Progress Report – February 2013

I’m happy to say  that I made some progress on knocking out my goals.  Here’s the run down:

  1. Read 4 books – Finished The Casual Vacancy on February 18, 2013!
  2. Keep up the Debediah project – Nothing.  I’m still focusing on other things right now.
  3. Learn to play an instrument – See above.
  4. Lose 12 lbs – I’m not sure where I am on this.  Last month, I noticed that my weight fluctuates between 2 – 8 lbs on any given day.  This month has been the same, and I can’t see a correlation between what I’m eating/how much I’m eating and my weight.  It’s not like if I overeat on one day, I gain weight the next.  If I eat mostly junk one day, I don’t necessarily gain weight the next day either.  There’s not a week delay.  I can overeat 3 days in a row and lose 6 lbs and eat fewer than 2,000 calories for a week and gain 8 lbs.  I never noticed my weight fluctuating this much in the past, so I don’t really know what’s going on with my mess of a body *shrugs*  Maybe I need a scale that I don’t have to recalibrate every day…
  5. Workout 1 hour per week – This hasn’t been going so well.  I haven’t been able to keep up a regular workout.  I have, however, been doing my morning stretches every day.  I also fit in mini-workouts in the mornings before work and in the evenings while watching t.v. or getting ready for bed.  I should probably time them to see how much I’m actually working out each day, even if it’s not done all at once.
  6. Knit 4 projects – Finished Amanda’s sunglasses bag on February 9, 2013!
  7. Work on The Comic – Nope.
  8. Keep up this blog – Decided to do away with some regular posts, but still staying active on the blog.
  9. Practice drawing/Gimp/Inkscape – Other than the graphics I do for the blog, I haven’t been working on this.
  10. Learn to code – Still nothing

Well, okay.  Maybe I should have emphasized some rather than progress, but hey, I still got a couple of things done this month! 😀

That’s not me (I would’ve accomplished all of my goals if it were), but J.K. Rowling wrote the first book that I finished this year.

Thursday Progress Reports – ???

I had such difficulty trying to figure out what I’d say for this progress report that I kept putting it off entirely.  Should I just skip the post this week?  Should I make this a monthly installment?  Should I report on the progress of things that weren’t included in my list of goals for this year?  Should I do a reader poll to see what my mom readers think I should do?

Then, I realized that part of why I couldn’t figure out what to do was because I didn’t want to admit to myself how lazy I’ve been about my goals so far.  These aren’t resolutions made for the sake of having them.  These are things that I actually want to do, need to do, and thought that I was ready to commit to doing.  I started out strong on some of these things, but have really slacked off on everything but blogging at this point, which surprises me.  The amount of work it takes me to plan, write, proofread, and illustrate each post…I just kinda thought I would have given up by now.  So I’m proud of myself for at least being gung ho about one goal this year.  (What the hell does “gung ho” actually mean?  I’d google it, but I’m kind of in the middle of something right now and I’ll forget later.)

Even so, I’m mostly focused on how disappointed I am with myself about not being gung ho (that’s right I’m gonna use it again and again until someone tells me what it means) about other things on the list.  I should have finished Amanda’s sunglasses bag by now.  I should have finished Casual Vacancy by now.  I was working out three times a week, but have slacked off on that for both legitimate and Pinterest-related reasons.

By Wednesday night, I found myself playing games on my phone instead of doing any of the things that I should have been doing — that I would have preferred doing.  This was because I was disappointed in myself for not being gung ho about every goal on my list.  I realize that it’s okay to be more excited about some goals than others, but that doesn’t make me feel better.

I decided to start this blog for fun, to practice my CG skills, and to have online marketing portfolio of sorts.  When I started, I knew that I wouldn’t really know exactly what would work until I tried it, which is why I split the posts into three themes.  The progress reports are making me dread the one thing that I’ve been gung ho about this year.  So, new strategy.  I’m only going to check in when I have something exciting to say.  Well, maybe not exciting, but you know, something other than “I finished the October issue of Real Simple magazine this week.”  (That’s true, by the way.)  So, yeah, the Progress Reports will not be as frequent, but they’ll pop up occasionally.

Examples of my gung ho-ery thus far:


Thursday Progress Reports – My Year of Learning

This is my first Progress Report of the year.  Let’s see if my lists and calendars have been doing me any good thus far.

  1. Read 4 books – I’ve read about 100 more pages in Casual Vacancy since the beginning of the year.
  2. Keep up the Debediah project – No real progress on this yet.
  3. Learn to play an instrument – I have a keyboard on the premises.  Now I gotta figure out the best way to attack keyboard lessons.
  4. Lose 12 lbs – I’ve noticed that my weight fluctuates anywhere from 2 – 8 lbs every week, even when I workout regularly and restrict my calories.  I think that I bloat up when I sleep less and eat more junk, even if I eat fewer calories.  I’m going to start weighing myself when I wake up every morning to see if that’s what is actually happening.
  5. Workout 1 hour per week – I skipped a couple of workouts last week because my knee and foot were bothering me.  Plus, I was very tired because I’d been only managing about four hours of sleep a night.  Otherwise, I’ve been good with this.
  6. Knit 4 projects – I’m more than halfway done knitting Amanda’s sunglasses bag now, but then I’ll seam it and add a closure of some sort.
  7. Work on The Comic – Haven’t done anything here either.  I’m trying to get a few weeks of blog posts ready ahead of time so that I’m not constantly working on this blog.  If I have blogs ready to post weeks ahead, then I can take an extra morning or evening each week to work on other projects instead.
  8. Keep up this blog – So far, so good!
  9. Practice drawing/Gimp/Inkscape – I try to do some sort of Inkscape drawing for each blog post.  Last weekend, I did a lesson that reminded me how to work on gradients and shading.
  10. Learn to code – Nothing yet.

Thinking about this post this week, I realized that I had more goals for myself this year than I thought I had.  I was thinking of this as My Year of Learning, but then I remembered that I’ve only been out of school since March of last year and that I spent all of last year learning how to do a new job.  Every year is a Year Of Learning for me because that’s just who I am.  When my grandfather passed away years ago, I found boxes filled with spiral notebooks, textbooks, and certificates for all of the classes he had taken at community colleges throughout his life.  I guess I got the Learning Gene from my grandfather.  So even if all I really get accomplished this year is maintaining this blog and becoming familiar with Inkscape, then I don’t think I’ll have let myself down at all.

Couldn't get the pasting paths thing to work at all (note my claw at the top), but here's what I did with this tutorial.

Couldn’t get the pasting paths thing to work (note my claw at the top), but here’s what I did with this tutorial.

Pimp It Mondays – Cathy’s Guide to Goals

Today is the last day of 2012, which means that everyone is examining the past year and planning the coming year.  My friend, Cathy, did a series of blog posts in December designed to help readers figure out their goals.  Her suggestions are realistic and very accessible.  You even get to make lists, rate things, draw circles, etc.  I’ll probably be referring to her blog when I’m setting up my various calendars for the coming year – yes, calendars, plural.

Exploring Your Depths – Goals I

Cathy and I are both organizing nerds.  We get excited by hot Italians highlighters and file folders.  We like to plan things out and have some sort of structure to our daily lives.  Even so, Cathy’s taking a break from planning in January because she’s a bit burned out from all of the holiday planning she’s done lately.  The great thing about Cathy is that she can plan and organize, but she can also roll with the punches.  I admire that she can take a break from her planning when she feels like she needs it.  I plan to take a break from cookies in January because I feel like I need it.

As for my plural calendars, I took a break from multiple things in life over the past 2-3 years.  I slowly fell out of many of the good habits that I had.  Last year was especially difficult because I started the year with a new job, finishing up my bachelor’s degree (it only took me 15 years!), and feeling hopeful about the coming year.  Sometime around the summer, my summer migraines set in, my eczema flared the hell up all over my face, and my knee still wasn’t working correctly from the jogging injury a year and a half earlier.  All the hope I had at the beginning of the year began sneaking out the front door.  Then my mom, step-mom, dad, and best friend all had surgery within the span of a month.  At that point, I just gave up.  I began waking up to go to work, coming home to overeat, and then going to bed until I had to go to work again.

For Thanksgiving, some friends and I visited Cathy and her sister.  It was a great trip with plenty of serious discussions as well as ridiculous conversations that led to the creation of Debediah.  The trip completely rejuvenated me and inspired me to finally get going on this blog and get back into the routines that keep me healthy, happy, and sane…ish.  This is where the plural calendars come in – they remind me of my routines, progress, and non-routine items.  I use them to remind me when to pay bills (I only autopay certain bills because convenience charges are BS), track my health, and track projects.  Thanks to Cathy, I even have a calendar of hot Italians cute animals that makes me feel good every time I see it.

So here’s to 2013, may it be a great year for us all!

Thursday Progress Report – Where I Am

Thursdays on this blog will be for updates on any projects that I’m working on or goals that I’ve set for myself.  Sine this is the last full week of 2012, I’m going to sum up a few of the things I’m working on right now.  Most of these things were started after Thanksgiving, but I probably started the rest of them about this time last year.

1.  This Blog – Well, if you’re here, then you know.

Behold! Da Debediah!

Behold! Da Debediah!

2.  Debediah – This is an online entity that I created with my friends (including Cathy, Teresa, and Matt).  We’re working on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and YouTube aspects of Debediah.  Our first three goals were to get the pages created, draw a profile pic, and to do the first comic.  We got those done, but we still need to record a video chat.  Then it’ll probably be lather, rinse, repeat.  I could probably continue working on Debediah comics while I wait for our video chat schedules to align.

3.  Knitting Christmas presents – I got a few done by Thanksgiving, even though I started in June.  I started on the last one just after Thanksgiving, but got too distracted by other Christmas chores, work, and other projects (see above) to finish.  I’ve gotta finish this ASAP though.

Those are the three big ones right now.  I’ve got smaller chores to do and personal goals to work on, but I’ll get into my 2013 goals next week.  This is my “Where I Am” post and next week will be my “Where I Want to Be” post.  Next Thursday’s post is probably going to be much longer.  So rest up in preparation for my double wide long 2013 Goals Post! (Not to be confused with goal post.  Is that a thing?  It sounded sporty.  My 2013 goals are in no way sporty.  At all.  Seriously.  You’ll be disappointed if you expect to see sports in them.  Not happening.  Not even a little.)