Hi everybody! <insert The Simpson’s “Hi Dr. Nick!” response>
So, is it writer’s block if I don’t know where to begin after all this time. I have so many good ideas, great ideas even. I started outlining a book, twice actually. I have a notebook and countless sticky notes with jotted down ideas for articles. I think about blogging all the time, as evidenced by my Pinterest boards. Because of those blogging articles I know that I am not supposed to blog about how I haven’t been blogging (so cliche, I know…I know). I think fear is probably the biggest culprit here, that and sloth/procrastination. I don’t want to write some crap posts and I don’t want to dash of some hurried missives either.
It sounds silly but I recently watched Julie & Julia because it was on TV randomly and I really enjoyed it. It got me thinking about cooking but also about blogging and reigniting that creative outlet that I enjoy so much.
But when I sit down to write I don’t really know what direction to go in. So I stopped and thought about what I like to read on the blogs that I follow.
I like real life.
I like when bloggers talk about their real life struggles, trials and tribulations, genius and fail moments, victories, strategies, and overall personal experience. Yes, I also like to get advice and learn something from bloggers, but the voyeurism in reading that other people are struggling with the same things that I am struggling definitely makes me feel better and gives me hope that if that blogger can get through this tough thing, pay off that debt, raise that child, be a good wife/husband, do well at their job, etc, then I can too.
So how about I fill you in on the other things that have been happening in my life that has kept me busy, exhausted, distracted, and otherwise doing a thousand things other than writing blog posts to be read by you fine people?
My lovely daughter turned one year old recently and I am constantly amazed by her. She has four teeth and is working on learning how to walk and trying so hard to talk, so she is in overdrive right now. I love her to bits and love spending time with her. I hope that never, ever goes away and that I always remain grateful and happy for the time I have with her. She loves spending time with me as well, which is pretty awesome as well, so I am gonna ride this train as long as I can. She is going through some separation anxiety which is a normal part of her cognitive development but also means that she clings to me when we get home from daycare and cries when my husband plays with her, unless he can ply her with Wheat Thins. I think we should buy stock in Nabisco because she loves them so much. She also has a had time sleeping some nights, thanks teething pain. So hubs and I are busy catering to her needs, trying to keep up with the housework (or just ignoring the dishes in the sink for days), taking care of the dogs, paying bills, running errands (which I have determined is actually about 82% of your life as an adult because you always run out of milk), and generally on the go constantly. But I am not unhappy about this busy pace of life and that I am very grateful for my life, pitfalls and all, and I am grateful to be happy and grateful since I know not everyone is feeling that way about life as a parent/adult.
We are still broke and actually even more broke as each semester passes since we to take out student loans. My husband is in the home stretch and is a senior and we are both giddy with excitement that his long hard slog through finishing his degree in sports administration and coaching is coming to a close. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We took out the last student loans this semester, amidst a ridiculous snafu which I will write about in another post, and hopefully that stays the last. He just got offered a very cool internship for next semester which he needs as part of his curriculum buy it also gives him great experience and potential job connections.
I am still mystery shopping and bring in about $200 a month from it. I don’t mystery shop nearly as much as I used to pre-baby and for good reason. Many shops do not allow her to come with me and I want to spend time with her on the weekends and do stuff as a family, even if that means we go to Costco (still counts as a family outing!). I do mystery shops on my lunch break and for dinner occasionally with a few weekend shops sprinkled in when possible. I still enjoy it as a hobby but also we really need the money.
Our budget has almost no wiggle room and we live paycheck to paycheck. Like my husband calling before he buys gas to make sure we have money for it. Not spending money for the week because we ran out and we have to pay the mortgage. Eating whatever is in the fridge and pantry and running out of basic supplies because we are out of grocery money. And also we continue to make mistakes with our budget and a big one is eating out because I’m tired and don’t want to cook, I have an unexpected work lunch with colleagues after a meeting, because I have to go grocery shopping and we don’t have any food (ugh, that one makes me so angry at myself because it’s just from poor planning), or because I didn’t plan ahead what to cook and decision fatigue takes over (again, poor planning). To help with this grocery/eating out issue I recently signed up for a weekly meal plan from Six Sisters which hopefully will help with meal planning and get our budget back on track food wise. Don’t worry, I only paid $18 for 6 months because they had it on sale for half off when I signed up.
We live in south Louisiana and it is very hot here still, like mid 80s and humid. And my car’s air conditioning went out in July. We tried to fix it ourselves and my husband tried to recharge it with something he got at the auto supply store but it didn’t work. Because we lack the money for a non-essential car repair I’ve been driving around with the windows down and the breeze in my hair…and sweating…for two months. I could probably suck it up longer but I hate seeing my daughter sweaty when I get her out of her carseat. She is safe and not overheating, but I hate that she is uncomfortable. So right now I am trying to scrounge together the money to get the AC fixed and I decided to bite the bullet and go to the mechanic soon to find out how much this is gonna cost. Please pray that it is just a minor and inexpensive issue!
My laptop screen also broke back in October. Yep, a year ago when I traveled to DC for my parent’s 50’s anniversary party I made the mistake of bringing my laptop (I didn’t need it and didn’t use it, silly me thought I would write but I was traveling with an infant so no) and also of shoving it into my suitcase when I hurriedly was packing my luggage. I put too much pressure on the screen and the image does not show anymore. Luckily the computer itself still works and my husband hooked up the laptop to an old desktop monitor that we had and it works as a modified desktop computer now. My husband said that I can replace the screen and just buy a new, inexpensive one online but I have procrastinated because I am scared that I will not be able to replace it properly. Hence I have lived with this jerry-rigged contraption for the past year and it definitely has hindered my writing as well because it is awkwardly placed and I cannot sit comfortably while writing. So that laptop screen is also on my to-buy list, right after I get that AC fixed.
Well now you are all caught up (ha, hardly).
Get ready for more of this real life stuff.
And in the meantime, I would like to know what you want to know more about and what article topics you are interested in. Is there a question you have about mystery shopping? Budgeting? A problem with your side hustle or getting out of debt? Please leave your topic ideas in the comments and I will get them answered/written.