Publish on my blog twice a week.
  3. Guided Journals each days.
  4. Participate in social media for the blog.
  5. self care each day.

So these were the goals. how did I do achieving them? It was mixed honestly. I did really well, but some unforeseen circumstances threw my plans off a bit. I got the flu on the 22nd, which really took the wind out of my sails. But that’s life, sometimes we have to make due with things. luckily I made great strides earlier in the month, so the hit wasn’t as bad.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

In the blogging department, I did well. Luckily I posted right before the onset of the flu, So I kept that goal for the month. Eight posts were published, which was my goal. My biggest challenges were the guided journals. This honestly was my fault. The commitment wasn’t really there. I plan to recommit to this in March, and am hoping for better results. The other goals were reached as well. I wrote a page everyday. I also got back into social media marketing. I also worked on my self care as well.

February was a good month. I am happy to be making progress towards my goals. Hopefully I will make the same kind of progress in March. Do you have any goals you are currently working on? Do you set goals monthly, or yearly? Drop your thoughts in the comments! I would love to hear from you.

I hope that you have a productive March

Till Next time

Colleen



Knocked Out

Been under the weather for about a week now. On Friday I caught the flu. I have been out of work since. I ran a fever, caught a cold, and somehow ended up with a case of vertigo. After about six days, I am finally feeling a bit better. Honestly it has been a rough road. I am ready to rejoin polite society now.

It amazes me, how tiny little germs can throw our plans off so badly. They invade our lives, throwing everything out of balance. we think of yourself as invincible. In truth we are fragile, at the mercy of the world around us.

I am taking it how it comes. I could get frustrated but it isn’t wort the effort. I am letting go, and just letting it shake out. I am taking a deep breath, enjoying the rest, and taking lots of naps. I figure sooner or later, it will pass, i just have to be patient.

But I am looking forward to getting back to it.

Overcoming Chaos

To say this weekend has been rough is an understatement.

My instinct is to keep things private. To discuss things is to let that wall down. To let people in is to show weakness. It goes against everything that has been bred into me since childhood. Yet sharing can be cathartic, and helps us grow.   There has been a big change in my thinking, that I just noticed over the last few days. This weekend was challenging, but I overcame it.

Photo by Hristo Fidanov

When we went to bed on Thursday, I noticed Maddie, our 10 month old Australian Shepard, was acting strange. She tried to get up and couldn’t. Her body was raked with tremors that quickly developed into full  blown seizures. It was a nightmare with my eyes open. Nothing is worse than not being able to go fast enough as your puppy  shakes uncontrollably in your husbands arms.

We were able to get her to the vet, and thankfully, she is Ok,  The Vet thinks she got into something and it had to work itself through her system.  We got incredibly lucky, and are happy to have her home. Yet it was terrifying. You know it is part of the deal, but it doesn’t make it easier emotionally.

We stayed until they had fully checked her out. We didn’t get home until 3 am Friday morning. Maddie had been given Valium and was sleeping . We had to monitor as she came down, to ensure the seizures had stopped. I was up until 5 am and missed work on Friday because of it.

The rest of the weekend was bumpy as well. My paycheck was two days late, which was a major issue.  We were not able to go out for our special dinner on Friday. I didn’t end up getting bills paid until Saturday. I also managed to get a nasty cold.  Sick and tired, it has been difficult to rest and catch up on that sleep.  The bad things just seemed to keep coming.  It has been a challenging couple of days .

But, it is important to keep moving. And I believe that my focus on positive thinking has been paying off in big ways. In the past, a weekend like this would have brought me right down. I would have stuck in a bad mood, and unable to do anything. This weekend I was able to ride out the challenges, and do it with a positive attitude. I was also able to stay productive. I  finished an entire book, and wrote.  The chores were done, and the bills paid. It was challenging, but I was able to get things despite the challenges.

It was a good weekend, despite the issues. I am learning to rise above the daily challenges, and remain positive.  There is a certain amount of pride that. life hasn’t been easy, but with the right attitude, I can overcome it. This revelation shows me what I am capable of accomplishing. It give me confidence to push into the future.

Till next time’

Colleen

Wildflowers

Tomorrow is Valentines Day, the one day many people take to celebrate love. For me the holiday has almost became too much. I have a major issue with the way holidays are peddled in the United States.  We are bombard by displays in stores, and TV advertisements for jewelry.  The day has become an excuse to sell stuff. yet at the heart of it, I think there is still some good. There are plenty of people who still use small meaningful gestures to express the holiday. It got me thinking about our new lifestyle. What does minimalist Valentines Day look like?

Thus year is our first Valentines day as a married couple. The day is a big milestone for us. It gives us a chance to look back on the wedding, and our relationship. We have come so far, and there are many exciting days ahead for us.  I’m so thankful that I have someone to share all of my adventures with. We plan on taking it pretty easy tomorrow. We may go out for food, and we will spend some time enjoying each others company. Last weekend we went to Wilson Farm in Lexington, Massachusetts. My husband, Ed got me a beautiful bunch of flowers.

It was the perfect gift.  Flowers are a meaningful symbol in my life. I love the way the Lupines, come out and welcome warm days in the mountains. They are followed by the Black-eyed Susans and Queen Anne’s Lace. In 2017 we said goodbye to our Boxer Birdie in a field of Flowers in Sugar Hill.  The year after my Mother passed away, her Lilac Bush that never bloomed burst out with dozens of colorful, fragrant flowers.  At our wedding our first dance song was a cover of Wildflowers, by the Wailin Jennys and My bouquets had wildflowers.  Flowers remind me of good times, and important  time, both good and bad.  We have had a cold dreary winter, and the flowers remind me of warmer weather. They are the perfect addition to the house.

 I know so many people, who would expect so much more. A simple bouquet would be an insult.  much. Often people get wrapped in these holidays. They feel obligated to show how much they care through things. We have been taught that the size of the price tag should match up with how much we care. For me, its more than that. The spirit of the gift is what means the most. Minimalism is perfect for me, because gestures mean more than things. My husband does not need to buy chocolates or gifts to prove his love, he has done that through his actions. All I wanted was a small reminder of the love that we share, and he gave me that.  The simple gesture of love, will carry me through the rest of the cold February days.  For me that is the perfect minimalist Valentines Day.

Excuse me, while I go enjoy my flowers, and think of Spring.

 

Till next time!

Colleen

 

Cover Photo by Barnes Photography!

 

Trauma Laundry

As the last of the laundry was folded, I sighed in relief. It feels incredibly good to get things done. It may seem small, but for me it is important to get laundry done. It is something that I am just learning to do. Usually laundry goes like this…… I wait till there is way too much. I put it in, forget about it. Or it is left in the basket unfolded for the entire week. I struggle with it, because I was never taught how to do laundry.

Not taught how to do laundry? For anyone that seems pretty silly. Many of you will find that strange for a 28 year old to say. I was never taught to do laundry properly. The reason was was because of the issues in my childhood home. My Moms alcoholism shaped my entire life.

The reasons for this were two fold. My mom was lost at the bottom of a bottle, and struggled to take care of us. When she was sober, she would do everything for us. I believe it was her way of making up for the bad days. My dad was busy working, trying to support the four of us. There was never a chance for me to learn these important skills. For me, there was a lot of catching up to do.

That is the unseen side of trauma. The focus tends to be on the emotional toll of growing up in a dysfunctional household. Yet there is also an impact on life skills. This tend to be unseen. It is hard to talk about, and a certain amount of humiliation that it brings. As a 23 year old, I couldn’t cook, couldn’t really do laundry, and had no idea how to clean dishes. I had spent so much time just trying to survive I had never really learned to live.

Slowly I had to learn how to do these things. The process has been tedious, but progress has been made. My dishes are much cleaner these days. I can make a mean Shepard’s pie. I have to be methodical with the chores, until habits are formed. Yet slowly, I am gaining ground. As little as it is, it makes me proud. That is why to have, folded laundry is a big milestone. Its means that I am learning how to live.

Throw out the rule book

” I don’t know if you have noticed, but you have been in a better mood.” My husband said offhandedly.

It has been two weeks since we moved back to Manchester. Two weeks since we left the stress of Greenfield behind. Things are better, and I feel happier. It was hard decision to make. We had to take a BIG step back. Yet the positive change in my metal health is showing that it was the right choice.

My marriage has also seen positive changes. The stress of our last place was killing us. Yelling has been replaced by talks and laughter. We have begun to work on our building our relationship again. Greenfield was a negative time for us. I am thankful to be in a positive place in my relationship again.

I didn’t really think of it until he said something. Suddenly I feel free. There is a calm that has overtaken me. I have spent more time engaging in self care. My eyes have also turned to the future in a meaningful way. For the first time in months my head has broken the surface, and I can breath.

I wanted to give an update on everything. The move has made things better for us. It was a chance to downsize, and reevaluate things. It has given us an opportunity to change things. I am treating it as the start of something incredible. I am back at baseline. The foundation we are building we be stronger than ever. This time I am throwing out the rule book.

This is my life, and I finally intend to live it my way.



The Downsizing

We had made it to U-Haul just in time. We rented the unit, and quickly moved our life into it. Quietly I told my husband that we would be back soon to purge. we have been upended, but it has been a great opportunity to downsize. It is the first big step in our new lifestyle. Downsizing is an exciting step in our lives.

Downsizing is something you don’t here much about. Our society focuses on accumulation of a life. There isn’t much time spent on examining what we really need. For me, downsizing is about creating a simpler life.Getting rid of things makes me feel refreshed, and it helps me feel more grounded. There are two big components to this, purging and buying less.

The first is PURGING.When we moved, we got rid of so much stuff. I have a motto,of ” When in doubt, throw it out.” We really wanted to slim down to only things that we needed. We are sick of the work that extra stuff brings. It becomes cumbersome and unneeded. So we only kept what we really needed. One example of this is our kitchen. We have slimmed down to bare necessities. This includes;

  • Two plates
  • Two bowls
  • Two cups
  • Two sets of utensils
  • two glasses
  • Two mugs.

A big part of this was organization. If we kept it, it was moving with us, or going to storage. If there was no need for it, it went to charity, or was thrown away.In every room we did this, to ensure we only brought necessities. Downsizing means letting go.

The second part of this is BUYING LESS. We want to stop accumulating things. We both have a habit of buying too much stuff. There also tends to be a lot of impulse buying. My belief is that this is because of the way we are conditioned. I go into stores, and always end up with stuff even if I don’t need it. It is going to take a fair amount of effort to overcome, but we mean to try.

One part of this is looking at purchases critically. I only want to buy necessary things. I also want to buy quality things that will last. My goal is to make fewer, more meaningful purchases. This will help us begin and maintain our new lifestyle.

For us this is just the start of a new journey. I am excited to keep you updated on how things are going. I hope that this will help us be happy and grow. Hopefully downsizing will allow us to get back to our roots and stay happy. No matter what happens, I am excited about downsizing.