A very good friend of mine gave me a wonderful gift yesterday, the best gift that I can remember receiving in some time: a deck of cards called the “Travel Anywhere Guide.” Each card has a prompt “for discovering the unexpected wherever your journey leads.”
The first card I drew says “look behind you, look above you, look underneath you. These are your surroundings.” Behind me is a window, that looks out onto a dark, wet Mission Hills. Above me is the ceiling of my apartment and a light fixture. Beneath me is the couch that we purchased from craigslist when we moved into this apartment, a little grayer than it was then. It feels good to take a look around and remember that whatever is going on in my head right now, I am physically here. I have a nice apartment (with electricity!) and comfortable furniture, in a neighborhood where I (most of the time) feel safe. Really, after that, the rest is details.
February flew by. I did not stop multi-tasking. I did not stop browsing the internet. I still need to stop multi-tasking, in large part because doing six things at once makes me feel hectic and stressed, whereas slowing down and doing one thing at a time makes me feel in control, but work hasn’t been cooperating. I think I’m better off replacing internet time than just quitting, but I also feel like this is a “small potatoes” goal compared to what I’m really trying to accomplish. Will spending less time on the internet make me happier? Probably. Will stressing out about how much time I spend on the internet make me happier? Certainly not. So, I’m letting go.
February was a good month, money-wise. I almost forgot how good until I was going back over my accounts today. I started a retirement account with Vanguard! I fully funded that retirement account for 2014! And I’m on track to fully fund this account in 2015! And pay off my car! That’s a lot of exclamation points, but I have a lot to be excited about. Things are happening.
I’m not expecting much to change in March financially. I’ve finally booked tickets to go to D.C. in April with my sister and my grandmother, so there will be a fair amount of extra spending related to this trip, but I’ve already set aside the money for it. Buying plane tickets for three people, leaving from three separate cities? No big deal. That felt really good. I’m excited to figure out where we’ll stay and what we’ll do when we’re there. I also realized tonight that my grandmother turns 88 at the end of April, which makes this whole trip seem more urgent. If not now, when?
I want to focus in March on the “what do I want to do with my life?” question I posed when I started this project. Lately, my work-life balance has been feeling off (or non-existent). I like my job, but it isn’t the end-all be-all of what I want to do with my life. I want to spend a little more time figuring out what that end-all be-all is (or at least, what my two year plan is right now) and I want to start working on it. I’ve found it really effective to keep a list of questions in my car to check in on my resolutions and priorities. Lately the list has been long, six questions, but this week I simplified it down to just one that I want to focus on:
Have you done one thing today to further your writing dreams?
This is what I think that be-all end-all question might come down to (career-wise), at least, it is the piece of myself that keeps coming back to me and won’t let me go, so this month I’m going to make it a higher priority.
For my fun resolution, I just want to play with my new cards. It makes for good tweet inspiration, so if you’re on twitter, you should follow me @arecanter.
For family, it is my person’s birthday this month, so we have some fun things planned, and of course, getting ready and anticipating this trip in April.