Category: Necessities

2015 – Goals! Oh nooo!

Oh boy!

It’s ridiculous how long I’ve been working on this post… I started it weeks and weeks ago.. and then I completely forgot all about it lurking around in the drafts folder… until I suddenly went.. oh crap.. didn’t I..??? Yeah you guessed it, I suddenly remembered that I had not posted it after all. How the heck could I forget?

And here we are, almost done with February. And I still haven’t given you the update on how I did with my 2015 goals! 😳

How can I make it up to you? Well I guess I could just go ahead and give you that update!

Before I do, I have a teensy-weensy disclaimer!

2015 turned out quite differently than I had anticipated. As some of you know, I had to throw in the towel at work, June 2015 for health reasons. Following that particular decision, a few things happened during the fall, things that was completely outside of my control, which unfortunately, took a toll on my health.

I know, I know..  it’s a poor excuse…  But excuse or not, it is an explanation for why I completely flunked on some of my goals, as you will see below.

I did have quite few goals, and even though I flunked a lot,  I did accomplish one or two…

So here it is, my (ahem) “quick” update, starting with one of the ones I actually passed 🙂

FINANCIAL GOALS
My overall goal when it comes to my house mortgage, is to pay it down as quick as possible. Every January I pay a lump sum towards the mortgage (a quick explanation of my mortgage). My goal for 2015 was to to save up NOK 60 000,- for my lump sum in January 2016. And I did it. Actually I was a ahead of schedule and had saved my yearly down payment by October. With a little extra savings in November.

I did debate paying down more than my 60 000 this January, but I decided I’d rather invest that extra money in mutual funds, as the interest rate on my mortgage is really low.

With this last payment, I’m down to 1/4th left on my mortgage, only 9 years in 🙂 Do I get a woot, woot?

DECLUTTER
I had a bunch of declutter goals. Just as in 2014 I wanted to shed an item a day. In addition to that, I had a few other “projects” like reading myself out of my bookshelfwatching myself out of my movie collection, and (the big mother of projects) photos!

My declutter goals for 2015:

  • 😀 365 items 561 items out the door – the big purges are mentioned here, here and here
  • :-/ 100 Movies – 68 movies
  • 😦 Cut physical DVD series collection by 30% – I’ve only gotten rid of one series which probably amounts to all of 1%
  • :-/ 34 books – 27 (I ran into too many I wanted to keep)
  • 😦 Photo collection – I never had a proper goal on this as I have thousands of photos, and the idea was to – keep key photos as physical photos, scan the other ones I’d like to have access to, and get rid of the rest. – All I can say…. it IS on the list for 2016 (and 2017… and 2018… and…)


ONLY BUYING NECESSITIES

2014 was a year I focused a lot on only buying necessities ( I want, I want – I want it now!!!), and it served me so well that I continued in 2015. I had some non necessities allowances though;

  • 😀 Books – buy only 10 books/magazines – I bought 6 books (4 of them e-books), no magazines
  • 😀 Flowers and plants – same level of 2014 – I cut about 60% on 2014 results
  • 😦 Eating out – reduce 25% on 2014 results we have already established that this item is something we struggle with. So it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that we flunked this one completely. Here are the statistic:
    • we ate out 39% more times than 2014
    • average cost per meal was reduced 9,5% – resulting in
    • total cost for 2015 was increased with “only” 25,9% 

Even though the results are pretty bismol (with the exception of average cost per meal) there is one upside in it all.

You see, both B (my eating out partner in crime) and me stopped working early/mid 2015. B took out an early retirement + was hit by company downsizing, leaving the workforce early spring. And I, well I started the year working only 20% until I left completely in June, when I went out on 100% sick leave.

We have found out in the past, during holidays and such, that we eat out more when we are not working. In lieu of the fact that most of the year have been non working days, for us both, I’m actually surprised that we did not increase our cost by more than 25,9%. So yeah, we gotta look at the bright side of this 😉

  • ❓ I can buy up to 10 non essentials throughout the yearHmm lets see, I bought:

    • 2 lamps at an antique fair – the lamps are going over my dining table (been looking the last 5 years – finally found some I think might be cool.. as soon as I change the wiring 😉  )
    • 1 pair of shoes (needed a pair that can work as my one pair only for minimalist travel)
    • a few Lush products to test out deodorants and shampoos in solid form (travel)
    • a couple of eagle creek super light travel pouches (travel)
    • 6 pieces of clothing – 4 replacing worn out items, 1 item filling a hole in my wardrobe, and 1 just because I wanted it…
    • 1 frame for a poster (picture finally on the wall after years and years in a roll)
    • a set of omaggio vases

Depending on how you want to count these non essentials, it’s either a flunk or pass scenario. If you look at it from a “if every single item counts separately” then, yes I bought more that 10 items. But if “each purchase count as one” (eg lush, lamps, vases..) then I guess I kinda passed? You know what? I’m leaving it to you to decide 😉


ACTIVITY AND EXERCISE

The goal for 2015 was to build up to, by the end of the year: 7 days of activity a week, with 3 of these as real workouts.

Yeah, that didn’t happen (re my disclaimer) – I did pretty good during summer with an average of 6 times a week, but I took a crashing nosedive end of August, resulting in this goal going straight out the window for the rest of the year. So yeah.. a big, big fail 😦

OTHER ACTIVITIES/PROJECTS
As always, I enjoyed my garden as much as possible. In addition I had a few other projects.. mostly helping out family and friends with little things in the house.

I did however have a bit of a larger task, helping a friend who got a new house in 2015.  Picture this, a house built in 2000 with interiour like the 1970s! Yeah, non painted pine, red, orange and yucky cream/brown/puke coloured wall… and thats for starters. For her it became quite a renovation project.. so B and me tried to help out as much as my health would allow. You know things like; painting, drawing up the new kitchen, delivering doors to be spray painted, changing door handles, cutting moldings to fit new wardrobes, more painting, installing the wifi, hanging curtain rods, “create” (rather adjust) a couple of ikea kitchen units to fit the space… you know.. all the little things that comes up during move in and renovation 😉 It turned out to be a fun and very social summer as she had lot and lots of friends helping.. oh yeah.. and there was lots and lots of great food, do I need to say more 😉

All in all, it was a great summer season!

This concludes my “How did I do on my 2015 goals”!

About time, you might say! All I can say is.. Yeah, I know 😳

Starting with a bang!

Who knew that my new year would start with my fridge/freezer going belly up?

I suppose it is understandable that this particular item would throw in the towel eventually, as it’s probably somewhere in the neighbourhood of 15-17 year old.

I really liked my fridge/feezer (I spend a long time looking for the right one when I bought this) so I tried everything under the sun to find a solution to making it hang around a little longer.

It stopped turning itself off all together! The fridge was nice and cold inside, but the outside of the cabinet, was turning awfully hot. So I tried putting it on a timer, a timer that would turn it off for a while, and then on for a while, hoping this would help.

Unfortunately somewhere in the midst of that, I was stupid enough to turn the thermostat down a little from where it originally was, with the result of it no longer cooling properly. It didn’t help turning the thermostat back up, so I figured that it obviously had to be broken.

Next I did was get a new thermostat, make sense right? Well guess what, after having spend a back breaking evening changing the thermostat on the darn thing (we had to just about take the fridge/freezer completely apart to do the swap) it turns out that it did not help 😦

No other choice but to go out and get a new one! With all the new stuff out there, you would think this would be a great opportunity to get one with all the bells and whistles… and I guess I could, if it hadn’t been for one tiny little issue!

I have a height restriction. You see, I store my microwave on top + one of the sensor for my house alarm sit’s in the corner above the microwave. So I’m limited on how high the cabinet can be, not only for me to be able to reach into the micro (I’m tall but not that tall 😉 ) but also for the alarm sensor to detect people moving around.

I could of course reorganize my kitchen to try to fit the microwave somewhere else, but I’m not really willing to do so, as I only have three options for what to do with it. End up with next to no counter space (which it’s small enough as it is), put it on my dining room table (not a good look) or get rid of the microwave all together (ehhh.. don’t think so).

So off to the store we went, hunting for a cabinet no more than 180cm tall. Turns out fridge/freezers have grown a bit since last time I bought one. They had some lovely cabinets, with great interior layouts, but guess what, they were at the smallest 190cm and that just won’t work.

After a couple of hectic days looking, I’m now the “proud” owner of a new fridge/freezer. I didn’t really ever find the “perfect” cabinet, but I’ve found one I think might work! It wasn’t too expensive, it covers most of my needs and it’s the perfect height.

Should I by any chance find that I can’t get used to the layout (turns out I can’t change the interiour around like I’d like to) it’s quite fortunate that the store have a 30 day return policy 😉 I’m hoping it won’t come that that, as the only other cabinet I kinda like is waaay expensive, a tiny bit noisier, have quite a bit smaller freezer, but is slightly more energy efficient!!

For now at least, my new fridge/freezer it’s sitting in my kitchen and I’m hoping it will grow on me 😉

The old one? They took it with them when the new was delivered, and to date it’s my my biggest item out-the-door!

One fridge/freezer out, one fridge/freezer in! I suppose that is one way to start the new year 😉

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December in a nutshell!

It’s time to get the 2015 stuff out of the way, and first installment in that, is me letting you know how the month of December went!

December was a busy month, as it was filled with treatments, pre Christmas dinners, trip to UK and Christmas off course.

Oh yeah, and my blog turned two on December 16th 🙂 I can’t believe it’s been two years already. The cool thing is that a few of my fellow bloggers started their blogs just around the same time as me, and we are still in touch 😉

OK, now back to the monthly sum-up!

Activities and exercise
I didn’t do much better in December than in November 😦 The first half of December I was still smack in the middle of way too many treatments, until I decided (or rather my body did) that I had enough, and I stopped just about everything a few days before I went to UK. I desperately needed a “time out”! There is actually such a thing as too much!

With the exceptions of a few walks here and there, the normal hustle before Christmas, and dog walking in UK, I didn’t do much.   

Declutter
I’m happy to say that on the declutter front, something did happen 🙂 I never got rid of my Dark Angel series as planned, but a bunch of other stuff went out during my version of the Minsgame.

69 items clothing & stuff + 79 CD’s + 80 items in a post Christmas purge = 228 items out-the-door!

Only buying necessities
Eating out – As I told you last month, I have given up! We are way too good at the eating out game! Christmas hustle + a trip to UK, did not help.

I’m curious to see how we did overall, compared to last year…  but that’s next posts problem.

Buying non essentials – Well, it was Christmas time after all, and even through I tried really hard to only get the stuff I needed for gifts, I ended up with some of leftover pieces, like a couple of cups I ended up not using for gifts after all and a couple of Christmas cards I was going to bring with me to UK that I forgot :-/

Beside little things like that, the only thing other thing was a HDMI cable for my computer, which makes it possible to connect it to a TV. I needed it to show my mum a video I had come across, a video from when she was in her late teens. So I guess it really was a necessity after all 😉

I bought some plants for decorations, 3 amaryllis, not the normal ones, but double ones and a new type I had never seen before.. really cool… I’m hoping I can make the bulbs survive for next year, they were that cool 🙂

Oh yeah, and I got 3 books! I bought a e-book for my trip, and on my way back from UK, I found a good deal on two books from one of my favourite authors, that I just couldn’t pass up 😉

Garden
I mentioned last month, that I never really got to pack up my garden due to poor weather. It never cleared up enough for me to dry off my garden furniture, so the solution was to bring the furniture inside. Which is where they are still residing, waiting for me to get my act together. The weather forecast this week is cold and clear, so hopefully I can bring them back outside and get them all covered up nicely.

Sad thing! I never got my tulip bulbs into the ground before I left for UK, and now the ground is too cold 😦 Maybe I should find a big pot or something, so that at least I might have a chance for tulips come spring… we’ll see.

Well, that’s it for my December sum-up!

Next? Well, that would probably be how I did overall on my 2015 goals, so stay tuned 😉

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November in a nutshell!

Oh my gosh, it’s almost like I can’t believe it, I’m actually managing to get my monthly sum-up out there on a proper date. Who knew it would take me this long to “catch up” 😉

Well, I wouldn’t quite believe that if I were you, I’m not really caught up, as you will see in future posts to come.

But let me get back to my November sum-up!

Activities and exercise
I’m still in the middle of my somewhat intensive treatment program (average 2,5 times a week), add a cold/flu to that and I have done zilch zippidy duda when it comes to being out and about 😦 

The one thing I have been doing, is the extremely strenuous sofa sitting, tv watching activity. And let me tell you, that stuff will wear you out 😉

Declutter
So you are wondering did anything make it out of the house this month, besides heaps and heaps of snotty tissues? Nope! I’m afraid not!

My decluttering efforts this month pretty much consisted of the aforementioned TV series watching. Unfortunately my Dark Angel marathon resulted in the series kinda growing on me (again), and I’m wondering if maybe I should rip the series to my computer, before I get rid of the DVD’s..?  Which means, yes, you’ve guessed it, that the series aren’t making it out of the house quite yet 😦

But hey, today is December 1’st and hopefully I will have the series riped in time to leave the house before Christmas 😉

Only buying necessities
Eating out – I think I have given up on this completely. I might as well just realize that if there is one thing we will always be good at, it’s eating out 😉

Buying non essentials – For some reason it seems like it’s fleece buying time these days. Last month I got one I can use for a more dressed up occasion. This time I got a bright blue regular one, to replace a sweater that is about to fall to pieces.

Financial goals
Let’s see… I got paid some stock dividends this month, I believe I will put those towards my yearly mortgage payment in January, which should bring my mortgage down even quicker than originally planned 😉

Garden
We have had our first frost which absolutely killed off all my hydrangea and other plants that was still blooming and I just hate how sad my garden is looking right now 😦 Unfortunately due to the weather being totally bismol, I have not been able to “pack away” my garden for the winter.

I’m hoping for a clear day or two so I at least can cover my furniture, remove dead plants and get some bulbs into the ground. Looking at the weather forecast doesn’t give me high hopes for that happening anytime soon though… but here is to hoping 🙂

That’s it! Not very exciting I know… guess it’s like that, this time a year!

 

October in a nutshell!

Last month I promised I would do better at getting the monthly sum-up out in a timely matter. I’m not exactly doing stellar at that promise, but at least we are not quite half way into the month like I was last time 😉

Activities and exercise
I’ve started a new treatment in addition to the osteopath treatments I’m already doing. It’s been a bit busy with an average of close to 2 treatments a week (hopefully that will slow down soon). Some of the treatments wear me out a bit, and don’t leave me much energy for regular activities and exercise. Which means I’m still squeaking by, at an average of only 1,5 times a week. 

As my current schedule will continue a while longer, I think my yearly goal of average of 6 times a week by the end of the year, will be a big fail. Next year maybe?

Declutter
Weirdly enough, a couple of items did make it out-the-door in October. But I never posted about them. So here it is, my decluttering effort of October;

  • 1 Logitech computer speaker set
  • 7 plastic compression bags
  • 2 Natural Cotton/PEVA Storage Bags
  • 1 grey storage bag
  • 1 Tigger cup

That’s 12 items out-the-door, pictured below.

Still not much I know, but hey.. one item here, one item there.. it still racks up.

I will, I will get a few more items out-the-door in November… I’m sure 😉

Only buying necessities
Eating out – We are back to our usual poor performance 😦 Yep! You heard me right. We are back to eating out, a lot! I’m sure that doesn’t come as a big surprise now, does it!

My fault entirely, and I “blame” it all on the treatments (gotta blame it on something, right?) as I’m worn out afterwards and just want an easy meal.

I’m sure.. that will change when I get into a more regular treatment schedule again… Well… I can hope, can’t I 😉

Buying non essentials – I’ve been looking for a nice looking “fleeze”/indoor jacket for quite some time, and I finally found a black one I like.  As I quite often do, I ended up having to buy from the men’s department, the woman’s versions just don’t seem to have long enough arms .. go figure? But it will explain why the link is to the men’s department 😉

Financial goals
I’m still putting away every cent I can towards my yearly down payment, and I’m happy to announce that I’m already there and then some, 2 months early 🙂

Projects
No projects this month. My friend (who moved this summer) is working away at sewing stuff for some christmas markets that are coming up, which means that any of the leftover tasks in her house have been put on hold until the markets are over.

That’s it for October sum-up.

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September in a nutshell!

It seems I keep dropping the ball on my monthly sum ups, here we are already more than half way into the month of October before you get an update from me 😦

But you know what they say, better late than never… right? So here goes!

Activities and exercise
Having been ill for a long time, and me now being on a 100% sick leave from my company, I ran into a major bump late august (company related), that unfortunately have taken a toll on my health.  

So my happy average of 6 times a week (that I had during summer) took a crashing nosedive during the month of September, to where I think I just about squeaked by to an average of about 1,5 a week 😦 

Declutter
My decluttering is slowly… sloooooowly picking up again, not quite as much as I hoped, but still, there are a few things that have gone out the door.

I cleaned up some of my medication, and said goodbye to my old vacuum machine. In addition there are a couple of other things that went out the door, that I completely forgot to take take pictures of or even write about. Not really anything big, just some junk, a flowerpot or two, some pieces of clothing ++

Together with the medication and vacuum cleaner, it racked up to about 23 items out-the-door.

Not a lot, but hey.. I’m on my way again 😉

Only buying necessities

I think I’ll change this up a little. Earlier I used to list all my allowance categories, regardless if I bought anything or not. The next months I’m changing that to just mention the categories I’ve spend money in.

Eating out – As most of you know, we seem to struggle with this category month in and month out, so I’m sure it will come as a big surprise (it sure surprised me) that we did “fairly” well during the month of September. we “only” ate out 5 times 🙂 Big shocker, I know!

Now if we can only keep this up for October, we might still have a shot at the overall yearly goal (when it comes to money spent, not the amount of times eaten out.. because that one, we have already failed miserably at).

Buying non essentials – as most years, Christmas sure came early this year too! I think it’s crazy how the businesses start Christmas three months before the real thing. I mean, no wonder people are sick of christmas by the time Christmas actually rolls by.

IKEA tends to be one of the first ones out, and they started to roll out their wrapping papers, ribbons and tree decorations late September. All their good stuff seems to disappear in no time, so if you actually want some, you have to hustle. So guess what 😉

Yep, I got some. I got wrapping paper, ribbons, and a couple of really cool tags (picture below). This time around I went for paper that wasn’t all that typical christmassy. Which means I can use most of it, all year round, for anything that needs to be wrapped. How very “frugal” of me 😉

Financial goals
Interest rates are going down like crazy, which is wonderful for my mortgage, but suck even worse for any money I have in the bank.

I’m thinking, that it’s probably time to “do something”, as the money I have in the bank, won’t be generating much interest after they reduce the rate again, December 1’st.

I haven’t decided yet, between making another extra down payment (like I did in March), or maybe stocks or mutual funds. Hmm, maybe a little of both is the smart way to go. I’ll let you know, when I figure it out 😉

Projects
Well… projects, just like activity, kinda went out the window, except as always I did get to enjoy my garden a little.

Oh yeah, and my stepmom got a small Cinderella Classic Incineration toilet for her allotment cabin. If I ever make or buy an tiny house, this is the system for me, as they have an RV version that doesn’t take a lot of space. Now to the exciting part! Guess who had to install it? Yep, you’ve guessed it 😉

B and me spent a few hours one afternoon. It involved a hole in the roof, some pipes and a few new composite shingles, and then we were done.

There are still a few of bits and bobs left to do at my friends house (the one that recently moved), but we had to put some of that on hold in September. But hey, there are still a few days left of October, so we might have a shot at getting it done this month 😉

Well, I guess that’s it, not much else to tell ya. Better get this out, while there is still a few days left of this month, because before you know it, it will be time for the October update… which, by the way, I promise to be a bit more timely with 🙂

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August (and July) in a nutshell!

I’ve done it again! I fumbled the month of July, and here we are, at August’s sum-up. So, once again you will get two months in one post 😉

We’ve had some great days here lately, and as always I’ve been enjoying the heck out of my garden. I’ve also been spending a few days here and there helping a couple of friends with a few things.

So let’s get to it, how am I doing with my goals!

Activities and exercise
My focus is still just being out and about, more than exercise on it’s own. And between picking currants, and other berries. Spending time on my step-mums allotment, planting some plants, tinkering around in my own garden, helping a friend in her new house, walking the streets of London and the streets of my own town, I’m sticking to my average of 6 days a week. 

I’m sure I’ll get into some proper workouts at some stage, it’s just not my focus right now as I’m having enough on my plate with me leaving work, and I’ve had a need to do fun things to keep my mind off it all.

Declutter
I’m still pretty much doing nothing about my declutter tasks. As far as I remember, nothing went out during July, and August only wielded 3 pots leaving the house, when I potted my neighbor’s plants.  Items out-the-door = 3

So what will September bring? It looks like things might be picking up, I’m slowly but surely getting into decluttering again. Not a lot yet.. but I think I might finally be on the roll again (maybe) 😉

Only buying necessities

  • Books – nope, none – which is great for my wallet, and I’m not filling my bookshelves either.
  • Eating out – July we had our trip to England, so we did a bit of eating out during the trip. The rest of that month we didn’t do to bad as we spent a bit of time with a friend of mine, grilling and cooking at her place. The later part of August we are back to really bad, but I’m hoping September will be a better month, as we need to get back into cocking for ourselves.
  • Flowers and plants – 6,  3 tiny small orchids, 3 outdoor plants, two for me and one for my neighbour
  • Buying non essentials – I have to admit I did spend a few pounds in London. So what damage did I do?
    – 1 pair of ecco shoes, 2 bra’s and a couple of Eagle creek packing cubes.
    So why are they non essentials? Well.. I do have plenty of shoes, but I wanted a pair that are good travel shoes and at the same time looks good enough, with nice clothing, so that when I travel, I can get away with this one pair only. My old travel pair, are so worn out that they no longer look good. The bra’s I get at Victoria Secret, and since they don’t have a shop in Norway, and since I’m not traveling to US this year, I figured I should grab a couple, even though I strictly don’t need them… yet! And the packing cubes? I definitely didn’t’ need as I have a bunch from before. It’s just that the new ones are the super, super light type and use next to no space in my luggage.. so I went ahead and got some…

Financial goals
Nothing new really, except, I have been able to save a little extra towards my next mortgage down payment, as I received some stock dividends in August. The money went straight to my saving account 😉  And my interest reduction finally came into play, saving me another few dollars a month on my monthly interest payments… Every little thing counts towards getting that mortgage paid off, and interest saved, is just more money towards that yearly lump sum. How am I doing on that particular goal? Pretty Ok I must say, as I’m a couple of months ahead of schedule 🙂

Projects
As I mention at the top, I’ve been enjoying the garden (as always)!

And I have been working on fixing a couple of areas on my outer garden wall, that had some loose stone. It’s a fiddly process, removing the loose stone, removing the gravel behind, put concrete in the hole and stuff the stone back in. It’s not big stone, so it’s not heavy work, but I have to sit wrapped up as a pretzel doing it (it’s a low garden wall) and my hip only want’s to sit in this position for a very short time. So.. you might say it’s a project in progress… I’m hoping I will get it done this year, but if it spills over to next summer, that’s ok.. the garden wall isn’t going anywhere 😉

What else… hmmm..  I have a friend that moved into a new house a few weeks back, and we (B and me) have been helping her out with a few things, like hanging up stuff on the wall, changing handles on the doors, cutting a piece of molding to fit a cabinet she wanted put in, putting new feet on a piece of furniture.. you know the drill.. all the little things, that is part of moving to a new place 🙂

Guess that is it for August and June!

PS. Tonight is my friends move in party… so if you don’t hear from me for a couple of days.. you know why 😉

June in a nutshell and a garden update!

I’m still playing a bit of the catch up game, getting my posts aligned with the month I’m in, so I’m apologizing up front for the fact that there are two monthly sum ups, right after each other.

This time around I thought I would change it up a little, since I am after all catching up 😉

The garden in a nutshell 

I mentioned in my last post, that the plants have been having a hard time this year, figuring out if they really want to bloom or not, and I’m happy to say that June brought some life to them and they finally decided around the middle/end of June that it was time to pop some colour 🙂 The pictures are from June 23rd.


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And would you believe it – it took until June 28th, before my first rose sprung!

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Now, I don’t mind it being a late bloomer 🙂 As I’m greeted by a heavenly smell every time I open my front door.

Activities, exercise and projects
Now, there is that! Since I told my office the bad news early June, I’ve been out and about as much as possible, to keep my mind off it all. Between walks, mowing my neighbours stamp sized lawn, potting plants, mixing mulch, working in the garden, helping a friend shop for IKEA wardrobe and kitchen items, painting a tiny window frame and mowing the lawn at my step-mums allotment, throw in some more walks, and hanging out a lot with friends, I averaged 6 days a week on my activity scale. This time around none of them were proper workouts, as my focus was just being out.

So what about the normal stuff?

Declutter
I’ve done nil, zilch, zip! Yes I know, me bad, I just didn’t have it in me.

Will I do better in July? Hmm, I don’t think so, it is not looking good so far 😦

Only buying necessities
Back on schedule – except as you see from the allowances below, I still struggle a bit with the eating out!

  • Books – nope
  • Eating out – we are back to old habits, probably because I have been out a lot, and we did just as bad as during May.
  • Flowers and plants – none
  • Buying non essentials – yes – a thin packable down jacket, perfect for those chilly spring/summer mornings. I have been looking for a jacked like this for a very long time. And now I found it, so….

Financial goals
Nothing to report.

I guess this is it for the June monthly sum-up! Not very exciting I know, I’m sure things will “pick up” again, soon 😉

Oh yes, I forgot to tell you, I will be going to England next week (for a short week). It’s been more than a year since last time, and it’s time! I’ll be visiting my mum for a few days first, before I ramble up to London to hang out with my brother for a day or two. This time around it’s his birthday, and there is no doubt, we gotta celebrate 😉

See you soon…

May (and April) in a nutshell!

I’m thinking it’s time I get back on the bandwagon, and what better way, than to give you my monthly sum up of April and May – hopefully before it turns out to be April, May and JUNE… 😉

We have had a glimpse of spring on and off during April and May, nothing to really shout about, but at least it’s given us the Norwegians the occasional chance to be outside (unless one really wanted to bundle up in all ones winter clothes). The poor plants have had a hard time figuring out if they really wanted to bloom or not, so everything have been kinda late this year.

April and May in a nutshell!

Declutter
During late March, April and May I did my pseudo packing party, that wielded 194 items out-the-door

Not quite the number I originally was hoping for, but anything is better than nothing.. right? 😉

Activity and exercise
Let me see:

April – averaged 3,75 times a week on activities and about 5 of them was what I would consider a proper workout – even though they were garden and walk related

May – brought out the Skikes and Rollerblades, and had a few trips to see if my body could handle it. Did go better than I expected – that was until I fell and sprained my thumb/hand badly 😦 Oh well.. it was worth a try..  My average on activities in May was the same as April, 3,75 with 5 of them as proper workouts. I am progressing towards my goal for the year… slowly, very slowly.

Only buying necessities
I’m almost on schedule. Mostly food, but as you can see from my allowances below, I splurged a little!

  • Books – still none (I think I’m doing pretty good so far this year)
  • Eating out – Since we have been doing poorly the other months, I decided to be ruthless and the deal was that we were only going to eat out once during the month of April. Now, we didn’t quite managed that (why would I even think so?) We ate out 3 times. For us, this is actually not bad at all.. but I still think we flunked! May is typically a eating out month, as we have our independence day, and there are a lot of other official holiday days. So we are back to bad again.. 8 times this month.. hmmm
  • Flowers and plants – a couple of purchases – it is after all supposed to be spring/summer, even though the weather don’t agree
  • Buying non essentials – yes:
    I bought a picture frame at IKEA, for a poster I bought a long time ago, I have just never gotten it on the wall. I thought it was time.
    And I bought myself a set of bright green Omaggio vases. I know.. not very prudent of me (me decluttering and all), but I really wanted a splash of colour in my house, and I have drooled over these for the longest time.. so I splurged 😉

Other financial goals
Mortgage: No changes, I’m staying put on my current level and only pay interest every month. Good thing is, I just received a note about a 0,20% interest reduction, that will apply from August, which will lower my monthly interest payment even more…

Other activities/projects this year
No specific projects during April and May. I’m sure it won’t be long before one or two pops up though 🙂

Well, that is it, until next time… sometime in July 🙂

Throwing in the towel! A letter…

Dear Minimalist Sometimes and friends!

Yeah, I know… I know I’ve been completely out of touch lately. I bet you’ve been wondering if I dropped of the face of the earth, considering my spotty writing performance lately. Well, I’m still here 🙂

I’m really sorry I’ve been out of touch, but there is a reason.. I’m not saying it’s necessarily a “good” reason (even though I think so), but there is a reason nonetheless! Anyhow, there has been stuff going on that have occupied my mind a lot, and unfortunately there haven’t been much “energy” left over for the fun things like hanging out with the blogging community.

You see, a little while back, I had to make a decision, a decision that will affect the rest of my life!

Yeah I know, that sounds really dramatic, don’t it? I guess it’s not really that dramatic (in the big picture of things), but to me it’s been major!

Let me get you up to speed!

Remember I wrote last year about taking a couple of months hiatus from work, for health reasons? And how that two months turned into 6 months before I started back up at work January this year? I told about starting slow, first 10%, then 20% from about mid February, and how my plan was to continue to step it up to 30, 40, 50…

But….

Not so much, I’m afraid…  A few weeks back, my plan took a nosedive, straight into the ground.

Let me tell you a little non related story: When I was about 17 or 18, I was out biking, in shorts, since the weather was great. I was going down a long hill, picking up speed, not a care in the world, because I was having a great day. At the bottom of the hill there was a steep turn that I just flew through, not realising there was a bunch of gravel on the ground and that I really, really should have slowed down! Next thing I knew, I slammed into the ground and skid so hard that by the time my body stopped sliding, I had gravel in places I don’t want to mention 😉 And I think I remember not having much skin left on my left side either. Let me just say, I was not a pretty sight, by the time I finally managed to pick myself off the ground 😉

A few weeks back, I mentally slammed into the ground, just like I physically did on that bike, years back. It all happened, when we (my doctors and me), or rather I, realized that my health was not quite where we had hoped and wanted it to be.

“Realizing” this is one thing, making the decisions that naturally would follow such realization, is a whole other ball game, trust me!

It’s been 5 years since this “story” started. During these years, while I’ve been working (any % between full and nil you can imagine) I have done all sorts of “weird and wonderful” treatment, to try to get healthy enough to get back to 100% work. I really focused on treatments during my hiatus last year, in hope that a break and extensive treatments would work out.

I’ve been so focused on getting back to work,  that I have never really stopped to think about if getting back to work, really was the best thing for me, health wise.

Work is and have always been a really important part of my life (I live and breath for it). I love my job, and I love hanging out with my colleagues. And having to make a decision that will have such a permanent affect on my current life, and not to mention the rest of my life, has not been an easy thing to do.

But, I’ve decided to throw in the towel when it comes to work! So that I can focus/use what energy I DO have on getting my health as good as I possibly can, and maybe have a little extra left over for me.

It seems like (I have found, during my conversations these last weeks), that what I have finally figured out (yeah, I’m a bit slow on the uptake), my doctors, specialist and even my representative at NAV (Norwegian Labour and welfare administration) seem to have figured out a while back. But since I’m the ever optimist, and have had such a drive to get back to work, they have not pushed their conclusions, they have waited for me to figure it out on my own.

It’s been 3 weeks since my meeting with HR, my boss, the company health department and the union, where I told them, that my doctors and I had concluded, that I needed to go back to 100% sick leave, and that I would apply for disability pension.

Just like I’m quite shocked that this would be the result, I think they got a bit surprised as well, especially since I’ve been so optimistic that I would beat this illness and get back to work.

It’s taken me days to write this letter/post (not to mention weeks) as I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around that this would be the end result after 5 years of struggle.

I’m under no circumstances stopping treatments and focusing on getting healthy, it’s the work part of my life I’ve decided I’m leaving behind.

And it’s tough! I still get a bit teary-eyed, thinking about it. I’ve worked for my company for 32 years and it’s going to be hard to leave.

So, what now?

For now, while I’m waiting for the results of my application (which might take a few months). I will continue to focus on my health with treatments, workouts and rest.

And hopefully, if the weather holds, you’ll find me in the garden – we all know, how I love tinkering around out there 🙂 And knowing me, since I’m a bit of a restless soul, I’m sure a small “project” or two will pop out of the woodwork at some stage  – I get awfully “creative” when I have a little time on my hands 😉

And later?

I don’t yet have all the answers on that, but I’m sure I’ll figure some things out in the months to come.

So stay tuned and I’ll let you know, as I find it out 😉

With love, Anne Lene