Watching… birds on my patio. So far the squirrels haven’t discovered my bird seed, and I’m hoping it stays that way.
Enjoying… work. I know, an unusual thing to enjoy, but I am. This time last year I was drowning in my old job. While I loved my company and coworkers, the work I was doing required long, meeting-filled days and left me working late almost every night just to catch up. I was constantly anxious and didn’t slept well. Those experiences were hard, but has made me so thankful for the job I have now and the peace I feel coming to work every day.
Planning… blog posts on here. Like I mentioned last Friday, I am having a little blog identity crisis and want to sit down and do some actual planning and goal-setting for this little corner of the Internet.
Excited for… Asheville! Greensboro! St. Augustine! Boone! – all trips coming up in the next two months.
Reading… (or rather just read) Bread and Wine. I finished it in two days, and now I’m sad it’s over.
Cooking… turkey burgers tonight. Who wants to come over for dinner?
I’ve always loved snow. I love light flurries, I love heavy blizzards. I love when you have nowhere to go and can watch the snow fall from your window. Growing up, my dad would wake me up in the middle of the night so we could be the first ones to experience the white untouched grounds. I loved snow so much I decided to spend four years of college with it in the NC mountains.
My love for snow, however, ended in 2010.
Some of you may remember the Mid-Atlantic snow attack in the winter of 2009-2010. In fact, some of you experienced those unsettling few weeks. The weeks where snow billowed from the sky for days, wind was fierce, and a couple of feet of snow remained on the dirty streets months afterwards. These three storms were affectionately called Snowpocalypse, Snowmaggedon, and Snowverkill. The very last one, Snowverkill, was one of the worst weeks of my life: I was home alone, out of power, got food poisoning, and was severely dehydrated. I had never felt so alone and helpful. I hated snow after that miserable experience.
But, just like any relationship, a little time can do wonders for hurt feelings.
After two years, I am finally ready to love snow again. But where is it this year? I have yet to see one flurry this winter, and it seems to be a trend across America.
Please don’t stay away too long. Can you visit at least once before spring’s arrival?
Oh, hello Wednesday! It’s nice to see you again so soon.
I can always measure how busy life is when I compare it to the cleanliness of my kitchen. It’s been unusually clean, which means we have been eating out or out of town or merely grabbing whatever we can find that doesn’t require any cookware.
Another side effect of a busy life is seen in my lack of substantial blog posts. Like this one, my friends. I had such great intentions of writing about my weekend trip to the mountains or sharing how much I give away each month or updating another video. But alas, you probably won’t see anything like that this week.
So now I will stop rambling and leave you with one of my many quotes I have found via Pinterest:
How is your week going? When you are busy, what is the first thing to go in your life?
A few weeks ago I finished The Hunger Games trilogy. I promise I won’t give away any spoilers, but I do have a few things to say about this book.
First off, don’t be fooled by the Young Adult label—it’s actually quite mature and is a page-turner at any age and I recommend it to anyone as a great read. The book is set in the future. America has collapsed in war and the country of Panem is divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. In order to keep the power and reinforce its reign over the districts, the extravagant Capitol hosts a “Hunger Games” each year where two teenagers from each district are selected by lottery to fight to the death. It is not just a way for the Capitol to remain in power, but it is a form of entertainment to them. They turn it into a sport, wagering on who will win and adding terrible twists for entertainment.
I was appalled with the plot and immediately hated the Capitol. And then, as I began to meet characters from the Capitol, I became extremely uncomfortable with how similar it sounded like America.
For example, the Capitol was ignorant and apathetic of the way the districts live in poverty to supply the food, textiles, and coal that the Captiol runs on, similar to the way we are apathetic to the poverty of the countries that supply our resources. They indulged in every luxury and even had a pill that would allow you to eat as much as you wanted, without worry of weight loss. They became immune to watching children killed on TV—we legalize and accept abortion, all in the name of convenience. The Capitol would tweak the weather and elements inside the Hunger Games in order to create more drama and excitement for the viewers. Sounds very similar to reality TV shows today—the more disturbing, dramatic and frightening, the higher the ratings.
How often do we consider the nations who supply us with so many resources? I rarely do. And even though individuals volunteer for reality TV shows, how often are these people exploited and used by producers, just for a good laugh? How often do we consider the lives of the babies we kill in abortions? Are we so consumed with our own cushy interests that we exploit others, all in the name of entertainment and luxury?
I don’t mean to get political or controversial, and I don’t mean to say that we are turning into the Capitol–democracy is too engrained in our nature. All I know is as I was reading, I suddenly became very embarrassed by the similarities.
Has anyone else read the Hunger Games series? What did you think about the book?
If there is one thing I have learned in the last few years about finance, it’s that gaining wealth and financial security is a long, arduous road. It’s like the childhood game I used to play, Chutes and Ladders. You take little steps forward, only to find yourself on the next turn sliding down, further from your goals. And isn’t it unfair that the ladders advance you instead of the chutes? It’s way easier to slide than it is to climb a ladder.
Unfortunately the real game of life is no different from my childhood game. For example, my life at the moment. After J and I got married, we received monetary gifts (ladder), saved money from our wedding budget (ladder), only to realize three weeks into our marriage that we needed to replace my car (chute).
Since both of us had old cars (1994 & 1996), we decided to buy a newer, more expensive car that should last for the next 15 years, and J would use his car only for work and back. We took out a small loan ($4,000) and paid the rest in cash on a 2009 Mazda3. I absolutely hate debt and it took a lot of calculating, but we figured that we could pay it off by January and keep our $5,000 emergency fund stable.
Fast forward to this week, a month after buying our Mazda. We had just put together our grand plan to pay off our loan and start saving more in our emergency fund, when J’s car broke down. And the real kicker: it will cost $1,600 to fix (chute). At this point, we would rather invest that money into a newer, more reliable car, but it’s still money that we don’t want to part with even if we fix it.
Life is just unfair sometimes, just like the game of Chutes and Ladders, where the steps are chosen by a dice. Cars break down when you need them. People who do less work seem to get the promotions. Emergencies happen. But the best thing to do in these situations is acknowledge that it sucks, see how far you’ve come since you started the game, and quickly move on. Because after you slide down a chute, there’s usually a ladder coming up. And the only way to win the game is to keep playing.
I’ve sat down approximately twelve times in the past few days to write a post for this week. I started to write a post about the wedding, but I don’t have the energy to share all the fabulous details yet, so I deleted it. I started to write about our new car, but then I feel guilty for buying a new car three weeks into our marriage (even though we desperately needed it), so I deleted it. I started to write about our joint checking account, but this month is such a terrible reflection our budget as we are out of town for every weekend, so I deleted it.
So this is what you get: a mediocre post on how inadequate this blog makes me feel.
In all honesty, I am just plain exhausted. As soon as I felt semi-recovered from being The Bride, my sister got married this past weekend and now I find myself recovering from as The Matron of Honor. And we still have three weddings, one conference, and two weeks of guests in our apartment from now until July. But it’s all good things, and that’s why I’m frustrated with being so tired all the time. I wish I had more energy for all of these fun festivities! You would think a whole week on a Mexican honeymoon would do it, but of course the entire day of travel back to the States wore me out and left me back at square one.
I’m also frustrated with this blog. I need to do so many things to give it a boost, like change the layout, organize the categories, and for goodness sake update that About page! Perhaps I’ll have the time this summer? Maybe.
Thankfully tonight J and I have absolutely nothing–the first time all week–and we plan to do nothing but eat leftovers, watch hours of TV and go to bed early. One of my favorite sites is little things and Tuesday’s post may have been one of my favorites:
That’s exactly what I plan to do in six hours and counting.
Hope you all have a fabulous Thursday. Thank you for your patience as I (attempt) to gain my energy back. :)