Friday, October 19, 2012


Wikipedia has this to say about goals:

"A goal is a desired result an animal or a system envisions, plans and commits to achieve—a personal or organizational desired end-point in some sort of assumed development. Many people endeavor to reach goals within a finite time by setting deadlines.

It is roughly similar to purpose or aim, the anticipated result which guides reaction, or an end, which is an object, either a physical object or an abstract object, that has intrinsic value."

Top Achievement, a Self Improvement and Personal Development community, has an article on S.M.A.R.T. goals--Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely goals.  This gives us a little more definition and specific attributes of goals, but still leaves me feeling overwhelmed and scratching my head.

And these two websites/definitions are just the tip of the iceberg.

It makes me tired, reading about all these goal setting techniques.  I've read this stuff before and been to conferences and business seminars about how to be more successful and make more money and be happier, etc.  None of it really made much difference in my life.

Until I read this statement last July:
"Whatever you're doing right now, whether it makes you happy or not, is exactly what you want most to be doing right now.

You are exactly where you've wanted to be all along."
--"Need to Know" by Paul Myers, Publisher of TalkBiz News
(You can read more from Paul Myers at

Is this statement rocking your world?  No?  Maybe you should re-read it.  "You are exactly where you've wanted to be all along."

This revolutionized the way I thought about what I want out of life.  Paul describes the motivation to change as "wantpower."  Basically, what do you want more?

I've had several goals floating around in my head during the last year and a half, some have been around for years, some are brand new, and some were born about a year and half ago when this journey started in earnest.

But it wasn't until I read Paul's statement that I started to work out the specifics of those goals and started getting busy making them happen.

I alluded to these goals in my last post about living in my 40th year.  I'm sharing some of them with you in hopes that they'll inspire you to make some much wanted changes in your own life and give me some much needed accountability in mine :)

Daily Goal:
Make one small choice today that makes the world a better place.

Short Term Goals:
September 2012--practice and karaoke Lady Gaga's "Paper Gangsta"--accomplished!  If I am feeling really brave I may post the video in the near future, we'll see!!!!!

October 2012--brush and floss my teeth at least once a day, EVERY day.  I know, I know, I can hear all of you shaking your heads at me.  Oral hygiene is important AND I have expensive teeth that my parents made sacrifices to pay to straighten!  But brushing is such a chore sometimes...sigh.

November 2012--NaNoWriMo--National Novel Writing Month--during the month I will be writing a 50,000 word novel rough draft.  You can learn more about NaNoWrimo here.  Starting November 1 there will be a widget here on my blog that shows how I'm doing--how many words I've written and what % I've completed.  Please feel free to check back often to see my progress and offer words of encouragement :)

December 2012--Yet to be determined.

Long Term Goal:
August 2013--Climb Mt. St. Helens!  Passes go on sale February 1st!  I am purchasing 12--the most that can be in one group and I plan to fill that group with peeps who want to celebrate with me at the top!  This has been a goal of mine for several years.  This next summer, in honor of turning 40, I am making it happen!  If you live in the PDX area and want to go on training hikes with me, let me know :)  The more the merrier.

I don't buy into all the goal setting hoopla out there, but I do have some great tools that I use to help me accomplish my goals.  The most important is my Google calendar.  The pic at the top of this post is an actual screen print of my calendar this week.  It may look overwhelming in all its color coded glory, but it sends me e-mail and text reminders, it gives me a history to look back on, and a plan to look forward on.  And most importantly its on my phone and I can get to it from any computer with internet access.  Of course, its only as helpful as the work I put into maintaining it.  It comes free with gmail. If you have a gmail e-mail address, you have a Google calendar. All you have to do is start using it.

Thank you for joining me on this journey.  Your support is much needed and appreciated.  I wish you well on your journey wherever and whatever that may be.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The 40th Year...

I am currently living the 40th year of my life.

I realized this in the middle of the summer when I was thinking about the list of things I want to accomplish when I turn 40.  My thoughts went something like this:

"I am ALREADY living the 40th year of my life!"
"So, what is the big deal about turning 40?  Its already happening."
"By the time I actually turn 40 I'll be living the 41st year of my life."

Although a bit discouraging at first, this knowledge spurred me on to begin working toward some of my goals sooner rather than later.  There are a LOT of goals.  Probably more than I can possibly accomplish.  I won't bore you with all the mundane details here and now.

The interesting thing about getting close to 40 is I am happy and content with my life.

Turning 30 it was difficult for me.  I was angst ridden.  I didn't know what I was doing with my life and it seemed like my peers were passing me by with "successful" lives and families.  Even Jesus had it together by the time he turned 30, I told myself.  That's when his "public" ministry really got started.  And what was I doing with my life?  Shouldn't there be something else?  What was I missing?

In October 2002 I was living in an apartment above the auto parts store in downtown Zillah, WA and working as an Accounting Data entry specialist at an Insurance company.  I helped with the youth on Wednesday nights at church and taught a Sunday School class on Sunday mornings.  I hung out every Monday night with good friends and ate good food.  I was loved and a part of a community.  There were actually many good things happening...but I couldn't see them.

It was a year of discontent.

Here I am.  10 years later.

Ironically, life is even more uncertain now than it was then:

  • Professionally--I am living what I call my "Multiple Streams of Income" lifestyle.  A Year and a half ago I quit a full-time job to work 3 part-time jobs and own my own little bookkeeping/administrative business with my friend Dondi.
  • Spiritually--my relationship with Jesus is good but I'm not involved in my church, I'm a "pew sitter"...something I never thought I'd be.
  • Relation-ally--I have amazing friends that I love and that love me.  But I also spent the last two months grieving and dealing with the disappointment of the end of a relationship I thought might be "the one."
  • Lifestyle--I live in a studio apartment with my cat.  'Nough said.
But I am content.

Not the kind of content that's gonna breed complacency and turn me into the crazy cat lady, sitting home every night knitting tiny, little sweaters for my kitties.  The kind of content that pushes me to try new things and get out of my comfort zone every time I can.

and happy.

Not the kind of happy that depends on what my friends or my boss or the guys I'm dating or my neighbors think of me.  The kind of happy that comes from deep within because I KNOW I am worth every bit of love available to me.

and at peace.

There is only one kind of peace.  Either you have it or you don't.

with my life.

My flipping awesome life.  I make my own schedule.  I will find a place to get involved at church. I soak up life with my friends and am having fantastic (and sometimes not so fantastic) adventures dating.  And my studio is in Hawthorne...the heart of hipster Portland--just going to the grocery store is a cacophony of experiences :)

Bring it on 40--whatever you want to throw at me, bring it on.

I am ready.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

An open apology to my neighbor for using their Oxiclean Max Force Stain Removal Spray without Permission

Let me explain...

On Thursday I was in the basement getting a tent and camping supplies out of my storage cage.  I decided to use the basement door to the outside since the tent is pretty heavy and it didn't make any sense to carry the tent up the inside stairs just to go down the outside stairs in front of the house.  I'm big on efficiency.  Okay, whatever, I didn't buy that either.  I'm big on NOT carrying a heavy tent up and down more stairs than I need to :)

When I was going out the basement door I was careful not to swing the tent over to the right of the door.  A couple of weeks ago (when I was getting more stuff out of my storage unit for a yard sale), I noticed  that there was a large web with a large spider and two LARGE egg sacks hanging to the right of the door.

This is the kind of spider it was:

According to the Portland State University "Common House Spiders of Portland" website the common name  of this spider is a "False Black Widow" and they are common in Portland homes.  They create "cobweb" looking webs--you know, like the ones people make out of quilt batting for Halloween.

I grew up in a farm house with spiders all around as a part of daily life.  I've lived in other countries where I've had to share showers with spiders whose legs spanned the palm of my hand.  I am generally not in a hurry to kill them because I know they eat other pests and can be good to have around.

So, I was careful not the drag the tent through the spider's web.

I came back in the basement to get the rest of the camping supplies, locked up my storage cage, and headed for the outside basement door, again being careful not to disturb the spider or it's web.  I planned to pull the basement door shut behind me, but as I walked by the web something caught my eye.  Some movement I hadn't seen before.  I quickly took the camping supplies outside and came back into the basement.

I got close enough just to confirm my suspicion and slowly backed away.

This is similar to what I saw:

This pic comes from the blog  The writer of this blog and I did not have the same reaction.  She carefully took the spider and the egg-sack off of her screen door and transported them to safety on a paper towel.

I, on the other hand, suddenly had visions of 1000's of large bulbous spiders with huge abdomens invading my apartment above.  Out of pure panic I reached for the first thing I saw--YOUR Oxiclean Maxforce Stain Removal Spray--and saturated the web and the spider and the babies with it.

And watched them die.

And immediately felt sick.

Such violence.  Is my imagination too vivid?  Is it because it's getting close to Halloween?    Obviously, I'm still pondering my behavior.  And truth be told, I can't be sure that given the opportunity I wouldn't do it that way again.  Even now I'm feeling itchy all over at the thought of those little baby spiders all over my house.  Arachnophobia?  I never even watched that movie. LOL.

So you see, dear neighbor, I really did you a favor! since your apartment is in this house too!

Pacific NW Poser

It occurred to me as I was doing my laundry today that I might be a Pacific NW Poser.

On Monday, Labor Day, I was shopping at Value Village with a friend (did you know most of their stuff is an additional 50% off on Labor Day?) and I purchased a grey fleece vest for $3.00, which was a fantastic deal! As I was putting it in the wash today I realized that I've never owned ANY other fleece in my adult life for sure and I'm pretty sure not in my pre-adult life either.

I've been posing as a Pacific Northwesterner my whole life!!!!

Then I remembered with UNFORTUNATE certainty that I wore socks with my birkenstock sandals in college. I'm pretty sure that grandfathered me in...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Warning: Discombobulated Driver!

I recently got my car out of insurance jail. This is probably not what you think. It is not the impound lot where your car goes when you get a ticket for driving uninsured. Although that may also be called insurance jail.

I purposely put my car on an insurance storage plan. In other words, my car was still insured should one of my neighbors choose to hit it or break into it, or should my building fall on it; however, I could NOT drive it. I even had to give them my odometer reading.

I rarely drive these days. I live 2 miles from my job, I take public transportation most places I go during the week or I walk. I found myself driving my car once or maybe twice a week and sometimes not even once. I decided I should figure out how much it was costing me to own this car I never drive. Approx. $225 a month, when all gas, maintenance, insurance, etc. was added up. And that doesn't even include a parking fee, which I am now paying at $75.00 a month.

So, I embarked on the great Zipcar experiment. I stored my car on November 17th, 2010 and got a Zipcar membership the next day. From then until January 27th, 2011 I did not drive my car. If I needed to get someplace I rode public transportation, rented a Zipcar, or rode with someone else. i kept track of all money spent, including gas split with my sister to go home for the holidays. And it was MUCH, MUCH cheaper than owning my own car. Even with the small amount I was paying for storage insurance, I spent far less on transportation than what it cost to maintain and own a car.

And I lost 10 pounds.

And I got to drive some pretty fun cars.

And I rode the train, which is by far the most comfortable way to travel I've ever found.