New Year: Same Me

Looking back, I have rung in the new year on the blog in several ways and this year is no exception. The title here gives everything away: it’s a new year, but I’m the same person. I haven’t made a single resolution this year (although I have set a few goals, more on that later). I have the same vision board as I had last year, because my target date is March/April 2019. I am strutting into 2019 with the same confident attitude as 2018. I don’t need January 1st to come along for me to do something, I just need to keep doing what I’ve been doing and do it damn well.

So often we tell ourselves that we will be different (better) in the new year, and so often those resolutions don’t work out. Think about it, if you try to change a million things at once, you’re going to get overwhelmed and you’re going to fall back into your old habits. Imagine the difference when the old habits are the habits that you want to keep. When you’re building upon an existing foundation you are able to do much better without thinking nearly as hard about it.

I actually called BS on the “new year, new you” saying way back in 2016 (See: “New Year, New Yo- no that’s BS”), but I didn’t really investigate it. I just called BS and said my piece and moved on. This time, I’m actually going to publicly proclaim what I plan to continue doing in 2019 that I did in 2018 because I either love them or need them.

1. Lose weight. I’ve been on a weight loss journey for a while now, and to be honest, I’m not doing that great. I am conscious about the choices I make, and I know when I’m making a bad choice. I keep bottoming out of workout plans, and recently decided to take it just one week at a time. I promise myself no more than 10 days, and usually only promise 3 days (either consecutive or out of 7). I basically realized that the long-term plan was overwhelming me and causing me to quit. I had to do something about it, and so I did. I know what full programs I want to do this year, but right now, I still need that “one day at a time” mentality.

2. Read 60 books this year. In 2018, I was scrambling in the last few days to finish a few more books and come closer to my 70 book goal, but it still didn’t happen. I got to 67 books, which honestly is still impressive (and one more than 2017!). Previously, I always looked at how many books I read and whether it was easy or difficult, and then adjust accordingly. However, one thing I never did was look at pages read, types of books, or where my life would be. Knowing this is my graduation year, and that 70 was a challenge last year, I thought maybe I would need to decrease my goal to reach it with pushing myself. I finally decided on 5 books/month. I also want to read no more than 15 audiobooks (because I kind of miss my real books), no more than 25 young adult books (because even though it’s my favorite genre, I don’t feel like I’m growing within it), and no more than 12 mystery/thriller (see above). Also, here’s a list of my previous years reading goals pulled from Goodreads, because I was interested.

  • 2018: 67/70
  • 2017: 66/90
  • 2016: 80/40
  • 2015: 34/25
  • 2014: 30/20
  • 2013: 21/20
  • 2012: 21/16

3. Call my friends and family more often. I am that terrible friend that is basically “out of sight out of mind.” I never know what to say to people, and I always feel weird texting just to say hi. I tell myself I’m always afraid of interrupting something if I call just to say hi. But this past year, particularly in the fall months, I tried much harder to check in with people. What I learned was that I really miss my friends who are scattered around the country. If someone is busy, they won’t answer. If I text just to say hi, I might make somebody’s day. Excuses suck, so don’t make them.

4. Knit, knit, knit! I have been working hard to knit more and better. I don’t know what came over me last year, but there was a point when I was very aware that I wasn’t knitting or reading in my free time. I was basically just existing in the evenings, and doing nothing productive. Yet, I find it damn near impossible to ever sit still. Ever. So, I will do something productive with my time again. 

I totally got this, how about you?

Darker: My Mood While Reading

I’ve been working my way through Darker: Fifty Shades Darker as Told by Christian Grey and I have to say, this book sucks. I always feel like I need to justify my reading of the Fifty Shades series so here it is: I read the first book, I hated the first book. I immediately understood why E.L. James had gotten so many rejections. Then, it was summer and my roommate was reading the trilogy and she needed some solidarity so I said “what the hell.” She was going to tell me all about it if I didn’t read it, so what was the point in resisting? Well, I finished that cliffhanger and immediately got the third book. Then, when Grey came out I figured I’d give it a shot. Series don’t deserve to be unfinished. And I liked it. Yes, you read that right, I thought Grey was a good book. I felt like it redeemed this crazy man who crossed boundaries and trapped the innocent Anastasia. So when I heard Darker was out, I honestly expected it to be redeeming, and boy was I wrong.

This book is a big pile of poop, and I’m coming from the perspective of wanting to like it. There is absolutely nothing redeeming for either Christian or Anastasia and I’m sorely disappointed. The other issue I have, and I could be wrong about this, is that it feels like so much more of this book is repeated directly from Fifty Shades Darker. In Grey, I felt like I was gaining information and insight. I felt like I could see his perspective better, and so I liked him more. Now, I just hate both the main characters and I really wish that (spoiler) helicopter accident had gone differently.

I also don’t remember these books being this ungodly long. Did I truly torture myself through 500 pages? What kind of a sadist was 21 year old me? Or was I just drunk all the time (this, I know is not true but now I cannot help but wonder). If there’s one thing I can say about this series, if E.L. James can find someone to publish her book then I will have some sort of a career as an author if I stick with it.

Want to see more of what I’m reading: Goodreads

Want to see more of what I’m doing: Instagram (Personal) or Twitter

Wish this post had been about knitting instead of books?: Instagram (Knitting)

 

NaNoWriMo 2018: Excerpt

I left my comfort zone back in November, so today I’m doing something that I have never done before(with the exception of a couple of short stories I was recently reminded about), and post some of my creative writing.

The book is titled Go On Living with an additional tagline of “whether by choice or by chance- it’s your only option.” This segment is told from the voice of the main character, and is fairly early on in the book. Hopefully you like it, I wrote it as a word sprint to a song (let me know if you can figure out which one!), and was really pleased with how well it said what I was intending given the constraints.

Continue reading NaNoWriMo 2018: Excerpt

Newsy Tuesday: December 4

I was watching the news last night and I actually thought to myself, “wow this is boring.” And then, I just sat there and celebrated the fact that I wasn’t listening to tales of fire and murder and natural disasters. I could actually sit there and listen to just everyday things. So, I shouldn’t be too surprised that I had trouble finding stories for this post that I felt really stood out. Normally when I do these posts, I have lists of 15-20 stories, which I narrow down to ~5. This week, I have a list of four, which I am narrowing down to four.

Designer Babies Researchers in China reportedly have used CRISPR gene editing to develop embryos which are resistant to HIV, smallpox, and cholera. Continue reading Newsy Tuesday: December 4

Motivation Monday: Be Unique Like A Snowflake

Calvin: Today for show and tell, I’ve brought a tiny miracle of nature: a single snowflake! I think we might all learn a lesson from how this utterly unique and exquisite crystal turns into an ordinary, boring molecule of water just like every other one when you bring it into the classroom.

Today, for show and tell, I’ve decided that I want to talk about you standing out and walking in to all of your newness. I wonder, what would you be able to do if you didn’t worry about what people would think when you dissolved into a single molecule of water, but instead if you focused on what people thought while you were a beautiful snowflake. I wonder what we could be if we strived to perpetually be snowflakes.

Change is difficult, we are not wired to love change. We are creatures of habit. However, there is a point wherein we must understand that the world changes. There is a point when it’s not cold enough to keep the snow around. So what does a snowflake do? It melts and it adapts to its new environment. It becomes a single “boring” molecule of water, but it becomes something else. It is entirely different, and yet it’s the same old snowflake on the inside. Are you with me on this analogy?

Things simply will not stay the same forever, and it’s up to you to grow into that change. It’s also up to you to stand out and be your best, because that’s just good for you. You can impress people when you’re within your comfort zone, but if you don’t adapt to the coming changes, what will become of you? Do you want to be remembered, forgotten, or continuously celebrated? In order to be continuously celebrated, you must continuously be uniquely you.

I believe that each and every one of us has beauty inside of us and the potential to do great things. I also believe that it is incredibly difficult to tap into that beauty. I have struggled for many years trying to figure out what my niche is. I have dabbled in many a thing, and I haven’t given up anything easily (actually, I would argue that I haven’t given up on anything at all). And I know that in some of these situations, I am innately a snowflake, and in others I am innately a single molecule of water. All I know is that I want to be a snowflake in every thing, and dreams with a plan can make it so.

Is there anything you’ve been working towards and/or succeeded in lately? Do you feel like a beautiful, confident, sparkling snowflake? 

Self Care Sunday: Why I Stayed Away

Welcome back to me! If you follow my blog, you know that I’ve been away for a while. It started because I had all of these outlines, and I just couldn’t finish anything because my heart wasn’t in it. I kept myself away because I knew that I wasn’t in the best place to write anything great. I was working hard on NaNoWriMo, on a very difficult topic and a novel that I only planned the first 15% and the last 5%. I have had so many ideas, and I honestly didn’t write any of them down. Every time I opened the file for my blog posts, I immediately closed it. I needed the time to be able to come back and do a great job.

It was really difficult for me, I was extremely worried that I was going to lose followers. I was very concerned that by staying away, I was losing momentum that I had worked so hard to gain. At the end of everything, I knew the best thing for me was to just stay away and wait. I knew that when I found my inner clarity, I would come back without any struggle at all. I would open this file and I would see happiness and a future for my blog. And that finally happened when I sat down to write this.

What have I been up to to take care of myself? 

  • Putting my heart and soul into finishing this PhD. I worked so hard last week and I was so proud of myself. I created a great mind space for myself and I’m really honored.
  • I have been working on creating new knitting projects, specifically for Etsy. I am still working on designing Kindle and iPad cases, because I think they’re really useful. But I’ve been really struggling with them, from the yarn to the pattern and everything in between. It’s a work in progress, and so I switched gears to mug cozies, which went very well! I designed two new ones this weekend, and I’m really hopeful that they’ll be up in the store soon.
  • I’ve been reading, albeit more slowly than I wish. I’m really knocking out some books that I think sound awesome, but maybe not books that I would pick up all the time. I finally just said that I was going to read what I wanted to read and that’s the end of the story.
  • NaNoWriMo. I am once again a winner, I am a first time writer all 30 days, first time donor, first time buddy, and so much more! It was challenging, but I really think that this book is in better shape than mine from 2017 and I can see the progress that I’ve made. I am considering posting a chapter to the blog, but this is still under consideration.

The lesson today is that it’s really important to know yourself and know what you need. Never try to do anything that you cannot do, but keep testing the waters. I wouldn’t feel nearly as good today if I hadn’t been trying to write. I think I did the right thing, and I hope that you all respect that. Let’s finish this year off with many posts from me!