Sunday, January 10, 2010


So I'm thinking a lot about Contentment lately. I've started - for like the 10th time - the Simple Abundance book. If you've never checked it out, it came out in the mid-90's, and features essays and 'assignments' each day on finding your authentic creativity and living a life of contentment and simplicity and allowing your true self to come through. I usually get lazy and stop around mid-february, but I'd like to actually complete it this year. I say that every year.

Anyway, I'm thinking a lot about what it takes to be content, and what I actually need vs. what I just want. Part of my new year's resolution-schmezolutions include saving more money and living off of half my income. I've got some messiness from the holidays to clean up, but even with that, I'm still doing a pretty good job of it so far - packing my lunch, and I've also perfected an iced-mocha that tastes just like the one from Starbucks - seriously - I use their espresso, which helps.

So I was feeling all proud of how happy and content I've been, and then yesterday I went to Target to return something. I wasn't planning on shopping. I've been planning on taking the $100 I usually spend at Target and putting it into my South-Africa-Trip-Fund. But then I decided to look at the new spring bags, and suddenly all 38 bags I have hanging around my room felt drab, ugly, and old. (By the way, my hubby and I each have separate rooms since we're only children - we sleep in the bedroom, which doubles as his room and is decorated with baseball bobble-heads, tons of baseball caps, Bob Marley posters, etc; and I work in the office, which also has my clothes, piano, and elliptical machine inside). Suddenly I was desperate to buy a bag. I felt like I needed a bag. I felt like all my bags are crap.

And I realized that's how Target makes its living. Target (and all retail outlets besides, maybe, grocery stores) makes its living making me think that my bags are crap, so I need to buy new bags. And I decided to stop going in to Target so often. It just makes me feel unsatisfied with what I have. There's some stuff I need to get there, but I don't have to go in every week, that's for sure.

So now I'm making a list of the things I really need and the things I want. I need: air, food, water, music, things to read, companionship, baths, rest, and love. Those are the things I really need. Like, life just wouldn't work without it. And I have all them. So really, anything at Target is just gravy.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I'm watching Notting Hill, which makes me happy because it's in London. Plus, it has the great time-passing-montage to "ain't no Sunshine when she's gone" which I like. I'm having a lovely evening sitting by the fire with the cats, making out a poster of my new-year's-resolutions-schmezolutions to hang up on the fridge. I'm also going to write for 90 minutes, and start emailing people about the a capella choir I'm going to start. So all in all, I anticipate a lovely and productive evening. Yay for productive evenings.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Resolutions Schmezolutions

So here we are at another January and I'm doing more resolutions. Actually, I kind of enjoy it. Yesterday I listed all the ares of my life that are important to me, and what I wanted to accomplish with them this year. It's kind of fun to think about, and create the year. So here are some things I'm going to accomplish in 2010:

1. Write - like, seriously, like my life depends on it. Because, in some ways, it really does. I say that I want to be mobile and have a life that is split between LA, PA and London, with travel on the side as well. It's kind of hard to do that with a "real" job. So I really feel like writing is where it's at, especially because reading and writing have always meant so much to me. So this year, the goal is to write for 6 hours a week (that's an hour a day, give or take) and also to take my journaling seriously. Also, I'm going to finish, edit and publish my 2009 NaNoWriMo book, which is one that I'm really loving.

2. Exercise - like, seriously, again, like my life depends on it. Because in a much more real way, it does. I putter around on my elliptical 5 times a week already, but that's kind of lame because my muscles are already used to it, and it's kind of like sleepwalking. I don't do any weights, or core exercises, and that's important as I get (ahem) older. So I bought an exercise ball and have started using it, and am going to do push-ups - starting with my knees bent because I'm lame, but growing my strength so that by the end of the year, I can do 25 push-ups with my legs straight. That's the goal.

3. Go back to London more - At least twice this year. I get lazy because I hate leaving home, but really, that's where my soul belongs, and I need to spend more time there. I get inspired, I get in action, and I come alive when I'm there.

4. Financial - One thing I know is how to make money. Unfortunately, I also know how to spend it with the best of them. So this year, I'm going to try an experiment: I'm going to try to live off of half my salary and save the rest. That will allow me to do things like to go London a lot without charging it on a card. It will also allow me to build up a nice little nest egg for the time when Baby Heather comes along and we need to buy foreign things like diapers and cribs. Weird. And really, lord knows I seriously don't need more scented candles or faux-designer bags from Target. It's all just more junk to move someday anyway.

So those are four of my big resolutions for the new year.

And a funny thing happened during the keeping-of-a-resolution: I decided to go for a hike around the lake this morning, as the weather was nice and it wasn't too freezing. So I get there, park the car, and take my car key off the chain as always, and also as always, I tuck it into my underwear. This is what I have always done, since the days when I began running 15 years ago. Yes, I carry my car key in my underwear. So sue me. So it was slipping around, and I was like, "man, I've gotta find a new place for this key" and then reached in by my hip, and it was no longer there. I shook out my clothes, and nothing. I went back and forth along the path five times, and no key. What the hell, right? Right. So then I finish walk, call hubby and he gets our neighbor to drive him to get me because I have no key. We are going to walk the bit of path where I lost it again, looking more carefully, when suddenly I feel it in an unmentionable. It had moved around and I basically had key-butt. Which was funny because I'd had key-butt for three miles and hadn't felt it. Weird.