progress

A three-week check-in (with video!), and a fond farewell

Before I head off for a week full of indulgence in the Caribbean (! – I still can’t quite believe it myself), I figured it’d be a good idea to do a little check-in and see how I was doing on keeping those resolutions I made for the new year.  This is the first time I’ve ever formally set out a list of tangible goals for a year, and actually had anyone to really keep me on track – your encouragement, as well as the support of friends, family, and coworkers has made an enormous difference, and really motivates me to succeed in sticking to my resolutions.  Unkept resolutions usually become that way as a result of one day’s worth of declarations, and several weeks of disregard.  Unacknowledged resolutions have zero potential to be accomplished, and I’ve found that having a support system, as well as a changing of habits and schedules, makes an enormous difference in dedication and achievement.  Since 1st January, I’ve added a couple more resolutions to the list – so I figure now’s a good time to share them, and also to see how I’ve done for the last two weeks! 

1. Reading. I vowed to read one book per month (a seemingly rather tiny goal in comparison to some of the resolutions I’ve seen, but a long way from my two books of 2009!), and for the last fortnight I’ve made the effort every couple of days to set aside some time before bed – I’ve been going upstairs an hour or so earlier, curling up and reading a wonderful book.  I’m rediscovering my lifelong love of literature, and I feel there’ll be no problem at all if I keep to my altered schedule.

2. Cooking. Sweet seems to have undertaken this little resolution as well, and recently, we’ve had quite the culinary adventures.  We started with the avocado creamed chicken and baked parsnips, and after unintentionally overdoing it on cream and butter, have pulled out the Kitchen Bible his sister got us for Christmas.  It’s full of tonnes of recipes from all around the world, and even has little pictures of what it’s supposed to look like, which keeps things easy.  We’ve made tuna-pasta bakes (and, in comic misunderstanding, set our mouths on fire when two whole chilli peppers were crushed onto MY PLATE rather than being mixed into the whole 8-serving-dish); a delicious and ridiculously easy Italian dish full of spices, asparagus and sundried tomatoes (who knew buying them in oil made such a difference?); Chicken Jalfrezi, and an Asian beef concoction full of experiments (cooking vermicelli noodles are the most hilarious thing I’ve ever seen – here’s a video of Sweet’s initial attempt, taken while preparing for a house fire!).  I’ve learned different ways of preparing food, and the best part, in addition to actually being able to see exactly what you’re consuming, is spending an hour in the kitchen actually doing something together instead of blobbing in front of the TV.

As for the daytime; I’ve switched my breakfast to a regular morning helping of All Bran Strawberry Bites.  It’s very healthy, and the strawberry part’s on the inside, not those horrible freeze-dried flakey bits of fruit they use in other cereals, so it actually tastes nice too.  I make sure I have a big glass of water before I head out as well as the coffee, to balance out the hydration, and I’ve started keeping bulk packs of water bottles under my desk, as well as a bag of apples.  It’s a wonder I didn’t get scurvy in 2009, but this year, as well as cooking more, I’m vowing to eat more healthily all day long, too.

3.  Kicking the anxiety. I found myself toward the end of the Christmas holidays starting to worry about going back to work, about if I’d forgotten things, about getting back into routine, about doing a good job and of course, about standing up and teaching my little class again.  So much so that on the day before work I lay awake for hours, my closed eyes’ attempts at slumber sabotaged by my mind’s constant looping of thoughts and concerns, and was barely able to function the next day.  But Friday rolled around, and after a week of getting back into a schedule, I went into work with a skip in my step.  It was Teaching Day, and instead of worrying, I told myself I can do it, and I’m actually looking forward to it.  I’ve been doing it for a few months now, and have become more comfortable with my material, and if I think about it as helping people; giving them needed information, as opposed to the old “all eyes ore on me and everybody wants me to fail” mentality I struggled to escape, I found myself floating through the morning.  My heart rested as normal, comfortable in its pace, and not beating up a storm trying to escape my chest.  Doing a 180 of your thought pattern is a tough thing, but as with my other resolutions, it’s all about changing habits.  It’s working so far – now to keep at it, aim for bigger classes, less prep, and even applying it to other areas of my life.  (Body image, anyone?)

4. Losing the back pain.  Unfortunately, I haven’t. I’m still in horrible amounts of pain all day long, but I’m actually sticking to a schedule here, too – a daily schedule, with (somewhat excruciating) strengthening exercises to help support myself using muscles I haven’t used in ten years, modified situps in an attempt at some sort of toning, and, thank you Kijiji, I bought a second hand little elliptical machine for my living room I plan on using three times a week.  (Which also ties in to my added resolution of fitness).

5. Learning to drive.  It’s still winter.  All sorts of treachery lie on those roads.  This one I can hold off until spring.

6. My other added resolution: sing again! I used to sing in a punk rock band and have no nerves or qualms about performing to crowds.  It was full of adrenaline, excitement, and being that in control of music that rocked was the best feeling ever.  Since I lost my confidence, singing plummeted to the very bottom of the things I wanted to do – but I always secretly loved to belt out the Wicked soundtrack whenever nobody was home.  So I bought a couple of karaoke games for the Wii, and Sweet and I have been taking turns rocking out, which is surprisingly AMAZING amounts of fun.  I told my dear coworker about them – and she confessed she had the same goal!  We’re going to keep each other on track, and hopefully at some point this year, actually go do karaoke.  In front of strangers.  Or maybe I’ll just pull a Jenn, and serenade you over the small screen – at least that way I’m less likely to fall over in a fret of nerves.

So my dears, I think I’m doing okay! How are you doing with your resolutions?  Tell me all about it, and I can’t wait to hear when I get back.  While I’m away I’ll be leaving you in some very capable hands (all of whom I adore dearly) – much love to all of you, and thoughts/prayers against missing luggage would all be very much appreciated while I’m gone. 🙂

Also – everyone who stopped by to comment on my second entry in the Weddingbells finals is a total rock star.  Seeing all your comments pretty much made my day on Monday and I’m so lucky to have you all in my life.

See you on the other side, lovelies!