Sunday, March 30, 2014

valuable time

(14) Have a twice-a-month solo coffee date

This is one of the goals that I didn't put a lot of thought into when I chose it, but has turned out to be so amazing for me. As an introvert, I need lots of quiet time for reflection, and it's best that I carve that out for myself outside the house.

Since I got rid of my car, it's been a little bit harder to find time for myself. That seems counterintuitive, but if I'm going to spend an hour on the bus on top of my regular commute I usually use that to see friends. Truth, though?

I'm a better investment of my time.

Are you good about making time for yourself?

Monday, March 24, 2014


(01) Move into a "big girl" house
Completed 02/08/14

When I drafted my current 101 in 1,001 list, the very first item that came to mind was moving into a house. At the time, I seriously doubted whether I would cross this one off, as the thing I hate most is moving.

I've been pretty happy with the places I've lived since graduating from college, but every single one of them included sharing a wall with my neighbors. The older I got, the less I wanted to be that close to people.

I talked a little bit last winter about my housing search (what I thought would be a two week process stretched into three months!). Although it was excruciating at the time, I'm glad it took as long as it did because I love my new place. I found my roommate on Craigslist, surprisingly enough.

Not sharing space with neighbors and having an actual yard (with a fire pit!) is amazing. It's an older house which I love, and is miraculously all one floor. That wasn't a deal breaker, but ever since I fell down the stairs and broke my ankle, I've been iffy with stairs. Another perk is living in East Nashville which is one of the most up and coming neighborhoods in town. The area is crawling with hipsters and I'm definitely not cool enough, but that'll rub off on me a little I'm sure.

My word for last year was "rooted" and moving here definitely feels like another way I'm putting down roots in Nashville. It hasn't been easy to fight for a future here, but I'm glad I haven't given up.

One of my favorite things about this house is the little breakfast bar (with glitter countertops!). And my third roommate Sampson is pretty cool too.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

renewed focus

Thanks to those of you who chimed in on my off-the-cuff comment about not knowing whether or not to continue blogging. I still waffle back and forth, as I have been for the past nearly five years. I've had a blog for almost a decade (oh my!), but as I made my way through grad school and into the professional world I've wrestled with whether this KIND of writing is something I want to be known for. It isn't my aim to be a big-name blogger, or to be identified as a blogger at all. That's not my calling. This space isn't a means to some kind of social media platform-building end.

I'm not saying that's an improper motive. It's perfectly fine, if that's your calling. But since it's not mine, I need to be extra careful not to let the online current pull me too far in that direction.

The question then becomes, what IS the purpose of this space in my life? I initially meant it to be a chronicle of what I was reading, but the truth is that I am reading sporadically and slowly and that does not good book blogging make. I think at the moment, my inclinations are to use this corner to keep tabs on my goals. That will alleviate some of the pressure to post constantly, since I can just post when I have something relevant to update.

I would love to have y'all chime in when you feel so led. I know I haven't been commenting on your blogs as often as I should. I confess I've barely read anything in months. But even if this just becomes a personal log of my progress, that's fine.

And on the day when it feels like I've run totally out of things to say or desire/ability to say them, that will be fine too.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Living without luxuries I've become accustomed to is inconvenient. I haven't had a car or a consistently functioning computer since Thanksgiving.

And it's probably the best thing that could have happened to me this year.

As I've been trying to be more mindful of the world around me - and how I feel about it - I've discovered that I can talk a good talk about simplicity and sustainability. Walking that out in the short term is relatively easy. LIVING it out over the long term? Inconvenient.

It's inconvenient that it takes me two bus rides and an hour to get pretty much anywhere. It's inconvenient that there are a lot of things I have to say no to because the bus doesn't go there. It's inconvenient not to be easily able to go to church or join a community group. It's inconvenient to have to carefully plan and time my grocery shopping because I have to take whatever I buy on the bus then walk half a mile home.

For the last couple of weeks I've been sort of wallowing in the inconveniences. I've been letting them prevent me from doing the things I want to do. (Exhibit A: I started this post 2 weeks ago)

I'm using the onset of spring as my launching point to say no to "inconvenient" and yes to embracing my new lifestyle.

What's new with you?

While I might have been frustrated recently, I do seriously love this city.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

what a kickoff...

I don't know about you, but 2014 has completely gotten away from me. I've already abjectly failed at a new year's resolution which is a bit embarrassing for a girl who talks so much about goals.

Work was hurtling toward two major events, one which ended up cancelled due to weather in the south and the other which wrapped up at the beginning of the week. It officially feels like my introductory chapter is over and I'm settling into the next season in my job, which is a great feeling.

After 2.5 months of looking, I've finally found a new place to live and I move this weekend. The only downside so far is that I will seriously need to buy a car ASAP since it's not very convenient to the bus (sad). I wasn't planning on doing that until the fall, so there's my extra challenge for the spring :) budget and save!

I keep going back and forth over whether it's worth it to keep blogging, since I'm so sporadic without a computer (and also wondering how it reconciles with my professional life). No drastic actions being taken, but it's on my mind.

What's on yours? I've missed you!

Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 in a word

This is my third year to be part of the OneWord365 community. Shepherded by my lovely friend Alece, this project has been an amazing way to define my life in Nashville. Year One was all about "pluck"; Year Two was about being "rooted"; and Year Three?

Well, as my third year in Nashville begins (this weekend was my two year Nashiversary!), it is all about being MINDFUL.

As with my last two words, mindful came to me on its own. This spring I bought a little canvas because I knew I needed a constant reminder to just "be". In November I was playing with the words "intentional" and "simplify" and neither was just right. Over the Thanksgiving holiday I spent time at my family's small organic farm, and as we sat around the table I was so satisfied. Everything was done with care, and with an awareness that we lack when we're disconnected from nature. I came back to an inoperable vehicle, no permanent place to live, and a blank slate.

As the repair costs skyrocketed, I explored the idea of attempting a car-free lifestyle. Simultaneously, I was pondering adopting a new attitude when it came to food, and since I was in the midst of moving I'd been systematically purging my possessions.

2014 began to look like a year that was going to be all about intentionality. But instead of making my year about my goals, I decided to make it about the thought and feeling behind my choices. I want to spend this year being mindful of why I do what I do. In some cases, this will reveal my passions and values. In others, it will expose unhealthy patterns and motives. I'm eager to take on both!

As I said last week, I can't quite abandon measurable goals. It's not in my nature. So I've divided my year of mindfulness into four quadrants, each with its own sets of goals. The more I've thought about it, the more excited I've become as I add goals on. It's a lot to tackle at once, but since the thrust behind this year doesn't necessarily lie with outcomes but with motive, I'm willing to risk overdoing it a bit. The bottom line is to always show ourselves grace and not to give up.

I'll lay out my specific goals for the year later this week, so for now tell me: what's your theme/word for 2014?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Looking Back at One Word 2013: a year of putting down roots

I was going to share my goals for 2014 with you today, but quickly realized that I wasn't ready to write about 2014 without looking back at 2013 for a moment.

In 2013, my focus was on being rooted. To see more about my OneWord365, click on the category in the sidebar (apologies for not linking, I'm writing this on my iPhone). I choose the word "rooted" for a host of reasons, but in the end it was my attempt to feel connected to my community in a way I never have been before.

I've moved more times than I can count, and Tennessee is the fifth state I've called home in the past ten years. All of that wandering makes it hard to feel a part of something and to foster deep relationships. Nashville is where I'm called to be for the inevitable future and I wanted to make an effort not to continue my detached ways.

This time last year I thought I knew exactly what putting down roots in my community would look like. However, by May everything had changed and I can honestly say that not one thing about how I ended 2013 was like it was when the year began. While that wasn't easy, it was certainly all for the best. I could never have predicted how drastically my life would change last year, but having chosen to commit helped me in significant ways.

There was a point this fall where I wasn't sure I would stay in Nashville. That was a supremely painful season (both literally and figuratively) but it showed me that I couldn't bear the thought of uprooting myself from this city I've come to adore. In the past, I probably wouldn't have thought twice about moving on. Instead I chose to stay, and fight, and nourish my roots.

Choosing to value community and commitment has helped me to grow in huge ways this year, and I can say without exaggeration that it has marked me and completely reframed my worldview. I'm encountering 2014 with a new mindset, and I'm so glad.

I talked yesterday about letting my theme for the year guide my goals. I had no idea what would come from it all, but in the end I think my roots are strong and that I, as a result, am stronger.

I can't wait to share with you my word for 2014 on Monday! To learn more about the OneWord project, visit

What would you say was the theme of your year? Is it what you thought it would be back in January?

To help me remember to be rooted even as my focus shifts, I bought some plants. Let's see if I can keep them alive!

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