More or Less

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girl in a hammock relaxing

Photo by Rachel Claire

I am a creature of habit. If I ever go missing, it won’t be too hard for my friends and family to track me down. My kids tell me all the time that it’s a good thing I don’t have a stalker. I’m not sure if that’s because of my propensity for sharing on Facebook or my fondness for routine.

My ideal week includes at least one and preferably two Barnes and Noble visits. I wander the store a bit and then generally end up in the cafe to order a Venti (go big or go home, right??) Chai Creme Frappuccino or iced Chai tea latte with brown sugar and settle in to write for an hour or two.

I need at least one trip to the library…similar routine as Barnes and Noble. I bring a drink in with me there but I wander the library, grab a book (or two or five) and then settle down to write a bit or perhaps browse their magazines.

A Dairy Queen breakfast or lunch happens at least once a week, generally with at least one of my boys but sometimes on my own.

The weekend usually involves some window shopping at Marshalls and TJ Maxx. Some actual shopping happens at Target (it’s a weakness but I’m getting better at limiting my trips there).

I also mentally depend on my monthly book club meeting, many episodes of House Hunters and My Lottery Dream Home, and whatever current series I’m binge watching on my streaming services-currently that’s The Morning Show. 

Occasionally (and sometimes frequently depending on the time of the year), I also end up in the office on the weekend trying to knock out a bit of work.

A recent trip to the bookstore had me flipping through the newest Bella Grace Field Guide. Bella Grace is my very favorite magazine, it’s actually more like a book than a magazine to be fair. The Field Guide is a more of a journal version of their magazine with lots of writing prompts. One of the prompts in this issue was What do you want more of in life and What do you want less of? 

That’s a deep question for someone who thrives on routine. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  • More order and less chaos

       I’m not a neat and orderly person by nature. My house is generally a mess and my                 office is worse. I like going into orderly, neat homes but I just can’t seem to make my           own spaces that way, or at least, I can’t seem to keep them that way. 

  • More Travel 

I’ve got my second cruise on the books for January. I also want to book a little writer’s retreat for myself somewhere and maybe a Pigeon Forge trip this next year. Id really like to get to where I can plan one really nice trip a year with a couple of extended weekend trips in between.

I took an impromptu trip this weekend when my friends invited me to crash their camping trip. Small road trip to the campsite and then I bunked in with friends in their RV and spent a relaxing weekend with two sets of friends hanging out by the fire. It was a much needed respite from some long work hours I’ve had recently.

  • Less Work

I really like my job but I spend too much time there. Covid shut-downs and some staff illnesses put us behind and I feel like I just can’t get caught up. My goal for this year is to get caught up to where I can just work my regular hours and not feel the need to work late and/or on the weekends constantly playing catch up.

  • Less Negativity

As I age, I find myself less willing to be around negative people. Life is just too short. I don’t want to be around people always complaining about life and other people. My job sometimes brings me around people like this and I can’t really avoid that.  I can at least not put up with it in my personal life though.

And by the way…if you’re complaining about all your neighbors, relatives, etc…. you might just want to take a look and see what the common denominator is. 

Negative energy is contagious. I can be in a fabulous mood and then come across that negative person and the day instantly goes downhill. I try to be very aware of the energy I’m giving off now as well.

  • More Money, Less Debt

It feels like this is a never ending quest for me. It always seems to be 2 steps forward, 3 steps back. In a three-month span this year I had to buy a new car and a new AC/furnace for my condo. And to make things worse, the AC/furnace purchase was done after I spent nearly $800 on an AC repair that was made trying to put the AC purchase off at least another year. Sigh….

  • More Sleep

Once upon a time I functioned on 4-5 hours of sleep a night. Was that healthy? No. Absolutely not. It was necessary though. I was working full-time, finishing my degree, and had 2 little ones at home. 

That stage of life ended and I graduated to about 6 hours of sleep for many years. Now, I’m really a better person with 7-8 hours of sleep. I am a die-hard night owl though and it is so tough for me to get to bed before midnight. It’s not that I have insomnia, I just always feel like I can squeeze in one more show, two more chapters, a little more writing….something else to make the day a little more productive.

The thing is, all of these things are doable if I focus on them. I just finished a lifestyle challenge, I guess I need to start working on these things now.

What do you need more or less of in your life?

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