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This Year, I’m Not Making Resolutions

2 Jan

Every January, I make a list of the year’s resolutions. You know the type: be kinder, watch less TV, read more books, eat healthy, blog more (Ha!), exercise, be a better person, drink less soda, eat more veggies, blah, blah, blah.

These “resolutions” are well-intentioned, and I’m sure I’ve kept some of them. But there is no tangible way to keep track. Honestly, no matter how significant my desire to “be kinder” is, I’m never going to keep a running tally of every kind thing I do each day and mark it off against all the unkind things. Let’s get real, people, that would be counterproductive.

So this year instead of resolutions, I’m setting goals. Hard and fast, put ’em on a to-to list and check them off goals. Here we go.

11 Goals for 2011 (Catchy, huh?)

  1. Run a 5k in under 30 minutes. I’ve recently started running again, and I’ve found that the only way for me to keep running is to continually set new goals. I recently completed the No Boundaries Beginner 5k training program with Fleet Feet here in Nashville. I finished our graduation race, the Jingle Bell Run in downtown Franklin, in 32 minutes. But I really wanted to break 30 – so I’m setting that as my goal for this year.
  2. Set a new 1/2 marathon PR. This one may be cheating a little since I have already signed up for a 1/2 marathon training program through Fleet Feet, but it’s my list and I can cheat if I want to. Barring injury, this goal shouldn’t be too hard to complete  considering  my last (and only) 1/2 marathon finishing time is around the 3:32 mark. I’m hoping for under 3 hours for this one. I’ll be running the Country Music 1/2 marathon in April. Wish me luck!
  3. Lose 11 lbs. In 2010, I lost 20 lbs. without setting a goal. Let’s see how I’ll do with a goal in 2011.
  4. Read 11 books. I think I’ll stick with the “11” theme for the next few goals. I always resolve to read more each year, but I’ve never kept track. Eleven books seems doable, especially since I used to read twice that many each semester when I was an English major in college. My first pick: The Time Traveler’s Wife.
  5. Write 11 letters/notes to 11 different people. Old-fashioned, handwritten, on stationery, sent in the mail letters. I love stationery, and I love getting real mail – as in, not bills – so maybe other people will like receiving them. It’s so quaint, so days-gone-by. I think it will be fun. I might even turn this into a separate little project.
  6. Meet 11 new people. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories, but I’m not exactly a small-talk person, so this one is often hard for me. Maybe setting this goal will give me the push that I need. And by meeting 11 new people, I don’t mean making 11 new BFFs. It just means that I talk to 11 people whom I have never spoken to before.  Actually talk to them beyond just exchanging names.
  7. Send out 11 writing queries or take on 11 freelance assignments, or a combination of the two. I think I’m finally ready to turn my writing dream into a reality. This one is the most daunting on the list.
  8. Organize my closet. It must be done! And I don’t mean just put things where they go; I do that already. I’m talking about a new organizational system installation complete overhaul.
  9. Finish my Centrifuge scrapbook. It’s been seven years since I worked summer camp. It’s about time I complete those last few pages and close the book on Fuge 2004.
  10. Take on the photo a day challenge. Not because I’m a photographer or anything, but because I like to document stuff. I think it will be neat. And I just got this really cool new Windows 7 phone that takes pretty good photos and lets me easily upload them to wherever.  This place will most likely be Twitpic. I already uploaded the photo for Jan. 1 here. These should also show up on my Twitter feed at the bottom of this blog.
  11. Visit a place I’ve never been to before. This could be a new city or maybe a touristy place in Nashville that I’ve never been to. But it has to be significant, not something like the Kroger on Nolensville. That would be lame.

Okay, so that’s my list. Here’s to an unresolved, but goal-oriented 2011.

Related Posts:

Ducks in a Row

16 Jun

This one from Kris Carr could apply to anybody:

So often we wait for all our ducks to be in a row, our closets to be neat and tidy, and our endless to-do lists to be checked off before we allow ourselves to have fun. We believe that only after we get all our “stuff” done can we take a deep breath and live.

Well, cancer doesn’t wait for order. In fact, it thrives on chaos. Breathe now. Burn the lists and let the dust bunnies roll like tumbleweeds. Narrow your focus to what really matters: you. Cancer is unknown territory. Will life ever be the same? I hate to burst your bubble, but no. Can you still drink wine? Maybe. Dance on tables? Yes. Go on vacation? Absolutely. Be “normal”? Why would you want to be that? ~ Kris Carr, Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips

I struggle with this to-do list problem continually. I feel like I can’t go out, read a book, call a friend, write a poem, do anything until the dishes are clean and the clothes are folded and the mail is sorted and … . All it ever does for me is cause stress and anxiety. Lately, I’ve been making a concentrated effort to shift my focus from all the chores of life to its abundant opportunities. Carpe diem, right? Or is collige virgo rosas more appropriate?

Related:

Anne Thompson and Dr. Death

Things to Do in 2008

On Self-Pity

A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn, Chapter 1: Summary

20 Feb

Title: “Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress”

Summary: The Europeans came to the Americas in search of slaves and gold and brutally killed almost all the Indians, who according to many accounts were a peaceful and generous people.

Quotes:

  • “… it is enough to make us question, for that time and ours, the excuse of progress in the annihilation of races, and the telling of history from the standpoint of the conquerors and leaders of Western civilization.”
  • “My point is not to grieve for the victims and denounce the executioners. Those tears, that anger, cast into the past, deplete our moral energy for the present. And the lines are not always clear. In the long run, the oppressor is also a victim. In the short run (and so far, human history has consisted only of short runs), the victims, themselves desperate and tainted with the culture that oppresses them, turn on other victims.”
  • “I will try not to overlook the cruelties that victims inflict on one another as they are jammed together in the boxcars of the system. I don’t want to romanticize them. But I do remember (in rough paraphrase) a statement I once read: ‘The cry of the poor is not always just, but if you don’t listen to it, you will never know what justice is.'”

Thoughts: For the most part, history is just a matter of perspective, mostly that of the historian recording it. It is near impossible for an historical account to be 100% free of bias, especially if the historian has a point to prove.

P.S. I Don’t Really Like You

15 Feb

I just finished reading P.S. I Love You, all 470 pages of it.  I picked it up a couple of weeks ago because I was looking for a fairly light read.  I had heard the movie was pretty good, and since I didn’t think I would get a chance to watch the movie, I thought it would be a good idea to read the book.  It’s a story about a 30-year-old woman, Holly, who has lost her husband, Gerry, to cancer.  A couple months after his death, Holly receives a package of letters that he’s left for her, instructing her to perform a series of “unexpected” tasks.   

I can’t say that I really liked it.  It was readable, but that’s about it.  I found it annoying and predictable, not to mention saccharine and icky.  I should have known I wouldn’t like the book based on the back cover’s description: “With the help of the letters — and her fun, quick-witted girlfriends and a raucously endearing family that smothers, loves, and drives her crazy — Holly wobbles, weaves, and jokes her way toward a new life, even larger than the one that she’s been forced to leave behind.”  Ick!

Gerry’s final message to Holly says, “Don’t be afraid to fall in love again.  Open your heart and follow where it leads you … and remember, shoot for the moon.”  Shoot for the moon? 

And the ending just left that awful “artificial sweetener” taste in my mouth:

She was a woman with a million happy memories, who knew what it was like to experience more life, more love and make new memories.  Whether it happened in ten months or ten years, Holly would obey Gerry’s final message.  Whatever lay ahead, she knew she would open her heart and follow where it led her.

In the meantime, she would just live.  [THE END]

Can we be any more cheesy and cliche?  The whole book was just one big cheesy, “romantic” cliche.  On top of that, despite the novel’s length, it seriously lacked in the area of character development.  The characters seemed more like caricatures being dragged unwittingly into a series of unlikely events than real people living real life.  And we’re not even going to talk about the deus ex machina that is Daniel’s ex-girlfriend, Laura.  (Yes, there was a “Daniel and Laura” in this book that I didn’t like.)

My advice: don’t read it, unless you’re into saccharine-sweet, perfectly, annoyingly wrapped up, “romantic” novels with absolutely no literary value, whatsoever.  Oh, and can someone please whack me in the head the next time a try and buy a book that fits into that category, please?

Soulmates (stole this one from my friend Kim)

18 Oct

from eat pray love.

people think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. but a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. a true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. but to live with a soul mate forever? nah. too painful. soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. and thank God for it.

My Mother Is a Fish

18 Sep