Reflections on #ROW80 goals, buying house and coffee

“Sometimes just when I say hello the right way, I’m like, ‘Whoa, I’m so cool.'”~Robert Pattinson, English actor

It’s been five months since I completed a Photo365 spread, but it feels like forever.

The first is the date I would normally post that, along with some deep, introspective look back at the life that was. I offer no perspective other than I saved no photos for February, January and November, with only a smattering of images in October and December. Despite my dozens of PokemonGO screenshots, Goodbye Selfies, Tree, coffee and sunsets, I collated nothing. Why? Did I lose interest ? Did I forget? Have my priorities changed?

Yesterday, I discovered a local coffee shop in Denville: SmartWorld Coffee. It’s small, almost teeny-weeny with its 6 circle tables, 3 barstool square tables and 2 comfy chairs. The store closed early this week because tomorrow, they unveil a new them. More comfy chairs, the owner said, improved lighting and more. I have no idea how this will all fit together in this cozy space, but I admire them for improving the experience.

We should all strive for that, even when we don’t know the end result. We see it in our mind’s eye, but how does that translate to reality? I’m striving for success with my first quarter goals, which are part of my “17 in 17” and ROW80 projects.

1. Buy a house.

It’s not really a goal in the sense of writing or achievements, but that is my #1 priority. Finding a house is a part-time full time job. It’s somewhat out of my control because I can only look at houses that are available. Listings change day-to-day, but this goal is at the mercy of sellers.

Since I have this time on my hands, I’m focusing on two of my goals for the next few months:

2. Write 17 chapters in one or various books.

As much as this is work, being creative is finger painting for my brain. I almost feel guilty giving into play. After all, there’s more serious writing to do. Can play be serious?

3. Explore 17 writing outlets.

I was about to type that I haven’t done anything yet, but the proverbial light bulb in my head blasted on. Next to SmartWorld’s condiment bar is a shelf of local publications and business cards. The publications are the type that are full of text and look like a folded newsletter, the ones you find in small-town boutiques, local bookstores–if you’re fortunate enough to have one–libraries and coffee shops. We’ve all passed them by and wondered if anyone reads them because the info inside is specialized and local, We don’t know if they’re interesting because we never pick them up, just snob by the independently produced papers.

Of course people read them! The publisher wouldn’t waste money on paper and staples otherwise. The beauty of these is that they are specialized and local. They know their audience, the key to any successful book or magazine or newspaper.

I picked up three publications: the Morris County’s Our Town; a folded flyer for GFWC Woman’s Club of the Denville-Rockaway area; and NJ Kids on the Go! Of these, I’m only counting Our Town towards that 17 goal because it’s the only magazine publication with stories inside. The GFWC is an organization I know nothing about, and NJ Kids is mostly advertisements. By flipping through the February issue, I learned the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum Arcade is in Asbury Park.

I admit that I’m hesitant to delve deep into these. My husband and I haven’t found a house yet, so we could end up living miles and counties away. That may mean nothing. That may mean everything. I won’t know un less I try, and the opportunity was a cup of coffee away.

SmartWorld is my first Photo365 for March.

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