Hope

I didn’t pick a word for the new year. I didn’t make any resolutions. I didn’t even really make any goals.

I didn’t pick a word for the new year.

I didn’t make any resolutions. I didn’t even really make any goals.

I haven’t done any deep cleaning despite the Internet’s obsession with all things Kondo. Well, that’s not true. I put the existing “donate this pile” pile into a bag and placed it in the back of my car. After doing so, I felt momentarily inspired and decided to deal with the Purse Issue.

What’s the Purse Issue? I don’t change purses all that often, but when I do, I seem totally incapable of getting rid of the old purse. What if I need a solid green boho slouch bag? Or any of my floral print fabric bags from my handmade phase? Houndstooth? And what about my many camera bags despite the fact that they’ve been used beyond an inch of their lives?

The bags, originally contained to one large-sized tub, overflowed to the floor of the storage side of our basement. You could also find every single reusable bag from every single professional conference I have attended since 2009 in this heap. I have five reusable bags in my vehicle. My husband carries about ten in his. I also have two in the purse I’m currently carrying.

I didn’t need these bags.

So, I packed them all up in a box. They also now sit in the back of my car. Holiday weekend and snow, they’ll stay there until Tuesday.

But no, I haven’t made any grand plans for the year.

2018 taught me that plans, even the best laid ones, mean very little. I made so many goals last year. I even followed through with a number of them, starting a new job, running two half marathons, and losing the weight I put on during the emotional difficulties of 2017. But all of that changed in one minute on a September night.

I don’t know what this year holds. It started off on a difficult note, threw a little death our way, and the rest of the year seems a little bit if-y as to whether or not we can avoid more of the same. On the other hand, I’m making some great strides professionally and my sons make me happy to be their mother on the regular. (You know, mostly. They’re human, as am I.)

So no, I don’t have goals, resolutions, a word, anything. Instead, I’m holding on to a little hope. For what?

I guess we’ll find out.

Hope

Dear 2016: More Me

Dear 2016: More Me

Dear 2016,

Hi! It’s nice to meet you! I’m excited you’re here! Exclamation points!

You know, I felt kinda sad to see your predecessor, 2015, walk out the door last night at midnight. 2015 was the year I needed to have, one of growth and forward motion and… well, no one dying. That’s always key to a good year.

So, 2016, I’m excited you’re here not because I hated last year, but because I legitimately feel hopeful that this year will continue in the same way. I set some goals last year, and achieved most of them. I’m not setting goals this year; no resolutions, no weight loss, no must-do-or-the-year-is-a-failure type of things.

I do, of course, want to run some more races. I want to read books. I want to travel places with my family. I want to kick butt at work. I want to work on some stuff in the house. I want to write.

These are the things I do every year. They are things that make me who I am. In doing them, I am not hoping to become some better version of myself. I might, in fact, just become more me.

That’s what I’m looking for, 2016. More me.

I hope you’ll be kind, of course. But I’m just going to keep doing my thing, keep being the me that I am. You keep doing your thing, that whole changing of days and moving forward. Together, I hope we reach the end of the year feeling just as hopeful about your predecessor as I feel about you today.

Love,
Jenna

October, You Say.

October, You Say.

I love October. It comes with many challenges, and I feel a bit wary coming into it this year. But I’ve been working on having hope, even when the logical side of my brain wants to point out all of the Worst Case Scenarios. I’m attempting to face October with a brave heart and a gentle spirit.

And lattes! And scarves! And jeans and boots! And sweaters! And oh, the gorgeous leaves. And, you know, a marathon!

See, I do love the month. I’m choosing to focus on the good, the joy, the love waiting in the nooks and crannies of falling leaves and dipping temperatures. To help me focus on the good, I’m participating in a couple of challenges.

October Challenges

1. #15in31: Katie let me know about a great reading challenge for the month. #15in31 is hosted by Andi at Estella’s Revenge. The point, of course, is to read 15 books in 31 days. I’ve been a reading fool as of late and I want to stick with it, so I decided to join in. I’ll be reading novels, non-fiction, YA, and middle grade fiction. I’ve been reading a lot of middle grade fiction to find books I think the boys might enjoy and I have a large pile right now.

Here’s a bit of what I might read this month. (Or not.)

Books I Might Read in the October #15in31 Challenge

Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story by Jewel. I’ve already Instagrammed my love for this book. I should finish it tomorrow. I’ll likely review it at some point.

Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai. A middle grade, diverse book that I really can’t wait to read.

George by Alex Gino. A middle grade, diverse book focusing on a transgender youth.

A Window Opens by Elizabeth Egan. A novel about mid-life changes in family, career, and so on. Looked intriguing.

Call Me Home by Megan Kruse. I grabbed it off the new releases shelf. It sounded interesting as a parent is forced to save one child over another. Diverse book featuring LGBT issues.

Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton. Another middle grade book featuring diverse characters. You can sense a theme in my recent middle grade research, no?

Sit! Stay! Speak! by Annie England Noblin. It had a dog on the front. ‘Nuff said.

The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden by Emma Trevayne. “What if you found your own grave? And it was empty?” A middle grade book with a great cover and an interesting theme. A random grab at the library again!

These are just the books I have in house right now. I may or may not read all of them, but it gives me a good start. Let’s read!

2. Periscope with Purpose: This challenge is hosted by Blog Clarity. I’m intrigued by Periscope, but I don’t quite know what to do with it, how to use it, all the why for of a video social platform. Periscope with Purpose is supposed to help get participants used to the medium. I’ve said time and time again that I’m not a video person, but I can’t bring myself to delete Periscope from my phone. So I’m going to play with it for one month. I didn’t do it today, the first day, because I lost track of time. I’ll start tomorrow and catch up at some point.

Periscope with Purpose

My Periscope channel is JennaHatfield. Maybe you could poke me if you don’t see anything as broadcasts are only saved for 24 hours.

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I would have loved to participate in 31 Days, but I couldn’t decide which topic to write about for 31 days. And when I say I’m going to write about a certain topic for 31 days, I find myself intensely bored with the topic by day seven. Or even day two. Basically, if I pigeon hole myself, I end up hating the project. I’d love to see what you write if you participate in it though!

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Decluttering

This month I hope to continue cleaning out things we don’t want, need, or use. I just worked my way through my short sleeved shirts drawer. As the warm summer season draws to a close, it was easy to look at the stacks of shirts and pick out the ones I didn’t wear once all summer. I also went through my long sleeved shirts and made some hard choices ahead of the season, picking out ones that I know are no longer flattering or didn’t match my style anymore. I even tackled the hardest drawer: my running and exercise shirts. I’ve done similar things with the boys’ drawers, though I have some more work to do before I can say I’m done with their things. My main goal for decluttering this month is the… playroom. It’s… not okay. I need to walk in with eyes to see things to pass on to nephews, things to donate, and things that have seen their last days as a toy. It’s very Toy Story 3 up in here.

Finding Joy

Last year, October felt hard and really pushed me into a tailspin of not-so-greatness. I’d like to focus on the good this year, to find the joy in the midst of lots of overtime by my husband, my unemployment, mud being tracked inside, running a marathon, busy schedules, football games in the rain, and all that other stuff that can drag a soul down. There will be so much good happening this month. I really, really want to find it.

I’m excited for October. Let’s do this!