When I created this website, I had decided that I would be sharing a new blog-post every five days…so, on the 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, and 30th of every month, and I would be doing so at 5 pm-ish of the time-zone I’m in.
I had also decided that whatever I wrote about should take no longer than five minutes to read and that it would include five key points.
The reason….my WHY….for starting the blog in the first place was because I needed a creative outlet. I’ve always loved writing, even as early as grade five. And with digital photography, I’m able to share some of my favourite photos with a larger audience as well.
Also, I felt it would give me a good platform to offer suggestions, advice, recommendations, and that it would allow me to connect with people who just need a bit of help here and there.
It’s been more than three months now since I started this website, I know, not a long time, they say to give it six months to nine months to really gauge what’s working and not working…..so I WILL revisit this in three months time, but for now, I wanted to share five changes I’m making right now….affecting my blog-posts, and my life in general.
I hope you’ll find some inspiration here.
5. I am taking pressure off of myself.
I realize now that setting a deadline to be creative just isn’t realistic.
Inspiration to write just isn’t there when I need it sometimes.
Same as when I’m creating jewelry, or when I was making wall art. I could go at it full-force every day, for months on end, and then poof! Inspiration evaporates, just like that!!
I don’t want to put that pressure on myself, to HAVE to write a blog post….it’s not fair to me, and it’s not fair to you, the reader, as you won’t be getting my best efforts.
I’m a pretty positive person, generally speaking, but, to be honest, there is so much going on in the world right now, from COVID variants, battles over vaccinations, natural disasters in the form of uncontrolled fires decimating much of western Canada, to ravaging floods in the USA, Europe and Asia….news of more and more bodies being found at former residential schools….I’m honestly not in a good head-space right now to be offering advice, or solutions or recommendations.
I know. There will always (sadly) be tragedies and horrors and natural disasters. I just can’t balance it at the moment. As an empath, I feel more deeply, and I just need time to handle those feelings right now.
So from now on, I might post every day, every couple of days, once a week, biweekly, or even once a month.
It’ll depend on what inspires me, and when.
If you don’t want to miss a post, simply Subscribe, and every time I DO publish a new post, it’ll be delivered to your Inbox (no spam from me and you can always easily Unsubscribe).
I WILL still be publishing the blog-post at 5 pm-ish in the time-zone I’m in, right now, that’s Eastern Daylight Time, and each post shouldn’t take more than fiveish minutes to get through.
4. I’m going to simplify my online accounts.
You might think I’m crazy (and you might be correct), but I have several Facebook accounts and several Instagram accounts.
I have my main IG account which is @travelprofessional1, then I created a separate account for my dog, because I was posting a lot of photos of her on my main account, and more recently, I created an account for my art/jewelry.
I’ve decided that I am going to be shutting down the @tiathechi and the @elizabethantonart accounts.
Likewise, I have three FB accounts….one for work, one for family only (most of my family is in Croatia) and one for my art.
I will be closing down the work account.
The reason I’m closing the work account is two-fold….I’m not working. I have been laid off since April 2020.
The other reason is that I feel like I have to sensor myself on what I post on my work account, not because I have a horrible potty mouth, but yes, I DO sometimes find things funny that have curse-words in them (videos, memes, etc) and so I don’t want to post that on my work account as it might reflect badly on my employer.
I have also started Unfriending people. Not because I don’t like them or am mad at them, or anything like that. Simply because they have never Liked or Commented on my posts, and I haven’t Liked or Commented on their posts…we have different interests and paths that don’t intersect, so why stay connected when we aren’t really connected at all.
So if you’d like to Follow me on Facebook, the account I will be keeping open to the Public is https://www.facebook.com/elizabethfiveish
Please don’t send me a Friend Request. I won’t accept it. No offence, but unless I know you in real life, I will delete your request.
Lastly, I currently have an Etsy shop. I thought it would be fun. It’s not. It’s also not lucrative. It likely would be if I devoted much more time to it, but truth be told, I just can’t be bothered. So I’ll be closing the Etsy shop; and will be offering my art/jewelry for sale only here on this website and privately.
3. I will only check social media and I will only post to social media once a week.
Piggy-backing to point #4…..I feel like I’m spending too much time on social media.
I’m not on social media to compare myself or my life to others….or to distance myself from reality…..or to numb my thoughts and feelings.
I’m on social media because most of my family, friends, clients and acquaintances are scattered all over the world. It’s not like I can say, “Hey meet me at such-and-such coffee shop and we can catch-up”.
Truth be told, I’m also on social media, on my work account on Facebook for instance, so that my clients don’t forget about me, so when they’re ready to book a trip with me (I’m a travel consultant, 30+ years), that they’ll remember to reach out to me.
But then I got to thinking: if I haven’t made an impression on them thus far, it’s not going to happen moving forward. I hope they remember me, as I remember them.
So moving forward, I will post once a week….most likely either Saturdays or Sundays.
Which means that I will also only be checking my social media accounts once a week too.
My goal is to use my time more wisely. Imagine how much time it takes to post to three IG accounts and three FB accounts. A lot. Time that I will never get back. Time that I can spend doing something that’s healthier for my physical and mental well-being.
2. I’m going to change my spending habits.
I don’t spend a lot of money, but I spend it spontaneously. If I’m out somewhere, and I see something that I think someone will like, I buy it for them, even if it’s not their birthday, or Christmas or any other “special” day.
To me, that person is special, and so I don’t hesitate to buy them that thing….most recently I was at the farmers’ market, and bought three beautiful lilies for my sister.
I bought them for her not only because she’s special to me, but because once I move from her home (am staying with her temporarily), the flowers will remain in her garden and will bloom year after year long after I’m gone. Also, I justified the spend to myself with, “They’re only $20 for three of them.“
I don’t regret buying them. I truly don’t. But the reason I’m living with her temporarily is to save money for a vehicle which I’ll be converting into a tiny-home-on-wheels. Spending $20 here and $20 there adds up.
My sister knows I love her, lilies or not, as does anyone else I’ve ever given a gift to….and I’m not going to stop giving them gifts, but they won’t be spontaneous gifts anymore. It’ll be for their birthday, Christmas, etc.
My goal here is to follow the SMART rule of goal-setting:
S – Specific – in my case, I want to pay cash for the vehicle I’m going to buy
M- Measurable – I’ve seen vehicles like I want in the $4,000-$14,000 range, so my goal is in the middle, $9,000
A- Achievable – it IS achievable, as long as I change my current spending habits, and get a side-job
R – Realistic – it IS realistic, as I know it’s doable, with careful planning and budgeting
T- Timely – ha! now this one is tricky!
I moved in with my sister October 2020, because back then my recall to work date was December.
I didn’t save any money at that time as I was ordering supplies, products and tools for my jewelry-making, then Christmas came around, my daughter’s 30th birthday, so no savings to speak of.
But I didn’t stress over it as my sister had said I can stay as long as need be.
I had hoped to return to work in December 2020, save save save for three months, buy a vehicle spring 2021, convert it, and be on the road by June 2021 at the latest.
But then my recall to work got extended to January 2021.
Then to July 2021.
And now to September 2021.
SO NOW, the time-frame has changed, by A LOT. I’m very grateful to my sister for letting me stay with her so long, but I feel I need to get on with the next chapter of my life.
My new time-frame is a question mark at this point.
I can’t predict what will happen in September, but I do know that I can’t continue like this.
That doesn’t sound great, I know, but it might mean changing my goal, from saving up $9,000, to saving up only $4,000, and buying a vehicle sooner rather than later.
It wouldn’t be the end of the world. I don’t anticipate this vehicle will be with me “til death do we part” anyway, but it would be good enough to get me on the road (safely) and started on my tiny-home-on-wheels adventures.
***I WILL go back to buying gifts spontaneously for people who are special to me, but not until after I’ve moved into my tiny-home-on-wheels (once a goal is reached, it’s time to set a new goal, right?)
1. I’m going to be more aware…..and do something with my awareness.
As mentioned earlier, there are so many natural disasters happening in the world right now. I don’t want to end this blog post on a negative note, but reality is reality.
We need to open our eyes to the reality Mother Earth is screaming at us.
We need to be more aware of how we’re killing the planet.
We need to stop talking about making a change and MAKE the change.
Every decision we make on a daily basis affects the planet. From what we’re going to eat, to what we’re going to wear, to how we’re going to get from place to place, to our vacations….every decision matters.
As a small example of a change I’m going to make….
Every weekday morning I go for a walk….anywhere from an hour to over three hours, but typically for about an hour and a half.
EVERY morning, as I’m rounding the corner to get back to my sister’s house, I say to myself, “Damn, I forgot to bring a garbage bag with me….I’ll remember next time“. And then I don’t.
So from now on, I’m going to keep a box of garbage bags right by my sneakers, so that I WILL remember to take a bag with me, and a pair of gloves, and pick up trash other people have thrown to the side of the road or left on the trails.
I realize that my small changes in awareness and habits and decisions and choices won’t change the world, but if each of us make small changes, it WILL change the world.
It’s not my garbage, but it is my planet.