My Dad’s best advice

I have a great relationship with my dad. We are pretty much the same person (though I do have a bit of my mom sprinkled in, too. I’m just a walking paradox.) Even in my angsty teenage years, I would sit and talk with him for hours. We’re not big phone talkers, but get us in a room together, and we’re going to hash out life, we’re gonna try to solve the world’s problems, we’ll probably yell a bit (we don’t exactly agree on how to solve everything), and we’ll agree in the end that the best thing to do is spread love wherever you are. He’s a good guy.

In honor of Father’s Day, I thought I’d share some of my dad’s best advice to me.

You take who you are with you. For a good chunk of my life, I tried to run away from myself. Like, literally– hopping states, traveling places, and guess what– I was still me. This was my dad’s way of saying the only thing that’s gonna change me is me, not an alternate location.

You know, you don’t have to go to college.  This was the first time anyone had said this to me, the summer after my senior year of high school. I did go to college (two of them), but this felt like the first time someone acknowledged my autonomy.

The worst day working for yourself is better than the best day working for someone else. My dad’s an entrepreneur– he’s been a general contractor in his own business since before I was alive. I watched him set his own schedule, work HARD, and take time to spend with us. He set a good example, and ultimately, I decided I wanted what he had– freedom. Let me tell you, watching someone live that life— it looks good. I’m excited to start spending my energy on MY dream instead of someone else’s.

What great dad advice have you received, from your dad or a father-figure?

Happy Father’s Day!

Friday Five- 010

Wow. What a heavy week. Just me? I don’t think so. It’s been… rough. I wanted to skip around and have sunshine and rainbows here for you. But I think my first few links have got to be the tough ones. We gotta face some things head on, you know?

  1. Our Mental Healthcare system is broken. We’ve all known it for a long time. Man, I hope someday we stop talking and start doing.
  2. Oh good. We’re relying on the UN to tell us we’re flaunting human rights. This is good. This is fine. (spoiler: this is not fine)
  3. Okay. That’s all I can handle heavy-wise this week. I need to dive deep into something frothy and light– Here’s one about SaTC’s 20th anniversary. They’ve reimagined the 4’s apartments for 2018. They’re pretty spot-on. Missing any personal touches, but of course, these are just stylings. Also, I’m so over the minimalist trend. But I guess I’m just a maximalist at heart.
  4. So as a massage therapist (shameless plug!), I experience a lot of joint pain or at least discomfort. I’ve been off of my collagen regimen for a bit, but I’m definitely thinking about going back to it. Here’s a ponderence on collagen. Here’s the (very non-vegan) supplement I’ve used in the past and plan on buying again. 
  5. Instagram book clubs?! Why didn’t I think of that?! I’m going to be following some new Insta accounts and maybe trying to read along!

Take it easy this weekend, all! We all need a little love and care and tenderness. Maybe spread it around a bit if you can.

Young Jane Young

Aviva Grossman, a college co-ed and aspiring political force, has an affair. With the man whose campaign she’s interning for.

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Aviva, now unhireable, changes her name, her occupation, and moves across the country. In Young Jane Young, we see the fallout of the affair in the lives of each of the four women whose lives are affected– Aviva’s, her mother’s, the politician’s wife, and Aviva’s young daughter.

Aviva (now Jane Young) knows it’s unfair. It wasn’t just her affair– he was involved, too. But she’s dealt with the repercussions while he got to carry on with his life and political career.

Rachel, Aviva’s mother, loses her daughter and own philandering husband in the aftermath of the affair coming to light.

Embeth, the wife, really loves her husband. She doesn’t much mind that she was cheated on, just that it was public. Plus, she has her cancer to worry about.

Ruby is Aviva’s daughter. She is her mother’s assistant in the wedding planning business and believes that her biological father is dead.

Jane Young finally decides to dip her toe back into politics– and the four lives finally collide.

I’m rating this one 3.5/5 stars. I loved the varying narratives, felt for each of the women, and enjoyed not letting another male politician skate away– this time her story is heard. And, of course, I dig that. The characters were likeable, relatable, and fun. I only felt that the ending was a bit abrupt– but maybe only because I wanted the narrative to go on.

What I learned this Spring- March-May 2018

So if you’re not familiar, Emily P. Freeman has this thing where she quarterly reflects on things she’s learned. She invites others to join her, so this is my first time sharing a list!

  1. Owning a home is HARD
    I’ve struggled with the discipline of mowing this spring. Additionally, animals seem to like burrowing under my house and I’ve caught a groundhog AND a possum in my livetrap– YUCK.
    BUT– I love my beautiful little cottage. This spring, I was surprised by all the flowers that bloomed, loved watching green take over the yard, and me and the kitties have enjoyed the front porch and our very own outside space immensely.
  2. There are 29,000 children in Indiana in the foster care system.
    This speaks for itself. If your heart tugs at you on this, just look into an info session. I finally did, and I’m so glad.
  3. Being an Auntie is, like, the best thing ever. 
    I’ve been an aunt for one month, officially. So far it’s the best thing ever and she’s the cutest and most smart baby ever and you can’t tell me otherwise. Also she’s really cuddly.
  4. I’m tired of pouring my energy into someone else’s dream.
    So– I’m quitting my office job. I’m ramping up in massage and LOVING it. I’m hoping to delve more into writing and maybe this space will be part of that.
  5. Bullet Journals are the perfect way to keep track of things for me.
    I’m already using my phone less and writing things down more. It’s how I’ve always wanted to live my life, I just didn’t have the system in place. So now I’ve just co-opted this system and made it into what I need it to be. It’s seriously a dream come true. Does that sound weird? Whatever. I’m a journal nerd.
  6. 30 isn’t so bad.
    I’ve really only been 30 about a week. In the end, it was just another day. But I’m living my life, and doing things on my terms more and more. I have always felt I was a late bloomer, but I love this season of slow blooming. I’m really digging this life thing.
  7. This combination of wisdom: “There are no original ideas”/ “You don’t have to be perfect, just fucking do things”
    The second quote is from Georgia Hardstark. Anyways, these both encouraged me to just DO THE DAMN THING (Becca K, anyone??)
    It’s been a relief to just start things, because so long I was so afraid to fail that I never even got started. Now I feel okay enough with myself (and with failure?) that I’m okay to try. Or to make things. And even to LIKE the things I’m doing, even if they’re not as good as someone else’s. It’s all good.

Friday Five– 009

What a hot, sticky week! It started with my 30th birthday (yay!) and ended with us in JUNE! Crazy how fast things are flying by. Stick around, summer. But maybe a couple of degrees cooler? So I can leave the house a time or two?

  1. Tomorrow, you should sleep in. It’s good for your health.
  2. Take a break– even a quick one. See the theme I’m going with? We’re getting older, it’s time to learn the art of chilling. I’m getting older– but I can lay around like a boss! (do we still say “like a boss”? is this what it is to get old?)
  3.  Got your money on your mind like I do? I’m changing careers and saving up for some awesome trips– it’s all going to be do-able, but it’s been on my mind a lot. What I am a newbie on, though, is investments. I haven’t done any investments since my mom put money in CDs at the bank for me– it served me well, back when they were actually getting good interest. Some resources for getting started wouldn’t hurt.
  4. Do people change? I definitely think they can, but the reason can never be another person (if you want it to stick). You gotta do it for you. That’s my opinion, anyways.
  5. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with a floral obsession. Seriously, stick a flower on it and I will wear it or stick it in my house. And, despite what this article says– there is never too much floral. So there.

Happy weekend, all! Also, if anyone is free to mow my yard– I have a beer with your  name on it! 

Friday Five- 008

This week has been lazy and hazy. I’ve welcomed the slow pace, though I may have had more things to do than actually got done. Like mowing my yard, for instance…

  1. May is Foster Care Awareness Month. I know we’re at the end of the month, but it’s never to late to put a bug in someone’s ear. Anyways, this is a topic that is near and dear to my heart (Spoiler Alert: stay tuned in the next year for some brand new adventures…)
  2. I want these earrings. I just do. Because they’re pretty, and massage, and hands and stuff. I don’t know. They’re beautiful and I love them. Also follow her on instagram.
  3. I’m turning 30 on Monday, and Katie puts into words everything that I’m feeling— especially since I’m also leaving my stable, office job.
  4. I’m currently reading Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin. It’s been sitting in my to-read pile since November– I know this because that’s the date on the receipt printed out by my library. Why they’ve let me renew it so many times, I don’t know. And why I’ve waited until now to pick it up, I also don’t know. I’m probably a third of the way through and I LOVE IT. Definitely the right temperature for this political climate…
  5. So here’s another lifestyle– the formula would be hygge-Swedish+Austrian+quality time= gemütlichkeit. I can’t actually say that word, but it’s a lovely concept and, of course, is exactly right. There’s cozy by yourself (great) and then there’s cozy with friends (even better!). I plan on having some of this on this long weekend.

Well, that’s all from me! This weekend is the last in my 20s– where has time gone?! I don’t know, but I’m starting to feel ready for my 30s. Maybe ready for more certainty, maybe ready for more adventures. It’s gonna be good.

Why I’m giving up online dating

In case you haven’t noticed around here, I’m turning 30 in half a week. And– I’m single.

30 used to scare me for so many reasons, but the main one is that I thought I’d have my shit together by now. And I always, always thought I’d be married with kids by now. After a LOT of introspection, I know why I’m still single. And I’ve honestly embraced it for a long time. It’s not actually all that bad!

But still, I figured I should do something about it. It really is one thing in my life I’d like to change, so I decided to make that change happen. I’ve tried them all– OKCupid, Tinder, Bumble, Match, something about coffee and bagels… I’ve had varied success with all of them, success in this sense meaning I got a few dates out of each.

I’ve met great people, had interesting dates, been stood up, and bailed out on dates I just wasn’t sure about.

The thing is– online dating feels like shopping for a pair of shoes. Too tall, don’t like those buckles, where would I wear those? I can swipe and swipe, all in the comfort of my sweatpants on my couch. It lets me feel like I’m putting effort into making a change– all without actually making an effort. It’s my placebo. Or, like… a really calorie-heavy salad that I tell myself “is still healthy.” It’s not. At least, not for me. Not right now.

So I’m saying goodbye to online dating, at least for a while. I’ve honestly always hoped I’d meet a guy In Real Life. Is that even still a thing? Maybe if I push myself outside my comfort zone a little, or at least switch up my routines a bit more. Anyways, this is a new thing I’m going to try– not doing something because I should. Living life on my own terms.

That’s what growing up and getting older is all about, after all– right?

 

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Thirty for Thirty: Part 3

Okay, here’s the last 10 on my list!

 21.  Go camping This is a goal for personal growth, because confession: I hate camping. I haven’t done it since middle school. So I want to try, at least one night. Someone send bug spray and an air mattress!

 22.  Do a cross stitch And we’re back to the art theme! Also a trying something new theme. I have a hoop, I have thread, I have a needle. I just want to do one, ya know?

23.  Eat at an Iron Chef’s restaurant This I’ve done once before, at an amazing Argentine place in Chicago (Rural Society, now closed). I don’t even know how to find these, anyone have a suggestion?

 24.  Find a volunteer project I’m volunteering to help with a local track meet this spring. I’d like to find some more things like this to do, maybe with local kids.

 25.  Go to a state I’ve never been to And we’ve returned to travel– maybe I can do a combo platter with this and the mountains and/or ocean. I’ve got a few places that meet the requirements

26.  Put up a Little Free Library I always think these are so cool! My plan is either in the neighborhood I live in or the one I work in. I’d rather do the neighborhood I work in, because it’s a little more low-income and resource-poor, but I’m afraid once I left, it wouldn’t be maintained. The one in my home neighborhood, I could at least keep an eye on. Stay tuned.

27.  Eat 30 pieces of cake and document them! This is a recent discovery– I. LOVE. CAKE. It’s my new go-to as a comfort food. So I’ll be eating 30 pieces of cake (NOT in one sitting) and taking pictures. Again, stay tuned. And probably follow my instagram, that’s likely where they’ll be posted.

 28.  Ride for a Reason This is a charity bike ride I was challenged to do; my sister and her hubby did it last year. Plus, exercise. I hear it’s good for you.

29.  Find a set of sheets I love This is a tricky one. I’m particular, because I LOVE prints on sheets, especially floral prints. Which seem to be either very hard to find or very expensive. I don’t mind expensive, but at some of these prices, shouldn’t they wash themselves?!

30.  Try on every hat I see (within reason). The goal of this is to find out once and for all– am I a hat person? This may also be documented on instagram. Within reason.

 

So there you have it– the 30 things I’d like to do from May 28, 2018-May 27, 2019. It should be a fun year full of pushing myself and trying new (or retrying old) things! I’ll keep things updated as I go along. I know you’re dying to know.

Friday Five– 007

This has been a muggy Indiana summer week– in the middle of May, no less! But the weather is appreciated, as it facilitated a great Mother’s Day with family, a small group grilled pizza baking session, and a few evenings on the front porch.

  1. I’ve already got an occasion in mind to make several pans of these Strawberry Pie Bars. You can make them several days in advance, too. Perfect.

  2. I, too, have a deep love and affection for my female friends. As the perpetual single gal, I’ve looked to my girl friends all my life for the companionship I need. Things have changed and lives have grown, and I am so so thankful for my friends. Amen. 
  3. This list of children’s books promoting acceptance and inclusivity makes me happy. I can’t wait to pick up a few of these to read with my niece when she’s old enough. 
  4. Okay, okay. I’ve got babies on the brain. I know it’s not Mother’s Day anymore, but I’ve had a recent influx of children in my life and I love it. I’ve always wanted to be a mom and it hasn’t happened for me (yet). The idea of being a single mom is scary, but it’s definitely something I would consider doing. 
  5. And last but NOT least– a Royal Wedding Viewing party. Will you be up? I will be curled up on my couch with my kitties and a mug of tea. We fancy.

 

Also, if you’re in Indianapolis, I’m opening up more availability for massage appointments. Come see me and get a relaxing massage!

Thirty for Thirty: Part 2

I just want to say that I didn’t rearrange these 30 things after I first wrote them, so they’re in no particular order. But I supposed the first 10 things are what immediately popped into my head, and these next ten are things I had to think about for a bit.

 11.  Only buy clothes secondhand This one I’ve done before, I usually buy from ThredUp which I love and have gotten some GREAT deals on!

 12.  Lion tattoo I have an artist in mind, but she’s booked out pretty far and hasn’t replied to my submission yet. So… this one might be postponed until she can get me in (I’m not going to link to her because I’m not trying to put her on blast or anything). But I guess even if it’s 2019, I’ll still be 30 for a while. So this might still fall into the year.

 13.  Compost This one I’ve also done before, but in an apartment was hard. I had a plastic box under my kitchen sink with holes poked in the top! It worked, because things naturally decompose, but it always stayed so soggy. But now I have a yard! I can have a whole pile, with air to keep it dry! Hooray!

 14.  See the ocean I’m not sure where. So this will take some doing, or planning, or maybe just a spur of the moment thing. Anyways, it’s an attempt to temporarily vacate the Midwest 

 15.  See some mountains Again, the Midwest doesn’t have one of these. What I’m really saying is take a trip somewhere— which is something I haven’t done for a minute!

 16.  Read 30 books This started at 12, then moved up to 15, and then I decided to stick with the 30 theme. I’m a quick reader, so this is totally doable. I think.

17. Explore more with bodywork This one I need to amend a bit, only because I’m back with massage therapy again, and my state license didn’t expire as quickly as I thought– yay! So I’m picking back up with this on Saturdays until I’m out of my office job. (Again, not linking this one, but if you live in the Indy area and need a massage, feel free to privately message me)

 18.  Use every page in sketchbook This is my goal to art more. I know that creativity breeds creativity, so this is just another avenue, hopefully to drive my writing a bit more, too…

19.  Create outline for a novel …which I hope will lead me to THIS. I’ve always wanted to write, especially a novel. I have half-ideas, but I’m hoping to actually sit down and flesh them out a bit. Just to get a complete idea out there.

20.  Buy a piece of art I love I already have several of these. But who doesn’t need more art in their lives?! I know I have plenty of wall space just begging to be zhushed.