Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Three busy months later...

I finished my 101 project with 38 goals complete! That wasn't quite where I was hoping to be, but I'm thrilled overall. Those are thirty-eight goals that I likely wouldn't have started, let alone completed, had I not sat down and made the conscious choice to do so.

Other life updates:

  • School is going well! I am only half-time this semester and am set to graduate next Spring. 
  • Since January 1st of this year, I have paid over $18,000 on my student loans. My balance is down under $65k, and should be paid off by the end of the year!!! 
  • Dad asked, and I agreed to take over his business. I will be going home this summer to work with him for a few months and start learning the ropes. 

I started a new 101 project at the end of January. I haven't given it quite the attention it deserves yet, but I am looking forward to embarking on another journey! Some of the goals are repeats that I didn't finish last time, but about half of them are completely new. I've been ill for the last 2+ weeks, so I haven't really even gotten the chance to start on anything, but I plan to start my yoga challenge this week, and hopefully make good progress on the afghan over Spring Break in a few weeks.

I picked up a bunch of beautiful yarn in the last month. I'm hoping to be able to knit something quick for Erika for the wedding. And holy shit; I can't believe she's getting married in 38 days! 

Life is good. I'm happy, I'm successful, and I'm having fun. 

Until next time!! xoxo

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

365 questions: 342 - 365!!!

342. What is the closest you have ever come to fearing for your life?

Riding on the back of my dad's motorcycle in Canada. He drives like a maniac, and the twisty Canadian gravel roads don't agree with his driving style. I was planning my exit off the back in case something terrible were to happen. 

343. How do you deal with isolation and loneliness?

I wrap myself up in whatever I'm doing. I never have a lack of obligations or responsibilities, with my tendency to over-commit myself to everything. I typically either work more or focus on homework like I should. Sometimes I cry about it and take a bubble bath. I very rarely get lonely.

344. What do you know well enough to teach to others?

Plenty of things. I made my living teaching others for a year! ACT/SAT/PSAT test prep, math through college level, biology, chemistry, anatomy & physiology, English. Non-academic: virtually everything there is to know about wine, particularly Old-World regions and varietals; beer; spirits (particularly scotch whiskey); knitting; cooking.  

345. What’s a quick decision you once made that changed your life?

The decision I made to go to Europe was a pretty impulsive one that definitely shaped that summer, for sure. A quick decision that changed my entire life, though? Probably buying my plane ticket to Jacksonville six and a half years ago. It was a total impulse thing.

346. What have you lost interest in recently?

Last weekend was a pretty traumatic experience for me, and I've been having a difficult time coping. I wouldn't say I've necessarily lost interest, but I've lost motivation to do a lot of things - schoolwork, showering, housekeeping. 

347. What makes life easier?

Lots of things. Money. A great support network. An education. Limited bills. And the love of a wonderful partner.

348. What was the last thing you furiously argued about with someone?

I don't "furiously argue" about much of anything, but I was very upset about how work handled a situation and when Kyle said he could see their side, I got slightly irrational. 

349. What job would you never do no matter how much it paid?

Janitorial work. I won't clean toilets, period. I dislike cleaning my own enough. I definitely wouldn't clean anyone else's!

350. What is the number one solution to healing the world?

Love. More love = less hate, more tolerance, better support systems, and more heartfelt response to tragedy.

351. What could society do without?


352. What stresses you out?

Others' expectations. I'm not stressed by responsibility, but I'm definitely stressed by someone else's perception of what I should be doing with that responsibility, or how I succeed in situations. 

353. Now that it’s behind you, what did you do last week that was memorable?

Finished another book toward my 101!

354. Where do you spend most of your time while you’re awake?

Usually at school. I have school for more than seven hours a day, four days a week. So I spend a lot of time on campus. When I'm not at school, I'm almost always at work.

355. What makes someone a hero?

I think heroism is incredibly personal, so a hero to me would likely not be a hero to anyone else. However, I would say a hero is someone who attempted a selfless act at great personal risk to themselves. Alternatively, someone who has a lasting positive impact on someone's life.

356. When in your life have you been a victim of stereotyping?

I'm a redhead. I'm also a girl in a science field (engineering, then math). The vast majority of my education, I've surprised people. 

357. When was the last time you felt lucky?

Kyle and I scored a free room at a gorgeous B&B in Sedona for Veteran's Day as a thank-you for his service. That was pretty lucky!

358. When did you first realize that life is short?

I've experienced a lot of loss, but I think one of the most poignant was a guy I went to high school with, who was a year behind me. He passed away my first year out of high school and I went back home for the funeral. Totally normal kid, senior in high school, friends with everyone, and didn't make it to his own graduation. 

359. What is the most insensitive thing a person can do?

Ignore you when you need them

360. What can someone do to grab your attention?

Say something about expensive wine or yummy food! 

361. What do you usually think about on your drive home from work?

How freakishly tired I am, and whether or not I'm staying between the lane lines

362. What’s one downside of the modern day world?

Easy internet access for kids is dumbing down their vocabulary. Just take one quick look at Youtube. 

363. What simple fact do you wish more people understood?

Hard work will get you far in life. Quit skating through life and passing off your work to everyone else!

364. If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?

I firmly believe in learning from past life experiences rather than regretting them. But I do wish I would've scheduled my plane ticket for a few days before Grandpa Jer passed away. I would have really loved to see him once more. 

365. How would you describe your future in three words?

It looks bright.

Monday, November 4, 2013

I'm back! And I'm thankful.

Blogger has absolutely refused to load for me on my laptop lately, but the problem was miraculously solved! (Unlike all the other loading problems I've been having lately, unfortunately.)

Catching up on my Month of Gratitude:

Day 1: I'm thankful for such a wonderful partner. This morning, Kyle bought us tickets to go see Mannheim Steamroller when they're in town next month!

Day 2: I am thankful that I have a Trader Joe's so close to my house! I had one of their pumpkin muffins for breakfast. Yummy!!

Day 3: I'm thankful that we got to the fair just in time for MONSTER TRUCKS!!!! I was so bummed and thought we had missed them by not going the day before. 

Day 4: I'm so thankful I had a little one-on-one time with Mara last night. It really tore me up that I couldn't be there with her on Friday night so it was really special to me to have that time with her. I gave her the Trader Joe's gift cards I had gotten last week, and to be able to give her the reassurance that she doesn't have to worry about groceries for a while really meant a lot to both of us. 

In other news, I purchased another year membership at my favorite local Bikram studio (BYT) a few days ago, so hopefully I'll make it down to that svelte 125 in the next month! 

Friday, October 4, 2013

101 update: Two months left

Two months left of this challenge, and I'm 35% done... That's totally fine, right?

Right. I started this project while in school and going through an incredibly difficult phase in my relationship. I chose very lofty goals and didn't account for my lack of free time.

The two big monetary goals, I've made. I have paid well over my $15,000 goal toward my student loans. I also have a savings account I'm happy with, though I haven't crossed that goal off because I'll have to pay tuition again in December. I still need to have budgeted appropriately then!

Many of my time- or money- intensive goals haven't been reached. I haven't read 100 books, or finished knitting anything, or traveled to another continent. My focus has been narrower, and I prioritized the goals that were most important to me.

from rgbstock.com
I am incredibly proud of what I have accomplished so far, and I hope to have 40+ goals completed by the end of this period. (Ideally, I'd complete 50%, but that's a stretch at this point.) I can easily finish cleaning out my closet, make my own laundry detergent, finish my 365 questions... If I prioritize my time properly, I can definitely knock out five more. I need to spend more time working on homework when I have the time available, and then I might spend less time stressing at the last minute because I prioritized poorly. (Not that I have any practice at procrastination, or anything.)

Five more.  Let's do this.

365 questions: 333-341

333. What confuses you?

Probably my biggest confusion right now lies with education politics. ASU frustrates me. Federal student loan drama frustrates me. And all wrapped up together, it's a confusing bundle. Education is encouraged, but financially unattainable for so many.

334. In what way are you your own worst enemy?

I don't set myself up for success. I have a tendency to not do homework, because I don't feel like it, or because I often find it menial, and it affects my grade much later down the road. I also (as has been mentioned previously) am not the world's greatest communicator and tend toward emotional reactions. 

335. When did you not speak up when you should have?

I have always had difficulty with the word "no." I don't like negatively affecting others' opinion of me. However, I have recently been making more of a stand for myself.

336. What is your favorite quote?

The entire poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling. I absolutely adore it. 

337. What is your favorite fictional story?  (novel, movie, fairytale, etc.)

I think Jurrasic Park is pretty awesome. Plus, Michael Crichton is one of my favorite authors ever.

338. Where or who do you turn to when you need good advice?

My mama is always a good listener. Erika is pretty wonderful as well. And Kyle knows me better than pretty much anyone, so I value what he thinks. I also tend to spend a lot of time alone when I'm going through something stressful, so I have time to process and think. 

339. What artistic medium do you use to express yourself?

Music has always been my outlet of choice. I haven't had the opportunity to play piano very often in the last few years, but my music is definitely my artistic medium. Anything that relates to it, as well, is fair game. I have gone dancing on a fairly regular basis, as it's an expression of your body to music.

340. Who or what is the greatest enemy of mankind?

Today, I'm inclined to believe it's our own nation's Congress. Damn, guys. Get your shit together. Because it's OH SO TERRIBLE to allow me to stay on my parents' insurance (if they had any) for another year. 

341. What’s something you wish you had done earlier in life?

In the same vein as the previous question... got my shit together. I wish I would've found my focus much earlier, so I wasn't still in school for my undergraduate degree and $80,000 in debt.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Home alone!

This spring, a former coworker asked if she could move in temporarily when her lease was up. She was madly in love with a British guy who invited her to England this fall for his sister's wedding, and wanted to save up some cash to travel, so I agreed to the 2-3 month arrangement.

Well June rolled around, when her lease was up, and she said the stakes had changed. She had decided not to go to England this fall, and was planning on leaving when she moved up to Flagstaff to go to school in January. Oh, boy. Might have been nice to discuss that with me first!

Well she moved in, and we started having issues with her lack of cleanliness. We had a few conversations, then a roach in the house, and then she left last weekend for four days with the kitchen looking like this...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

August 101 update and Labor Day vacation!

I went back to school full-time this month, so my free time was (and is) pretty limited. Nonetheless, I accomplished the following:

  • paid more on my student loans! So much more, in fact, that I crossed that one off the list! Woohoo!! 
  • donated more rice! 
  • read another book! Finished the first week of school - probably the last book I'll read for pleasure for the next little while. 

That's 35 goals down, now. Took a while to cross off another one, but I'm still makin' progress, and that's all that counts! 

Just got back from a weekend getaway with the Mister, where we got plenty of relaxing in, spent some time with my little sister and her hubs, and I caught up on sleep! We stayed at the Flagstaff Courtyard Marriott (don't recommend) and ate at Cuvee 928 (such disappointing service!). Good thing I had such wonderful company, or I might have been super bummed. We're back home missing my favorite memory foam pillow, a little more sunburnt than is enjoyable, but rested and happy. We didn't take a whole lot of photos, but if I can put a few together, you may get a peek at the gorgeous Walnut Canyon cliff dwellings. 

More later! xoxo

Thursday, July 25, 2013

July 101 update

  • paid more on my student loans! I have less than $1000 to go. 
  • donated rice! I've been slacking in that department lately. 
  • read another book! (Yay John Grisham!) I hadn't finished anything since March, so it's about time. Wow. 
ASU has sucked up over $6k from me in the last month, but I'm close to completing my student loan goal! School starts this month so I'm not sure how much I can realistically complete while working full-time and going to school full-time, but here's to hoping I can finish at least half my list by December! 

Monday, July 1, 2013

June 101 update!!

This past month, I:
  • paid more on my student loans! Over $2000 this month!!!
  • visited a new museum in San Diego
So maybe I didn't cross off another goal, but I paid over $2000 on my loans. I'm so thrilled!! I just made another payment this morning, too, so I have less than $1500 left until I've met my goal. 

Kyle and I went out to Mission Beach for my birthday weekend, and we spent Sunday at the San Diego Natural History Museum. That weekend was so delightful! I can't remember the last time I had four days off in a row. I think it might have been for my little sister's wedding! We got to relax and eat delicious food, hang out on the beach, and enjoy that gorgeous weather (and then come home to 118, unfortunately). I'll try to get a few photos up here in the next few days.

And since I should have a little extra time this week with the holiday, hopefully I'll (finally) get some reading done! Here's to a productive July!


Monday, June 3, 2013

May 101 update!!!

I am so proud of myself for this month.

  • paid more on my student loans. (That's $11K down, baby!!) 
  • blogged Orange Sky (that's 34 goals down!)
  • answered a few more questions
  • watched another old movie (halfway done with that one!)

I only crossed off one goal, but made such huge progress on my student loans! Things should be calming down here this month, so hopefully I'll have time to shove my face in a book or four, and start chipping away on the remainder for that goal. 

This is also the month I turn 25! I will be taking a little vacation to go see my grandparents again and stay with a friend on the beach. 

I am currently finishing up paperwork to enroll in a summer class that starts in July, and I will be officially back in school full-time in the fall. I only have a year left until graduation!! I have come such a long way since I started this project, and my plans have changed so much. It's amusing to look back only two years and see how much has changed. 

Here's to more awesome progress this month!