Rock the flip flops

Driving home on Saturday, the battery light came on in the car. And then all the indicator lights came on. And then the speedometer died. And then it was if we had a blackout in the car.

We stalled out on the frontage road not too far from home. We were trying to make it to a parking lot and didn’t quite make it. So we got out and pushed but we were pushing a big car up hill and couldn’t quite do it. Then a young couple stopped and offered help. They had a young daughter, 4 years old maybe? She really wanted to help but her parents made her stay safely in the parking lot. After rolling back to align the car, the four of us pushed it into the lot. Our pint- sized Samaritan kept asking, “Now can I help?” And finally she got the green light. And she leaned in and pushed.  I looked down and noticed she was wearing silver glitter flip flops. Superhero? Probably.

Thanks to our Good Sams and Earl the best tow truck driver ever, we made it home safely.

We watched YouTube videos to learn how to change an alternator. Deciding that we didn’t want to lay on the ground and pull out an alternator, we found a local mechanic who specializes in Toyotas. And he helped us get it there. In the snow. No small thing when your car won’t start.

Shake it off

I stepped on the scale for the first time in the New Year.

Mother trucker.

Robert stepped on the scale and came out of the bathroom with a grim look. He pulled out his 2016 Sucked shirt. Still appropriate.

We have to shake it off. And we will.

Nothing sexy about filing

Some people have the kind of lives that don’t require records. I have come to accept that I don’t have that life, so I need a strategy for dealing with all of the files, paper and electronic.

I have adopted a few strategies over the past 15 years or so that work most of the time. As long as I stick stuff in the folders. 🙂 When I need to find something, date seems the most reliable method and I can recall with good accuracy when something transpired.

For email, I use a month-year filing system. I have 12 folders per year, one for each month and I file 99% of emails by date.*

*For work, I have a few other folders: freelancers, orders/receipts and a folder for emails from my boss. I used to keep a “To read” folder, but now I read things straightaway and post them to Slack for the good of the team and for future reference.

For paper, I use monthly folders, too. One of the advantages of this method is at the end of every year, the files can go in a box and at the end of seven years, I can shred the contents of the box.

I create a new set of folders every year. I have a similar set at work.

For paper files, I do have additional folders for:

  • Important papers
  • Each of my dogs and cat
  • Health insurance information
  • Portfolio samples
  • Each car
  • Each house
  • Tax information and receipts for the current tax year

I have some other folders, too, but jury’s out on whether they are actually helpful.

Read more:

From Consumer Reports:

From Real Simple:

From FEMA: Safeguarding valuable papers

Ready to organize those files?

The socks of Sisyphus

Sisyphus socks by BlueQ

I love a little Greek mythology now and then, don’t you?

So my guy is Sisyphus. On more than one occasion, I have felt like my work is Sisyphean, or laborious and futile. I roll the boulder up the hill and  it rolls back down, hits me, and I need to start again. The new me is trying to think of these tasks not as a punishment but more of challenge. One that I can repeat à la Groundhog Day until one magical day I wake up and it’s not Groundhog Day anymore. In the GD scenario, it’s all about putting in effort and not worrying about the result. I can live with that.

But back to Sisyphus, my good friend Jane gifted me socks that rock, literally and figuratively, created by the magical people at Blue Q. Yes, I have Sisyphus socks. So perfect.

So if you see me smiling in a meeting, you’ll know why.

Always growing

It’s a new year and a natural time for a reboot on my life. There’s nothing magical about New Year’s Day but it does feel like the world expects–and sometimes demands–a reckoning on this day.

So might as well take advantage of this break in the action to rearrange my metaphorical plants and find the right microclimates in my life.

I started off by sorting out my hosting and domain registration which I transferred a few months ago. My host was helpful and it was a short process to get up and running again. Whew! I love when I can check something off my list and there is no cursing involved.

Last week I read You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. (I liked it so much that I bought the page a day calendar for daily inspiration.) It’s the first book in the mini book club that  I started with my husband. I need to be a better book club member–he finished it way before I did. There were many things I liked about the book but my three major takeaways are:

  1. Love yourself
  2. Read Loving What Is by Byron Katie
  3. Sometimes you need to hire people to help you

I have always had mixed feelings about the “love yourself” advice but not anymore. It is as if a switch was thrown in my brain and I finally understand. Loving yourself is exactly like the oxygen masks on an airplane. You have to put your own on before assisting others. There is no other way.

I hope that you will look in the mirror today and love what you see. What you are is perfect right now. The universe has delivered you and me to this point in time and who are we to argue with the universe. All is as it should be.