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.


Small Things Project: Day 72 (oct 15)

Today I’m happy for the kind of nights that are quiet and cold so I can wear sweats and my beat up slippers and feel comfortable. These are the nights I was wishing for when it was killer hot this summer. Trying to remember that.

I’m also happy for the inspiration I’m getting in the form of cooking blogs and herbalists. I hope that I can find some herbalism classes to take at night when I’m done traditional school. I feel like I really want to learn more. Kinda wishing I had thought of that sooner in my life and tried that path. I mean, its not too late but some days it kind of feels that way. I guess I have to work on shrugging off that feeling. I’m 30, not old; 30, I’m allowed to change. I’m happy at least for the excitement and passion it brings me. I remember the days when I would wish SO HARD for a passion. Now I feel like I have so many. And I’m really really happy for that.

 


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….

 


Plantain (the herb) is magic!

Plantain (the herb) is magic! (follow this link to see what I’m talking about)

I’ve been into herbs for a few years. I have my remedies I take when I’m getting sick, my balms for cuts and bruises. I’ve stepped it up a notch this year when I planted my balcony garden full of herbs and started researching remedies (new apocalypse plan is to be a herbalist). All that to be said, I was not the least bit resistant to the bottle of dark green syrup my friend offered me to get a hold of this shitty chest cough I can’t shake. I’ve only taken a little so I can’t say whether its working yet or not, but I have know done a lot of research until Plantain Herb and jeez it sounds like a wonder herb and so easy to find! I’m gonna have to find a plant and another spot for a pot on my balcony, pretty soon I won’t be able to fit a chair out there anymore!