Boring Adult Things, mom blog

Who wants to be ordinary in a crazy mixed-up world?

Let’s do a quick recap of where things stand, as I sit about halfway past 31 (WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?) and actively working on the rest of the items on my list. I realize as I made this, I was being pretty ambitious. But I think it’s possible.

In other news, the fam is good and business is chugging along nicely. Here are some of the latest pics from life – can you believe my baby is almost 2?

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Yeah, I friggin’ saw Obama and yeah, he friggin’ waved at me!img_2351img_2430img_2494img_2538img_2458img_2561

Kathleen’s bachelorette party in Vegas!

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TRAVEL A LOT

40. Machu Picchu. Duh.

39. Go to Australia.

38. Go to Africa.

37. Complete Handstands Across America. (To date, I’ve hit GA, SC, NC, TN, PA, WV, VA, FL, AZ, NY, NJ, CT, AL, CO, IL, and WY.)

I’ve added Nevada – check it out! I need to get MD because we went there and I forgot to take a pic. We have family up there.

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36. Take Cameron to a place that’s non-English-speaking.

We will be going to Mexico City and Oaxaca as a family in March!

35. Take my mom on a vacation.

MAKE SOME MONEY

34. Increase my income by 10% at least one year.

I doubled my income this year.

33. Attend at least 5 networking events each year.

I think I’m on track with this. It’s amazing how small and incestuous my industry is!

32. Take a continuing education course in a related field.

I’m knocking this out for sure. And I’m learning a ton.

 

BE A GOOD MOM

31. Help Cameron with his homework. Even when I don’t understand it.

30. Log at least one solid moment where I go, “My kid made the choice to do the RIGHT thing.”

29. Tell Cameron EVERY SINGLE DAY that I love him.

 

BE A GOOD WIFE

28. Show Brandon at least once a month how much I really appreciate him – even when he’s driving me COMPLETELY INSANE for whatever reason.

I think I’ve been pretty decent at this one!

27. Have a date night alone with Brandon at least once a month.

We haven’t been great about this but we’re working on it!

 

DISCONNECT

26. Give up Facebook (or whatever the hot thing of the moment is) for a SOLID month.

I already did this, but I’m taking another couple months off for the holidays, and it’s been LOVELY.

25. Go on at least 10 family outings completely without my phone.

24. Turn off the TV for a month. Before 30, I struggled to do this for a week. Let’s up the game.

 

STAY HEALTHY

23. Run another 15k.

22. Take fitness classes at least once a week for 6 months – jazzercise, dance, Zumba, kickboxing, yoga… whatever.

Um yeah, probably need to get on this.

21. Go a month without alcohol.

This one too.

20. Go a month without bread.

 

BE ADVENTUROUS

19. Participate in a big cultural event (like I wanted to before 30 :).

18. Run for a public office.

17. Learn another new skill (welding, embroidery, calligraphy, etc).

 

CHILL OUT

16. Do absolutely nothing for a full weekend.

15. Write in a journal every day for a month.

14. Read a few more classic books.

13. Go on vacation somewhere that’s purely relaxing, not necessarily an “adventure” destination, just to enjoy it.

 

BE A GOOD FRIEND

13. Send care packages to 10 friends for no good reason.

12. Check in more often on friends who are going through crappy times.

Really trying my best to do this. I probably need to get better, though.

 

PROTECT MY INVESTMENTS

11. Get my retirement savings to $500k by age 40.

On track for this, at least early on. We added about $40k this year.

10. Diversify my investments – BitCoin? International real estate? Etc?

We have some solid cash in crypto, and I don’t love how it’s doing, but we’re in it for the long haul. Also hoping to move into real estate in the next couple years.

9. Keep 6 months worth of savings in the bank “just in case.”

I don’t know that we’ve hit this (other than if you count our savings for a basement renovation and our retirement, which I don’t), but we have maybe 3 solid months right now.

8. Keep, and stick to, a freakin’ budget for 6 months (to start).

7. Start a trust fund for Cam, and keep his college money saving.

6. Get smarter about investing – take a class in stock trading or similar.

5. Donate $10k to charity/a good cause.

We’re at $1k at this point to the Stacey Abrams campaign, plus a variety of different charity donations, but we probably need to up this.

 

WOAH, BUDDY

4. Flip/renovate a house.

3. Own chickens.

2. Move internationally for a period of time.

1. This one is my secret. But I expect to reveal it next year.

Boring Adult Things, Lists

Social Media Detox

I expected that giving up Facebook for a month would be difficult. We hear so much about social media addiction and the constant need to be connected to our networks and phones. I have not been immune: mainly out of a sort of obsessive-compulsive habit, I was opening Facebook probably dozens of times a day. I don’t know what I thought I was missing, but just that quick flip calmed me – particularly in this age of near-constant changes in politics that feel life-changing at a moment’s notice.

I deactivated my Facebook and Instagram accounts the evening of 3/6 and removed the apps from my phone. I realized a few days in that I couldn’t fully deactivate Facebook without causing myself a bunch of grief with work and connected logins, so I allowed the platform to reopen my account (when I needed to check some numbers in an ad platform) but I never signed back in. I have to say – I haven’t missed it much at all.

The time I was spending flipping open that damn app icon is now devoted to reading, give or take, half an hour a day. I’m able to really focus and enjoy TV shows I’m watching rather than half-listening while scrolling through an endless feed of photos I’m not in and don’t honestly care about.

I miss the status updates from some of my groups – one woman in particular is going through a rough time in her family and I want to know how that’s unfolding and how she’s holding up. We’re only Facebook friends so when I cut out Facebook, I cut out her and everyone in that group.

I’m also slightly annoyed about random events – trying to figure out if it’s half priced wine night at some restaurant I like, or if trivia is still happening even though it’s snowing. Things like that. Facebook serves as the primary resource for that kind of information and I feel a little blind without it. But you know what? It hasn’t impacted my life all that much. And if it did, I would pick up a phone and actually (gasp!) call someone.

We went to a caboose cabin in Asheville, NC and hit Greenville, SC for business on the way up. I took pictures but forgot about looking to see if people had Liked them, because I didn’t post them. I enjoyed my time with my kid and husband. We saw goats and bison and chickens, we ate at my favorite childhood restaurant (J Arthur’s in Maggie Valley), and we cooked hot dogs and s’mores around the campfire. We went to a Brazilian steakhouse, hit the breweries, and had fun at Cameron’s 1-year photo shoot with our friend Cami.

And we didn’t need to announce all of that in real time to my social network because frankly – nobody else cares that much!

I’m about halfway through this social media detox and I may just continue for a while. I thought this would be an insanely hard transition but it’s actually just been a breath of fresh air. If Trump does something so insane our lives are in danger, we’re probably all screwed anyway. And if he doesn’t, I’ll just hope I hear through a longer grapevine about his impending impeachment.

So I hope all of you guys are doing well. I hope you’re still loving being vegan, getting lots of baby giggles, enjoying the single life, bitching about the latest political outrage (I stand in solidarity with you and have not stopped my offline activism!), crafting, cooking, singing, photographing, running, and traveling. I still love you. But I don’t miss your online profile. And I’m willing to bet you don’t miss mine.

———–

Books I’m reading with all my extra time!

*Janesville – REALLY well-written. Empathy-inspiring. Although not as much as…

*How To Kill a City – holy CRAP have we been awful to People of Color in this country. A study of Gentrification 101 in some of America’s key cities. (Detroit will BLOW YOUR MIND.)

*What Happened by Hillary Clinton – it took a long time to dry my liberal snowflake tears and open this book again. But I’m in the home stretch. It’s okay. It’s infuriating. It’s a little pandering. But it has one of the best quotes I’ve seen that sums up all of the books above:

“There’s been so much said and written about the economic hardships and declining life expectancy of the working class whites who embraced Donald Trump. But why should they be more angry and resentful than the millions of blacks and Latinos who are poorer, die younger, and have to contend every day with entrenched discrimination?

…After studying the French Revolution, (de Tocqueville) wrote that revolts tend to start not in the places where conditions are worst, but in places where the expectations are most unmet. So if you’ve been raised to believe your life will unfold a certain way – say, with a steady union job that doesn’t require a college degree but does provide a middle-class income, with traditional gender roles intact and everyone speaking English – and then things don’t work out the way you expected, that’s when you get angry. It’s about loss. It’s about the sense that the future is going to be harder than the past.”

*And I mean, of course I read Fire and Fury… which was fascinating, but really, it’s more like a 20/20 exposé than a real book.

Lists

15k, Over and Out

I knocked out the 15k on Saturday. About mile 2, I had the sinking feeling I’d made a terrible mistake. Another girl jogged up next to me and asked, “What’s your strategy?” I looked at her like she had two heads. My first thought was, “My strategy is not to die.” I more kindly answered, “Walk when I’m tired. Run downhill.” Apparently, that was her strategy, too. Call be a dum-dum but I didn’t know people went into these things with strategies.

It was hilly. Very hilly. Which was nice on the down-slope but murder going up. And as much as I love running to podcasts because they’re long-form entertainment, I realized I can run more predictably to music. I also hurt a lot more than last time… chafing, soreness, the works. But it was overall a good pain – it reminded me I worked hard, that as I approach 31 and am post pregnancy, I’m still doing good things for my body, and that I knocked the first big task off my latest bucket list.

And get this… after the last 15k I ran a few years ago, I said, “That’s it.” I had no plan to do another one, much less anything more strenuous. But after this one… I think I can train for a half marathon. I really think I can. And I just might.

So EAT THAT!

Also… I’m giving up social media for the next 30 days.

So maybe that will leave me more time for training.

WHAT AM I DOING TO MYSELF?

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Uncategorized

40 Before 40

In ten years, I’ll be officially middle-aged.

In the four years leading up to 30 since I started this blog, I accomplished 25 of the 30 tasks on my To Do list – not half bad, especially considering the ones I never hit were “get spiritual” and “be happy just as I am.” I mean… how vague can you get?

What have I learned? Well, for one thing, get more specific with your goals. Also, be open to what comes at you. I, somewhat unexpectedly, became a mom during the process of this, and you know, you’ve got to go with the flow. I started a business – not on the list. We renovated a whole house – not on the list. So what if I didn’t hit Octoberfest or see Machu Picchu yet?

So let’s give this another shot, with a longer timeline, just to keep things interesting. Who’s with me?

 

TRAVEL A LOT

40. Machu Picchu. Duh.

I actually wrote this blog draft before we went to Peru. So I’m excited to say… um, I’ve done this already!

Machu Picchu!

39. Go to Australia.

38. Go to Africa.

37. Complete Handstands Across America. (To date, I’ve hit GA, SC, NC, TN, PA, WV, VA, FL, AZ, NY, NJ, CT, AL, CO, IL, and WY.)

36. Take Cameron to a place that’s non-English-speaking.

35. Take my mom on a vacation.

 

MAKE SOME MONEY

34. Increase my income by 10% at least one year.

33. Attend at least 5 networking events each year.

32. Take a continuing education course in a related field.

 

BE A GOOD MOM

31. Help Cameron with his homework. Even when I don’t understand it.

30. Log at least one solid moment where I go, “My kid made the choice to do the RIGHT thing.”

29. Tell Cameron EVERY SINGLE DAY that I love him.

 

BE A GOOD WIFE

28. Show Brandon at least once a month how much I really appreciate him – even when he’s driving me COMPLETELY INSANE for whatever reason.

27. Have a date night alone with Brandon at least once a month.

 

DISCONNECT

26. Give up Facebook (or whatever the hot thing of the moment is) for a SOLID month.

25. Go on at least 10 family outings completely without my phone.

24. Turn off the TV for a month. Before 30, I struggled to do this for a week. Let’s up the game.

 

STAY HEALTHY

23. Run another 15k.

22. Take fitness classes at least once a week for 6 months – jazzercise, dance, Zumba, kickboxing, yoga… whatever.

21. Go a month without alcohol.

20. Go a month without bread.

 

BE ADVENTUROUS

19. Participate in a big cultural event (like I wanted to before 30 :).

18. Run for a public office.

17. Learn another new skill (welding, embroidery, calligraphy, etc).

 

CHILL OUT

16. Do absolutely nothing for a full weekend.

15. Write in a journal every day for a month.

14. Read a few more classic books.

13. Go on vacation somewhere that’s purely relaxing, not necessarily an “adventure” destination, just to enjoy it.

 

BE A GOOD FRIEND

13. Send care packages to 10 friends for no good reason.

12. Check in more often on friends who are going through crappy times.

 

PROTECT MY INVESTMENTS

11. Get my retirement savings to $500k by age 40.

10. Diversify my investments – BitCoin? International real estate? Etc?

9. Keep 6 months worth of savings in the bank “just in case.”

8. Keep, and stick to, a freakin’ budget for 6 months (to start).

7. Start a trust fund for Cam, and keep his college money saving.

6. Get smarter about investing – take a class in stock trading or similar.

5. Donate $10k to charity/a good cause.

 

WOAH, BUDDY

4. Flip/renovate a house.

3. Own chickens.

2. Move internationally for a period of time.

 

The last 1 is still TBD… could be big, could be small. Time will tell…..