Sunday, March 29, 2009

I Am Because We Are -- A Documentary By Madonna

If you've read this blog before, it may be no secret to you that I am prone to pity myself. Hopefully, it is equally evident that I am frequently reminded of all I have to be thankful for, that I am, like all of us, responsible for my actions and live with the consequences of them -- both good and bad.

I was recently reminded of these wonderful truths by a film written and produced by Madonna about the struggles of Malawi, Africa and called I Am Because We Are. If you don't have time to watch the whole show, please take time to watch the last 30 minutes -- it is the most hopeful. You can also visit the website to learn more about the film or how to help.

Image thanks to Silvia Cosimini.

Monday, March 23, 2009


It's hard to believe it's been over a month since I signed the lease on my new apartment. It's been a crazy month of going back and forth between my old house and new, with a trip to California for work in the middle, but things are starting to slow down and I'm finally starting to feel at home. Not just in my new place, but it feels like it's spreading to my psyche too.

I come from a background where being busy was highly valued, but thankfully my most recent roommate helped me break through this mentality. Now, I find myself moving toward a balance.

I feel so blessed to have a home and furniture and food and a job to continue to support this lifestyle at this time. I know that this could all change at any time and that's scary, but I'm so thankful for this experience because it's helping me refocus.

I now know that there are people who are really struggling to feed themselves and their families. My heart goes out to these people and I look forward to the days when I have more money to help them. In the meantime, I'm looking for ways to give what I can. (Check out Secret Millionaire and The Life You Can Save for some inspiration.)

According to the Oregon Food Bank website a gift of $12 can fund an emergency food box that will feed a family in need for at least three days! What about you? Have you heard of any great ways that people on a tight budget are helping those who are just trying to survive?

Image thanks to Claudia Veja.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Perfect Timing for a New Routine

I used to think I was spontaneous, but this week, by myself at the old roomie's house, I found myself kind of floundering. When, I started looking for something or someone to blame and I realized it's all up to me now. I've spent the last five years going along with someone else's plan and I'm still having a hard time taking control of my own life.

So last night, in honor of Daylight Savings Time, I did a really nerdy thing. I typed up my "ideal" routine for week days and weekends. Then I printed them out and taped them in the back of my journal.

Today was far from perfect, but it really helped to have a plan. I'm thinking about trying to block out my workdays now too. My only concern is that I will become too rigid, too reliant on my routine. While it's good to have structure, I think it is also important to remain flexible.

What's your routine like?

Image courtesy of Asif Akbar.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

TV or Radio?

I've been "roughing it" in my new apartment for a week and a half without Internet or cable. For the first time in my life I've been listening to the radio outside of my car of my own will and I've been really enjoying it. I'm learning about music and taking advantage of OPB.

As of today, I'm house/dog sitting for my old roomie and his giant TV and Tivo. I've been looking forward to watching TV for a few days now, but I'm finding that I haven't been missing that much--except for Millionaire Matchmaker!

After a night of binging on reality TV and sitcoms, I'm actually kind of missing the radio. My Internet should be hooked up on Saturday! But I don't think I'm going to get cable or by a television for a while. I wonder if I can watch episodes of Millionaire Matchmaker online... er

What about you? Have you ever given up something and then found out you were better off without it?

Image courtesy of Steve Woods.