Sunday, January 27, 2013

January Resolutions Update

January has been an adjustment!

I started classes again, and started my resolution of hitting the gym/working out every day. I'm happy to report I've upheld my plan and gone every single day! While I've enjoyed my time, I don't know that it's something I want to continue as a permanent thing. Translation = I hate going to the gym every day.

The gym has become a habit now - and for that, I'm grateful. Exercising daily is so important, especially as you get older and your metabolism gets slower. But there is such a thing as overdoing it, and this month I've missed out on a few fun events because of my gym schedule. I've fought through exhaustion to go spend an hour on the elliptical, only to become more exhausted.

While going daily may work for some people, I think I'm a 4-5 times a week-er. The whole point of doing this type of monthly resolution is to help me form better habits -- and I can happily say that this has become a great new habit.

Up next for February, no alcohol for the whole month. I'm having mixed emotions about the difficulty of this one. Part of me thinks it'll be no problem, as I don't drink that often anyway. But I think I'm forgetting how often I meet up with girlfriends for happy hour. Wish me luck!


Sunday, January 13, 2013

I suppose I shouldn't feel bad, because none of my resolutions were about posting on here more frequently. But I do. I feel bad. Like a friend you've neglected because you've been busy, you really have, and then you happen to run into them somewhere...that's how this feels.

You'll be happy to know, or not...maybe you hate my guts and I have no idea, that I've held up my January resolution so far. I've hit the gym for 13 days straight. It hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be, and I'm actually enjoying making it part of my daily routine.

Over Christmas break I was discussing writing with a family friend. I've grown up with her practically as a second mother, and she'd always been encouraging and helped foster what could have been a writing career. She asked me if I still journaled and I told her no. I don't. I haven't looked at a blank notebook that wasn't school related in years.

As I hit my 20s, I've struggled with figuring out how I feel about things. Journaling and writing started to feel too self-absorbed to me. Not that I'm the deepest fish in the ocean, on the contrary, I'm pretty shallow when it all comes down to it.

After our talk, I pulled out the last journal I wrote in and read some of my stuff. I was impressed. I sounded super deep and cool and artsy and like someone I'd talk shit on but secretly think was really cool. Reading it now, three or four years later, felt like I was reading someone else's writing.

Am I okay with having progressed from that? Do I wish I still had that thought process to be able to pump out beautiful prose? Sometimes. But do I miss the incredible self-absorption that comes from being that introspective? Not at all.

I remember once I read a quote from Alicia Silverstone that was listed as one of the worst quotes of all time. It read: "I think it [Clueless] was deep in the way it was light. I think lightness has to come from a very deep place if it's true lightness."  At the time I laughed at it because everyone else was, and even then I'm sure I didn't understand it's full implications.

Now, I think the quote is rather profound. Maybe my self-diagnosed shallow-ness is a result of "being okay" with not having those darker thoughts.

Another interaction that still haunts me is one from the film Girl, Interrupted. I'm not building a case for my not being "dark" anymore, and I'm aware of that. It's one of the final scenes, where Wynona Ryder's character has been brought back to the institution and she's talking with her nurse discussing depression. She says, "But Lisa thinks it's a gift. That it let's you see the truth."

The nurse replies, "Lisa has been here for 8 years."

I'd seen that movie a bunch of times before I ever remembered that part and it's stuck with me ever since.

I have some friends who I still keep in contact with who are artists/musicians/writers. I can see it in their faces when they have a conversation with me that they almost feel sorry for me - that I'm not really one of them anymore - based on my career path, my conversation topics, etc. I meet new people and see the small smirk or the sideways glance when they find out I've read a certain author, or that I own a collection of specific books. Is it because I curl may hair and wear dresses? Is it because I'm the girl who owns a car seat for her dog (I totally do)? Ultimately, do I seem too "light" to have ever had any "dark"? If that's the case, I think I'm okay with it.

There isn't really a point to this post. I'm not saying I've figured anything out, I'm not saying I'm happier one way or another. But I'm okay with not having things figured out yet and I'm okay with not pursuing it. Conclusion paragraphs never were my thing.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

New Year's resolutions are kind of bittersweet. I feel like we usually pick from the same 10 or so things  and eventually fizzle out by March. I talked previously about the blog 12 Months of Lent and I've been thinking about the concept ever since.

While I have several guessable resolutions this year (exercise more, eat cleaner, etc), I'm really excited to be giving Danne Dzenawagis' approach a try. I've thought it out this morning and have decided this is what the first half of my year will look like:

January: Exercise once every day. You can do pretty much anything for 30 days, right? My goal is to get to the gym for one hour every single day this month. Starting today!

February: No alcohol. Alcohol is literally a toxin. I hate hangovers and actually dislike a lot of alcohols anyway, so this shouldn't be too bad. I'll be interested to see how easy/difficult it is to give this up for an entire months. Notice I picked the shortest month to do so...

March: Cook at least one new meal a day. This will be exciting to try out a new recipe each day and I know my husband will love it. Doesn't have to be exotic, or a difficult recipe. Just something I've never made before.

April: Save every dime I make (obviously this excludes rent/utility money). I've significantly cut back on my spending since I started school, but I'd like to get better at putting money away. It's easy for me to look at a small paycheck and justify buying something instead of saving it...because it wouldn't make a huge difference. But every little bit helps!

May: No caffeine. I'm talking coffee, sugary Starbucks drinks sodas, etc. This month I'll be sticking to herbal teas, tons of sparkling water, and protein shakes as I see fit.

June:  Give up all simple carbs. This one is relatively easy, as I spent most of last year eliminating those from my diet as best as possible. I'm mainly hoping to exclude most breads and pastas, as well as simple sugars.

What are your New Year's resolutions?