Less screen time, more me time.

I wrote exactly 18 blog posts in 2013. So, on average, that's 1.5 ramblings per month. Not too shabby, eh? Ok, well actually, that's pretty disasterous compared to all of the daily posters out there. Maybe in 2014, I'll aim for 2 per month. How does that sound? Sounds pretty good to me, except that it's already January 30th and this is my first post. Oops.

So anyway, as I was trying to re-assess whether it was worth keeping this old barely-worn blog around, I read back through a few of my older posts and two things dawned on me. 1) My motivation for writing posts is purely selfish in nature. I kind of, sort of, love going back through and re-reading my past thoughts. Kind of like a long forgotten diary of sorts.  2) I'm absolutely worthless at providing updates to my past ponderings. Allow me to clarify. I realized while reading backwards that I failed to ever fully explain, for example, my leap from playing 50's housewife to being gainfully employed. Not so much as a small, measly explanation was provided. Oh, I know! Or how about that time we moved to our new neighborhood but I failed to procure any semblance of a photo of our new home?

So, along with my 1.5+ monthly blog posts, I will also attempt to create a more seamless and complete picture of our lives.

And that brings me to the future. There are a great many blog posts hiding from sight right now. Over a month worth of writings that I could share but am choosing not to. On purpose. It's all part of my grand plan.  I promise that one day, hopefully in the not so distant future, I will get the courage to share them. And when I do, I reassure you it'll be well worth the wait :) If you're into that kind of thing.

For now, however, I'd like to provide some updates on the not so distant past. First thing's first, we did actually celebrate Christmas. You wouldn't know it considering the screeching halt my blog took after Thanksgiving but, yes, we did in fact manage to visit family in both PA and NJ. And as much as I love the Midwest, it made my heart hurt to come back "home" to Ohioland. It's truly such a blessing to have friends and family in close proximity. The visit kind of forced the hubs and I to re-assess whether one day we'd like to move back closer, even if it means re-entering the dreadful Northeast.

Going back home also made me realize something spectacular has happened over the course of this last year. I've somehow become more me recently. The first baby step (if you want to call it that) was moving to Ohio in the first place. The really daring part then came when I decided to avoid getting a job right away. But after a few months (six, to be exact), I started to get a little antsy. Taking care of the cleaning (in a very small apartment) and the cooking, wasn't filling enough of my time...or fulfilling enough. Neither did working out or the small bit of shopping I allowed myself. So I decided to go back to work. I didn't search for full-time opportunities though and instead focused on part-time. And it just kind of works for my husband and I. I still do all of the laundry, cleaning, cooking, errand-running and shopping. I wake up every morning and make him breakfast. He works full-time, takes out the trash, and mows the lawn in the summer. Our balancing act seems to have found a nice equilibrium. For us. And it's against the grain. It's certainly not viewed as typical for our age but we make our sacrifices. Sacrifices, like less new clothing, fewer hair appointments, not as much money spent on home decor, which are much easier to make being that we're a bit isolated. How quickly I find myself longing for designer purses and highlights when that's what I'm surrounded by. But somehow it's easy being out here in Ohio where we know so few people. And basically, we're happy. So that was, and still is, I think a big part of the puzzle.

And this year we decided to try out another part of that puzzle by cancelling our cable. No HBO or Showtime. Not even any Netflix of Apple TV. We're completely tv free except for the shows and movies we check out occasionally from the library. We did this for multiple reasons. One of the most obvious being cost. We took the savings from cancelling the cable and put the money towards a gym membership. Couch potato or healthy exerciser? Seems to be a bit of an obvious answer, don't you think? There were a few other key factors that went into our decision as well. Like the fact that I often found myself using TV as an excuse to avoid doing anything productive. If I weren't feeling particularly motivated, I'd plop my butt on the sofa and zone out for a few hours. In and of itself, not an entirely bad thing except for the frequency at which it was occurring. And then there was the fact that I stare at screens ALL day. From the time my alarm goes off in the morning (cell phone screen), to my work (computer screen), to TV at home (tv screen), all I was doing is staring at screens ALL DAY LONG. Add in apps on your phone and an e-reader and, look out, you're really in trouble. Now, I realize that not all individuals have desk jobs as I do, so the computer screen staring for 8 hours straight may not be what everyone else is experiencing. Regardless, I think you get the picture. Too many screens. Not enough doing.

There's one more change we've adopted this year as well which I think may be making the biggest impact of them all. Church. And not just the check-off-the-box church attendance either. We've found a local fellowship that I can honestly say has us looking forward to service each Sunday. I've always considered myself somewhat spiritual but this is a completely new and foreign experience. Sure, there's lots of singing just like in the church I grew up attending, but this pastor might as well be a motivational speaker. The way he works the entire stage (yes! You heard that right...there's a stage!) is incredible. And his messages are moving. It's the type of stuff you want to take away with you and digest for the week until it's time to fill up on another dose. It's all so very positive and it's slowly changing the way I view each day, if you can believe that. To stop and be grateful. To not just rush through life waiting for the next big thing.

So, that's it folks. An update to this small chapter in our lives called 2014. Another post coming, maybe, possibly? soon. Guess you'll just have to wait and see with bated breath. Ha.

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