Monday, November 2, 2015

Re-Inventing Myself

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The last few months have flown by and now it is the beginning of November.  I’m not going to apologize for not blogging, because it’s my blog and nobody is paying me to blog, so I can blog or not blog whenever I feel like it.  (Not trying to be rude.  It is what it is.  I do appreciate that anyone reads this blog.)  Life has been so full the last few months.  Last week I FINALLY got my braces off, after 21 awful months with them on.  My teeth are now free!  (See photo above.)

I’ve been taking a break from scrapbooking since mid-July.  I did one project in September and that was about it.  I’m done with all my design team responsibilities except for One Little Bird, where I am still the hybrid blog coordinator.  (I can’t really quit Peppermint since she’s one of my very best friends, ha ha.)  My scrapbooking hiatus has been especially refreshing.  I’ve been scrapbooking non-stop since 2008 and I just really needed a break.  This is especially true since the last 3-4 years I have been creating for design teams.  I was spending most of my weekend free time making pages for other people.  I woke up one day and realized they don’t pay me except with product that I can afford myself.  Why am I doing this??  Unless it gives me great joy, I’m not doing it.  This is not to say I’ll never join a design team again, but my focus will be creating for myself and what I want to create and document, rather than doing it for a team.  If a team is a good fit for me, I would certainly consider it.  But for now, I’m still on my break.

During the time that I wasn’t scrapbooking or blogging, a TON of my time was freed up to do other things.  I really couldn’t believe how MUCH of my time was spent on scrapbooking assignments and blogging about them.  Like, much of my week nights and weekends were freed up!  It allowed me time to read books, to go to the library, to enjoy more social time with friends, to get off the internet, to watch movies and TV, and to generally think and evaluate on my life.  I really enjoyed doing all of those things.  But guess what?  When I really thought about my life as it currently stands, I didn’t like some aspects of it.  I decided that it’s never too late to re-invent myself, so I wrote down some plans to do so. 

For instance… my plans for my career were to eek out the next 10 years in my financial analyst job, retire early, and then find a part-time job for social interaction and some income.  In my life evaluation I decided that’s not the way to live my working life.  It is NEVER too late to make a change.  Either I can change the way I feel about my current job and love it again and be re-invigorated by it, or I can go find myself another job.  There’s no rule that says I have to stay in this same job.  It really freed me up mentally.  Like, I can choose to love my current job, or I can find something else.  Financially I am not trapped.  I can even quit and not work for a while and we can get by.  So this mental shift really helped me to clarify that.  Funny how you can love your job a lot more, just knowing that you have other options!

I’m also concentrating on eating well and daily exercising.  You wouldn’t think it, but this actually takes up a lot of my time every day and takes quite a bit of mental energy.  I decided that I am worth it.  I am worth the hard work to be in good physical shape in my mid-40’s!  I had gained about 10 lbs and I didn’t like how I was feeling physically and emotionally about myself.  That’s not to say I hate my body.  But my mental shift is that I feel that it is my privilege and my duty to take care of my body and be the best that I can be.  Both for myself and for those that love me.  I am treating this like a job, as if someone is paying me to do it.  As if I am an actor, getting in shape for the role of my life.  And in a way, I am.  I don’t want to be the middle-aged person who gained a few pounds and just let it go.  Then gained a few more pounds.  Then gained a few more.  And suddenly realize I’m way overweight and it’s even tougher to do something about it then.  I’ve lost about 3 lbs in the last few weeks by eating well and eating a bit less.  I’ve also been consistently getting 10,000 steps in each day.  I used to sit at my desk all day while working.  Now I get up 3-4 times a day and walk a mile each time.  I also try to get about 30 minutes of real exercise in the morning before going to work.  It’s my life, it’s my body, I’m committed to this.

There has been so many things that have been revelations once I opened up my mind about what it is I wanted more in my life and what I want less of.  The main core of my life hasn’t changed, obviously.  I still love my family and Todd and Noodle.  But I’ve realized that just because I am 45 doesn’t mean that my life is set for the rest of the way.  I CAN change what I don’t like about it.  For instance, I CAN be a more positive person and go into things with better attitudes.  Just trying this out has made everyone react more positively towards me.  And it has made all my social interactions way more fun!  Another one of my goals is to make more friends, and also cultivate deeper, more meaningful relationships with the friends I do have. 

Now you can see why I have been away from the internet for a while.  I am in the process of re-inventing myself.  I will share more as time allows.  And funnily enough, the life re-invention was kicked off by my obsession with the book “The Martian”, and now the movie too.  (I’ve seen it twice in the theater.)   It’s weird how when you are ready for a life lesson, something like “The Martian” can trigger it.  My new motto is “What would Matt Damon do?”.  But that a story for another time.


  1. Wow. I love so many things about this post. I have been feeling like I want to reinvent some things in my life, but not knowing even where to start. Your writing gave me some ideas. (And just made me feel like...other people change, even in their forties, so I can too!) Thanks for sharing your process!

    (PS, I love, love, love The Martian too!)

  2. I am so happy to hear about all your positive changes! I have no doubt you'll scrap again in the future, sometimes we just need a break to reevaluate what is most important in our lives.

  3. I think it's really awesome that you've been able to sit down and reflect on what changes you want to make to your life, and how you are already acting on them and seeing a positive outcome!

    I feel like I'm always trying to change things but never quite getting there. As my kids are getting older, I have a little more control over the daily schedule of things, which is really freeing. I'm hoping that continues :)

    The Martian is high on my list of next-to-read books. My husband loved it, and I think I will, too.

    Congratulations on getting your braces off! I had them for what felt like an eternity-- all of middle and high school, and the feeling when they were removed was incredible!!!

    Enjoy the rest of your scrapbooking break, however long you decide it will be... I'll be looking forward to seeing your creations in the future, should you decide to share them!!

  4. Hey, congratulations on your paradigm shift!! You certainly sound energized and full of pep. The Martian was a great book--it surprised me that it was so riveting. Funny how you went off-world to get your inspiration! =)

  5. I really enjoyed this post--it was great to "hear" from you and the analysis that you have made really resonated with me. I found myself nodding my head a lot while I was reading! Can't wait to see what new discoveries you make! :D

  6. I've missed you and totally understand where you are coming from! I have craft work I need to do and deadlines. I sadly only create for those obligation and not for just me. I'm so behind on my PL 2015 but I realize, that's's my PL album and I'll get it done when I get it done! I've had friends constantly ask me to go out during the week, but I have tons of stuff that needs to be done. I'm not complaining about it just it's what keeps me busy and I get exactly what you're talking about! While I miss reading your updates and seeing you on IG, I'm glad to hear you took a well deserved "me" time! Hope all is well and looking forward on what's to come (^_^)

  7. Wow, what a great reflection! It gave me some points to think about for my own life, not only because we are in the same age. Thanks for that. By the way I missed you and your blog posts, your stories and your creativity... But I totally understand your thoughts and wish you to find a good way for YOUR life many hugs

  8. You go, girl! I like the treating your boday like a celebrity, your duty and privledge to take care of it!

  9. Wow I loved everything of this post. You're great and inspiring!
    Looking forward to
    Hugs <3

  10. This is precisely why I've never tried out for a design team or accepted design team gigs. I've seen almost every one of my scrappy friends burn out from design teams that they either quit scrapping/paper crafting altogether or stop doing it for a couple of years. A lot of times, when your hobby starts acting like your job, it's time to slow or stop the hobby for awhile. Good luck with whatever you decide!

    1. I actually don't blame on my lack of scrapbooking interest right now solely on being on design teams. Many times I scrapped a memory only because I had to do an assignment. So having assignments isn't always bad. I didn't quit DTs, my term just ran out and I haven't scrapped since. I just don't have an interest in it right now. I'm concentrating on other things in my life.

  11. Good for you! I also love The Martian. I haven't read the book, but I really enjoyed the movie!

  12. Hi Christine. Glad you are doing well. Although I have missed reading your blog and seeing your pretty scrap pages, I totally understand taking a break and refocusing. It is important to make time off and focus on health, family and friends.

  13. Good for you! Committing to change - it seems simple but how empowering it can be! Congrats on getting the braces off - must be a great feeling!

  14. I love this post! I have been feeling a bit stuck myself and this has made me take a good look at how I want things to be and work out how to make it happen. Love your braces free smile!

  15. Just finished watching The Martian on HBO for probably the 4th time, so that's a little spooky. This is my first visit to your blog. Like what I am reading! I will turn 50 this year. I am skinny in clothes, but it's still a goal. Got my first spray tan ever so must be having a mid life crisis! Exercising and eating healthy do take up time. And the extra laundry from sweaty workout clothes, crazy! Anyway, if you are going to blog, then I'm going to read it now that I found you.


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