June 9th-June 15th: Week in Review

This week I really enjoyed not being sick and also being able to work in shorts. It’s the little things, guys.

On the heels of a productive week, I thought I’d share all of the podcasts that have been keeping me company. It’s weird when you go from sharing an office to being home alone all day. And I don’t mean sharing an office as in there are other people near by…I mean legitimately sharing the same room. It’s a big adjustment to go from never being alone to always being alone.

The boyfriend has a job where he works a school year schedule and a summer schedule. He hasn’t switched to summer schedule yet so he’s been home in the mornings. Which is good because I’m not alone. But bad because I get distracted by him. Imagine all the things you do after you get home from work and that’s what his morning is like.

And then he leaves and I’m alone again.

So, to fill up the space I’ve been listening to podcasts. I started listening to podcasts a few years ago after I got my real estate license. I discovered I really liked spending my time in the car learning something, not listening to music. Since then, I think I’ve really accelerated my personal and career development through the number of hours I’ve put in to listening to podcasts. If I’m driving, I’m probably listening to a podcast. If I’m cleaning, I’m definitely listening to a podcast. Exercising? Podcast. Walking dog? Yep, podcast.

Here’s what I currently enjoy, loosely grouped by topic!

Entrepreneurship, Business, and Mindset:

Gary Vaynerchuk, The Gary Vee Audio Experience

John Lee Dumas, Entreprenuer on Fire

Pat Flynn, Smart Passive Income

Chris Ducker, Youprenuer

Mike Dillard, Self Made Man

Tim Ferriss, The Tim Ferriss Show

And not technically a podcast, but still including:

Darren Hardy, Darren Daily

Marketing, Blogging, and Vlogging:

Amy Porterfield, Online Marketing Made Easy

Sunny Lenarduzzi, The Sunny Show

Social Media Examiner, both the Social Media Marketing podcast and the Social Media Marketing Talk Show

John Jantsch, Duct Tape Marketing

John Jantsch, Consulting Spark

Buffer, The Science of Social Media

Amy Landino, Vlog Boss Radio

Ray Edwards, The Ray Edwards Show

Darren Rowse, ProBlogger

Copyblogger, Copyblogger FM

Writing:

K.M. Weiland, Helping Writers Become Authors

NPR, 10 Minute Writer’s Workshop (now over, but go binge the old episodes!)

Brandon Sanderson et al., Writing Excuses

Various Topics:

TED, TED Talks Daily

NPR and TED, TED Radio Hour

NPR, Hidden Brain

I would LOVE to hear your podcast recommendations so leave me a comment below with some more. I’m especially looking more to go in the “Various Topics” section because sometimes I want to half-listen to something and passively learn or not learn.

Let’s dive into the week!

Despite how terrible I felt on Friday, I woke up feeling lots better on Saturday. I did some work in the morning before and during my dog’s grooming session. He gets groomed to the house, which is really convenient. The groomer has her own bus that she brings and parks outside. It’s actually not that much more expensive to get Elliot groomed at home than to take him somewhere. Like maybe $20-30 more a session. And he gets done in half or a third of the time and isn’t stressed because he’s not stuck in a drying cage for hours and listening to other stressed out dogs. Plus, he’s always groomed by the same person.

I tried to wash Elliot myself a couple times after I adopted him home from Helen Woodward. All were terrible experiences for both of us. The first time I tried to wash him in the backyard. The end result was a wet, not very clean dog, a lot of mud, and a soaked human. Second time, I tried to wash him in the bath tub. Also terrible because I had to lift him over the edge of the tub while he was struggling to get away from me and fit him through the opening of the glass door. Elliot’s currently a little fat, he’s about seventy-seven pounds right now. But he’s pretty much been between seventy and seventy-five pounds the whole time I’ve had him. The third time I washed him I decided to try the walk-in shower. But the shower wasn’t big enough for both of us so I thought I’d put him in the shower and I’d kneel outside and wash him and clean up all the water in the bathroom after. Well, Elliot made a run for it after about a minute of being bathed and pushed me out of the way which caused me to hit my head and neck on the tile wall. Yep, we were done with the home grooming business after that.

But getting him groomed was not much better. He was so stressed about the grooming, I literally had to drag/carry him to the appointment. He would not go into the shop. Any shop. So that was a struggle right from the moment we got to the parking lot. Once you got him inside, he laid down on the floor and refused to walk. And he’s way too big for me to have to work that hard to get him there and then feel like I was torturing him as he trembled from head to toe. So to me, it’s well worth that extra money to get him done at home!!

After Elliot was done with his grooming, I went and got myself groomed. I had made an appointment earlier in the week on a day when I wasn’t feeling so bad to get my hair touched up. I recently started dyeing it because the greys were getting out of control.

Then, I met up with the boyfriend and we drove up to Oceanside to have an early Father’s Day dinner with his dad and family at Texas Roadhouse. This dinner also included some assorted friends so that was fun.

After that, we went back to his family’s house to meet their new dog. They just adopted a German Shepherd after their old dog passed away a few months ago. Their new dog is very nice and hopefully he and Elliot will get along as we like to leave Elliot there when we go on vacation because they have a big piece of property and the dogs can pretty much go in and out as they please.

On Sunday I actually found some time to work on Shadow of the Magician in the morning. I rewrote one chapter that needed it and edited four more that didn’t need an overhaul. I worked some more in the afternoon to try and catch up on some of the things that didn’t get done the week before.

Monday morning I finally made it back to the barn where I had to make some decisions for Pia. She’s still not feeling like herself so we decided to try the progesterone injection (basically Depo-Provera), called the farrier to consider getting shoes put on her back feet (she’s only shod in the front), and added her onto the saddle fitter’s list for the next time they come out. I rode Pia on Monday and left crossing my fingers that one of those things would do it.

I had an afternoon meeting in Clairemont so I decided not to go home. It was nearing lunch time so I decided to go to Panera Bread since I knew they had food, tables, wifi, and electric sockets. Spent about two or so hours there working before going across the street to the Forum Coffee House. If you follow me on Instagram, this is the home of the blue chai! I kid you not, it is truly blue!

Once I got home, I didn’t have that much time to work before Writer’s Group. This day was basically a day of not very much getting done on the work front, but yet being busy doing stuff for the business.

Tuesday I woke up early to get some work done. It was dark and kind of cloudy so I went into the garage to do my Miracle Morning routine at my actual desk. The boyfriend’s been sleeping on the couch since I’ve been sick and I didn’t want to turn on the light in the kitchen so I could see because we have an open floor plan and the living room and kitchen are pretty much the same room, just divided by a half wall.

While I was doing the exercising portion of the Miracle Morning, I looked up at the ceiling and discovered this situation. Apparently the rose bushes in the front yard decided to grow a branch under the exterior wall and up through the interior of the garage wall (there’s kind of a space behind the paneling). I honestly don’t understand how this could have happened. But here we are.

Later, I got a good amount of work done while I was waiting for the internet guy to show up. The boyfriend has been after me for years to upgrade or change our internet service provider. But I refused because a) I thought it would be really expensive to get better internet and b) I thought it would be a big hassle to change and c) I didn’t think we really needed it. However, when I started the business he suddenly had a good case for upgrading the internet. He did all on the research and it turns out that by switching to Spectrum, we wouldn’t pay any more money, but we’d get 20x faster internet. I’m serious, it truly is 20x faster. Now that we have it installed, I can say that I see the results of this more on the upload end of things. Last week, it took me well over thirty minutes to load a video longer than five minutes to Facebook. This week, it took me less than five minutes. I am in love.

Wednesday, went back to the barn. Rode Pia who felt soo much better. I am so relieved. The shot is kicking in already. And she seems way happier too. She was very relaxed when I got there. After after I was done, I turned her out into the pen like I usually do. Normally, she gets her cookie and immediately walks away to go do her own thing (#DoinPiaThings). But she actually hung around me and was rubbing her head up against me and just generally being very sweet. Heart. Melt.

We’re still going ahead with all of my other plans from Monday, but I’m so glad that we’re already seeing improvements!

Wednesday just generally ended up being a great day. Got more stuff done. Took Elliot for a walk, ran into one of my neighbors down the street, finished organizing my office in the evening. Solid day.

Thursday though…oh man. So busy. I worked hard this day to try and get through all the new things that had to be done in a hurry. One of the busier work days I’ve had since starting the business.

Still took a break to walk dogs with my neighbor. It was super hot on Thursday and after I got back, it was so hot in the house it was making me tired. Later, my friend, K, called me to see if I was free for dinner because she was nearby. I ended up meeting her at Soup Plantation and it was nice to spend some time with a friend after a busy day. Also the air conditioning was A+.

Friday, I was lazy about getting out of bed so I crammed the Miracle Morning into fifteen minutes before I had to leave for the barn because my lesson was earlier than normal. Rode Miss Pia who still felt great so I am very encouraged about that!

Came home and had another great work day. This week I really felt like I was actually making a difference and getting results. I also had a really exciting idea for the business as I listened to some podcasts. It will definitely take a lot of work and time to get there, but if I could do it, it would be SO cool.

In the afternoon, I drove over to Mostra Coffee in Carmel Mountain to meet my friend who telecommutes on Friday. I have to go somewhere with air conditioning in the afternoons now otherwise I get too sleepy to work. Got the chai tea latte which was pretty good. I didn’t love it, it was sweet in an odd way. But I really liked the vibe at Mostra. The only downside is because it was afternoon, there were a lot of people coming in and for some reason, the people coming in with kids were just letting their kids run wild. So, I was pretty grumpy about that. I’m not sure I would come back to Mostra in the afternoon. Not a quiet place to get some work done.

I met my friend, L, for dinner at a hot pot place on Convoy St. It was…not good. I don’t know if we just went to a place that wasn’t good, picked all the worst things on the menu, or just managed to not make the food taste good. We were both pretty disappointed so we walked over to Iceskimo – now THAT was a good choice. I’d never been to Iceskimo before, but it was tasty. It’s shaved ice, not ice cream so that’s important to know before you go, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it.

After that, we went down to North Park to see my friend, S, before he moves to Orange County. We checked out JuneShine, which is a newly opened Hard Kombucha place. Really good. Cute place. Great music. 10/10 would recommend.

I was still feeling pretty awake so I went with the group to Coin Op Game Room and stayed out much later than planned. When I finally got home, the boyfriend was watching a show on Netflix called American Vandal and I sat and watched multiple episodes of that before finally going to bed.

What I’m Reading:

Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferris (Finished! Review coming soon!)

The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood (Finished! Review coming soon!)

Give and Take by Adam Grant (Almost Done!)

What I’m Listening To:

I’ve been on a major Taylor Swift kick lately. My favorite albums are Speak Now, Red, and 1989. Reputation is kind of a hot mess.

What I’m Watching:

Check out American Vandal on Netflix.

What I’m Loving:

Had some really great epiphanies this week – will share more in next week’s blog!

 

 

 

Reading Spaces: Porch Swings

While hammocks are certainly easier to fit into a backyard space (especially if you get a stand for it) a porch swing would be nice as well. I’m a big fan of the ones that are so oversized they resemble a hanging bed – would be the perfect place to spend a lazy summer day!

All images via Houzz

Screen Shot 2018-06-10 at 2.27.50 PM copy

Screen Shot 2018-06-10 at 2.27.31 PM copy

Screen Shot 2018-06-10 at 2.30.55 PM copy

Screen Shot 2018-06-10 at 2.27.41 PM copy

Screen Shot 2018-06-10 at 2.31.12 PM copy

Featured Poem: Crosscurrent

By M.L. Smoker

The first harvest of wheat in flatlands
along the Milk startled me into thoughts of you
and this place we both remember and also forget as home.
Maybe it was the familiarity or maybe it was my own
need to ask if you have ever regretted leaving.
What bends, what gives?
And have you ever missed this wind?—it has now
grown warm with late summer, but soon
it will be as dangerous as the bobcat stalking calves
and pets just south of the river.
Men take out their dogs, a case of beer and wait
in their pickups for dawn, for a chance with their rifles.
They don’t understand that she isn’t going to make
any mistakes. With winter my need for an answer
grows more desperate and there are only four roads out.
One is the same cat hunters drive with mannish glory
and return along, gun still oil-shined and unshot.
Another goes deeper into Assiniboine territory:
This is the one I should talk myself into taking next.
I haven’t much traveled the third except to visit
a hospital where, after the first time,
my mother had refused chemotherapy.
And the last road you know as well as I do—
past the coral-painted Catholic church, its doors
long ago sealed shut to the mouth of Mission Canyon,
then south just a ways, to where the Rockies cut open
and forgive. There you and I are on the ascent.
After that, the arrival is what matters most.

Stranger Things Adapted For Fiction and Other Bookish News

jonas-jacobsson-545909-unsplash

Enjoying this new series? I’ll be back next week with the latest rumblings in the literary world!

* Love the Netflix show Stranger Things? There’s a few books based on the hit show headed your way this fall. Check it out here.

* NPR reported that in the last half a decade, the number of U.S. adults who are reading poetry has nearly doubled. This doesn’t surprise me as my Featured Poems posts are usually well received! Read their report here.

* Check out these new releases by Simon Teen that are slated for release in Spring 2019.

* Entertainment Weekly compiled a list of their 10 best books of 2018.

* Buzzfeed created a list of 27 YA books to read beside the pool this summer.

Building a StoryBrand

Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller

Donald Miller’s StoryBrand process is a proven solution to the struggle business leaders face when talking about their businesses. This revolutionary method for connecting with customers provides readers with the ultimate competitive advantage, revealing the secret for helping their customers understand the compelling benefits of using their products, ideas, or services. Building a StoryBrand does this by teaching readers the seven universal story points all humans respond to; the real reason customers make purchases; how to simplify a brand message so people understand it; and how to create the most effective messaging for websites, brochures, and social media. Whether you are the marketing director of a multibillion dollar company, the owner of a small business, a politician running for office, or the lead singer of a rock band, Building a StoryBrand will forever transform the way you talk about who you are, what you do, and the unique value you bring to your customers.

Okay, so this book may seem like it’s kind of a niche interest, but it’s actually really good and is applicable to anyone building a company or building their own personal brand! Storytelling in marketing is super powerful. I think most people understand this on some level. Just think about your favorite brands…chances are they’re telling great stories!

Building a StoryBrand really lays out how to use storytelling to accelerate your brand’s results by discovering how to craft a message you’re customers want to and need to hear. It walks you step-by-step through the framework and explains the concepts in a clear, easy-to-read format.

I’ve also read Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson, the founder of Clickfunnels. While I liked that book a lot, I think Building a StoryBrand is easier for a non-marketing person to understand. The examples Donal Miller gives are a little more tangible and aren’t necessarily bound up with the online world. I think sometimes people who aren’t digital natives (and even some that are) struggle with concepts when they are tied up with the digital space. It’s a lot easier to understand an example from a movie, a book, or even a company that sells physical products like cars or t-shirts.

The book is divided into three sections. The first section introduces the concept and explains why storytelling is so powerful for brands. The second section is where you get to go through the StoryBrand framework and create a script for your brand. The third part shows you what you can do with your StoryBrand script once you have one.

After reading the book, I went online to MyStoryBrand.com where you can actually fill out the framework for yourself. Even though it’s been a little bit since I finished the book, the notes at the end of each chapter helped me quickly remember what each part of the framework was about and fill out my StoryBrand script.

Even if you don’t run a company or have anything to sell, this book is great for anyone who is building a personal brand, running an organization, or just managing an entity that needs an identity. This book makes the concept of storytelling easy to understand, develop, and implement!

June 2nd-8th: Week in Review

I had big plans for this week: finish the rest of my business set up to-do list, renew my gym membership, record some videos for Minute Marketing, wash my car…

And then I got sick and then none of that gone done.

Le Sigh.

This week I’m very grateful for Trello and my systems I have in place to keep myself on track…I definitely didn’t have any extra brain power to waste on figuring out what I should be doing.

Saturday was Day One of the horse show with Pia. Man was it hot. And man, did I work hard before I even rode. I got there around ten and somehow barely sat down all day. Both of my ride times were after 5pm which I was not stoked about.

I got some pictures of those cows though, in between the many circuits I made between the barn and the show ring. Some of them at least were longhorns, though I’m not sure what that big one was. A few of the cows were pretty friendly and came up to the fence. Pretty much all of our horses got over the cow anxiety by show’s end except for Pia.

But Pia wasn’t really herself this show. We think she may have gone into heat. She’s still growing up (though almost done) and we haven’t been together that long. It wasn’t a problem last spring, but things can change.

We ended up scoring decent in our two classes on Saturday though she didn’t feel her best. Not sick or sore, just…different.

I went to Starbucks on the way home as I was certain I needed some caffeine so I could drive an hour without falling asleep. I planned to get my standard soy chai latte, but I saw they had these new iced tea drinks. I asked the cashier about caffeine content and then stared at the board forever, debating whether I should go with my old standby or try something new. Being that it was after 7pm, the cashier helpfully told me that the passion tea one had no caffeine.

Lol. No ma’am, I am here for that caffeine!

I ended up getting the Strawberry Green Tea which was…not good. Too fake strawberry tasting. I was instantly sad I didn’t get the chai.

I was so tired when I woke up on Sunday, I fully convinced myself it was Monday. And not just in that way where you’re only confused for thirty seconds what day it is. No, I believed this for a good five minutes until I went out to the kitchen and saw the cooler I’d left by the fridge to remind myself that I needed to take stuff from the fridge back to the show.

Despite the couple cups of tea I had before I left the house, I was still the kind of tired where your eyes don’t work properly. So I swung by Starbucks and got that Soy Chai I missed out on the night before. Heaven.

On Saturday, I spent the drive up catching up with my friend K in England. That time change is brutal and with me being so busy, it’s been hard to make time for any of my friends. It was great to catch up and the time went by super quickly.

On Sunday, I listened to my podcasts. I was going to talk about my favorites on this week’s Week in Review blog, but I’ll save that for next week.

Sunday wasn’t quite so crazy busy. I was supposed to ride after 5pm again, but I was able to find an opening and move up my ride by several hours. For those of you don’t understand horse shows or just don’t know Dressage, because every test is pre-written in an official book at the start of the year, each test is also tagged with the approximate time it will take to complete. That means the show organizers can plan out the day down to the minute because they know how long it will take to do each test based on how many pairs there are and who entered what. This is very useful for spectators!

I braided Pia and Escobar both days at the show. There’s a picture below of Pia with her mane braided. I learned how to do this a long time ago and now I have a useful skill that’s actually increasingly rare. Most people don’t sew their braids in anymore. Everyone uses rubber bands with mixed results. But there ain’t no braid like a yarn braid – those puppies are stable.

Sewing in braids is exactly what it sounds like only instead of thread, I use yarn. You sew the little braids back onto themselves and the horses usually wear a stretchy hood at night to cover their braids. If I have time, I like to redo the braids each day. If the horse is good, it usually only takes me about thirty minutes and then the horse isn’t trying to scratch their braids out all day.

Pia had a fantastic warm-up, but things kind of fell apart when we went in the ring. The first half of the test was okay, but the second half was all bad. Like, really bad. Luckily, because I thought I was going to have a better ride, I paid the videographer to tape me. So that means I have video footage of what exactly went wrong in the second half of that test AND I have a video I can share with the vet and farrier (horseshoer) as we make some changes.

Escobar was a STAR though. I am so proud of that little man. He looked pleased as punch to be trotting and cantering around doing a couple easy tests. He was not spooky at all (yes, really!) and was about the most uncomplicated horse we took to the show.

I was so tired when I got home on Sunday, again. Everything hurt and I felt like I’d been walking through the desert for days. I did hardly any work throughout the weekend because I didn’t have the energy for it. I looked at Trello on Sunday and decided that, though I would probably regret it in the morning, bed was calling my name.

Well, Monday I woke up and figured out why I was so freakin’ tired all weekend…I had a sore throat.

I’m grateful to now be self-employed. While I didn’t get to take the day off, at least I didn’t have to put on makeup or talk to anyone. I didn’t even leave the house. I worked all day as I had planned though things felt twice as overwhelming because I also didn’t feel good.

Monday night I had writer’s group again and I had some chapters in the hopper. My writer’s group has now officially read several chapters beyond where anyone else has gotten in Shadow of the Magician and all hope is not lost so there’s that.

I think it’s invaluable to be part of a writer’s group. I felt like I improved so much from being in the last group. I really missed having that community and feedback so I was happy when I got an invite to join a new one. Joining a group is very scary and nerve-wracking, but if you can get past all that, it’s really a wonderful experience. I have a great group, I’m super grateful for all of them and their feedback.

Tuesday morning I felt better and went to a meeting in Pacific Beach in the morning. I had an appointment in the late afternoon in UTC so I didn’t feel like driving home after. I dropped off my ballot (yay, civic responsibilities!) at the library in PB. I’ve never been to that side of PB, weirdly. It’s actually really nice. I might go visit that library again though I guess it’s closed for repairs currently.

Instead of going home, I went to the UTC mall to get lunch at Tender Greens. I was happy to discover that they DO have wifi…the internet lied to me. I spent a couple hours working there after lunch before heading to my appointment. There were a surprising number of people at the mall on a Tuesday. It took me awhile to find parking which was irritating because that was the original problem with the UTC mall before they remodeled it and built an extensive parking garage. But, that’ll probably get better when they start charging people to park there.

It is annoying that they’re doing that because it penalizes people who stay for a long time to shop or who go to dinner and a movie. But on the other hand, people do leave their cars there and catch the bus to UCSD. When the trolley line is completed, I’m sure the problem will be even worse if they don’t do something about it now. However, I feel like there has to be a better way to control it than what they’ve chosen to do.

Tuesday night I felt much worse so that was a bummer.

Also on Tuesday we got ants in the house again. I really hate ants. Like, really, really hate them. I also hate that they tend to show up when I feel stressed or just generally don’t have the energy to deal with them. Ugh. It’s like they freakin’ know.

Wednesday I skipped my lesson and rescheduled pretty much everything I had on the calendar for the day. I worked all day, but actually stopped around 7pm. I spent some time in my garage office sorting and organizing. It was mostly papers that needed to be looked through and discarded. I’m now about 95% finished with organizing that space, hallelujah!

On Thursday, I felt a bit better, but I started coughing. Felt like I coughed all day. Did some work and took Elliot for a walk in the afternoon. I ran into an older lady a few streets over who randomly decided to mention to me that the spiders were killing her roses. That stopped me in my tracks and I asked her more about that. My succulents have been struggling outside. I figure they need to be repotted into new soil, but my gut was there was something more wrong that that. I looked it up later and it turns out spider mites (not spiders) can infest your plants and kill them. So now I have to figure out if that’s the problem with my plants.

It finally felt like summer this week, which means my house has been getting pretty warm in the afternoons. In all the years I’ve lived in Mira Mesa, I’ve never set foot in the public library. I know, crazy talk for someone who loves books. But I have trouble reading books on a schedule so I do prefer to buy books or borrow them from other people so I don’t feel confined to a deadline. Anyway. Went to the library and renewed my library card on Thursday. I also brought my computer. Not having air conditioning at home will be a problem this summer so I’m working out alternate solutions. The library seems fine. It smells funny, but it’s cool in there and they have little private work stations with outlets. Some of them even have windows. The windows look out to the parking lot, but hey, at least there is sunlight. Don’t love the chairs though. They have these hard wooden things with no arms. I’m going to check out some of the other branches, too. This one is convenient because it’s only about two miles from our house. But I can tell this library is a little long in the tooth so one of the newer ones might have a better set-up for me. Anyone in San Diego have a favorite branch library?

I spent a couple hours working at the library before they closed. Internet speed is okay, it’s about the same as we have at our house. But we’re getting new internet on Tuesday that is literally about twenty times faster that what we have right now. Woohoo!

Thursday night I had a call with my friend A. We haven’t talked on the phone in a long time so it was nice to catch up.

Friday I had grand plans of going to the barn, but I woke up and felt terrible. So no riding again. Working was so hard. I was foggy, unfocused, making mistakes, and because I wasn’t feeling well, feeling anxious about the business and the future again. It’s amazing how when we have bad days or when we struggle, we regress significantly and the old demons come back to haunt us.

I told myself since I couldn’t take the day off, I had to at least get everything done that absolutely had to be done that day and then I could stop. I ended up finishing around four pm though I nursed a video that needed to be uploaded through the evening. It takes forever to upload videos with our current internet situation. I really, really hope upgrading our service will improve things dramatically.

Friday night, the boyfriend came home a bit earlier and went to Target. We have been planning a whole house deep cleaning and had earmarked Friday as the night we were going to clean the kitchen. I have been wanting to do this cleaning for months and months so I didn’t really want to cancel our plans, plus I was feeling better again. During one of my unfocused periods earlier in the day, I went down a rabbit hole of reading articles about the best ways to thoroughly clean a kitchen so we went to get some new products at Target.

We did tackle the kitchen! We did almost everything on the list I’d written out that I wanted to do. It took the two of us several hours to do it all. Sadly, only the stove and windows really look different, but I guess we have the satisfaction now of knowing we put significant time into the cleaning.

As we were cleaning the kitchen, I was struck by the dates on some things I was throwing out. I was throwing out spices from 2014 and 2015 and random food items from 2016. When I organized papers in my office earlier in the week, I found a lot of papers from 2014 and 2015 that weren’t really filed or organized properly.

2013 up until now feels like one big blur. After we moved out to Mira Mesa, I don’t have a lot of markers to differentiate one year from another. Same job, same boyfriend, same house, same stage in life. Going through this purging and looking at the dates on things makes me think the blurring of years isn’t just a memory failure. It’s seeped over into the rest of my life. I clean, but somehow I guess I haven’t done a major purge since maybe early in 2016.

I do know that I was writing a lot more seriously in 2016 and 2017. And also working on my blog. But I guess I was going through the motions of life in other ways.

One thing I’ve been enjoying about the entrepreneur journey is that I feel a lot more present in my life. I’m a lot more in tune with my body and I can actually hear my gut speaking to me. It’s not that I’m not busy because I am, but I guess I just don’t have pressure in the same way. I feel anxious more than I’d like to and worry about the future, but the work itself is not overwhelming and is very doable.

What I’m Reading:

Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferris (been reading this off and on since January)

The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood

Give and Take by Adam Grant

What I’m Listening To:

What I’m Watching:

Nothing this week.

What I’m Loving:

That it’s been sunny almost every day this week!

Featured Poem: Losses

By Wesley McNair

It must be difficult for God, listening
to our voices come up through his floor
of cloud to tell Him what’s been taken away:
Lord, I’ve lost my dog, my period, my hair,
all my money. What can He say, given
we’re so incomplete we can’t stop being
surprised by our condition, while He
is completeness itself? Or is God more
like us, made in His image—shaking His head
because He can’t be expected to keep track
of which voice goes with what name and address,
He being just one God. Either way, we seem
to be left here to discover our losses, everything
from car keys to larger items we can’t search
our pockets for, destined to face them
on our own. Even though the dentist gives us
music to listen to and the assistant looks down
with her lovely smile, it’s still our tooth
he yanks out, leaving a soft spot we ponder
with our tongue for days. Left to ourselves,
we always go over and over what’s missing—
tooth, dog, money, self-control, and even losses
as troubling as the absence the widower can’t stop
reaching for on the other side of his bed a year
later. Then one odd afternoon, watching something
as common as the way light from the window
lingers over a vase on the table, or how the leaves
on his backyard tree change colors all at once
in a quick wind, he begins to feel a lightness,
as if all his loss has led to finding just this.
Only God knows where the feeling came from,
or maybe God’s not some knower off on a cloud,
but there in the eye, which tears up now
at the strangest moments, over the smallest things.