How we Pack

So we went to Penang Island in Malaysia last week.  It was incredible.  Definitely recommend.

As we prepped for the trip, I realized we have gotten into a packing formula of sorts.  Not only that, but we’ve honed our division of labor on who packs what.

So here is our formula.  This is how two adults pack themselves and two kids into two duffels and two carry-on book bags.

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How Satisficers and Maximizers Plan Trips

So James and I have a travel planning system.  (And I don’t just mean the system where he wishes I would do more travel planning.  I’m working on it!)

Usually, I’m the big picture person.  I think about what general location would be good and when we should go.  Then James drills down into the details like flight, hotel, restaurants, and what to see, etc.

If it sounds like James does more, that’s probably accurate.  In my defense, I do a lot more planning on our local adventures.  Although not in my defense, I just tell James “I want to go to X” and then he stares at maps and figures out how to get there.  So I guess it’s exactly the same.  #sorrynotsorry

This is why I was so proud of myself when I planned an upcoming trip.  The whole thing!  But it didn’t quite work out that way . . .

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18 for 2018

Argh.  This annoys me.  I was writing this post and it somehow didn’t save.  So I’m trying again, but whatever I’m writing probably won’t be as good at all.  This is just a haphazard, sloppy second effort.

Or MAYBE it will be even better because I’ve had time to think on the topic more.  Really craft my sentences in a way that will be pleasing to all of your senses.  Sadly, we’ll never know because I can’t ever show you the posts side by side.

Let’s get this one published before it somehow deletes again, shall we?  Moving on.

This is one of my favorite times of year.  I love love love talking about goals, resolutions, dreams, and all that stuff.  I like to talk about these things any time, but in January most people also want to talk about that stuff too.

As we all know, there are about a million ways you can do resolutions.  A one word theme for the year.  A straight up list.  Monthly goals or themes.  Quarterly goals.  You name it.  Someone is doing it.

On a recent Happier podcast, Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft talked about a list of 18 for 2018.  (You can see their lists and hear the episode here.)  I like this.  18 is manageable.  You can have a mix of big things and little things.  Fun things and serious things.

It took me longer than I expected to put my list together.  (You’ve already seen some of mine if you follow me on Instagram.)  I have TONS of things I want to do, but I realized that I didn’t want to put something on the list unless I actually want to do it.  Maybe want isn’t the right word.  I want to do all of these things.  But if it’s on the list, I’m GOING to do it.

I also wanted to only put things on the list in my control.  For example, “Get a Book Deal” does NOT belong on the list.  I can work on this, but I can’t control the outcome.  You’ll notice for some of my fitness stuff that I’m just trying to work on it.  I wanted to put “nose to the ground in a pancake straddle stretch,” but I can’t control that.  I’ll work really hard on it.  Hopefully it will get better.  And THAT’S the goal.  That’s all I can do.

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I want to be a health coach but . . .

Health coach

So I’ve been saying for awhile that I need to figure out my next thing.  What I want to do when I grow up.  What I’m going to do now that our old way of life will never be the same.  (I mean OBVIOUSLY.  But some things take longer to get there in my head.)

My head is pinging with ideas.  The two buckets seem to be writing and health related.  On the writing side, I’ve thought about working on a book proposal.  Or really optimizing/monetizing this blog and writing more regularly.  Or doing a podcast.  (This one doesn’t quite fit into either bucket.)

For health, I’d like to be a health coach.  I’d also like to learn more about fitness.  Either to be a personal trainer or to be a more sort of full service health coach package.

I definitely have more time now that the kids are in school.  (Although it does seem like things are always coming up.)  But I will need to be more focused to make something happen.  Right now I feel like I’m making an inch of progress in twenty different directions.  I need to pick a lane.  Which currently feels intimidating on top of settling in to our new home, travel planning, and general life stuff.

In the spirit of picking a lane, I’m doing a brain dump on all the reasons I’m scared to try to be a health coach.  Here we go.

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Christmas in the tropics

Hi friends.   I haven’t done this in awhile so I just wanted to catch up on everything that has been happening.  Brain dump commencing.

The Christmas season has been interesting so far.  There are plenty of holiday decorations around.  If you go to a mall, there is some sort of massive display and almost every store has a tree or wreaths or something.

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Gift Guide for Preschoolers

So this is a bit late.  Black Friday has passed.  Cyber Monday too.  Also, everyone I know that would buy gifts for my kids I think has already done so.

But.

I think these are solid ideas, and I’ll be referring to this list for the next few years if anyone has questions.  So here we go.

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One perfect day (for us!) in Rome

We miss Rome.  No bones about it.

What a strange phrase that really is.  I mean, I know what it means, but why on earth, right?  I just looked it up:

To make no bones about something means to say something in a way that leaves no doubt, or to have no objection to it.

The expression comes from fifteenth century England…if someone wanted to show that they were dissatisfied with something, they would find bones in it – a reference to finding bones in soup, which was not a pleasant discovery!

Therefore, finding bones was bad, and no bones was good. If you found no bones, you were able to enjoy the meal with no objections!

And now we know.

Anywho.  We miss Rome.  And it’s not just our friends there who we do miss very much.  That little slice of Italy got under our skin, and we’ll never be quite the same.

The other day at dinner we brainstormed on what we would do with just one more day in Rome.

You might be surprised.  It’s not glamorous.  But it is real, and it’s what we really loved. Continue reading

Stuff I’m Digging

Hi all!  Sorry for the radio silence around here.  We went to Cambodia last week to see Angkor Wat, and I’m still processing from that trip.  So much beauty.  So much poverty.  It was a pretty incredible experience, and I hope to share more on that soon.

For now, I just wanted to catch up and share some stuff I’ve been digging lately.  But really – how are you?   Things good?  I can tell you that I am NOT digging the switch from daylight savings in the States.  We didn’t fall back which means I’m now 13 hours ahead instead of 12.  But I don’t have crushing darkness at 5:00 pm now so I should probably shut up about the whole thing . . .

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Welp, that was embarrassing

So after the boys were sick for a few days and then we had some work done in the house, I went a little stir crazy being stuck inside and planned a whole bunch of stuff to get out of the house.  Drastic pendulum swing in the other direction.  It’s what I do.

As a part of Operation Get Out of the House, I hit up the National Textile Museum with a friend.  It has interesting displays on batik, weaving, and all sorts of other techniques.  Again, I was blown away by how fascinating this place is because of the influence of so many cultures.  Also, it was free!

We decided to hit the gift shop on the way out.  As one does.  Upon entering, three things were immediately apparent.  (1)  The gift shop housed oodles of gorgeously printed garments.  (2) A cover of Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On was blasting on the radio.  I mean blasting.  I found it to be distractingly loud.  (3) Other than the lady behind the register, we were the only people in the store.

My friend and I perused the wares, running our fingers over the lux fabrics.  I contemplated purchasing a tunic.  I ambled over to my friend and joked, in what I thought was an inside voice and FAR away from the shop employee, that we’d have to head out to escape the Celine Dion cover.  Ha ha.

At that moment, the music stopped.  We heard someone ask, “was I singing too loudly into the microphone?”

I froze.  My heart stopped.  It turns out that the fabric screens behind the register hid someone who had been singing.  Live.  Into a microphone.  (TWIST!)

I immediately felt truly terrible.  My eyes started to tear up.  This was much worse than that time I flashed everyone on the beach because I hated to think that I caused another person pain.  But even though I felt lower than low, I was much too embarrassed to apologize to the person behind the curtain.  I didn’t know what to say.

So even though I felt like a worm, I was definitely like COME ON.  There is someone HIDDEN singing LIVE in the deserted gift shop in the free museum?  REALLY?!  That’s just ludicrous.  What are the odds??

But it was an important reminder to be the person I’d like to be in all aspects of my life.  Err on the side of kindness.  Err on the side of discretion.  Use your inside voice.  Not just because you never know who is listening, but because it is the right thing to do.  ARGH.  I’m learning.  It’s hard.  I will try harder.

Writing this still make my gut clench, but I hope you have a little chuckle at my expense.  It is funny.  I just wish it hadn’t happened to me!

Happy weekend everyone!