Progress on "The Finances of my Life" book I'm writing…

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

As we begin 2020, I’ve started to think about the book idea I’ve had. I’m not one to sit and write on a strict schedule and because of this, this process to write a full-length book has proven harder than I thought.

I’m more of a “when I get into the feeling” hyper-style of writer! So, I’ve decided I’m going to embrace this, and I’ll be taking “writing vacations” to hyper-focus and make it a big deal for myself because whenever I’m on a vacation – I’m always in the feeling to write! It’s the different environment and maybe the relaxation that makes it. It’s all about the “feels” for me. I can’t write when prompted even if it’s a schedule of my own making. ha.

My plan is to self-publish my book by mid-2021. However, the soonest release goal, if I can get myself into a groove and going, is by the end of this year.

Luckily, I have a support system and inspirational environment for this goal as I took Fiona Ferris’ author course and am still in her Facebook group. Fiona has been my inspiration for the whole blog and my writing hobby since the beginning. It was reading her blog “How to be Chic” that got me inspired. Fiona as well as Shannon Ables from the blog The Simply Luxurious Life have been my role models. 🙂

Here below is my draft outline and start to the book. You can come here anytime back to this post, and the links will show the live-progress. This helps me as well because sharing this post about my progress or even the idea gets me motivated and makes this feel as a reality. 🙂

Chapter 1 – Grandpa’s End-of-Life Spending Wisdom Among Other Keys to Life

Chapter 2 – You’ll want Toys as an Adult too, but be your own inner Mom and Jean

Chapter 3 – The Salsbury-Steak Phone Call from Dad

Chapter 4 – The Detroit-Rooster on a Rooftop – Lessons on Being Self-Reliant

Chapter 5 – Selling my College Books to Pay for Gas to Class – The Day I had Enough

Chapter 6 – The Detroit Studio Apartment – We didn’t have much, but we were still happy.

Chapter 7 – Dumpster Diving in Detroit for Vegetables – They were grand!

Chapter 8 – The Day I Applied for Food-stamps one College Summer

Chapter 9 – My McDonalds Career – I miss some things now; be appreciative of where you’re at.

Chapter 10 – The Old Clunker Cars that Got me Through Rough Times & Oh, the Stories!

More Chapters to Come!

Once Love, but now a weak friendship in a cage… "Goodbye, my free bird. Goodbye, my love."

Ironically, I opened Unsplash after writing this to find a picture for this writing…. I opened to this picture staring at me. A picture I’d downloaded years ago that I loved so dearly for it’s beauty. And oddly… it fits. It fits this writing so perfectly… “Goodbye, my free bird. Goodbye, my love.”

I had so much hope… For us, for me.

Now I see you from a screen with our broken dreams only for me to feel.

I’ve tried to swallow my hurt, my sadness, my jealousy, my hope, my countless feelings including still love… But I can’t. I must feel them tonight. Now from this cage because this is all that can be….

But still, I have hope. And why?! Whyyy…
If only it could not be…
But, I now feel it deteriorating me.

And so, I wonder… Is it worth it?
From this cage… This screen. This so little of a being. For us, for me. For what may and what was.

This. This is not anything. It’s weak. It’s pitiful and sad.

For what was, was beautiful and open and free, but this…. This is now from a cage. A cage that I’m now keeping for us.

And should it be….. I think… I think… I think… I think….. Well, it’s….something…

What shall I do?… Let you go.

I did… I came back. And back and back and back. To this cage… For me, for us. I had hope. I had hope….I had hope. Time after Time, I’ve returned. To this cage, this screen. This pitiful cell of what is left.

Should I? I probably shouldn’t, yet I wonder…. Am I in the cage with you!?!

Maybe we both need life to kick us, and this cage to make us realize what once was or shall ever be for us or anyone…..shall not come to this.

Is it a lesson!?

Don’t give up on what is free, open, and beautiful… For if you do, you then chase it again and again even from this cage. But, the question is… Is it truly this anymore!? From this cage….. I think not.

It’s no longer anything from this screen, but images from this cage of what once was and hopes that aren’t worth it when one won’t see that you come back and back to this cage and you will not let me have one glimpse inside. Inside of you. Nor respect what was.

Keep you in this cage, you come back to.

It’s both of us. We do this. And we must stop.

Move on, my free bird. Move on.

For we danced, as free birds… And we shall move on, as free birds. The cage is open. Wide open… Move on.

Move on, my love bird… My free, beautiful love. Move on. I set you free…..

Wait, is that…. me?!?!

Well, my love birds….be free. Let it be.

Move on. If it can’t be here in this cage, it must be out there. Free. Both of us.

For both of us must go. That’s how we came, this is how we go.

Free birds.

Change something for just one week, and see how you feel.

Photo by Steinar Engeland on Unsplash

1 week. Do something new for 1 week. Stick to it, and don’t give up. It may be hard. Do it anyway. Have discipline for 1 week. See what happens.

Notice carefully each day how you feel and how you’re changing as you try this new thing. Does it add to your life or subtract? What other things are changing as you do this 1 new thing?

Is it causing 10 times the reactive positive change in your life? You may find it will. Sometimes if we do 1 thing different, we can see an uplift in multiple areas of our lives if that new 1 thing is positive for us.

Remember for the weeks following what you felt and how it’s improved your life… Use this memory to fuel you forward to new horizons in your life.

My belief in the purpose of work.

Photo by Bethany Legg on Unsplash

It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down to write. And as I write this… I feel so many emotions. I could nearly shed tears.

It’s been a really, really, really rough time for me for the past year and even more so the past 4 months and then really hitting a wall for the past month. I haven’t felt an ounce of inspiration and care to write for a few months now.

I lost my job earlier last month and I kinda thought it would happen, but I kept hoping and believing it wouldn’t so I didn’t put in the work to prepare myself a plan. With this huge fork in the road, my life stopped for a while. I didn’t know what to do with myself besides obsess over jobs and text and call people in my life excessively over my overthinking and worrying. It definitely made me focused though… focused to find a job. That’s about all though. My care for anything else slipped. I know what it’s like again to feel in a poverty state (even though yes, I have money and I’m not in poverty; it’s still a similar experience to the state of emergency and urgency that people in poverty often feel). At first it was sorta like vacation… then the 3rd week of unemployment hit and I’d had enough. I’ve found out through this that will officially NEVER retire. I’ll always work.

Work for me adds structure, purpose, ability to help others, it’s also a piece of my social life that I never knew held such a huge piece to me feeling at home, and it’s also a source of connection. It makes my life a whole lot more meaningful.

I had been used to working at an already established place of work, and I do think this allowed me to be in a baby blanket if you will. Because there’s people around, structure created already, rules, and it was just easy for me to take those things for granted and I’ve even rebelled against them in my past at times. However, I realize now that those things helped me to feel secure, safe, and connected. Unfortunately, I hadn’t built the skills and platform that an organized, established work place gives me for my own life absent of this work place. I lacked proper structure to my life. I’ve done stuff so freely, unbound, and so wrapped around my work that without work, I didn’t know how to be full and feel in place and put together. It’s sad, really. I never knew.

I can’t say I’m a mess; I’m not. I am being overly harsh (as that’s just how I am…. and well, that makes me a better human in the process too I think even though I need to learn where to stop and balance my self-criticism). I have learned through my dark times recently my belief in the purpose of work for my life. I want to serve, I want to work, I want to feel connected, and have structure. I’ve learned that I must create these things for myself though and that I shouldn’t just rely on my work to hold me together like glue. I’ve got to do a better job of building my own foundation absent of work. Work will always be in my life though, until the day I die.

I believe the purpose of work in my life is to help and serve others, create and find meaning and connection, and have something to get completely lost in doing that sets me into a flow state giving me the much needed reprieve from the world and into my greatest efficiency and craft.

Without work, whether in an organized, established workplace or not, my life isn’t entirely complete. Work can be many things… it can be things we don’t normally think of as work too. It’s simply whatever i’m doing that allows me to 1) help and serve others 2) create and find meaning and connection and 3) gets me into a flow state to produce my greatest efficiency and craft. As you can see… these are very general beliefs of my purpose of work in life, but they’re meaningful to me and that’s what matters. It makes even when I can’t formally work one day when I get old still meaningful work. Helping to care for my future grandkids when/if I get the privilege, for example, this could be my work. My work is what I make it and think of it in my mindset and through how I do and be.

I’m back, everyone! Back to work! 🙂

P.S. – I have found a full-time job again recently. My darkness is starting to disappear. I’m happy and can think of various things (like normal) again. 🙂

You Can!

Photo by Randy Tarampi on Unsplash

You can.

You can be.

You can be what you want to be.

You are more than you have been thinking of yourself.

You’re capable.

You’re driven.

You’re worthy.

You WILL do a good job.

You are enough.

You need NOT worry or fear… Just BE and DO.

Photo by Clayton Cardinalli on Unsplash

Kensington Metropark, Night of the Michigan Philharmonic 2019

Lay down.

Dip your toes in the sand and water.

Walk freely… So unbound by life’s busyness… Let it go.

Walk slowly.

See beauty. Listen & watch… Feel.

Let the headaches of yesterday be let go… Renew

See the simpleness, uniqueness of a weed… Left swaying in the gentle breeze.

The stillness. The livelyness.

Weeds, flowers, green grass, and rippled waters.

Peace, quiet…. Life. No judgement.

All to be there is there.

The bee, he seems so content. The fly as well.

The dogs all happy wagging their tails.

And people doing, being… There.

Be the “Plain Jane” You… Because She’s Beautiful!

Life Has Beautiful Learning Blog’s definition of the “Plain Jane” you:

Forget what you’ve been told or think about Plain Janes. Let’s re-write what this means in a positive way. Being the “Plain Jane” you is being your most natural, authentic-self. It’s understanding yourself. It’s letting go of what other people expect of you or think of you and embracing who you are in the most natural way possible. 

Why is the “Plain Jane” me beautiful?:

Doing things because of or being a particular way because of other people or trends isn’t being your authentic self and therefore, while you may “feel beautiful”, this could be short-lived and is not grounded in understanding your authentic, natural self. It’s acting through other’s approval and it is a short-term, unstable way to be. 

By being the “Plain Jane” you, you not only feel beautiful, but you are also truly yourself and that’s a beauty that is sooo deep and so needed. You radiate with authenticity and shine in a way that everyone notices (whether they want to admit or not). You don’t worry about what others think about you now that you’re “Plain Jane” you. You are you; because she’s beautiful. 

You want to learn who you are, embrace who you are, and continue to learn who you are. Yes, people of all ages are learning more and more about their natural, authentic “Plain Jane” selves. Continue to explore and become more and more of who you naturally are. By being your “Plain Jane” self, you accept that you will not just “go with the crowd” or live through other’s approval of who they think you should be. 

If you’re not completely sure yet who you are to a T… don’t worry – we’re all working on our Plain Jane self and this journey never ends. Don’t get discouraged that you will always need to learn about yourself in this life if you are. Don’t panic or overwhelm yourself over this in any way. Start with some tips below to be your Plain Jane self and continue to be her. 

How do I be my “Plain Jane” self?:

  • Don’t enjoy wearing make-up but everyone around you and with you says you have to or might think you look ugly if you don’t have it on.

Don’t wear it now. Or do it a little more natural if you want to. It’s now about how YOU want to be. You don’t have to wear make-up or a lot of it to be beautiful. You do things now being your “Plain Jane” self only because you want to and it makes you feel good. Not because of others telling you that you need to do something or because you think you will not be accepted if you don’t.  

  • You feel terrible in those skinny-jeans or “insert any other clothing item here”, but your friends all wear them so you have to. 

No, you don’t have to wear what you feel terrible wearing. Doing something even though you feel terrible about it is not being your “Plain Jane” self. So, ditch those skinny-jeans. Wear what you feel comfortable and yourself in. 

  • You absolutely hate yoga (or any other exercise and/or relaxation method), but “yoga” is the IT thing… So, you know: I yoga. 

No, you don’t yoga now, my beautiful Plain Jane. You find an exercise and/or relaxation method that YOU LOVE. Be yourself; don’t yoga or do things when you hate them. Now, if you hate them only because it’s hard but you kinda like them, that’s a different story. Sometimes things are tough, and that’s ok. But, if you’ve found or are finding that you don’t like something… move on and find new. 

  • I’m a vegan or vegetarian, but it’s only because I want to be “part of that community”… I secretly hate it, hate my life, and want to eat that meat, soooooooo bad. LOL! 

You eat that meat now… Go out and eat it – right now! Because you’re living something you’re not. You’re not being your natural, authentic-self. You’re doing things because you want to fit in or be something you’re not

  • I’m a republican. I’m a democrat. I’m a libertarian. I’m “insert any other political party on earth here”. BUT, I don’t know what that is even. Or/and – I’m only this because my best friend, family, boyfriend, or the person down the road is. 

Ok, stop labeling yourself or being something because others are or that’s the cool thing to be. Don’t be something you dont even know what is either. You figure out and study the political parties (and there are many… not just republican or democrats – research them all.) and you figure out what one is best suited for your own natural, authentic Plain Jane self. You are and be what is YOU… don’t be something because everyone thinks that’s what you should be or you feel you’d be less than if you weren’t something. Now, this can be tough in this day and age and political environment. It is hard. However, sometimes being our “Plain Jane” selves isn’t easy and we shouldn’t just give up on being her.

YOU STAND STRONG AND BE WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU STAND FOR, IN YOUR HEART.

Summary of, How do I be my “Plain Jane” self:

Don’t do things that aren’t your natural, authentic self. Don’t do things you hate, don’t wear things you feel terrible in, don’t do things you don’t enjoy, don’t be something you don’t even know what is – find out first if it’s something that’s for you, don’t label yourself something or be something because others are or that’s the “it” thing to be. 

My beautiful, Plain Janes… Remember this, ALWAYS:

You’re smart. You’re worthy. You’re beautiful. And you’ve got what it takes. Don’t second-guess yourself or think you can’t be the “Plain Jane” you… EVER. You need to keep telling yourself this and believe it.

Believe in who your natural, authentic-self is and visualize yourself being her – now be her through that vision.

Believe me, you got this! You’re beautiful! 🙂

Photo by Joel Mott on Unsplash