It’s day two of Blogtember*! Today’s topic: If you could take three months off from your current life and do anything in the world, what would you do?

If you’d asked me this question three years ago, I could have answered in a heartbeat.  I would have given anything to push pause and escape my 25 year-old life. I frequently daydreamed about running away to South America, going to culinary school, or becoming a trapeze artist. (Seriously. Seeing the trapeze episode of Made and a Cirque du Soleil show in the same summer will put crazy ideas in your head.)


But that was three years ago, and a lot has changed since then. Thank goodness.

Today if I got the chance to take a sabbatical from my current life, I don’t think I would. I’ve busted my hump over the past few years to stop fantasizing about what could be and what I should do. Those thoughts were all-consuming when I was younger, and through some serious work on myself I learned to stop being a hamster on the could/should wheel and focus on what’s happening right now. Freeing up that mental energy helped me build the life I want, or at least build momentum in that direction. I wouldn’t want to miss a moment of the next 90 days, because my life is pretty great just how it is.

So. Instead of answering this Blogtember challenge as written, here are three actual things that I am doing in the next three months. Probably not as exciting as becoming a trapeze artist-chef living in South America, but a lot closer to where I want to be.

11-8-8 Apples-Peaches-Pears-Grapes_Paul-Cezanne

Eating more at home. This has been a big goal of mine for a while, and I am making progress towards eating out less. Finding a food rhythm that works for me is key– somehow this got all out of whack when I was newly single, and it’s taken a few years to recover. The secret is actually planning out my meals, especially snacks, and buying enough food at the grocery store. I’ve managed to master those basics in the past two months, so my focus in the next three months is going to be making time to shop for food, rebuilding my recipe repertoire and experimenting with leftovers.

Leveraging my weekend time for fun. I work (really, really) hard during the week, and enjoy it so much that it’s tempting to keep the work party going all weekend long. That doesn’t necessarily lead to increased productivity, though. I’ve also learned over the past year that the quality of my work is better when I can self-edit with fresh eyes. And my coworkers like me better when they don’t get work email from me at 8 PM on Saturday night. Solution? Go the fuck home. I’m putting this sage advice into practice in the next couple of months by planning a girls’ weekend to Round Top with my family, tracking my leisure reading on GoodReads, and making a scrapbook of photos from my recent vacation to Seattle.

Barclay kong nom nom nom

Walking my dog. Barclay is starting to get into his golden, golden years. He was elderly for a big dog when I adopted him back in 2009. Now at somewhere between 12-14 years old, he is slowing waaaay down. He’s not up for trips to the dog park or jogging any more, but he still loves our twice-a-day strolls around the block. Slowing down with him for twenty minutes each morning and night has taught me that life doesn’t have to be about the grand adventure. We can push pause for a few minutes, sniff around, and learn to appreciate what’s right there in front of us.

*One of my favorite lifestyle bloggers in Austin is hosting a neat blogging challenge called #Blogtember. The goal is to post once a day in September on topics that you might not otherwise write about. She’s posted all the topics on her blog, and there are so many wonderful folks playing along that I decided to join in. There’s some big time life questions in the challenge, along with lighter posts. I figure this is a great way to shake out the ol’ blogwebs and get back to writing as the end of the year approaches.