Christianity, Family, General

About Vision

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I’ve been working on  a few different projects over the past several months,  and as I research more about these projects – and about entrepreneurship in general – one of the common threads I am finding is that I am often being asked to define the vision that I have for my life and my business pursuits. The reason for this is pretty simple. If you don’t know where you want to go, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever get there.

One of my favorite Bible verses comes from Proverbs 29, in which we are told, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” – Proverbs 29:18.

From a Biblical standpoint, I think that “vision” probably refers more to the big picture of putting God and others first in our lives. But it’s also true that not having vision causes us to wander along in life – sometimes ending up in great circumstances and sometimes not.

So I thought I’d spend a few minutes typing out my vision.

Firstly, I want whatever I do with my life to be God-glorifying. Since childhood, it’s been on my heart to please God and although I don’t always make the right decisions or do the right things – the intention is always there. I’ve always been a person with various ideas, ambitions, and interests, but I think I am starting to understand which of my ambitions and interests God wants me to use to serve others.

Secondly, I am a huge family person. It’s always been a dream of mine to be a stay/work at home mom. It took us a long time to get pregnant and finally make my dream of becoming a mom come true, and now I am working on the “stay at home” part. In fact, I’d love it if both my husband and I could work from home and be with our son and any other children we have, full time. As someone with a background in education, I know I would enjoy homeschooling and have been looking into starting a homeschool co-op. I’m sure that many people have the desire to work from home – it’s a very appealing thought!

If I were able to work from home and be on my own time, I’d love to get involved in various volunteer activities. I’d like to work with CASA, an organization that helps to advocate for foster children. I’d like to become a foster parent and have the time to spend with the children I am fostering. I’d love to spend time in hospitals with babies who need simply to be held and cuddled. If you can’t tell, I love children!

The final part of my vision is all about location. For years, I’ve been obsessed with the idea of living on a beach. I’m not sure yet about which beach – I’d love to explore the West Coast and certain islands – but I am always watching HGTV’s Beachfront Bargain Hunt, Island Life, Caribbean Life, and Mexico Life, because I love envisioning what it could be like to live near the water. The ocean is my happy place and I don’t think I could survive without it!

As I’ve thought through the things I’d really like in life, I’ve found that I am not as interested in wealth as I am in time freedom. Sure, it’s necessary to have money, but I only want to have as much as is needed to gain the freedom of my time. If I love what I do and where I live, I don’t even mind not retiring.

There’ve been a lot of things that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and when 2017 started I told myself that this would be the year that I’d lay the foundation for those things. I’m really proud of myself for keeping my word, it is so easy for me to get sidetracked and the execution of my ideas is something I have always struggled with. I am hoping that the work I am putting in now will help me to be able to live into my vision in the future.

What’s your vision?

General, Hobbies

Ch-ch-changes!

Whenever I have a little downtime, I have been reading and note-taking as much as possible about how to get started down a path toward entrepreneurship. Honestly, I’m kind of a late bloomer. So many of my family and friends have already started accomplishing their business goals, and although I have long had business goals I never considered myself “business-minded” enough to be able to actually make something work. Better late than never, though, and I promised myself that 2017 would be the year to make stuff happen. So I am going to make stuff happen. 

That’s going to mean some changes for this blog, though! And I’m not entirely sure what that will look like, just yet. So, until I figure it all out – I will be taking a short break from blogging. 

I love Thisblindmouse and have had it for 5 years! But it’s mostly been a hobby blog – meaning that I’ve kept up with it as a hobby and not as anything that helps me to accomplish professional goals. I am unsure of whether to simply transition it, or to start completely fresh with a new blog all together. We’ll see. 

I don’t expect this to be a long break, maybe just 2 or 3 months  (which – lately – seems like the amount of time I’ve been taking between posts, anyway!) But I have been doing a lot of brainstorming and am ready to start taking steps in the direction that I want to go. 

Many Thanks to anyone who has ever kept up with me, here. And hopefully we’ll remain cyber buddies regardless of what’s next for Thisblindmouse! 

Ta-ta for now! 

General, News and Current events

Why I Celebrate Kwanzaa

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When I was a child, there was a woman in my (predominantly Black) church named Mama J. At the end of every year, Mama J gathered all of the kids together and created short presentations to acknowledge Kwanzaa on the Sunday before the holiday. I used to get the feeling that the people in my church allowed her to create these presentations because she was part of the family and people loved her – but that they didn’t otherwise care or feel that Kwanzaa was important. I did not grow up celebrating Kwanzaa, and as far as I know, the overwhelming majority of Black people do not celebrate it, either.

Over the past five or six years, however, my interest in celebrating Kwanzaa has tremendously grown. There are a lot of misconceptions about what Kwanzaa is and is not, but I understand why Mama J was so adamant about celebrating it. She wanted to instill in us a sense of self-worth in a world that so often – and in so many ways – tells us that we are inferior and worthless.

During this time of the #blacklivesmatter movement, when Black people all around the country are realizing that we do not matter to those in power in our nation, it’s important that we begin to take more of an initiative in defining ourselves. We are not all poor, we are not lazy, we are not morally deficient, we are not criminals, we are not unintelligent, we are not ugly, and we are not dirty. There is nothing wrong with us, except that we have allowed others to define us in this way for too long.

For me, Kwanzaa represents an intentional move toward learning about, owning, and celebrating my heritage. It represents an opportunity to positively contribute to the Black community and change the narrative that says we are uneducated criminals whose only ability to fit into society or find success is through rap or sports. Last year, I posted a Facebook status for each day of Kwanzaa that explains the Kwanzaa principle of the day. This year, I will spend a little more time elaborating on these principles and what they mean for me and for my family.

I can’t wait to get started! Have a wonderful Christmas and a great start to Hanukkah, and after that I hope you’ll follow along!

 

General, Hobbies, Uncategorized

Back To The Gym…

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Mondays and Thursdays are my new gym days. My husband hangs out with the kiddo while I get to go work out in our community gym (which is pretty nice, by the way). Today was my first time heading in there, and man…

I do not know what I am doing.

I didn’t recognize most of the machines and felt like an absolute fool in there. At first that was okay because I was alone. Then, the “regulars” started flooding in and doing their thing. And I just kind of hung out in the corner, hoping no one noticed me trying to figure out what kind of machine I was using and how to use it. Also, I almost died on the treadmill.

After my near-death experience, I decided to get off the treadmill and try something else. So I went to a machine in which I pulled weights, using a triangular, elastic handle-bar. Afterward, I did a few sit ups, and finally to another machine that I couldn’t really figure out well enough to get anything out of it. I tried the spin bicycle, too. It was mostly an exploratory trip.

I’ve never really been a gym kind of girl. I always have liked going to classes and working out in groups. In fact, fitness is one of the only things that I like doing in a group. Working out alone is boring. But I went. I went to the gym. And I’ll keep going and eventually things will get better.

I look forward to progress.

General, Hobbies, Uncategorized

The Road Back to Good Health

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When I was younger, I used to climb trees, roller skate or bike ride, race the boys in the neighborhood, and play high intensity outdoor games that left me excited and out of breath as I returned home for dinner in the evenings. I took ice skating lessons, dance lessons, and lots of hikes through the “woods” with my neighborhood friends. In high school, I took dance class, ran track, and was part of the step team. In college, I ran track, played tennis, and learned how to teach aerobics courses. As an adult, I’ve found enjoyment in Zumba, Yoga, Pilates, Barre, and anything that involves dancing. I guess what I’m trying to say is –

I used to be in such great shape.

I have always enjoyed being active and it isn’t until recently that I am realizing just how active I used to be! After having a baby and getting through a pulmonary embolism, I was told to slow down on the physical activity for a bit. But, I think I am starting to get back to the place where I can resume an active lifestyle. And, I can’t wait!

In the past, I wasn’t being intentionally active – I was just doing what I was interested in. This time around, I want to be more intentional about reaching certain fitness goals. I hate being in the hospital, taking medications, and having regularly scheduled blood tests. But, what I hate even more is how restricting the experience is. I can’t eat some of my favorite (healthy) foods because of the medicine I am taking. I can’t work out the way I want to until they are sure that my clot has dissipated. I can’t travel, sit, or lie down for too long without thinking about having to keep my blood circulation flowing. I have always been interested in health and fitness topics, but this experience has really taught me the value of making sure that I keep my body healthy.

Being in good health is a priceless treasure. If you’re already in good health, do whatever you can to keep it that way. If you’re not, do whatever you can to get back to it. I certainly look forward to getting myself back on track.

And I’ll be blogging the journey, of course.

Family, General, Hobbies

Life, lately.

Some of my blogging friends do this little thing called “Seven Quick Takes.” It’s a cute little way to catch their readers up on whatever has been going on in their lives. Since all my recent posts have been baby-related, I thought I would do a post about some of the other things we’ve got going on. Here are my “Seven Quick Takes” on some of the other aspects of my life!

1. We’ve found a church that we really like! Our entire 7 years of marriage have been spent looking for a church in which we feel like we are at home. This quick take deserves its own post, but suffice it to say that we have loved visiting this little church we’ve found and have thought about becoming members. The only thing standing in our way, is…

2. We are thinking about moving back home. If hubby finds a decent job in our home state before our lease is up, we are out of here! If not, we’ll move to a charming little city north of us, join the aforementioned church, and try to settle down and start a new life.

3. I am going back to work… Which both excites and terrifies me. I love what I do, and we need the extra money, but I don’t want to get caught up with work to the extent that I lose sight of personal goals. I feel strongly that I am in a place where I need to focus on (a) opening my own business (b) my writing, and (c) my love of language learning. Life is short and although it is good to work, sometimes the need to work and make money can actually be a distraction from what you really want to accomplish with your limited time on this earth.

4. I miss playing the Sims! Our PC broke down last year around this time, and I lost the ability to play the Sims as well as a lot of the stories that I was writing at the time. It was my most relaxing hobby to play the Sims, take screenshots of my gameplay, and write elaborate stories about the characters in my game. I am hoping we get a new PC soon so I can get back to that!

5. I am getting back to work on my infertility e-magazine. Last year, I started working on a project that I hoped would become an online magazine for those affected by infertility. Shortly after starting to work on that, our PC crashed AND I got pregnant. Then we moved! So the timing clearly didn’t work out. I haven’t stopped thinking about this e-zine, though, and I am looking forward to working on it again!

6. I’ve been taking coumadin, and I hate it! I had a blood clot in my lungs and was placed on the blood-thinner coumadin as a result. I don’t know how long I’ll be on this medication but I can’t wait until I can get off of it!

7. I never knew that the show “The Office” is so funny! My husband and I have started binge watching the office on Netflix when he comes home from work. I am not a huge TV person but I look forward to this time together every day! Dwight Schrute is, hands down, our favorite character!

So, that’s what’s been going on in my life, lately!

General, Hobbies, Language

NaNoWriMo!

I created my very first con-world when I was seven years old. At the time, I didn’t know that “con-worlding” was a thing, or that other people took interest in the hobby. I just knew that I loved to create the languages, religions, and customs of the people residing in my world – and then write stories about those people. My sisters and I used to play “dollhouse,” in which we would build homes out of various pieces of furniture or out of books and then place little miniature dolls into them and act out stories. I would always set my characters in my con-world, and once I finished playing with them I would immediately write out the stories that I’d made up during my play time.

Over the years, my con-world began to develop as I matured. My first con-language was a cypher with grammar identical to English. As I began to study other languages and learn more about linguistics in general, my con-lang began to develop into something more authentic and original – with script, grammar rules, and sounds that departed those of my native tongue. I was also an avid student of comparative religion, and the more I learned about the faith traditions of the world, the more in depth the religious beliefs held in my con-world became.

By the time I was twenty years old, my con-world had grown into a place full of history, depth, and a richness that I wanted to try and capture in the form of a fantasy novel. I am a bit of a perfectionist, though, and this has kept me from completing any of the novels that I have begun writing. I once wrote 27 chapters of a novel and then deleted the entire thing, simply because there were a few details that I disliked! How I regret that, now!

My most-used constructed language!
My most-used constructed language!

Although being a perfectionist might be one of my character flaws, one great thing about me is that I am always willing to try again! I have never stopped working toward writing the fantasy novel of my dreams, and I have recently discovered the perfect opportunity to push myself toward completion.

NaNoWriMo.

I’d heard of it before but never looked into what it is. Last night, I was browsing Pinterest when I saw an article about NaNoWriMo, and decided to read the article and finally discover what this weird word meant! It stands for National Novel Writing Month, and as (luck, fate, God?) would have it – it is held every November, and I am discovering it just in time for this year’s NaNoWriMo event! Each day in the month of November, participants are to write 2,000 words of their novel. It isn’t a time for editing or self-criticism, but simply a time for writing. By the end of the month participants should have 50,000 words of their novel’s rough draft completed.

Since I plan to be having a baby at the end of November, I have decided to start NaNoWriMo a few weeks early in order to still make it to my goal of writing at least 50,000 words of my novel before the baby comes. Once he is born and I am recovered and settled into our new routine, I will begin the process of editing what I’ve written and will hopefully end up with a decent second draft.

Whatever happens, I promise not to erase the entire thing over a few small frustrations!

I am really excited about this opportunity, as I have been experiencing some heavy writer’s block over this past year! I love to write in my spare time, and I am really happy to have found something to help push me back into it. If anyone else is participating in NaNoWriMo, I would love to connect with you!