Have you ever met with family or friends and they ask you, “So what’s new?” It has been weeks, maybe even months, since you’ve seen each other, but for some reason you respond with, “Not much, you?” or “Same ol’ same ol’.” Maybe it’s just me but these moments make me feel wickedly uninteresting.
It’s been a hot minute since we’ve connected – August 1st was my last entry. Since then, I have started six other posts. These posts, which share what I’ve been up to for the last three months, sit patiently in the waiting room of my website – the drafts folder. Why haven’t I pulled the trigger on these stories? To be totally transparent, I have to be choosey with my free time. This frustrating conundrum plagues my daily life: To grow Freely Mí to a financially sustainable place, I have to dedicate A-LOT of time to it. My time is taken up by other money-making tasks. So, I have two choices: less money or less time.
This isn’t meant to sound like a pity party because I don’t feel sorry for myself; I am blessed. My freelancing career has grown consistently and I can work from anywhere in the world, which is worth more to me than money. When I said I have to be choosey, I mean this: When the day’s work is done, I have to choose between more work (for Freely Mí) or quality time with my husband, friends, family or myself. Victims of this either/or scenario include photo editing or date night; write a blog post or go to dinner with my family; edit a video or do yoga; network online or read my bible. For the last three months i’ve chosen the latter. I’ve chosen date night, dinner with family, yoga and reading my bible.
So, let’s catch up. Here is what you’ve missed (on Freely Mí) and I could have missed:
Toward the end of August, my grandmother “Nannie” went to be with Jesus. Her passing, while anticipated, was filled with miracles. In the weeks prior, I had been able to drive to her bedside and visit with her and Papa, catching glimpses of the sassy lady who called me, “Sweet Babe.” While digging through her trinkets and mementos, I realized how much I have grown to be like her and also discovered that “Sweet Babe” was something her and Papa used to call each other in letters.
There are few things I enjoy more than live music and, apart from my dad, the one person who always seems to be down for any concert is my girlfriend Lindsey. When it comes to music, I tend to be the luckier one in our friendship. Lindsey always seems to be coming up with tickets to shows and she almost always invites me. Like I said, i’m the lucky one. Ironically, my older brother had told me about the Beck concert and I was convinced there was no way tickets would be available. In the midst of our text convo, Lindsey messaged me with the news that she was given two tickets and asked if I could go with her. Yes!
I’ve always loved planning events, but had never planned one for myself (aside from our wedding). Being a fan of quality time, I opted for brunch with my favorite women at a restaurant I had always wanted to try. However, my family had other plans in mind first. I’ll admit, it’s hard to surprise me. I can only remember one other time I was genuinely caught off guard, but my parents pulled it off for my 30th.
Talk about making memories! Ben and I have been discussing the idea of one day owning our own sailboat and on my 30th birthday, we went sailing for the first time. I presented the idea of sailing to Ben about a year ago after obsessing over the idea of living like a nomad. I had heard of a couple who was living this life on their boat called La Vagabonde, and a family friend invited us to join their last sail of the season after learning of our interest.
Earlier this year, my mother and I had made plans to travel from Washington D.C. to Boston for our annual mother-daughter trip. Unfortunately, with the passing of Nannie, we had to cancel and come up with a new plan. By this time, it was too cold to enjoy the Nantucket beaches so we opted for a Pacific Coast Highway trip. We spent three days driving from Malibu to San Diego, then spent the last few days around San Diego with family. More to come on this adventure.
I had grown to resent how much time I was spending on my computer. So I’ve decided to dedicate time each day to unplugged activities. No phone, no television, no computer; just me and my paintbrush, guitar or yoga mat. Here’s the thing, I have always been into art – We got married in an art museum for Pete’s sake! In all the time that I have been learning, loving and participating in the creation of art, I have never painted. One of my best girlfriends was getting ready to have her first baby, a girl named Georgia. I took this opportunity to create my first watercolor painting.
I’ve always told my girlfriend Sarah that it’s easy being her friend. We met my freshman year of college (about 12 years ago) and have been through it all together: college (enough said), graduation, marriage, moving away, changing careers…and now she is a mom. Her daughter came into the world few weeks early and for some reason she and her husband chose ME to be in their delivery room. Seriously…me?! Not long before Georgia’s birth-day, I took Sarah’s maternity photos and they are my favorite portraits to-date. I can’t believe this is my life. I can’t believe she is my friend. I can’t believe how perfect Georgia is. Just, wow.
This was a big one. Ben and I have been talking about going to Kauai for years now. Luckily, two of our dear friends were in the market for a vacation right around the same time we were. A mutual friend had connected us with Bryan and Jenny while we were living in Florida and they were moving from Colorado. We have remained friends since Ben and I left and they moved to Texas. We’ve seen Bryan and Jenny at least once a year but had never really traveled together. It’s rare to find couple-friends who not only travel well together, but also share the same interests and spirit for God. We are so lucky to have had such an amazing experience in Kauai with them. More to come on this adventure.