2015

 

January 13 2015 // Posted in Life

2015 resolutions

Am I the last person to publish a 2015 resolutions post? Promptness has never been one of my strong suits, and I’m sure the novelty and luster of a new year has begun to wear off. Though I’m way ahead of the game if we’re going by the Lunar New Year. Getting to the point, most of these are continuations from last year, but this time with more specific methods and plans instead of just a list of vague aspirations.

Health/Physical:

Minimum of two short runs (~2 mi) per week + one 5K per month.

Last year’s half-marathons finally pushed me into a more active lifestyle where I, Couch Potato Extraordinaire, actually go run on a fairly regular basis. I’ve also finally discovered the mental benefits of running, helping me to reflect and analyze my thoughts. It’s also effective at making my brain just STFU, which is sometimes a relief. I have no plans for a running event, but this way I won’t be starting from the beginning if I sign up for another one someday. This resolution includes strength training and yoga to balance everything out; I don’t want 2016’s health goal to be “Recover from 2015 running injuries.”

Creative:

Practice photography on a regular basis.

Being sure to bring my camera out with me is a start. Taking on some sort of project or challenge, e.g., photo-a-day for a month (perhaps in June or July when the days are longest). I also want to set up some sort of photo-only/textless blog to share my favorite photos with family and friends. Something more than just a personal site, but not quite as serious as a portfolio. I also want to break out of my comfort zone and take pictures of people, which I’ve always found a little awkward.

Piano: practice, practice, practice.

At one point I was a somewhat accomplished pianist, but my dreams of playing with the philharmonic are long past. However, I rediscovered the joy, inspiration, and not a small amount of satisfaction when I began playing regularly again last year. It’s a way for me to meditate and destress. This year, I’ve marked off several pieces in a few songbooks to work through. The real effort is to not fall out of the habit if life gets busier and hectic later in the year, like I did last year.

Intellectual:

Read 30 books, not including rereads, including at least 2 French and 1 Italian.

Admittedly a fairly low number, but I think the inclusion of foreign language books makes it reasonable. Instead of following special reading challenges or making it a point to read certain types of books, I’m focusing on the ridiculously large amount of books I own that are still unread.

Get at least a 100 day streak on Duolingo.

I’m forgetting a lot of the French and Italian I spent years learning. This has been good practice and should pair well with the reading goal.

Take a course (online or off) to learn a new skill or improve on a current one.

I’ll allow myself some vagueness on this one. The thought right now is to give something like Codecademy a try, because I’d like the freedom to both design and develop my own websites again. If not, perhaps I’ll take up knitting or macrame. Or paragliding and spelunking. Or learning Korean. Who knows. I want to work on something just for the fun of it.

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2014

 

December 31 2014 // Posted in Life

Run Disney Coast to Coast

Here we are… the end of another year in which so much happened, many times when I thought the days and weeks dragged interminably, but now it’s all passed. I’m not sorry to see 2014 end, but I’m grateful for always having my amazing family and friends who made me laugh and kept my spirits up during the low points. And I did make some of my most amazing memories this year in Charleston and Disney World, two places I’d dreamed of visiting for years.

I’m still not a consistent blogger and not much else has been recorded. So I thought using my 2014 resolutions as a template for this post would be a good way to bookend the year.

“Complete the runDisney Coast-to-Coast Challenge.” Done! I wrote all about the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, but I never wrote anything about the Disneyland Half in August months earlier, which was great fun but not particularly noteworthy otherwise.

This resolution was part of a broader goal to improve my fitness, which was neither a complete success nor a total failure. I failed to train for both runs. Luckily I’m still young enough, healthy, and naturally have a brisk walking pace, so I was able to enjoy simply being part of the events. But something finally clicked when I returned from Florida, and I’ve finally started running on a regular basis and seen some real improvement. While I didn’t start when I should have at the beginning of the year, the Coast to Coast challenge did give me that much-needed push to a more active lifestyle.

“Cook and bake at home more.” The intent here was to learn some new recipes and improve my culinary skills. I did exactly zero baking, and my cooking skills still consists only of throwing things into a boiling pot and calling it good. But you know what? I can check off this resolution on a technicality, and sometimes technically correct is the best kind of correct.

“Read more.” I started out strong this year, but sometime around summer I lost steam and once I started traveling in the fall I just stopped. Oops.

“Take my favorite hobbies more seriously.” Perhaps I should’ve been a little less vague in my own wording so I would remember what my goal here actually was. But anyway, I specifically mentioned piano and photography. Piano was another thing that fell by the wayside halfway through the year when other distractions came up. My problem has always been a lack of discipline, but I’m not giving up and will work on this… starting tomorrow. As for photography, that got a big boost with two vacations, so I’m also putting this in the win column on a technicality.

“Sleep 7-8 hours at reasonable times.” Lol. Fail.

That’s about as much reflection as I can muster, and I’m ready to turn my sights onto 2015. Happy New Year!

 

1 Day ‘Til Christmas!

 

December 24 2014 // Posted in Holidays

1day

Even though I’ve been literally counting down the days, a part of me is still a little shocked that yes, it is in fact Christmas Eve! I said right from the start that I’ve never celebrated the holidays much, but just thinking about all the wonderful things about this time of year helped get me into the spirit more than in years past. But, I’m about to get a little sappy, the all you really need over the holidays is family and friends, right? And I just have to take a moment to say that I am truly blessed in having the most amazing friends.

Anyway, I mentioned at 4 days left that I wanted to finally get a Christmas tree next year, even just a little table top one. Well, my BFF brought me this adorable tiny tree over the weekend when we made our gingerbread shack. It’s not much, but it’s mine, and I love it. I’m proudly hanging my “I Love Lucy” ornament that the BFF gave me years back; it looks silly on such a little tree with the string of lights lying on the three rather than wrapped around it, but I think all of the ridiculousness is what makes it so endearing.

Also on the tree is this beautiful knitted dove that Maria sent to me in a Christmas package. I got an amazing dose of festive cheer thanks to her, and I love this little bird even more knowing it was made especially for me.

So with that I’ve reached the end of the countdown and so all that’s left to say is I hope you have the happiest of holidays!

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