The journey of a waylaid artist finding moments of creative inspiration in everyday life.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
The Quarterly Report
Some people make New Year's Resolutions. They say things like "I will not smoke in the new year!" or "I'm going to eat healthy this year!" or "I will get married this year!" Never mind that cold turkey is only a successful smoking cessation program for about 10% of smokers, that no American I've ever met can get through 365 days without a few seriously decadent desserts, and that the institution of marraige requires at least two people to agree to engage in it... we make these inflexible promises to ourselves and promptly break them. If we're smart, we know that they're bullocks from the minute the hangover wears off and we don't take much notice of them. It's not that it's a bad tradition - it's just that it's all about self-improvement, and that is a gradual process. No one gets smarter / thinner / healthier / happier overnight. And no matter how hard you might try to change others, the only behavior you can control in the end is your own.
Google's uplifting tribute to Spring!
A few years ago, I started making year-long personal goals at the New Year instead - things that will foster better habits for my future, that I can work on over time, and that I won't automatically fail to carry out because I had a bad day.
As today's Google Doodle reminds us - we've hit the Spring Equinox. The warmer, brighter days are coming quickly. It's time for The Quarterly Report!
Goal #1: 18 NEW books in 2012!
Having looked back at the previous decade, I had realized that reading - which was once one of my greatest joys - had fallen almost entirely off my radar. Although my book collection is formidable and I was already the happy owner of a Kindle, I frequently found myself re-reading things I already knew I liked, rather than checking out things that I had never read before. So I challenged myself to finish reading or listening to 18 titles new to me by December 31st.
Progress: So far, I've finished 6 books - so I'm ahead of schedule!
Interested? I should soon have reviews up on my account at www.goodreads.com; just search for DMluvsPrufrock!
Goal #2: Finish 12 Knitting (or other Making) Projects in 2012!
If I didn't have such a severe and chronic case of Startitis, completion of this goal would not be the formidable challenge that it is. Sure, I could just go through and complete 1/2 the projects I've almost finished, but that would take valuable time away from casting on new projects and (gasp!) contemplating other crafty endeavors! But not finishing things I set out to do is kind of a chronic problem for me, so I'm hoping that if I start here, I can learn to have a little more follow through where it really counts. (Plus, I don't want Westley to ever leave me because he fears drowning in WIPs!)
Progress: Also ahead of schedule, but just barely. I've finished a hat/scarf set for Westley, one for my friend T, a cowl for me, and the platter I posted last Friday. (Sadly, I've had to rip out a good deal of the sweater AND the bag I'm working on, thanks to late-night math errors.)
I don't have a lot of money to spare, but I've never been good about saving what I do have. This truth came into sharp focus when I was unable to help my parents rebuild after Hurricane Irene demolished the first two floors of their home. I'm a good daughter and I love my parents and that experience really made me feel helpless and a bit like a loser. I started thinking not just about what they were going to have to spend to rebuild the house, but also about the other expenses that are probably not terribly far off in their lives. Things like in-home nursing assistance, which can get very expensive and may not be covered under anyone's insurance. So since my personal savings wasn't much to begin with, I decided that it shouldn't be too hard to double it, and that's what I'm working on. :)
Progress: I'm doing better at thinking of savings as long-term, rather than just stocking up enough for a new whatchamacallit, but I'm still behind schedule. In Q2, I'm going to have to come up with ways to increase how much gets into that account in the first place...
Interested? Too bad - finances are personal! LOL But I promise that if I find some great tips, I will pass them along...
Goal #4: Weigh 30 lbs. Less on December 31st!
This is really just about maintaining my weight loss program and not letting the holidays mess with all my hard work. Easier than it sounds, but this is still a very realistic goal. The key is that I'm not on a diet - I'm changing my lifestyle. Being conscious of my food consumption and activity levels (and acknowledging how crummy I feel when I slack) really does keep me on track.
Progress: I've lost the 'holiday weight' again, but not much further, so I'm technically behind. But I'm not worried because warm weather months, in my opinion, are the best and easiest time to lose weight. I'm looking forward to my weekly walks to the Collingswood Farmer's Market, where I will be able to get fantastic local fruits and vegetables so delicious that my mouth waters thinking of it. Plus, exercising is easier to squeeze into your life when it's fun, and it won't be long before Collingswood opens the community pool!
Interested? If you need a great program to help you lose weight and get healthy, I strongly recommend Weight Watchers.