What Does Someday Look Like?


what does someday look like

There have been a few people tell me that I shouldn’t talk in terms of ‘someday’. That I should have a more measurable time period. Yah, that’s nice and all, but the reality of it is that I, as well as many others, say that we’ll do something someday. That ambiguous time in the future known not as today or tomorrow or next week or next month or even five years from now, but as the elusive someday.

Experts talk about being concrete and measurable when setting goals. ‘Someday’ surely does not make the cut as either concrete or measurable. So why ‘someday’? Why not something more concrete and measurable?

Well, the truth is that sometimes we want to be vague so that we don’t really have to commit to doing something. It’s the fine art of procrastination. And someday is its mistress.

Someday is a moving target that can only be defined in the same way obscenity is defined by the courts. I’ll know it when I see it! That’s pretty vague, isn’t it? I’ll know it when I see it. Talk about commitment phobic!

I come from a family of doers. My grandparents planned extensive trips, not for someday, but for set times. Retirement wasn’t some day in the future. Both my grandmother and grandfather knew when they were going to retire. They planned it and discussed it and because my grandfather was ‘detail oriented’ he had it written down. And I wonder why I write all this stuff down? Hmmm.

When I would talk about going to college it was never a vague discussion, it was always very concrete as to when I would start and how long it would take. There was grad school to be had, so everything was planned with concrete and measurable objectives. Achievement was not subjective.

And so I’ve been thinking about all these ‘somedays’ I have. Not so much a bucket list but rather an extensive personal guidebook of things I want to do. Things I’ve not already done because I have allowed the elusive ‘someday’ to get in the way of me actually doing it.

It’s not as simple as writing out a date next to something to make your goal concrete. You want it to be achievable. Why set yourself up for failure. Sure you may want to take a fabulous vacation. But why attach December 31, 2011 as a randomly selected date when you know it’s not possible. Better to be realistic but further out into the future. Better to create the opportunity to succeed!

It’s going to take me awhile to put this into action. It’s a different way of thinking. Rather than just keep adding to a list of things I’ll get to eventually, taking a few things and purposefully working toward them will bring about the success and motivation to keep working toward those very big somedays.

What does your someday look like? Do you create dates or measurable criteria? I’d love to know how you figure out when your someday will actually be.

Sara

Looking Back. Looking Forward.

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photo credit: Mattu76

Birthdays are often a time to reflect. And also look forward. To what the next year might bring. As a mom, it’s often a time to wax nostalgic about what it was like before your child was born. And the birth and those first few weeks. It seems like a blurr, yet some days it’s like looking into the clear ice of one of those fancy ice sculptures.

Today BabyGirl is 8. So much has happened. The days of sleeplessness are still part of life as I try to get everything done each day. The joy of snuggling with her can make any challenging day wash away. The giggles. The laughter. The VERY. LOUD. Singing! It all comes together on days like today to be all mushy and sentimental.

She’ll rip open the cards and move on to the gifts. She’s 8, she’s excited. But she’ll want to call the person if they’re not there to thank them right away. She has no special requests. When I asked her what she wanted she just told me that she wants to go back to the Boudin Bakery in San Francisco and take the factory tour. Maybe go to Alcatraz if we have time. That’s it. I’m sure she wants stuff, but she has so much and she knows it.

I think about how different she looks, acts, talks, dresses. She’s not a baby any more. But I tell her she’ll always be my baby. It’s something my mom always told me.

Her birthday though, isn’t just for her. It’s for me too. To realize how everything is always new. She’s my first and my only. There is no ‘do over’. It’s a learning experience for her as much as it is for me. And I look back so that I can figure out those things that I can do better. Because I’m sure there will be new stumbling blocks ahead.

I look forward to all the new things we can do because she is older. All the cool things we couldn’t do yet but are more easily within our reach. Some of the dreams she has for ‘when I’m older’ can become a reality. It’s her Someday list. A list I don’t want her to pull out in 30 years and wonder why things aren’t crossed off.

I think this year I’ll have her do a vision board. Not only would it be a fun project to work on together but I would like to see what she has planned for the next year so I can help her achieve it by providing her with the opportunities she needs. I would also like her to see that even grown ups do this too, so I’ll do one also. I foresee this year being her Year of Awesome too!

Sara

Thank you for voting for me for Balancing Act TV Top Blogger

I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who voted for me for Balancing Act TV Top Blogger. Voting has ended and it will be a few weeks before I know if I won. I appreciate your support and will let you know right away if I win.

I’ll announce it here and on Twitter. If you don’t yet subscribe to my blog in a reader, you can do that here.

Sara

Hiring A Handyman Shouldn’t Be This Difficult

Handyman's Work
photo credit: Orin Zebest

Why is it that when I’m finally ready to have work done at my house, no one shows up? People talk about the economy and people wanting to work and unemployment, blah, blah, blah. But here I am, with money to spend and no one is willing to do the work. How hard is it to call me back and say you’re ready to work? I mean, really, you’ve already been to my house to give me an estimate. I’ve got money to give you! I might need to call Gustavo if this keeps up. Sure he lives nowhere near me, but maybe he’d show up.

I guess that’s the world of the handyman (sexist and gender specific, yes because I’ve never met a handywoman yet). Maybe they’re in high demand and I don’t have my pulse on that industry. I get it if they’re busy or if a job runs over time. But I’m willing to pay what they’ve quoted and yet they’re too busy to even call back and tell me to go take a hike.

Maybe I sound desperate when I call. I feel like I’m begging them to pick me and come fix up my house. It’s just a few things, I know that. But I can’t do them myself. If I could, you know these things would have been fixed long ago. But even I know my limitations. And, honestly, I’ve attempted to fix things myself only to either hurt myself or create a bigger mess.  If it’s out of my league, I’m willing to bring in the professionals.

Only, they’re not all that professional when it comes to business practices. Maybe I’m missing something. Maybe they know I’m ‘Saving For Someday’ and they’ll get around to me ‘someday’. I’m not going to be discouraged!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find more handyman services to come fix my house. But before I do, any suggestions? And if you happen to live in the Phoenix area and have a good handyman, who would be willing to actually show up and accept my money for a job well done, let me know.  I’m not desperate, but I’m serious!

Sara

Someday #4257 – Being on TV

When I was at BlogHer in August, I was interviewed by Beth Troutman, one of the fab hosts of Lifetime Television’s The Balancing Act. She was lovely and gracious and I had a great time.

I have been given an opportunity to appear on THE BALANCING ACT! But I need your help. I’m one of 20 bloggers vying for a spot on the show. This is a very new addition to my Someday List. I want to win so I can share with other women that Someday will come!

How can you help? Click VOTE FOR SARA HAWKINS to go to The Balancing Act site. Find me (Sara Hawkins) and vote! You can vote once each day through 10/31.

Please vote for me! I thank you from the bottom of my heart not only for voting for me but also for visiting and supporting my blog.

Sara

This is Paris

Photo Credit: Sara Hawkins

Every once in awhile BabyGirl will want me to read to her in bed before she goes to bed. It’s not all that unusual, except that within the past year she hasn’t wanted bedtime reading all that often. Her reasoning is that we read too slow. And, well, that’s probably true. She is a phenomenal reader and reading to her slowly must be excruciating for her.

Tonight was one of those nights, though, when she decided she wanted me to read to her. What book would she pick? Sometimes it’s a book about foxes or dolphins or elephants Bubbe sent from the Reader’s Digest series. For awhile this summer it was a book on the Solar System. But tonight was different.

We’re in transition, so to speak. CycleGuy is currently living in San Francisco due to his job. It’s not optimal but we’re making the best of it. BabyGirl is pretty understanding most of the time, although she really just wants to pack up and move to San Francisco because it’s cooler there. Really, I don’t blame her. If only it were that easy. To up and leave and move to your dream place.

Tonight, BabyGirl picked Miroslav Sasek’s This is Paris. It’s a cute book, originally published in 1959. The pictures are a bit primitive, and the writing quite basic. But BabyGirl loves this book. Not because it’s fabulous or amazing or anything like that. One reason, and one reason only. I get to tell her about when I visited each of the places mentioned.

She asks new questions each time. But also sometimes she’ll ask the same ones she asked last time. BabyGirl knows that moving to France is my Ultimate Someday. And she knows that it’s one of the vacations I’m currently saving for. And, she speaks French so she likes to correct me. And I oblige by using my worst French accent and completely mutilating the words just to allow her to correct and teach me each time. It makes her so happy! Me too!

Reading this book brings back a lot of memories that I get to share with her: zipping through the Louvre with CycleGuy, eating the best sandwiches from street vendors, fresh crepes from the cart, people watching and visiting the sites. I want to go back. I get impatient, but know that the experience I want to share with BabyGirl will require time. Not so much money, but time in France does require money. So, it’s both. Mostly time though.

France isn’t a country you rush through. Same with the book. I don’t rush. I read, I explain, I answer questions. I describe the people, the food, the places. And one day we’ll arrive and she’ll look around and know This Is Paris.

Where do you want to go? Do you have a place or places you want to take your spouse or kids?I have a long list of places, but France has always topped my list. What’s yours?

Sara

Changing My Ultimate Someday

I spent this past weekend among my people. Bloggers. Women bloggers, more particularly. There were a few men, but it’s called BlogHer for a reason. There were hugs, chatter, laughter, tears, learning, questions, pictures, dancing, and so much more. I felt full of life. I was connected and believed that anything I wanted to do could be done!

Hours before I was to leave New York City though, I sat with a group of women. As we sat on the floor in the foyer at the Hilton New York eminiscing, talking shop and introducing new friends, and trying to figure out who was going to JFK at what time and can we share a cab, I met Jessica who blogs at It’s Jessica’s Life.  Jessica is a 30-something woman who grew up in France. Did you read that? France! It was meant to be! Jessica was destined to be my new BFF (Best Friend from France), I guess that would really be BFFF then, right?

So, I meet Jessica. From France. And tell her about my Ultimate Someday — to live in France.  I was so excited to tell someone from France about my dream to live in France. And for the first time in my 40-something years I was told what probably is the truth that no one wanted to tell me because I’m too fragile of a flower to blow my petals off with such news as was delivered so matter-of-factly by my new BFFF. In one breath, Jessica told me that I shouldn’t live in France. That I can’t work there anyway. And she probably told me other stuff but I stopped listening. It’s kind of like that movie Jerry Maguire where the girl said ‘You had me at hello.” Only it wasn’t.

How am I supposed to move to France and live there if, well, I shouldn’t move to and live in France? Now, don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t mean or anything like that. Just matter of fact. And I love her for that. She was totally honest. No one else ever thought to be honest with me. To tell me the truth about unemployment and the employment system in France.

And while Jessica suggested I start working on my freelance career, I really wanted to tell her I planned on winning the lottery to fund this Ultimate Someday. Or, because winning the lottery isn’t really all that practical I’m actually trying to save so I can move to France.

Except, now I shouldn’t move to France. I must have looked devastated, so Jessica let me in on the secret to how I could still have my Ultimate Someday and probably experience it better while likely still having to work (she must have sensed my uber Type-A ness). Now, I can move to France. But not France, France. Like Paris, France or even the French Countryside. Unless things change, and we know how much things change in France, I’ll need to live in a town near the Swiss border.

That’s fine too. I think Jessica might really think I’m going to win the lottery. You know, Swiss bank accounts and everything. And when I win said lottery and move to Swiss France, not France France, my new BFFF Jessica can come visit me any time!

Would you come visit me too?

Sara

5 Ways for Making Someday Happen

So I’ve had this fancy blog for about 7 months now (thanks for stopping by!) and I’ve somewhat alluded to things on my Someday List. It seems like my list just keeps getting longer and longer as I think more about what I want and how I want my life to be. And the funny thing is that the things I add are more complex than those I put on my list back in my 20s.

Evidently, I was very materialistic back in the day. Yep, I admit it. I wanted stuff. S-T-U-F-F, stuff! Stupid stuff. Like a ring that had ball bearings so the little design would spin around. Dorky, I know. And, no, I never got the ring. Because by time I had save up the money I gained some sense. If you’re wondering what one of these motion rings looks like, you can check it out here.

And while I can probably tell you what I was thinking about that made me add something to my list, it doesn’t excuse the fact that I was in the full throes of the 80s and embracing my inner Gordon Gecko. Sure, it’s fine to have things on your Someday list. It’s not really a ‘bucket list’. But, c’mon, go for something classic there, Sara!

Which brings me to today. Here I am. I’m 40-something. And I see that I truly am responsible for making Someday happen. It’s about me taking the steps and wanting it more than just wishing for it. It’s easier to just look at the list and sigh, waiting for my lotto numbers to hit or for the planets to be aligned or for Dr. Phil to knock on my door and and tell me what I need is a program. I don’t need ‘a program’. I need me! I need to take active steps. So I’ve come up with 5 ways to help me make my Somedays happen and I want to share them with YOU!

5 Ways to Make Someday Happen

1. Don’t be afraid! – Stop telling yourself that you can’t do it. Stop worrying that you won’t get it perfect. As Nike says, ‘Just Do It.”

2. Make a Choice – You can’t do everything on the list at once. Focus! Hello ADD girl, back here! Look at me. Fo-cus! Whatever you really want to do NOW, choose that and make it happen. You can’t do everything, so don’t get caught doing nothing.

3. Stop playing it safe – Yes, it’s easier to stay with the status quo. Auto-pilot doesn’t require much thought or action. But it also doesn’t allow you to explore options to get where you want to be. You have to be willing to go out of your comfort zone. Sure, packing up and selling all your possessions is a shock to the system when you’re content living in the pleasant life that exists now. But sitting in your house for the next 20 years because it’s easier won’t magically bring your Someday to you.

4. Make a plan – It doesn’t have to be elaborate or perfect. The point is that you need to think about how you might make your someday happen. It’s not a recipe. It won’t be a failure if you don’t follow it to a T. It’s like looking in the fridge and pulling out 5 things and whipping up a dish. Sometimes it work, sometimes it doesn’t. And if it doesn’t work, you change the plan and order take out. But you’re not paralyzed just by opening the fridge.

5. Believe it can happen – It’s like that book The Secret. If you think you’ll make it happen then everything will start to fall in to place to make it happen. Don’t let yourself or others tell you it’s not possible.

I know you have things that you want to do ‘Someday’. It’s probably a huge list that keeps growing, too. Like mine. I hope you will think about these tips so you, too, can make your Someday a reality.  So, what’s on your Someday list?

Sara

What Is On Your Someday List?

List

What is your Someday?  Or, more precisely, what are your Somedays?

As a kid, I often talked about all the grandiose things that I would do someday.  Many of them were, in retrospect, absolutely ridiculous.  But no one ever told me it was impossible.  As a matter of fact my mom was my biggest encourager and always said that if I wanted something bad enough I’d figure out how to make it happen.  While I didn’t fully grasp what she meant until I was well into adulthood, I always knew that I had the ability to make it happen.

No matter how much I wished, I was never going to have a magic wand, a fairy godmother or kingly father willing to make my every dream come true.  I was going to have to figure it out on my own.  At this point my list of things that began with ‘Someday I …’ was very long, and, well, it still is – this girl has dreams!

A Someday list has stuff on it that you put off because you can’t afford it or don’t think you can spend the money on because there are other more pressing needs for your money.  These items are things that get pushed further and further away because other people and other obligations seems to come first.  But no longer!

So how am I going to make these Somedays into a reality?  How can you make your Someday(s) reality?

I’ve kept my list in my head all my life, well, since I was 7.  I didn’t write them down because I never wanted anyone to find it and make fun of my Someday list.  It does have some pretty goofy things on it.  I know that by writing things down you are more likely to hold yourself accountable to them and work toward them.  For so long I’ve ignored that important step because I didn’t want to look at a list that I never crossed anything off of.  I know now, though, that my dreams can only become reality if I actively take steps to make things happen.

The famous Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  I ask you to join me today in taking that first step to making your Someday a reality – write it down!  Make your list.  What is that thing, or things, you want to do Someday that you can’t do today because you do not have (think you do not have) the financial means?

Is it taking a family trip to Europe?  Retiring at 50?  Buying that name brand handbag?  Going back to school?  Whatever it is, I’m here to offer you ways to make your Someday a reality.  Before you even begin making the small changes in your daily life though, I ask that you write down your Someday(s).  You don’t have to share it with anyone or post it anywhere.  This is for you.  If you need your spouse or partner on board please share it with them.

I’m here to offer you ways to save today so you have the freedom tomorrow to turn your someday into reality.  What is your Someday?  What have you always dreamed of doing but have yet to achieve because you don’t yet have enough money?

I’ll start:  Someday I’m want to take my daughter to Washington D.C.

If you care to share your Someday, please leave a comment.  Take that first step today!

Sara

Saving For Someday: January Review

Calendar

Is it just me or do you think January flew by, too?  Now that February is upon us it’s time to take a look back at January and see how you did with your savings plan and what, if anything, needs adjusting.  Saving and planning requires frequent review to make sure what you are doing is working as planned.  If it’s not, then an evaluation is necessary.

There were some great sales and I was able to take advantage of them along with some coupons and stocked up on a few things.  I started using cash instead of my debit card and I was surprised at two things – (1) that I would get very odd looks by paying in cash and (2) that I felt so much better at the end of the week seeing cash in my wallet knowing I had made good purchasing decisions.

But back to the odd looks for a moment.  I guess actual money is an anomaly these days.  We live in a credit-friendly society where many places do not even ask for your ID or signature if your transaction is under $50.  I felt like I was blazing a trail when I handed over cash.  I even had a total stranger ask me why I paid for my groceries in cash.  She was concerned that I was carrying around a large amount of cash and that it would not be safe.  Well, maybe thieves don’t think people carry cash so they’ll leave me and my Washingtons alone!

Another thing I started this month was tracking my grocery and drug store purchases.  I always knew I was getting good deals, but now I know exactly how much I’ve saved.  And boy did I save!  I used $249.93 in manufacturer coupons and saved another $655 with in-store promotions, my loyalty card and store coupons.  I’m not quite patting myself on the back, but I think I did terrific.  Just knowing the numbers makes me want to do better next month.

What can I do better next month?  I did forget my coupons a few times so I need to create a system so that doesn’t happen again.  In just a few weeks, my coupon organizer is bulging open and so I will need to better organize and figure out something new so I can find the coupons more easily.  I did make a few stops to the local Fresh & Easy and they don’t take coupons.  While the prices were good, I wonder if I could have saved a few more dollars had I shopped somewhere that took coupons.

What am I proud of?  I spent more time trying to find organic food options and I succeeded while staying on budget.  Also, we eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies and even though January is not prime season there were some great sales and we always met our goal of at least 4 servings of fruits/veggies daily.  In my ongoing effort to control my wheat sensitivity we ate most of our meals at  home.  While I did pull out the pizza for CycleGuy and BabyGirl a few times, we did have fresh homemade meals that were balanced and healthy.

My overall monthly savings using coupons and sales was 54%.  There were many times I had over 80% savings, but because I do shop at Costco for most of our organic fruits and veggies there isn’t a savings factor there because I pay their everyday low price.  I’m happy with how the month turned out and I’d love for you to share your success too!

Please leave a comment letting me know about your January in Review.  Share your success, your frustrations, where you did great or what you might like to do differently/better in February.  Saving and planning are fluid processes and you can only get better when you can review how you did and keep going with what worked and tweak those things that didn’t give you the results you were looking for.

I wish you a Fabulous February!