life: this world we live in

I had a video for today, but too much has happened and I just can’t bear to make light of it. My heart is breaking in so many ways. I’m scared for my future, my friends, my family, my country, and I just can’t find a way to wrap my mind around it all. There is just so much that I can’t fathom. I don’t know how we’ll get out of it and I can’t see a bright future at the end.

My truth is this:

I grew up in public housing, in a single parent home. I was poor. Public television inspired me. I ate free school lunches. I completed an undergraduate degree because of grants, and a graduate degree because of an assistantship. I completed a second grad degree because of a subsidized federal loan. I worked my ass off for a future that is at risk because someone else’s elected official(s) does not value the work I do nor the people I come from.

And then there is the threat to our peace and our environment. I just don’t have the words.

life: headspace and budgets

Howdy y’all! So I’m in a weird headspace… literally. Feeling tired, wired, and spacey all at once. In short, I am a squirrel. Kind of manic, but lazy at the same time. Could be hormones, could be the weirdness that comes before a migraine… could be both (probably both). Anyhow, it’s going to be a week.

But back to real talk… I’ve been adulting. It’s been a while since I took a good, hard look at my finances and spending habits. I’ve gone through at least one raise and one rent hike, so it’s about time I take a good look at where my money is going. After several failed attempts at using a cash budget and an online tracker, I’ve decided to just keep a written log of my spending—keeping my receipts, tracking my purchases, and just reviewing where my $ is going at the end of the week, when I’ll pop it into a spreadsheet and tally up the amount. I tried tracking in my bullet journal, but that just didn’t work, so I’m using a dedicated notepad just for spending.

I’m fine when it comes to money, but I would like to scale back and take better control of my spending. Mostly impulse buys… and coffee. That’s kind of a problem, but one I hope to address by building better habits. We’ll see.

the view from Sunday: morning after and the hazy laze

I stayed out past my bedtime for the first time in a very long time. Seriously, I’m too old for this. Spent the morning finishing a chapter because I knew I would be drained by lunchtime. I was right.

True Confession time: I broke my Whole30. It’s the first time since the first time (er… words? it makes sense when you think about it), but it happened and it’s ok. Lady time struck hard and I just needed the carbs. All in moderation, but definitely the right choice. I felt better right away.

Here I am looking tired and stuffed full of rice
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I’ll get back to full Whole30 once the situation clears. For now, I need carbs. Rice and bread to be precise.

Kitty cats have lazed about and taken over, as per usual.

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In other accomplishments: did my nails (only minimal staining) and only spilled a splash of my fancy hair oil when I knocked it off the counter.

I have the clumsies.

the view from Sunday: naps with cats

I didn’t realize how tired I was until I passed out between the cats. What started as a quick nap, turned into a two-hour, dead-to-the-world snooze in full pretzel mode. The cats do not know how to share the wealth, the bed is theirs between the hours of 9-5 and they know it. So with my head wedged between my arm and Cat #1’s rear, I slept.

Which means no writing , no yoga, no walking, no cleaning, no nothing. Well, that’s not strictly true, I did do my groceries this morning, before the rest of the world was out and about on a Sunday. So that’s one thing off my list.

Yesterday, I woke up tired, but I dragged myself out of bed and kept going under the influence of tea and coffee. Today, it wasn’t happening. I’ll take it as a sign and rest. The writing will wait ’til tomorrow (I’m taking the day off for a doctor’s appointment), and the yoga will be sweet and easy.

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life: month in review

January felt busy… in more ways than one. It also felt strained and hectic, but that’s a post in itself. Just breathe, I tell myself. I am a pessimist at the best of times, I just need to breathe.

Anyhow, looking back, I accomplished a lot of things, and that’s something to celebrate after all the badness that threatened to bring me down.

  • I celebrated my ninth anniversary and took a mini-break to join in my friend’s wedding.
  • There were dates, and lots of them. Just time to get away from the daily grind.
  • I cut my hair.
  • Finished 25 of the 31 days of Yoga Revolution (will make up the missing days this week, and complete day 31 tonight).
  • Balanced festive eating with paleo-ish eating, which was good.
  • Read a few books:
    • Air & Light & Time & Space by Helen Sword (on academic writing, pre-pub)
    • Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal (Regency fantasy goodness)
    • Polish your Poise with Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott (for the inspo)
    • Demon’s Curse by Alexa Egan (for the mystery, fantasy, sexiness)
  • And rewrote/revised/edited a total of 14,770 words as of this morning.

Here’s hoping for better days.

How was your January?

life: new year, new outlook

2017

My goal is to stay positive and live fully in 2017 (and in the years to come). I’m not entirely optimistic about the state of the government and such, but I’m cautiously hopeful and pragmatic—I can’t fix everything, but I can fix the little things and be open and aware.

I’ve filmed a couple of videos for January 🙂 so there’s some newness to look forward to, but I’m keeping it simple with the goals for 2017.

  • Reread some old favorites (yep, there’ll be a video on that)
  • Feed my yoga practice
  • Walk more
  • Write consistently (and survive the mess in between)
  • Practice food freedom
  • Save for travels

That’s it. See you around for the ride 🙂

video: thoughts on goals and 2016

I only just realized it’s Friday (!). Where has the time gone? My days are a blur; I’ve been off all week. Been writing, cleaning, and mentally preparing for the feasting and gifting. Can’t wait to hand out all the presents and finally clear the corner in my bedroom where they’re piled.

This may be the last video for the year… or maybe not… all depends on how things turn out. If it’s not, see you next Friday. If it is, see you next year 🙂

life: on not feeling the spirit

I’m having a hard time getting into the holiday spirit this year. For lots of reasons. It’s been a rough year—rougher than some, not as rough as others, but in this moment, I’m just not feeling it. It’s been pretty hard to put on a smile for folks at work, especially with the usual party madness. I’m not a party person to begin with; I don’t seek out situations wherein I need to expend energy to make people think I’m excited. I’m also not a religious person; the “true” meaning of the holiday season doesn’t really do it for me. I follow the traditions because they’re traditions, and I grew up within the faith (more or less), so I guess Christmas is as close as it gets. As of this moment, I have next to no decorations, and no desire to spend more money augmenting the few winter-themed items on display in my living space.

I have a jar forest, a snow garland, and a pine cone tree I made years ago . That’s as good as it’s going to get.

I don't do 🌲 so I made this instead. Winter in a jar 😉

A post shared by Gricel (@emperatrixx) on

Tomorrow, I’ll put on a brave face and try not to wear myself out with the effort.

life: 2016 recap, life changes

The time has come for yearly recaps!

I already went over the good things that happened this year (let’s not speak of the bad again), but today I wanted to talk about the changes I’ve made; these include health, life, and wellness in general, but also little changes, like taking the time to play with the cats every night, or just learning to enjoy the moment.

This year, I completed 3 Whole30s (I’m in reintroduction mode right now). I’ve never followed a health plan, and I have my doubts about some of the methods out there, but the Whole30 just made sense at a time when I was feeling adrift with my health (see my original post, video, and initial reintro). I love the program. It works for me and it helps me reset when I’m not feeling my best. I am currently reading Melissa Hartwig’s Food Freedom Forever and it just makes me feel all kinds of YES!

I started journaling on a regular basis (stay tuned for a journaling update this Friday). Just taking the time to reflect on my day has improved my mental state when dealing with stress (and there has been a lot of that this year).

I dove head-first into minimalism as a serious lifestyle goal. I became intrigued by the idea of the KonMari method when looking to help my mom with her own excess, but I fell in love with the idea of a light, joyful lifestyle that relies on conscious consumerism and intentional living.

These are the big ones, and I look forward to sharing my progress into the new year.