Making 2014 Count | July Update

I can’t believe that when we wake up tomorrow it’ll be August! Here in Northern California it looks like that still means 106 outside, but still you guys, August.

I don’t know about you but I didn’t feel lit on fire about my 2014 goals this month. July is just such a sleepy, odd-numbered, middle of the year month, and I just don’t thrive in the month of July. It was a great month! But I wasn’t thriving. I got to spend a week with my family, up my workout routine, go on adventures with Landon, and a few other successes so we’re totally doing an update still.

I also wanted to take a second to share that this month is taking an interesting and special turn where it comes to our future. Landon has been all in with one path for his future career and hustling til something came together. We had complete faith that something would happen. Every disappointment was followed with a “that’s ok! we’ve got this! all learning opportunities! we’ll get the next one.”

And then early this week, Landon felt led to change his approach, and quickly. I won’t say too much more because there are a lot of details to figure our in the next few weeks but once we can share we will! But please send good vibes our way, we need the extra help. Change is good! But also a bit nerve-wracking.

On Being More Knowledgeable of Current Events

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When I came up with my goals in January I felt disappointed that I was so out of touch with current events, topics and news. In school I had a professor who felt strongly that we needed to be interesting individuals, and that included opening the newspaper in the morning and having things of worth to discuss.

Earlier this summer I had a friend post on Facebook that he had a pageant participant who needed a little brushing up on her current affairs knowledge. When a few friends suggested she signed up for the Skimm, I decided to hop on board too. Though it helps takes the stressful edge off that the traditional news has it’s a bit too cavalier for me. An example headline reads “What to Say When Picking Your Next Vacation” and the next 8 sentences will explain why North Korea is still out of the running. Let me know if there’s a similar app or site that you use and love.

On Reading a Book a Month

This month I stepped away from the book section at target and joined the social media book club on Instagram with reading: Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. It was this quote that convinced me to join in with reading instantly:

“We love seeing raw truth and openness in other people, but we’re afraid to let them see it in us. We’re afraid that our truth isn’t enough — that what we have to offer isn’t enough without the bells and whistles, without editing, and impressing. I was afraid to walk on stage and show the audience my kitchen-table self — these people were too important, too successful, too famous. My kitchen-table self is too messy, to imperfect, too unpredictable.

Here’s the crux of the struggle: I want to experience your vulnerability but I don’t want to be vulnerable.”

IMG_1485Brene Brown, with a PhD in Social Work took a research route after earning her doctorate. She draws on extensive (12+ years) research on shame, worthiness, courage, vulnerability and the path to wholehearted living. I can’t praise this book enough. I feel recharged in my belief of being vulnerable, reminded of what vulnerability is not, enlightened on types of armor or masks that we put on, and determined to be shame resilient.

To bring this home, here are common replies from participants when asked what vulnerability is to them: sharing an unpopular opinion, standing up for myself, asking for help, saying no, starting my own business, helping my 37-year-old wife with stage 4 cancer make decisions about her will, initiating sex with my spouse, hearing how much my son wants to make first chair in orchestra and encouraging him while knowing that it’s probably not going to happen, calling a friend whose child just died, signing up my mom for hospice care, the first date after my discover, saying “I love you”  first and not knowing if I’m going to be loved back, and getting pregnant after three miscarriages.

Vulnerability is so much more that owning and sharing our stories, it’s a key part of healthy living. She shares, “Do these sound like weakness? “Does showing up to be with someone in deep struggle sound like weakness? Is accepting accountability weak? Is stepping up to the plate after striking out a sign of weakness? NO. Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.

So seriously, go get this book. I promise you won’t regret it.

On Eliminating All Forms of Debt

I’m excited to share that we attacked our debt in a big way this month. Between the two of us Landon and I have 3 bank credit cards that serve different purposes, and two of them had accumulated balances that were really causing us stress. We’ve been on a rollercoaster with those cards and had all three at $0.00 before we left for Alaska last summer, and then they went right back up, one tiny purchase at a time. So we have all three of those cards once again at $0.00 which just feels good. We have less that $1000 left of personal consumer debt left to pay off + less that $5000 on our car.

I’m hesitant to share this, because things may quickly change. I am very anti debt at this point, and even feel strongly about this when it comes to homes. But like I mentioned before we’re feeling led to look at another option for our future, and it’ll include debt. And that scares the heck out of me. But I’m relying on faith with this one and excited to live a life free of the burden of carrying around credit card debt.

On Sending Birthday Cards

Do phone calls + blog shout-outs count? No, no they do not. But it was my sweet sister Kelsey’s birthday yesterday and it was fun to talk to her for a few minutes last night. Kyndra’s birthday is in 5 days, I’ll see if I can get it together for hers ;)

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On Publishing 52 blog posts a year

This month was more of a month of introspection than anything, which was reflected in what I was posting. Here are my posts from the month of July:

I have jitters in my stomach just thinking about what next month’s update could possible say + where we could possibly be. But we’re going to take this journey one day at a time and see where it leads us. As my mom says after a lot of our phone calls, “never a dull moment!”

 

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