Minor Irritants

Yep, a rant is in order. And I know, this is nothing of major importance in the whole scheme of life. Totally a first world problem. But it’s one of those stupid little thing that is super annoying and I often let this type of thing mess up my day and waste my time. Ugh.

I signed up with an online company  for a monthly club wherein I will get a box of paper crafting/journaling goodies each month. The first month was majorly discounted, so I thought it was a good opportunity. My package was in the hands of UPS on Wednesday. It showed an estimated arrival date of Tuesday, February 13th. Okay, cool.

I checked the tracking on Monday (yeah, a silly compulsion) only to discover that it had been handed off to the USPS (I hate that gig, btw. It never seems to go well!). Not only did the US Postal Service now have it, it was already out for delivery on Monday, February 12th – a whole entire day early! Shocker. Usually that transition means the package will be a day or two later than the original date. But it never arrived. Sigh. Fine. It’ll be here Tuesday, which was my originally anticipated date anyway.

Tuesday comes and no package.

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So here we are on Wednesday (yes, it’s only ONE WHOLE DAY past the estimated arrival date) and the mail arrived early (yippee!) with NO PACKAGE. What the heck?

I go online to investigate a bit further and here is what the USPS website shows for tracking information.

February 12, 2018, 6:27 pm 
No Access
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO 80XXX
We attempted to deliver your item at 6:27 pm on February 12, 2018 in COLORADO SPRINGS, CO 80XXX but could not complete the delivery because the employee did not have access to the delivery location. Your item will go out for delivery on the next business day.

What is that supposed to mean? We live in a house. We have a mailbox. We have a front door. At no time does the postal worker have NO ACCESS TO THE DELIVERY LOCATION. In fact, I was here at 6:27 pm and there was no attempted delivery, no ring of the doorbell, nothing. But that was Monday. It will be out for delivery on the next business day.

NOT.

And NOT the NEXT business day, either.

However, I can do nothing at all. Not a cotton-picking thing.

Unless my package has been missing for 30 days, the post office won’t even consider this an issue.

Since UPS handed it off to the USPS, they’ll be of no help.

And the company I ordered from? They won’t consider it missing for 30 days, either. And since it’s a monthly subscription kit, it’s not like these are regularly stocked items. And if they’re out of stock, they’ll refund my money. Well that pretty much bites. By the time 30 days passes, it’s very likely they won’t have any more of them. GRRR. So the reason I joined the club will be completely negated.

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Happy 2018

There have been so many things flying around in my head as we move into 2018.

1. Biblically, the number seven represents completion. The number eight represents new beginnings. In many ways, I feel like 2018 is going to be different. During 2017 there were a number of small shifts in my life and I think they’ll impact my 2018.

One big shift that I am really enjoying is that I’ve been able to spend more time just being creative. Not always to a specific end, just creating. Some art journaling, a bit of mixed media, some fun memory keeping and journaling in my traveler’s notebooks, and hand lettering, to name a few. Of course, spending less time on social media has definitely contributed to this. As does having a cleaner room/studio/space. I never really know what to call this room. I do all the things in here. In fact, some days I pretty much live there, minus a few trips to the kitchen and bathroom.

2. I can’t say that I’ve been sad or in a bad place starting other years, but I think I’ve always felt like I’d made no progress in the previous year; that I was in the exact same place. It probably wasn’t always true, but as humans we’re so prone to notice the negative. This year, however, I’m much more hopeful and excited to see what God has in store.

I don’t like to set New Year’s resolutions as they’re usually just a big guilt-inducing bust. But I did buy Power Sheets for the 2016 year and only ended up doing the prep work. So I picked them back up in October and since not much had really changed in terms of goals and desires, I’m going with what I have along with a little tweaking.

3. In recent years, I’ve picked a word (or words) for the year. This year my word is Flourish and it’s turning up everywhere – in Scriptures, on my Starbucks cup ornament (long before I chose the word), and other places. Just one of many ways I see God’s Spirit weaving little details of my life together.

4. We finished 2017 with our house in better shape than it’s been probably since we moved in. We’ve gotten rid of a lot of things and there’s more to go, but it’s really great to have some breathing room at home. We also were able to get a few bills paid off and others paid down, so financially we’re in a better place. Neither the house nor the finances are completely where we’d like, but both got a boost, which further motivates me to keep pressing on to more progress.

5. I signed up for Cathy Zielske’s FIT 2018. While I didn’t accomplish a lot last year, the one thing that did change is that I actually drink water now. Not always as much as I should, but I do drink it regularly. For a girl whose veins flowed Dr Pepper for many years, that’s huge. No, the Dr Pepper isn’t gone, but it’s decreased quite a bit. So let’s see what I can accomplish this year.

Overall, I just feel more hopeful, purposeful, and motivated about the new year than I have in the past. It’s an exciting place to be.

 

Small Shifts

In December I signed up for Cathy Zielske’s FIT 2017 class. I would say “again” but the last time I signed up, it was for 2016. Yeah, details. In typical Dianne fashion, I pretty much fell off the proverbial wagon about a week or two. Oh, I’d think about tracking that wagon down every so often, but not for long.

So I really debated about even trying again. Would this year be any different? Did I have any chance of actually sticking with it? I guess that remains to be seen, but I have noticed a small shift in my thinking this time. For one thing, I’m all about the baby steps. That’s a big change for me. I’m usually an all-or-nothing kind of gal. Which lasts for an extremely short period of time since once I’ve slipped up, I’ve missed the goal of ALL.

water-tracker-optIt started with water intake, which I’ve already written about here. It’s still going well. I’m fairly consistent in drinking 8-16 ounces first thing out in the morning, which helps a lot.

I also began walking, usually with one of the boys, but sometimes by myself. It helps that Colorado has had some unseasonably warm temps this year. After the first walk in January, I knew I really wanted another Fitbit since my Zip had died last year. So I picked up an Alta and that’s helping to increase my daily steps, especially since it’s kind enough to remind you if you haven’t met your hourly goals. I find myself walking circles in the house sometimes just to get those steps in.

img_5438One more area I’m often not good with is sleep. Fortunately, the Alta tracks that, too, I’m doing a little better there, too, as far as getting enough sleep. Now I just need to go to sleep a bit earlier.

I just seem to have a small shift in my perspective. Making changes feels like it’s less of a big deal, but more of a matter-of-fact, just do what I need to do. Drink more water. Walk a few more steps. Whatever.

Even though a very small shift may seem unnoticeable in the beginning, after awhile you’ll find that you’ve actually made a significant course change. My overarching goal for all of these changes is to just keep at it. Even when I stumble, fall, or completely bail, just get back to it as soon as I can and be merciful and kind to myself.

I’m hopeful that small shifts in perspective will result in some eventual big changes.

Just Once

I’m giving myself permission – just this once – to whine about my inconsistent blog posting. Why? Because every time I want to start a post, the first mental words I hear are along the lines of, “…I know it’s been a long time…” or “…Wow! Three months since I last posted? Sheesh!” and other such drivel.

Is it true? Yes. Does it matter? No. Not really. It doesn’t make me post more often. I have got to move past that mentality. I used to do it a lot at my old blog. But this is the new blog. And I hope to have matured – at least a teensy bit. So here’s my five minutes of commiseration (is that a word?) and then I need to put it away and move on. No matter the time gaps. I hope to get to a place where I post sort of regularly (2-3 times a week, maybe?), but I also need to give myself the grace to let it be what it is without the condemnation.

Okay.

All done.

And rather than leave you with my whining, I shall leave you with peaceful waters and blurry chipmunks. Not necessarily in that order.

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Growing Younger

Apparently, it’s true. At some point in life, you hit an apex of maturity and then you begin to descend the other slope. Or maybe you just learn to relax and have fun in life, no matter the activity. I think I’ll go with the latter.

Yesterday was my birthday. How old, you ask? Old enough. A number large enough that I have a hard time imaging that it applies to me. A fact which I cannot change, no matter how disconnected I feel from it.

Happy Birthday to me! I found a store in town who still had chai! #getthechaiback #starbucks #ridiculoustorunoutofchai 😊I was at Starbucks twice in the morning. Once for breakfast with John where I discovered that our favorite store is again out of original chai! They said all the stores in town are out. They’d already been out on Tuesday and Wednesday, had it back Thursday and Friday, and were all out again! How was I supposed to use my free birthday beverage on my favorite drink on my birthday when they’re out? Sheesh. So after dropping my niece off at a class, I went to another Starbucks location. They did have some original chai…for a little while longer, anyway, so I happily ordered my free birthday chai, hung out, and did some journaling.

The early part of my afternoon was spent playing on the Wii with my son and niece. We raced on Mario Kart, ran after one another on Mario Chase, and beat up cartoon enemies in Pikmin. Good times.

We went up to fix some lunch and my niece showed me some hilarious videos she’d created using the Rewind Camera app. It plays your video backwards – your actions, your words, all of it. I shouldn’t have been eating while watching her eating chips backwards. They merge together from bits in her mouth to a full chip. It was a riot. We wrote down words to figure out how to try and say them backwards so they would sound “normal” when played back. Which, of course, they don’t, which is what makes it so funny. We laughed ourselves silly.

It’s not easy to say “Happy Birthday to me” backwards.

Last night my whole family all went out for Italian. Whole family includes Mom, Dad, my sister, her husband, their two daughters, John, the boys, and me. Ten in all. It’s one of those places where they put butcher paper on the table and hand out crayons. Naturally, that means some doodling is in order. My niece wrote the smaller Happy Bday at my place before I sat down. The rest was all me. I tore that entire section out and brought it home. I just couldn’t see leaving it there.

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Afterward we came back to our house for presents and cake. And a little more laughter and fun. Then I sat down with my iPad to read all the sweet birthday greetings I received on Facebook. I was surprised by how many there were. It was a wonderful day of fun, games, laughter, family, and friends.

Video games, silly backward videos, doodling at dinner. Sounds perfectly appropriate. Right?

Yoga, part 1

I called it Part 1, because I’m anticipating a part 2.

Last month, Creative Live had a sale on their video classes and I kept Yoga for Photographers open in a tab for weeks. I thought it might be a good place to get started with something to stretch my body and improve my flexibility. The last day of the sale, I finally bought it.

pink water bottleToday, I finally downloaded it and got cracking. Fortunately, I sleep in clothes which are conducive to yoga, so I didn’t even have to change. Talk about lazy. It was later in the morning than I’d hoped to do it, and yes, I had other things I should do, but I knew I needed this. Especially after shooting a volleyball tournament on Sunday and being reminded of how inflexible my body really is. I don’t want to go through another season being so stiff and sore.

The first class is an hour long – although she does talk a little bit in the beginning. I made it about half way through before getting kind of lightheaded. Sometimes when I’m up and down or bending over and standing up or other such movements, I get a bit woozy. Since the two things she emphasized were 1) listening to your body and 2) breathing, I decided that lightheaded and woozy was my body’s way of saying it was time to stop now. But that’s okay. I did it. I got started. I’m a long ways from getting well into some of these poses, but I don’t care. I still started.

The really cool thing? I actually feel more energized – even after a short first yoga session. I think the blood and oxygen flow in my body is better and I don’t feel all sluggish (like I often do!). Kind of exciting, really. I also notice my breathing, just in everyday life. So I’m working on breathing better. That’s an area I definitely need help in, as I’ve noticed that I have rather shallow, through-the-mouth breathing, which I really don’t like. Hopefully, this will help that, too.

My Hair

Warning: We’re wading into the shallow end today. Read at your own risk.

003My hair, my hair. I know I’m not the only one, but I am sure fickle about my hair. When it’s short, I wish it were longer. When it’s long, I wish it were shorter. When it’s fluffy, I want it less so. And so on. My likes and dislikes of it are fairly extreme. The weird thing is that the days I think it looks great, no one compliments me. But on days when someone does compliment me, it’s when I thought it was kind of meh. So either everyone else is delusional or I have no idea what actually looks good upon my head. As much as I wish it was the former, I’m assuming it’s the latter.

I’m not excessively vain or crazy into selfies. But I do take some shots of my hair kind of often. I think it’s because I’m trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. The weird thing is that when I look back sometimes at pictures where I thought my hair wasn’t so great, I actually like it better after the fact. Clearly, I really don’t know what I’m thinking when it comes to my hair.

5799But I do know this. Every time I get it cut shorter, I get complimented. When it’s longer, I never receive compliments. Recently, I’ve been trying to get the photo mess on my iPhone cleaned up. Apparently 6,100+ is too many for my 16GB phone on top of the other stuff which resides there. Go figure. Anyway, in going through the pictures, I made a little effort to look more at my hair. Good grief, this is sounding terribly narcissistic. Nevertheless, I’ve gone this far, so I may as well keep on going.

I’ve decided that I agree with the people at large. I look better with shorter hair. It’s spunkier, funner (yeah, I know), and just all around better. So I guess it’s time to lob it off once again, but this time, it’ll probably be here to stay. Well, not stay, actually.

IMG_8801One of the reasons I grow it out is so that I can put it up in a clip or pony tail or headband. I don’t even know why any more. I think it’s because I used to like doing that, but really, when it gets long and I do that, I get tired of having to do so, since it’s otherwise a ridiculously big mop on my head which gets in my face. Not only that, the grays seem to be encroaching on the sides of my head nearest to my face. Therefore, when I pull it up, they’re no longer hidden. I just haven’t yet made peace with them, so I keep coloring them and they keep growing in too fast, especially around my face and I have to keep hiding them. Thus, no more hair pulling up, back, or in a headband.

So as soon as the budget will allow, the fun spirals and their less spirally friends are destined for the salon floor.

And if you stuck with me this far, thank you. Now you know just how vain and shallow I can be. Mostly just about my hair, though. Plus you get to see one of my epic bedhead shots. Lucky you!
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