October goals

During the month of September, I completed all three of my goals! I call that a serious win.

Back to School
Overall, we had a fairly smooth transition into my daughter’s senior year of high school. One of her recent goals has been to take responsibility for her own waking times and to successfully get herself ready for school each morning. She has succeeded! We’ve had zero tardies for school and I am so proud of my daughter for this step toward adulthood.

Smart Girl Edits
I was able to successfully sign a contract with one client. Between that client’s work and my trip to Canada, I haven’t been able to do much marketing. I am thrilled to have my first paying client but have so much more work to do. It’s still a great step forward.

PEI trip
My trip was amazing! I learned so much and had such great adventures. I am in the process of starting a separate travel blog and plan to write blog posts about the trip highlights.

Green Gables, Prince Edward Island

New month, new goals! My focus on goals and travel plans worked out so well last month that I want to focus on several new goals for the month of October.

Both my husband and I have October birthdays! We have started a family tradition that the birthday guy or gal gets to choose a movie and a restaurant from which we have food delivered on the actual birthday. Last year, we watched Namaste London and ate Thai food and cheesecake for my birthday. It was so much fun!

Birthday cheesecake

I still need to finish shopping for birthday presents for my husband. Then I need to figure out what movie and food I want for my birthday. I will likely pick cheesecake again but want to find a better option than The Cheesecake Factory. I can’t wait!

Baking Day
I read an article about fall activities for introverts. One of the suggested activities is a baking day. I love this idea! I’ve been buying a ton of pumpkins so I think I’ll pick a day specifically for baking several pumpkin recipes that I’ve pinned but have never made.

Pumpkin spice everything!

Smart Girl Edits
My third goal for the month is to make forward progress with my business, Smart Girl Edits. I know that my next step is to decide on a niche. I want to offer writing and editing services but have no idea who I am marketing to. Consequently, my website has very little traffic and is so generic that it does not appeal to anyone.

I purchased an online class that will help me determine my niche and grow my business. It’s a 90 day class so I want to make significant progress toward creating and clarifying a solid business and marketing plan. I am grateful for my one paying client but need more than one. Right now I have a flurry of work for my client and then days with nothing to do. I need to use that non-client time to work on the back end of my business so that I can gain more clients.

October is going to be a great month! Do you have any specific goals for this month?

Wish list progress report

I leave for Boston on Tuesday morning! This trip felt so far away and now, all of a sudden, I’m finishing up some last minute items. Tomorrow morning, I can check into my flight and get my seat assignment.

I’ve somehow managed to complete all items on my wish list. Originally, I was hoping to complete at least half but I’ve finished all four items. I had to take things one item at a time and break them up in small pieces but I managed to complete everything.

Wish list item #1 – a haircut
It took some searching, but I found a great hair stylist who took the time to talk with me about what I wanted. This haircut isn’t a drastic change; I only cut off four inches and added some framing around my face. I like it, though I think next time I’ll go shorter.

Wish list item #2 – a new knitting project
I combed through hundreds of knitting patterns before settling on Dotted Rays by Stephen West. It looks like the perfect vacation knit, though I’m a bit intimidated by the length of the pattern. The description says that it’s the perfect travel knit. Hopefully that’s the case!

Wish list item #3 – a new book
A bit different from my normal book selection, I am excited to read Story Thieves by James Riley. I was intrigued by the description on Goodreads – a girl who can jump in and out of library books. Sounds wonderful! An added bonus is that the entire series is rated well.

Wish list item #4 – assemble a trip itinerary
I had so much fun assembling a trip itinerary! It’s not a set in stone list of destinations. It’s more of a list of suggestions of places we can visit dependent on the amount of time and energy we have on any given day.

Prince Edward Island
Image Credit

We are spending time in three different cities. In each, I found one or two possible used book stores, yarn stores, quilting stores, and a highly rated local coffee shop. I know we won’t visit every destination but I look forward to the adventure! My priority is the coffee. Always the coffee.

My priority is the coffee. Always the coffee. If I could, I’d visit every local coffee shop around the world.

No one can understand the truth until he drinks of coffee’s frothy goodness.

Sheik Abd-al-Kadir

Panic mode

I am starting to hit panic mode about our upcoming trip. We leave in only 11 more days!! It’s not that I’m not prepared, because I am. We’re almost packed, as much as we can be at this point. The paperwork is ready. Reservations have been booked. We have loose plans for each day in Taiwan. I’m about as ready as I can be.

But for some reason, I’m starting to panic. I’m trying to allow myself to feel each emotion and then let it go. If I fight against the panic, it just gets worse. I am most nervous about the travel itself. I have never flown internationally and have irrational fears about going the wrong way at the airport and getting chased by men with guns. Last night I talked to a friend here in Seattle about what it’s like flying internationally in and out of the Seattle airport. So she walked me through security, what the flight will be like, what immigration is like on the way back, and how to pick up our luggage. That conversation helped.

We have a hotel shuttle scheduled for our arrival in Taipei. A driver will be there with a sign with our names on it. The hotel does not have early check in but will see if they have a room available when we arrive. If not, they said they will hold our luggage for us so that we don’t have to haul it around Taipei while we wait for a room. Since we arrive in Taipei at 5:30 in the morning, we’ll have plenty of time to kill and will probably be exhausted. Again, getting these details worked out with the hotel helped.

Our time in Tainan is very loosely scheduled. We meet our daughter on Monday morning and will probably be at the adoption agency for several hours. There is a possibility that we’ll eat lunch with the staff. After that, we’re on our own. Just the three of us.

On Tuesday morning, we’ll be going back to the adoption agency. We’re unsure of the plans for that morning, but they could include an orphanage visit and a going away party for our daughter. It’s a half hour drive to the orphanage and a half hour drive back. Sometime late afternoon we have to catch the bullet train back to Taipei because our visa appointment is Wednesday morning.

Analyzing my feelings, I’m not really freaking out about the actual parenting. I know that meeting my daughter will probably be awkward. I speak a little Chinese and she speaks a little English so we’ll be able to communicate on a basic level. She does want to be adopted, though I’m sure she’ll be nervous and scared and upset about leaving what is familiar. Being mama is not what I’m anxious about. It’s all the travel. Getting around in a foreign country. A lot of it is probably because I will make mistakes with paperwork or where to go and I hate looking like an idiot in front of people.

I keep breathing and telling myself, “it’ll be ok. It will be ok.” I need to pray for peace. I wish I was confident enough that I could just hop on that plane and be excited about meeting my daughter. I am excited! I’m also terrified!