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Morning Routines for Dummies

I have an issue with creating a morning routine that meets all of the criteria I have for starting the day off right; there are too many things to do and too little time. Given my particular leanings, morning is the best time for me to accomplish several tasks, most of which are too time consuming to do all of them in the morning. This doesn’t even take into account a morning hygiene routine, which we’ll come back to later. These are the things I would like to do in the morning:

  • Bible study/prayer/worship
  • write
  • edits/revisions
  • critique chapters for my critique partners
  • finish reading books to review
  • write reviews
  • Wrangle with writing synopses and query letters.
  • CLEAN
  • do laundry
  • exercise
  • use my crockpot to start dinner.
  • shower, brush my teeth, wash my face, fix my hair
  • fix or go get breakfast.
  • catch up on social media.
  • post to social media.
  • write blog posts.
  • work on improvements to my websites.
  • Look for cool things to bring to my blogs and sites.
  • Try to figure out how the heck to build my brand.
  • catch up on Netflix
  • light scented candle, put on classical music, and just exist for a few minutes
  • specialty beauty things–eyebrows, home mani/pedis, shaving my legs, facial masks, washing drying and styling my hair, any beauty treatment that is less frequent than daily.
  • Wake up my brain with word scramble.

I have two hours in the morning to get everything done except getting showered and dressed, which I leave about half an hour to forty-five minutes for (I’m not a fussy girl, apparently). I’m sure you can imagine how getting into any of the above tasks can bleed over into my getting dressed time, especially if I’m in a groove. There’s just not enough morning in my days.

I know you’re probably thinking I could shove some of these things into the evening, and I always have plans to accomplish so much when I get home. But when I get home, I am exhausted both from the early start and the hard day at work. Depending on the time of the month, I am drowning in invoices and reports. The last thing I want to do is come home and take laundry to the laundry center (it might be different if there was a washer and dryer in the apartment) or wash a sink full of dishes. I have much more energy in the morning.

So how does one solve this dilemma? If I could spend a few days just cleaning everything in sight and catching up on all of the things I need to do, I could do one or two things each morning going forward. At the moment, however, there’s just an overwhelming amount of things to do. I tried doing one cleaning thing, one writing thing, and bible study each day, but the area would be during again before I had another area finished, and the critiques would be due and it’d be time to swap more chapters, so I had to drop everything and do that, then I needed to… I can’t seem to get any traction.

The short version of this post: I am incapable of doing all the things I am better at tackling in the morning in the two and a half hours I have before work and I need suggestions on how to start making inroads into it. Seriously. I really want to get serious about this morning routine, but right now I am all over the place. Help!!

XOXO,

Erica

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Cheat Sheets

Good News!

I have finally realized a mini-goal of mine: I now write reviews for Harlequin romance novels via the website Harlequin Junkie (I will be creating a tab for you to see where else I am writing around the web soon!) I have completed my first two reviews and have been given EIGHT NEW BOOKS to review, not to mention the ones I have to finish up for Net Galley. In consequence, reading and reviewing have taken over my calendar…my still non-existent calendar that is supposed to track everything I have to do. Anyway…

I’ve developed a cute little cheat sheet to help me get my reviews done quickly and easily. My cheat Sheet has the book title, author, main characters, supporting characters, important physical details, first impressions, what’s keeping them apart, how they finally come together, and etc. so that I don’t have to try and find the basic information in the Kindle copy. I have found this invaluable in my reviewing. I’m thinking it might be even more valuable in my life.

Passing Tests with Cheat Sheets

In the story of my life, there are going to be obstacles in the way when I am trying to achieve goals or just be happy. I have seen most of them before, or at least know they are there. I know what things I will have to overcome for me and my ultimate dream to “be together.” I think that most people don’t write things like this down because they don’t want to be negative or visualize negative things, but I think that if I write down what needs to be overcome, it will get me thinking about a plan of attack, a way to get past those obstacles. In other words, I need a game plan.

In school, I had quite a few classes where we were allowed to make cheat sheets. A cheat sheet allowed you to compile the most important information in a condensed format so that you might be able to pass the test. A cheat sheet was easier than trying to search entire chapters for an answer to a specific question. The best thing about a cheat sheet was that you got to decide what went on it. You could put more information on it to help you out in the areas in which you were weaker.

Are You Sensing a Theme Here?

No matter which cheat sheet we are referring to, they both serve the same purpose: to quickly assess the information needed to answer the questions at hand.  As I looked at my cheat sheets for my reviews, I realized that I can anticipate what obstacles in my life will need to be overcome just as well as I could those of the characters in the books I read. If I can identify the things I need to overcome, I can also begin developing a cheat sheet with information on how to overcome that specific obstacle. So it’s time to start working on my first cheat sheet for life.

TO BE CONTINUED…

In Other News…

I’ve noticed a lot of things have been affecting those close to me. I’m seeing a lot of hurting in those around me. I haven’t been reaching out as much to people because I’ve been wrapped on in my own things, but I HAVE to make time to get back to that. There have been a few major trends going around in my circles lately: death, illness, financial hardships, divorce/marital issues, and unemployment. In an effort to be more mindful of this, I am going to pray a prayer at least once a day for other people, and I would love it if you joined me. I will be keeping my eyes open each day and look for those in my circle who need prayer so that I can pray for them specifically. If you want to join me, try and find at least five people to pray for and get to know specifics about what they need. Maybe what they need is something you can provide to them physically or emotionally, but even if it isn’t, offer up prayer for them.

Be blessed,

Erica

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Confessions of a Pantser

My desk calendar for this month. Notice anything strange??
My desk calendar for this month. Notice anything strange??

This week, I’ve made great strides in getting things done with the book, as I shared in my last entry. Through the development of my routine the last few days, I’ve noticed something that I’d forgotten about myself: I thrive on routine, To-Do lists, and deadlines. I am NOT a born procrastinator.

For the past few years, I’ve attempted to be someone who just goes with the flow, someone who  is flexible and deals well with change, when in reality, I’m so far from that! I’ve been floundering living without a real schedule. My apartment has gotten out of hand, my bill paying system is no longer effective, the way I approach my daily schedule is haphazard, and I’m starting to become one of those late people that annoy me so much. The worse thing is that everything has built up to the point that all of my manic “just get in there and get something done” machinations don’t seem to make a dent in the things I need to do.

Looking at the desk calendar pictured above, you may notice that nothing is written in after yesterday’s date when this picture was taken. That’s because I don’t update it until I get to work the next morning. This is not an accurate account of what I have to do, but what I have done, mainly for my Monthly Wrap Up posts.  I have several ideas for this site written down on post it notes and index cards floating around in my all purpose Zeta bag. I have outlines for different parts of the book stashed in different notebooks and folders. My life is a disorganized mess right now, and every positive change I try to make seems to get derailed by my lack of organization. So I’ve decided to take back my time and sanity by organizing my face in.

INEBIGTDIA

Anyone who is familiar with any of my sites knows what INEBIGTDIA means. For those of you who are new to my world, INEBIGTDIA stands for “I’m not excited, but I’m going to do it anyway.” Some things just have to be done to preserve sanity, get things accomplished, or improve your life. Since I have an official deadline for the book, I need a plan to finish it. Since I’m tired of living like a pig, running late, and being stressed out from the time I open my eyes until I go to sleep, I need to bring some order to my life.

He's got a lot on his mind.
He’s got a lot on his mind.

The fact that it’s so daunting only underlines the necessity of getting started now. The only issue is figuring out how to get started. INEBIGTDIA tasks have to be started immediately or I know I won’t get to it. So what could I do immediately to bring some order to my life? Well, it’s not just what I can start doing, but also what I can stop doing.

STOP: Ignoring My Calendar(s)

I have several calendars and calendar apps that I could be utilizing to keep me on schedule and up to date on what I’m supposed to be doing. At work, I have an outlook calendar that could send me reminders to do things. I actually do have a few reminders set up for my payday and a few of my bills, but not much else. I have the desk calendar that I only update after the fact. I have a calendar app and a reminder app on my cell phone. I have to do lists that go on my refrigerator. All of these tools at my disposal, yet none of them being utilized to get myself organized and on task. It’s time for me to begin to implement a more structured schedule until some things become habit.

Some of the things that I will need to put on the calendar will seem silly or old-lady-who-forgets-things-ish, but this isn’t for anyone else to see. It may seem silly to schedule shower time at night or have an alarm tell me to go to sleep, but if in the end it leads to clearer skin, healthier digestive system, a cleaner house and less late fees, I am all end. Besides, I’ve been silly and uncomfortable for free; at least this will have benefits.

START: Making My Lists and Checking Them Twice

There’s something very freeing about writing a to do list and checking items off of said list. It triggers my brain to release those “I’ve accomplished something” feel good chemicals that make hard work worth it. It also means I don’t have a list of “I Meant To-Dos” a mile long for this site, Net Galley reviews, writing projects, and menial tasks like grocery shopping and getting gas that come back to bite you in the butt when you keep putting them off.

So how do I start to get things done? I am starting by making some lists, setting some alerts, and getting to work. I have started an editorial calendar for this site and will be filling in post topics, recurring features, and other sparkly things. I am writing down my internal to do lists, keeping a separate folder for each major project. To keep everything straight, I am adding it to my iPhone’s calendar feature and setting up reminders. I will post my daily to do list to the refrigerator for personal things and on my desk the night before for work related tasks. I will keep a list of when things like eggs, milk, bread, and my Brita filter expire. I will create a list of planned meals so that I can grocery shop accordingly. I am going to slowly but surely organize my life.

I know that a few to do lists and calendar alerts aren’t going to help if I don’t actually do the activities written therein. I am going to bask in this first step towards creating my best life.

Progress

I have been drinking more water all month, thanks to the Brita filter and my CK jug. I have written on a regular schedule as well. I have written two potentially life-changing emails, started researching a major project to pitch to some potential collaborators, and spent more regular time doing morning devotions. I have come up with my outline, table of contents and title for my book, and I have options for cover designers. I have an accountability partner for getting healthy and another for getting the book published. Last but not least, I finally watched and sent back my Netflix and received some new ones to watch while editing and writing today.

It’s Your Turn

  • What are you working on getting serious about?
  • What concrete steps are you taking towards accomplishing your goal right now?
  • Tell us your progress so we can cheer with you!

XOXO,

DSCF1643

Erica

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Good News & Gripes

I’m sorry I left you with such a moody post. I promise this one has good news. I’ll end with that to leave on a more positive note. I’ll start with the bad, move into the INEBIGTDIA, and finish with the good/great. Ready?

The Bad

My great aunt passed away at the age of 67. This was one of the family matriarchs, a pillar if the family, and someone I was very close to, so it hits really hard, once I slowed down enough to let it sink in. I wasn’t able to attend the funeral, either, so I was a bit upset about that. My great aunt had a good life, loved her family, and was a woman of faith who could pass in peace, so I’m happy for that.

INEBIGTDIA

We had a nutritionist speak at work a few weeks ago. It was a great opportunity for me to get some guidance food-wise. I won a one on one consultation with her which included an evaluation. I had to get weighed and measured. I stood on the scale, endured the tape measuring of my bust, waist, hips, thigh, and calf, and had my body fat measured. Afterwards, I got to ask questions and receive advice. It was really eye opening and helpful.

I started couch to 5K so I will be able to run the 5K our company has a team for in April. I’m not sure if I’ll do we’ll, but my goal is just to do it…and to finish in 45 minutes, around a fifteen minute mile. I have no lofty notions where running is concerned. I am buying YogaWorks BodySlim and possibly another favorite yoga routine to get back on the mat. I’m not making any goals there, either, except to meet my mat at least a couple times a week.

The Good/Great

I bought a domain for my website! www.aseriousseason.com will be my website. Right now it’s a blog until I get the web hosting selected and work with MH to design the site, but I have completed step one. I will buy the hosting, if things go according to plan, next week, right after my birthday! I am so ready for this. I’ve found the brand I want to work under. I know what I want to do with it. It’s ready to roll out. Be sure to check out the blog and follow the blog’s twitter. @seasonserious.

The book stalled for a bit due to performance anxiety, but I am back on it. I bought printer paper ( I ran out right when I finally bought ink, smh) and I am listening to interviews to pull quotes. Details about the book will be on the site as soon as they are finalized.

What’s new with all of you?

XOXO

2blu2btru

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Sometimes You Feel Like A…

Have you ever gained a little bit of ground only to feel your foot sliding beneath you? Imagine carrying this heavy weight on your shoulders while going uphill and not being able to gain any traction. It’s precarious. It’s scary because you know that you can’t catch yourself. You’re flexing your hips, bending your knees, shifting every way you can think of that might keep you on your feet instead of on your back with that heavy weight coming down on top of you. Now imagine that you are in this same position with a Rottweiler racing towards you with his teeth bared. That’s close to how I feel right now.

I was going to title this entry “A Granny Panties kind of Day” when I thought about writing it yesterday, but that seemed kind of a TMI title (and it wasn’t Tuesday). The point of the title is that there are just some days when you want to be comfortable, supported, without anyone all up in your business. That’s what I call a granny panties kind of day. It’s not a boy shorts day where the bottom is just hanging out but the important bits are covered. It’s not a thong day where it covers only the really important things but still manages to be all up in your business. It’s not a string bikini day where everything’s covered but it’s all hanging by a thread. It’s a hi-cut, control top, only available in nude, black or white granny panties day. You’re just holding it all in, holding it all together as tightly as you can. Yes, that.

I feel the need to have a bit of melodrama at the moment. I went to clean out my car this morning, seeing it for the first time since the accident. It was a sight to behold. I wasn’t aware of how badly damaged it was. I knew that it was totaled because the airbags had deployed and various fluids were leaking, but I had no idea that it looked that bad. Seeing the airbags, front end damage, and buckling on the side, it just makes me grateful my car is not made of plastic. Seriously. Someone at my church told me a story about being involved in a business where they had to stick a promotional magnet on the side of their cars. Another person she knew said their magnet kept sliding down because the doors weren’t actually metal. o_O Anyway, the other person’s insurance company will be taking my car today or tomorrow to their own facility while they determine liability and etc. We will see how long this takes to sort itself out.

Looking at my car, along with the gratitude I felt that my injuries weren’t worse and that my car held up well, I felt…disappointed. I had finally gained a small foothold on the financial mountain, a little bit of black in a blood red financial ledger, and I slipped. No, not slipped. I was pushed right off the side. Worse, I was pushed off on step one. You see, there was a well-developed plan in my head for finally securing a few things and moving forward. Step one: pay off car. Step Two: open a savings account and begin to save money for the future. Step Three: Meet w/ director of paralegal studies and map out a plan to be able to sit for the paralegal exam (ensuring work development/better opportunities). Step Four: Finish my book, and then begin focusing on my fiction works in production. Step Five: REALLY get this married or single thing nailed down. Take some time apart or whatever we have to do. I mean, I thought we had dealt with this already, but since it still wasn’t crystal clear…

That was the plan. But we know what happens to our plans. I am not surprised by this. I acknowledge that it could be worse. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck right now. It’s still not fair that someone out celebrating a birthday with booze derailed what took me months, even years to line up. It’s really irritating, then, when people won’t let me have my moment. If you know me, you know that I love planning. Organization is my thing. I like to know what the plan is for going forward. I am not shy about asking for advice when I need/want it. I’m an optimistic person who naturally looks on the bright side; however, when there is no plan immediately at hand, let me have my moment. I don’t ask for advice while having my moment; I ask for some support and comfort. I don’t want a solution. I don’t need thong love; I want granny panty love. Is that too hard to understand? I’ll be back to boy shorts, thongs and the like eventually.

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Fear of Dependency

One of the interesting things that came up in my second session with the counselor was the subject of dependency. We were discussing how someone could take my optimism or “idealism” (I hate that word…makes me sound in the clouds) and infer things about me that they find negative or “offensive.”  She understood (without my saying) that by leading with the positive, it allows me to calm myself and get back in the moment  in a way that I can figure out what needs to be done without the panic or anxiety. It’s perspective. Then she said that someone else can see it as not dealing with the situation at hand (I’ve had that argument before), which leads them to think that they would have to look out for me and make sure that things get done. This would be off-putting to someone as it may make them feel as if I would be dependent upon them.

I had two reactions to this, one positive and one negative. The positive reaction (which was the first one), was understanding. Oh! Now I get why MensHealth may have such an issue with me being an optimist (which made no sense to me before). I can see how someone would have a problem with optimism if they saw it as a precursor to dependency. No one likes a clingy, dependent person. Yes. I get it. The second reaction was “wait; so you think I’m dependent?!” No sir and no ma’am. Mama 2blu 2btru didn’t raise a dependent! You better recognize!

Let me share something with all of you in blogland; I am a very self-sufficient person. I pay my own bills like any self-respecting adult person. I make goals for myself and strive to reach them. I haven’t lived at home or accepted assistance in a long time. In fact, part of the reason I’ve been through so many things is because the last resort for me is to ask for help. I’ve been taught since I was little that I could do it, that I would have to do it. So for someone to even the hint that what I envision when someone says “dependent” should apply to me was just…

I see myself as a help meet. I would be able to be supportive of someone else, to add to any relationship that I am in. I strive to have symbiotic relationships, in which both people are helping each other. I don’t want anyone to see me as dependent any more than I want to seem independent. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around someone thinking that my looking on the bright side in unfortunate situations first is a red flag that I may become dependent upon them.

I’m still processing all of this and what I think about it, but I’m interested to know what you all think about it. What is your definition of “dependent”? What are red flag behaviors of a dependent person to you? Do you like the cling? How do you feel about us “head in the clouds” optimist types?

XOXO

2blu2btru

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INEBIGTDIA: Starting the Month Off On Faith

Some things have really been lining up for me in the last few weeks. I had been dabbling in working on my book off and on as I’ve been feeling the return of my zealousness for my Christian walk, but a few weekends ago,  I really broke through. I sat and began to write on an idea I had at work, and the writing just flowed.

A couple months ago, I asked my minister for some help on the book, and he gave me the number of another minister who wrote for a Christian publication and who may have some tips for me and help me get published. I hadn’t called him, but I finally began to think about calling since I had taken up really writing on the project again. It turns out, he is leading our revival at church this week, so I had the opportunity to meet him in person and ask him about it.

It should have made me very excited to be able to meet him face to face and take the beginning steps on the road to publication. This seemed to be confirmation that I was on the right track with the timing of everything, but I am hopelessly shy and I hate introducing myself. I’m not a good networker at all. It’s my least crafted skill. I’m almost never excited to introduce myself to new people or speak in front of them, and during the course of the past week, I’ve had to do both, again.

Yesterday was the first of August and the second to last day that this person would be in town, so I knew it was time to act. I was thinking about how the beginning of the month was a great time to start working towards something, a great time to do something different. If I am ever to get published, I will have to do a lot of pitching and networking both before publication and after. I need to sharpen those skills. Even if this opportunity didn’t work out, at some point I was going to have to get out there and get used to talking about it.

So, yesterday I had another INEBIGTDIA* moment. I went to shake the minister’s hand and told him that I was told he would be a good person to help me move towards publication with my book. That was easy enough. Then he asked me what my book was about. Uhhhh….

You all know I know what it’s about. I have written on it a lot in my blogs, but standing there in front of someone trying to explain it for the first time was more difficult than I thought. After a deep breath, I managed to get our the general gist of the book–who it was for and what it was about–in an inelegant fashion. He said it was a good topic and he looked forward to hearing from me and working with me on it. Yes!

There are so many opportunities that we pass by each day because we’re too hindered by our own fear or perception of how we will be received when we try to take advantage of that opportunity. If God has placed something in your heart to do, all things will work together for that to happen. Even if this person was too busy or wasn’t interested in my idea, at least I would have had practice in sharing it with someone else and be more prepared when the next opportunity arose. I’m making this month one in which I more fully embrace INEBIGTDIA. I hope you will, too. It’s a rewarding and forward progressing step on the way to major growth and opportunity.

XOXO

2blu2btru

*INEBIGTDIA- I’m not excited, but I’m going to do it anyway.

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Admitting Defeat

This week, I’ve been given more responsibilities at work in addition to what I already had to do, responsibilities that take a lot of my time. I should have said a long time ago that I wouldn’t be able to do any more, or even needed a task or two taken away, but I have an ego/ fear problem. I’m a competitive person. As long as the other coordinators weren’t complaining and could still keep up, I wasn’t going to complain, either. Never mind the fact that we all do different things and I can’t measure my work against theirs; I should be able to be superwoman. Add to this the fact that I am frightened to death of being fired (even after being with the company over three years), and you have a perfect cocktail for getting overworked in silence.

I finally was able to let my boss know I needed to bow out of a few non-essential tasks, and asked for some things I need to organize myself. I hated having to admit that I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with demand, but better that than to under perform. So I am on the road to becoming acclimated with the changes at work.

There are a lot of changes on the horizon in my life, and I must admit that I hate change. I must also admit that change is inevitable and will continue to happen. I can decide to spend precious time grumbling and fighting the inevitable, or I can learn to move with the changes. There is a season for everything and things are always coming into full bloom and having their moment; I have to embrace this season of change and let it grow me.

I’m experience a personality shift. The mainstays of my personality have been solidified by the trials and tribulations of the past few years, but now I’m experiencing circumstances that are refining my character. There is always room to grow. Anything that isn’t growing is dead, and I’m not dead, so I have to grow.

Time to go to work.

2blu2btru

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Things to Do When You’re Not Social Networking

My name is ***, and I’m a social network-aholic. It’s been six days since my last tweet, facebook post, and google reader check. You may be wondering what I’ve been up to and how I’ve been fairing. You may even be wondering what I’m learning from all of this.

For one thing, I’m learning to do things with my time other than check social networking sites. I went to the gym yesterday and the day before to try new classes like I planned to do. I have written on my memoir and watched movies. I have read most of my library books. I have been a lot more productive than usual.

I’m also finding that while my opportunities to compare myself with other people have been reduced significantly, there are still plenty of opportunities for comparison. I saw two people I work with while I was at the gym yesterday–both very skinny ladies with no stomachs. Neither was in class with me, but I had the urge to compare. I shrugged it aside.

The gym is a place so ripe for comparisons to be made. It is a place where competitiveness is tacitly encouraged. From what kind of workout gear someone is wearing to how good their form is, there’s always something to evaluate. Being in this competitive environment, you would think that I would be struggling more with comparisons. But I have been in classes where I have to focus on myself and push myself. I have to get out of my own way. Even if all I can focus on is what hurts or what jiggles, I’m working on keeping the focus on me.

That’s not to say it’s all been sunshine and puppies. I’m trying to break the habits of years here; a few days is a drop in the bucket. I still have to override my natural tendency to negative thinking and comparison. But I’m working on it, not just wishing it would be different.

I’m making a to be read list of books I want to read. I am making headway on my fitness initiatives. I am writing again. I occasionally want to check and see what is happening with other people, and I want to post about all the things I’m able to notice now that I’m not so busy comparing myself to others, but I feel like a Vivian Green song:

I like it, but I don’t need it. ‘Cause I like it don’t mean I need it.

What I’m learning from all of this is that my own journey is pretty interesting, at least to me. There are things I can actually do to move forward if I take the time to do them. I don’t have to do the same old things every single day and wish for something to happen to change my life. I can do it, a little at a time.

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One Year later…

In my infinite wisdom, I’ve decided it would be rather fun to write a letter to myself to be read a year from now in honor of my birthday. I did this my junior year of high school and read the letter my senior year, and it was interesting how my perspective had shifted. It was even more interesting to see what did and didn’t come true, what was important enough to include in the letter, and my overall outlook on life then. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to share with you the fun letter. The more serious letter will be scheduled for my birthday next year, to be read then.

Dear 2blu,

This is your barely 27 year old self talking. Eery, isn’t it? It’s like a voice from the grave. How many people can say they’ve heard a word from the past that was directed at them? Anyway, thanks to our penchant for writing and prolific nature, you get to read and get all caught up on 9-26 any time you want to; just open a journal or a browser, and there they are in all their glory. You may have read about that missive that 17 wrote to 18 back in the day. As anal as we/you are, you probably have it somewhere. 26 thought it would be fun to do that again, and she was supposed to do it yesterday, but she was too busy planning her own funeral and setting things in order, so she asked me to do it. See? Already, we are more timely with me at the helm. Now, the purpose of this letter isn’t to leave you with fond memories of me, but to provide you with a self-evaluation tool before you “eat the big one” “push up daisies”–you get the picture…and for me to be nosy from a distance.

Am I married? Please tell me I’m married. I always wanted to be married. I mean, I know I’m only seven hours old, but that’s long enough to know you’re own mind, right? Was it a big wedding? Did I get to keep my color scheme and touches? What was the first dance song? Planning a wedding would be so much easier without a husband, wouldn’t it? Oh, no, you didn’t miss anything; at the time of this writing, I’m not engaged, but 26 wanted to have a vision of her day (she’s probably the only 26 who didn’t have a vision, despite all of those wedding shows) in case she was proposed to, so she didn’t have to plan for a year and a half before FINALLY marrying. She liked to think of herself as organized. Ha!

How does my hair look? 26 left me with awful hair my first day. I’m hoping to leave you looking better than 26 left me. It’s not completely her fault; she left me better than 25 left her, even lost a few pounds. 26 was pretty awesome, all told. Jumpstarting our career, getting involved in the community, finding her voice and asserting herself–everything but taking care of herself (and, by extension, us). Hopefully, I at least had something done to my hair before you came to be. The goal is to lose a few pounds, of course, but we’ll see how that goes. Eat better, yada yada yada.

Hopefully, I’m a published and well respected author when I die. That’s been the goal of everyone from, like, 8 through to me. Everyone has had their challenges and setbacks, but really? How long does it take to write a few books? Everyone was a good writer (with me being the best, obviously). Seriously, I may not get to the promised land with you, but I plan on leaving you a finished book to shop around at the very least. I like to pull my weight in this life, you understand?

I suppose I should try to say something profound, or give you some real markers to judge my success and guide you in the future. As a co-worker likes to say, I want to “memorialize” my plans for the future, and give you some advice.

  1. We have to take better care of this body. It’s the only one we’ve got, and when I got it, it looked a little worse for wear. It will be harder for you, and each succeeding year, so I’m starting on doing that now. You’re welcome.
  2. Make time for us. Hello! If 2blu isn’t taken care of, who will be here to take care of all she takes care of? I’m definitely doing more yoga, more cooking, more running, more stress relieving/feel good activities than 26 did. I want to save the world, too, but charity starts at home. Remember that.
  3. I will write that book. Point blank period.
  4. I want to have sex. What? I will do it the right way, in the bonds of marriage. If I don’t make it there, have lots of sex for me. No body issues, either. I don’t want to die from trying to hold my stomach in, or be thinking about the cottage cheese on my thighs. A woman has to feel sexy at some point in her life.
  5. Take a more earnest heed to the things you were taught, lest at any time you should let them slip. Don’t neglect so great a salvation…you (should) know all these scriptures. Keep God first no matter what. Married, single, single indeed. I plan on having a much more personal relationship with God than 26, and you should strive to beat me.
  6. I won’t die if I’m not married…well, I’m going to die anyway a year from now, but you know what I mean. We won’t die if this romantic relationship doesn’t work out the way we want it to. I mean, you know what 26 said, don’t you? She kind of screwed it up for us.
  7. I have no real friends. Ok, that’s an exaggeration. I have a few real friends. That’s fine. I won’t be as big of a doormat as 26. I won’t maintain those toxic relationships. Hopefully I make you a lot of quality friends…not all of them online this time though. Every girl should have some friends she can pinch so she knows it’s real.
  8. I’m going to be the big girl and do a lot of the INEBIGTDIA stuff. You’re welcome.
  9. 26 got us to our first annual salary goal; I’m going for even more!
  10. I know I seem all about business, but I’m going to be a lot more fun than any of the others were. And by this time next year, you’ll find me casket sharp and put away nice.

Love,

27