goals for 2019

I was talking to L yesterday, was it yesterday?, maybe. Anyway, we were talking at some point about goals and how I adore setting goals for myself. This is something I was previously quite good about and then, well, life.

So I’m going to try this again. I’ve made myself a little list.

  1. Lose 5lbs / month
  2. Write more pages than required for each MFA packet (minimum of 30 are required)
  3. Finish all of the craft projects on my list as of 1/16/19
  4. Get a new tattoo
  5. Present at a minimum of 3 professional conferences
  6. Pay off all of my credit card debt

Some of these will be happening simultaneously, like the writing and the crafting, while some are more isolated like the tattoo and the presentations. But they’re all going to happen.

They’re going to happen. You hear me? THEY WILL.

I need to start by concentrating on my writing. The first packet is due on January 31st. I’ve been doing some writing but not near enough. Part of what’s implied here, though not explicitly stated, is that I need to figure out a routine for myself. Like pronto.

The craft list right now looks like this:

  • fix the knit vest
  • organize new patterns
  • match patterns with yarn
  • necklace to go with blue shirt (supplies in second drawer)
  • horse shoe suncatchers
  • fingerless gloves for me
  • locket project
  • rose/garnet jewelry set
  • alcohol ink coasters
  • alcohol ink glass balls
  • beaded shawl
  • leaves shawl
  • Sweet Louise shawl

I’m certainly forgetting something, but we’ll call that official.

My intention is to provide a weekly update on progress. I do need a wee bit of time to get myself just a tad more organized but I’m anticipating that I’ll start with the updates on February 1st. Fridays always seem like a good day for these things.

Ever Onward!

goals? what goals?

I like to torture myself.

Now before you get all upset about that statement, let me explain. I decided this morning that I would check and see how I’m doing on the goals I set for myself this year. I thought I’d maybe be able to pat myself on the back a wee bit for a job well done.

Oh how incredibly fucking wrong I was.

But do you know what the great thing is about goals? You can keep working on them until you reach them. And if they’re too crazy hard, you can modify them. The best difference between a goal and a resolution, like a New Year’s resolution, is that a goal will never imply that there’s something wrong with you that needs to be fixed. Goals imply that you’d like to make a change or an improvement and they encourage you to get there.

So I haven’t been making the kind of progress I had hoped with the goals I set for this year, but my world hasn’t ended and I certainly don’t feel like I haven’t accomplished anything. Actually, not doing so well with a few of my goals is helping me to see areas that really do need improvement.

No experience is truly a failure if you learn something from it.

This weekend is going to be chock full of fucks for magical shit. I’m going to hang out with Lancelot, I’m going to work on my grad school application, I have a gorgeous (and amazingly easy) purple shawl with me to work on, I’m going to cook, and I suspect there will be snuggles aplenty.

 

proof that I knit and that my body still hates me

This is the vest I’ve been working on. We dog sat again this weekend and let tell you, repetitive garter stitch is perfect for watching movies. I used Rebecca Hope Obsorn’s Nebula Medallion Vest pattern and, as usual for me, did it my own damn way, mostly because I used only a little handspun yarn but not bulky and then three other commercial worsted weight yarns. The two solid purples are (I think) Cascade 220 that’s been in my stash for years. The aqua collar is a new acquisition but of course I can’t remember what it’s called. That gorgeous stuff in the middle is the handspun. One of my good friends who happens to be a librarian here made it for me before I had the cyst removed in December. Look her up on Instagram, she goes by @teaspinning. I plan on wearing this tomorrow. YAY!!!

I have gotten back to work on the triangles shawl/scarf thing. I’m going to try to get it done before the weekend because this Saturday my nieces have a big ass competition and it’s close enough that Mom and I will go to it. We’ve been to enough of these that we have it down to an art.

We’ll be taking:

  • bleacher chairs
  • a knitting project for me
  • all 3 of Mom’s tablets
  • large insulated drink cups
  • those little sticks of drink mix
  • snacks that don’t make messes or get fingers dirty (for the girls)

Most of that goes in my backpack. I don’t mind going usually. Inevitably someone will strike up a conversation about whatever project I’m working on. And my nieces are amazingly talented so it’s fun to get to see them in action.

Okay, time for the “body hates me” news…

Last Thursday night I taught a class. While I was up front talking I noticed that the middle finger on the right hand hurt and was swelling. That’s the finger I wear rings on so I got those off and kept going. I had apparently blown a blood vessel. The finger hurt like hell until Saturday morning.

Sunday afternoon Mom and I were doing stuff in the yard, nothing major. I stopped to get a drink and the index finger on the left hand popped, like I felt something pop, and it started turning black and blue and got hard. It’s starting to feel better now but I gotta tell ya, this is just weird.

In the “my body hates salad” news… I lost FOUR POUNDS last week. I am pleased.

ch-ch-ch-changes!!!

So I’m happy to report that being 42 is every bit as awesome as I hoped it would be. I got to spend time with some friends last week, my work-husband brought me donuts, I completely blew the whole healthy eating thing, my Panda Princess Partner is back from maternity leave, and I’ve decided that my world is well and truly a drama free zone.

There has been some “moving on” because of that, namely with the guy scene. I just have no desire to be anyone’s second choice and I’m implementing some standards. Who’d have thunk?

I’m also taking a stab at round two of making a shawl that turned out to be a heinous disaster the first time. Did y’all know that actually reading the damn instructions makes a huge difference? I meant to bring it with me today since I have a hair appointment tonight and then I could have taken a pic, but alas, I’m forgetful.

In other super exciting news, I turned in my final project for an online professional development course I’ve been taking and I got great feedback from the woman who was facilitating. My #1 Strength according to the Clifton Strengths Finder assessment is Learner and boy do I ever love to be learning new things. That’s one of the perks of working in higher education; there’s always something new to learn and lots of opportunities to do so.

Anyway, what I just finished was considered a certificate. I have a B.S., an M.A., a graduate certificate from the university where I work, and now two professional certificates from other universities. One of these days I should think about a doctorate degree but I’m not ready to commit yet.

Now for some visual distractions…

the fifty-cent garter stitch scarf

That’s the scarf that resulted from my fabulous yarn score at the artist garage sale. The length is good, not obnoxiously long, and the colors are really interesting. It was a nice, relaxing knit.

hanging violet (click for bigger pic)

I absolutely love African violets, and so do the boys. I haven’t had any for awhile because, well, they killed the ones I did have and I hadn’t figured out how to keep one safe. So I got a tiny 2″ potted violet, a plastic cup, some pebbles, soil, and leftover sock yarn. I crocheted a solid base and then did the netting around the sides. It’s lovely.

a friend at work crocheted me a lovely purple blanket which the boys promptly claimed… this one is Eric (click for bigger pic)

long time no write

Not dead yet! Life has been hectic and there have been bits where I’m doing good to keep my head above water. But even though life has been more about the treading than making progress lately, I haven’t drowned yet. I call that good.

While I haven’t done super great with the goals lately, I haven’t done super awful either. I haven’t lost weight but I also haven’t gained. And I spent money on stuff I didn’t truly need, but I haven’t gone beyond the funds I had set aside. And of the the things I did buy, none of it was craft supplies. Mostly it was digital music and a new small set of markers, both of which I use at work.

Work is good these days, and it’s part of what’s keeping me going. There is no shortage of stuff to do. And I love these crazy people. Over lunch today I had one of my faculty friends stop by needing a favor and he was all “I totally owe you coffee for this!” No sir, this is called doing my job. I told him that I’ll take care of him and he can take care of the students.

Honestly, that’s how I measure my success – retention and graduation rates. If we aren’t keeping students long enough for them to graduate then we aren’t doing something right and I feel like that comes back, at least in part, on me.

Anyway, still working on the other goals. I’m trying to get back on the whole healthy eating wagon. I spent time last night getting some lunches and fruit salad made. I’m also making good progress on my latest knitting adventure, a beaded shawl.

the beads are really subtle, they’re along the left edge in this pic

The pattern is simple and I’m loving it. Not sure how long it’s going to take to finish but I have been working on it regularly. And I finished some smaller projects in February so I feel pretty ok about that.

derp!

all the things, all the time

By way of a quick “goals” update, it was not a great week. I ate more junk food than I should have and was not quite as stringent with the budget as I should have been. On the plus side, the Visa has been paid off and I sent a hefty chunk to another card. But this super cold winter weather is just dragging me down.

At any rate, I have still been doing my best to keep moving forward, even if more slowly these days. I’m approaching my 42nd birthday and my 12th year in active treatment for Bipolar Disorder. I feel totally justified in slowing down.

There was a time in my life when I really did think I could do all the things all at the same time, which is utter crap. But I felt bullet proof and I was out to prove that I was. Oh how wrong I was…

Getting enough sleep, eating healthy food, and taking the right medications have made a huge difference in my world, as has having the world’s most amazing mom.

I live with my mom and honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. We take care of each other, we do stuff together, and she helps to keep me on the straight and narrow. I can’t even imagine how lonely I would be if I lived alone.

Here’s hoping y’all have a good week.

month one – official wrap up

Sorry y’all, this is likely going to be a shorter than usual post. I’m not feeling so fabulous today and so sitting in this desk chair is not a good thing. But, accountability is a good thing, so here goes.

  1. Weight – I have lost exactly 5lbs since I started tracking this on January 1st. Yay!
  2. Money – I stuck to my budget last month. I ate out exactly 3x, I kept every receipt, and I didn’t even suffer for it.
  3. Eating better – I paid much more attention to what I was eating. Part of that is because of the food prepping I do. (hopefully more on that in a future post)

All in all, I’m counting January as a very good month and I’m proud of the progress I’ve made.

week four

Coming at you a day early this week, but hey, I’ve got good stuff to share.

Easy one first, the weight. In spite of making the decision to have dinner out last night, and eat a large order of french fries, I managed to lose another 3/4 of a pound. My guess is that it could have been even more if we’d had something healthier for dinner but I honestly don’t feel bad. This was only the THIRD time this month that I’ve eaten out and a girl needs some fries now and then. I’m still considering it a win. I’m down 4lbs for the month. My goal was 5 and I still consider next week part of January. I’m seeing a victory in my future.

On the financial front, I’m doing awesome. I still have cash left in my wallet and in the bank. I recreated my budget spreadsheet (it got lost when the laptop tanked) and then started adding up my receipts and I’m actually in really good shape. Assuming the government does eventually let me file my taxes, my returns are good enough that I’ll be able to pay off one credit card entirely and then start working on the others. My plan is to pay off the highest balance, because it would require the highest monthly payment to eliminate this year, and then put that payment amount with the next highest balance. This should result in all of the cards being paid off well before the end of the year.

I’ve decided that the next step is going to be increasing what I pay on my vehicle loan. I moved that to my credit union, where I do all of my banking, late last year so it’s ridiculously easy to pay extra on it via their website. Once that’s paid off I’ll start putting money aside for the down payment on the next vehicle.

I totally sound like a grown up.

there’s a really funny story with this pic but all you really need to know is that no, it was not my birthday, but it’s stuff like this that makes it hard for me to think of myself as a grown up

I am starting to use my Google Assistant more often. I even figured out how to have it set reminders for me, and then promptly felt foolish because it’s stupid easy. I am quite enjoying it though.

And last but not least, the “bigger than a washcloth” craft project to be completed. I am probably 95% done crocheting the pieces and parts for the kitty cocoon/bunting thing for K’s bambino. Next comes assembly. Lots of little parts that will make for an adorable baby kitty. My plan is to get that finished this evening.

So YAY! I feel like I’m making really good progress with everything and because I’m not focusing all of my attention on just one thing it seems to be easier. It’s lots of baby steps that are all taking me in the direction I want to go.

gratuitous cute kitty picture

week three

That was quite the week. On Tuesday I spent the entire day out of commission due to dental work. I do not do well with the dentist. If Novocain is to be involved I require drugs to be sedated. My guy is amazing. And now I have better dental hygiene practices, so WIN.

Then my work bestie left to go have her bambino. This is good, but I already miss her. I have been working furiously to get a kitty baby bunting set done for him. I’m getting closer.

Then my laptop tanked. I’ve spent the better part of the last several days trying to resurrect it. I think (knock on wood) that it’s done. I feel very fortunate that I learned long, long ago never to keep files on my hard drive. Everything is backed up in the cloud so all I’ve really lost was time.

So that’s my bitching, now onto the positive stuff.

Somehow in spite of not resisting the siren song of cookies, and still not getting my chubby little self on the treadmill, I managed to lose 3/4lb. I’ll take it. Mom thinks this is mostly due to not eating out, including not stopping at the coffee shop at all. I’ve really enjoyed eating at home and taking my lunches to work. Honestly.

I’ve also been doing good with the finances. I still have some cash to get through the next 10 days until I get paid again, there’s a little money in the bank, and I haven’t had to use the credit card at all. I’m actually quite proud of myself. I’ve started looking at anything I’m contemplating buying and asking myself whether I need it right now, can it wait, do I need it at all. If you’ll believe this, I made it out of Costco for less than $9. My best score was at the supermarket. I tend to check out the clearance area, just for giggles, but yesterday I found a two-pack of segmented plastic tupperware type dishes for FORTY-NINE CENTS. I could justify spending that little bit, so I did.

Tomorrow is my final appointment with the gynecological oncologist. I’m pretty positive this is just a formality but it will be nice to officially put that chapter of my life behind me. Here’s hoping that this next week is a little less intense than last week was!

week two

I am delighted, and entirely amazed, to be able to report that I lost another pound this week. That puts me down 2.5 for the month so far. WOOT! The amazed part comes from the brutal attack I made on some leftover Christmas cookies last night, but I digress. Life is all about balance.

I’m still trying to work on my eating habits. I haven’t yet started on the extra activity component, which is funny because as I’m writing this my mom is on the treadmill on the other side of the room. I don’t lack in opportunity, I lack in motivation. It happens.

Finances were also one of the things I identified as a goal and I’m pushing that hard. I’ll be calling Netflix this morning and cancelling because after a long hard look at our entertainment habits we realized that we almost never use it. Yes, only $15/month but still. I’ve been taking a long, hard look at everything and deciding if I really need it or not.

So I’m keeping all of my receipts, writing unusual things down in my planner, and making myself stop and think twice about each and every purchase. Yesterday when we ran errands it was a game to see if I could get out of each store for $10 or less. The only time I tipped the scale was Target and that was because my total was $11.57.

I feel like I’m off to a good start, and that feels really GOOD.