Sunday, December 29, 2013

season's greetings

Confession: I am a Christmas Eve shopper. I gain no glory or satisfaction from having my holiday shopping done months ahead of time. Because I am on a budget, I don't buy gifts for friends. Immediate family only. And they know by now, since I am hundreds (formerly thousands) of miles away, that they will receive Epiphany presents.

On Christmas Eve this year I headed out into the masses at Green Hills and because I didn't have to search vainly for parking it was a lovely experience. Score yet another for the bus! I made my way to my favorite book store in Nashville - Parnassus Books. That place deserves its own love letter here. I grabbed a few gifts, and then - as is tradition - bought a Christmas present for myself.

Look, a girl on her own has to make sure she gets at least one thing she wants for Christmas!

I settled in at Starbucks with a holiday drink and Franklin and Winston. The three of us had a lovely afternoon.

I hope you had a lovely holiday! I know posting has been sporadic but my "excuse" is that my computer broke six weeks ago and I haven't been able to replace it. I've been putting it off (big, unexpected expense in a time of frugality!), but may bite the bullet in the new year. If you have suggestions on a good deal on a PC laptop (Macs are lovely, but don't suggest them. Even refurbished aren't my price range), let me know. Maybe then you'll see more of me :)

Happy (almost) 2014!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

bold choices

I don't think I've posted the full list here, but back in ninth grade my amazing language arts teacher had us all write bucket lists. I blame her for my lifelong obsession. I've accomplished many items on that list, enough that 15 year old Amanda should be quite pleased.

And Thursday night? I crossed off the second biggest item on that list, and can check off #98 and #99 on my current 101 in 1,001 list twice over: do something spontaneous and out of my comfort zone.

What was it? Oh, you know...just colored my hair for the first time in 5 years.

Red.



Saturday, December 7, 2013

I'll do it myself

I am stubbornly independent. Incredibly so.

In many ways, this is an asset. I do not determine my value based on my relationships with others. That wasn't always the case (hi, high school) but today the benefit is that I'm not too bothered by being single and I don't need a crowd of friends to do everything with me. I have many wonderful friends, don't get me wrong. But if I want to do something, I just do it. Nobody else coming doesn't deter me, so I have no problem eating out alone, going to movies alone, etc.

The downside is that sometimes I do things the "hard" way just to avoid asking for help. My broken ankle really brought that to light for me, and really helped me change my mindset. It is okay to ask for help when you need it, and it is okay to accept help when it is offered. Prime example: I decided to move closer to work because my commute was killing me (one hour, fifteen minutes each way. Every day.). Then every single one of my plans fell apart, and I suddenly had given notice to leave before Thanksgiving but no permanent place to return to. And a friend stepped up and offered me her spare room until I can find the right place. The same day I moved out, my car majorly broke down. So friends helped get me to the airport and move the last of my stuff, and have given me rides when the bus doesn't go where I'm going.

It's not easy for me to allow others to help me, even with small things. But this year as I've learned more about putting down roots, I've discovered that being rooted in a place is also about being rooted in community. Sometimes that's about serious stuff and thankfully, that often includes dinners with chips, salsa, and margaritas.

Today I'm hitting up Nashville's $2 theater with some friends. What are you up to?
Happy weekend!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

growing old

I am becoming such an old lady.

I routinely (as in 5/7 nights per week) am asleep before 10pm.

I grumble to myself on the bus when the teenagers have their music on loud in their headphones ("You're going to damage your hearing!").

I have to "warm-up" my muscles before walking like a normal person in the morning. This I blame on my broken ankle's lasting impact.

I eat leftovers willingly. Young(er) me would never do that.

I'm saving for retirement (a little) and more concerned about practicality and value with my purchases now than how cute or trendy something is.

The youngest of the "kids" in my generation just turned 22, so my family is aging along with me. My cousins' kids range in age from 9-21. There aren't any more little ones around and it shows! We were all talking about being old over Thanksgiving this year.

It's on my mind tonight because I've been back in Nashville from Pennsylvania for 2 days and the one-hour time change is killing me. Apparently old-me can't kick jet lag anymore.

I don't mind growing older, though, if I wind up anything like this adorable nearly-94-year-old. She's my favorite :)

Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

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