Stationary Drifting


2013: the post in which I state my resolutions

I think I was kind of trying to avoid writing a post on new years resolutions, etc. For no particular reason other than the fact that it seemed to be required of bloggers (am I a blogger now?), and a bit cliche for this time of the year. I guess I do like to have personal time capsules though, hence the existence of this blog in the first place. After reading a few bloggers talk about looking at their resolutions from last year and comment on them I got a hankering to be able to do that myself. So here’s my plan for this year, no particular order, mostly to look back at in approximately 353 days and see how it worked out.

1. Finish my thesis

This is a really big one. I know that my thesis has made an appearance in the complaining part of this blog many a time. Its been dragging on a long time and is getting to the point of being more of a myth in my life than a reality. I’m tired of feeling embarrassed and apologetic every time someone asks me about it. I really want to have it done and over with so I can prove to myself that I am capable of such tasks and and to be able to move on with my life. The thesis is holding me back from starting other things I care about learning because I can’t really imagine, or justify to others, starting anything new with this still sitting there. So to do this I’m going to have to 9-5 this shit. No more flexible time, no more excuses, just all work all the time until I’m done. It will feel so good to move on and I’m going to use the yearning for that feeling to drive me.

2. Find a good job

Finding a job has been a helluva chore. Its been over a year that I’ve been applying, going to interviews, feeling rejected, and starting again. My goal for this year is to make the changes that need to be made in order to find work, which will include really thinking about whether Montreal is the place for this to happen. I’ve been applying to work in other places but maybe I need to make the big move to change up the formula and hopefully find something that works. This requires a lot of thinking and planning since I don’t exactly have the income to up and move to a more expensive city (thinking Toronto), and obviously this decision also affects M so its got to work for him too. Whatever it is, something is not working in my application process and I need to evaluate that. This goal is related to the above goal in a lot of ways, not the least of which because both are making me feel stuck and also probably that getting my thesis done and graduating will help the job hunt. Its also related to moving my life and my new little family’s life and goals forward. So its back to the regular job hunt for me. To do this I’m going to get back to regularly searching for and applying to jobs. I’m going to make it my begin the morning routine, over coffee and breakfast (which I will also be getting better at), before working on my thesis.

3. Drink more water

In the past I’ve gone for more of a general “get healthy” goal. I’m not ditching that because let’s be honest, I’m way too young to not take care of myself. This year though I’m going to put down a more specific goal of making sure I drink a lot more water every day. Like the full recommended daily amount. Its not a hard goal but its a habit I want to form and it will take some conscious intention to get it started. I’m going to follow the Mayo Clinic’s advice because they seem legit and are usually not too extreme in their recommendations. They say that the average woman in a temperate climate should drink 9 liters a day so I’m going to aim for that. 9-10 big glasses or my water bottle a day should do the trick. I want to start each day with water before anything else and move from there. Luckily I drink a lot of water when sitting at a desk, mostly out of fidgety boredom, so this should work perfectly with my above plans.

4. Start a Cdn political analysis blog/podcast

This one is going to be on pause until the Thesis is done because frankly I’m not sure I can handle more writing, other than blogging, on top of that but I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. Hence the Department of Analysis blog I keep but don’t write on these days. I follow a lot of grassroots political blogs and podcasts and really enjoy the perspective. My complaint about this though is that all of them are American, and while I appreciate the updates on what’s going on there I want to publicize what’s going on here too. The idea is not to be a journalist so I won’t be going out to follow stories, that’s not my goal. What I want to do is be a pundit of sorts and do commentary on events, news and politics in Canada to try and up the conversations happening about the situation here. The US affects our politics but we have plenty of our own that needs to be discussed. I’m going to aim for a late spring launch on this. If I can get others involved then great but if not I’m still going to do it.

5. Start a small Apothecary

I’ve been into herbal and holistic healthcare for a long time now. I think my first foray into it was when I got Bell’s Palsy (8 years ago?) and doctors told me that they didn’t know anything to ease the symptoms or speed recovery but that some people had good results from acupuncture. Luckily at that time I was still covered under my dad’s awesome teacher’s insurance and I was able to get acupuncture 3x/week for months free. It worked, was relaxing and most importantly I had (what I’m told is) a remarkable recovery. I still seek out acupuncture when I need it these days, though I don’t have coverage for it so its a lot less often. From there I got myself a naturopath and started using herbal remedies to make myself healthier and my obsession has only grown. Nowadays I treat just about everything with herbs (unless I’m really sick) and have gotten into making toiletries. I know make my own deodorant, cream and lip balm and am learning to make more. I’ve been researching lots of recipes (and even classes) but for now I think I can start a small apothecary making non-internal products and selling them around town. So this winter is for learning, and when the thesis is done I will launch!

6. Make a budget and stick to it

Classic resolution and one that I make almost every year. Its a bit comical to try and make a budget for such a small amount of money but at the same time SO necessary. This budget is going to focus on watching what we spend and paying down debt so that when we eventually have good jobs and more income we know where our money goes and hopefully have a cleaner slate to work with, and better credit. Eventually we will want to do things like buy cars and maybe a somewhere to live. Or at least travel. Money sucks when you don’t have it. So a budget has been made for this year, mapping out the real expenses we have and prioritizing the important things, including a (very small) budget line for entertainment. Now we just have to make sure we stay on track.

7. Read more books

My degree has killed my ability to sit and read for fun. I feel guilty when I’m not reading academic stuff so I haven’t really. I got a mini kobo for xmas this year and some bookstore gift certificates and I had no idea what to buy! This is so weird for me, I used to be such a big reader. This is somewhat related to the next resolution. Don’t get me wrong, I read, a lot. I have a solid 29 blogs and news agencies that I check at least once a day (thank you flipboard), not to mention the many articles, postings, rants and commentaries that also make up my daily reading. I love reading and I love learning, I acknowledge that I’ve turned more towards emerging and grassroots/popular learning in the form of new media academics and I like it. I get challenged a lot from it and it inspires a lot of discussion in my home. I miss reading for fun though, and reading fiction. Anyway, I finished reading Fun Home last week and am partway through Alison Bechdel’s new book, Are You My Mother?. Next up is Barbara Kingsolver’s, Flight Behavior on my new kobo. Then maybe something by Zadie Smith? I don’t know yet. The plan is to read at least 30 books for fun this year (idea from blackandwhiteandlovedallover). 30 is not much but it seems reasonable in the face of the stack of books I have to read to finish my damn degree.

8. Use less screens

This is another reason why I haven’t been reading enough. I have a million screens that I can look at in all places. My computer, tablet, smart phone, and (now) ereader makes is virtually (pun intended) impossible to avoid looking at a screen. I can sit in front of the computer all day, or peruse the www on my tablet in bed or while traveling (I even use it for knitting patterns!), the phone works for small spaces like the metro or bus or if I don’t have the tablet with me. The ereader for when my eyes feel like falling out of my head from starting at screens too long. So, with the health of my eyes in mind I’m going to make sure I spend a significant amount of time not looking at screens a day. Whether that’s reading (ereader doesn’t count, its nice on the eyes), knitting, hanging out with friends, cooking or whatever I’m going to make an effort.

9. Go somewhere new

Phew, this post is getting really long. Its taken me almost 2 weeks to write!

This is a fun one, a lot of these goals feel kinda heavy….I’m a wanderlust at heart. I’ve been in Montreal for 5 and a half years and its closing in on the longest I’ve lived anywhere, including places I lived as a child (Calgary was 7 years). My parents move(d) a lot, I’ve moved a LOT. There was the period of time between 19-24 I moved cities, if not countries, every 4 months. I like being nomadic, I get excited by new places. I have come to enjoy the benefits of being somewhere a while, which mostly have to do with knowing people for a long time, but I still need new places in my life to keep things fresh. So my goal for this year is to go to at least one new place. It doesn’t have to be far, it just has to be somewhere I’ve never been before.

10. “Renovate” the apartment

I’ve been living in this little apartment for almost 2 years, and now officially over 1 year with M. When I originally set up and painted the place it worked really well for me. We made a few changes to fit M in when they moved here but other than moving one or two pieces of furniture and clearing out a closet and a few drawers for them to use there haven’t really been any changes made to the place. Its in desperate need of an update and a shuffling to make ‘my’ place ‘ours’. My goal for this year is to declutter, paint, recover and buy with M to make our house ours. We’re exploring ways to cover the terrible linoleum in the kitchen & bathroom. Suggestions welcome. Changing a rental apartment is an interesting dance between wanting a good space and not investing a lot into a place we’ll move out of and leave behind.

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4 simple goals: #3

Okay, its been a while since I posted about my simple goals and there are a lot of reasons for that. Not the least of which is that I haven’t had any real time to blog over the past while. I realized the other day that I am working 4 jobs at the moment AND trying to write my thesis. This means that I work a 40hr work week, and come home to work on at least 2 other jobs at night. For example, last Tuesday I worked from 10-6, came home and had a skype meeting for a facilitation contract I’m doing from 6:30-8pm, and then worked on my TA’ing stuff from 8-10pm. I didn’t even touch my thesis. Somewhere in there I’m trying to see M, maybe a couple of friends, call my family and do laundry and any number of other life things that need to happen. It doesn’t really allow for a lot of ‘me time’. Which I think is the thing I miss the most from my student life. Time to cook, check out the neighbourhood, do projects and crafts, listen to the radio, etc etc.

It also means that I haven’t been that good at keeping up with my goals.

Simple Goal #1 of eating more fresh plants has been going okay. I’ve been trying to consciously make sure that there is plant matter in my meals but the fresh stuff has been harder to keep on top of. Given the fact that I don’t really have time to grocery shop, or am too tired to grocery shop, I haven’t been as good about this as I could be. I’m going to try and redouble my efforts the rest of this month though and try to have some at least once a day and work up from there.

Simple Goal #2 has been kind of a flop. M and I spent a lot of time shopping last weekend with my little bit of birthday money and I found 1 cardigan and a cheap stretchy skirt. I like these 2 items a lot but given the amount of time, the number of stores I went into and the things I tried on, it was pretty dismal and I ended up spending my money on film, beads and food. The usual. I’m thinking I might foray into online shopping and see if that yields me better results. If anyone has experience in buying clothes online please send tips. I don’t really like the idea of buying things I can’t try on and am worried I’m going to spend a lot of time sending things back. But I like shops like ASOS, Ruche and Modcloth so hopefully I can find better things. The internet is an amazing place isn’t it?

So, with the so far rounding success moderate optimism of the first 2 goals. Here is SIMPLE GOAL #3: plan direction of stationary drifting

I’ve been really enjoying blogging since I moved over from tumblr earlier this year. I kind of prefer the static nature of an independent blog where I’m not so concerned about people reading, reblogging, networking, etc. Don’t get me wrong, tumblr can be really great for a lot of reasons. I’ve seen some amazing community building happen there but that wasn’t really what I was going for when I decided to start logging my life on the internet so here I am over here now.

I’ve gotten pretty into blogging since then, and into following other people’s blogs. I’ve been using the flipboard app on my ipad to keep track of all the ones I like to read on a daily basis (though I hear bloglovin’ is good too) and through following other people and a fair amount of nerding out on my part I’ve started trying to envision this blog as something more design friendly and aesthetically pleasing, on top of being my online personality. I’m not going to lie, I like the communities that I’ve seen happen through blogs, and (a little bit) the recognition from posting useful things. I certainly like watching my readership spike and grow. SO I’ve been thinking about buying my domain name and fooling around with graphics and making this place uniquely my own.

The reason this is on my goals list for fall is because partially its to remind me to put some attention towards this, and partially its to remind me to do little projects for myself for no other reason than because they make me happy. The blog itself is a project, the projects that happen on this blog are projects and the stuff I blog about are often projects too. Its a reminder to keep myself creative and in touch with myself. In that way, even just doing the small things project as often as I can has helped in keeping me grounded in thinking about the good things in my life and in having a small project to feel happy about. I think this might be the most successful goal I have so far and thank the universe for that.

So you can expect some geekiness around blogging, graphic design, programming and the internet to come out here over the next few months. I’ve been relying pretty heavily on the advice posted on a beautiful mess (also the ladies who inspired these goals). So yea, blogging. Gonna start doing more of that.