February 19, 2018

Things I Believe In

I am flat out ripping a page out of Steph's blog and making it my own. Or not my own, but you know what I mean. A few weeks ago she posted about the things she does and does not believe in and today I'm following suit. 


Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash


... travelling as often as possible

... being alone sometimes

... quietly observing

... actions speaking louder than words

... family not being defined by blood

... the 21st Amendment

... having hobbies that take you out of your comfort zone

... talking to strangers

... giving for the sake of giving

... the healing properties of the ocean

... silence

... the power of positivity

... manifestation (good and bad)

... a higher power (call it the Universe, Spirit, God, Source, etc... there are forces higher than we)

... kindness

... doing things that feel good

... purging

... global warming

... having a voice and making it heard

... journaling

... karma

... days off


How about you? What do you believe in? 

February 14, 2018

Books Lately

I saw a reminder tweet from Steph yesterday about the book link up and figured I'd join in. After all, I've actually been reading!



I saw a reminder tweet from Steph yesterday about the book link up and figured I'd join in since I've been reading!

It's been so nice to actually get lost in a book again. I burned out bad at the end of 2016 and only read 14 books in all of 2017. That's a record low for me. I wanted to read, the desire was there, but it always felt like a chore and that's the last thing reading should be. It was sad for me and I was hoping this year would be a fresh start and I would be able to greet my old friend. 

So far, it's going well. 

Last Stop in Brooklyn | Lawrence H. levy

I was on Blogging For Books a few weeks ago and happened to see that Lawrence H. levy had a new Mary Handley book out. Of course I requested it and finished it immediately. I absolutely love this series and am now anxiously awaiting the fourth installment of the series. 

Last Stop in Brooklyn by Lawrence H. Levy


The Girl in the Italian Bakery | Kenneth Tingle

I dove deep into the Kindle archives for this one. I've had this on my digital shelf since.... maybe 2014? I finally decided to read it if not more so so that I could finally stop scrolling past it and feeling guilty. Also, there's that whole Committing to Less thing I have going on.... anyway. 

The book starts out a little slow in my opinion, but it is not devoid of action. Kenny and his brothers are constantly getting into mischief. As I continued reading part of me was disappointed in Kenny because I could see the potential in him. He just needed to get out of his own way. On the other hand, I found myself in his corner so to say, and was hoping life would give him a break. Overall, I enjoyed reading this. The book held my attention and I felt invested in Kenny and his life enough to need to finish the book. 

The Girl in the Italian Bakery


Not Perfect | Elizabeth LaBan

This was my January Amazon Firsts selection. I gave it three stars on Goodreads but I suppose it deserves 2 to 2.5. The book wasn't bad... the main character was just infuriating. It read quickly and effortlessly, a nice escape during my morning and evening commutes but it was a book I could have just as easily walked away from. There were parts where I was annoyed with Tabitha and her lack of... fortitude, but overall, I found her character to be likable and even though she got on my nerves occasionally, I could understand her motives and reasons for doing things. 


Not Perfect: A Novel


Currently reading: 

The Year of Less | Cait Flanders


How about you - what are you reading lately?


Life According to Steph

February 05, 2018

Perspective

A few weeks ago a Refinery 29 article caught my eye. It was talking about 29 Movies That Haven't Aged So Well  and it finally set me off about some things I've been thinking lately. 


Photo by Reddangelo


The article starts off condemning Disney classics like Fantasia, Dumbo, and Lady and the Tramp.  Granted, I am a Disney lover, so initially I was all seriously?? Disney?? but then I read the snippets. Dumbo "makes us cringe" because:
After hearing abut Dumbo's supposed ability, a group of skeptical crows sing the song "When I See An Elephant Fly." Here's the thing: The main Crow is named Jim — Jim Crow. Jim and his friends are clearly modeled off of racial stereotypes of Black people from the 1940s.

The critique on Lady and the Tramp
During "The Siamese Cat Song," the aptly-named Si and Am slink around their owner's house causing trouble. Siamese cats hail from Thailand — which had once been called Siam — so Disney animators gave the cats distinctly Asian accents. Another Siamese cat makes an appearance in The Aristocats. He plays a piano with chopsticks while singing a song with the lyrics, "Shanghai, Hong Kong, Egg Fu Young / Fortune Cookie always wrong."
The article goes on to list 31 other movies including Pretty Woman, White Chicks, Shallow Hal, Get Hard, Sixteen Candles, and Back to the Future.

Let me start by saying that the stereotypes discussed for each movie are not okay and I don't agree with them in the sense that they should be tolerated. However...

Let me say loud and clear that I am beyond tired of hearing the condemnation of shows/movies from the 90s or earlier because of their gay/trans/race/gender stereotypes. Obviously I don't agree about the discrimination of these groups but why are we {collectively, society, millennials, or what have you} judging shows and movies from 10+ years ago on TODAY's issues or general societal norms???

I can't even pretend to make sense of this. I raised the argument with friends at work and my one coworker agreed saying 
I am re-watching ER on Hulu and the way they portrayed AIDS and HIV is truly eye opening.  Back when these shows / movies were filmed, it was during a time when no one knew much or being openly gay was new.  No need to condemn the old shows / movies, but it is just simply interesting to see the difference.  
And that's exactly what it is - perspective. Societal views have somewhat progressed {fortunately} and you can't judge the past through the eyes of the present. It will never make sense.

I guess what's bothering me about the whole thing is that we are becoming an increasingly {over}sensitive country. That's not to say that these issues shouldn't be fought for - because they SHOULD - but what I can't seem to wrap my mind around is how we are judging the past through the eyes of the present. It feels very ethnocentric to me and it bothers me.

I'm curious to know your thoughts on this. 



February 01, 2018

January Committments

Last month I talked a lot about my goals for this year and roughly laid out how I intend to tackle them. I kept it vague because I'm trying something new where I only fully discuss them once completed. Since February is now here, it's time to recap where I committed. 


Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash


Fitness
I'm really proud of myself here. I fully embraced my 2018 word and got back in the saddle. I had rejoined WW back in December and I made a point to go to weigh-in every week, as well as staying for the meeting. I finally found a leader that I enjoy again. Aside from this, I made and kept all my personal training appoints for the month AND even got my butt back on the mat and recommitted to my yoga practice. I didn't realize how much I'd been missing this. 

Blogging
This is something I've been slowly getting back to. I had missed writing but constantly felt at war with wanting to share and wanting to be more private. I'm still working out the boundaries but so far it's going well. 

52 Weeks of Lists
After being on my wish list for months, I was gifted this journal for my birthday. Some weeks I spend more time than others but I'm really enjoying the time I set aside to reflect on the question and the list that it creates for me. 

Finances
This is still, and will be, an ongoing task for the year but I made big leaps in getting one of my credit cards paid off. It went from being almost $1500 to less than $1000 since December. That's a big chunk repaid and I'm really excited to watch it keep going down.

Quality Downtime
For this, I focused on just doing things that felt good. I enjoy watching cooking or educational shows. Then again, sometimes I like watching River Monsters or the Action Bronson show. The point is, I'm doing something that feels relaxing to me and that I enjoy rather than filling my downtime with things I feel I should be doing - like journaling, reading, or meditating. don't get me wrong, I do enjoy doing those things, but when I feel an obligation it becomes a chore.

What did you take care of in January?