You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2011.

I once read a post on a friend’s blog – My Interior By Design – that went like this:

1. Healthy things grow.

2. Growing things change.

3. Changing things challenge us.

4. Challenge forces us to trust.

5. Trust leads to obedience.

6. Obedience makes us healthy.

7. Healthy things grow.

Change.  It can be so difficult.  It can be so good.  It can be a pain in the butt!  Changes have really hit me as I adjust to life in a new state (and yes, sometimes I walk around during my day with the David Bowie song, “Changes”, stuck in my head).  For example, in the state of Georgia, you get your driver’s license from the Department of Driver Services (or DDS), but then you go across town to a totally different office run by the county to get your car’s plates.  Never had to do that before, and the idea sounded awful – two different offices to complete a task that I used to be able to take care at one?! Come. On.  Well, it turned out to be a rather painless and efficient system, because it took all of 20 minutes for both my husband and I to get our car tags, so…yay! 🙂

Another thing I’ve been adjusting to is not knowing anyone around here.  Well, I’ve got my neighbor, who’s been really nice, but she’s much older than me, so we probably would run out of things to talk about if we ever found a place we both wanted to hang out.  I really drive myself crazy at church or Starbucks, which are both places I used to go and see friendly faces.  Oh, well, the faces are friendly enough around here, too, but none of them are familiar.  That doesn’t stop my from scanning every face, trying to find someone familiar!  Still haven’t found one.  😦

It’s hard to think back and remember that only 5 years ago, I was in the same situation in Virginia.  I had just moved from the Midwest, where I was born and raised.  Friendly strangers, low humidity, and cold weather were all I had known!  Needless to say, moving to the East Coast/South, living 20 minutes from the ocean was quite a culture shock!  I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t have a job, and I didn’t have a clue where to start!  Fast forward half a decade, and as we packed up all our earthly belongings (besides the ones that are still being stored in my parent’s basement), we said several teary goodbyes to people who had become close friends.  People who I had never known existed a few years before are now some of the dearest people to me. 

And now, I look forward to living that all over again, even though I have no idea what the process will look like, and it probably won’t be all that fun sometimes, but one day, I will be able to look at my life and smile at all the wonderful people who have come into it at different times, in different places, and made it so much more special.

So here’s to growth, change, challenge, trust, and obedience!

And, no, I’m not talking about the ‘Ctrl-I’ command. 🙂  After yesterday’s post, I started planning my list…  At my last job, I had a very specific notebook that I would use to keep my lists, and when I thought about it, I realized that one of the things about my lists that keeps me so motivated is the presentation of the list.  Now, before we pull out the ‘OCD’ stamp and apply it directly to my forehead, let me clarify – not all lists are created equally.  My grocery/shopping lists get scribbled on whatever scrap of paper (or junk mail envelope) is within arm’s reach, for example.  When I’m making a list that needs to keep me on track, motivate me to finish something and keep me organized, I like it to be as presentable as possible, to keep myself focused on the items on the list, rather than the overall look of the list.

I prefer a sturdy notebook, and I need a smooth-writing pen; gel-ink are nice, and I’m not opposed to ballpoint, as long as they won’t gunk up, smearing blobs of ink in the middle of a letter, or dry up, leaving ghosts on the page where I meant a word to be.  But most importantly, I have to write clearly – if I start chicken-scratching or misspelling words, it just ends up distracting me.  Which reminded me of all my penmanship exercises in grade school.  Does anyone else remember those?

At the risk of walking smack into another label, I was homeschooled through eighth grade, and my mother taught me how to write: print (or block), cursive, and italics.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, italics is sort of a cross between block and cursive, like fancy block, but more legible than cursive.  The style I learned is very much like the picture below.

I haven’t practiced my handwriting in so long that I hardly remember how to write like that anymore.  I’ve read that some schools aren’t even teaching cursive anymore, because it’s become an irrelevant skill, in light of all the typing we do on computers nowadays.  But I miss it.  I love reading notes and letters from my grandmothers, looking at their delicate, flowing script that they worked so hard to perfect until it became second nature.  Mine wasn’t nearly as graceful as theirs, but it wasn’t too shabby-looking…

I think I’m going to start practicing it again!  Would you consider it ironic for me to Google practice sheets? 😉

Today is my first day being a true stay-at-home housewife.  Even though I left my last job in November to move to another state, I am only just beginning to count my days of housewifing today because this is my first day home alone. <Feel free to insert the Macaulay Culkin scream here…you know you want to>  My husband started his new job today, which leaves me in the house with our dogs, what’s left of the moving boxes, and the laundry.

It has been an interesting day – this is the first time since I-can’t-remember-when that I’ve been without a job or school schedule to keep me on task.  Not having an automatic structure in place, I spent the better part of my morning nursing a cup of coffee and browsing the internet.  I started with the essentials, of course (Facebook, Twitter, headlines of msn.com), then moved on to re-formatting my blog, and wrapped up with glancing through Google’s top results for event planners in my new city.  After a look at the clock (the entire morning had escaped me), I tackled some boxes; unfortunately, it was all the little bathroom things that need organizing, so there was a lot of work with little visible progress.  Very frustrating.  Thankfully, I have a very understanding husband, and after I vented my own disappointment of my lack of productivity, he simply said “It’s ok.”  🙂  I love him! 

I think keeping lists will be the biggest help for me.  I used to have a notebook designated for all my to-do items at work.  I think I’ll do the same for all my home projects.  That way, I can take a look at what needs to be done at the beginning of my day and assess my progress in the evening.  I’m a very list-oriented person – I find them very motivating. 🙂  Well, that about sums up my first day of “housewifing.” 

In other news, my husband had a WONDERFUL first day of work!  Yay! 🙂

I wrote this on my iPhone while in the backseat of my friend’s car as we navigated the streets of Mexico City.  Enjoy! 🙂
 

How to drive in Mexico:
1. The horn is your friend. Use the horn. A lot.
2. The turn signal is not your friend. Nobody cares about what you’re doing until you actually do it, so get moving!
3. If you need to change lanes, do it now. That’s why the other cars have brakes.
4. Don’t worry about those lines they painted on the road. If your car fits mirror-to-mirror next to another car, that’s a lane.
5. Also, those red stop signs are really more of a suggestion; we’re not sure why they bothered to put them up, maybe for decoration?
6. Ditto for most traffic lights.
7. And the policemen directing traffic.
8. If you want to turn left, remember to get into the far right lane first.
9. Treat all rotundas like normal intersections – if you want to go left, go ahead and go against the majority of traffic.
10. While making a left turn in a rotunda, feel free to stop if you need to – everyone will just go around you.
11. Street signs are not very reliable, but taxi drivers give great directions.
12. Buses always have the right of way; even if he rear-ends you, it’s your fault.

2010…Oy!  What a ride!  The first few months were alright, but April thru December have been quite the rollercoaster ride.  It has been one transitional phase after another, and let me tell you: I am itching to settle into a routine again!

To summarize: Within a matter of days, my grandmother passed away and my  husband lost his job (boo!).  Then my little brother got married (yay!).  We put our house up for sale in a nearly impossible market (boo!).  Our house actually sold (yay!)!  My husband got a job offer – in a different state (yay!).  We moved from our house to a friend’s apartment to an extended stay hotel into our new house in Georgia (boo!).  We got to travel to Mexico and Minnesota and visit friends and family during the holidays before my husband starts his new job (yay!).

*Whew*

I’m actually kind of looking forward to getting back to our new place in Georgia, just so I can start unpacking and establish something that resembles a daily schedule!  Oh, and bonus: I get to start my own job-search, only this time it’ll be focused on something that I can do from home (yay!). 😉  And of course, I’ll be able to focus on blogging more regularly and keep you all updated on my new life as a southern housewife and my job search. 

So, here’s looking at you, 2011!  Here’s to a clean slate – a new year, a fresh start! 🙂