How to Make Money with a Mess


FRIENDS | “The One with the Dirty Girl”

I feel like I’ve been handed something I thought would take years to accomplish. Part of me is irritated that I didn’t pursue a management position years ago when it became clear that I was built for leadership. But I can’t throw away the last 8 years of work. I learned a lot about human nature. That has to be worth something.

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Professional Whiplash


My last day at my job of five years was June 10th. My first day at the architectural and engineering firm that claimed to love me was June 13th. Last Wednesday, July 27th, I had a feeling that I should call up my friend to catch up. Between my classes sucking up every spare molecule of brain function and willpower and her parents needing help moving from their decades-long residence, neither of us had found the time to connect lately. 

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Well, that’s different…

Something has happened. I’m hesitant to write about it, because I’m still fighting the fear that it won’t last. But since this happening is centered around encouraging my best life possible, I’m going to hazard to write about it anyway! 

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Learning to Me

This post is literally a month in the making, so please bear with the random turns it takes…

My dad paid good money awhile back for a series of audio recordings and a workbook to help someone setup a blog. The problem with his plan was that he never listened to the recordings or went through the workbook.

At the end of my four-day Thanksgiving vacation, mentally well-armed with having washed, dried, folded, and put away every article of dirty clothing in the house, I cracked the workbook.

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Organic Organization

As proud as I am of the way I’ve been able to digitally organize myself at work, the last month has shown me that my home life was in need of a much more tangible system. I wanted to use rulers and highlighters and pens and notebooks. I wanted to see color and handwriting and sketches. I loved the Bullet Journal system, but the suggested level of detail was too intense for my purposes. I wanted to chronicle my life, but not down to the most minute detail.

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Reorganization Update

Simplicity by kuzy62 |

The reorganization of my over-abundant systems of organization is well underway. I hit a bit of a snag with all the synchronizing needed to compile an accurate task list and my calendar. I’ve nearly scrapped the whole thing a couple times because it seems more complicated than it should be, but there is something very powerful about breaking a task down into steps, which is what Toodledo can give me with Subtasks. I needs it in my life!

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Lack of Rumination

Bliss by elisadelatorre |

I’m almost hesitant to post this on April Fool’s, but since I loathe practical jokes (when they’re played on me), I’m going to pretend it’s yesterday, which is when I started considering this post.

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Culinary Ownership

I’ve had it pretty good the last few years. During our pre-marital counseling, Spike agreed to do all the grocery shopping and all the cooking. Nice, right? In exchange, I agreed to do all the cleaning and bookkeeping. It’s been a dream arrangement. I hate hated the grocery store and I can’t couldn’t stand cooking. The frustration of not being able to find things in the grocery store – no more. The hangry cleaning of the kitchen after work so I can cook dinner – never again!

I am grateful for the blessings of this arrangement. It’s worked seamlessly for many years now. My husband and I have lived up to our agreements. We’ve [actually] never fought over who should do the cooking, the cleaning, the grocery shopping, or the bookkeeping. We haven’t suffered any undercutting comments from each other about the lack of upkeep. We have been blissfully, happily married.

The unforeseen consequence of this arrangement is that I have completely relinquished all responsibility for what I consume. If Spike doesn’t cook, we eat out. I don’t care what I eat. I’m entitled to my mashed potatoes. I deserve my brownies. I needs the cheesy garlic breads. When your serotonin is at a level to barely keep you functional, carbohydrates are the savior you clamor for.

But I am happily changed, and I have taken ownership of what I consume. I am more aware of what I eat. I am selective. I have [some] self-control. And I want to cook. God help me. I want to cook.

Spike started school in January. Since then our meals have taken an understandable hit. We’ve eaten out a lot more often. Although I’ve gotten better about the food I order when I go out, it still isn’t great. Although my serotonin-boosting “brain pills” (as I call them) are helping, I still need some help in eating healthy.

I discovered many years ago. Seriously, for five dollars a month, I don’t know why everyone and their mother isn’t subscribed to this site. It offers a wide range of meal plans as PDFs that come out every week (which I saved when I was subscribed to the site). It gives you recipes and a shopping list for a week’s worth of meals. For all the planning and brain power it saves, I don’t know how I would manage to takeover meal planning without it.

This morning I went to the grocery store for the first time in [actual] years. I spent two hours making sure everything on my list was carefully selected. I purchased and bagged my items and I brought home my kill with all the pride of a successful hunter.

I prepped a spicy beef flank steak this afternoon (which Spike grilled this evening) and a side of radish slaw. We “beefed up” the slaw with some fresh Red Russian Kale, arugula, mache, and curly endive clippings from Spike’s aquaponics garden. It was delicious. The steak was more spicy than I expected, but it was still fantastic!
Also, I might be cartoon-drunk now [read: literally hiccuping and drunk] from celebrating my success. We bought a growler of award-winning, amazing beer on our wine road trip, and I may or may not have tried to finish it off single-handedly after the girls went to bed. Single… glassedly? I don’t know. Hope you enjoyed this. Mrs. Spike needs her bed now.

Three Gold Stars

I had an amazing appointment with my naturopath yesterday. Let’s start off with the fact that he gave me a homeopathic remedy for my allergies that blew my socks off (or my nose out? that’s gross). He gave me the little bottle at the beginning of the appointment. My ears were itching, throat was raspy, and eyes were watering. A dropper-full of that formula and half-way through the appointment, I felt 90% better! He said continued use will make even more effective. Signed up for that!

After talking about the life changes I’ve experienced over the last few months he said he was going to do something he’s only done a handful of times in the last ten years of his practice.

He gave me three gold stars.

Three Gold Stars  |  Earned March 20, 2015
Three Gold Stars | Earned March 20, 2015

It sounds like a ridiculous, juvenile reward, but he was so proud to give them to me! I was just as proud to receive them.

The first star was for the fact that I admitted to needing help. I didn’t accept that clinical depression was simply my lot in life, as it is in my lives of my family members, and I should just get used to the idea. I didn’t throw in the towel and continue to watch myself slide deeper into depression and malnutrition and obesity.

The second star was for recognizing the unforgiveness in my life and not brushing it off as something that didn’t affect me. He said many Christians may see that forgiveness is needed, but they only pay it lip service. “I’m saved. I’ve forgiven. It’s done,” but when they’re in the same room with the person they “forgave” or they hear their voice, their physical reaction gives away their insincerity. Their hearts pound, their eyes narrow, their chests tense. They may have spoken the “magic words,” but their spirit is still starving for forgiveness, and their body is paying the price.

The third gold star was for taking steps to alter the course of my life. Three months ago I had barely enough weepy motivation to get through the day. Today I’m waiting on an acceptance letter to a university to finish my bachelor’s degree, I have a hearing date to gain Legal Guardianship of my goddaughters, I’m on the warpath to make a career move, and I’ve naturally stopped overeating (which, I don’t think I’ve mentioned before).

My heart sings more sincerely. I am transformed. I am mighty.

Three gold stars, justly won.