My Spendless Saturday at the Library

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Last weekend I had no plans. I love weekends like that. Being able to just do whatever I feel like it, go wherever I feel like it, IF i feel like…that’s the epitome of relaxing for me.

So on Saturday when my boyfriend asked what I wanted to do, I had nothing really to suggest. The easiest answers to that question always seem to involve spending money for no reason, And with it being winter, like…below freezing winter…it’s not like I could pick some free outdoor activity. So an easy response usually is something like let’s go to Target, the outlets, Home Goods, or some random errand where money is involved. Or even something like going to Barnes & Noble, which is actually on my to-do list, would be entirely too tempting to not spend.

I considered a local farmers market because it’s not like we couldn’t use fresh veggies. But even with something like that, I could see me venturing to the candle seller or random crafter and feeling like I should support them by buying something I absolutely do not need. Which…I typically have no issues with and love to do, but…random purchases add up, and at the moment, I’m really trying to only spending intentionally.

I’m not one of those people that doesn’t believe in spending at all. But I have some financial priorities right now, and mindless spending just don’t fit in with those priorities.

So, we decided to go to our local library. I didn’t really have anything specific to do there but figured, I could work on some things on my laptop, see if any books caught my eye, and just be in a different space for a few hours. OMG, it was SUCH a nice time!

I picked a few books that seemed of interest, and I spent a little time with each book.

Here are the ones I looked through.

Single Tasking: Get More Done One Thing at a Time by Devora Zack: Everyone claims that multitasking is where it’s at. People put it on their resumes, in their cover letters, and scream it from the rooftop…”I’m a skilled multitasker!!!” But this author, and several studies, says that multitasking is actually not possible. What we all think is multitasking is actually task-switching, which is the act of moving very quickly between tasks, usually within tenths of a second, and we don’t consciously notice the delays. The author goes on to talk about how the brain is actually incapable of focusing on two (complex) things at once, and performance suffers when you task-switch back and forth between tasks. Though people are capable of doing a mindless task that requires no conscious effort along with a complex task, this is not typically what people mean when they claim to be multitaskers. The author goes on to discuss how single focusing on one task is actually far more productive and typically has a higher likelihood of error-free results.

The Millennial Whisperer: The Practical, Profit-Focused Playbook for Working With and Motivating the World’s Largest Generation by Chris Tuff: Whether we like it or not, time passes, people age, and the generation after us takes over the workforce. There is so much talk these days about millennials in the workforce and how their priorities and methods just don’t measure up to the generations before them. I can’t say for certain, but I’d imagine this happens every time there is a generational switch in the workplace. Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2030, so it’s no surprise that the older generations have some things to say as the younger get added to the workforce and the older generation retires from it. This author delves into the misconceptions about the millennial generation (such as they are lazy, entitled, selfish, and disloyal) and explores some practical steps that employers and leaders can take to positively incorporate millennials into the workplace and provide them with an environment in which they can excel and thrive. Personally, I found this book fascinating. I am in a relationship where my partner is 15 years younger, thus being a millennial, and I’m a Gen X-er. Suffice it to say, we have some differences. So, this book gives some great perspectives on what motivates and inspires him, as well as gives me some noteworthy tools for getting along with my younger colleagues.

Do Less, Get More: How to Work Smart and Live Life Your Way by Sháá Wasmund: This book is all about getting out of your own way, which resonated with me. I’m a classic overthinker to the point of complete inaction sometimes and this book helped me understand what I should do about it. When it comes to blogging and business, and even at work, I think too much and let lack of confidence rule my decisions. And I HATE IT.!!! This author explores tools for ditching negative thoughts and things that do not get you to your end goal–which is living a life you love and deserve. She talks about fears (the fear of upsetting people, of regret, of failure, not being good enough…etc.) and explains how these thoughts are just distractions. The book includes some really good thought exercises, and I even went through a couple of them on my own.

These last four books are ones that I flipped through but ultimately decided that I wanted to spend more time with them, so I will either find them on my kindle, maybe buy them on ebay if I can find them for a cheap price, or get my library card situation resolved (I’m still a digital nomad so…not quite sure how to handle my address/card sitch right now, and the librarian didn’t seem to know either).

Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness by Dr. Qing Li: I have heard of this concept before, and I find it really intriguing. This book is a therapeutic guide to the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, which is the art and science of how trees can promote health and happiness. I felt that this book would be better suited for me as an audiobook, or maybe as something to explore when I had a little more time to singularly focus on the material. However, the concept of forest bathing is that by immersing yourself in nature in a mindful way, you will use your senses to derive a whole range of benefits for your physical, mental, emotional, and social health. I definitely get a whole feeling of mindfulness and healing when I spend time in nature, and the idea of forest bathing seems like it ties in well with that thought.

You Got This!: Unleash Your Awesomeness, Find Your Path, and Change Your World by Maya S. Penn: This young lady is an inspiration to all. Starting off as a teen entrepreneur and now a motivational speaker doing TED talks and talk shows, I really want to hear what this young lady has to say about discovering my passions, and maximizing my full potential for a creative, successful life. This may make a good audiobook choice, or I may spend some time looking for her TED talks. I just didn’t want to reduce her message to snippets I skimmed through with no context, so I will put this on my list to look into further as time permits.

Simple Matters: Living with Less and Ending Up with More by Erin Boyle: It’s really interesting to me that, as I strive to lead a life of intentional spending and minimalism, the books I truly want to hold and own physical copies of are the ones that talk about minimalism. I really do not know why I’m like that but it’s super ironic, right?? Honestly, this book would make a really nice coffee table book, but…the whole point of trying to live with less is to not physically own things that do not suit a specific purpose. And what purpose does a coffee table book hold other than to be decorative? This author shares practical guidance and personal insights on small-space living and conscious consumption. And the key to living with less and not having a cluttered home is being conscious about the items you bring into your space, hence why I will try my best to not buy a physical copy of this book…but we will see…

New Minimalism: Decluttering and Design for Sustainable, Intentional Living by Cary Telander Fortin and Kyle Louise Quilici: This book has some really inspiring pictures, so I feel like this is a book best held and thumbed through in person. This book discusses interior design as it relates to intentional living and decluttering, and for some reason I feel like seeing pictures and visual encouragement will be better than just reading it on my kindle or borrowing it from the library. But whichever way I decide to read this book, I definitely did not want to rush through it, so I put it on my list of books to revisit when I have more time.

Have you been to the library lately? What do you do on days when you want to be spendless? I would love some suggestions!

How spending just ten minutes a day on one of these simple life hacks can improve your mood – and your health — The Scottish Sun

THE secret of living to a ripe old age might actually be as easy as a walk in the park. A study has found that just ten minutes of daily exercise could add years on. GettyWe reveal ten quick ways you can increase your lifespan. Check them out!

How spending just ten minutes a day on one of these simple life hacks can improve your mood – and your health — The Scottish Sun

Superpowers: Bloganuary Entry #13

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Writing prompt: What superpower would I love to have?

Let’s face it–superpowers are super cool.  The ability to have some sort of strength or intuition that can get you out of situations before they even happen, or that can keep you safe. Or even better, having some power that can keep the city, town, or planet safe…I mean how cool is that??

The ability to leap buildings, or process an enormous amount of information in microseconds, or fight evil gods and save the world from destruction, all sounds amazing.

If you’re a trekkie like me, the empath superpower of Deanna Troy would be really awesome.  She can read a room and pick up vibes without anyone saying a word.  But I don’t know…some say cancers already have that intuition.  So maybe that would be a redundant power for me to have.

So there are a few to choose from…flying, unfathomable strength, reading a room, data processing skills…there are a few options on the table.

I know this will sound cheesy, but I’d want something that helps the greater good. I’m not sure strength or intuition will fix any of the world’s problems.  I would say the biggest thing that this world needs is kindness, and if there was some way for me to spread kindness and understanding, that would be the superpower I’d much rather have.  This world lacks compassion and lacks caring. 

There are tons of people who love and care and go above and beyond for humanity every single day.  And they are absolutely amazing.

But there are a lot of people who don’t.  And they are the ones who make things difficult.  If I could approach people and sprinkle kindness on them, and give them ability to listen to others and feel love to their fellow man, that would be the superpower I’d love to have.

Now don’t get me wrong. I feel like disagreements and different perspectives are the spice of life.  Hatred, abuse, and lack of caring for others…that’s where the world needs some help in my opinion. And somehow I’d travel the world, showing up in a flash to sprinkle kindness wherever it’s needed.

It’s so cheesy, but seriously…why can’t people just be nice? Right??

Have you ever thought about this? What superpower would you like to have?

My Reading List: Bloganuary Entry #12

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Writing Prompt: What book is next on your reading list?

I really have slacked off with my book reading, and I should be absolutely embarrassed by this. I will never be one of those one-book-per-week kinda people because my free time is so little and the list of things I need to accomplish in my free time is extremely long. But that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t read ever.

To make matters worse, I have an extremely short attention span, so I will pop onto a blog or read short articles or listen to a podcast when I do have some time to sit. But I have not been motivated to read a lengthy book in a while.

I have downloaded a few things that are ready to go on my kindle over the past few months, and I’ve also gotten some book recommendations that I’m dying to jump on. So in no particular order, I’ll go through what I like to read and what books are on my upcoming reading list.

What I like to read: In general, the types of books I love to read are going to either be smut, forbidden romance, LGBTQ smut and romance (which covers the previous two topics), and things that make me think or learn. There’s something about people powering through every reason they shouldn’t be together so that they can love and be loved. I also love a good sex scene. And I love trying to get my life together. So, the books that I read typically fit into those boxes.

When it comes to getting my life together, I absolutely love Brene Brown, Tony Robbins and authors similar to them. My boyfriend and I love to discuss these books because they help us keep a pulse on our thoughts, emotions and goals. I love to learn about business and social media, and I love lifestyle books that inspire me. I particularly love anything that covers intentional, simple, or minimalist living. I also love to learn different ways to organize and budget.

So without further ado, here are the six books that I’ve downloaded and/or plan to read in the near future:

Saint (Priest Book 3) by Sierra Simone: Smut smut smut. I already read books 1 and 2, so this one completes the trilogy.

Strictly Professional by Kathryn Nolan: more smut. I haven’t read this author yet, but I started following her on IG and FB, so her book is on my list.

A Way Home by Kiera Andrews: A gay Amish romance, and the third in a series. I loved the first two books so I’m excited to find out what’s next for the main characters.

The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker: This author is a master of living a minimilist life, which is something I’ve been interested in for quite some time. So I’m super interested to read his thoughts on the topic.

Down to Earth (a guide to simple living) by Rhonda Hetzel: This book is on my blogger friend, Rebekah’s, Book of the Month list. It seems right on par with my simple living interests.

Kakeibo: The Japanese Art of Saving Money by Fumiko Chiba: I am really intrigued by this concept of budgeting and intentional spending and saving. I feel like sometimes something that should be simple is made difficult, and I feel like the Japanese concept of budgeting, kakeibo, takes budgeting and pares it down into simple concepts. It’s essentially a minimalist and mindful approach to budgeting, and I’m intrigued.

So that’s my upcoming reading list. What types of things do you enjoy reading? Do you have any book recommendations? I’d love to hear about it!

My Ideal Day: Bloganuary Entry #11

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Writing Prompt: What is my ideal day?

It’s really hard to settle on one ideal day. Are we talking about an ideal day in my current life? Or an ideal day if I had the day off…or if I didn’t have to work because I was wealthy…am I on vacation? There’s a lot of ways that a day can be ideal. Here are the five things I need for an ideal day.

Perfect weather. It either needs to be 70 with a slight breeze or 85 and sunny, depending on whether I’m at the beach or not. But perfect weather is truly the start to an ideal day.

Rest. I definitely need to sleep until my body rises naturally. Any day where I’m on a clock, especially when I wake up, is not ideal to me.

Time outdoors. OK, so…I’m not a hiker or nature buff or anything like that. But I love being outside when the weather is nice. And even when the weather is not perfect. But on my ideal day, I am assuming the weather is perfect according to my preference. If I’m on the beach, I want to sit out there ALL day. If it’s fall, I want to sit outside and enjoy the crisp air or take a nice walk. So something that involves a walk outside, sitting outdoors at a restaurant or winery is definitely ideal to me.

Live music. I absolutely love live music. I don’t care if it’s one guy and his bagpipes, or someone singing an acoustic cover of Baby Got Back. I love it all. My ideal day absolutely must include live music of some sort.

Good company. Now…for me, this can be tricky. As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I am a complete and absolute introvert. I prefer my own company above all. However, if I am in the presence of others, it needs to be quality. Not that the person needs to be some sort of elite or an academic or anything like that. But introverts do not care for superficial conversations. For me, there needs to be banter or a topic of substance, or just an agreeable, pleasant, conversation with mutual exchange. I don’t want to hear someone just jabber on and on about some topic I could not care less about, I don’t like having conversations with people that have no interest in what I have to say, and I don’t want to talk about hateful horrible things. We introverts do not care for fake people or wack, disingenuine vibes. So whether I’m alone (which I love!) or with someone that I have a great exchange with, the company needs to be top notch on my ideal day.

Do you have an ideal day? What is a must for your ideal day? Do we have any musts in common?