A Simple, Honest Life

If You Don’t Prioritize Your Life, Someone Else Will

Oh Hey, It’s Me
Northern California Coast Line

I remember May. I remember Memorial Day Weekend. I remember the redwoods and the northern California coastal air, how it smells like it’s always going to rain and how the fog blankets the coast every morning. I remember camping early in June and hiking up the butte that tried to kill me, but instead gave me an epiphany about turning this site into a reflection of honesty and simplicity. I remember feeling like summer was just about to start.

And now it’s September.

I had a really great summer planned with restful self care weekends in between some of the bigger ticket items such as visiting my parents, going to Spokane, three camping trips, a walking relay event and one of my best friend’s wedding. But even the best laid plans…

Slowly dying inside at our LA office

Work got in the way if I’m being honest. Not just some hard weeks at work, but work travel on top of that, which is never as fun as it sounds. I was down in LA seven times this summer for work and even pulled a 15 hour turn around trip followed by three more days in a row. One good thing is I got really good at packing a suitcase and bringing only what I knew I’d need and wear. But putting in all that work travel against my carefully laid out summer plans meant I was busy. So busy I have barely had time for myself.

That’s not to say I didn’t have a good time this summer, but since my May revelation I’ve been wanting to focus more on my needs and my time. When I can manage those things first, I become a better person at home and with my friends and family. I can allow myself to be in the moment when I’m with other people and give them my full attention and focus because I’ve taken care of myself first. Which leads to the fact that I have not taken care of myself this summer.

I have felt completely out of control. Like things were happening TO me, and I was just a bystander going through the motions because I felt like I had to. I felt had no control to stop these things from happening and I just had to follow through and do them. I’d like to preach about how we all have control in our lives and I could have canceled things or told my work no, but that is always so much harder than it sounds. I think most people don’t feel in control of their lives. We have bills to pay and people to please and plans to show up for.

The best plan I showed up for: Claire’s wedding with my BFFs

So I’ve been having these thoughts in the background about putting myself first and being in my control of my time and my life and meanwhile I’ve just been going, going, going. And when I’m finally able to stop, I end up sleeping because I’m so exhausted. Going to bed at 7 or 8 and when I can sleep in I’m sleeping until my alarm goes off at 9 am. I have to set an alarm because I will sleep even longer than that if I can. So what is that telling me when I’m so tired my body wants to sleep more than 12 hours? It tells me I’m doing too much.

Luckily work is slowing down a bit. There shouldn’t be any more crazy travel for awhile. That helps. And I’ve tried to be more honest with my personal plans. I’ve been trying to say no more. And instead of saying ‘I can’t’ I’ve been trying to say ‘I don’t want to’. Not to hurt people’s feelings, but to put my time in more perspective with myself. It’s not that I don’t want to hang out this week, it’s that I don’t want to make that a priority this week. I know that I won’t be my best if I schedule something this week, I need more time to put myself first and then when I do make plans with someone – when I am truly up for it – I will be more present than I would have been if I had forced it into my schedule. Into my time. Remember, time is our most precious resource. It is literally all we have.

It is okay to say no. I know that it doesn’t always feel that way and there are truly things that we can’t say no to. Work being the most obvious one. If we want to keep our jobs, keep the people in charge happy enough to keep us around, we more often than not feel forced to say yes. I think a lot of people feel this way and I want to share some pieces of a great book I finally got around to reading this summer called Essentialism by Greg McKeown. There are some great tid bits in there about saying no in a work environment and how nos can sometimes be really well received.

Here’s one of my favorite tips:

For example, if your manager comes to you and asks you to do X, you can respond with “Yes, I’m happy to make this the priority. Which of these other projects should I deprioritize to pay attention to this new project?” Or simply say, “I would want to do a great job, and given my other commitments I wouldn’t be able to do a job I was proud of if I took this on.”

Excerpt from Essentialism by Greg Mckeown

Saying no isn’t easy for fun, but you can definitely take a moment to feel awkward about saying no and live with that moment of awkwardness for a short time or you can say yes and live with a day, a week or even a month of regret for saying yes.

“Only once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone, can you make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter.”

Honey Badger Champs

What do I feel deeply inspired by?” and “What am I particularly talented at?” and “What can I do that meets a significant need in the world? I don’t know yet.

I have to keep working because I have bills to pay and honestly I like the people I work with. We are dodge ball champs after all – another thing I signed up for this summer thinking I’d have more time in my life. Is my work my passion though? No. I’m not there yet. And in the meantime I don’t need to be killing myself and sleeping in 15 hours increments when I can to make up for working so hard at a job that I’m not in love with. Now that things are a bit calmer at work I’m hoping I can re-prioritize my time and my hobbies and really start to think about what I want to do with my work life and how I want to make a difference in the world with the time that I have.

Mary Oliver wrote: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?” I’m still figuring it out, but while I’m working through it I’m trying to make sure I’m giving myself the time and space to do so.

May & June 2019 - A Photo A Day

A Photo A Day – Week Eight

June 22

Sunday was wedding day! I cannot express the joy I felt watching my beautiful (inside and out) friend walk down the aisle to the true love of her life.

The wedding itself was so touching and the after wedding party was great. A lot of catching up with old friends and really just having a good time. It was exactly how one hopes a wedding goes.

June 23

Before we left Sunday, I made sure to say a good goodbye to the cutest dog, Boscoe. This is my In-Laws little boy and he is just the cutest. He’s a spoiled little thing, but I adore him.

We left Spokane around 10 and got home around 4. Laundry and rest was had and then an early bed to get back into the week.

June 24

Nothing says Monday like stocks. I snapped a pic of my average morning on Monday. I usually get up at 6 and zone out on the couch for a half hour watching the morning news and waking up. Around 6:30 I grab a cup of coffee and try to wake up more efficiently. At 7 I get dressed and I’m out the door by 7:30 to make it to work around 8.

It’s getting kind of old and I’m starting to constantly wonder what’s next. Is this it? We’ll get to that next week….

June 25

I felt like I finally got a chance to play the new Niantic Wizards Unite game on Tuesday. This game came out while I was in the wilderness with no cell service. This caused a late start for me and with all the wedding stuff and driving I hadn’t really had a chance to play.

Now that I have though I’m really enjoying it. I am a Magizoologist at level 8. Add me 4602 9212 0437.

June 26

I had a great happy hour after work with friends but we were having such a good time I didn’t take any photos. I kind of love it when that happens. It means you were fully in the moment, which I’ve been trying to do more when I’m with other people.

I think the best thing about Wednesday was this dog patiently waiting for her owner to come back. I was waiting for a smoothie I’d just ordered and this little thing was so cute. Dogs are the best.

June 27

Thursday we were supposed to play kickball, but we had a huge thunderstorm roll in. It rained most of the day so the game was canceled.

I was using kick ball as my 30 minutes of activity this day and with the lightning I didn’t think I was going to get any walking in. Luckily at work we have a great indoor desk treadmill you can use so I hopped on it for a half hour after lunch. Too bad indoor walking doesn’t help open portkeys in Wizards Unite.

I came home and made my favorite five layer dip and vegged out on the couch to catch up on Big Little Lies.

June 28

After work on Friday we went to finally see Toy Story 4. People were describing it as the sequel we didn’t know we needed. I disagree. It was a good film, but completely unneccessary. Also, *spoiler* that goodbye between Woody and Buzz was a letdown.

I took this photo in between advertisements before the movie started. I remember when I worked at a movie theater when I was 16-17 we had this really annoying thing before the trailers started called Movie Tunes. I hated it because to someone who worked there I heard all the same 25 songs they played over and over. Now though, I would prefer Movie Tunes to all these advertisements for Gieco and spoilers to upcoming films. It’s a constant loop that never stops playing. Bring back the music.

Now that June is essentially over, thanks for sticking with A Photo A Day for TWO months instead of just the one. I’m honestly not sure what I’m doing for July on here. It’s been kind of a weird few months for me. I’m hoping some time in nature this weekend will help bring me out of a funk and back to you all next week with something different and exciting.

May & June 2019 - A Photo A Day

A Photo A Day – Week Seven

June 15

We did nothing this weekend and it was so nice. Our weekends are packed starting this upcoming weekend and not letting up until July so it was nice to not go anywhere or have plans.

I spent Saturday on the deck in the shade eating outshine lime bars and reading books and it was perfect.

June 16

Again, nothing exciting Sunday except this vegan sandwich I devoured in seconds. It was smashed chickpeas, avocado, cucumbers and a ton of veggies.

It wasn’t much to look at so I didn’t post it anywhere, but the bread was fresh baked and it was amazing.

June 17

I went to this great nail salon in Portland on Monday called Finger Bang. I’ve been there a few times and they even did my nails for my wedding.

I’m not a big fan of sitting for an hour just getting my nails done. I honestly go maybe twice a year, but this place does really cute nail art and I wanted something special for my friend’s wedding.

June 18

Tuesday was my last day of work before vacation. We celebrated my boss’ birthday a bit early. I think we might have gone over the top with decorations, but it was fun.

I came home and cleaned and packed. I’m usually a light packer but for some reason with it being a wedding weekend and all I brought a ton of stuff. Way more than I actually used. Lesson learned.

June 19

Wednesday we drove all day to get to the cabin that my Aunt owns in Idaho. We were ready for two days of solitude and swimming.

Unfortunately the weather was freezing and there was rain in the forecast. I took a lot of beautiful photos of the lake and the cabin, but didn’t really share what we spent most of our time doing.

We relaxed in front of the fire, drank wine and played board games. Not super photogenic time, but we loved it.

June 20

Thursday we had a morning dip in the lake (it was freezing) and then we drove to a hike that took us down some perilous back roads. The one pictured was easy, but there was a point where it took us 30 minutes to go four miles.

We spent the entire time hoping we didn’t blow a tire on accident.

The hike was amazing and afterwards we drove into Sandpoint and had amazing Mexican food and awesome ice cream. My brother-in-law drove up that night and we spent some more time in front of the fire and had BBQ.

June 21

Relaxation time was officially over on Friday and I raced back into Spokane in the morning to have a lunch with a friend and meet her adorable baby for the first time.

After that I was officially on a time limit and I took a quick shower and dressed up for a wedding rehearsal and dinner. Bridesmaid duties included walking up and down an aisle about seven times and seeing old friends. Pretty easy and fun.

We cooed over my friend’s new baby some MORE – as pictured – and many ridiculous times were had in preparation for the Saturday wedding.

May & June 2019 - A Photo A Day

A Photo A Day – Week Six

June 8

My Dad came into town for the weekend and on Saturday we went to the farmers market in the morning and I found this amazing croissant/muffin (cruffin?) booth. They had a rose water raspberry vanilla one and I was NEEDING THAT. I had just eaten though so I was gonna pick up one on my way out. Unfortunately, they ran out of those ones so I stuck myself with the a coffee caramel one…which did not disappoint.

June 9

On Sunday we went to a Scandinavian Mid-Summer festival. Dad and I made flower crowns, which I posted a picture of on Instagram.

I also posted a ton of stories of the mid-summer pole being raised. That was all very photogenic and cool, but my favorite part was enjoying an older group of dancers doing traditional Scandinavian dances. It was all very fun and rather cute to watch them dance and enjoy themselves. Not very photogenic, but it was my favorite part of the festival. I took Dad to the airport on Sunday and spent the rest of the day doing laundry and grocery shopping to prepare for the rest of the week.

June 10

Monday was kind of crazy. We had a deadline at work so I came in early and downed coffee until we got all our deliverables out the door.

After work I recorded the Cinemabysmal podcast with Nick and Dylan. We had a great episode about Stephen Chow films, specifically The Mermaid and Kung Fu Hustle.

June 11

Tuesday I rushed home to make dinner, edit the pod and have everything ready for The Bachelorette. We always watch on Tuesdays because watching live on Monday means too may commercials.

I poured a salted caramel stout and got my amazing lemon garlic pasta ready and it turns out the show was a day behind because of the NBA finals. Just one of those things. It was also 100 degrees this day and I was melting.

June 12

Another 100 degree scorcher. After work I went to a friends home and sat out on her porch in the shade drinking gin and tonics with fans pointed all around us. It all felt rather southern.

When I left the sun was setting and it was so gorgeous outside, despite the heat. I snapped a little photo just to remember how the sky looked.

June 13

Had the first kick ball game of the summer season on Thursday. I was an avid softball and soccer player growing up so I felt like I was going to do okay, but was still a little nervous.

Luckily the temperature dropped down to a high of 86. Probably would have melted wicked witch style if it had stayed at 100 again.

We won the game, which was great, and I managed to not do anything really stupid or get hurt so it was a win win. Go Honey Badgers.

June 14

New music Friday! Taylor Swift announced her new album called Lovely, and had a really awesome new single come out supporting the LGBTQ communit. Just in time for pride weekend here in Portland.

Work went by really quick and we got off at 2pm to do some pre-drinking before our work’s brew cycle event. Brew cycle is one of those things that looks terrible until you actually do it. in fact you’ve probably made fun of people doing it, but trust me, just do it once and it’s pretty fun.

Always guaranteed to a be a shit show.

May & June 2019 - A Photo A Day

A Photo A Day – Week Five

May 31

I came home Friday from work knowing I wasn’t going to do much over the weekend except relax and sleep. My weekends for the next month are super busy so it was important to me to self care this weekend.

I came home Friday and vegged out in front of the TV to watching Chernobyl. Spoiler: It’s awesome.

June 1

I’m planning on joining the kickball team at work and since I haven’t kicked a ball since I was fourteen I went to Target and got a soccer ball. It was a beautiful day outside and my husband and I walked over to a nearby park and spent an hour playing soccer.

I am luckily still pretty good and can aim well enough. I think I’ll be able to hold my own in a kick ball setting. We’re going to practice catching the ball in air soon and see how I do. I’m not worried about embarrassing myself, more worried about hurting myself. Coming up on 30 and I am not as limber as I used to be.

After the park we bought fresh strawberries and sat on the porch to enjoy the weather. Berry season is the best and the fruit is so good right now.

June 2

We spent time Sunday making sure we watched the Deadwood movie. We had watched the series together many years ago and were dissapointed by the abrupt ending.

The movie more than makes up for it.

Every character comes back and gets a solid ending that will leave any Deadwood fan satisfied.

June 3

Quick screen grab from twitter. It’s very millennial of me, but I’m trying out intermittent fasting for the month of June. I saw a great comic a few months back that was like ‘only millennials would skip breakfast and call it intermittent fasting’.

I was thinking about making that topic my June challenge at first, but it’s kind of boring to just make updates that say ‘FROM 9AM-11AM ALL WEEK I WAS RAVENOUS’. Maybe if I find it successful I’ll keep going and do weekly updates for July. But only if I can find a way to make it fun and interesting. I’m not going to bore you with my constant desire to graze on food 24/7.

June 4

To supplement the 16:8 fasting (that’s 16 hours fasting, 8 hours eating), I’ve been drinking iced black coffee in the mornings to get me through until my ‘feed time’ (as I’ve been calling it) at 11. It’s been working out pretty well.

I realized in the move though that I tossed my adult looking tumblers thinking ‘I only ever use tumblers at home, and I love my Beauty and the Beast one’. Well that’s all good and fun except now I’m taking this awesome made for a seven year old cup to work every day. I should care more, but I actually love it so it’s working out fine.

June 5

The little things are the best things sometimes.

On Wednesday I went to happy hour with some old work friends. We had a great time catching up.

As I was leaving the bar I realized my feed window was closing so I rushed to get a veggie sandwich and head home to eat it. I was at a stop light, listening to Jai Paul and enjoying the sunshine when I looked over and saw this adorable creature doing the same thing.

We should all be more like this dog.

June 6

On Thursday I went to the dentist before work. I think I need to switch dentists and doctors. These dental hygienists keep murdering my gums every time I go in for a cleaning.

I only really have myself to blame though. I never say anything even if it hurts. I am the most stoic patient of all time. I just dig my nails into my skin and bear the shit out of it. I am like that knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Oh you stabbed my face over and over again? Just a scratch. Do it again I dare you. I’ll just sit here and take it.

June 7

Two years at work already? Kind of insane.

Inside I found an elaborate cupcake, which I devoured during my feeding window.

Can you see now how boring a intermittent fasting month would be? Here is what I ate and when! Snooze.

It was delicious and well decorated and a really nice surprise.