(Photo by Julia Sakałoŭskaja on Reshot)
Back in December, when I said that I wanted to start meditating as one of my goals for the year, I had actually already started. So I guess that means that I’m already two months into my new meditation practice, and seriously loving it. But I know it sounds super New Age-y, and probably a bit odd for people who know me. I’m a geek, a techie. Sure, I buy the super expensive free-range, cage-free eggs and have a few other “crunchy” tendencies, but mostly I’m a modern, sarcastic, pragmatic kinda woman. So what am I doing meditating, and what am I getting out of it?
Well, it’s precisely because I’m so modern, sarcastic, and pragmatic that meditation is ideal. The reality is that I often feel like I’m thinking about a bajillion things at once. If I’m not thinking about work, I’m thinking about this blog or my YouTube channel. If I’m not thinking about my kid or my husband, I’m thinking about my mom, my friends. I’m planning dinners and figuring out when I’ll slot in a gym visit. I’m thinking through a grocery shopping list and trying to organize a meet up with some local working moms. Life is busy, and I’ve often lamented not even having a chance to breathe. But meditation has helped me get exactly that.
Over on YouTube, I’ve been having a lot of fun reading kid’s books out loud. Being consistent has helped me to grow my channel. I’m getting more and more views each month, with a steady rate of growth of subscribers, too. But I have a goal, and I’ve set myself a sorta reward. The next hurdle for my channel is getting 100 subscribers. And when I hit that goal, I will do a YouTube live stream, reading Roald Dahl’s The Twits.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, in part because I know that once I commit to something like this, I have to do it. I can’t push that off for the 250 subscriber mark, or the 1000 mark. I’m definitely going to read The Twits out loud once I have 100 subscribers.
I told you before that I had goals for 2019. You can read the more detailed commentary about the goals, but the core was to take care of my mental and physical health, to save some money (hopefully towards travel), and to put more time into my creative outlets like this blog, my YouTube channel and my coaching business. It’s all well and good to make goals of any kind, but it can be hard to keep track of them or take the necessary actions.
Last year, I bought my first Erin Condren planner. I really liked it. But by the end of the year, I didn’t feel like I had really used it to its full potential. So this year, I decided to set myself up for success using my Erin Condren planner, and a month into the process, I feel like I’ve found my groove. So I thought I’d share how I organized it, what’s working for me and what I want to do better.
(Full disclosure: When I decided that I wanted to write this blog, I figured I’d also sign up as an EC affiliate. This means that the links to Erin Condren stuff are connected to me, helping me earn a small commission if you decide to buy anything. Or you can use THIS link to get $10 credit when you buy and I’ll get also get some store credit to buy more stuff!)
Even before we gave Harley her own tablet, we were looking for video content for her. The reality is that screen time isn’t evil, and honestly, sometimes we all need time to zone out – her in front of a video and me without a little one demanding my complete attention. That said, I still like to encourage her to watch things that expand her mind, teach her something, or are generally worthwhile. I’ve found a bunch of awesome shows for kids, and I thought I’d share them with you. This time, it’s Team Umizoomi.
I don’t normally like to talk about money. I don’t claim to be some kind of financial guru or to have all the answers to get people out of debt or whatnot. There are plenty of other blogs and sites that can help with that. But, I am pretty good with money, and I thought I’d share something that has made our lives way easier. Dean and I have a budget on Google and it is a lifesaver.
Back in South Africa, Dean was paid a consistent income every month on the 25th. It ran like clockwork. Then we would logon to our internet banking and pay all the bills we paid manually, and a couple days later all the debit orders would come off and we’d see how much money we had left for the month as my income was usually paid on a more irregular basis. It was simple and worked for us. But now, with both of us working as freelancers or contractors or whatever you want to call it, the funds vary a lot more from one month to the next, and it can be hard to keep track of it all. That’s why we have a budget sheet on Google.