Treadmill

So I used to love walking. Ever since I broke my ankle, I dont love it as much. I dont know why. I did break my ankle on a walk so maybe that has something to do with it? I am also over weight and out of shape. These might also be contributing factors. Why is it so hard to get moving? 

Memorial

Today I attended the most wonderful thing. A memorial for a friend’s brother. He passed away in December and was cremated immediately. Because he loved the lake that we live on, his family decided against a funeral and instead held a memorial in the summer at the lake. Three of his best friends spoke and there were drinks and hors d’oeuvres. His family will spread his ashes in the lake later today. I have never thought much about my own death. It is a topic that most people avoid. But today I realized something. I want what he had. I want people to gather and eat and chat and laugh and cry and remember. I dont need a church and a visitation. Shouldnt we all have our last wish? This would be mine. I hope that I may leave this world and be remembered in the same way that my friend’s brother was. It was beautiful. We should all be so lucky.

A week after the no spend challenge…

I am amazed at the lasting effects of my two week no spend challenge. 

1. I have only bought a few items this week.  A store in my small town is closing and everything was 50 percent off. However, I only bought things that are currently running out in my house-soap, whiteboard markers, drano. 

2. I wanted a makeup kit that I have had my eye on since February. However, I only bought it because my current blush is running out and I had a coupon that would make the whole kit cheaper than just buying new blush. 

3. I was never frivilous. However, I have become so much more conscientious of where my dollars are going. My next bear to tackle is going to be food expenses and waste. I will keep you posted.

Why everyone should have a massage

My husband bought me a package of four massages for Christmas.  I have just used the third one. For those of you who have never had a massage, let me tell you…get one! It offers multiple benefits. 

1. It is forced relaxation. You are in a room with no technology, no family, no work. Just a masseuse who is fine to be quiet if you ask him/her to. (My first masseuse was too talkative and pressed too hard)  If you can quiet your brain, you can easily relax or even take a much needed nap.

2. It forces you to think about your body. At the start of a massage, the masseuse will ask you if anything has been bothering you lately. Today I paused and realized that, yes, my legs have been a bit stiff, so she spent extra time on them. Last time my back had been hurting. 

3. It forces you to pamper yourself. So many of us are crazy busy. It is difficult to take time for yourself. Some people “workout” to pamper themselves or take a bath or read. But all of those activities can be interupted by kids, schedules, work, guilt or any number of other excuses. But s massage requires an appointment. Most people will not interfere if you say that you have an appointment to attend to. 

4. It is an inexpensive way to take care of yourself. My massage costs 45.00 plus tip. (It is not at a spa but instead at a muscle therapy and acupuncture place). 45.00 is not much to relieve stress, work the knots out and take time for yourself. It is much healthier than a lavish meal out or drinking. 

Excess

What causes excess in our lives? Do we buy extra stuff to be prepared? Do we buy it out of fear of running out? During this quasi no spend challenge I have been doing, I have been examining the things I use and questioning them. Right now I am doing laundry (fun I know!). As I open my cupboard for detergent and dryer sheets, I notice 3 of each. Why? Well, one detergent was bought on sale. One was bought because I liked the scent and one was bought to wash practice jerseys from my husband’s basketball team. All are about half full. That is silly. We should use up before we buy more. If I wanted a new scent, I should have used up the old one THEN bought the new one. I dont forsee myself having a “laundry emergency” if I was to run out of detergent completely. I live .5 miles from a convenience store that carries some. So I challenge you to look at the items in your house which are in excess. Would your life be different if you used everything up before buying new? Would it save you money? Would it save you from having to “declutter”? I am currently experimenting with laundry detergent and body wash.  I definitely WANT to go buy a new scent but maybe by waiting, I will appreciate the new one even more when it comes time to buy it (which is not right now)! Wish me luck! 

Trying to figure out vacation

Why is it stressful to plan a vacation? There is so much to think about.

1. Budget. Are we spending a lot, a little, a medium amount? 

2. Where are we headed? Are we driving? Flying? 

3. How long will we be gone?

4. What will we do when we are there? 

5. Who will take care of the pets?

6. What will we pack-food and clothing? 

7. Touristy vs simple country?

So my husband and I have been trying to answer these questions for our last vacation of the summer. You would think that since we are teachers and childless, it would be easy. Au contraire. We are making it harder than it has to be but a vacation is such precious time and neither of us want to make a “wrong” choice. We want maximum enjoyment and minimal stress.  Right now we are piecing together the following :

Budget: 500-1000 for everything

Where: Muskegon, Curtis, Paradise, Mackinaw then Traverse City on the way home (all in northern Michigan)

Length: 5-6days

Activities include visiting Pictured Rocks National Park, renting a pontoon boat for a day, a couple rounds of golf, and maybe a hike.

Pets: my mom

Packing : items for S’mores, warm clothes, lots of bug spray

It will be a quiet and simple vacation. We will also be celebrating our 4th wedding Anniversary. We wanted something special for that night so we rented a cabin that overlooks the Mackinaw bridge. Now if we could just guarantee no rain!

Wine tasting

Sometimes I forget how great it is to get together with a group of girls, not talk about work, and just enjoy life. That happened last night. I hosted a wine tasting/ book club. Some of us like to read and others dont so we only discuss the book briefly before drinking and eating 😉 Everyone brought a dish to pass and a bottle of wine. I provided cheeses, bread and about 4 or 5 wines (I have a lot that I have bought over the years) and we just enjoyed life. When I lived in Paris, I learned a very valuable skill from the French people-they LIVE. We plan and organize and stress and diet and plan some more and work and work and work for a retirement or possessions or a bigger house or whatever. The French also work hard but they enjoy the journey. I wish we could do that more. Enjoy the journey and the life that is experienced during the journey. I am challenging myself (and you) to behave a tad more French. LIVE. Live and enjoy the moments. Dont rush past them trying to get to the next event. 

First walk

Why do we put off exercising? I have always been a fan of walking as a form of exercise. When I was younger, I would go for walks all the time and enjoyed the feeling of foot to pavement.  Then I broke my ankle. I am healed but it seems as though I have lost the joy of walking. I tried to get it back last summer by walking more and more each day but it just doesnt spark the same joy in me that it used to…and that makes me sad.  I am not in pain, so I’m not quite sure what the problem is. Tonight I went for my first walk in about a month. It felt great. We had a thunderstorm pass and my husband went outside to hit golf balls so I went for a walk. I want to get that joy back.  I want to feel good when I walk and see results like I used to when I was little. Maybe just take it slow? Maybe not have too many expectations of myself? I feel like my black cat George right now…

The desire of a boutique lifestyle

Why do we buy things? What is our purpose behind our purchases? Popularity? Status? Feeling better about ourselves? Novelty? Trying to create a certain type of life. Have you ever been to a unique shop that sells cute soaps and plates and such? I always want to live the life that  those unique shops portray. I want my life to be a series of boutiques and fancy soaps and cheese plates and cute earrings and candles. I buy clothes because I want to look better. Candles and soaps to smell better. Fun food to eat better. Housing decor to make the house look better. Technology to be connected better. A new car to look better. Is it because it all comes back to the essential human question of not being good enough? So what will happen when I stop buying things? Will I  be “less better”? ( I know this is improper grammar. I’m making a point. ) Will I be uglier? Stinkier? Not as cool or popular? I want to be a better cook, wife, teacher, writer. Why do think I need things to make me this way. Is all that we need to be a better person, within us already? 

I purchase things to make my life better when in reality I’ m starting to think that things make life worse.