Hi friends! Once or twice a year, I like to share a list of general updates on my life and business. I used to call them our virtual coffee dates, but in line with the fact that I’ve been trying to get outside again more recently, I thought I’d take you on a virtual hike instead. 🙂
If I’m honest, I’ve felt a bit all over the map lately – ever since losing the girls. I’ll have a productive day followed by a day where I can’t seem to cross anything off my list; a happy day then a sad day. It comes in waves, like everyone said it would (and I’m so grateful to everyone who has helped walk me through this).
So, I’m writing this list for both of us. By giving you a glimpse at what’s been happening in my world, I hope to also get more clarity around what it is that I’m working towards. So many my ideas have been born on trails. I’m excited to share this virtual one with you.
If we were on a hike today:
I would pack a peanut butter sandwich, carrots, an apple and some trail mix, along with 1L of water with big slices of lemon and lime in it.
I would tell you the slow food experiment has been my favourite slow living experiment so far this year. I feel healthier and am sleeping better, and it’s also come with a number of non-health-related lessons. For example, cooking isn’t hard and it doesn’t have to be time-consuming. It takes trying a handful of new recipes to realize this, but it’s been so rewarding and now I feel genuinely excited to cook again. Oh, and compared to when I was a vegetarian in 2009-2013, it is so easy to switch to a vegan diet now! There are so many more options at grocery stores and restaurants. It’s been awesome to see. 🙂
I would offer to share a few of the recipes I’ve tried and enjoyed this month:
- the Vietnamese rice noodle salad + ginger-sesame tofu from Thug Kitchen (borrowed from the library)
- the sweet potato + avocado green salad from Minimalist Baker
- this vegan alfredo sauce from Minimalist Baker, and
- this smoothie bowl from Oh She Glows.
I would tell you that, aside from eating fish once, I’ve eaten a vegetarian (and often vegan) diet since June 30th – and I don’t see myself going back to eating meat anytime soon.
I would share that I’ve had to talk myself out of a lot of impulse purchases lately. I’m not entirely sure why I’ve been wanting to buy things, but I’m in a place where it’s easy to almost sell me on “needing” things. The good news is that even after submitting a couple orders, I’ve realized I don’t need those things and cancelled them. But I’m still journalling and trying to figure out what’s going on in my life that is making me want to shop at all. Stay tuned. I’ll write a post about it, once I figure it out.
Along that note, I would tell you I finally bought a desk! Or rather, I bought the base of an adjustable stand-up desk. This was definitely not an impulse purchase, as I’ve been living without a desk since March and was waiting until I found what I wanted. I’m still on the hunt for a tabletop but I have half a desk – which means I’m 50% closer to finally having an office at home! Hooray!
If we got on the subject, I would probably tell you I have finally started a more regular journalling practice. I currently have two going. The first is one I’ve modelled from the Five-Minute Journal, after Tammy told me how much gratitude it was bringing into her life. (Side note: I just wrote the prompts on the first page and follow them on regular lined paper after.) The other is just another regular journal that I’ve been writing some thoughts and observations in all year. It’s incredible how much this + therapy have helped me so far in 2017. It’s been a tough year, but I’m learning a lot about myself and can see how I’m changing every week.
I would rave about a podcast I just binge-listened to: Terrible, Thanks for Asking. The episodes are all interviews with people who have gone through tough things in life and who are willing to honestly answer the question: how are you? It’s hosted by Nora McInerny Purmort who is the author of It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too), which I am now listening to the audiobook version of. I would warn anyone who considers listening to the podcast that there could be some triggering language in it. I cried while listening to a few episodes. But it’s real. I can’t recommend them both enough.
Speaking of podcasts, I would also tell you about a few episodes of others that have been meaningful for me:
- The Power of No with Oprah (Part 1 and Part 2) – Dear Sugar
- Making Mindfulness Simple Again with Linda Esposito – The Slow Home Podcast
- On Body Acceptance with Anna Guest-Jelley – Real Talk Radio
I might also remind you we’re halfway through the summer season of Budgets and Cents! 😉
On the business front, I would talk about how I’ve made a number of changes in mine. Aside from quitting freelancing in May, I also made the Mindful Budgeting Program FREE (it used to be $20). It feels odd to have intentionally removed two sources of income from my life, but the decision was exactly that: intentional.
For the rest of this year, I’ll be working on three big projects.
- The book! The Year of Less comes out January 16th, and even though the actual writing and editing part is done, there’s a lot to do on the promotion side of things.
- A program + community! Some people might call it a course, but I’m looking at this differently. There won’t be any quizzes or tests. Instead, there will be lessons and space/time for reflection. I’ll share more as I’m working on it, but look for this in October. I can’t wait. 🙂
- A NEW podcast! Of all the things I’m working on, this is the one my friends have had to listen to me go on and on about. (I love you for listening, friends! And I will love YOU for listening when it comes out.) I’d love to launch this TODAY but am currently planning for it to start on January 2nd.
And finally, if we were on a hike, I would tell you I’m taking three days off this week while my adventure partner in crime and her two kids (my “niece” and “nephew”) visit me in Squamish! We plan to spend most of Tuesday up in Whistler, then will have a day in Squamish before they head back to Victoria. I can’t wait to see them all and explore more of my new home together. 🙂
What would you tell me if we were on a hike today?
A Call for Guest Posts: With so many fun projects in the works, I want to open up my digital home and invite pitches for guest posts. I’ll still be doing my slow living experiments and blogging 3-4 times/month, but would love to start sharing 1-2 stories written by other people in this community every month going forward. If you have an idea for a post you think would be fit here, email me! The only thing I ask is that it be a personal story with a lesson on any of the topics you normally read about here (money, shopping bans, minimalism, simple living, mindfulness, etc.) and that the final post be at least 1,000 words. This community is stronger because you’re in it. I can’t wait to see what you share with us!