Summer Daze

Can you believe it’s almost summer? I know, technically summer doesn’t begin till the end of June if we’re talking calendar days. But realistically summer is here for many of us. And that means summer plans, like going on trips, taking nice vacations, and relaxing in the summer daze of heat and sun.

I’ve already started a bit of my summer daze with Fernando, actually. I’m still teaching and will be till the middle of June, but we spent our Memorial Day at the local waterpark. It was wonderful to go out and get some sun and enjoy the lazy river and wave pool and then splash through the slides and water coasters.

However, now that I’ve got two extra days free during my week, I’m trying to make some plans for how I’ll spend my June and then my July, which will be whole weeks of free time. I might as well admit that I don’t want to get wrapped up in doing nothing for days on end because that leaves me looking a bit like a slug, complete with fat rolls upon fat rolls.

So in order to make some plans, I figured this would be a good place to announce what I’d like to accomplish in the near future!

End of May/June

This will be a month of teaching twice a week (technically four times but limited to two days), so I’ll be trying to use my off days to get things accomplished around the apartment. Here are the few things I want to get done by the end of June:

  • Figure out how to make a Paleo style diet for myself (and possibly Fernando, too). We’re going to the beach at the end of June, so it would be nice to make a change between now and then. Besides, I haven’t felt very good doing SAD lately and have had some negative side effects from that particular lifestyle, so making a change would be nice.
  • Find a way to budget my groceries that works. This ties in to doing a Paleo style of diet. It’s important that I don’t go overboard. But since it’s summer, it’ll be easier to buy fresh fruits and vegetables to make it work for right now. I’ll just have to adjust once the weather cools off again.
  • Go through my wardrobe and clean it out using the KonMarie method. This is rather terrifying, but I have way too many clothes I don’t wear and just need to donate to a good cause, like our local organization that gives back to homeless people. So my idea is to get this done as soon as possible so Fernando can make use of one of our dressers. (Yes, I’m taking up two dressers with all my clothes right now!)
  • Tackle the stuff (junk, garbage, excess, etc.) that’s filling up our extra bedroom and sort it, get rid of what doesn’t belong, and make sure to tag anything that needs to go back to the school office at the end of the month. This is the one task that terrifies me the most. If you could see my extra bedroom, you’d know why. I probably need a small army to come in and pull everything out of there, but there’s only me. However, since I do have to return a number of things to the school office at the end of the month of June, it’s important I get things sorted and filed in some form of organization prior to the month’s end so I don’t rip my hair out at the last minute.

Those are the top things on my list for June. Is that a lot? Maybe. But if I can accomplish all that this month, it’ll make July so much more pleasant. I won’t feel like I have a monumental task looming over me. And, yes, that monumental task is specific to the extra bedroom at this point.

If Fernando and I decide to move when our lease is up, I have to tackle that space anyway. So I might as well get it done this summer and clean it out while I have time and don’t have to worry about lesson plans clogging up my time and energy. Right? Right. Besides, it’s probably a good idea to go through and get rid of a bunch of the stuff in the apartment before we move. If I do it now, it won’t be as painful as it would be trying to decide what needs to go before we pack things away.

Here’s to spring cleaning in summer and decluttering year-round! What are your plans for the summer?

– RaeNezL

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The Perks of Part-Time

I mentioned in my last post I wanted to share a little of my vision for this blog and where I see myself going with it in the coming months. Now it’s time to share some news and give you that information. So, with no further ado…

I got a new job!

Yes, the turnaround on that was remarkably short, and I feel incredibly blessed to be able to tell you this. And as of right this moment, I haven’t started said job. I’m still waiting for paperwork to be processed. However, I’m incredibly hopeful that will be taken care of quickly and they’ll clear me to start working within the next few days.

What does that mean for me, my work, my writing, and this blog?

Well, first of all, it means income, a huge blessing considering how low I’ve been running these last couple of weeks. Fernando is thrilled about my new opportunity because it will take some of the financial pressure off of us, and that will make things much simpler for us.

Second, it means a shift in my work-life balance. This is totally different from how I have been working in the past. Normally I look for full-time jobs and positions where I can maximize my income, advance in the company and work diligently until better opportunities come along.

This isn’t that job.

In fact, this is entirely different, and I think it will make my work-life balance so much better in the short term and long run that it will positively affect a lot of areas in my life.

I say that because this isn’t a position I pursued. Inadvertently, yes, but this time around, no. Let me explain.

I got a call from the local school system about a resume I put in before Fernando and I were married for a clerical position that never panned out. The woman worked in a different department entirely and needed clerical help, wanted to interview me for a part-time position, and asked if I was still available. I agreed to the interview.

I came in and sat down for a chat, and before I knew it, I was really interested in the position. Not only will the position be a clerical one at 28 hours per week, but I may, upon proof of my performance, have the opportunity to split those 28 hours between clerical work and a higher paying position–specifically ESL teaching!

So when I got the call that I’d gotten the call, I was pretty excited. It’s with the county school system, which means it’s through the state. So even though the state is pretty adamant they don’t want to hire anyone more than 28 hours because they’d have to pay for insurance (thanks Obamacare); there’s the potential for a higher paying job within the criteria of 28 hours per week.

I’m looking forward to this opportunity, though, because it opens the door to a number of things I haven’t let myself consider.

  • I’ll be able to spend time on my novel writing and work on publishing some of it after doing rewrites and edits, which will be a great exercise in moving towards being a real author.
  • I may get back into a full-fledged TEFL Certificate course (120-hour accredited online program) and earn my certificate to gain more traction in the ESL teaching community and market myself better.
  • Fernando and I are even talking about both of us going back to college (he for another bachelor’s, me for a master’s), which would be a crazy risk to take but totally worth it, right?

All of this said, the job will allow me to do things to promote myself as an author, explore job options I might not otherwise explore, and be present in my marriage with Fernando.

And this makes me very happy indeed. 

I think the key to keeping up with my blog is simply to have and make time for it. You’ll see in the coming weeks that I’ll be posting about the books I’m currently working on. I’ll be writing about the plans I have to market myself, and I’ll be adding news links to this blog.

Fernando is also talking about making me a real author website once he’s finished teaching himself HTML.

How cool would that be?

In the meantime, I think I’ll take Dobby the House Corgi out for a walk and work on some writing, some reading, and maybe do a bit of dabbling in photography. Because in the end, anything I do to learn how to market myself is better than nothing, right?

– RaeNez

P.S. My mood might be slightly buoyed by the fact I tried my hand at a Paleo recipe last night that turned out fabulously. I made DIY chocolate bars (similar to Hershey’s chocolate bars) from unsweetened cocoa, coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract, and (the best part!) sea salt.

Mouthwatering!! And, yes, I chopped them into bite-sizes, just like Hershey’s… I could get used to this. 🙂