Thursday, February 27, 2014

Almost very bad...phew

Oh that could have been bad. Very bad.
In calculating my post payment balances, I almost forgot a withdrawal. I am not a fan of automatic withdrawal, for this very reason.

That was a serious breath holding moment.

I have gotten this far without missing a rent payment or a car payment. I did not want to mess that up now.

Some times it feels like this is never going to end. It's like climbing up a ladder with the sun in your eyes. All I can do is reach for the next rung and hope it's strong.

So on I go. Tomorrow's pay day isn't the finish line. There's two weeks until the next pay day. So what would I have done if I have messed up? I probably would have cancelled all my plans for the weekend and worked my tail off to make the money I needed. If that wasn't an option, I would have had to pay a late fee on my car payment. Wasted money.

Sigh of relief.

I'm starting to think about the next goal. Putting something in the bank. Savings.

How am I feeling? Proud? Accomplished? Mostly just tired. Ask me in a couple of months, my answer may be different. But for today, I'm ready for a break.
This process is hard enough when you have someone to go through it with you. Doing it alone is just exhausting.

But I have you. You listen so well. :-)

Discouragement isn't quitting. It's an emotion based on fatigue. Take a break. Get some sleep. Come back strong. I'm going to. I still have earning potential. This could be a very good weekend for me. Wish me luck!

And stretch

    In a conversation tonight I young woman was discussing how she didn't want to be defined by the things money could buy.
    That's what I feel like right now, that I am defined by things. For so long I was defined by the way may house looked because of the mountain of things that filled every crevice. Now I am defined by the amount of things I am selling. I am looking forward to the day when possessions don't rule my life.
    Today was productive but overwhelming. The release of possessions is the release of a burden. While it is good to be relieved, it is still a lot of work. Sometimes the stretching to a standing position is difficult.

This is no excuse to not improve our lives. By stretching our muscles become stronger and my limber to withstand life's challenges.

What can you release today?

Monday, February 24, 2014

A new attitude

Reality, saving money; paying off debts; losing weight; organizing your home are all pretty straight forward things to do. Not always easy, but there are some definite ways to do them successfully.

What is difficult is changing your attitude to make those things happen.

"I want to lose 20 pounds, but." Stop. When you hit the but, it's pretty much guaranteed you're not getting off yours.

"I want to pay off my debts, but I can't." Stop. Nope, you can't.

It's your attitude. Change your words. "I want to lose 20 pounds, but I am so tired when I get off work." Becomes. "I want to lose 20 pounds. After work isn't a good time to exercise, so I'm going to take 20 minutes of my lunch break for a walk."

Rightly placed attitudes find answers to obstacles.

For me, my goals collided nicely. By using the stuff that was cluttering my home to sell and pay off my bills; I get a clean house and no debt. Because I am staying home to save money, there is time to exercise.

I am asked quite often if I coupon. Not actively. If I see a coupon for something I'm going to buy, I'll use it. But I don't mega coupon. I have been that person that gets $200 in groceries for $30. That takes time and effort. For just me, my time is better spent on my writing.

There are terrific coupon websites and Facebook pages out there with couponing tips. The only one I offer is that you organize your coupons by the lay out of the grocery store you shop at most. It makes it faster to pick out. imho.

We all have two things to spend, time or money. If you spend the time on couponing, you will save a lot of money. Sometimes it's better to spend the money to save the time.

In the end, it's attitude.

Once it's good, you will have positive outcomes!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

One sure thing: Taxes

I have decided I need to go back to selling on a national sale sight. I am to the point that I am cleaning out my craft supplies and, I think, I can make more money there.

With that potential increase in income comes the responsibility of taxes. I don't know why this subject frightens me. What if I get it wrong? How do I do this? Should I hire someone? It becomes overwhelming and I fix that by not moving forward in business.

I've spent a little time with successful business owners; I've learned a few things.

1) Taxes are an expense of business. If you move to make money, you agree to share a portion of that with your country, state, and locality.

2) While they are an expense, they also pay for services that I can use to further my small business.

3) It is all learnable and doable by even a moderately intelligent person, such as myself.

What wrong attitudes are holding you back?

Time to let them go and move on to a better life!

One foot in front of the other

The world came to a stop for me the last few days, as my Dad has been in the hospital. Now that he's home, I have ground to make up.

Today I was given a Dove candy, the kind with messages on the wrapper. It said, "Follow your instincts."

As I sat down to write I realized that I don't know what that is right now. My first instinct was to gas up the car and go. Then sell everything and go. Then, I don't know. My mind is still whirling.

So I slowed down for a bit. Taking time to be sure that what ever I do, it's thought out.

I realized that just by putting one foot in front of another, I am following my instinct. So, I posted more on line. I'm crocheting like crazy. And I'm available for inspiration.

I can do this, and it will be great.

I had another moment of opening my hand to release something made room for something I wanted to come in. I was given an organizer for my office. These carts are $50, I would not have bought it, at least not any time soon. I was so excited, I actually squealed a little.

By having a plan, even if it's an abstract plan, I can continue to move forward in a direction that will help better define what I want for my future.

The plan is financial freedom. Each day I move a little closer to whatever that will mean.

Even if you can only see a few steps ahead, take the steps, it's moving you ahead.

I was asked what I crochet, here's a cowl and fingerless gloves I did.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A #%^$$# Moment, they happen

I'm not really sure what hit me tonight. On some level, I suppose it was a panic attack. Definitely fatigue driven. I suddenly felt the need to have noise in the room. I put on Ted Talks and streamed from one to the next.

In these moments I trust my brain, heart, soul to guide me. I picked up my sewing and listened to inspirational speakers tell me how to succeed and to hang on to creativity. Did it help? Well, it didn't hurt.

Moments like these come during the course of any long term goal. Self doubt. Fatigue. Escapism. All, very normal. I hate being normal, don't you? I want to be the super woman who forges through with an assured plan for success.

Ya, no, it's not me either.

But I didn't quit. I stopped pushing and just held my ground for a little while. Rest is important for any goal to succeed. I'll call it good.

When moments like this come for you, stop. Listen to what your still small voice is calling for. Meditate. Pray. Sing. Dance. Read. Sleep. Scream.

I gave it a little time. Then I let out 3 or 4 really good anguished screams. Not so loud as to alarm the neighbors. Then moved on with life and the plan.

I didn't make ground, but I didn't lose any either.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bartering is fun!

I love a good barter.

Today I sold some furniture for cash and made a deal for the gal to paint a frame for me in exchange for some home décor items I had. Win-win, nice deal.

I have almost made all the money I spent on my trip to Seattle. I am still floating on that cloud, so it was well worth the work I am doing for it.

There is a bitter sweetness about this process. I wish 'I hads' wonder into my brain. Regret isn't something I allow myself to linger in for too long. But I do wish I had realized sooner the burden all the stuff was putting on my mental being.

Now that the stuff is leaving, experiences are filling the space. I am so much happier in my life. I don't imagine I will ever be a true minimalist. And I'll never be a clean freak. But not having so much stuff is making room in my life and heart for experiencing the joy of the simple things around me.

Yesterday I enjoyed sitting with a friend and chatting, then a nice walk, finishing our visit with a glass of wine. I realized I was, finally, enjoying the realness of adult friendships, without the worry of "how much is that wine"? It is a beautiful feeling.

I told this young woman today, I am looking forward to hosting parties at my house. What a wonderful idea that is for me.

It has been a long process, and it's not done yet.

How am I doing?

I am happy. The rest is coming along.

Nope, You Can't

I can't...because...

I can't exercise because I can't afford a gym. I have to have that motivation.
I can't eat better because the good foods are expensive.
I can't save money because things just cost too much these days.
I can't stop ______ because of the stress in my life.
I can't...because...

I went for a wonderful walk around my little town yesterday. It was a little more than a mile. Felt really good to get out in the fresh air. Total cost $0

I had a salad with a piece of grilled check for dinner. $5ish. Hint: when cooking for one or two, buy a side salad at a local restaurant and take it home to add your own protein. If you eat salad every day, buy the fixings from the grocery store and make it yourself. But if you don't eat salad every day, this is a cost effective way to get a salad and not end up throwing away food gone bad. So, salad and add my own grilled chicken.

Things do cost a lot. How many of those things are worth your piece of mind?

I can't stop...having hobbies, good or bad ones, is a choice. There are free alternatives to hobbies or habits that are our stress trash bin. Like, for instance, the afore mentioned walk.

You can't, because you make another choice. If you want to do something but find an obstacle, do the research to find out how others worked around that obstacle.

You can. How will you?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Star for my dark nights

I splurged and made a trip to the Seattle today. Out going Washington State Poet Laureate, Kathleen Flenniken passed the baton to Elizabeth Austen.

I left with, what I felt was, plenty of time to find a parking spot. When I turned on the radio Natasha Bedingfield was belting out " is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten..." from her song "Unwritten".

Sunny weather quickly became torrential rain, slowing traffic. A missed ferry, further discouragement. More rain, why do I keep going. 20 minutes to find a parking spot. Main event over.

I went in because I figured I had come that far, I was going to meet them. It turned out there was an after party, so I had the privilege of meeting several wonderful people from the arts community, as well as the laureates.

This morning I listened to Elizabeth Austen perform one of her poems, "Go Into the Woods", it is what kept me going today. I kept saying, Go anyway. I am so glad I did.

It was such a privilege to meet both these women who share my passion for poetry. I am so glad I took the money to experience this occasion. It was so worth it.

I am inspired.

I may not have, or need, the sun and the moon; but a star every now and then is nice.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Time to Rise Up!

Two busy days haven't left much time for writing. I was privileged to attend a 1 Billion Voices Rising event last night.

It was a powerful night of true voice and letting go of things our mind is holding on to. Things that are holding us back as people from speaking up for our selves and others.

As I have been clearing the physical things out of my home, I've been clearing the mental things out of my heart and brain.

Letting go of ideas that have deep roots is nearly impossible. I have come to the realization that I will never get the roots of the weeds in my soul completely out, but I can recognize the weed and remove it before it can grow and spread it's noxious seed. I could try to kill it with toxic substances, but that kills the green grass and the flowers too. Last night I came to the realization that I will always have weeds to deal with, but I am wiser now and know how to deal with them.

That removal of guilt for not being perfect has left me with peace and energy to continue with the physical work.

Tomorrow I finish the office.

It is time to rise up!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Another day in paradise

Found a treasure today, brand name chocolate chips for $1.99.  Woot! I wasn't going to include chocolate chips in the muffins for tomorrow's bake sale. But hey, why not, at that price?

I bought milk today. I don't drink a lot of milk, so I bought the smallest amount I could. Yes, buying a larger carton is economical, but only if you're going to use it. If you're throwing milk or food away, you're not saving money.

My newest venture is to find ways to travel comfortably and affordably. There are so many options here, I'm looking forward to exploring. It's still the off season, so now is the time to enjoy lower rates. By getting a place with cooking, even if it's a microwave, I can save on food. And day trips are a great option.

I'm going to give $40 fancies a try. Going out and seeing places without spending more than $40. With my fuel efficient car, I think it's doable. We're going to find out.

It's fun to be able to think about things like this. Two more weeks and I'm free of credit card debt. Hard to believe. I don't know how I feel yet, I'll let you know when I get the $0 balance statement.

The office has taken a back seat on my sick days. The next couple of days are busy, but I'll post an update on Sunday.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Creative fun

In the line of whose life is worse then whose, my life fairs pretty well. I've had life's ups and downs. For a while I wondered how I would make it through. I forged on and, with a lot of help, I'm coming out on the other side with only minimum damage.

I have to admit, there were times when I was less than likable. While it would be nice to think that I was always up beat and smiling, it just isn't so. I'm thankful for the people that stuck with me through the hardest times. There have been plenty of apologies on my part.

One of the biggest blessings my upbringing gave me is the ability to do fun things on the cheap. While I am living it up, I'm doing so without spending a lot.

If my favorite music group is playing at a local restaurant, I will go and have coffee and a salad. If the place is packed, I let the host know that I would welcome company at my table. This always turns out well, because unfun people don't agree to that arrangement. And I don't take sales away from the establishment.

I wait for movies to come out on dvd, which happens a lot faster now.
Borrow books and movies from the library.
Enjoying local parks for walks and picnics.
Going to preview night at local theater.

All add up to being able to enjoy the things in life I want to enjoy.

Tonight I wanted ice cream. I have the money, but I really didn't want to go out. So I pulled some bananas out of the freezer and blended them up with chocolate powder and water. Yummy frappe. No extra money spent.

It hasn't always been easy to see life as good. It got mighty dark for a while. Hope for better days kept me going. It's getting better.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Vertigo and perspective

Sick day number two, compounded by a winter storm. When the barometric pressure drops it effects my ears. Vertigo becomes a concern. I have drugs for that and the medical folks gave me some distraction therapy tips. I really try not to take the meds, but some days you just have to do what you have to do.

Distraction therapy? My brain can be distracted by using another part of my brain. Smelling a strong scent, like peppermint or thinking about something else. "Don't think about it and it will go away" really works for me.

By using these techniques I was able to drop my ER visits to just one last year. There were probably two other times I should have gone in, but I recovered at home. It's slower, but it's not as expensive.

It doesn't work for everyone with vertigo, I am fortunate.

Yes, fortunate. I choose to not concentrate on what I don't have and focus on what I do. A good attitude will take you a long way.

Take some time to think about what you do have. It won't make all the troubles go away, but it will help you get through them.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sick day

Sick day. Comfort comes in chicken broth from the freezer with shredded zucchini and some corn, topped with day old bread turned croutons.

Planning makes sick days easier.

Planning makes all days easier.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Americans Spend $151 a Week on Food; the High-Income, $180

Americans Spend $151 a Week on Food; the High-Income, $180

I was reading this Gallup Poll on American food budgets and am shocked by the idea of spending $600 - $800 a month on food, in a household without children.

Those making less than $30,000 a year are spending an average of $127 a week on food.

Why? I question answers like, "I ate at home last night." Does that mean you cooked food or brought in take out?

And, does it mean that people don't have staples in their pantry, so they spend more daily?

I don't have a problem with the idea of people choosing to spend money on better quality food. I just wonder if people who are struggling financially, really know how to solve that problem. Perhaps there's not a willingness to make the sacrifices. Or perhaps it's geographical.

I heard a news report recently that this is the first time in history that the poor are obese. This is a result of bad foods being readily available at a low price. Particularly in inner cities, the cheapest foods are the worst nutritionally.

In some areas, I suppose, $127 a week doesn't sound like so much. And, at the end of a long day, picking up a $6 fast food meal doesn't sound so bad. But what if you knew you could have the same food, but better quality, for about half, with some simple planning.

It is a great case for teaching home economics in school. At least one generation is missing the knowledge of how to make a food budget and how to make it stretch. How much is a serving size, so it can be planned for properly. In order for these things to be instituted, it has to be re-introduced to society.

And we have to learn to do with out in the short term, for the benefit of the long term.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Joy in the mourning

No, I didn't misspell that.

I went to a gathering today to grieve, in a community way, the loss of some people who were special to me. Each in their own, very special, way.

As I looked around at the diverse group that had gathered there, I thought about how much love was represented. There wasn't discussion of worldly goods. Only of care and hope and joy.

Joy in having been so loved that we would take time to gather and remember.
Joy in the memories of good times.
Joy in knowing we loved them fully.

Things take time. Time that could well be spent building relationships. Relationships that will fill our hearts with joy.
When the time comes to mourn, we will have joy.
So much more precious than things.

If it doesn't bring life, light or joy into my life it is not coming into my home.
That is the measure of value.
People bring all three to me. Now I have a home that welcomes them.
Mourning comes. There is joy in it. Because of the relationships that I gave time to.

Let "it" go to hold the hand of one you love.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Moments of fun

While hanging out on Facebook today a "Like, Comment, and Share" contest came up. So I played along. And I won! A free fish and chips from Keystone Café in Coupeville. That works out quite nicely. I am headed in that direction tomorrow, I'll enjoy my free meal on the way.

I don't always play along on those, but hey, there food's really good and the service is terrific.

What I don't play is anything that costs me money. Lotto, bingo, or casinos are not in the budget. Are they bad? No. As long are you only spend what you can afford to lose. If you are rolling pennies to get enough gas to get you to work, you can't afford to lose $1. If you enjoy the game for the sake of the game, go on ahead.

For me, it's about where I want my entertainment budget to go. The average player spends $5 a week. That's $20 a month. For that I could see a movie or a play or have a pretty good meal. Choices.

Choices. Life can be fun without spending money. If you decide that it's fun.

When my children were little, I would get coupons for fast food places. This was way before the dollar menu. We would go out and find cans, redeem them, take the cash and collect on the coupons, then go back to the parks where we had found the cans and have a picnic.

I was talking with my son about that years later, he has no memory of the cans. He remembers the shmorgishborg picnics and the fun at the park, but not the work to get it. Attitude. That's what made the difference.

Tonight I enjoyed a fine dinner. It was left overs with off casts. A piece of salmon that had been frozen from an earlier meal. Hummus made in a large batch and frozen in small servings. And home made tortilla chips, from unwanted tortillas, were flavored with a little bit of parmesan cheese that most people would have thrown out.

A terrific, money saving meal. Now I will watch a movie I already own, rather than rent another. And crochet for a commission I was asked to do.

All in all, not a bad night. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014


What are you willing to give up for piece of mind or to fill a dream?

I'm selling two things today that I didn't think I would. They aren't family heirlooms, just things I like. But they aren't being used. So I'm letting them go.

A friend put a treasured item up for sale. She has a chance to fulfill a dream and she knows her loved one would want her to do this. She found a place of knowing that letting go of the thing didn't mean forgetting the love.

It got me to thinking about sacrificing things, or ideas, on the alter of a greater life.

What ideas are holding us back? What needs to be willingly sacrificed?
It seems obvious that this would be an easy thing. But our hang ups are comfortable, even the bad ones. We like the way they feel because they are familiar.

I have fought off the idea of not being good enough.
I have fought off the idea of not being able.
Now I am fighting the idea that it's enough.
It's not enough to just pay a little at a time. I can have freedom, I am willing to make the sacrifice for it.

I found myself day dreaming about taking a trip in the spring. The money will be there for me to do that. A few months ago, I wouldn't even have considered it.

Sacrifice can be painful. The rewards are worth it.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Nine Days

Nine days, that's how long it is to my next payday. I made a large payment to the debt this pay period. There isn't any play money, unless I find a way to earn it.

It would be easy to slip into woe is me syndrome. Then I remember that, while I got myself into this mess, I am getting out of it now. I have paid off over half my credit card debt. Now I am developing better money habits to not get back to this place.

Someone asked me if I was following a program. No, it's kinda like dieting, I've done it enough over the years to have a pretty good idea what works for me. 

Apparently there is a new financial guru that people are following. The main idea is to get your money in cash and put it in envelopes for each thing, and to only use cash. I have lived that way. It is very effective. It does not really flow with how I live now. Automatic withdrawal and online bill pay are also effective tools.

So which is right? Yes. They are all right, for someone. You have to find what works for you and commit to it. I have a combination approach. I use electronic sources for the bills and I use cash for the day to day expenses. So I can keep very good track of what is in the bank account by not putting a bunch of $5 charges on my card. It also makes me aware of who I turn my money over to.


It comes to that one concept. Awareness of who you are. What you are comfortable with. Where your resources are being spent. When you are at a profit or a loss. Why you aren't comfortable. How you plan on getting to a place of comfort.

Half way there, I can do this.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

No Time for Fussing

I wrote tonight's installment on a document and now am hurriedly posting it, before the gremlins eat the connection again.
The internet provider I have is having a problem tonight. I lost connection for about an hour. It came back for 30 minutes, and now it’s down again. This happens so rarely that I’m inclined to believe that someone hit something. I hope everyone’s alright.

So, what do I do when there’s no internet at home?

A)   Clean out the paper in the office to sort and/or shred

B)   Take a shower, then get a cup of coffee

C)   Make popcorn and put a movie on

D)  All of the above

I spent the time labeling the storage in the office for quick put away. And I am watching a movie, with popcorn and coffee, after taking a shower.

I called the provider and they already were working on the problem.  No amount of fussing was going to make it happen faster. It’s not like I didn’t have plenty to do.

This has gotten me to thinking about how much time I waste fussing. I could have sat here and sulked. Perhaps I could have called or texted friends to complain, or go online on my phone, resigning myself to settling.

It wouldn’t have turned my internet back on. And I don’t believe I would feel better.

So, the shredder is humming. The room is cleaner. And the popcorn is delicious.

As bonus rewards, I am relaxed and ready for sleep and I found a folder with poetry I wrote over 20 years ago. Perhaps we’ll revisit some of those.

Fussing, whatever that means for you, really helps nothing. I am not advocating not expressing how you feel. What I am suggesting is that the way you do this is positive. When faced with an obstacle, you be flexible enough to go in another direction.  


This has also given me time to think about a poem for a fun, new website that my brilliant friend, Katie Woodzick, and I are pouring our creative spirits into,

Come throw one back with us.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Process or IS THIS EVER GOING TO END? ahem, I'm fine.

Some days are so good. I look around and see how far I've come. Other days I want to back a dumpster up to the house and go live in my car. Right now, I'm somewhere in between.

"There never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do, once you find them." Jim Croce crooned.

I have found what I want to do, but stuff is slowing me down.

Time to take my own advise. I took a few deep, cleansing breaths; then I got to work.

First I made a list. Not a list maker? Give it try, maybe you've changed since the last time you tried.
I didn't think much about it, just started writing to do's. Then I went down the list.

No time was spent prioritizing or deciding, just started at the top and worked my way down.

It worked splendidly.

Today's writing time, check.
Call Dad, check
Put library books with bag to take with me tomorrow, check
Clean office...ugh...oh yeah. the office, check

I didn't touch the place yesterday, but today I defined the space. Office. Not exercise room. No leaving the hand weights just in case I want to use them. Being realistic here. I'm not going to stop writing for that. The exercise equipment will go to the place it belongs. If I want to work out and write, I'll go to them.
Also thinking about what I need for the room. By making a list, I can know what I need and try to buy them at a bargain.
Then I removed any large pieces that didn't add value to the space.
Next, I started at the door and worked from the right.
Swept the floor.
Gave thought to what I wanted the room to look like.
And posted five items for sale on line.

It is already nicer. I spent about 30 minutes on it today. Not too shabby. Nothing took a lot of thought.
I am thinking about what I want that space to be used for and how I want to feel when I walk into it. Peaceful, inspiring, easy to think in, easy to function in.
And if all five things sell for asking price, $110 dollars. I'll tuck some of that away for things I need for the room. I want it to be right, so I'm patient to find the right pieces.
I'll let you know how it goes.
It's all part of the process. Breathe

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks!

It has been a day for legacy. I attended the placing of a memorial leaf today. A dear friend, my former boss passed away a few months ago. So on this, her birthday, we gathered to honor and remember this amazing woman.

As people told stories about her there was a realization of what we had lost. More than that was knowing what we had been given.

There were stories of plants and books and recipes. Greater than those were times of great encouragement and belief in each person. Her lack of anger, not that she didn't get up set but that she didn't get angry.

What am I leaving for a legacy?

Tonight the Seattle Seahawks handily won the Super Bowl. They leave a legacy of hard work and perseverance. Long after the rings tarnish and the money's gone, it is their will to win that will be remembered.

A gentleman at the party I was at said, "Do not play dirty. The Seahawks do not want to win but have an asterisk next to the game, referring to how they won dirty."

They played fair and they played clean, as did the Denver Broncos.

That is a legacy, win or lose, to be proud of.

I want a legacy to be proud of. Not one filled with debt. Not a house full of stuff that will mean nothing to anyone when I'm gone. Not a reputation for using people or playing dirty.

A legacy of love, supporting others, working hard to achieve my goals. This is a legacy I would be proud of.


I don't usually follow football, but when the home team is in the Super Bowl, heck ya!

Good luck Gentlemen, may the best commercial win!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

On a different note

I wanted this to be it's own post.

Katie Woodzick and I are teaming up to produce a new website. With a shot glass collection as incentive, we are taking turns writing poetry for our new website:

It will be fun, lively, poignant, and clever. We hope you enjoy it. CHEERS!

At time to sell and a time to give away

There is a time under heaven for everything.

I have been selling online for a couple of years. This process has been tedious and, sometimes, annoying. It has also, however, been fruitful and full filling. There have been times when I have been all in to it, and times when I have sat and cried because I'm so sick of it.

It has served a great purpose. I haven't made a lot of money at it, but it has provided enough to get me by. And I've made terrific friends.

As the truly unnecessary is clearing away, I am finding more time to enjoy my old crafting hobbies. Finishing projects if very satisfying. It also serves to continue to clean out the house.

The one room that is really getting me is the office. What is it about this space that is so daunting? I have a vision for the room. I have the primary pieces to complete it. When I go to work in that room I feel nothing but drudgery. Perhaps it's all that paper. Or perhaps what it represents. What ever it is, it's time has come. This week I am committed to making the office an organized, workable, enjoyable space. It looked so nice just a few months ago, then I gave away a piece of furniture and it hasn't been nice since then. Step one, post a before picture here so there is incentive to succeed.

Organization is important to keeping a budget. Miss place a bill, add late fees. Get a gift card, it expires before you can find it again. Age old story.

The first month of this great freedom trip is finished. I've had a few down days. Spent a little more than I planned, but not nearly what I was spending. February gets a little busier. There are a few things I want to do that take money. So, as much as I'm ready to pack things off to the thrift, back to work on the sales boards I go. That doesn't mean I'm off the hook for the office.
So here's the before:

The Walls are Closing In

The walls will close in
If you sit too long
Pushing against you
Like a trash compactor
Making you as small
And condensed as it can
So that you take up as
Little space as possible
Until there is no air
or water
or life

the strings
That bind you
To one size in one box
Stand up and stretch your arms
Tuck your chin into your chest
Push the walls back
Like a super human being
Saving yourself from certain demise
Throw your head back and scream
I Am Strong!
I Will Live!