A Simple Hello: Ms. Bean Goes For A Car Ride AND Returns To Blogging

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A few days before Christmas Day I realized I hadn’t driven my car in over a month. How very 2020 is that, I ask you?

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To remedy this situation I decided that we, that being Zen-Den and I, would go for a car ride to make sure that my sweet old car, now 18 years old, was still working.  She was.

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Inspired by the beautiful clear December day, we went to a city park where instead of walking, we drove around to see what we could see.  A different way for us to enjoy a park, but considering everything about 2020 was unique, it seemed fitting.

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A few people were outside walking, but for the most part we were by ourselves. I, of course, snapped a few photos to share here because what’s the point of having a camera in your cell phone if’n you don’t use it? I mean, really?

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Thus with this little vignette of a day in the life of Ms. Bean, I’m back here in the blogosphere with a renewed sense of vigor and, I hope you’ll agree, a snazzy new template for The Spectacled Bean. It was time for a change here.

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Also, for those readers who care about such things, I’ve decided on my word of the year. *drum roll please* In deference to my good intentions gone awry by things outside my control in 2020, I’ve decided to reuse my 2020 word of the year.  Yes, my #OneWord365 is going to be SIMPLIFY.  Again. 

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Goodbye 2020: A Sunset Delightful + A Secret Disclosed

A trippy sunset in late autumn. Doesn’t it remind you of tie-dye?

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Would you like to know a secret? One that has to do with my word of the year, simplify, and with the plans I made in the beginning of 2020?

Well here it is: On the first day of spring I was planning to go on an extended hiatus from this blog.

Yes, I was all set to say *hasta la vista* to this blog and take spring + summer off, living simply as it were. Then I was going to come back to the blogosphere in the fall, with more bounce in my pounce.

With a new sense of purpose and direction.

A whole new me.

BUT THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN, DID IT?

Instead, as you may remember, the country shut down the week before my intended *see ‘ya later* meaning that Z-D began working from home [8 months now!] and I realized that personal blogging was going to be a good thing to do in the upcoming months.

Something positive to do.

Something normal and reassuring.

So, stating the obvious here, I kept this blog going and have continued to show up with my usual flapdoodle and twaddle, interspersed with helpful hints [I guess], and augmented with a modicum of snark.

Because I can.

And because I wanted to.

However, 2020 has exhausted me both mentally and spiritually. I will not lie.

And because I sense this upcoming holiday season is going to be stressful, zapping my energy in new ways while testing my patience with ill-mannered people, I’ve decided to call it a year, a few weeks early.

Thus I’m out of here until 2021, intending to return with a new word of the year and with a renewed sense of focus. Or maybe it’ll be the *same old same old* word and the *same old same old* focus. I don’t know yet for sure. Who’s to say?

I just know I’m tired, in need of a break from writing.

Stay safe, everyone. Please be here when I get back.

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When Holiday and Pandemic Stress Collide via Psychology Today

How to fight ‘Covid fatigue’ as America heads for a deadly winter via The Guardian

Do you have coronavirus ‘caution fatigue’? via Fox News

What To Say To People Who Say You’re Being ‘Too Safe’ Amid COVID-19 via HuffPost

COVID-19 is not tired of us, says WHO chief via Yahoo! News

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TGIF: I Answer Jill’s Questions Over There While Announcing Summer Hours Here

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THE JILL’S QUESTIONS OVER THERE PART

Jill Weatherholt asks questions, oh yes she does.

In fact she asked me to answer her questions, so I did.

Should you care to read my answers to her questions then click on I WANT TO READ ALLY BEAN’S ANSWERS TO JILL’S QUESTIONS and you’ll be magically taken over there to her blog.

Forsooth.

THE SUMMER HOURS HERE PART

Wanna know a secret, my gentle readers? Yes? Well then lean in closer and I’ll tell you one.

When I chose SIMPLIFY as my word of the year I planned on taking this summer off from blogging.  Just bug out completely.  Detach entirely.

However plans change.  Perhaps you, too, live in a state where you are still being asked to stay at home?  Well, we do and we are.

This is the end of Week 13, by the way.

Now clearly I have the time to post to this blog, but summer [in the northern hemisphere] is when I’ve found that personal blogging slows down to a dribble.  Plus I’m in a blogging rut, in the mood for a change, a simplification as it were.

Thus I’ve decided to adopt what I’m calling SUMMER HOURS.  To wit:

  • I’ll be posting my usual flapdoodle and twaddle here every other week instead of weekly.
  • I’ll be posting mid-morning, probably on Tuesdays, thereby allowing me to have a relaxed morning in keeping with summer’s mellow vibe.
  • I’ll be commenting less frequently on your blogs, keeping up weekly with the cool kids who keep up with me.

And with that I wish y’all a groovy weekend and a happy summer.  I’ll be here when I’m here.

LOVE ‘YA. Mean it.

Blog Post #901: What We Have Here Is A Tuesday-type Situation

IF AFTER 900 POSTS on The Spectacled Bean you know anything about me you know that I adore images that summarize what’s going on.

While it’s true that I’m a wordy girl at heart, I’m not a word-exclusive snob so I find a visual image, such as the one I’ve shared here, can get to the point of a situation quickly and accurately.

Make it snappy, I say to my wordy self as I compose posts for this blog;  tell the story in whatever way conveys your message clearly, I remind myself before I add an image.

Yep, that’s how I talk to myself when writing a personal blog post.  Scintillating? Not so much.

ALSO, FOR THE RECORD, I found this image in a file on my old computer and realized I’d made the image in order to learn how to make a Venn diagram but had never used the image for anything because, I guess, once I’d learned how to make a Venn diagram I had no need for said image.

Until today.

A Tuesday, a day of the week that sometimes can be difficult to embrace wholeheartedly.

A Tuesday on which I want to return to blogging after a long hiatus but am feeling awkward about how to start writing again.

This particular Tuesday to be exact.

THUS IN KEEPING WITH the concept of SIMPLIFY, my #OneWord365 for 2020, I thought for blog post #901 I’d write something light and easy, something sincere but a bit silly. Something that acknowledges that it’s a new year on the calendar but confirms that I’m the same old me.

Something, in fact, that might be construed as a catalyst for comments and conversation about your approach to blogging OR your word of the year OR your opinion of Tuesdays.

What’s new with you, kids? I’ve been away far too long.

Getting Philosophical As I Prepare To Take A Month Off From Blogging

Pretty blurry striped colors make for a lovely image* at the top of this post, my last one for 2019.

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I LISTENED TO THE LATEST Hurry Slowly podcast from Jocelyn K. Glei.

In it she introduced her new vision for how her podcast will evolve during Season 3.  In a nutshell, she’s loosening up about who she is and will be focusing less on productivity and more on authenticity.

I look forward to hearing what she says as she shares her transformation and her realizations about what matters to her now.  And therein is the nugget of wisdom that I gleaned from her podcast.

It’s all in the now, the person who you are in this moment and how you will manifest as such.  It’s not about what you’re doing, it’s about how you’re doing it and why.

Always the why.

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AS YOU MAY REMEMBER MY #OneWord365 for this year is streamlined.

Since I adopted it last January I’ve thought on it, not necessarily daily, but weekly as I organize my life, hoping to create a clutter-free home and the conviction that I can do things smoothly.

However, if I’m to be truthful here I’ve had a rocky year with this one word. It’s come to mean expense [roof, windows, computer] and idealistic dreams [the basement and garage are still harboring too much stuff] and, by the looks of the inside of this house, half-finished projects strewn about the rooms in messy heaps of indecision.

On the one hand I feel like I’m a failure about implementing the streamlined concept, but on the other hand I wouldn’t be as far along the path to becoming who I want to be now if I hadn’t focused on it.

So there’s that.

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I’VE DECIDED TO TAKE THE month of December off from blogging and instead focus on Susannah Conway’s December Reflections Instagram prompts.

I enjoy writing but feel that I need to get away from my ordinary routine, allowing me to reflect on how and why I’ll be doing what I plan to do in 2020 AND to decide whether or not my attempts to be streamlined have been a personal transformative experience or just another screwup.

Thus all that is left for me to say here is please enjoy whatever it is you do during the month of December. Make it a fun one. Take joy!

Later, kids.

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* Because someone is going to ask: I made this image by photographing a page from Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith. I then enhanced the photo using ‘Rainy’ in Waterlogue [here for Apple] or [here for Windows].  

I put that enhanced image into Photos on my iMac where I edited it by adding highlights and cropping it into a rectangle.  It was work-y, but turned out pretty darned cool, if’n I do say so myself.