Thursday, January 21, 2016

Notes to self

I once saw a meme that said, “If it looks stupid but it works, it’s not stupid.” This is a quote I can totally agree with! Sometimes I do things a certain way because of my own “system” for doing things. And one of the reasons why I have a “system” for doing things is because I can be pretty forgetful sometimes! OK, a lot of times. I forget things. I forget faces, too. It happens. That’s just me. So, without a "system" for doing things, I'll either get them wrong, lose information or forget about them entirely!

For this reason of being so forgetful at times, I have one thing that I do which may seem stupid but for me, it works: Leaving “notes to self” on Post-It Notes where I need to see them. Or where I am sure I will see them. Sometimes I will use the whole "note to self" thing as a joke. Like one time I saw a picture of a gigantic spider that lives only in Australia and I was all like, "Note to self: Stay out of Australia!" (Ha!) But I do create real "note to self" notes as a reminder of things because if I don't, I'll probably forget them!

Sometimes, when I am working on a project and I can’t finish it then and there, I’ll leave a “note to self” on where I left off or what I still need to do to finish it. Or, if I have to make an important phone call the next day, I’ll leave a “note to self” at the desk, where I make phone calls, and I know I will see it the next day.

One other type of “note to self” I’ll leave is for things I need to remember to do in the morning that I do not usually do. During the week, I have a morning routine. This morning routine works well for me and my kids, because it allows me time to check on important things (like the kids’ lunch accounts), shower, get dressed and get some coffee before I have to wake the kids up for school. Then it’s other stuff I do in between them and getting both of them to their own school. (They go to different schools so I make two trips!)

Now, I’m not really a morning person. Yes, I get my butt out of bed at 5ish in the morning for the school day, but I’m not really a morning person. I'm more of an afternoon person! So, for this reason, I cannot be relied on to remember things in the morning. If I have to do something different from the morning routine, then I leave a note out as a reminder the night before.

One such note could be “Don’t forget (child’s name).” When I was babysitting for a friend, I often left out notes to remind myself to pick the child up after school on days I had to watch her.

Well, today, I had to pick up one of my daughter’s friends at her house to drive her to the school with us.

I had left a note out for myself reminding me as much and Jesse happened to see the note this morning. He came in to the kitchen, where I sat drinking coffee, and asked about it. (He had just finished getting dressed for school.) He didn’t know about what was going on with my friend (the girl’s mom) so I explained it to him and why I was picking her up this morning. He asked about the note. I then explained that I can’t remember things very well so early in the mornings so I have to leave out notes reminding me of things.

And after I told him that, he started to laugh. He put the note on the coffeemaker (where I usually put the reminder notes!) then pretended to be me as he tiredly walked through the kitchen, read the note, then collapsed to the floor in exhaustion. That made me laugh and I told him, “Well, it works!” He still thought the whole thing was funny.

Well, maybe it is. But so far, leaving out a “note to self” to remind me of things has definitely been helpful in remembering the things that I gotta do!

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

New wheels

A few days before Christmas, we had 2 bad things happen. We were hit with a financial crisis that meant we had no money to buy the kids anymore Christmas gifts aside from the one already bought. The second thing that happened? My car died! (Yeah, I know. I have bad luck. Sometimes I think I am jinxed!)

When my car died, I had only one thought: Thank goodness the kids only had one day left of school. My husband took them to school the next day (I usually do it because he works at night) but I thought I would be getting a new vehicle soon.

Well, soon turned into 2 weeks. They were VERY hard weeks to get through! It got to a point where I told my husband I was gonna turn violent if I didn’t get out of the house, so he drove me to the library and dropped me off there, where I spent a couple of hours writing and reading/researching. But I later needed to get out again and it just went all wrong.

And the problem is, my kids were missing out on their lessons. My oldest has violin lessons. Her violin teacher started driving out to our house since I had no way to get to hers. And Jesse takes gymnastics classes, but he missed out on a couple because I couldn’t drive him there. (His classes are in the early evening.) It was so hard for him to NOT go to gymnastics, because he loves it so much. But, thankfully, I have arranged for him to take make-up classes.

And Jennifer will be going to her violin lessons again because, as of today, I finally have a new car! Woo-hoo!

It’s not a brand new car. It’s used. We actually got it from my husband’s co-worker. And, it’s a minivan! I have never driven a minivan before and today was the first time I ever drove one. Of course I was scared but I did it anyway. I HAD to see if I could do it. And I can! (So cool to stand up to what scares us and just DOING it anyway! Seriously, I surprised myself.) Driving the minivan is AWESOME! I love my minivan. It’s kinda like driving a small bus. I think that since my last car was a long car (a sedan), it gave me good practice in being able to maneuver a minivan. However, this time, I am NOT going to put myself into a situation where I have to drive forward-backward-forward-backward a bazillion times a la Austin Powers in order to get out of a parking space. I am starting to keep an eye out for parking spaces where I can easily pull the vehicle out of its spot or, even better, away from a curb. This change in parking has also changed how I drop Jesse off at school. Before, I would park in the row of spaces with all the other cars by the walkway that was meant for children to safely walk to the school. But now I’ll park in another area closer to the front of his school and he can get out on the side where there are bushes, not cars driving past, then go to the walkway where there is a crossing guard. So, it’s all good!

I still need to get used to driving this kind of vehicle but so far, so good. I am really thrilled to be driving again and having the freedom to come and go whenever for whatever. (Gotta have my freedom!!) I also like how it’s so roomy and comfortable. And the heater works a lot better, too. The steering in my last car was messed up because of that accident when I slid on the ice so it’s also nice to not have to deal with steering problems in this car. I just need to drive more carefully and watch out for icy roads!

And the best part is that THIS vehicle is travel-worthy. I want us to take a family vacation this year and now we can with this vehicle. It runs great and there are no engine problems so I look forward to traveling in it on the road someday soon. Very soon, I hope!

It was hard to wait for a new vehicle but it was definitely worth the wait. I’m thrilled with my new car (which I have not named yet but I’m considering the name Chloe) and I look forward to being able to get to where I need to go again!

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Two disappointments

Had to deal with a couple of disappointing things yesterday. It’s no biggie; just another disappointment popping up in life. Life is FULL of them. I was upset about them at first, but thems the breaks. I will just keep doing my own thing.

The first one was when I got information about this experiment I’m doing. I found out that I won’t achieve the desired affect I was hoping for. Bummer. It would have been nice if I do, but can’t have everything. I am not particularly sure if I want to stick with it now. Been turning that over a lot in my head all day. I know I certainly don’t want to go back to my old drinking habits. So maybe I will allow an occasional beer or glass of wine here or there. But that’s it. Just one. In my research, I learned that more than 12 ounces in one go is dangerous to the immune system. So I’ll make sure to limit it.

The second disappointment was from the gig I was hoping for. Turns out I would have to pay money upfront. I’m not interested in that. I need something that will bring in extra income, and not take any of it out. Oh, well. Back to the job hunt!

Both of these things were nice ideas and it did bother me that they won’t work out. But that’s the way it is in life. Things don’t work out the way we want them to. The way we hope they will. I’m cool with it. You know? I can roll with the punches in life. Just gonna keep on keepin’ on!

Friday, January 01, 2016

Great first day of the new year

Before 2016 even got here, I was hopeful that THIS year would be better. Last year wasn’t so good so I was keeping my thoughts positive that this year would be a good one!

Well, I can’t say as yet if the year itself is turning out better than the last. But I can say this: The first day of 2016 has just been AWESOME! There were a couple of bad things that happened today, but there were mostly good things! Things I am MUCH more happier about.

When I woke up this morning, for some reason, I had the Doctor Who poem in my head. But after that went away, I got out of bed and went straight to the computer. I turned it on, grabbed a bottle of water, sat down at the desk, popped open Word and…started writing. I didn’t even think about what I was doing. I just started writing the very first page of a new novel.

Yes, I am finally writing a new novel. Yahoo!! I am so happy to be writing a novel again. But even happier to be writing any fiction at all! Seriously, I struggled with writing fiction last year. The newest book in the GHOST Group series remained unfinished for months. Short stories were never finished. And I had NOTHING in the way of a new novel. I just couldn’t get the words out. I had ideas for a novel, sure, but I just couldn’t WRITE it. The story lingered in my mind, waiting to be born. And today I finally released it onto paper. I am looking forward to writing this!

Another awesome thing that happened today is that my phone got fixed! My phone has been giving me problems for quite some time. I was ready to smash it with a hammer! AGH! But I handed it over to my husband and asked him for help. I explained the situation. After tinkering with it, he fixed it. And now everything is working so much better on my phone. Yay! I didn’t have to delete anything, either. Phew! 

I am also glad there's a new episode of Sherlock tonight. I recorded it and have not seen it yet. My husband is watching Supernatural (DVDs I have already watched). But I'll be watching the new Sherlock real soon!

And, finally, I have been able to keep my New Year’s resolutions so far. I kept the ones that apply for today! One resolution is to exercise every day, no matter what exercise it is. Because I had stomach problems all day, though, I couldn’t do a regular workout. But I did exercise on the resistance band as well as some other stretches so at least that is something. Better than nothing! I hope I feel better tomorrow so I can do more exercising. I also resisted the temptation to drink any beer. I am experimenting with something health-wise (which I hope to write about in my health book) and removing alcohol from my diet is an important part of it. So yay on beating that temptation! I used to drink every day and sometimes many in 1 day but NOT today and NOT this year! I want to see this experiment through to the end and if I’ll get the kind of results that I’m looking for. (Yes, I am always the guinea pig for my books. Ha!) And, anyway, I am NOT going to be alcohol's bitch anymore. Done with all that!!

As to the bad things that happened… Well, I didn’t get my check today. Sigh! I was really counting on it because we need to go to the store but I guess I’ll get the check on Monday. At least we have enough food in the house to last us through the weekend. And, oh, I DID find some money today, after I tweeted about my frustrations over not getting my check. So that’s awesome! Good to have that if we do need it. (NOTE: After I posted on this blog and did some research for the novel, I decided to check my bank account again, just for the heck of it. And my check is THERE! We can buy FOOD! Glory be!)

The other bad thing was that I wanted a cup of cappuccino tonight (at 10 p.m.!) but…there was no cappuccino! NOOOOO!!!! We didn’t have the coffee I was craving! Boo-hoo! If only Starbucks did late-night deliveries. Sigh. (But I survived.)

Despite the bad things today, I am very happy about the good things. And another good thing might happen too: I just MIGHT have a new gig. That’d be so cool! I hope I get this. It’ll really help and I won’t feel so useless being unemployed for so long.

Today has really been a great day. I have also enjoyed spending today with my kids and enjoying this new year. We have had a lot of fun together today and I look forward to doing things with them in the coming months.

Here’s to a happy and adventurous 2016!