#Cultivate2012 March Prompt and Outlook

Where I live, spring has come early. Spring is the perfect season for cultivation — the ground is thawing, rainstorms come to water the ground, and the sun stays out longer to shine down love and happiness. Gardeners head outside to weed, till the soil, and plant seeds. Here’s the March Cultivate 2012 prompt:

What would you like to weed out of your life? How can you till the soil of your life? What seeds would you like to plant this month?

I’d like to weed out some clutter that I don’t feel like packing and unpacking. Yes, I still have that decluttering project that I keep putting off in true procrastinator fashion. I’m digging through the dirt, turning everything over, in hopes of finding a good place to plant some seeds of serenity, sanctuary, and comfort. I’ve set an April 1st moving date in the hopes that local landlords will cooperate with regards to a new home that fits my needs and budget.

I have a lot of things planned for March. I’ll be crossing some items off of my List throughout this month. I’m looking forward to spring and all the new opportunities and freshness that comes with it.


#ThankfulThursday Endings and Beginnings

Sunday afternoon — the day I wrote this post — I found myself chased outside into breezy 52 degree weather to satiate my urge to write a week’s worth of posts. I wanted this week to be squared away so that the rest of my week could be devoted more towards self-care and less towards feeling guilty about not scheduling posts while I had the urge and ideas. And while I shivered and typed quickly to keep myself as warm as possible, tucking the blanket tightly around myself, I couldn’t have felt more thankful to have found myself comfortably settled on our old, defunct futon listening to the sounds of birds singing and the creek flowing. I spotted mocking birds and orioles flitting through the tree branches. The orioles may have actually been blue birds, though, but I don’t claim to be a knowledgeable bird watcher.

In addition to be treated to such pleasant sights and sounds, this has been a week of endings and beginnings. The first three days of the week were spent in January’s end, while the last four days are being spent in February’s beginning. Today we look to the groundhog as our weather forecaster, wondering if he’ll see his shadow or not, predicting an early spring or a continued winter. Given the mild conditions we’ve experienced so far in 2012, I doubt we should expect anymore wintry weather in Northwest Georgia. And while I may be disappointed by the lack of solid, sticky snow this winter, I’m still thankful that we’ve enjoyed cooler temperatures than we dealt with in Florida. I’ve had the pleasure of wearing scarves and gloves, cuddling up in fuzzy socks and pajama pants, and sipping warm cups of tea and hot chocolate on chilly nights. I may not exactly be cold-tolerant physically, I’m mentally enjoying this weather.

I also happen to know that the end of a chapter is fast approaching, as is a new chapter — a new beginning. It may not have happened on scheduled, but we’ll be moving soon enough. The odds of our financial situation clearing up for us to mark our calendar for March 1st or April 1st have increased, and I’m cautiously optimistic. Things are looking up, and the groundhog may very well be predicting the end of this winter. Our spring is right around the corner, and I can’t wait to embark upon the new journey.


#Reverb11: Action

Action (Written by Scott Belsky):When it comes to aspirations, its not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step?

My next step involves moving into a place of my own. I’m cramped, crowded, and cranky with this current living situation, and it’s not at all conducive to creative ventures. I feel less inclined to type a thoughtful, eloquent essay or piece when I can’t escape the tiny space I currently call home. I know there are people who welcome tinier spaces, and I respect their differences — it’s differences that make each of us wonderful individuals, after all. But I can’t tolerate the cramped space we occupy. If I hear the incessant laughter of SpongeBob, it instantaneously blocks my writing and dampens my creative spirits. (I’m sorry, but little yellow sponge doesn’t even belong on my sink, festering with all sorts of bacteria.)

My next step has to be moving out. Once I am able to unpack my belongings, settle into a place of my own, and set all the ground rules, I’ll be able to better focus on moving forward. Until then, I need to keep dedicating myself to purging our belongings, reorganizing, and beginning the process of packing unnecessary items. I must be vigilant for places that offer enough space for our whole family — furry little members included — for a reasonable rate, in a pleasant and safe location. My business has plenty of time to launch and thrive, but I need to find a wonderful place where I can feel empowered and energized in order to do so.


Mindful Monday: A Month of Processing

As January 2011 comes to a close, I’m pausing to reflect on the first month of this new year. I’ve spent most of this month internally processing all of life’s changes since the close of 2010. The Reverb 10 series gave me a lot of fodder to ruminate over 2010’s events and manifestations for 2011. I aspire to become an English consultant, a tutor, a freelance writer, an independent editormy own boss. My writing on this blog should reflect that goal clearly, in fact. I’ve been blogging professionally for over three years now, and in that time I’ve made friends, attempted to monetize, written sponsored posts, and devised a posting schedule. Mindful Mondays focus on my endeavors to be more mindful of my words, actions, psyche, and body. Wordless Wednesdays provide an outlet for my photography hobby. Thankful Thursdays became the new gratitude series, so that I could share my appreciation for all things big and small in life. Foodie Friday caters to my love of food. I’ve had to move due to a fire, as well as job loss. Over the past seven months, I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on my desire to earn a living as my own employer. Money affords us the ability to provide for ourselves and our dependents — and I’m sure we all know by now that I really need an income to feel like my kids are going to live comfortably. I’ve been seriously considering finding a job — full time or part time — in order to feel like I’m doing my part, and yet I find that being home for them also has it’s perks. I mean, I wanted to spend more time with my family after all.

During this month, I’ve had the opportunity to discover what feeds my soul and what poisons it. I’ve had the time to seriously consider purging clutter that I really don’t want, need, or use anymore. The emotional attachments we form to seemingly silly objects is rather fascinating, and at the same time I understand how some people can horde a plethora of items. We project our memories onto inanimate objects in an attempt to remember our memories at a later date. Sure, the memory’s been made, but we don’t always remember to relish in those good memories — as a matter of fact, I doubt I’m alone in that I some times dwell on the not-so-nice memories more readily than the good. However, packing and unpacking has made me realize that I need to ask myself what I really want, need, and use in my life. Additionally, I’ve begun asking myself a lot of questions about the present and the future. I’ve brainstormed ideas for my blog, my business website, and a professional website (more details to come next month). I’m excited about the possibilities and cautious about the obstacles ahead. While 2010’s business hasn’t quite given up just yet, this year seems to have a glimmer of hope beginning to shine through.


Temporary Hiatus

You may or may not have noticed that I’m currently behind by three days. I will likely not get back on track with my Reverb 10 posts until Thursday at the earlier because I am moving on Tuesday. This means that tomorrow will be spent packing a truck and cleaning the old digs, and Wednesday will be spent unpacking a truck and setting up some new digs. I might still be working on my Reverb 10 posts into January, but who cares? I don’t need to start my “resolutions” on January 1st. It’s all arbitrary, really. There’s no reason why I can’t take a break from all these reflections and manifestations to live in the here and now of packing mindfully — really, I need my mind to be present when it comes to packing fragile objects. I’d like my dishes to arrive at our destination in one piece so I can actually use them again, you know. In the mean time, I hope you’re all enjoying a safe and happy holiday season.


Reverb 10: Community

Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

I really haven’t stumbled onto any new communities either on or offline this year. Most of the amazing communities I’ve discovered have been mainstays for years, actually. However, this is incredibly relevant in regards to my move on the 28th. I will be leaving the state of Florida to live with my aging and disabled in-laws — really, there are so many conveniences for both my family and my husband’s parents with regards to this situation. Aside from moving to a new state, the community itself will be much more rural than I am accustomed to. Apparently it’s within commuting distance of several cities — Chattanooga, Tennessee, for example — and preserves the historical battlegrounds from the American Civil War. I’d imagine the land itself tells many stories. My husband visited the area back in October and reported back that Southern Hospitality is alive and well in Northwest Georgia. I’m particularly used to living in portions of Florida that should be referred to as “New New York” and “New New Jersey,” so this seems a little intriguing to me. Living in Gainesville usually produces encounters with college students and disenfranchised locals, two seemingly opposite groups of people. However, this is what I’ve grown accustomed to.

In 2011, I will be starting life anew among a very different community filled with very different people. I really don’t know how to process this change just yet, but all the signs around me seem to shout, “this is a good thing!” The message that life will turn out okay reverberates through my daily routines. I’m maintaining an open mind and listening to the thoughts flowing around me. A fresh start among new people might be just the thing I need right now.


Life Changes

All things considered, I’ve finally realized my lack of writing can be forgiven. After all, there’s only so much time between the baby’s climbing escapades. There’s only so much time when all three kids are either napping or spending quiet time in their rooms. There’s only so much time left after I’ve devoted most of it to a seemingly fruitless job hunt. And on that subject, what does a woman have to do to get a job these days? Apparently it’s not as simple as it used to be — but of course, the job market is over-saturated with many of my other unemployed brethren. We’re all flailing about, hoping potential employers will see us for the shining stars that we are and choose one of us. Where there are jobs, there are also more qualified candidates. Where there are service jobs, there are high schoolers and college students ready and willing to work. Living in a college town, I find that job hunting needs to be timed just right, or else you’re out of luck for several months before the next round of hiring begins.

Lately the potential for a change of scenery has weighed heavily upon my mind. Each passing day brings more debt and less hope for salvation. Each day I realize more so that I may very well have to accept a serious change in living arrangements and lifestyle. We wouldn’t become homeless, no. However, we would be leaving the state. I realize in the past I have complained that I’m tired of living here, but I really wanted to leave Florida on my own terms. This is a little less on my terms. On the other hand, this could very well still be the opportunity I need in order to make the leap from someone’s employee to my own boss. I could potentially spin this into my chance to write for a living. I could put forth energy into my own business exploits because rent and utilities wouldn’t exactly be the issue they’ve been. Sure, I don’t intend to be a freeloader, but I don’t see any reason why I’d need to continue spending the same amount on my living expenses as I do now.

Time is running short, and the probability of an interstate move seems much higher these days. My writings may be spent more in private paper and pen format, rather than a public weblog format, but know I don’t mean to ignore my public writings. In fact, I’d love to devote more time to it, and I just might get that chance at the start of 2011. My goals for 2010 might be a wash, but that doesn’t mean a shiny new beginning couldn’t mean a chance for achieving goals and living dreams.