Yep, I did it.
I ate half of a maple glazed donut. I know it won't sit well with me, and I will regret it very soon with a stomach ache, but I ate it anyway.
Because sometimes I just want something that is not good for me.
It's not a matter of lacking discipline or having decision fatigue. Although sometimes that happens, it isn't the case on this particular occasion. I ate it, because I didn't feel good. And when I don't feel good, I want two things: soup and something that isn't good for me. Tonight I had both.
I'm rather irrational when I'm under the weather. And whiny. And just downright cranky.
Eating the donut is not the cure all, and my rational self knows this all too well. Sometimes, though, I think it's okay to drop my guard, because I know I won't suddenly start eating every sweet in sight.
We all need to know what we can and can't do. I know that I can eat things like this, my stomach rebels, and then I'm good. I don't like the way it makes me feel overall, but sometimes I just need a reminder.
This half donut was my reminder that sometimes it's simply okay. No regrets. No excuses. Just enjoy the deliciousness and move on.
This is no ordinary cutting board. In fact, I have two of them. As long as they are functional, I will continue to use each of them. Considering they are 13 and 11 years old, respectively, I think they will continue to hold up.
Yeah, I know, why would I know how old my cutting boards are?
It's because they were made by each of my kids when they were in junior high in their industrial technology class. While neither of my kids has gone into a career field that requires hands-on creations such as cutting boards, I hope it shows them that they can if/when they want to. They made something that is functional and can be used for several years.
The budding minimalist in me would say that I only need one cutting board. While that is completely true, the sentimental value wins out on this one. And as crazy as it sounds, I use them both equally. They rest in the same spot next to each other, and I rotate as I use each one. I wouldn't want to slight one of them, would I?
I used one of the boards to cut up tomatoes for our taco bar we had for lunch today. While both of our kids and their significant others only live 30-45 minutes away from us, I'm very thankful that we enjoy spending so much time together. Earlier this week, my daughter Jaelyn started a group text saying we needed to get together for a family meal. It worked out for all of us to do it today. So, at 1:00ish, we sat down to lunch with the six of us surrounded by our four dogs.
Even though the cutting board had nothing specific to do with making a memory today, because I used it I will think about the fun we had today the next time I go to cut something up on it.
Something so simple and yet it adds so much value to my life.
As I came zooming down to the last week before my next paycheck, my excitement continued to grow. Each day I would check my balance, and it was the same, $105.91.
At the end of my first month of my Spending Fast (I get paid on the 20th of each month), I was going to have $105.91 extra to put toward one of my debts.
I was excited! I was thrilled! I was so proud of myself for having such a great first month!
And then it happened.
One day before I got paid, I got sick. Sick enough to go to the doctor. I have a $40 co-pay, and so I reconciled with the fact that I was now going to have $65.91 leftover. That was okay. I still had something leftover. Then the receptionist asked if I wanted to pay the rest of my balance, which was $45.39. I resignedly shook my head yes.
That left me with $20.52 extra.
Kind of a downer at first, but then I realized a few things. First, I had the money left at the end of the month to pay for something that suddenly came up. I didn't have to pay for it using my credit card, I didn't have to borrow from my savings account, and I didn't have to borrow against my loan.
Then I remembered a second silver lining. I still had grocery money and change I had taken to the bank to cash out. That totaled another $62.59. Well, it was $70.00 but I had an impulse buy yesterday. After being poked, prodded, and two shots later at the doctors' office, I decided to grab a Jimmy John's veggie sandwich and thinny chips on my way home. Eh, I'm a work in progress.
So overall, I ended up with a surplus of $83.11. My goal for the next month is to see how much more I can go beyond this first month. I love a challenge!
I am not a bounce out of bed in the morning kind of person.
This surprises people considering my day job as an elementary school counselor. My work day begins at 7:55, and more often than not I hit the ground running. It could be a crying kindergartner who doesn't want to separate from his mom, it could be two 2nd grade girls who pinched each other because they were mad at each other, or it could be a colleague who wants to do some quick collaboration.
In other words, when I walk in the door I have to be on my 'A' game.
And, when I say it surprises people, it's because I have a very bubbly, positive attitude. Not over the top mind you, but enough energy that when I say I'm not a morning person, people don't usually believe me.
"But you're always so enthusiastic," they say.
Well, let me think, would you want to come and talk to a school counselor who is all mopey?
I wouldn't either. So, I put on my big girl pants and "fake it until I make it." Or, in my case, fake it until I'm actually awake.
I don't consider this not being authentic. I consider it being what my schools deserve out of their counselor. I mean, in all honesty, I would love to put a sign on my door that says what is in the meme above that a friend shared with me adding, "Come back around 10:00 when I've had enough coffee in my system as well."
But my little people don't work like that. When they are in crisis, they are in crisis. They are my world, and most of the time they just need someone who cares enough to listen and can give them the time to do so.
And this also explains why I get up at 5:00 AM each morning. I start my day slowly with meditation, bible study, and updating social media for my side hustle. I make breakfast for myself and I text with my dad. I give myself a couple of hours so that I can be more of a morning person.
What it boils down to is knowing who I am, flaws and all.
Welcome to our foyer!
One of the charms of our wonderfully quirky house is that there is an actual foyer. When you come in the front door, you aren't already in the living room. There's actually a landing spot with options. You can head downstairs to the living room, upstairs to the bedroom level, or into the kitchen and dining room. I love all the options.
What I wasn't loving was the decor. I had outdated patriotic items hanging in the space shown, a flag blanket thrown over the church pew on the other side of the area, and my childhood rocking chair with a stuffed teddy bear in it in the corner. It was a hodge-podge.
I decided to go for a change.
I pulled the Latte art from its spot in the kitchen. I loved the piece but I kept shifting it around, because I couldn't find a place where it was meant to be. I grabbed the repainted table from the dining room that also didn't really seem to go, pulled in the Let It Snow frame from my home office, grabbed the Starbucks mug my daughter got me, and used the gift of a wonderfully scented candle to finish off the space.
I'm certainly no designer, but this space now works better because it adds value and function. It will now be the new landing spot for our mail. Instead of it going into the kitchen where days of mail can easily pile up, it will go on this small table. Mail will be handled once instead of shifting from one spot to another.
This space also makes our home more cohesive. The blue is an accent in the kitchen and dining room while being the dominant color in my office/guest bedroom. The various brown hues highlight the earth tones in the rest of the house.
When I thought about what I wanted the space to be, I asked myself these questions:
1. How can the space be better utilized to add value and function?
2. How can more cohesiveness be created?
3. What do I already have that can make this space what I want it to be?
Once I answered these questions, I went on a scavenger hunt around the house to see what would work and be a resounding, "YES!" to creating what I envisioned.
The best part is that it didn't cost a dime.
As I have just finished Week #2 of my "spending fast," I wanted to be able to pull off a change in the house using only the items we have. That's probably the biggest win I experienced this week. I discovered I could make a change without spending any money.
I'm definitely learning the lesson of making due with what I have, and what I have is a haven of contentment. I just have to do a better job of opening my eyes to see it.
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.