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This past week has been full of a lot of hardship for me, some things so much worse than the other things that it feels weird to even mention them in the same post or thought. To start off with the more trivial things, I came up with a really cute concept for my website, logo, brand and an organization centered around my book. It turns out the the domain name is taken in all of its forms. Naming it something else would be confusing, and I don’t want to use my name (that’d be even more difficult to change if I got married or wanted to use a pseudonym for writing), so the whole concept for the brand fell through. I just about had everything up to the merchandizing planned out, too. Disappointing.

Second, I’ve been buried under excessive amounts of work since I returned to work the first week of July. The last two weeks or so, I’ve been slammed even harder with the addition of new tasks just as I was getting it under control. I feel like I should stay late to finish some of it, or come in earlier to get more done, but then I’m tired and high strung when I get home. I’ve not been a lot of fun to be around the past few weeks, I’m sure.

It doesn’t help that I’m still in the middle of my financial recovery plan. I am short on money to do things when the weekend finally gets here, so I try to find free things like parks to go to or go to the hot tub at Mr. Perfect’s apartments. Mr. Perfect is so weary of his own hot tub and random central florida parks that he doesn’t know what to do. I’m a little tire of being creative with a few staple foods from the grocery store. To be honest, we’ve been kind of getting on each other’s nerves this weekend.

The biggest deal is the passing of my uncle. My uncle went into the hospital for a stroke and got progressively worse the past week. He passed yesterday. I had been praying for him and all of our family, and I can be at peace that my prayer was answered and God’s will was done, but it’s another hard blow. I have lost three really close family members in the last four years–my stepfather, an aunt, and an uncle. This was the uncle that took me back and forth to Cranbrook for two years so I could spend some weekends at home and not go stir crazy in the dorms. The one that was always available to ride me around and support me. I haven’t just lost some great great aunts whom I’ve never seen; I’ve lost instrumental folks.

It’s more than obvious to me I need a break. A real, go someone and do something break. I’ve been sticking to a financial plan (that sucks, at the moment) which will allow me to have almost an entire check free while catching up on everything. I wasn’t entirely sure how I wanted to allot this “extra” money. Going forward, I would have extra money each month sticking to my plan, so it’s not as imperative that I keep all of it (but that’s for another post), so I wanted to do some things with this that I’ve been wanting to do for blog/brand/website development or personal development. Now, however, I’ve decided that I need a “Florida on a Tankful” type of trip to rejuvenate myself. I’m going to St. Augustine.

There are several reasons I picked St. Augustine, the main one being I’ve wanted to go since I’ve lived in Florida. Other compelling reasons are its many historical sites, white sand beaches, convenient trolley system, and it’s less than a two hour trip (so I’m told).

I will be going up after work the Friday of my trip, maybe experience my first taste of seafood there, and check in to a hotel. I will then have all day Saturday to explore. I found a church up there for Sunday so I can go to church and get in some last minute site seeing before I come back. Just a little weekend excursion, but it will be so needed.

I hear people debate all the time about whether to accumulate things or experiences with their money, to get an education or travel or just buy things. I haven’t experienced a new place in a long time, since Mobile (I still need to get those pictures developed). Thinking back to how much I enjoyed that day trip to Mobile when we visited Mr. Perfect’s family in Montgomery, I realize how much I love exploring new places and doing new things. I explored a battleship and a submarine and walked through a hangar full of military planes. You have no idea how much fun that was for a girl who had no real interest in the military beforehand. I love experiences, and they really stick with me. So, for once, I’m going to choose experiences over things (although I’ll buy a digital camera before I leave to get some blog photos).

Florida has so many places that are no more than a full tank away that are gorgeous and ripe to be explored for a little cost. I need to exploit that while I’m here, right? I may not be able to go to Rome and see all of those stunning Basilicas, but we have one up the street in St. Augustine. I can’t get to the white sand beaches of St. Thomas, but I can get to St. Augustine. I think it’s high time I did.

More to come as I plan my weekend getaway.