Friday, August 4, 2017

One Wish

I have been loosely playing along with Susannah Conway's August Break 2017 on Instagram and today's prompt was "One Wish."  One of my favorites thus far and one of the easiest to do.

If I could only have one (personal) wish come true, it would be to have the time and money go with my husband and son around the world.  Asia, Africa, Australia, Central & South America, Antarctica, Eastern Europe, Western Canada and Alaska.  So many places I want to see and cultures to explore.  Would we start with a cross-Canada train trip?  Or head to the Baltics and backpack around?

I have to admit I wouldn't want to go now, though.  Traveling around the world with a 4 year old for a year sounds exhausting.  Small trips seem like an easier way to go.  We started the summer in Scranton, PA, and are ending it in Cape Cod.  We're planning our first family European adventure next year.  But a year?  That he'll barely remember?  Not so much.  No, I'd rather wait until he's 8 or 10 or 12, since this would probably once in a lifetime for our family.

Until then, I read all the books and blogs and follow the Instagrams of those who are taking these adventures.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Taking Time Out for Self Discovery

That's the subtitle of the book 40 Days and 40 Nights by Ilene Segalove, which I found for a dollar in my library's used book area.

As you have probably noticed from my blogging history, consistency is not my strong suit (in college I took a Myers-Briggs test and my INTP type meant I have highs and lows in productivity, so I get the same amount done as those who do equal amounts daily, I just do it in chunks.)  But I'm going to try to work through this book over the next couple months and to write about it here.

Over the next 40 days and nights, what do I want?  What scares me?  What's my plan?

I want to focus on my health.  Eating in a clean way, maybe even keto.  I've been doing a lot of research on eating for PCOS and keto seems like a great way to go.  I want to do a fall 5K.  I want to do yoga at least once a week (I went last week, but spent this past Monday night in Urgent Care with a bad ear infection.)

What scares me?  Being in the exact same place I am now in 40 days.  Or being worse. Not exercising enough.  Eating away sadness and stress.  Spending too much time on the couch with a book or Netflix.

What's my plan?  Begin Couch to 5K Sunday.  Go to my weekly neighborhood association yoga class.  Continue to lower my processed food and carb ingestion.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Story

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am

So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to...
-"The Story" by Brandi Carlile

I just signed up for the Live Your Legend Free 7-Day Start-A-Blog Dream Job Writing Challenge.  I have a new blog, but am really bad at writing it, so I thought this would be a good first step.  Today we're to blog about ourselves, or, as Happier in Hollywood put it, our origin stories.

When I was 15 I decided I was done with high school.  It didn't have anything to do with the classes, which I loved, but with depression and anxiety issues compounded with the fact the typical high school life and I weren't really mixing.  I spent the next couple years at the library, teaching myself genealogy, HTML, and whatever else looked interesting.  I entered community college in what should have been my senior year, got into the honors program, and haven't looked back.  I eventually received a master's degree in library science and now work in a public library helping others learn.

One of the books I read during those high school dropout years recommended making a list 101 dreams and so I sat down with a yellow legal pad, filling it up with places I wanted to travel and things I wanted to do.  Exploring, seeing, doing: these are the words that have inspired me for as long as I can remember.  When I'm in the same place for too long, wanderlust envelops me until I roam somewhere new, even if just a new town not far from where I am.  Hence, the name of my blog.

So why a blog?  I love to write and connect with others.  I am looking to share not only my wanderings, both literally (trips) and metaphorically (I read a lot), but also my current quest to get healthy and increase my physical movement.  I have also been thinking a lot about living my values as of late and having a space to discuss those values and how to incorporate them into my day-to-day.  I hope you'll join me on the journey.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Summer Plans 2017: Part 2

The last day of school this year is June 22nd, so summer is fast approaching in Central New York.  I already posted my summer reading goals (all the food & cookbooks), so here are some other things I hope to accomplish in the warm weather.

  • Genealogy Summer Camp (This is already booked and paid for - I also found out we're closing at work 7/3, so I'll have off 6/24-7/4!!!)
  • Take the Bug to the carousels in Binghamton
  • Walk to the ice cream place near us at least once a month
  • Go to the splash pad
  • Go to the farmer's market most Saturdays
  • Have at least one campfire with friends
  • Go to the beach after work at least monthly
  • Family trip to Niagara Falls with my Mom

Monday, June 5, 2017

Summer Plans: 2017 (Part 1-Books)

Fig & Thistle Books made a summer to be read list, which I thought was a great idea.  My plan for summer is to read cookbooks and food books, and also to cook at least one new recipe a week from these books.  I'm sure my list is way too long (50 titles), since I don't tend to read a lot in the summer, but here it is.

Amanda's Summer 2017 TBR List

Aleppo Cookbook: Celebrating the Legendary Cuisine of SyriaAn: To Eat: Recipes and Stories from a Vietnamese Family KitchenArt of the Pie: A Practical Guide to Homemade Crusts, Fillings, and LifeThe Basque Book: A Love Letter in Recipes from the Kitchen of TxikitoBatch: Over 200 Recipes, Tips and Techniques for a Well Preserved KitchenBurma Superstar: Addictive Recipes from the Crossroads of Southeast AsiaThe Cardamom Trail: Chetna Bakes with Flavours of the EastThe Case Against SugarA Change of Appetite: Where Delicious Meets HealthyThe Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African-American Culinary History in the Old SouthCork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for TasteDinner: Changing the GameThe Ducksoup Cookbook: The Wisdom of Simple CookingEat in My Kitchen: To Cook, to Bake, to Eat, and to TreatEverything I Want to Eat: Sqirl and the New California CookingFar Afield: Rare Food Encounters from Around the WorldFood, Health and Happiness: 115 On-Point Recipes for Great Meals and a Better LifeGirl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a TimeThe Haven's Kitchen Cooking School: Recipes and Inspiration to Build a Lifetime of Confidence in the KitchenHomegrown and Handmade: A Practical Guide to More Self-Reliant Living

Amanda's favorite books »

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Finding My Values: Part 1

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It's about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”― BrenĂ© BrownThe Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are 

I am a worship associate at my church and our topic for today is authenticity and living within your values.  This is the reflection piece I gave on the topic.  I'm planning on going deeper into my values next week.

Authenticity is a big topic and the numbers of books, articles, and blog posts on living authentically continues to grow at an overwhelming pace.  While discussing this topic, I thought, “alright, to live authentically means to live my values, but what are my values are and why do I have them?”  Do I have them because my mom told me it was important? Or my church?  Or a book?  Do they still resonate with me or do they need to evolve or drop away?

As luck would have it, on the same day that I spoke about this topic with Pastor Sunshine, and then again with my Wellspring group, I received an email newsletter where a woman named Krista O'Reilly Davi-Digui who is a blogger and a Holistic Nutrition & Joyful Living Educator, which sounds like an awesome job description, wrote that she asks herself three questions every night: What are three things I am grateful for?, What are two things I did well today?, and What is one thing I would do differently?.

They are a great way to 1. Figure out your values and B. See if you’re living them authentically. For example, What are three things I am grateful for?  I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal for nearly 2 years, and I tend to be grateful for the adorable things my son says or does, things relating to my husband, family and friends, Wellspring, and Junior League, beautiful sunsets, reading a great book, and finding new information about my ancestors.  Those show some of my values: nurturing important relationships, noticing the beauty and wonder in the small things, and cultivating hobbies that are important to me.  Other days I’m grateful for the health of my family, a comfortable bed, and the fact that tomorrow is a new day.  Those tend to be days I wasn’t living so authentically and need a re-set.  If I start getting too many days in a row like that, it’s a hint to see if I need to change an aspect of my life.

What are two things I did well today? I went for a walk with my family after dinner.  I called my Senators.  I helped a patron at work.  I find more values like moving my body and getting outside more, being politically active, providing good service to people who come to my library.  And not only am I finding my values with this questions, but it really shows that I’m living these values by doing something actionable.

What is one thing I would do differently?
To begin with, it’s important to remember that this question isn’t meant to be used to beat yourself up; there is a reason you’ve come up with 5 good things before coming up with one that might make you sad or mad at yourself.  Next time I will take a deep breath and not yell at my son.  Next time I will put on my gym clothes before I leave work so I can head right to spin class instead of going inside and getting distracted.  These show some values – being a patient parent and getting exercise in – and how I can do better to live them.  Sometimes this question actually shows two values and the need to prioritize, such as Next time I will put down my book or phone and focus completely on having a conversation with my husband.  I care about reading and learning new things through books and about having a good marriage and I need to remember that the book is much easier to come back to than a moment with a living person.

I’m going to keep using these question to figure out what I value and how well I’m living said values and I’m thankful for this easy framework to do so.  And hopefully they'll help you as well.