Sky, the: (reach for it)

A rainbow in the cloudy sky

I’m going to be doing the Blog All About It blog challenge by herding cats & burning soup. If you like to blog, it’s not too late to start!


I am going to shamelessly steal this blog prompt (so I can keep the streak going) and use it for my own nefarious purposes. I could talk about pretty clouds or rainbows (see the lovely featured image), but what I really wanted to talk about for a moment was “reaching for the sky.” (I wanted to find another way to phrase it, but all the ideas I had didn’t quite fit, so we’re sticking with this one.)

In my last post I talked about impulse spending, more or less. I heard about a conference, I immediately wanted to go, and I wanted to buy the most expensive VIP ticket because I have no idea why – it’s out of my budget and my comfort zone.

But I got it in my head, so okay. I’ve done this before. I’ll tell myself, “If I could earn $X by Y date, then I’ll do it.”

I have never once earned $X by Y date, nor even come close to even attempting it after I decided to.

So, as is my habit, I said to myself, “Self, give yourself 3 weeks to earn half the ticket price. If you can raise the $900 by August 21st, then get that damn VIP ticket. Earning so much so fast will prove to you that it can be done, and earning the rest of the money will be easy before the conference date arrives. And if you don’t earn the $900, get the cheapest ticket available anyway. It sounds like a really great opportunity, and you wouldn’t have to pay for a hotel because there is family nearby to couch surf with.”

Much to my surprise, I started finding some of the money. I asked my place of business to pay me for some furniture they’d offered to pay me for a year ago, but that I hadn’t taken action on, and got more than I asked for. I fulfilled some surveys and offers on Swagbucks (referral link – ask me for tips if you join) and was able to cash out another good chunk, and combine it with other previously cashed out chunks.

So far, I have gotten more than 1/3 of the way to my August 21st goal.

Oh. My. Goodness. I honestly can’t believe this is working.

But it is. I’m considering trying out being a driver for a meal delivery service to earn another 1/6 of the goal. I’m writing again because it’s an absolute fact that my words earn money, and the more words that are out there, the more money I will earn. Now, being a driver for the meal delivery service won’t earn the entire amount, and the words aren’t likely to generate that much so quickly.

The point isn’t that they’ll earn quickly, the point is that they’re out of my comfort zone. Miles outside.

I went ahead the moment I decided to try to earn the funds and requested the time off of work. I emailed the family member to ask if they’ll be in town, ensuring there’s someone who will ask how I’m doing, do I have tickets yet, etc. I told my husband, my kids, and my parents that I’m doing this thing, and while there is some confusion as to how I’m going to earn so much so quickly (on my part as well as theirs), everyone is on board. One of my parents may even come with me to spend time with the family I’ll be staying with when I go.

I am reaching for the sky.

Create, Clean, Connect

My weekend was nice enough, although hot and humid enough that wearing a damn t-shirt so I could be presentable out of the house was enough to make me melt. This is not my favorite weather, and I really hope Summer moderates itself soon.

Last week I watched a video on YouTube by MuchelleB about doing a mid-year review. I am familiar with such things around the end of the year but seeing everyone post about how amazing the first half of 2019 was for them, I was jealous.

Yep. I don’t particularly have the cares in me to improve on my own, but I apparently have enough cares to compete.

So I did the review, but I did it quickly. Maybe I half-assed it, but half-assed is better than no-assed right now. I’m kind of glad I can recognize that.

After the “figure out what you want” portion, I did the audit/review, but I’ll be honest. I got a hell of a lot more out of the “what do I want” bit, and the review had negligible benefits. What I have is three things that I want in my life, and I know there are a zillion ways to get these things, and so I am not so fluffed about not having a plan, because what I really have is a backup.

When I’m sad, or depressed, or in a dark place with no sign of light, I have three options.

I can Create,

For some reason I really want to paint lately, and that’s probably due to the flood of abstract art videos on my YouTube home page. I also want to write, because writing can help pay bills, and I know that when I’m writing I get more creative and that feels good.

You know, eventually.

I could also knit, cross stitch, art journal, or try to make something from the abundance of art supplies I keep in the house that I’ll probably never use. Whatever.

I just know creating makes me feel better. So I can do that.

I can Connect,

And by “connect” I mean “do things with people I like.” I don’t especially like to connect if I’m honest. I like to skulk in my space and not talk to people or interact. But I haul myself out of the house once a week to hang with friends, and these friends (and even a coworker) keep inviting me out to Things that would involve even more people.

Even though I don’t like connecting (and I have a real problem with spaces, occasions, and crowds I’m unfamiliar with), I know it’s good for me. It’s kind of like walking. I know I should do more of it For My Own Good, but it’s not always fun until you’re there or it’s over.

Anyway.

and I can Clean.

It’s just recently that I’ve put the dots together that clutter in my space adds anxiety, sadness, dark clouds of doom, and general unease to my life. There is so much that needs cleaning, tidying, uncluttering, etc in my home that it is absolutely overwhelming. But if I’m wallowing in some dark space, cleaning something else might not exactly help that moment, but it will help Future Nicki.

The garage was like that. What kind of immediate benefit did it have? I was tired at the end, sweaty, dirty, but the pictures were nice. But the real benefit is that now I think about the garage and I’m not afraid to go in there. I’m not afraid that there are things rotting inside. I don’t sweat about not being able to reach the bicycles that aren’t even put together, or the air compressor that I adopted from my parents when they moved getting ruined because it’s sitting next to spilled oil.

Because now the bikes are put back together, and the air compressor is A) easy to reach, B) near an outlet, and C) off the floor. All the rotting cardboard boxes have been removed, and the remaining boxes are easy to reach and off the ground. There’s nothing in there (dead shelving units) that needs to be taken to the trash (because the trash already picked them up).

Future Nicki is happy.

So that’s the result. I have Words for the rest of the year, Words I really shouldn’t tattoo on myself but kind of want to (don’t worry, I realize how bad of an idea that is), Words I will try to put it absolutely everywhere else so I kind of have to simmer in it (ooh, I have Sharpies).

Many thanks to MuchelleB for the timely information on this, because otherwise I might not have pulled my shit together enough for it. If you’re into some minimalist motivation that’s not going to make you tear your hair out or shove seriously misinformed information down your throat, so far, MuchelleB is doing pretty well and you may want to give her a shot.

150 oz

Mason jar of water with ice on a table in the sunlight falling through a paned glass window

I don’t know if I told this story yet, so here I go from scratch.

So, I was listening to Girl, Wash Your Face, and Rachel Hollis (someone I’ve never heard of before being assaulted by her face as a recommendation after I listened to some Brené Brown) told me that I should be drinking half my weight in ounces of water every day.

Dude. That’s a lot of water.

And so I was like – Hell, I know I’m not drinking enough. I remember from years and years ago when a woman on Oprah saying your pee should be just the slightest bit yellow if you’re drinking enough, and that’s not the shade I get. So why not give it a shot?

150 oz of water is 5 of the 32oz bottles I have at home. It’s almost 8 of the 20oz bottles I have at work.

IT’S A LOT OF WATER.

When I drink a lot of water, it doesn’t take long for it to start tasting bad. I suppose it’s like anything you eat a lot of – at some point, it just gets disgusting, no matter how much you loved it to start with. And so not only am I trying to drink what feels like a sinking boatload of water, but I also have to find a way to make it palatable all the way through, because there’s no way I’m getting 150 oz down of just the regular stuff.

An additional issue has been an inability on my part to even manage to consume that much water in a day. My first day I got 64 oz, and actually felt like I couldn’t drink another drop. The second day I got into my 3rd 32 oz bottle, but not much further. I think the third day I just forgot to try.

I’ve managed to wrangle the taste thing, I believe. At least I’m trying. I’ve found that if I mix up my plain water with the fruit-infused water the office makes, a packet of Emergen-C (because my child has the flu and I’m determined not to get sick), or a Crystal Lite Lemonade packet, I have enough variety to get through more water without getting squicked out by the taste.

And this week I realized that getting 90 oz in isn’t so hard anymore. I can get about 60 oz in before lunch, and I think if I push that I can get to almost 80 by noon. That’d be a good start, because I really start to slow down how much I drink once I’m at home. The more I can fit in at the office, the better.

So I’m making progress. The more I drink, the easier it is to get it in. And with flavored water still counting as water, the taste is managed as well.

My only problem now is how often I have to pee.

Every 30-45 minutes. I should really start keeping track.

It’s a bit ridiculous.

Oh, and now you know about how much I weigh. 😛

Photo by Ethan Sykes on Unsplash

April Challenges

There are a variety of 30-day challenges in April, and I’m not taking part in any of them. But a couple of them have been fun for me in the past, and you have a couple of days to sign up for them still, so I thought I’d tell you about them.

Camp NaNoWriMo

If you’ve done National Novel Writing Month in November, this is similar except it’s in April, you set your own goal, and you have cabins instead of forums. The Camp NaNo site says:

Complete a writing project in a month

Track your progress

Get online support

Free to participants

100% fun

Here’s the link to their site. You should totally do this thing.

Blogging from A to Z

This one is fun, too. If you have a blog and you want more visitors and want to find new blogs, you should do this blog hop. I know two of the hosts, and they put a lot of effort into making this a quality event. Their website says the following:

It all began with my post from Saturday March 27, 2010 when I set forth a challenge to all bloggers for the month of April.   Can you post every day except Sundays during this month?  And to up the bar, can you blog thematically from A to Z?

A to Z Blog

So the bonus to this challenge is that you can combine this challenge with the one before. What? Yes, that’s totally a thing. I’ve done it, and I’ve published the two books that came from it. Lots of people have.

Here’s the link to their site. You should totally do this thing, too.

Etc

I found a few other challenges to share, ones that I haven’t participated in before. But who doesn’t love a little guided creativity in their lives? In no particular order…

A half-year of monthly challenges at your fingertips!

I don’t know if it’s Insta or Gram, but here’s one for that one.

I love photo challenges. I found another.

Want to make up your own challenge? Dip your toes into this idea pool.

My fear of failure keeps me from declaring dedication to 30-days of doing anything right now, but who knows. If it ends up I do manage something daily, maybe I’ll mention it from time to time.

Go. Find your challenge.