Not so social

Hi there! You guys, it’s already January 17th. Next week is the last full week of January. Huh? Although, it has been 70 degrees here in Atlanta for several days now, so I’m in no hurry for January to end 😉

Are you keeping up with your resolutions? (If you made any, that is. I have to say I’m pretty disappointed in myself. I am just really half-assing it right now. I’m doing OK with not spending money wastefully, but my eating habits are awry. Part of that is because I’m trying to eat all the food we already had in the house, rather than buying more food. And a lot of what we had in the house is PASTA. Mmmm, carbs.

But what I wanted to talk about here today is social media. Facebook, specifically. I’ve done a good job staying away from it this month. I do check in now and then, to make sure I’m getting all the notifications for my volunteer work and to see if I have any “important” notifications, but that’s truly been it. And I have to say that I’m really enjoying it! It so doesn’t matter if I miss out on someone’s news or a funny post. Like it totally doesn’t matter at all. Plus I really don’t need to get any kind of validation from other’s people’s comments on my own posts. In fact, I feel a bit happier not looking at Facebook at all. I’ve seen more and more articles about how comparison sucks the joy out of life, and social media is the worst kind of comparison since everyone is curating these false little perfect moments to share. I didn’t realize how bad it was making me feel about myself!

I have no plans to delete my account, because I like that it does allow me to stay in touch with people, and because I have so many pictures saved there. What I did already was go through my Friends list and unfollow a lot of people. It felt good! There were so many random people from old jobs that I wasn’t even really friends with to begin with – why do I need to keep up with whether they’ve sold their condo or had another kid? Same with people from high school that I legitimately don’t remember, or former neighbors that I was following only to keep up with gossip.

I also have no plans to get off of Instagram. I ❤ Instagram. For some reason, those curated moments don’t bother me in the same way as Facebook does. It could be that I don’t follow a lot of personal contacts, but use it more for inspiration and ideas. For awhile now I’ve only been posting on Instagram, not Facebook, anyway, and I enjoy looking back at my photos to remember my year.

So I think that after this month, I’ll continue to mostly avoid Facebook. I hid it from myself on my phone, so I’ll probably go ahead and delete it. It was mostly just a time-suck anyway

How social are you online? Do you enjoy Facebook, Instagram, Twitter? Pinterest is life, though, am I right???

 

First Blogiversary

Happy birthday to my little blog! I’m happy to say I have successfully made it through my first year here. I was talking with my husband about this blog the other night. At first, he was reading it, but I asked him to stop because I felt like it was inhibiting me a bit. (After that, I think he’d pretty much forgotten I was writing at all.)

Talking about it with him, I realized that not only do I appreciate how much this space holds me accountable to myself, but also how much I enjoy my little blogging community. I don’t have a ton of readers, and that’s fine with me. This space is way more about me figuring out my life than it is to get a bunch of followers. But those of you that have connected with, it means so much to me! I love following along with your adventures and goals. You guys really inspire me to push myself, and you give me tons of great ideas, many of which I steal to write about here 😉

So, thanks for reading, for commenting, and for your own sweet blogs!

Christmas Wrap-up

How was your Christmas? Did you survive? Was it wonderful/stressful/all of the above?

I think this may have been the best Christmas ever for Jack and me. We stretched it out over several days. Anyone else think Christmas should always be a four-day weekend? It was perfect!

We did our little celebration together on the 23rd, then spent the 24th getting doing some last-minute shopping, wrapping presents, and getting ready to host our families. Christmas Eve we had Jack’s daughter and her husband stay with us. They’re vegan, so I had a fun time cooking these yummy stuffed shells for them. Side note: we found out we’re going to be grandparents. (!!!) OK, for me, I’ll just be a step-grandparent, but that still counts! They shared this fun news with everyone over the holiday 🙂

My parents and my sister’s family joined us Christmas afternoon for dunch and presents for my niece and nephew. I put out tons of food from Trader Joe’s, so that kept things much simpler than if I’d cooked. We all hung out and played with the kids. It was nice! That evening, my stepson and his wife came over, along with their best friend. We ordered a Chinese food feast so again, we wouldn’t to cook. This will probably become a tradition 🙂 We did presents with all of them, after which, my stepdaughter and her husband headed home so she could rest (she’s having a rough time with her first trimester). The others spent the night with us, and I will admit that things went way too late for me and got way out of hand. We all enjoyed the hot tub and Jack’s new ping pong table, but I was so ready for bed by midnight. Jack somehow stayed up with them until 3am, god bless him.

The day after Christmas, we cleaned up the mess from the night before. Then I headed over to my parents’ house for yet another Christmas. I made a chocolate pie with my niece while we waited for my brother’s family to arrive – I can’t stress enough how freaking good it was. My mother made lunch for all of us, then we did more gift-giving. 90% of it was for the grandkids, which makes it more fun 🙂

That night, Jack and I were happy to have the house to ourselves. We watched a movie and had some drinks and relaxed. The next day we tried to get up early but slept in til 8:30. After a run, we met Jack’s daughter, her husband, and his son to see the new Star Wars movie. Mixed reviews from the group, but I loved it! We then made it home in time to watch the Falcons beat the no-longer-undefeated Panthers, which sort of made up for Louisville’s two-point loss to Kentucky the day before. Another movie, some hot-tubbing, and we were in bed by 10:00.

So now it’s back to work, for a couple of (chaotic) days. New Year’s Eve is the anniversary of our commitment to each other, so we’re looking forward to another celebration later this week. This one is sort of a milestone – 15 years! I’ve spent a lot of today writing down some of my goals for 2016, what I’d like to work on and what the planning will look like.

Did you have a very Merry Christmas? Are you thinking about your resolutions, or just enjoying the rest of the year?

 

 

Truth!

I enjoyed Slacker Runner’s A Little Truth Time post yesterday. So much so, I wanted to steal her idea and do it myself!

Truth: I woke up at 4:30 this morning and counted down the minutes until my Starbucks opened at 5:00.

Truth: I desperately wanted a Holiday Spice Flat White. Then I saw they are 280 calories, so I settled for a Caffe Misto with a shot of espresso added. Calories saved: 180.

Truth: I have been taking Unisom to help me sleep every night for almost a year. Last night I decided to go without, thus explaining why I was awake at 4:30 this morning 🙂 Also explaining the super intense dream I had about falling in love with my Uber driver!

Truth: I am loving this warm weather in December. First, we totally got robbed of a nice fall because it rained for pretty much 6 weeks straight. Second, I don’t need it to be cold to be in the Christmas spirit. I’ve always loved the idea of a warm, SoCal kind of Christmas. Also, I read that this warm weather is because of El Nino, not global warming, so we should all shut up and enjoy it.

Truth: I have a Chapstick addiction. I have them everywhere: my car, most rooms in the house, my office, my purse, my coat pockets. My stepdaughter asked for Chapstick for Christmas and I TOTALLY GET IT.

Truth: I am feeling uninspired to go running lately. I am prone to burnout and have learned not to fight it. I have been going on lots of long walks instead, and yesterday I did some intervals, so that was something different at least.

Truth: I am late feeding and walking the dogs this morning, and Jack wanted me to wake up him about now, but everyone is sleeping so soundly and I’m enjoying my quiet time – I don’t want to wake anyone up! Even though my Caffe Misto is all gone 😦

Got any true confessions you want to share?

 

Thanks for the Love!

Oy. I just spent almost an hour writing a new post, and then accidentally closed down my browser and now it’s gone 😦

But the gist of it was, thanks to my awesome blogger friends for nominating me for three awards!

By Jen Lawson, All Round Better Me, and Travel Run Style each gave me a blogging award, which means SO much to me. I love each of their blogs and I love that they enjoy reading mine and have shared it with their own readers.

I’m totally going to cheat now, and not quite follow the rules of either the Beautiful Blogger Award or the Liebster Award, and just tell you seven random facts about me, as inspired by the blogs above 🙂

  1. The best place I’ve ever been is the Alta Crystal Resort on Mount Rainier. All of the Pacific Northwest is amazing, and this was our last stop. We’d been from Portland to the coast to Seattle to the mountains. We’d spent the day hiking and the week living out of hotels. We were SO happy to have a hot tub to soak in and a real kitchen to cook in.
  2. The next place I’m traveling to is Dallas. For a Garth Brooks concert with clients. Have I mentioned I’m not a country music fan? But this should be an experience, a country music concert in Texas!
  3. My guiltiest of guilty pleasures is an Oreo Cheesecake Blizzard from Dairy Queen.
  4. The habit I’d most like to break is having a couple of (often several) drinks at the end of the day. I’ve been increasingly reliant on using alcohol to relax and to shut off my brain.
  5. The best thing I’ve done this week is spend time with my family. We’re currently in temporary housing while we look for a new home, and it’s really close to my parents and my sister’s family. I love that I can just drop by or meet my sister for hot yoga.
  6. My hero is Jimmy Carter. He is even dying with grace. #myhero
  7. I am having a harder time with being 40 than I ever expected. Not being a mother, I’m not caught up in raising any children, so I’m a bit at a loss with where to place my focus these days.

I’ve been thinking a lot about budgeting and spending and investing lately, so I’d like to share with you two young financial bloggers:

From Frugal to Free: This chica has already paid off her student loans and takes advantage of every side hustle to stack away some extra $$$. I SO wish I’d been this responsible when I was her age!

Half-Banked: A woman who is giving Millennials a good name (for once!). She’s striving to save half of her take home pay.

Hope you enjoy reading these blogs from two inspiring young women!

Have a great weekend! Do fun things!

Get You Some: OysterBooks.com

I am assuming, if you are reading blogs here on WordPress, that you enjoy reading. Personally, I tend to be reading two or three books at a time, plus whatever fun articles my friends are sending me, plus a bajillion different blogs. Oh, and magazines, as I have a little bit of a problem saying no when my niece is selling subscriptions for her school’s fundraiser.

I do enjoy reading real, live books – from the library, from my mom, from the rare occasion I purchase one from the store. I also enjoy getting books from Amazon on my Kindle app for my iPad and my Galaxy 5. The biggest issue I have with buying books is that I am a very, very fast reader. I hate spending $20 on a book that I’m going to finish in a couple of days. I also find myself slogging through not-very-enjoyable books just because I paid for them.

Because of this, I was so, so excited to discover OysterBooks.com (no affiliate link; I just love them). For $10 a month, you have access to hundreds of thousands of books for download. You also have the option to purchase newer books, should you so desire. I know Amazon Prime has a similar offering, but Amazon already gets enough of my $$$ (and my data!).

I’ve been very pleased with the selection and the app itself. Not only can I go back and forth between a few books at a time, I can also give up on books I’m just not that into. I can read what most fits my mood in the moment. Some books I’ve really enjoyed this summer include Holding Silvan (be prepared to cry your eyes out), You Are Dying and Your World is a Lie (actually a lot more fun than it sounds), and Left Neglected. There is a great selection of books for every category, and they offer tons of recommendations. I love this: 16 Books You Say You’ve Read (But Haven’t).

I also have a monthly membership to Audible.com, which covers one audio book each month. I’ve actually just suspended it, since I have a backlog of downloads to catch up on. I’m a faster reader than I am a listener, apparently. It’s linked with my Amazon wish list, which is convenient. I love listening to books on road trips and long runs, when reading an actual book is frowned upon.

What are you reading this summer? Do you like this type of subscription service?