life curation

Welcome December: Looking Forward, Looking Back

Can you all believe that we are here at the end of another year? This time of year always leaves me in awe: the dates are long but the years are short, as I’ve heard it described. I have written a post for every day this year, so you already know what my year was like. I haven’t been feeling my best over the past few weeks but overall, I’m feeling good about my year.

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The beauty of today, the first of December, is that there are still time to accomplish one (or more!) big goal(s) before the year’s end. Even if you haven’t taken action since before my Finish 2018 on a Strong Note post, there is still time to do something that you’ll be especially proud of. I will be reviewing my last Goal Update post and seeing what I can take care of before the end of the year. Feeling under the weather has slowed me down a bit but it hasn’t stopped me, and I’m determined to make this December count.

Going forward, there are a few things I’m mulling over for 2019. For one thing, I want to bring back my book reviews. I’m reviewing a book this month, and I’ll continue doing one per month until inspiration leads me to something else. I’m also going to be more diligent about creating content for my YouTube channel, since I like the thought of being able to communicate across different platforms.

This is going to be a fantastic month. I’m claiming it right now!

life curation

NaNoWriMo Updates: Tomorrow is the Last Day

Happy Thursday, y’all! This has been quite a November to remember. . . I’ve been working on a lot of projects, and as a result, my writing suffered this month.

Of all months for my writing to suffer, it happens during NaNoWriMo.

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I didn’t meet the 50k goal for NaNoWriMo 2018. I got to 20k, which is still impressive, but nowhere near what I intended for the month. So I’m frustrated with myself right now. I wish I could have rearranged my affairs so that I could pour more time into my writing, but the truth is, this just wasn’t a good month for it.

One of the things I’ve been actively working on is being gentle with myself. No one is more disappointed in my failings than I am, so if I am going to own my shortcomings, I also have to give myself room for grace. I’m at a point where I’m doing the best that I can with everything that I do but it doesn’t always turn out how I want it to.

And that’s okay.

On the upside, I haven’t given up on this story. I’m still going to reach my 50k words and when I do, I’m going to rejoice! Until then, I’ll keep plugging along.

Enjoy your day, loves! I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

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2019 Travel Plans: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Well, as 2018 winds down, I can comfortably say that I’m done traveling for the year. I don’t anticipate going anywhere new until next calendar year, but boy, what a fun year this has been!

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From my trip to Kenya, to road trips to Philadelphia and North and South Carolinas, to my cruise last month, I’ve been a busy girl. And 2019 shows no signs of me slowing down!

I’m finalizing a few details on a late winter trip to San Juan, as well as a late spring/early summer trip to Paris. I was toying around with the notion of attending a very pricey and exclusive class next spring, but I’d rather spend my money on transformative or “bucket list” travel. The class can wait!

Next falls looks like it may include another family cruise and, if not, I’ll be in London for a few days to attend an event I’ve been eyeing. I’m also looking into some additional travel to the Pacific Rim: I haven’t decided on a country yet, but I feel like this region is calling me, so we’ll see where my hankering takes me.

I have to finish reviewing my cruise travel for you all, but once that’s done, I’ll be laser-focused on my 2019 plans. I’m so excited!!!

I hope you all are having a relaxing Monday and an easy transition into this post-Thanksgiving work week. Take care, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

 

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Black Friday Deals and Musings

Happy Black Friday, friends! If you were able to spend time with your family and friends yesterday (on Thanksgiving), consider yourself very fortunate. I was able to visit one of my good friends, and I think it did us both a lot of good to share some time with one another.

Today, however, is Black Friday, the only day of the year where people are expected to act insane while trying to save a little money. I used to work in retail many years ago, and I worked several Black Fridays in a row (5 years straight, to be exact) and I haven’t physically gone out on Black Friday since then. I really lost my taste for shopping on this day, after I saw how wretched some people acted over “stuff”.

Don’t get me wrong: I like “stuff” as much as the next person. But I always found the Black Friday riots to be degrading and, to be frank, truly asinine. I never wanted my face to be caught up in that foolishness when the media covers the brawls and stampedes happening at big box retailers.

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Instead, I’ll peruse the sales at home and if I see something that I truly want, I’ll purchase it online. As an introvert, buying from home saves me the hassle of forced human interaction but also reduces some of the visual stimuli that can overwhelm me when I’m in disorganized, overcrowded stores. Today, I saw that some of my favorite retailers – White House Black Market, Black Halo, and Macys – are all running some pretty great sales this Black Friday. Even if you (like me) aren’t keen to interact with the crowds, this is a good time to purchase something that has been on your list for a while.

If you find some awesome deals, let me know in the comments below. Or, if you find that you just can’t hang with the Black Friday crowd, I’d love to hear all about it. Enjoy your day, and happy shopping!

life curation

Finish 2018 on a Strong Note

Hi friends! Can you believe we’re already in the month of NOVEMBER? I know, time flies when you’re having fun!

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With two months left in the year, you probably think that you won’t be able to do anything impactful before the years end. Nothing could be farther from the truth! 60 days is more than enough time to do something that will really help you to finish 2018 on a strong note. If nothing else, you can get a good running start for 2019.

So take out those goals you had for 2018 – you know, the ones that got lost in the sauce sometime in February – and give them a good once-over. See which one would really mean the most to you, and get started on it NOW! If you need an idea for how to get started on your goal, I have a post about one of my sneaky tricks for successful resolutions.

Start by doing something today that will take you five minutes or less (preferably less). Take the action immediately, and you’ll already feel like you’re headed in the right direction. As for me, I’m spending 15 minutes today on my “big goals” – five minute on each of my 3 goals – to get some momentum going. And then I’ll be jumping into my writing, because it’s NaNoWriMo! Check out tomorrow’s post for more about the NaNoWriMo festivities for this year.

Talk to you all tomorrow!

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Simone de Beauvoir

In light of the crisis surrounding the state of women’s rights in the US, I thought it would be fitting to do a Words of Wisdom post featuring writer, feminist and activist Simone de Beauvoir.

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I came across de Beauvoir when researching some other women writers of the 20th century. I’d heard of her but wasn’t familiar with her work. However, after digging into her background and learning more about her perspective, I was impressed with what I learned and knew she had to have her own post on my blog.

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Simone de Beauvoir’s views on womanhood and the world at large were some of the founding principles of the feminist movement. I loved that she lived her life, on her terms, and left her thoughts for us to ponder down to this day.

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I especially love the thought that “one becomes a woman”. Womanhood is cultivated and I love being one. I love the ritual, the beauty and the beautifully nuanced existence that is womanhood. It’s a pleasure for me, and I love the fact that the womanhood experience is an intentional one.

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That’s all for today. Enjoy your Tuesday, and I’ll talk to you all soon!

 

(Photos courtesy of AZQuotes, Pinterest, Literary Ladies Guide, and QuoteParrot)

culture

Happy Discoverer’s Day!

Hi friends! Today, most of the United States is observing Columbus Day, and there are a lot of businesses and institutions that have closed for the day. However, I’m interested in the states and groups of people that have chosen to claim this day as one to honor indigenous people: the individuals who were negatively impacted by “explorers” who landed in North America hundreds of years ago.

In my research, I found out about Discoverer’s Day, which honors the Polynesian explorers that first landed on the Hawaiian islands. The state of Hawaii does not formally recognize Discoverer’s Day but I think it is a creative way to honor Polynesian culture as well as to distance the date from Columbus’s legacy.

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There are some groups that would like to further refine the name of the day, so that it more accurately reflects the original inhabitants of the islands. One group is pushing for the title “Indigenous People’s Day” to honor the early Hawaiian inhabitants. It’ll be interesting to see what changes will happen when it comes to recognizing the indigenous people of the Hawaiian islands, as well as indigenous populations worldwide.

In the meantime, I am enjoying this Discoverer’s Day and I hope you all do the same. Take care!