Stationary Drifting


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.

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enjoying small routines

I’ve really started to enjoy things like cleaning the house, cooking, grocery shopping, etc. I love the small routines of taking care of myself and my living environment. Something I would have been horrified at hearing myself say a couple of years ago. I realize that its helpful that I don’t work 9-5 mon/fri and so my time is flexible. Minus the fact that I live pretty frugally with such a small budget, I really appreciate my lifestyle and my ability to go grocery shopping, or do laundry in the middle of the day when I have the place to myself.

I’m also happy that I’ve found so much enjoyment of solitude. I never thought that being alone would be something I would like so much. I’ve always been a bit of an introvert, not much of one but enough to require some alone time to regenerate every day. I used to go a bit crazy if I spend too much time alone, and I still do a little bit, but my length of time that I can spend alone has gotten a lot longer. I’m not going to lie, I love hanging out with Marseau all of the time but sometimes I look forward to a quiet few hours alone in the house when he’s gone. When I get to cook, watch tv, knit, blog, etc without having to talk to anyone for hours. Its kind of glorious and so different for me.

With the exception of Marseau, who is different than all my other living situations, this is the first time I’ve ever lived on my own. I went from living with family to living with roommates and usually living with a lot of roommates. I always really enjoyed those times. How busy and unpredictable the house could be. I still love spontaneous hang outs and house parties but I also love going home to my house, where its clean and my fridge is stocked with food I like and know how to cook. I love the quiet of it. The simplicity and how good it feels to make a home mine.

Sometimes when I think back on who I am I’m shocked at how much I’ve changed. I don’t know what has spurred this. It feels like it came on really fast but I guess in some ways it was just a process of getting older. Its interesting to look at the routines I love so much these days and know that the old me would have thought that I was boring and a sell out to the lifestyle I used to be fully committed to. And maybe I am boring and a sell out but I’m happy this way, I find enjoyment in what I do just like I did then. And while its a lot quieter, a lot less outwardly political, a lot less punk rock I still feel like my fundamental beliefs are there. I just express them with different hobbies. I think I’m also a lot more physically healthy than I used to be.

I still hate doing laundry though….


Small Things Project: Day 34 to 42

Day 34: (March 27)

Back at it after a 10 day break.

Today I’m happy that I have one more day to mark all these papers and that I had nothing to do today other than mark so I could procrastinate a bit (a lot).

I’m happy that M took on cleaning and cooking today so I could focus. I like it when he does that and I like being able to keep my mind in one place for a while.

I had a nice weekend celebrating Felicia’s 30th. I’m glad I got to be a part of it. I’m also pumped about the new cake recipe I found, I’m writing a post about it but it didn’t last long enough to take a picture. It was a hit at the party.

MJ Cirque du Soleil show for Felicia's birthday. I wasn't allowed to take pictures during the show.

Day 35: (March 28)

Today I’m happy I have one more night to finish marking this god forsaken papers. I’m happy that the prof I’m working for didn’t really care that I’m not done and I’m happy that although its mind numbing work its relatively easy and pays decent.

I’m happy that Marseau is dealing with finding us food because the fridge is near empty and I’m hungry but too tired and with too much work to want to do anything about it.

Day 36: (March 29)

Today I’m so happy that I finished marking all those gd papers and got to finally get the sleep I was needing. Even when I don’t procrastinate marking is pretty painful (the novelty of it wore off after my first year as a TA), but when I do procrastinate and have 60+ papers to mark in 2 days its ridiculous. I’m glad that I was able to give the attention to each paper that they deserved, I’m also happy that there weren’t too many that were awful.

I’m happy that I’m finally rested up to clean the house. It got into total chaos mode with me working and Marseau’s busy schedule this week. I just got out of bed (after pulling 2 all nighters in a row) and survey’d the mess, its a little ridiculous. Enough to give me energy to tackle it even on my total sleep deprivation. I’ve turned into a serious neat freak since moving into my own place last year. Something about everything being in its place makes me feel like the world is right.

I’m happy to go back to my quiet life of work, crafts, social life, and regular sleeping patterns.

had to put up the fuzzy picture because I didn't want to show off someone else's work

Day 37: (March 30)

Sun! Even if its cold-ish out I’m happy for sun. I wonder how many times I’ve written that in this project. Clearly I’m a sun loving person, sun sensitive.

I’m happy for a fridge full of groceries, its been a little empty this week since M and I have both been so busy. I’m looking forward to having food at home to eat again.

I’m working away on Corrie’s bday present. Its late, as usual, which is kind of my (and her) style. Late presents are nice though, I like getting presents any time of the year and I like taking the time I need to make a nice present for someone instead of going out and buying the something and hoping they like it.

I’m happy that I’ve caught up on my sleep and am feeling more normal again. I’m getting too old of all nighters.

Day 38: (march 31)

I’m happy for a quiet day at home and the return to somewhat normal.

I’m happy that we’ve finally agreed on a wedding invitation design and that I was able to put it together myself. I feel really strongly about making as much as possible ourselves. Having a really personal/personalized day is very important to me. Plus I love an excuse to play around on photoshop, I don’t get a lot of chances to exercise those muscles these days. I have a ‘life after school’ folder in my head and taking some photography and photoshop/indesign classes are in that plan. I really do love graphic design but I’m so self taught I know that there are a lot of things I could do that I can’t figure out how to.

Day 39: (april 1)

I’m excited for my new spring plans! Today I’m going to the gym, that I signed up for yesterday. I’m going to try a spinning class. Its been years, a fair amount of weight gain and starting smoking since I last did a spinning class. I’m nervous but excited. New healthy lifestyle here I come!

ran into the bike demo against the proposed raise in tuition here. It was awesome, I wish I had biked in it.

Day 40: (april 2)

I’m excited for Game of Thrones, the tv series that M and I just started watching. This is runs somewhat contrary to my get my life together plan but still I’m enjoying it.

I’m also excited to quit smoking, though I really really want a smoke right now I’m still trying to resist because I’m excited about having healthier lungs.

Day 41: (April 4)

I’m happy for the fact that I’m still keeping up with my gym plan, and excited to start my cleanse soon. My abs are killing me but I’m happy about that, means I’m really getting into it. I’m still avoiding smoking during the day, which has been hard but I’m doing pretty good. I have smoked before 6 the past couple of days but didn’t break until 5:30. I also am not really enjoying the smokes I have. Which is good, I gotta learn to dislike them if I’m going to make this permanent. I’m looking forward to quitting.

I’m happy for the nice lunch I had with Marty and running into Mood and Corrie (separately) on the way home. I love living in a neighbourhood with lots of friends. Makes me feel so at home. Which was something I always missed after leaving Halifax and am happy to have going on again.

I’m excited about the spike in readership on this blog lately. I think my Eating: peanut Butter and ganache brownie recipe got posted on The Kitchen Sink, so a lot of people are clicking over from there. Thanks folks! I hope you like it once you get here.

Day 42: (April 5)

Today I’m happy for a quiet day at home to work on school stuff. I got a really good pep talk from Marty yesterday and she’s motivated me to get back to it.

I’m happy that its my brother Riley’s 28th birthday and I’m sending him lots of love for the next year. I wish I could be there to take him out for beers but he lives on the other side of the country. Sigh.

I’m happy for my sore muscles, it means that I’ve been working them hard! I’m excited for my session with the personal trainer tonight. I’m looking forward to getting some personalized advice, particularly for working out the shoulder and arm that I had surgery on. They are so much weaker than my right side and I want to figure out how to work out without injuring myself and getting back to myself. My arms are pretty powerful, I’ve always liked that, and I want it back.


April is for resolutions

January is not a good month for resolutions. I feel like the world is ending in January. Its so dark and cold and all I want to do is curl up under the blankets, watch a movie and eat baked goods. Basically winter is like one long pms cycle for me. The beginning of January is the last possible time I ever want to do anything active or motivate myself to do stuff I really really don’t want to do. Besides, everyone knows that the new year starts Sept 1 with the start of a new school semester. I don’t care how long you’ve been out of school, the beginning of fall is when its time to start the calendar over again.

A great time for resolutions is the beginning of spring though. When the snow finally leaves, the air starts to get warmer, hope and enjoyment of life returns, and I have all sorts of new energy. Its the time of the year that I want to clean out all my cupboards and drawers, air out the house and start planting a garden. This is the time of year that I want to make life changes, to make resolutions and really feel like I have a chance of keeping them.

So that said, here are my new season life plans:

1. Be Healthier

This one is a 3 part-er some more immediate term and some longer term, as all get healthy plans are.

– Join a gym

Marseau bought a damn scale this week and now I know how much I weigh. I hate knowing how much I weigh, it makes me so self conscious about my weight. I know that I’ve been gaining weight as I get older (I am constantly reminded of this fact whenever I go home ~ why do people insist on commenting on other people’s weight by the way?). I’m trying to learn to be okay with this fact, and okay with not being the skinny ideal in general. My height, frame, genetics, love of good foods all keep me from looking like a supermodel. I have accepted that and frankly sometimes I think that models kinda look unhealthily skinny. Trying not to comment or judge other peoples’ weight either here. The truth is that ever since I stopped biking because I was too scared/in pain after my accident I haven’t really been getting any exercise. Even if climbing the stairs to my 3rd floor apartment with a load of groceries feels that way. I found a gym that’s 3 blocks away from me that has pilates, and I like pilates (waaaaaaay more than yoga, but that’s a different story), it also has spinning and I don’t know if I like spinning but I want to like it. It has a steam room and a regular gym part (that I’m less excited about) I think that if I like some of the classes I would go frequently and start feeling like I’m getting some exercise and get energy from that. My goal is to get healthy enough to join a boxing gym, I really want to learn how to fight. In the meantime though I just want to drop some weight and feel healthier. I don’t have any particular goal weight and I’m not going to diet/deprive myself. I just want to feel better in general.

Which leads me to my second point:

– Quit smoking

I’ve been a smoker for a long time now, and I’ve been quitting smoking about as long as I have been a smoker. I’ve never been particularly successful at it, in that I don’t think I ever have truly stopped. But its my goal to not smoke anymore by the time I’m 30. This gives me 6months of quitting, possible relapses and learning to be able to see people smoke or go to parties without wanting to smoke myself. Even more difficult will be watching Marseau smoke in front of me and not want one myself too. So, as of today I have a rule that I’m not going to smoke before 6pm. No more daytime smoking. Once that becomes easier I want to go down to no more than one smoke a day. My mid-term goal is to only smoke when I’m drinking by the end of April. Long term is to stop once and for all in 6months. I’ve never felt like I was exactly addicted to smoking, I mean I can stop for days or weeks without feeling shitty or getting cranky. I never have felt like I NEED a smoke. Its just very much a habit for me. Waiting for the bus, after eating a big meal, feeling socially awkward, needing to go outside for a bit, social times with smoker friends, writing a paper or grading and needing a short break, are all reasons to smoke for me. Its been the time filler or self care or stress reliever for me for going on…..8 years now. I can’t believe its been that long! I want to have pink lungs again (or whatever colour they are supposed to be). Plus smoking weakens my immune system and I don’t need more ways to be able to get sick.

Finally:

– Do a cleanse

I’ve never done one of these before. I used to be really disdainful of cleanses (quelle surprise, me being disdainful), maybe its because the people I knew who did cleanses just stopped eating and drank a lot of chili, maple syrup and lemon juice mixes. That always seemed (and still seems) ridiculous to me, and I don’t get how that can be healthy at all. I do get how going back to basics and cleaning out my body make sense though, and I like the kinds of cleanses that people I know now do, which include cutting out a lot of food things that are rough on the system, letting my body relax a bit and slowly reintroducing more complex foods one by one. I’m all into herbs and alt health care so this seems like less of a crazy thing to do than it did year ago. Even if this is the shortest term ‘get healthy’ goal of mine, I think it might be the hardest. Particularly not drinking coffee but also I’m bad at monitoring my food. It will be a good exercise in self-discipline. Which I really need because, life plan #2 is going to require a lot of it.

2. Finish my thesis

This shit is for real. I’ve been letting this large and scary amount of work paralyze me into inaction for way too long (just ask Marseau and my mom ~ the 2 most invested in me finishing). I sit in front of my computer every day and just look at it, and then I get up and tell myself that I need to get groceries, do the dishes, make dinner, finish someone’s bday present, whatever seems more manageable and less terrifying at the moment. The problem is that even if I’m not sitting here looking at it, its looking at me, from inside my head. I wake up early in the morning thinking about it, I feel guilty as soon as I wake up, and every time a friend asks me to do something my brain says that I can’t I should be working. Most people’s reaction to this kind of thing would be to just do it. My response is to ask first if you’ve ever written an academic book that you feel totally unprepared and unqualified to write and then when you do finally finish it you must sit in front of a panel of experts while they tear it apart? Sounds like a stress nightmare to me but its actually my life. Many of you may answer yes to that question, and kudos to you but this shit terrifies me. Which is not to say that I’m not going to do it. I am. Starting today I’m going to work at this like its my job, which of course, it is.

I should probably write something about getting a job and saving money, or being better about calling my family, or sleeping but I already feel like I’ve got a lot down there. The road to self-discipline can’t all be traveled in one day right? I don’t know, probably not, maybe I’ll look into it tomorrow or something….