Go Ahead and Quit!

Growing up, every adult made it seem that quitters were the worst kinds of people. I distinctly remember when I wanted to give up on the violin and my mom looked me dead in the eyes and asked with disdain, “Do you want to be a quitter?”

Yeah! I totally did! And I did quit the violin and I moved along to the cello. And, surprisingly, I became great at the cello. I went on to play for many years and even performed at Boston Symphony Hall. Quitting turned out to be awesome for me when I was younger, but I never associated that success with quitting.

Unfortunately, for me and many of you out there, that negative association with quitting has never quite left. There is a stigma around quitting. You know you look differently at your friend that quits her job than the one that toughs it out at the office she hates. It’s because we all hate quitters.

But I’m here to tell you that being a quitter is okay! I promise.

I enrolled in an online writing class a few months ago. I wanted to be able to be held accountable to write creatively. I started the class and after a lot of technological gaffes, I started writing. Then, I started to feel overwhelmed because that same feeling that got me to enroll in the class also pushed me to start blogging again and pushed me to start freelancing. Suddenly, I felt overwhelmed by all the due dates. And worse, I felt like I wasn’t getting anything beneficial from the class.

So, I quit.

At the end of the day, we’re all busy people. Why add more tasks onto our to-do list that we aren’t required to do?

quitter

Here are some things to ask yourself when deciding whether or not you want to stick with something:

  • Does it make you happy?
  • Does it make you money?
  • Is it necessary to keep your household afloat?

If you said no to all of those, why are you still doing it? Honestly – there are so many people I know that are doing things that they should have quit a long time ago.

And, naturally, when you quit something, you will be filled with guilt that your parents and society at large instilled in you. Why couldn’t I have just finished it? Because it wasn’t worth it. Remind yourself that there was a reason you didn’t finish it. And, on the bright side, look at the newly found time you have to do something else – something that will make you happy and will be worthwhile enough to finish.

Go ahead and quit! And don’t feel bad about it at all. Why should you have to keep doing something just because you don’t want to be labelled a quitter? Be a quitter and be proud!



Creating a Joint Budget With Your SO

Everyone is always recommending that you create a budget. Your mom, your friends, blogs – you name it and they tell you to get a budget. But what about that fool that lives with you? Yeah, I’m talking about your SO. Why don’t you two create one budget together? Just like a joint account — this is about creating a joint budget.

Honestly, if you are living with someone and are beginning to intermix your finances, you can no longer rely on your individual budget. And, if you’re not living together yet, but would like to in the future, this is a great step to see where you’re at financially before making that decision.

Mike (my boyfriend) and I have been living together for a year and we have just now created a joint budget! I don’t know how we managed before.creating a budget

Here’s the skinny:

  • Keep it somewhere accessible. It doesn’t do you any good to keep the budget on an excel file on your computer. You both need to be able to see it. That’s why I suggest using Google Docs. Mike and I can both access the spreadsheet from any computer and our phones.
  • Actual vs Budgeted. Don’t just put what you think you should spend or what you do spend. You need to be able to reflect on what you’ve budgeted versus what was actually spent. Sometimes, it’ll surprise you. Sometimes, it’ll devastate you. That leads me to …
  • Recap at the end of the month. After your first complete month using the budget, talk about it. What did you guys go waaaay over on spending? Eating out? Was it eating out? I bet it was eating out. What did you save on? You can adjust your budget. Or plan how you’re going to fix it – like creating a meal plan instead of eating out every day. Can you tell what our problem was?

Mike and I are using our budget to figure out ways to save up for a house. And, it’s a great way to see how our money is being used. I go on about once a week to update the spreadsheet with that week’s expenditures. And then, I yell at Mike for eating too much Chipotle, while failing to mention that I spent a lot at Sephora.

But honestly —  creating a joint budget with your SO is a great way to plan for a future together and make sure you are both on the same page.



Fave Friday Five

I’ve always been wavering on what to call my weekly Friday round-up post. I think I’ve found a winner – who hates alliteration?

Anyway. This has been an absolutely crazy week. I fell super behind on my freelancing projects and was consistently apologizing to my clients. I missed assignments for my writing class. And, I started to feel sick. But, I turn 26 years old tomorrow and I got to spend Thursday with my main man Mike (see what I did there??) for an early celebration. Basically, I have been insanely busy and now I am old.

 

  1. Rude things you probably don’t know you’re doing. This list hit really close to home. Whoops!
  2. Mike & I are lunch-packing experts, but here are some tips that we didn’t even know.
  3. La Croix’s cran-raspberry gets its own special shout-out this week. This is the most delicious beverage.
  4. I started watching Casual after listening to Michaela Watkins on Maron’s podcast. Anyway – it’s on Hulu and it’s great.
  5. Rejoice New Yorkers! They are planning to phase out Taxi TV’s – which is great. I hated having to watch Jimmy Kimmel when I was trying to think of great tweets.

Have a good weekend! I will try to stop crying before I officially turn 26.



September’s Books

September was a busy month, but I’m happy I was able to get through two books. My goal for 2015 is to read 24 books — so two a month. Thankfully, I am right on track. Here’s what I read last month:

The Hundred Year Flood – Matthew Salesses

I originally got this book through Amazon Prime’s Firsts program. It took me about a week to read. And quite frankly, it would have taken me less time had I not been completely confused in the beginning. The narrator jumped back and forth between the past and present. It was difficult to follow. I can’t say I recommend this book. But, I do recommend free books.

Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides

Despite the length of this novel, I could not contain myself and sped through it, always wanting more. My biggest complaint was that at the end, I wanted more prose. I had more questions about the narrator. I wanted to know more. I am ashamed at how long I pushed off reading this book. I’ve read Eugenides’ other work and I always postponed reading Middlesex because I had assumed, incorrectly, it was about some old English town. That couldn’t be further from the truth.



You Don’t Have to Care About the 2016 Election … Yet

Trust me, I’m a political scientist.

Sorry, I had to get that joke out of the way. Seriously though, it is 2015. So, why do we even have to care about the 2016 election right now? And the field of candidates that you see now will not all be around in a few months.

2016 election

Why should you get invested when the field is so jam-packed with candidates that aren’t going to make it to the spring? My suggestion is to pick a viable candidate when it is time for the primary and vote for them. Don’t waste your time on a Lincoln Chafee.

All day, people ask me if I’m afraid of Trump winning the nomination or if I heard what Hillary did. I let them know that I’m not paying attention because this is all fluff. By the time November (of next year) rolls around, none of us will remember the political gaffes of today.

Want to get involved with politics? Check out your local elections. They happen all the time – not just every two years. And, they are much more important to your daily life than who becomes president.



This Week’s Exercise Plan

Ever see a picture of yourself and say, “I need to get in shape”?

I wish I could say it was the pictures from this weekend that made me realize I needed to change something, but I’ve known for a while. My running regime has become very lax lately. With everything going on and working and freelancing and hardly getting to see Mike, fitness fell off the priority list.

In order to work running back into my schedule, I literally had to add it to my schedule and create an exercise plan:

this week's exercise plan

See those purple events? That is my Fitness google calendar (I know I am a huge proponent of physical planners – but for the big stuff, I have to use Google so Mike & I can sync and he knows what’s going on).

If you’re like me and want to try to start getting fit, you have to schedule time for fitness. That is the only way you’re going to find time is to schedule it in advance.

A few notes on my exercise plan:

  1. On days when I know it won’t happen – I mean, I work all day on Tuesday — I am not planning to make it to the gym. Don’t schedule it when you know it won’t happen. I know there is no way I will wake up early enough on Wednesday to get into the gym or even go for a run to make it to the doctor on time. Be realistic.
  2. I am not planning to go lift weights for hours on end. Two of my “exercise” days consist of just walking the dog at the park. I’m getting back on the wagon – not lifting the wagon above my head and running a half marathon. Keep it simple.
  3. I’m not going to get down on myself if it doesn’t happen exactly as I plan. Plans are great and that’s why I use them all the time, but it won’t be the end of the world if I don’t end up running when I plan to run. You have to understand that life happens and priorities can shift. Don’t worry if it doesn’t happen how you’ve planned.

I hope that my exercise plan for this week can help you create your own. How do you make time for exercise and fitness? Share with us in the comments!



This Week In Links

It’s finally October – my favorite month in the year. Octobers are always super busy and hectic for me. This October is no exception. This October will include: Adam Carolla, Garth Brooks, The Book of Mormon, Halloween, a 5K, Coffeehouse at my sister’s high school, mom’s birthday, and the arrival of my nephew & niece from Hawaii. And that isn’t even all of it!

Even 1995 Kaileigh was excited for October.

So before the craziness of this month hits, let’s enjoy some links from this week:

Speaking of that last one, be sure to Follow Somehow Chaotic on Bloglovin.

Share your favorite links from this week in the comments!



The Burglar In the Garage

When my sister announced her pregnancy, I was over the moon to become an aunt. I immediately knew I was going to share my love of books with my future nephew. I was going to instill in him the love of reading that I had my entire life. Fortunately, I had all the materials at my disposal.

Deep within my mom’s garage were boxes filled with the tools I used to become the bibliophile I am today. Among all the Christmas decorations and toys that lost their luster, I came across a familiar box. Written in my Grandma’s handwriting, it said, “Tracy’s Books.” I traced my finger over the words, picking up the dust that had settled from the years of neglect. Inside contained my mom’s first books, which happened to be the first books I ever read myself.

Situated next to that box was one that read “Kaileigh’s Books” in my mom’s huge blocked letter handwriting. I pulled it down and peered inside, remembering all the different books that I had read. I picked up a book that I did not recognize from the cover. Upon flipping through the pages, my eyes landed on a word that was at the center of my childhood.

I loved having my mom read to me as a child. It was a great way for us to bond and created special moments. Except that one moment was almost ruined when I caught my own mom in a lie.

This particular book I was holding was about this town that had a “robber” come. He had just left another town that he had “robbed” and he was trying to find the best house to “rob.” Except that “robber” does not start with a “b” like it was printed in my book.

“Mom, ‘robber’ starts with a ‘rrrr’ sound! But that word,” I exclaimed, pointing to the page, “begins with the letter ‘B.’ Do you not know how to sound out words?”

Laughter came from down the hall where my Grandma was doing laundry. My mom’s brow furrowed.

“It means the same thing,” my mom explained and quickly tried to get back to reading.

“No. Call Grandma in here. We need help figuring this one out,” I ordered.

“Burglar!” my Grandma yelled from down the hall. “The book is about a burglar!”

My mom sat fuming and still refused to say the word.

“Sound it out, mom,” I goaded. “Burrg-lerr.” I felt pleased. She continued the story with “robber.” “If you’re not going to do it right, then let’s pick another book!”

But she mustered through and at least waited until I was asleep to hide the book.

Her attempt to hide this book and remove it from family history was in vain since I suddenly had it back in my hands. I put it under my arm and triumphantly walked back into the house. My mom was sitting at the table, deep in thought over her iPad, presumably searching baby clothes. I threw the book on the table.

“Hey Mom, you should read this to the baby.”



Life Tip: Get a Planner

life tip: get a planner

All my life, I have depended on a planner. Remember in school when you would get one at the beginning of the school year? That was my favorite day of the year. New planner, new possibilities.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried out different planners. I even tried to rely completely on technology – my Google calendar and Evernote. But, it just didn’t feel the same.

There is something about physically writing in a planner that helps to get things done. Nothing feels better than actually crossing something off a list or checking a box. That is why you need to get a planner.

For the upcoming year, I’ve opted to try something new and get the BASICS Notebook. They claim it will simplify your life and I believe them — any planner will help you simplify your life.

What kind of planner do you use?



This Week’s Meal Plan

When your life is as crazy hectic as mine, you have to start planning things out or nothing will get done. That even goes for food.

Right after Mike started working full-time again, we sat down and decided we had to meal plan. Otherwise, we would be eating Chipotle every night (my personal hell, his idea of heaven).

Every Sunday, we take a look at the grocery ads and what we have in our freezer and create a meal plan based off what items are on sale and what we have already.

week's meal plan

Especially now as we head into the holidays/busiest time of the year, we want to make sure we are ready for each day.

Do you meal plan? Let me know in the comments!