25 Things I Miss About Being A Flight Attendant

Flying is exhausting and hard work. It can be draining and challenging and push all your buttons. It can also be super fun. I miss the lifestyle of whizzing around and being a social butterfly. There are so many amazing things about being a flight attendant – here are some of the things I miss the most.

25 Things I Miss About Flying:

  • Always going places – the constant act of getting on a plane and being in different cities and sleeping in different beds. Motion. Always going.
  • Airplane cookies. Biscoff cookies. It is both embarrassing and staggering the amount of times I have eaten cookies and pretzels for breakfast. It has been months since I indulged in such behaviour.
  • Putting on high heels and the uniform and feeling suited up and acting the part.
  • Making new road friends every few days.
  • Sunsets in Mexico.
  • Hawaii. Just all of it – beaches and sunrises and humidity and Maitai’s
  • Getting all the fun stuff from all the places: Rumcream in Halifax. Coconut granola in Hawaii. All the American vegan foods pretty much anywhere in the USA. Colliding Tides in PEI – it is so amazing to pick up all my special treats on the road and bring them home I miss all those things.
  • Hot men in uniform. There are lots of men in lots of uniforms trolling the airports. It some nice eye candy.
  • Redeye flights and working all night.
  • Hypoxic giggles from flying to many hours in such a short amount of time.
  • The passengers. The good and the bad – but always interesting.
  • The drama.
  • Getting home from Mexico and cleaning sand out of my suitcase in the middle of the winter
  • St John’s, Newfoundland. I miss you.
  • Room Parties.
  • Paydays. Actually working my butt off for a huge payday and being rewarded with all that money to freely spend how I want.
  • Hotel room coffee in bed.
  • Awesome places to take badass photos.
  • Visiting my network of friends in random cities.
  • Day drinking in the afternoon in warm places without an care in the world.
  • Exploring new places.
  • Adventures.
  • The galley of confessions. Getting to talk about real stuff with real strangers and really opening up.
  • Feeling like the world is my oyster and that I can go anywhere.
  • Feeling alive.

 

I am sure there are more things to miss about flight attendant life – I just am feeling nostalgic and missing all the things that such a fun career can bring.

Are you a furloughed flight attendant? What are you missing the most?

Listing Out my Creative Projects to Give You Inspiration to Work on The Things You Always Dreamed Possible … #inthistogether

It has been almost 6 weeks since my last flight….

6 WEEKS!!!

It actually feels kind of strange to be on the ground this long. When all this chaos first start I volunteered for a leave of absence. That 2 month period is quickly coming to an end. On May 8th, 2020 I got officially furloughed starting June 1st – not that I was not expecting this, I was. I knew it was going to happen but seeing it there in the email – “my services are not longer needed” due to this crazy Pandemic was a feeling I wasn’t prepared for.  I have come to the realization that very likely I wont be flying for the remainder of this year.

For me – the only way to deal with all of this stuff is to just stay kind of busy.  There are many lessons I have learned in this life and one of them is that sitting around doing nothing on unemployment is literally THE WORST THING I can do for my mental health. The problem I have been having is discipline and focus. Literally if you saw my journal, planning book, day book, bullet journal and online course note taking book – you would know that I think up more ideas than I can even handle. But executing those ideas is a whole different thing.

I know – Everything is insane right now. But I also can’t help but feel like this is a gift from the universe. A gift of time to work on anything I ever thought would be a fun creative job – while I am getting paid and have endless time. I therefore can only see this as almost wasted time if I don’t pursue these passions.

Here is a little catch up of how I am keeping myself busy while being grounded from flying but also a list of ideas of things that you could do to keep yourself busy:

  • I started making a vegan cookbook. This is a project I have been wanting to do for YEARS. I was really excited from the get go but writing out recipes is kind of boring and I definitely waiver in what kind of things I want to include. I also sometimes feel I need to test the recipe – which means a lot of the same foods for me to eat and a WHOLE lot of cooking.  I really need to invest in the equipment for the next stages of the creative process and that equals daunting. I often get lost in the idea of how I would present the book. Then I decided to needed to start posting Meatless Monday recipes to garner interest and then the entire project just got really overwhelming. When things feel overwhelming I have a tendency to quit.
  • I started an outline draft for a book I want to write and for the first time this idea seems like the winner or more so it seems like I finally figured out a way to organize my thoughts. I will continue to map that out as social isolation drags on – and soon will start my chapter breakdowns. This is going to be a long process but something that will be so validating.
  • I have committed to a few knitting projects for some friends – they are in the works but not completed. I do that while I am watching Netflix as part of my evening routine. Knitting socks is complex.
  • I have started brainstorming ideas for YouTube because for the last 5 years I have been telling people I want to do this (imagine where I would be had I just started) – I have actually tried to create videos but I rarely get the gumption to post the video for anyone to see – which I need to do if I want to get some viewers. I think it is a really cool creative platform that I want to explore more. Plus filming is fun.
  • I started the MLM experiment where I thought I would join Arbonne and actually try and make money that way – but that is just sitting there and I have a series of blog posts half started that I never finished. The thing is now I just mostly order products for myself because I quite like them and then I don’t even mention it to anyone.
  • I started a blog series called #grounded (this series that you are reading) that I have essentially not written a post in a month because I thought my days weren’t interesting enough – because lets face it – what are we all really doing at home. Pressuring myself to write posts about doing nothing all day got slightly daunting.
  • I have bought many, many random things online that I don’t actually need. And now I am wondering if I will need to return most of them.
  • I spent a lot of time in my car with a backpack, my laptop, a handful of journals and a couple of books thinking I am going to pull off some sort of creative miracle in terms of creating content but I never actually do anything but drink coffee and stare into the park  – kind of planning but not doing.
  • I have reorganized my space to try and un-stifle my creative energy. It has kind of worked.
  • I start working on a vlogging – travel videography course – still plugging away at it – one lesson every few days. It is actually why I want to start filming YouTube Videos because I can – inspiration for travel video isn’t really my top priority during social isolation times.
  • I have been to a couple webinars on artists at the Glenbow Museum which quiet frankly is really cool and I can’t wait till the gallery can open up so I can by a membership.

 

Well that is it – that is what has been keeping me busy. I feel like while I am sad that I am not flying I am really trying to use this time to work on things I always wanted to work on but never, ever, ever made time. I think it is pretty cool to have this time to really explore my creative energy. It is really exciting.

What kind of creative projects are you working on while cooped up at home?

I am absolutely looking to build my creative community so if you are doing any of the above ideas please message me so we can create together.

 

 

#grounded: a blog series [Day 3 &4 …]

Welcome to my new series about what I am doing now that I am grounded.
I am  1) grounded from flying,  2) feeling like I am a teenager grounded at home and not allowed to go out,  3) trying to figure out how to be spiritually and emotionally grounded.
Tune in for frequent posts about how I am dealing with it all:  #grounded: a blog series

 

I said to my roommate in recent days that we are in the endless space time continuum of nothing and I really, really meant it.

Certainly we all know it is a strange, strange time.  The unknown is crazy and very uncomfortable – the world as we know it is dramatically changing and we have no way of knowing how. What will our world look like in 3 months time, in 3 years time? …. Will we go back to things as they are? Will entire Countries collapse? Who knows?

Unsettling, right?!

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Me; thinking about stuff before writing stuff. Wondering about how my future is going to look. April 2020.

The days are trucking on and on; this cold weather here in Calgary definitely has me feeling unmotivated and blue. I go through phases of productivity and fear. I go through the gauntlet of thoughts – like I guess it is time to figure out my life. Will I find a partner? Will I find a house? Will I travel forever? Is our world reverting to olden days and we will need to start canning and pickling and gardening to survive? Will we be the same? What do we need to prepare for? It feels a little bit like if you just told me – I would just get ready and make it happen. But no one can do that – no one has the answers.

 

Is it actually making me regret things that I didn’t ever do even though I wanted to, Things like:

Why did I never take journalism?

Why did I never move to Dubai to teach?

Why haven’t I traveled India yet?

Why did I let my life be chaos for so long? Why am I so boring now? Why am I eating bags of Doritos when no one is home but eating health drinks when people see me? When did binge eating become my norm? When did I become such an emotional eater? Can I fix this?

I guess it is just to much time to think? And Lordy knows – I am a thinker. Today I took the time to turn off the laptop and watching Netflix and Youtube and started with some podcasts (change it up, right?). It led me a a journey of micro dosing psychedelics and wondering if micro dosing on mushrooms would be a good idea during this time. Then I wondered if I had any connections to do this? Then realized how much my life has changed.

I started to dive into Arbonne’s 30 days to Healthy Living. I am not entire sure my gut can handle the sheer amount of detoxing – but it had me questioning my eating beliefs. Why am I so against eating eggs but I can wolf down some (enter some strange, really bad vegan junk food here)? When did my eating get so disordered?

I pulled out some jewelry bins and realized that I have lost my identity over the years. I stopped expressing myself with clothing and scarves and jewelry. Where did my creative identity go? – I assume it left when I moved back to Alberta and systematically gained weight working so hard to get myself out of debt.

As you can see – I am all over the map – day 3 & 4 have been me really evaluating my life. like really diving in – asking millions of questions with very few answers. It is crazy how the mind works in a time of limited stimulus.  In the end, I continue to ask myself the same questions I have asked for years but then got to distracted to answer. What do I actually want? What is the vision?

Today’s plans  – there is no list. There is no expectation. There is just me – spending time writing, reflecting and trying to figure it out. Times are changing hugely. I am just trying to keep up.

What phase of isolation/quarantine are you in today? Productive? Questioning? Pensive?

#grounded: Day 1

Well it is probably going to be a hot minute before I see another sunset in Puerto Vallarta and not because it is almost the end of my Mexico flying season but because starting today  – April 1st, 2020 – I am officially on a “leave of absence” (aka voluntarily laid off) from my work. I am sure in 2 months time it will become an extended involuntary layoff.  *sad face

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I took this photo of the sunset on the last PVR I got called out for in early March 2020 – right at the beginning of the pandemic arriving in Canada.

I am already missing my East Coast summer layovers and they haven’t started.

From what I can understand about the state of the world and the state of aviation right now – it is probably going to be a long time before I fly. It is a range of emotions that I feel – sadness but also relief  … to not be flying when the safety precautions are not in place to maintain my health. It is safer for me to be at home while we ride out this COVID19 situation. I have thought about all the things that I might take the opportunity to do with all my spare time – but it is still to early for me to focus on that while I am kind of grieving the state of the world.

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I stole this image off a post on Facebook because it sums up my feelings about my work life.  No idea who the creator is but I love it.

Kicking off DAY ONE I am starting with my normal kind of normal morning/day routine where I get up and make some coffee – have a quick snack and then go back to my bed to either read or write. Sometimes both.

At around 11:30 I start to feel like I should get up, get dressed and make myself presentable for the day. Then friends – it is anyone’s guess as to what will happen. I cook most things from scratch because it is the food I have – then I bring my computer from room to room – watching YouTube about online teaching or ESL teaching in general. I research Dubai as a backup plan for the fall. I think about whether my skills have lapsed to much to start drafting again. I then think about what I want my life to look like.

I take some time in there is be extremely grateful for all the hard work I put in to make my financial situation as great as it is right now.

I often write a huge blurb about the things I want to do that I lack motivation in doing then I make some tea …. I have been drinking an excessive amount of tea. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest – planning out my next hair color as soon as I have some help doing it – be that a salon open or a talented friend. I daydream a lot about being able to write full time (even though I never publish anything after I write it) – I think about making YouTube videos. And then it is around 8PM – I retire to my room to watch something on Netflix while I chat with my friends and then around 130AM it is time for bed again.

Today’s goals:

  1. Bake some vegan double chocolate muffins
  2. Figure out how to use up 7 red peppers (because for some reason buying a bag of 8 peppers for $4.50 seemed wise the other day at the grocery store)
  3. Pull out the big wall calendar and plan out #isolationApril
  4. Get some exercise – Hit @home, Beachbody OR out for a walk
  5. Start writing Friday’s blog post in my MLM series (I didn’t forget – just the world feel apart)

I think those are attainable goals for the day …  #letsdothis

What are you guys up to in isolation today?  Do you make small daily goals to keep yourself busy?

 

Pitch Week & MLM Experiment Guidelines


 

Mother of all things holy – the pitch week has been insane.

I decided before I talked to anyone – there would need to be a set of guidelines that I had to follow. Any pitch needed to be well executed and informed; I would feel comfortable with the person I would need to be my mentor. What follows are things I really need to pay attention to before I can join any team of independent distributors and mixed in with that is a bunch of things I am committing to myself as I go forward with the project:

  •         I need to pick an MLM that I am genuinely interested in the products. It must be products that I will honestly use. It is important that it is vegan (for personal and long term business reasons)
  •         I need to commit to reading everything about the company. The good, the bad and the ugly – all the stuff. Take notes. Be informed – don’t make egregious stupid claims about products that aren’t true. (Yesterday while doing online research I listen to a girl talk about how big companies take the fat from road kill and put it in makeup and that is what you are putting on your face – this, friends, is why most people think MLM people are crazy)
  •         Track money in vs money out (keep track as visuals) – everything you spend vs everything you make. It is important to track to see how much you are making vs. losing.
  •         3-6 months. The premise is that I actually work the program. If I am making money perhaps I will continue on – Who knows where this will take me?!
  •         Find a thriving supportive upline that can help me build my “business” – I have always struggled when women have called their independent consultant business’ as there “own company” – the culture of preying on women as weak and trying to show them that success is growth is scary. But i’ll dive into that later. 
  •         I will commit to regular Friday posts to update how the project is going – how dealing with the public as a person that works for an MLM is going. Do I feel like I am putting a strain on personal relationships?
  •         Have a ‘why’ – why did I pick this particular company. What was the decision-making process? Why do you think their products are good?
  • Exit clause – can you bail? If after 3 months you are just spending money. Can you bail?
  • Actually test the products. Use them. Decide for yourself. Things that might benefit you.

 


 

With all the above in mind ….. Asking anyone that is actively trying to make money in an Multi Level Marketing company to pitch me their best pitch opened up a world of crazy that I didn’t really realize was going to evoke so many opinions and so much attitude. It has been an exhausting few days to say the least.

Multi-level marketing (MLM), also called pyramid selling, network marketing, and referral marketing, is a marketing strategy for the sale of products or services where the revenue of the MLM company is derived from a non-salaried workforce selling the company’s products/services, while the earnings of the participants are derived from a pyramid-shaped or binary compensation commission system.  – Wikipedia

 

Ladies have been coming at me. People I haven’t ever talked to online have come out of the woodwork. I learned that some of you guys love these companies and some of you fucking hate them. There have been some VERY strong opinions. It is pretty damn interesting the amount of ‘super for’ or ‘super against’ opinions that are circling around the web.

I have been curious about this kind of money making for some time. I have always inherently thought it was wrong. And I am not so certain I changed that opinion but I realized while talking to people that: a lot of women don’t love the products they are trying to push, a lot of women are angry that other women haven’t changed their products – their everyday routine to support their multi level marketing business. Women are angry that other women didn’t sign up to be a part of their business – even if the products are not aligned to then, their ethics or even if the products are possibly out of their price range. There are some women that have drank in so much of the culture they have failed to see anything aside from you not purchasing from them makes you a bad person. Friends, this is just week one. 

Before I got to far on this journey I really needed to know so many things but most important to me:  

 What are the startup costs? What is my monthly and yearly financial contribution? Can I opt out after 3 months or six months? Can I get out if I need to? 

As someone who has spent a lot of time trying to dig themselves out of a financial hole the last thing I want is to get myself on the hook for something financially that I can’t really afford. I don’t want to commit to a company for a year of spending hordes of money that I can’t get back.

So I let people pitch me in any way they wanted to – I had Amway, Young Living, Valentus, Arbonne … some were good – some where bloody awful.

Stay tuned for next Friday when we talk about which company I am choosing to get involved with and …

In the meantime – are you or have you been part of any MLM? I would love to hear from you about your experience?  Please comment below what you think about it – are you making money? Why did you get involved? 

 

HUATULCO: Pacific Ocean Boat Rides, 6 Degrees of Separation & Icy Cold Dos Equis

It was only a few nights ago that I was in a random taco bar in Huatulco, Mexico with my crew. Sometimes flying is like having 2 Dads and some step siblings all crammed together trying to make group decisions. Every now and again you get a group of people that just kind of fit and when you find them – you just need to go with it. 

Our little road family was pretty cute. We banded together for our 48 hours in Mexico – on a mission to experience some things, be out in the sun and remember why working as aircrew can be a super amazing job. 

Huatulco is in the Oaxaca region of Mexico. Oaxaca is found on the Pacific side just where the country does a geographical turn on the map and the continent starts to get more narrow. The only reason I actually know where Oaxaca is located is from my younger years as a Barista. I got a job at a Second Cup when I first moved to Calgary some 20 odd years ago. Second Cup was all about coffee but also learning about coffee kinda stuff and being knowledgeable about random things like growing regions and flavors in the soil. Oaxaca is absolutely a coffee growing region in Mexico and they make fine, fine coffee.  

Anyway, after a gong-show of a flight down to Mexico I was feeling pretty spent. In fact – I actually had to take refuge up in the flight deck for a little 15 min break in the last quarter of the flight. I had a chat with the guys about how I thought I might actually bail on the crew for some alone time. 

HUX beer me
Ice Cold Dos Equis

But as every good crew member knows – those decisions can’t be made till you are in your hotel room, out of your uniform and back in the world of normalcy -As soon as I was changed and breathing in that humid Mexican air I was ready for some Dos Equis. 

 

It was that first night – in a little local taco shop just a half block from the square in La Crucecita that I realized that the 6th degree of separation bullshit was actually a thing. I was telling the crew that I had lived on the East Coast of Canada and that I went to university out there. I wasn’t wearing my x-ring so when I mentioned I went to university in Antigonish the Captain leaned over to check my hand  – what do you know; The Captain on my crew just happened to go to the same University as me.  

HUX me
Me – reppin’ my East Coast Lifestyle gear like a motherfucking boss!

Like the typical people from the East Side we went off on a tangent to figure out if we had any commonalities and there you have it- he just so happened to be friends with a professor I held dear to my heart. 

It is crazy to me that everything sort of leads back to that place for me. That place that tried me so much. The place that changed me. The place that took my life in a very different direction. The place where I understood my childhood but hated it all at the same time. The place that I didn’t realize kind of unraveled me until I painstakingly put myself back together some 10 years later.  You get so connected to your own story that it becomes hard to rewrite it. Figuring out a new path, changing your identity, your story – it’s hard work. I have become fixated on trying to figure out who I truly am – understanding, growing. Can I see through that time and that darkness or will I forever be cloaked with that sadness that leaves so much hollowness inside? Are we supposed to spend our entire life searching? I digress.

HUX boatDinner in the Taco bar led to morning plans to spend the following day together. We all met for breakfast and sat in the square in Santa Cruz having Oaxacan coffee and chiliqilies. I opted for a vegetarian version and when those barely cooked eggs showed up on top of  my food I wanted to barf. I guess I am more vegan than I thought. The iced coffee was divine though. After breakfast we headed down to the beach to find a boat for hire. That is when we got linked up with Jamie – our boat guy – for barely $40 CND each we had hired out a private boat named Johanna II  for the day to do some bay hopping, see some secluded beaches, snorkel and of course day drink. 

We headed back to the hotel to grab our gear while Jamie iced our beer and tequila. We set out on a boat on the Pacific Ocean to explore this tiny area in Mexico. Admittedly I felt like the outsider of the group. But even though I was feeling slightly odd after a couple of drinks none of that stuff mattered.  I had a great time drinking tequila and beer and plunging off the side of the boat into the crystal clear waters. I barely thought about the yellow bellied poisonous snakes at all. 

HUX water
Jumping off the side of the boat into a bay after far to much beer and tequila. 

 

My previous experiences with Mexico have been in Cancun and Puerto Vallarta. Busy party central districts – Huatulco felt nothing like this. I swear to you Huatulco is where all the old hippies go -It might be because we were in the town of Santa Cruz which is part of the Huatulco region and not at a resort. It might be because Huatulco is pretty underdeveloped; you can see where they have made plenty of attempts but never actually finished construction on something – but this is a super chilled out area full of people just wanting to be in Mexico in a different capacity. You can see there are all sorts of great resort type projects on the go that have just been left abandoned. It is sad to see but at the same time it makes this area significantly less busy, less people around. It actually feels like a more authentic type of Mexico – whatever the hell that means. 

Getting up on morning two we had about three quarters of the day to just be. We headed down for a crew breakfast at Itoo – which if you are in town is a must. Fresh squeezed juices, and a menu of authentic Mexican food kinda written in English if you need that sort of thing. We sat around and chatted and made a collective decision for some beach time. 

The beach that was linked with our hotel on the Bahia de Santa Cruz wasn’t the prettiest I saw in my 48 hours. But for some last minute sunshine and some time for reading it did the trick.  I tapped out early to head back to my room to mentally prepare for my flight home. Maybe it was the full moon energy but things have been feeling off and I am definitely one that needs a lot of alone time. Sometimes to much. But preparing for work takes time, mental preparation and sometimes meditation. 

Landing back in Calgary makes the little bubble pop. Your little group just disperses and you go back to your normal life and normal things and cold weather. It’s like it never happened. It’s a crazy life how you weave through people and connections and experiences and end up exactly where you were – some of you cross paths again but it’s never in the same circumstances, people or places. You can’t relive a moment or time – you just carry on with the good parts. 

Life.  It’s interesting like that. 

Thanks Mexico, Onward.

 

Today is Strange.

I am literally having the strangest day ever.

Let me paint the picture for you:  It is about 430pm on a Monday – I am sitting in my car – a 2013 FIAT 500 2 door, hatchback – in Nose Hill Park in Calgary, overlooking the city – it is a pretty nice fall day.  I am anxious as fuck. I woke up this morning feeling like I wanted to write or create or something like that, mostly I just felt like I needed to get outta the house. It is hard for me to be in my own home (to be clear by own home I mean the room I rent in Calgary that is literally just a room rental). I left my house twice with my laptop thinking I wanted to find a café to drink a tea and finish a post I was writing about getting my finances in order. But I left both of those places feeling … off. And now, strangely enough, here I am, parked in my car with a beautiful view –  with my laptop, writing in my car.

I feel suffocated.

I feel so suffocated that I need to roll down my window in a dusty wind situation.

I have been feeling suffocated a lot lately. I am feeling that – plus unsure and not knowing. I feel lonely. I feel sad. I am eating my feelings one bag of NoName Sour Cream & Onion chips at a time. I am literally filling my body with swill. Every time I look in the mirror I make a comment in my head about my weight and how I look. I feel gross. It is like I stopped caring but I haven’t – like I have given up but I haven’t … I dunno what is going on in my head but here I am sitting in my car looking at the changing fall leaves feeling like something big is about to happen. I can feel it.

You know for a long time in life – I really used to think there was no harm in believing you were better than you were. Growth, you know. But as I approach my 40th year around the sun  I think it might be time that I take a different approach. Less dreaming, more reality. One time someone asked me if I still believed I was going to have a charmed life – he knew his life would be mediocre – at the time I didn’t realize that I was the very thing I hated. I believed I was better than I was, entitled to more than I am and was so gawd damn obtuse about it I didn’t know I was thinking it.

The winds of change have arrived.

The thing I am learning all the time is to feel less guilt and feel less shame and learn to feel more happiness, freedom and strength. I am a master of self help reading but not a master of self help doing.

I used to be an all-in kinda lady. Like if I was going out and getting fucked up – I was coming home the most fucked up, if I was getting high I was getting so gawd damn high I couldn’t keep my eyes open – like the kind of high that people worried about you (Gawd I miss that). There was no just have one beer or two. It was all or nothing. Then I spent a long time being a nothing gal. Recently I have decided I want to be a half in Gal. Somewhere along the way t become a better human I forgot that humans need to have fun. Then I realized I forgot what fun was like. I realized that I have become a hermit.

Anyway, sitting in my car I realized how great it would  to actually go after one of my big dreams. for example – I have wanted to rebuild the interior of a van to live and work in. I have been dreaming of the tiny living for sometime. Instead of committing to a sprinter van and a permanent van home – maybe I can commit to a caravan and weekend warrioring. See what I am getting at – I set my bar to high and then get sad when I don’t achieve it.

I have an end of year move thought lingering in my head, a huge debt repayment happening and then things will begin to shift. I am ready.

Self reflection, Friends, it is a part of growth. It is needed. In whatever strange way to let it happen. For me, today, it is sitting in my car on the top of a hill, writing out my feelings. Thanks for coming along of the journey.

Where are you at in your goals for 2019? Are you making things happen??

xoxo,

C

 

The One Where I Talk About Debt Fatigue and What I Am Doing About It.

 

 

Debt fatigue occurs when a debtor becomes overwhelmed by the amount of debt incurred and the seeming futility of the debt repayment process, and it may result in a debtor giving up on making loan payments and beginning to overspend again.

This is for real and my life. DEBT FATIGUE. As of April 2019, I am feeling some serious debt fatigue. I have a few weeks of holidays right now. When I bid for these holidays, I actually had thought I was going to be in Asia for a few weeks. I am not in Asia – I am sitting on my friends couch hanging out with her cat listening to podcasts and writing this blog. I am not in Asia because I don’t have money to be in Asia. Since shit went down in my life in Montreal I have been very careful with my spending and hyper focused on paying off my debt. But the reality of focusing on paying off debt is that I have been feeling the debt fatigue for awhile.

The thing is I am not even sure if it is debt fatigue or if I am just not making enough money.

In the past I have made some really bad financial decisions. I bought into the student loan thing for a university degree then I bought into it again for a college diploma – and now I am working a full time job that I am not sure I even need post secondary for … I am now looking for a second job that is so far removed from either of those things just so that I can pay off students loans for a degree and a diploma that I am not using in the conventional sense.

About every 6 months debt fatigue happens to me. Everything goes to shit. I stop paying my bills, break free and do something financially stupid. Go on a trip or spend my entire payday on shit that I don’t need. Or just stop paying my bills. It gets so damn exhausting paying bills and putting everything towards my debt. I then feel guilty and spend like 6 months recovering from the financial mistakes that I made. The thing is sometimes it feels like I am not even making a dent in my overwhelming amount of student loans.

I have written about side hustles in the past. I have had 2 jobs many times in my life – I have no aversion to hard work, but I promised myself I wouldn’t work two jobs when I started flying. But after almost 2 years I think I am looking to restore a little bit of balance into my life. See I invest 20% of my payday, every payday into stocks. I am building a nest egg to pay off my loans – but that is leaving me with not so much money when its all said and done. – not so much for right now money. So, I end up flying more, then I am gone more and the cycle just keeps repeating itself. I need to be home a bit more and the only way I can do that is if I make money from another source. And here we are May 2019.

It is Wednesday night, May 1st and I am listening to Dave Ramsey and trying to refocus my priorities. I do realize that this might mean doing things that I don’t want to do. Manifesting debt reduction is happening. My plan is in place. I just need to keep pushing myself. It has come to my realization that I need to use my free time to make some more money – it doesn’t matter what it is just need to put cash in my bank account.

So what do I do about the debt fatigue??

• Stop, Breathe, Relax, Put my wallet and credit card away.
• Start applying for second jobs and ways that I can bring in extra income.
• Only drink free coffee on the airplane, drink free coffee in the hotel room, stop buying coffee out – goodbye Starbucks for a little while (yes, the latte affect)!
• Think about it, write about it, put my stress onto paper instead of on my waist line or my bank account.
• Look at the money growing in my stocks and see the nest egg I am building that is making it all worth it!!
• Remind myself how cool thrifting is and how wicked it is for the planet and how lucky I am that I have a uniform job, so I don’t need to invest in work suits and clothing that I would never wear in real life.
• Make a new budget that is more attainable.
• Talk money with my friends see what they are doing – how are they making ends meet?
• Realize I am not alone but also realize that everyone’s journey is different.
• Remind myself that future me will thank present me for getting a second job and getting my shit together!
• Breathe in some lavender and relax!
• Budget into my spending that this will probable happen again in 6 months time and plan for it, because making a financial plan to work through expected debt fatigue is probable the smartest thing I can do.

Have any tips for me on dealing with debt fatigue? I would love to hear them!

10 Introverted Side Hustler Things To Do for Fun When You Are Spending Your Money Paying Off Your Debt!

Let me paint the picture for you: It is Good Friday. I worked a redeye from Cancun the night previous and we were mega delayed. Like mega, mega delayed – we were supposed to land at 5 am – we didn’t land till 7am. I had thought that what I would do was sleep for like 6 hours and go to this interview. But by the time I got home from work and got into bed it was close to 10am. But I made a commitment – so on 3 hours of sleep I decided against my better judgement to go this interview for a job that I seriously didn’t even want.

Now I am at a job interview for a place that I literally have no interest in working at … it happens. I want more money. The thing is they ask me what I do for fun. I froze. I literally had no idea what to say – like what do I do for fun these days. It got me thinking probably in a way that I shouldn’t be thinking but seriously it just made me assess what was going on with my life. What the fuck do I do for fun? Who the fuck am I these days …

I literally thought to myself – I don’t have money to have fun. I am that strapped for cash. That is why I am at an interview to work at a smokehouse as a vegan – because I need money so I can have more fun. But this also made me think what are the things that I do do to entertain myself while I focus on paying my bills.

Here is the thing – more than ever before, right now, my primary focus is to pay off my debt. I eat, breathe, sleep paying my bills. Even when I have no money to make the bill payments, I make them – and live off of practically nothing so that I can get myself ahead financially. If you are wondering – it fucking sucks. But I am banking on future me to be happy that past me hunkered down and paid off my fucking bills.

I mean telling someone that what I do for fun is sending hilarious memes to my friends because I can’t afford actual fun seems kind of pathetic but right now it is the truth.

So here are 10 thing I do for fun  – someone that is super introverted, looking for a side hustle and mostly into things that don’t cost me money:

1) Drink coffee or tea and walk on the Calgary/local trails: this is one of my favorite spring/summer/fall things to do. The city I live in is FULL of wicked trails on creeks and rivers and all nature like and honestly I am not tired of them yet. I make coffee or tea and home or bring a hydroflask of water and literally wander for hours. Good for the soul, good for the heart, good for the pocket book.

2) Hike in the Mountains: There are so many awesome trails in day trip proximity to Calgary. If you stay out of Banff you can hike for free. And if the word hiking sounds intimidating – honestly it’s walking in the Mountains. You can make this whatever you want to make it. Download the ALLTRAILS app – you can find all the cool trails near you and it is free.  I wear my thrifted flannels, my Blundstones and bring a backpack. Honestly you don’t need expressive hiking gear to do this and pack a lunch and snacks. If you are extra smart you might pack a few ciders and leave them on ice for when you are done the trail! You could make a small one-time per year investment and get a park pass for the Mountains – it would be worth your while!

3) Netflix: Yes this is a month expense but honestly, I am paying for it anyway so might as well use it. I went through a phase where I was all about watching documentaries. Now I am on a kick where I am trying to watch all the classic movies that I never watched when I was younger. I am embarrassed to admit there is a super long list. I was busy traveling and being outside and going to raves to care about movies back in the day.

4) YouTube: Watch and Create!! There has been a lot of years that I have wanted to be a YouTuber – vlogger. I just travel so much for work that I thought it would be interesting. I love Youtube is it so fun. There are lots of people I follow. It is honestly mega fun to make videos. Everyone that has some sort of phone – use the camera, make the videos, string them together. Just start. Anyone can do this and if you are good enough one day it might be your side hustle but mostly its just fun as fuck to create things.

5) Podcasts: Listen and Create. This is another platform that I love. It is something to do. Literally you can create voice recording on your phone and upload them. Interviewing my friends is super fun to do – just talking without having to actually look presentable is pretty wicked.

6) Take Photos: Instagram. I love taking photos. The camera on my phone is awesome. Why not just find cool spots in the city to take photos and go for it. It is totally free to do and to upload. I have 1000s of wicked photos – if you put in a little google search you can find the coolest places to take photos in most cities.

7) Volunteer (at music festival) – I used to be a mega festival go-er. Times have changes. Money is tight. So now I find a couple festivals I would love to go to and I sign up to volunteer. It keeps me busy AND I get a free festival pass for volunteering. I meet amazingly cool people, still get take in the music and get myself into way less trouble because I have festival commitments AND it just win-win in my mind. Volunteer (the animal sanctuary) – hanging out with animals, spending time outside, learning some new life skills – I think finding things you are passionate about and getting involved is so good for your mental health. If that is working with animals or volunteering with kids. The point of this on is basically just volunteer for things that you find interesting so you can meet people with the same interests. Get involved in your community.

8) Writing/Blogging. Free as fuck. It is just your mind. WordPress is free. You just need to sit down and hammer it out. I love working through my life by writing it out. I have been writing for as long as I can remember. The dream is to write a book – current mission write the plot summary and book ideas out chapter by chapter and then giver.

9) Read: I love non fiction. I really, really love self help. But that doesn’t mean I don’t read other stuff. I trade books, borrow book, use my library card, use the libby app to read online. There are all sort of ways to get free material. Sometimes it is really good to just shut the internet connections down and get lost in a book. Whatever your like.

10) Try new recipes!! I realize this isn’t free but we all have to eat. I love to cook. I love trying new vegan recipes. I love testing out things in the kitchen. This is a good excuse to find cool things to try online or in one of the many cookbooks that I have. Also a great excuse to have friends over – sharing food is the best.

Bonus) Have a few drinks with my friends, drink coffee with my friends – eat out with my friends, travel with my friends – while it is really, really good to stay on top of my finances – it is also super good to spend some money and to not always go the cheap route. It is super duper important to occasionally spend money on yourself. To treat yourself and to say yes to some of the social outings that are offered to you.

 

So here I am folks at the local Second Cup spending my early evening doing something that I find fun which is writing this blog post and think about what I am going to do for my next staycation day.

 

Things I Think About: Burnout & Life Trajectory

 

It is my morning off. I am in Calgary, drinking my very large McDonald’s coffee in my bed watching Youtube – because I have next to zero responsibilities until 1135pm when I need to check in for work. It is a rare occasion I am home alone; the weather has broken its unbearable cold snap to a balmy -4C and it has been a mega mood shifter. Things today seem like they are a -ok. However, the last month or so things have been far from okay.

The truth is – I have been crying a lot lately. And I think we don’t talk about being sad enough. People get sad and it is okay.

I have known for many years that I struggle with winter depression and this winter hit me hard – like really hard. I don’t know if it is the extreme cold the last few weeks, or so much other chaos in my life. But seriously I haven’t cried this much in years. I know it is healthy to let out the frustration but LORDY it has been a lot. Feeling this way always leads to me over committing and under delivering in my life, to my friends, to my family and to basically anyone – I then over-work to deal with all my stress. Because I am a grown ass woman and dealing with stress by working too much is obviously the way to handle life.

One of my biggest, crippling life stressors is finances. I have a lofty goal of crushing out my student loans in the next couple years and I literally have a plan and I am sticking to it. But fuck me it is hard to stay on track and literally limit social interactions just so I can pay off my debt. I am literally barely dressed drinking my coffee reading up on side hustles and wondering if I had an online business what exactly would I sell?! I would love to just get all those bad ass brand deals by posting videos of me drinking umbrella drinks on my overnights in warm locations, but I do actually think it is more work than that. ‘Cuz well imagine if it was that easy? Why would any of us have Monday to Friday jobs?!

Yesterday morning while I was in Puerto Vallarta, I was recording an episode on my podcast about feeling burnt out. I actually found a Forbes articles detailing signs of burn out and I think I hit all 10 of them with a ‘bang on – ya, I sure am’.

See I think that the first part of fixing any sort of life problem is actually realizing you have the problem. Then the fun part begins and that is figuring out  how to solve the problem – like what do I do to stop the burn out from happening because girl needs a payday and also a vacay (that rhythmed and I am very okay with that).

So today I am just being a social media whore. I am writing, I am searching, I am signing up for freelance work websites – I am literally doing all of this from my bed because it feels like I am kind of resting all while getting shit done. Is it the dream? I am not sure but today it feels right!

I am actually curious what the rest of the world does to deal with burn out. How do you deal with that stress of it all? The stress of life? I mean as I approach 40 things seem to be so different than before, life is different – I actually started worrying about different things like retirement funds and buying property and if I will ever be able to retire. I wonder if I will eventually need to settle for a man that is ill suited to me because I long for some sort of companionship that I have yet to find. I think about all sort of things that on the surface seem really, really sad but are just a harsh truth. These are things I think about.

We all get there in life. It happens. We need money, we work too hard, and then we negate all the other things in our life that create balance. I am well aware of the fact that I have lacked balance in my life for a long ass time because I over work ALL THE DAMN TIME. But the truth is it is all on me to fix. There isn’t another person that can fix my trajectory but me. Being aware of your situation certainly helps in the process – because we all know you can’t fix something you don’t know is broken. So it just leaves me with this isolated feeling of what my next steps should be. Am I paralyzed in my own fear? yes – it is hard to make decisions when you feel stressed and burnt out.  It’s so easy to shut the word out and just focus on pushing through and not really thinking of anything else but making it to your end goal. But that just leads to all sorts of questions about what life is really for, right?! like am I having a good enough time? am I laughing enough? do I have enough people around me that support me? Am I enough?

Anyway – here I am just thinking about things – lots of things – am I the only one?