Friday, August 12, 2016

How to Cultivate Independence {as a daughter living at home}

I found this old post in my drafts and decided to post it, with some editing.

It's an unfortunate stereotype that grown adults who live with their parents must be "Kid-ults" - the kind of person who can't or won't earn their own money, support themselves and get out on their own. For many of us adult daughters who live at home, though, we are responsible, productive adults, who probably could manage on our own if we wanted/had to... but why? I enjoy my family, and the room that I share with my sister has plenty of space for me. However, it is true that it's easy to remain dependent living at home. Here are some things that I do to cultivate independence, and prepare myself for the day when I might run my own household. 

- Be responsible for getting up on time in the morning. This is one of the most important things for a responsible young person to start doing for themselves in my opinion. I began in high school, when I took a Chemistry class for homeschoolers. I overslept my alarm once, and was nearly late to class after leaping out of bed in a panic, throwing on clothes, grabbing my books and running out the door. I didn't get breakfast, but I survived, and I learned to be responsible and not expect my mom to make sure I was up and ready when I needed to be. 

- Voluntarily do chores and help around the house, without being asked. No one should have to tell a grown adult to clean their room, do their laundry and clean up after themselves. If I lived on my own and left a mess in the kitchen, there would be no one but me to clean it up, so as an adult who is capable of cleaning up after myself, there is no excuse to leaving extra work for my mom to do. She is not my maid! I admit, I still struggle with laundry... I start a load, and then forget about it sometimes, and Mom has to ask me to move it from the washer to the dryer, or to take the clean clothes out of the dryer. 

- Find a way to earn some money. This doesn't necessarily have to be outside your home, I teach piano lessons in my house. I also babysit/nanny our neighbors' kids, right across the street. I'm considering the possibility of sewing some things to sell on Etsy.com. There are lots of options! 

- Pay personal expenses as much as possible. In high school, I started paying for my theatre and dance classes, because I was skipping them too often and my mom was getting annoyed at how much of the fees I was wasting by choosing other activities over class. (That had the added benefit of making me appreciate how much money my classes were costing, and I attended classes more regularly when the money was coming out of my earnings.) After graduation, the number of students I could take increased, and I now own my own car, for which I buy gas, and pay all the maintenance and repair costs. I buy my own clothes and other purchases. I do NOT buy my own groceries, though, and my parents don't charge me rent. How that works in other families will differ, but the important point is to take responsibility for some of your own costs.

- Learn how to go grocery shopping. I mentioned in the last point that I don't pay for my own groceries, but I regularly do a lot of the grocery shopping for my family, and it's been a great experience in learning how to grocery shop efficiently. Everyone should know how to purchase groceries. 

- Help out with cooking. I enjoy cooking, and have made entire meals for my family on my own, although usually my mom, sister and I all pitch in with dinner. We tend to get into ruts, though, where Sarah always makes particular things, and I always make particular things, and Mom always makes particular things, so if any of us tried to switch around, it wouldn't be nearly as good (Sarah's guacamole, homemade salsa, barbeque sauce and spicy broccoli are really just inimitable...) so I'm working on mixing it up sometimes, so I won't have holes in my cooking abilities.

What would you add to this list? I recently began using a free budget manager, which has been a very interesting and helpful experience!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Hello August! (Where has this year gone?!?)

Wow, I can't believe it's August already! It's been a very hot summer, I hope it will cool down some this month, now that we're approaching fall!

So, a quick little update on what I've been up to... if you saw my ONE other post this year (haha, my poor little blog is so neglected!) you know that my work goals were:
- Have my annual Spring recital for my studio - CHECK!
- Create a more professional studio policy for managing payments, cancellations, etc. - CHECK!
- Perform my solo recital as soon as possible (hopefully by summer at the latest) - CHECK!!!!!
- Finish the tuning course by the end of the year
- Get my second piano in shape so my older intermediate students can begin concerti

We had a nice, quite successful and very well-attended Spring recital at the end of April. I'm very excited about the improvements I've made to my studio policy and how it's helped teaching to flow more smoothly. I added a policy about late-notice cancellations (I was getting quite a few of those, and it can really mess up a schedule!), began using a online scheduling calendar that I absolutely love (https://acuityscheduling.com) and finally got up the nerve to raise my rates, after 10 years of teaching for the exact same fee! 

I also performed my solo recital at the end of June! 


Thanks to my dear friend Katherine for this "action" shot, which was staged after the recital. ;)

My boyfriend Matt and me after my solo recital was (FINALLY!) done!

Not to blame him or anything, but this amazing guy is part of the reason I sort of abandoned my blog. We've been dating almost 9 months! He has been such an encouragement to me, always willing to listen and advise when I was trying to decide how to approach my adjustments to my studio policy and so supportive during both my students' recital and my solo recital. 

We met at a contra dance in September 2015, and he asked me out in November. It's been so much fun getting to know him this year. He's a strong, godly man and has been encouraging me in my walk with God. He eats healthy food and we did Whole30 together in January, plus several "Whole7's" since then as a short little reboot. He likes Pride and Prejudice 1995 and watched it with me when we'd only been dating 2 months! (He also appropriately disdains the P&P05 atrocity. *wink*) He enjoys classical music, and likes to read... the number of things we have in common is so neat!

It's been an incredible blessing having him be such an important part of my life this year. We've spent a lot of time together doing all sorts of fun things, way too many to list. Building Legos, reading together and sharing our favorite TV shows are just a few. Whether having fun, just relaxing, or working on a project, he is always fun to be around. I'm so thankful God brought us together!

I'm going to work on writing blog posts more frequently, at Matt's encouragement. I'm planning on continuing to write them quickly, and not do much editing though, as I used to spend SO much time tweaking little things that probably no one but me would even notice! I'm trying to relax on my perfectionist tendencies. 

And with that, I'm going to close this post with just a few pictures of my post recent chalk paint projects. This is Primer Red, with dark wax on some pieces of furniture in our den/TV room. 




Happy August everyone!