Here in lovely wintery Midwest, we’ve recently gone from almost 2 feet of snow with a -50 windchill to a heatwave of almost 40 degrees, all a week’s time. Kind of manic. I can’t remember the last time we closed because it was just too cold. Snow days due to bad roads sure. But on those super cold days, literally, no one was working–college campuses, garbage collection, schools, were all shut down. I heard we were even colder than Antarctica those really cold days. Weird.
Anyway the time off has given me some time to get back to my neglected blog. I’ll be honest. It’s been hard to give it my full attention because of work and family obligations. But I can’t keep using that excuse. Either blog or don’t. So I’m back at it. As I’ve thought more about the process of blogging, I realized that a blogger is interesting because of who they are. Sure you will get to know me through posts, but it might also make sense to simply tell you some things about myself. I found a really great post from Kotryna Bass called 30 Blog Post Ideas for Beginners, which is where I’m going to start. Thanks, Kotryna. I’ve already answered the first two questions which were about why a blog, and what my focus is.
The third question is this. What 5 facts should people know about me? So here goes…
I have a day job. Full time. I’m a special ed teacher at a middle school. When I first conceived of this blog, I wanted to keep my work completely out of it, but I think that’s disingenuous because it’s such a large part of my day and who I am right now. My own kids are first and foremost obviously, but middle school kids with challenges are a part of my everyday thoughts too. Those thoughts can’t help but filter into my writing. So full disclosure there. I teach. Someday I may choose to write a memoir or create a teacher related blog but right now I have other plans.
Besides, I won’t always be teaching and I have other things that are important to me. Other interests that I am working on making more time for; DIYing, upcycling, scrapbooking and other paper art and of course writing for this blog. Maybe even doing some things yet unknown. Traveling, car rebuilds, who knows. I’m kind of excited to think of what I can do, what my husband and I can do with the time when both of us are free from the daily grind of getting up and getting to work.
Other people fill up their free time with social media, I prefer to read. As a kid, I was an avid reader, but I fell off the wagon when I got busy with work and family. It’s a natural response for those “unimportant” activities to fall away but then we can feel empty. I’ve read that the things you did as a kid in your unfettered free time are those things that are your truest passions. So in the past few years, I’ve recovered my reading mojo and I’m happier for it.
How much reading do I do? I don’t really keep track, but if I sit and think about it logically, I probably log a couple hours a day on average. It’s how I start and end my day, and audiobooks work for my long commute or for tedious chores. Likely because I’m so introverted and my day is demanding, nothing is better than the solitude I can get with a book, whether it’s fiction or something I’m learning from. I read enough that I am reasonably certain that I will post more about this topic.
I love to think about food and cooking. Food porn my husband calls it. Another passion that I didn’t think was one for a long time. I kept thinking a passion needed to be something big and out there like traveling the world or bungee jumping. But here’s what I’ve learned; what you love is simply what you love and that is all. Don’t make comparisons. So, I do all the things related to food and cooking that matter to me; reading books on styles of eating, finding recipes, menu planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. I’ve learned a lot about food and cooking which helps me think about the day to day needs of my own family. So how I spend time here is at least a little bit helpful for those at my house. Plus hot fudge sauce is one the best recipes I’ve ever found. Ask my kids.
I’m a recovering shopaholic and abundance lover. I have an urge to buy that is strong. If I bought things at the best possible price I figured that made it a good thing. I’m smarter now, but that pull “to buy” is strong in me. Like the force is for Luke Skywalker. I am not buying so many things now, but it’s real work. When I’m staring at that item that is not on the list, I have to force myself to recognize need vs want-and put it back. I have my small victories. My new mantra with shopping has become: We all have more than enough things-stuff to wear, stuff to eat, stuff to use/enjoy. All we really need is replacements.
I am also getting better at filing circulars and emails about sales exactly where they belong–in the trash! I could just unsubscribe, but then I don’t get the practice of saying no no no no no, which weirdly I kind of like. Some others just make sure they don’t have access. Maybe I’ll get to that point too, but I’m not there yet. And another side effect of NOT buying? I feel more in control of the money. I said no to that now, so I can say yes to some future goal later–a rental property, a family trip or retirement savings.
I have a DIY mentality. My husband too. We both feel if we can do it ourselves, we should. We don’t do everything, but we can do a wide variety of things. Our TV stand was falling apart, so Jeff made us an entertainment center out of an old beat up dresser. He’s pretty into upcycling items and his interests change. Turning a suitcase or a toolbox into a speaker, or turning a whisky bottle into a lamp are also things he’s done. Its pretty fun to see what he comes up with. I and the girls tend to do more indoor stuff; art for gifts, scratch cooking or functional day to day stuff like laundry soap, lotion bars for the shower or doing our own manicures and hair coloring.
When we do a project ourselves, there’s a different kind of feeling than something you buy from the store. We can look back and feel pride in the accomplishment, a self satisfaction that we did it. How much effort went in. How much we had to work at it. The artwork, the furniture, the upcycled stuff, the food are all around us every day. When you live in a space that’s surrounded by these things you DIY, it just feels like it’s more your space somehow. That entertainment center my husband worked on? I can buy one that looks like it maybe–but it won’t feel like it. And that’s what I really like about what we create. The energy and the story. We’ll share quite a few of the things we’ve created on the blog too.
That’s all I’ve got for today folks. I hope that gives you a little bit insight about how I think and what’s important to me. Next post? Blogging goals for the month of February.