Thirteen for Thirty-One

Friday, April 28, 2017

I started a list of 31 in 31 but realized after a few weeks that I just wasn’t motivated. So instead I’ve taken that 31+ list of things and decided that if I can do 13 of them in my 31st year then I will have added a lot of joy. (13 because it’s the reverse of 31.) I reserve the right to add whimsical/fun things to here as I’ve done them because I’m in my thirties… and there are no rules.

Here are the options:
+ be in a food fight
+ host a board and card game night, play Clue and Gin
+ try a barre class and take it for a month if I like it
+ Make a print or a collage to go over bookcase
+ try paddle boarding
+ get a facial
+ skinny dip
+ add something to sleeve
+ see Jason Aldean live
+ put an unnatural hair color in my hair (purple? pink?)
+ visit Country Music Hall of Fame
+ Take a self defense class
+ Learn how to read a map and use a compass –  DONE!!!
+ Adopt a dog – I want to do this by the end of the year!
+ leave a note in a book at the library or a bookstore
+ write something encouraging in a bathroom stall
+ walk through a field of fireflies
+ go on a bike ride (this is to get over a fear)
+ pay off cc debt
+ sleep under the stars/cowboy camp
+ climb water tower
+ watch a drive in movie from the bed of a truck
+ dance in truck headlights
+ take a kitchen knife skills class
+ make an epic fort
+ learn how to cook meat really well
+ finish my Swiss Cross Blanket – hoping by June
+ ride a mechanical bull
+ share secrets in the dark
+ learn how to start a fire (like a boyscout)
+ eat cake with my hands on the beach
+ create a piece of hotel art
+ take dance classes weekly
+ be a tourist in my city (Opry, Ryman, Bluebird… something)


March in Review

Saturday, April 8, 2017

March was a hard month, and so I’m going to do a review and save April and next quarter’s goals for another post.

At the beginning of March I turned 31 and while I usually get excited about birthdays, I crashed hard with this one. The crash was totally unexpected and hit like a tidal wave. The day of my actual birthday was spent alone, the next day a sickness hit that lasted a good couple of weeks and still has some residual lung issues. March was the month I had my first ever asthma attack, yay going back to the treadmill a little too soon, that was exciting. If I am being completely honest I feel like I am just now coming out of the overall mental and physical funk. (Thank goodness)

I decided this time that instead of being super hard on myself I would give myself whatever I wanted (within reason) and hold on. This meant using up my entire $50 starbucks gift card in a little over a week, buying little things that I had been putting off like a hat, a new chair for the patio, brown eyeliner and mascara, I ordered 3 different pairs of cowboy boots in different sized to try and find some that worked, none of them did, looked at rifles I might want to buy, looked at a whole bunch of fun shirts, added snapchat (something I was very vocal about hating for a while), went dancing two nights a week instead of one, decided I hated cooking and mostly bought precooked food and went out to eat, etc. As I’m typing this out I’m realizing how small some of these things are that I didn’t allow myself to do or talked myself out of over and over again. No wonder I am tired.

The good from March:
– Booked plane ticket, and paid for parking for trip in June
– Order bridesmaid’s dress for wedding
– Exercised 4x a week: Only missed one week because of the sickness, it was annoying
– Explored some new places- outside of Nashville: Knoxville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg
– Bought so much new music: Cody Johnson, some Josh Turner and Aaron Watson to name a few
– Drank a lot of iced coffee/mochas: tried with coconut milk, and low fat milk and decaf espresso and decaf cold brewed coffee… still trying to find my best option with the least amount of sugar
– Took a good amount of side roads during lunch and on the weekends, needed to be away from things
– Took a nap in my car at the library by a park under a tree and it was all kinds of blissful and a hint of the Spring I am looking forward to
– Painted a couple times
– Blocked some necessary people on different sites so I can keep my mind in the present, they weren’t bugging me, I just got bored and would “see how they were” and then get into a bad mood. No need.
– Wrote and re-wrote goals, obsessed about the most random things
– got Snapchat and started talking to one of my sisters daily on it

March wasn’t all bad, but it was mentally strenuous, I’m looking forward to the warmer days and then my vacation home in June. The countdown is on!



Friday, March 3, 2017

February has been unseasonably warm. It’s wonderful!

February Goals:
donate to one new organization: signed up to donate time – I signed up to be a volunteer at a Mud Run in May and this weekend I will be helping weed at a farm for The The Trust for Tennessee. Pretty excited about these.
one date – accomplished
at least one call to each of the designated family members – accomplished
plan my 31st birthday party and/or mini trip – done! I will be setting out to a horse farm by the Smoky Mountains this weekend!
read books I am excited to read (try to keep it at 4) – accomplished
exercise 4x a week – DID IT! This is two full months of vigorously moving at least 4x a week.
spend less than I make – ACCOMPLISHED! Clearly I am pretty excited about this. I have been working on my budgeting system and tracking each month, figuring out what I want to get out of it and this month I even took out the value of two extra days of pay in a short month and saved it for my birthday and STILL I spent less than I made. Praise hands and what not.
create something… seriously anything (paint a picture, work on the blanket, edit some old photos) – did not do well with this, I am going to add working on the blanket to March
take a walk/hike in a new park and visit a new part of Nashville every weekend: I did this a couple times but not every weekend
continue on with gratitude/daily pages – accomplished
file taxes – accomplished

*The lessons I learned and will carry on from February is/are: I get pulled into drama, not just with other people but in my mind, which means I also create some myself. The lesson I want to carry forward is to invest less, to notice when I’m getting pulled in to others issues as well as when I’m getting pulled under my own, I want to take the importance away from being in the know, to walk away from things that can admittedly be very entertaining and to react slower.

March Goals
– Get all travel plans locked in for trip home in June (plane, parking, rental car, possible mini trip)
– Order bridesmaid’s dress for wedding
– at least one call to five family members
– exercise 4x a week: This time focusing on 3 times in gym or hike and then one free exercise any way I want
– stay in food budget – don’t let overspending on food take from other categories
– work on the swiss cross blanket
– explore somewhere new every week

*Something I want to experiment with in March is: meditation


*These questions are part of Nicole from Real Talk Radio’s monthly review. I highly recommend her podcast.


Monday, February 6, 2017

(whoever made this, kudos… I hear ya Lemon)

January didn’t go as planned (it never really does).

January Goals:
Start a Low FODMAP Diet – absolutely crashed and burned on this one. Managed to: continued with a probiotic, start taking a multivitamin, and try out a lot of different recipes though
Work out 4 times a week – ACCOMPLISHED!!! Most of those times were in my apartment gym but a couple times they were out on trails and a few they were dancing in a bar  (preferred method of cardio)
– Family phone calls – Not so great, definitely need to get better at this.
Spend less than I make – this was a draw. Didn’t put anything on credit or dip into savings but did have extra money from Christmas AND spent way too much on food trying to figure out the Low FODMAP stuff.

Unintentional January Goals:
– Do more social things away from line dancing bar: Did this well. I did go a couple of times but I also stayed away for a couple of weekends and caught up with other friends. Success.
– Find causes to volunteer for and donate to: Started donating to Boot Campaign and have some others in mind for the next few months.

I looked at my list and didn’t really feel anything so I will be reworking my goals yet again. I’m looking for smaller changes over longer terms. I want to end 2017 feeling better than I ever have and while I would love it to be with huge things accomplished I may have to settle with gradual improvement. Here are some of the possibilities for this month:

February Goals:
– donate to one new organization: this month focusing on reproductive health/women’s rights and environment/land conservation
– one date
– at least one call to each of main family members
– plan my 31st birthday party and/or mini trip
– read books I am excited to read (try to keep it at 4)
– exericise 4x a week
– spend less than I make
– create something… seriously anything (paint a picture, work on the blanket, edit some old photos)
– take a walk/hike in a new park and visit a new part of Nashville every weekend
– continue on with gratitude/daily pages
– file taxes – done!



2016 in review

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
The single best thing… goodness, such pressure on a question. I don’t know that there is one big huge thing that happened that stands out, this year has been a lot of things working under the surface. I loved my time with Chelsea in New York, and sharing my city with Sarah and Dasha this summer. I am so stoked on the roommate I ended up with after some craziness, my salary that I got this year is nothing to turn my nose up at either.

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
A relationship that I’ve been working through mentally.

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
Hearing myself say “I’ll do my best, but I’m never going to be perfect.” And feeling totally calm and accepting of that. (The conversation was in relation to God and faith and life and how it’s not a merit based system and I have to keep reminding myself of that.)

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
Dealing with the feeling of having a bit of a sabbatical but not knowing what to do and trying to stay somewhat positive. A month off that didn’t really feel like a month off, in fact I forgot it happened.

5. Pick three words to describe this past year.
Listen (my word of the year worked!), dig, choppy

6&7 – About spouses, so N/A this year.

8. What were the best books you read this year?
I read 70+ books this year, started so many others and decided I didn’t want to continue them. There were many I enjoyed but these stand out the most.
Present over Perfect
The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living
Scary Close (2nd reading)
All the Bright Places
How to be a Person In the World
Harry Potter 6 & 7 (re-read)
Finding God In the Waves

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?
Sarah, the ladies of WD’s, the one with my counselor

10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
Allowing myself to be imperfect not just in theory and by logic but in feeling too.

11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?
I learned the beginnings of mindfulness, a practice that I see being very, very helpful moving forward.

12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
I dug in and started questioning what my beliefs are, not just what I think and say they are but what is really going on underneath. I read books by several Christian authors, have another to either end this year with or start next year with. I questioned God, I got mad at God, I realized I was still operating under old beliefs of what God was and how he/she/it worked and I started questioning those. I allowed myself to feel and mentally speak to what I use to think were betraying thoughts. If God is all being and all knowing then He/She/Ze/It already knows what’s going on so I may as well make it an open conversation.

13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?
It’s just coming now at the end of the year but I started getting really tired of my excuses about my physical health. I realize I’ve been saying the same things for three plus years of why I can’t do so many things I want to do and I’m tired of hearing myself talk. They are valid excuses, the road to getting better and being able to do some of those things if not all of them will be challenging to say the least but it’s far from impossible.

14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
I backed off of some relationships but spent a lot of time working out different things I felt about them. My hope is that in the new year I will be able to come back to them with a better understanding of myself and my boundaries so we can rehabilitate and grow.
I learned to let people tell their own stories. It’s something I will continually work on, but I think it’s important. I want people to trust me, and I think they can, but I also realize that what I think is no big deal to share might be a huge deal to others.

15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
That I have the time and the freedom to work on my health with doctor’s appointments and health insurance. I also enjoy the steady income that has helped me work on budgeting.

16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?

17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
Facebook and crushes

18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
Going to counseling. Definitely.

19. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?
I learned that the previous assumptions I had about how life should be, ones I didn’t even realize I had, were not quite right and were causing more distress than anything else. There has been a lot of shifting and reconfiguring and deciding where I want to be working in the middle of that.

20. Create a phrase or statement that describes this past year for you.
Neither of these are mine originally but they have been so very true: The only way out is through and the time will pass anyway.


Development by Brandi Bernoskie + Morgan Woroner