3 things that suck and 3 things I like

money, thoughts

“The Woman Who Thought She Had A Plan”
I think they will write that on my headstone.

I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and I realized I’ve been trying to do too much at once. Last Tuesday I wrote that I was waffling between paying down my student loans or saving. Well, since I don’t know how much longer I want to stay in my hometown, I decided to start putting money in savings and only pay the minimum on my loan. I figure if July comes around, and I still want to pay off my loan, I can do it with what’s in my savings.

That’s my plan anyway. We all know how plans are.

These three things that have really been bothering me lately.

  1. My best friend moved to Alaska and my other good friends live in the NYC area.
  2. I left a job I really loved, and I’m not sure how to find anything similar to it.
  3. I am always surrounded by people that are older than me.

These three things I highly recommend.

  1. I finally found a purpose for the t-shirt yarn I made and haven’t used. Macrame plant hangers.
  2. I got an Instant Pot for Christmas and so far I really only used it for rice. So I went looking for recipes and found a great pork carnitas recipe that had me using Cumin and Chili Powder – two spices I had in my cupboards but had never opened.
  3. This house is an inspiration in and of itself. The dark paint with the wood trim detail. Drooling over here.
Advertisements

on my mind: feb. 2019

home, literature, money, outdoors, thoughts

financial goals – I’ve reached a student debt balance where the interest accumulated each month is a negligible number, which means, once again, I’m waffling between cutting back my snowball or continuing on with it. On the one hand, I’d like to continue this intensity because I’d like to cut back my hours at my second job in the near future – or, at least, request some time off. On the other hand, I want to build my savings and open an IRA. I probably shouldn’t even bother to worry about this because I joined an investment app recently and have been throwing a little bit at it here and there. So, in reality, I’ve already negotiated a middle-ground with myself. 

screen time – I unintentionally cut back on my Netflix binges. I think I went almost a whole month without it, and I remembered why I don’t have regular cable or even a TV. I wouldn’t use it enough, and I get so much other stuff done when I’m not watching every new release and every new show. You know that conundrum where you sit down and don’t know what to choose out of the plethora of options? Last night, I watched a movie that has been in my list for close to a year. It was nice to put something on that I had been skipping over for a long time. I think the fact that I had cut back on my screen time helped me pick a movie more easily, and I ended up really liking it (Tallulah – if you care to know). 

health – Being at a desk all day has really messed with my health goals. I went from being active most of the day to being inactive until 5pm. I have had to cut my calories so much just to maintain weight. I have been making sure Charlie and I are walking regularly because after my knee surgery last year, Charlie gained a lot of weight too. The vet recommended he lose 10 pounds by his next yearly vaccination.  Basically, we are both pretty hangry most days, but he’s lost 6.8 lbs and looks so much better.  At least the creature I am in charge of is healthier even if I’m not. Unplugging from Netflix has helped me get more active in the evenings though. I realized I needed to make the most of our walks because I don’t have the time for each of us to get a long workout. I added walking lunges and sumo squats into our walks. Then I do a quick workout with either body weight or dumbbells and barbells. I recently bought a set of kettle-bells too and they have been a good addition to my at-home gym. 

creative juices -In addition to getting more exercise, cutting down my screen time has given me more time for personal projects like my blog, house projects, or painting.  I think I’m finally getting used to my perspective being read by people on the internet. For a long time, I didn’t want anyone to know about my blog. It wasn’t anonymous, I just didn’t share it. I’m finally growing into my voice – if that makes sense. When people give me feedback, I’m no longer embarrassed by it. Writing has become a big part of my life as of late and being able to unleash my worries and fears into words – plus share the other things I work on or make- has multiplied the motivation I have to do more. The act of summarizing the books I read or the projects I do inspires me to keep going. All of this, makes a creative like me happier in the grand scheme of things. The act of creating is the reward for me, not the comments or the amount of likes I get. 

currently november 2018

money, thoughts

life currently (2)

Currently Reading: The Prestige by Christopher Priest. This one wasn’t on the list I posted a month ago. I was talking about how much I loved the movie version at the bar, and a customer said the book was incredible. He found his copy for me and let me borrow it. I finished First Fiction last week, and I was eager to start The Prestige. First Fiction was very good. I wish I was more familiar with some of the authors because I really enjoyed some of the stories. I tend to like short stories that are about mental health or stories that cast a curious light on seemingly average people or scenes. I listed some of my favorite stories here.

Currently Listening To: Use Me by The Goo Goo Dolls

Currently Watching: A Series of Unfortunate Events

Currently Loving: My Roomba and slow cooker. I listened to Jenna Kutcher’s podcast regularly for a few weeks, and something I kept hearing was that she “outsources” to get more done in her business and in her personal life. I’m the kind of person to do something for myself. I prefer to cook at home and fix things myself. While I don’t run my own business, I do work 56 hrs a week, and with the new position I accepted, I will be driving for 7.5 hrs a week. I think the Roomba and slow cooker are my little way of “outsourcing.” These two machines make life a little easier. BTW – I bought a certified refurbished Roomba using my “fun” money and I couldn’t be happier with it.

Currently Thankful For: A new opportunity at a stable company. It’s only temporary, but I feel good about it.

Currently Celebrating: Friends and family.

Currently Thinking: Christmas presents. I need to buy Christmas presents.

Currently Worrying: I need two new tires. Fun stuff.

Currently Hoping: The weather stays decent for driving to work.

Currently Considering: I lost my six month diet bet. I’m really disappointed, and I went through a phase where I wanted to be done looking at the scale. I want to do Keto for 21 days without any weighing myself or counting anything. I just want to add more protein and cut carbs blindly and see how I feel.

Currently Trying: I did two holiday craft shows in November, and I learned that if I could sell enough art to pay for the hobby, I would be happy. My mom and I are splitting a booth next Sunday, and I am hopeful that this show will be a little more lucrative.

Currently Painting: Poinsettias.

Currently Knitting: A beautiful ribbed scarf. I’m loving how the knit pattern looks.

To my friends and family that follow along, sorry for going silent for a month! My routine should be seeing a vast improvement now that I’m no longer at my old position.

❤ Hannah

 

 

uncertainty vs. opportunity

money, thoughts

About three months ago, I wrote this. In it I explained that I am where I am because I made the best choice I could. I stopped asking, “Is this the path I’m supposed to take?” I chose based on what I know for a fact. I act with intention even though I can’t possibly foresee every outcome. A podcast I listened to over a year ago compared this way of living to way-finding. He argued that it’s not about finding your purpose or your destiny. Life’s about making choices and making them work.

I’m so happy in my home. I truly love it. I love my crazy dog. I have plans here. I have monthly plans. I have yearly plans. I’m making a life for myself… and my dog. Up until the past few weeks, I was content and everything seemed like it made sense.

Have you heard this one? “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”

What about this one? “When God closes a door, he opens a window.”

A door is closing, slowly but surely. I’m searching for that open window. I knew this could happen. I had hoped it would be in a few years or so. I just bought a house and was on a schedule to pay off my student debt by May of 2019. Now,  I’m in the exact position in my career that I was over two years ago.

I have several options rattling around in my brain.

  1. Find a job in PA. It’s close enough to my family to make a weekend trip, and far enough to be out of NY.
  2. Get a part-time job and never see my friends, family, or dog.
  3. Find a job I’m not interested in, nor using my experience in, that pays better.
  4. Commute an hour to the closest city to a job that is either in my field of interest or pays better.
  5. Get a two year degree in engineering or nursing and change my field altogether so that I can stay in my hometown, perpetually single, with my dog and a homestead.
  6. Sell everything I own on eBay (plus the promise of my first born) and hope that puts a dent in my loans.

My company is being evicted from it’s building, and I will, more than likely, be laid off.

The first person I told was my cousin. She told me that this could be a really good thing. This could be a moment that puts me on the road to something greater. She also said that no matter what happened, I would most definitely be okay. She’s a “sign-seer.” I am not. This isn’t an omen or divine intervention. It’s just life. I want to listen to her and look at this as an opportunity for a window to open. I know she’s right. I know I’ll be okay, but there are so many things to worry about.

6121649b-5d9d-49ec-a7e5-826d75fb9e73

Parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents always think that young people have all the options in the world. They don’t see my world being uprooted. They don’t see the hours of job searching. They don’t see the looming bills to pay. Uncertainty, to them, means opportunity. It’s the proverbial “youth is wasted on the young” outlook.

I wouldn’t need to tell so many people if I didn’t work part-time at the bar. I can’t lie when people ask, “How is work?” Obviously, I’m grateful that I have so much support, but at this point, I’ve heard it all.

“I’ll get you a job.”
“We have an extra bedroom.”
“You have so much talent.”
“You’ll figure it out.”
“Rent out your house.”
“You can go anywhere.”
“So and so is hiring.”
“You should be a teacher.”
“Move to Texas.”
“Take the Civil Service Exam.”

I’m practicing smiling and saying, “Thank you. I will think about it.” I can only take so much well-meant advice before I go crazy. A friend of my Dad’s says I should start telling people made up plans for my future to see which individuals are blabber mouths. It would be so entertaining to hear people say, “I heard you were starting a candle business,” or “So when are you moving to Canada?”

A couple people understand where I’m coming from: my dad and mom, a few friends.  My one friend was very apologetic and told me to fight. He said I should “pull a midnight coup d’etat.” He said “write your elected reps;” “write letters to the people at the agency.”  He recognized what I’m losing. He knows how good the opportunity that I had was and I appreciate him for it.

If there’s one good thing about uncertainty, it’s that it illuminates the people you really value for advice and support. There were a core group of people I wanted to tell, and each had their own unique response to ease my worries. Then there are people I didn’t plan to tell but was glad I did.

i’m so happy

money, thoughts

If I could tell the me of two years ago how happy I would be right in this moment, she would be shocked but so relieved. You know you are happy when you drink rum and Black Cherry sparkling soda and you are overcome with gratefulness. I’m just sitting here staring at the empty space that will eventually be my living room. It needs furniture and wall hangings. It needs sweat and elbow grease. It needs color and warmth. It needs memories. It’s a work in progress, but I am so happy that it’s mine. Charlie is being annoying and needy, but we are in our home. He is literally putting his face in my coat to go outside (even though every time I take him out he stares at the yard like “this is not what I expected”).

–Also side note: I’m listening to Lonely Eyes by Chris Young on repeat, and for some reason, the chorus is just so uplifting that I’m not even thinking about lonely eyes. —

Tonight I looked at my loan payments and savings account. It’s so relieving to know that even though I’m not living an extravagant life, that I am paying my bills and getting ahead of my student loans. Even though I’ve change my lifestyle a little bit, I’m still okay.  I’ve been eating out a little too much, but I’m cutting back so I can focus on my student debt again. It’s crazy what a little raise can do. I’m so used to saving money and accounting for every penny that I think I can go a few more years putting all I have towards my student loans and have them paid off by 2020 just like I hoped. According to an online calculator, I actually should be able to pay them off in May of next year!

Honestly, at that point, I don’t even know what I would do with all that money  when it isn’t going toward the loans. Maybe I would roll the snowball into my mortgage. Maybe I would put new siding on my house. The possibilities are endless. Just a little while longer watching all my money pay down my degree. It’s so close; I can taste it.