Monday, June 29, 2015

What's new?

Gratitude graphic from City Farmhouse
You know when you see a friend for the first time in a few months and they ask, "So what have you been up to lately?" Immediately your brain goes blank. There's nothing to say! You mentally scramble for a few quick seconds before finally saying, "Not much really. Work, the usual..."

That is so far from my current life experience. My life is full - and in good ways. I was driving to work this morning and thought to myself, "I am so happy. My life is really amazing right now." That's what I was thinking while driving to work on a Monday morning. Please pause for a second and let that sink in...

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My point isn't to gloat, it's to be grateful. While I'm sitting here typing out the blog post I'm mentally reviewing all of the fun things I did/experienced this weekend (looked at a house, celebrated marriage rights, celebrated the marriage of two great friends, took Dad to a baseball game for Father's Day) and it makes me happy all over again.

Let me tell you I am so grateful.

I'm grateful that I've been reading a really good book for book club, that after work I go running (sometimes only once or twice, but I do it), that dinner is made every night, that I only have to be the one to cook about twice a week. All these are great things. These things put me in a great mood. And then I think of more fun things I can do with my time...and hopefully the cycle continues.

This post doesn't have a point. I'm just recognizing this amazing period of my life and squeezing as much joy out of it as I possibly can.




Wednesday, June 24, 2015

More Is...Too Much

Now that HB and I are settled into the new place and my new job has me on a normal schedule I've started to read for fun again. Oh the things grad students dream about...

I'm using GoodReads to track my reading, although I'm not really sure why I feel that is important. I only feel like I'm making progress with two of them. It turns out I'm reading five books and even I'll admit that's probably too many things at once. 

Here the list:
  1. And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie (last month's book club book, which I'll probably never finish).
  2. Dragonfly in Amber, Diana Gabaldon (second in the Outlander series, started this in grad school)
  3. The Forgotten Garden, Kate Morton (current month's book club book, this one I started last night and really like it's most likely going to become my primary read)
  4. Herland, Charlotte Perkins Gilman (I'm listening to this in the car on the way to work. The full book is available on the CraftLit podcast).
  5. Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen (This is the current CraftLit book, its not complete yet and there are only 3 new episodes of the podcast a month during the summer - so I listen to Herland when I don't have a new episode of Sense and Sensibility).
What are you reading these days?

Thursday, April 30, 2015

KonMari

Please allow me to jump on the band wagon for a moment and talk about Marie Kondo's book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up or as it's more commonly talked about, the KonMari method.


Right now my life is changing in BIG ways. HB and I got engaged in January. We both graduate from Master's programs this month. I landed a new job which will start in June 1st (I am ecstatic). And finally, HB and I are moving. 

We have moved four times in the last three years and every time we prepare to move I get stressed out and want to get rid of most of our belongings. I just don't understand why we have so much stuff. In truth, I don't feel this way just before a move. When the apartment is disorganized I tend to look around and think "there's too much here" and before long I'm day dreaming about getting rid of it all.

I first heard about the KonMari method on Krissie Bently's blog. I realize now that a lot of people in the blog universe are talking about the KonMari method. Most of them are gushing about how wonderful it is. How it allowed this person to tame their closets, create a serene space for [insert hobby], and cut down the amount of time it takes to clean their home. When I found out about this book the timing seemed perfect. Right now, I am about to pull every item I own out of my drawers and closets in order to pack them and move. What better time than now to get rid of the unnecessary things?

I'm looking at minimalist spaces to help me stay inspired.

I was primed to love this book. To pour over the pages and take in every word of wisdom in order to perfect the art of decluttering my apartment. 

It didn't work out that way. Before I'd completed the first chapter of the book I was feeling a little let down. I wasn't in love with the KonMari method. But I decided to take what I needed from the pages and leave the rest, much like Cassie explains that she did on her blog.

Here's what I liked:
  • Keeping items that spark joy
  • Tackling things in a specific order
  • Storing according to how easy it is to put something away (instead of how easy it is to take something out)
  • Store all items of the same type together 
  • Giving yourself permission to get rid of things that no long spark joy (thanking them for their service it that helps you avoid guilt about saying good-bye)
  • Avoiding stockpiling things
  • Getting rid of paper
  • You've got enough (space, storage stuff, etc. don't go bigger/buy gadgets)
I won't list what I didn't like. If you're going to read the book I don't want to color your experience with my criticism. But I will say this...I am not tackling the whole project of tidying my apartment all at once. So far I'm focused on clothes. Pulling everything out of closets and drawers, determining what stays and what goes. And where it goes.

I'm conflicted over the where it goes bit. There are some things I'm donating, like gently used professional attire that's going to Dress for Success. But what about the rest? Anything that's stained, torn, etc is sadly headed to a landfill but the still serviceable clothes, what do I do with that? I don't want to create unnecessary waste so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Hiking

A few days after I finished my culminating project I looked at my calendar and realized I had a full morning with nothing scheduled. I checked the weather, sun and 70s were in the forecast. I decided to go hiking.


I've never hiked alone before and I'm not sure why I was inspired to start. But in one week I went hiking three times at two different parks. And while I love hiking with friends, I never let the lack of a hiking buddy stop me from going.


Sadly, the weather hasn't been as nice recently and I've spent more time with Netflix then on the trail. But I'm hopeful that with warmer weather I'll be excited to head outdoors again and explore some new trails.