And everything is packed!

Not gonna lie… this was a long process. Also, I thought I would have been done long before today…the day before I leave.

Checked bag, carry-on bag, personal item (that striped on will fit under the seat in front of me, yeah?)

So… I don’t know if y’all remember this about me but I often do too much and I am super bad at saying “No” to people… especially when it’s something I would like to do but just shouldn’t cuz I really don’t have time.

Also, when I am overwhelmed by a task, I do something totally useless instead so my brain can relax. The last time I set aside time to go through my wardrobe to start packing, I distracted myself by looking in my kitchen cabinets. I was thinking “I gotta eat some of this stuff before I leave.” I found a bag of lentils intended for a bean soup. I thought “Oh, I forgot I bought this. I should make it now.” So I tried to do that while stressing about my boots and my packing. It didn’t go well… obviously!

Anyway, I finally decided to forget packing tall black riding boots and just buy boots in Scotland. Then I buckled down and figured out outfits, got rid of clothes I’ll never fit into again, decided what to take with me, and packed away in the basement what is staying in Ohio (wanted a cleaned out room for the girl taking my room).

Then I FINALLY proceeded to put stuff in the suitcases. They didn’t fit. I got a bigger bag from mom… As well as those airtight bags that you suck the air out of with a vacuum cleaner. Then the DAY BEFORE I LEAVE, I finally forced it all into the suitcases. The checked bag weighed too much. I freaked out. Texted my roommate and my mom to release my anxiety. Got rid of a few things. All is well now.

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30 days to go…

So I’ll be leaving Ohio in 30 days (and the US in 36 days)… and I wish I felt more prepared. I also don’t think that it has quite set in. I don’t think it will until I’m on my way to the airport, as it usually goes with the trips I take.

30 days to go

I have found someone to sublet my room so Hannah shan’t be roommate-less and I will not have to pay rent in 2 places. Yay! But now I’m looking at my room & thinking “I have too much stuff. I gotta clear some of it out for the new girl. I gotta get rid of it period… I don’t use 1/2 this stuff! I need to do a hard core Spring Cleaning! Ah!!!”

I also have not figured out what I will pack. I KNOW I shouldn’t bring all that I own… but I love having options. I told myself a month ago that I was going to figure out how to trim down to a “capsule wardrobe” for this but I haven’t figured it out at all. Not only do I need everyday stuff but I need clothes for the International Convention… including the traditional Puerto Rican dresses I’m borrowing from my Titi (aunt) Donna.

On top of all this, “Avengers: Endgame” comes out on Friday… well Thursday night… but I will not see it until Sunday so I basically have to avoid the internet for 3 days. So Saturday after I get home from field ministry I will be cleaning and organizing my clothes. That should keep me from spoilers. I am very excited and stressed out for this film. Don’t judge my nerdyness & probably inappropriate level of emotional attachment that I have to fictional characters :-p

Is it too soon to pack? Maybe I’ll pack the stuff I know for sure I will not wear before I leave. Or I can it all and have this be a trial run at packing. Hmm… It’s going to be a long Saturday! I think I’ll need pizza.

So much to do… so little time… or maybe it’s opposite?

So, I’m leaving for Scotland in about 100 days. Well, I’m leaving Ohio for Connecticut to see my BFF for a few days before I fly to Edinburgh out of New York. Anyway, some days I think “It’s OK… I still have 3 months.” but other days I think “Oy vey I have only 3 months!” Why? I’ll tell you.

Do you guys remember when I posted a while back that I had to stop spending money & and I nicknamed all the months with money saving names? Yeah… I haven’t lived up to that. I really gotta stop eating out & cook more! Thankfully, I have a tax refund coming so I’m going to FOR SURE put that money away. And I’ll have money coming in from the POUND classes I’ll be teaching from now until mid May. Still, I’m worried sooooo… I’m accepting donations haha JK… Unless you’re feeling generous.

Moving on! When I travel, I like to have things paid for well in advance so (1) when I’m actually ON the trip, I only have to worry about food & small incidental things and (2) there is less to worry about, I’ll have less stress knowing that everything is taken care of. So I’m doing pretty well in that aspect of the preparation when it comes to the “vacationy” portions of my trip. Everything that can be booked at the moment has been booked and mostly paid. But since I’ll be basically living in Edinburgh, I’ll have pay rent month to month so I still need money coming in (since I clearing haven’t saved enough for that per the previous paragraph). Thay means I have to work… Keeping my job with my mom’s insurance agency but working remotely. My mom has been getting nervous about my leaving the office & how much I will be able to work so I finally had to make myself set a schedule.

Now… on to packing! Obviously, I’m not going to pack clothes now, but I’m just not sure how much to bring & in which suitcase(s). I have 4 suitcases, shown in the photo below, numbered in size order, biggest to smallest.#1 is technically carry-on size but expands to checked baggage size. The middle zipper opens up allowing the bag to expand like 6 inches. #2 is 22 inches. #3 I actually have in purple and is 21.5 inches. #4 is about 21 inches but because it’s a backpack (on wheels) the top is more narrow than the bottom. What do y’all think… 1 bag or 2? The big bag & the small carry-on size bag? Bags 1 & 4? Or 1 & 3?  Are those enough for almost 6 months? I’ll need various pairs of shoes, including my wellies. I know I can’t take ALL of my clothes, but I am a chronic over-packer. I have gotten better over time but still… I hate being limited. What if one day I want to wear something that I left behind in Ohio. *sigh*

Basically, I’m overwhelmed for probably no good reason!

Ok so I’m never dieting again!

I say that as if I dieted recently haha. Anyway, I was talking to my friend Amber the other day & we were both in agreement that we don’t want enjoy our lives and saying no to a food we like because it’s not on our diet would make us not enjoy life.

Another friend make apple cake and offered it to my roommate and I and my roommate said “It’s not on my diet” and I was sad for her lol. She’s losing weight on the diet so good for her. That is what she wants to do so she is accomplishing her goal. I have given up on that goal! I have accepted my food baby. I will live with it if it means that I can have pizza, eat a cookie, etc.

I have yet to come across a food that has disagreed with my body so adversely that I to make me think it was worth never eating ever again. I’ve never been allergic to any food. Food and I are on good terms.

Amber and I also agree that things need to be done in moderation… And that, my friends, is where I have a problem. I don’t have a balance between the healthy food to the delicious and bad-for-me food. I only really like food that isn’t good for me. I have never tasted a vegetable and enjoyed it and wanted more. I am OK with spaghetti squash because it’s pretty good at pretending to be spaghetti and it really doesn’t taste like anything. It becomes one with the sauce.

So as opposed to trying to kill myself sticking to a strict diet, I want to try to make myself eat more veggies. Cook more & not eat out. I say this to myself all the time but I never seem to make the time. Maybe I will as “Dull December” approaches. Maybe I’ll try again to be a domestic goddess!

Side Note: I have NOT done so well with this whole “not spending money” thing I mentioned in my last blog entry. Pray for me!

So… I gotta stop spending money…

In a desperate attempt to make myself save money, I am becoming antisocial effective November 1st. I am sure I’ve said it before on this blog… I am terrible at saving money. I find ways to spend. So, anything that is fun (and therefore costs money) that hasn’t already been planned at this point will not happen (with the obvious exceptions of films within either the Marvel cinematic universe or anything Star Trek related #geekpriorities). On top of saving money, I have some CE (Continuing Education) classes to take to keep my insurance license and they have to be done by June. That’s right people… From now until I leave for Scotland it’s going to be:

“No Fun” November

“Dull” December

“Just Stay Home” January

“Food at Home” February

“Money Saving” March

“All By Myse-e-elf” April (you gotta sing that one)

“Maybe next time” May

By June, I’ll be Scotland bound, hopefully because I will have saved money by not doing anything in the 7 months prior. I don’t like it but it must be done!

And I just realized that my trip is 7 months away! That seems like a long way off but it’s not when I am staying for 6 months & need to find a place to stay and money to pay for said place. I just really hope I can sell some more insurance policies to make a bit of extra cash. I need less than 20 to reach my goal for the year.

I’m freaking out a bit, per usual, because I’m not calculating in any money I may get from teaching POUND. So I MIGHT

be better off than expected. I just set my expectations low so that I will be pleasantly surprised when I can do what I set out to do.

Ok so here is another dilemma. So I want to save money for the trip, but I also need new boots. I would like some shorter boots with a low heel or wedge. I HATE the idea of spending money on them but I know that boots are going to be essential when I go to Scotland. They’d be an investment… Yet the idea of spending money hurts me!!!

So, pray for me y’all… I need to get my life back on track in November. Haha “back on track”! I’m pretty sure it’s never been on track. What even is this track of which I speak?

Oh, side note: I want to take a stab at learning Gaelic when I’m out there. I realize that I wanted to go to attend the Spanish congregation but there seems to be a growth also in the Gaelic language and it looks like it’d be frustrating yet fun to learn haha.

Oy vey! I may have overreached…

Yeah… I don’t know that I can make it 6 months in Scotland. Oh yeah I could totally handle living there for 6 months in every way… except financially apparently! There are a few factors that are making my lose my confidence in my ability to pay for this little adventure.

  • Length of my stay – As I previously mentioned in past posts, a simple stamp of the passport for one traveling from the US to the UK allows said traveler to stay there for 6 months. That’s fabulous… except for the fact that I have discovered that apparently leases for normal apartments can not be fore less than 6 months. You’re thinking “But she just said she’s staying for 6 months.” Well, my friends, the 1st 2 weeks I will be on vacation with friends and will be traveling throughout Scotland. I won’t get to a flat right away. So I really need a 5.5 month lease, or a 5 month lease and crash with a friend for 2 weeks in between.¬†“What about short term rental websites?” you ask. Well, I have found a few but they are more expensive than a regular flat… but that is because they are furnished so that makes sense. I can live with that. But that I can’t live with is explained in my next point.
  • Time of year – So the plan is to stay all of the summer and autumn… leave in the beginning of December. The people I’m traveling with for the 2 week vacation portion of this trip have done Edinburgh in August and want to try a calmer time… without the insane crowd of the festival. I’m totally down for that. The problem then is that I have to find a short-term let during the festival month of August in Edinburgh. All of the owners hike their prices WAY up! I have a friend from here in Ohio that is planning to stay with me for like 2 or 3 months. So that is good that we can share the rent… but it’s bad in that I have to find something with 2 beds…which costs more.
  • My apparent inability to budget my money properly and save money – I always think I have everything figured out but then I have an unexpected expense. I’m terrible at saving money… it all goes to these unexpected expenses! Or I spend it on unnecessary things. I don that sometimes. Like, I’ll eat out when I should cook at home. And that is also a time management issue. I need to MAKE time to cook so I can pack lunch to work or out on ministry. I do it like 1/2 the time but the other half… money down the drain!!! Well, down my throat and into my belly! YUM! Oh and all the “extra” money I was going to make when I started my side-hustle job of teaching POUND classes back in March. Yeah… spent it all. Only in Sept did I start saving that money.

I’m never going to make it! Maybe I’ll do 4-5 months. I think I’m freaking out too early… but it’s what I do best lol. I still don’t know if I’m going to be accepted to an international convention… that will throw a new spin on my plans. *sigh* My head hurts!

Happy Single Lady Day to me!

So yeah… today is my 10 year Divorciversary… but celebrating divorce isn’t cool cuz divorce is horrible. The only good thing that happened while I was going through it was that I lost 15 pounds from the stress.

SIDE NOTE: Why can’t stress make me lose weight now? I stress eat now. Ugh!

Aaaaand back on topic… So yes divorce is a terrible thing and it took me a while to get over the fact that I wasn’t married anymore, that my life wasn’t going to be what I thought. Initially, I was not happy being single. I remember someone telling me that they thought I’d get remarried fairly quickly because I couldn’t be single. Granted, I was very emotional at the time to maybe I misunderstood it… but I didn’t like that. I didn’t want to be one of those girls that couldn’t survive without being in a relationship. I knew some of those girls and I was not about to become them.

The problem was that I wasn’t really comfortable with myself, didn’t really know myself, didn’t have a healthy level of self esteem. That’s not a good thing whether one is single or in a relationship. IF I was ever going to be married again, I needed to figure me out and stop hating on myself. My best friend, Alissa, was a huge help in pushing me to do that.

Now, 10 years after the papers were stamped, I am happy with myself. Sure I gained back those 15 pounds I lost (and maybe another 5) but I don’t care too much…my booty is actually looking better than ever. I’m getting better at simplifying my life than I was before (a slow progression). I haven’t quite achieved¬† my dreams of domestic goddess-hood but I finally got blackout curtains in my bedroom and kinda decorated. Baby steps. I have been able to travel. I have been able to dedicate more time to spiritual things. I was in the full time ministry as a pioneer in the Spanish congregation for a year and half. I’m back at it in the English congregation, finishing up my 1st year back. Did it go as planned? No. I’m so not gonna make my goal for the service year… but that OK. I’m planning this next service year better. September is going to be a clean slate. And the most insane change in my life I think is that I’m TEACHING fitness classes (which I’m sure is the reason for the nice booty). Honestly, NEVER saw that one coming! I’m about to have 4 classes a week… and that’s just my side hustle. I have a legit 9 to 5 job and, of course, the ministry. So…I may actually be dead by the time September comes so the clean slate will be irrelevant haha JK.

If I survive… next goal… International Convention in 2019! Immediately follow that with moving to Scotland. Woo hoo!!! Also, get the courage back to post a vlog. I started posting videos to YouTube but it didn’t last long. Maybe in September.