moving

On the move.

For the past year or so, prior to being engaged, Erik and I have been talking about moving. We started out mentioning in passing, like oh wouldn’t it be nice to live closer to that downtown area? Then we actually made a deadline for ourselves to start looking – which was before the holidays – and now, we’re actually set to move!

Originally, we wanted to be in an apartment near this cute little up-and-coming downtown area by where I work, somewhere completely walkable. There were a few options, but because they were also located near a train station and the major nearby highways, the prices were too much for too little space. After casting our net out a little further, we found the perfect place that’s only slightly more expensive while giving us some major upgrades. And – bonus! – it’s still closer to work for me and even a little closer to my brother and my parents.

Moving is always a little bittersweet – not only did Erik and I move two years ago, but we also moved his parents out of the house that Erik and his sister spent most of their childhood in. (We moved my brother, too, but that was mostly just bat-shit insane and not at all emotional.) I’m so excited about my new apartment, but there will be some things I really miss here.

What I’m going to miss from this apartment…

Having unlimited parking spots
We have friends over a lot and where we’re currently located, we can have however many cars we want and can park wherever. In our new place, this won’t be the case – we’ll have two spots for us, but all guests have to park on the side streets.

Being in a garden apartment complex
I was always in love with the idea of a garden apartment, with an outdoor entrance and a back patio. Walking out your front door like you’re walking out of a house has always felt more normal to me than walking out into a hallway – that’s probably the suburbanite in me. And the patio? That is the thing I’ll miss the absolute most. Even if I didn’t always sit outside, the sliding doors created the illusion of more space and it was so great to throw the door open and let in the fresh air in the warmer months.

Proximity to McDonalds
Okay, so for the sake of my health it’s probably better that I don’t have a fast-food restaurant walking distance from where I live. But man, I’ll miss that convenience. (Especially because it was 24-hours!)

What I WON’T miss…

Crappy neighbors
We had trouble with our upstairs neighbors pretty much since we moved in. There were a couple of minor confrontations in the first few months (over very foolish, unimportant things) and now there’s just passive-aggressive noise-making. I know I can’t be promised better neighbors in my next place, but I’m glad to be away from the people upstairs.

Having to go outside to do laundry
One of the trade-offs of a garden apartment (at least the ones we looked at) is the dreaded laundry room. Never mind the fact that it costs me $4 per load ($2 for the washer, $2 for the dryer), but the rooms are kind of gross and only have two of each machine. It’s no fun to do in the winter, or when it’s Saturday and everyone is doing laundry and I have to make the trek across the property to find an open machine.

Crappy bathroom and kitchen fixtures
Our appliances and fixtures are functional and were pretty clean when we moved in, so I can’t complain too much. But oh, the new apartment has brand-new EVERYTHING and I cannot wait. It has double vanities. It has an ADDITIONAL HALF BATH. It has in-unit laundry AND a dishwasher AND a separate tub and shower stall. I never thought I would care that much, but guess what guys, I do.

The worst part of moving is uprooting your home. I feel the same anticipatory excitement as I did moving out of my parents’ house, but I also feel that same wistful twinge of sadness with leaving someplace behind. This was my first home with Erik, and it’ll be tough to leave. But like I said, the new place is pretty gorgeous so, I don’t think I’ll have too much of a tough time with it.

What’s your must-have for a living space, whether you have it already or you dream about having it? What’s your favorite part about where you live right now?

About Me · Goals

Step by step.

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When I was growing up, I loved all things that involved following instructions. I was the girl who got Lego sets and, after carefully organizing the pieces into piles based on color, size, and shape, would follow the instructions step-by-step. There was no desire to use my imagination – I was satisfied by having a completed structure that mimicked the one on the box.

I got a lot of craft kits as a kid, but again, they involved little creativity. My jam was ANYTHING color-by-number, whether that be coloring books, those plastic stained-glass sun catchers, or my favorite (and I hope someone else knows what I’m talking about): the paper sand art where you peeled each section to reveal a sticky background and covered it with the appropriate shade of sand. Man, I wonder if I can still get those at Michaels?

This also explains my adoration of baking and my general disinterest in cooking. (“Flavor to taste” is not a unit of measurement, thank you very much.)

In my adulthood (HAHA, what’s that?), I have found this to be an issue for the simple fact that life doesn’t come with instructions. Many of the responsibilities that we undertake as adults – budgeting, grocery shopping, wedding planning, etc. – don’t come with any guidelines. Sure, you can ask Google for the answers, but that isn’t always straightforward.

Same thing goes for goal-setting. See, if someone gave me a list of things I had to do along with how to do them, I’d be totally set. But coming up with that list myself? It’s a struggle.

This means my goals are usually not task-based. They’re abstract: drink more water, exercise more, read more, get on a better schedule. I don’t follow a budget, I just do my best to avoid impulse shopping and don’t buy things unless they’re absolutely necessary. Theoretically, I know I have to carve out time and create a schedule to complete these things… but I don’t. Because I have little practice in being creative, even when “being creative” means drafting a daily timeline of activities.

So, when you ask me what my goals are this year, this is my big one: make an attempt to organize my life. This means sitting down and physically writing in my planner what time to go to bed, what time to wake up, when to stop eating at night, and dedicating certain days or certain hours of the day to specific activities. In addition to that, I have a couple of actionable goals, some measured and some not:

  • Reading one book a month (my Goodreads goal is 15 books, because I’m ambitious and hope to read two books in three of those months)
  • Blogging once a week
  • Exercising daily, even if it’s just a little bit
  • Bring lunch to work whenever possible and cut down on Dunkin and Starbucks trips
  • Stop! Impulse! Shopping!

If I can force myself to sit and come up with a super detailed plan, as silly as that sounds, it might actually help me feel a little more in control of my life.

Do you love following instructions or do you approach everything with creativity?

About Me · Goals

Learning to be present.

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I’m a planner by nature.

Planning for and anticipating an event is part of the fun for me. Figuring out what outfit I’ll wear, what nail polish to pick (and always, stupidly, apply ten minutes before leaving), and what food to make are fun. Writing to-do lists and having a schedule of tasks leading up to an event help me channel my anxious energy. Always having something to do next lets me go on autopilot and never stop moving. Having an empty weekend, except the part where I get to sleep forever, makes me uncomfortable.

The problem I have is the lack of being present. I’m always thinking, what’s next? Right now I’m thinking of the ten things I have to do before bedtime, what I have to bring to my parents’ house tomorrow after work, and stressing about all of the unplanned details for my birthday party on Saturday. I’m not ‘here’ right now, mentally, and so I’m never relaxed until I fall asleep at night.

I do this at work, too. Our company went through a lot of changes this summer and there is always something to do, so I just go go go until the clock strikes 5:30. Usually I break for lunch, sometimes I don’t. Today I had to force myself to stop and make a cup of coffee at 2pm.

Being still is not my strength. Being still means the opportunity to actually think and process and feel things. Being busy numbs me from that, from the anxiety and the uncontrollable overthinking that pulls apart every insecurity and gives me fifty ways I’m a screwed up human. But that also seeps into the good things that I try to enjoy fully, but can’t. I won’t let myself sit and watch a movie with Erik, and sometimes it’s difficult to shut my brain off when I’m trying to enjoy the company of my friends. If you’re doing something to drown out the bad – something that is taking your focus away from reality – then it’s going to affect the good, too.

Born from all of that is my word for 2017, a word that I always brushed off and never paid attention to: intentional. Yeah, okay, I need to be more intentional. I need to “be here now,” blah blah blah. I always overlooked this word that’s everywhere. Until this year, when I was working on Holiday Council work, and it kept coming out of my pen in almost every prompt.

This year I will do my best to be intentional. To be present. To be here, now. Not in my head, not thinking about tomorrow or Saturday or next month’s calendar full of events. Not constantly hopping from one thing to the next thing to the next. Just where I am, right now, no matter where that happens to be.

Are you good at being present? Do you constantly think about the next things coming up on your agenda, or do you savor the moment? Any tips on staying in the moment?

About Me

Well hello there.

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Long time, no see!

For those who are new to this blog, my name is Cait and I have been blogging here at Finding Her Balance since around 2008. For those who know me, after not posting too much in the past two years, I decided to start fresh (same blog name, different platform) and give it another go.

A few personal tidbits about myself: I live in New Jersey, where I was born and raised, with my fiancé Erik. We’ve been together for 6 years, living together for just about 2 years, and engaged for 3 weeks. I work in the accounting department for a company that owns fast food franchises, which is crazier than you might expect. For fun, I like to bake, craft, binge-watch whatever’s on Food Network, and watch hockey with Erik. I’m on the verge of my 30th birthday (on January 8) and I’m looking to take a little more ownership of my life this year. More on that in a later post.

For those who are not new, you read that word ‘fiancé’ right: Erik and I got engaged just a few weeks before Christmas! We are still basking in the glow of excitement and not getting too bogged down in the planning process yet, but we’re prospectively looking at May 2018. In addition to that, we are planning on moving into another apartment when our lease is up in April, even though the prospect of moving and then planning a wedding this year makes me want to break out in hives. But, better to move this year instead of waiting until next year, as next year it would mean moving mere months before we’re looking to get married.

Upcoming posts will include wedding planning details, daily life recaps, goal-setting and self growth, and any other ideas that pop into my brain. I’m hoping to channel more of my creativity this year, so perhaps I’ll have some DIY posts on things I create. I hope you’ll stick around and see!

And now a request – say ‘hi’ in the comments and tell me something fun about yourself! Examples: your latest accomplishment, big or small; your favorite TV show; a quirky personality trait or habit that you have.

Miscellaneous

Coming soon.

If you happen to stumble on this page, well, I’m glad someone is still checking on findingherbalance.com. (I sure wasn’t, heh.)

As you can see, I’m moving from Blogspot to WordPress and starting fresh, trying to write a new bio (my greatest weakness), and dusting off cobwebs for a more creative 2017.

Stay tuned.