BACKGROUND

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ruthless Donating


Lately, I have been on a purge and donate kick. I just cannot stand having so much stuff anymore. It's useless to me if it's sitting in a box buried in a closet or even if it's out in the open, but not being used. Thus, I decided that it was time to be ruthless and begin purging and donating.


I started with clothes. I am not a clothes horse, I never have been. I am a jeans and T-shirt girl. Still, I could not believe all the clothing I owned. It is totally ridiculous for one person to own that many night shirts, T-shirts, belts that I haven't worn in who knows how long, shoes that I will never wear, and so on. I filled a large Rubbermaid bin with clothes as well as a few other miscellaneous items, but mostly clothes. It felt SO good to get rid of the things that I am not ever going to use. 

That was last week. This week, I am working on my books. I am an avid reader and I always have been. I cannot remember a time when I didn't love books and didn't own several shelves full of them. But again, this is an area where it was time to be ruthless. I sorted through the books putting a few in the donation pile and selling some on Amazon.com or half.com. I listed others on paperbackswap.com or bookmooch.com. I've already gotten rid of several books using those sites. 

I still have some books to sort through and that will be a project for the morning. I will also begin sorting through some miscellaneous items I have that are small, but need to be pared down. I am loving the new, free feeling I am getting from all of this purging/donating.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Meme - Random

Stolen from Maria who stole it from Jason:

1. Using what's in your fridge right now, what sort of meal would you be able to make for guests who are knocking on your door this very minute?

Probably scrambled eggs with cheese or omelets, although the guests would have to make it themselves since I am not a cook by any stretch of the imagination. Even simple cuisine is beyond my skill level.

2. What is something about yourself that you hope you will change but probably never will?
My inability to have a normal relationship with food. I was never taught the principles of good nutrition when I was a child. My mother has been overweight my entire life and food was always a source of comfort. I am now trying to learn to eat for life sustainability and not pleasure/comfort. Not an easy task.

3. What is something about yourself that you hope will never change?
My love of learning. I am a very curious person and I enjoy reading, watching documentaries, and learning new things about a variety of subjects. I hope that love of knowledge will never change.


4. Do you usually send serious or funny greeting cards. Why?
It depends on the person. I will give funny cards to those who I know could use a laugh and/or have a sense of humor that appreciates such cards. I send serious ones to those who need the comfort or joy that a serious card can bring. It really is very person specific.

5. Bird watching, shell gathering or star gazing--your choice for whiling away the hours.
Shell gathering is something I miss. I used to live a very short walk from the Pacific Ocean and I remember gathering neat looking shells on the shore while listening to the waves.

6. Do you double or triple check things? If so, what?
I will double check to make sure I turned off the dryer before leaving the house. I have a thing about the dryer being on when I am not here (the washer too, actually). I also double check locks occasionally, but not that often.

7. What's your favorite place for people watching?
Airports. People from all over the world going to places all over the world are very interesting to see.

8. Insert your own random thoughts here:
I am grateful to live in a first-world country where medical care and the luxury items of life are readily available anytime. It does not escape me that I am lucky and blessed to
have the life that I have.

Anyone wanna try this one?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pass!

I PASSED THE NATIONAL COUNSELOR EXAMINATION (NCE)! 

The relief is unbelievable. I took the exam this afternoon and I must admit that I was concerned. This exam marks the very last time I will ever take a major licensing/academic test. I spent the last couple of weeks scared to death that I would not pass it. I studied hard in the last week or so and I really felt that I just wasn't going to be able to remember the things I needed to know. There was so much information. I had two classmates/friends who took it in August and they were both very helpful in suggesting study strategies and so on. Still, once you get into the exam room, it's just you and the test.

I did not sleep well last night. I even took a sleeping pill, but it did not help. It made me groggy, but not enough to sleep. The anxiety was overtaking sleep. I got up this morning and did some last minute studying. Then, I bought a Code Red Mountain Dew and began driving to the testing center, which was about 15 miles away. I drink Mountain Dew only once a month and today was the day for it. I arrived at the testing center and had to wait about 30 minutes before I could go in. I did some studying in the car and then, it was time.

The test is administered at H&R Block offices. I don't know why, but it is. Anyway, I sat down and began the exam. It is 200 multiple choice questions administered via computer. I did not know the answer definitively to the first several questions and I started to get concerned. Several more questions in and I was sure I was not going to pass. There were a lot of questions on Research and Statistics, which is my worst area so that was not helping. As I continued on in the exam, I realized that I did know the answer definitively to a lot of the questions so I started to have some hope. That hope went up and down as the exam went on. I was exhausted so that did not help matters.


Finally, I finished the questions and began to go back over the ones I had skipped because I was unsure of the answers. Upon the second glance at them, I realized that I was fairly certain of the answers. Even the Research and Statistics questions I had skipped were making sense. It pays to skip what you don't know and return to it later.

I decided to go through all my answers just to double check. About 20 questions in, I was so tired that I realized I wasn't going to make it through all of them so I gave it to God and pressed the button to end the exam. Once you do that, they force you to take a 15-question survey about the exam conditions before they will print your exam results. BASTARDS!! I am certain that qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment. The results print out at a printer near the front and only the examinee is allowed to see them. I went up and collected my results. I was scared to death to turn it over to see what it said, but once I did and I saw that beautiful word, PASS, on the top...the relief was unreal!!

I have been in school for a very long time. I have two B.A. degrees, one M.A., and a J.D. (law degree). I relate this not to brag, but so you can understand why this exam was particularly poignant for me. It is the very last time I will ever take a school/licensing exam. That is a strange feeling because, with the exception of only a couple of years here and there, I have been preparing for exams since I was 17 years old. I am 35 now so given the years off from school now and again, that is nearly half my life. I am thrilled, relieved, and excited to truly be done. Since I was 17, I have taken:

1. SAT (college entrance exam)

2. Entrance exam for the professional journalism school at the University of Oregon.

3. LSAT (Law School Admission test)

4. MPRE (Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam). This is the ethics portion of the bar exam, administered separately from the bar usually in the second year of law school.

5. The Bar Exam. That just speaks for itself.

6. Comprehensive exam for my M.A.

7. NCE (National Counselor Examination).

And folks...WE ARE DONE! 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Corner of Blog Awesomeness and Bombdiggity

I want to highlight three of the blogs I follow because they are just so awesome they deserve to have everyone reading them. I follow some great blogs in general, but these three are really great and I think everyone should be reading them. Now, in no particular order, here are blogs you better be reading as soon as you finish this post:

First up, Thank, Q! If you're not reading Thank, Q you are missing out! His posts are thoughtful, funny, interesting, and always thought provoking. Head over and get caught up then thank me and Thank, Q!

Second, AmericanBridget(Jones). I just started reading this blog and it is great! I really enjoy her posts, particularly about the jungle that is the dating world.

Third, Fourth Grade Nothing. This blog is a recap of the author's memories of items and life through the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Visiting this blog is like going back in time to the best years of life as a kid.