A Little Coloring, a Little Gluing

I’ve been gluing.  It makes me happy.

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Surf, Sand, and Nothing Else

I’ve also been coloring.  Nothing bring me back to childhood like coloring…

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Stolen Directly from StoppingForDaisies

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A work in progress
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Happy Summer Solstice!

Lots to talk about today, so let’s get started!

In my “other” life, I’m a middle of the pack runner and triathlete.  You can read about my exploits here.  Since a big race a few weeks ago though, I’ve fallen into a pretty deep slump.  At the suggestion of a few people, I’m shifting focus, at least for a little while, to something other than running, swimming, and biking.  I’m letting myself sit quietly and be not active.  I’ve been casting about for what to grab onto next and everything is trending toward the creative.  I went into my sewing room on my own whim for the first time in months.  It was wonderful.  I found this blog and have been inspired to make a couple of cards, just for fun.  In fact, I snuck out of work at lunch and ran to Staples to by this:

Bic Color Collection Ultra Fine Markers, 36 pack

While I was there I also bought these:

Flower Power Pens!
Yay for office supplies that have moxie 🙂

There shall be no wallowing in self-pitying despair when there are flower power pens in the world!

I’m also inspired by Ari at Stopping for Daisies to start what I call “gluing” again.  Like her, I don’t scrapbook.  It stresses me out.  But what I do like to do is glue things to other things.  Bits of paper to bigger bits of paper.  Cut out words from magazines.  Color with markers.  Whatever makes me happy.  I plan on spending some hours this week coloring, carding, and gluing.

Lastly, I’ve gotten the urge to take pictures again.  This happens to me every now and again.  I have a dSLR, but it’s currently on loan to someone, so I’ll go with what I’ve got – a decent point and shoot of my own, and a borrowed point and shoot that is a bit better than mine.  I do have a question for all the bloggers out there with totally awesome pictures (MegaNerdRuns in particular): how do you get your pictures to look so “warm”?  I think maybe it has something to do with the white balance?  If there is a secret, please let me know – I’d love to be able to take such warm, inviting pictures!!  Or at the very least, fake them with photoshop!

In the spirit of my renewed interest in phototaking, I’m going to do this 30 day photo challenge.  I think it’s nice that I’m starting it on the first day of summer.  A new project with which to start a new season!  First post about this coming up later today.

I plan on posting pictures of my attempts at creativity.  We’ll see how they turn out – both the attempts at creativity and the attempts at photography 😛

2 New Haiku

A friend of mine introduced me to Haiku Friday.   She and her friends would trade haiku via email on Fridays.  Nothing deep, nothing epic, just little haiku to make each other smile.

Here’s mine (about someone we don’t like):

The toad ate a fly

But a bird ate the toad – Yes!

Balance is restored.

Here’s the poem my friend wrote for me.  Keep in mind I like gin and tonics.

Sun is shining bright

Everyday gin time is here

Nothing beats Friday

Have a good weekend everyone!

I Smell a Change in the Wind

The focus of the blog is changing.  Because my focus is changing.  And I’m okay with that.  I learned a long time ago to just ride my whims and see where they take me.   This quote from StoryPeople seems to say it well:

I spent a long time trying to find my center until I looked closely one night & found it had wheels & moved easily in the slightest breeze, so now I spend less time sitting and more time sailing.

So while I may still talk about minimalism or post about the things I’m getting rid of, this blog will now be more of a scrapbook of writing.  Poems, prose, lines of words strung together.  I’m feeling more like writing these days, so that’s what I’m going to do.  Silly little things, fun things, things that make me smile or happy or lift me up.

Also, I found this website the other day: Operationbeautiful.com.  It is awesome.  It encourages people (mostly young women) to post encouraging, inspiring, and positive notes in random public places such as bathrooms, book stores, college campuses, etc.  Go there.  Get inspired.  Make yourself glow and pass it on.

Welcome to my next “thing”!

Wizard of Oz Shoes (Thing #129)

A couple of years ago I bought two pairs of shoes at Famous Footwear.  I really only wanted one pair, but they were having one of their “Buy One Get One 1/2 Off” sales.  I hate those kinds of sales.  But I got sucked in.  I was in one of my (very!) rare fashionista moods, and bought a pair of bright red patent leather ballet flats with silver buckles on them.  Cute enough, I guess.  But, the issue was that they only fit me if I went barefoot, but if it was warm enough to go barefoot, it also meant it was warm enough that my feet would start sweating in an instant in the non-breathable patent leather.  So, I’ve worn them approximately 3 times and regretted each wearing (I’m of the school of thought that says “Life is too short for uncomfortable shoes”).  So, they’ve sat in the back of my closet for the past two years and every so often I look at them and say “I really should wear those.”  But, I don’t.  Because I don’t really like them.

So into the Goodwill pile they go.  I’m sure someone else will be super duper happy to pick up a pair of bright red, barely used shoes and love them to death.  Which makes me happy; almost as happy as I am to get them out of my house.

The lesson that I learned (again!)?  Don’t buy it if it’s not the exact right thing! Or, at least the 90% right thing!  It’ll end up being a waste of money and I’ll end up resenting the thing and the money and who needs extra, self-caused, resentment in their lives?  Certainly not me!  I’ve a feeling I’m going to be writing this post over and over again, as I seem to have a hard time learning this lesson.  Hopefully my new found attention to my buying habits and the desire to reduce my holding (physical and otherwise) will curb such purchases in the future.  Hopefully!

Why I Love My 9 to 5

A lot of minimalists seem to seek a “location independent” source of income.  And that’s totally cool.  I, on the other hand, have a “normal” 9 to 5 job.  I clock in between 8 and 8:30, clock out between 4 and 5.  And I love it.  Here’s why.

My job is pretty mundane by normal standards: I’m a glorified secretary (excuse me, administrative assistant) in the financial industry.  I enjoy my boss and am good friends with the two other women in the office.  Together we make the days go by (relatively) quickly and all leave the office behind mentally when we leave it physically.  I don’t have a work sponsored Smartphone, and I don’t know how to check my office email from anywhere but in the office.  I’m in a very happy place in the responsibility:income work ratio.  This is all a very lengthy way of saying that whenever I’m not in the office, my time and my focus are all my own.

This freedom lends itself well to my personality.  I tend to have “passion ADD.”  This year and last I’ve focused on training and racing triathlons.  The several years before that I spent quilting and knitting.  This is of course in addition to various and sundry other things I’ve dabbled in: photography, spinning, blogging, yoga, mixed media collaging, rock climbing, and other things along those lines.  For a long time every time I was interested in something I’d think “okay, I like x, how can I make it into a career?  How can I twist it into an income source?”  And I didn’t like that.  I was afraid that I would take something I enjoyed and make it black, put a stain on it, turn it into something I had to do, instead of something I enjoyed doing.

I came to realize that I wanted to keep my work and my life separate.  My job pays the bills and leaves something left over to fund my life (bike parts anyone?).  Because I don’t take my work home with me at the end of the day, I walk out of the office free and clear and ready to play.  On any given day that “play” could be running, biking, napping, going to the library, the movies, dinner with a girl friend.  It doesn’t matter.  It let’s me flit around to different interests and ideas without worrying where my next paycheck will come from.  If I decide I want to plow headlong into, I don’t know, hang gliding, I have 4 whole hours every evening and the entire weekend to do that.  And if next week hang gliding switches to tapestry weaving, I can easily make the switch.  I know my 401(k) will still be funded and my rent will still get paid.  My mind can rest easily while it picks its next whim from the hat.

A Little Thing

I noticed something the past week or two.  Normally, when I’m in the car I have the radio on.  Well, I shouldn’t say normally.  I should say always.  A lot of the time it’s NPR, sometimes it’s Top 40 crap that I not-so-secretly love.  But recently I’ve become somewhat bothers by the noise of it all, and most uncharacteristically, turned off the radio.  I don’t really think about much (that’s what falling asleep time is for), instead I just kinda cruise along, enjoying the quiet.  I don’t know if it’s my recent re-kindling of minimalism, if I’m turning into a prematurely grumpy old lady, or what, but I’m just gonna go with it, and enjoy my quiet time.