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I really, really like this list of resolutions.

It's funny how we often cycle from doing something because it's just the thing everyone does, to scorning it because it's too mainstream or meaningless, and then coming back around to realizing that there's some use in it after all. This is me with new year resolutions. While they can be empty and silly, and I believe you should make change whenever you decide change needs to be made, I do find value in taking the calendar flip as an opportunity to set goals and make plans. Even though I accomplished some really cool things and had a lot of great experiences in 2012 I also spent much of it feeling aimless and unmotivated, and I know I will be happier and get more done with goals to help keep me focused this year.

Goals for 2013
  • Declutter. Organize, sell, donate, dispose of, or otherwise take care of at least two Units of Stuff a week until my living space is liveable again. Accept the fact that there are parts of my living space I have no control over.

  • Reach out more. Over the past couple years I've gotten a lot better about saying yes more and accepting more invitations, and now it's time to start making those invitations myself. I've been feeling pretty down about how challenging this is, because I'm not able to have people over often or host parties at all, and scheduling and logistics can be difficult in general. But even if I can't invite people over, I can and will find other ways to proactively reach out to the people I like and let them know I enjoy their company.

  • Take every opportunity to ride my bike. I have two specific bike-related goals as well--complete a metric century in April, and do more bike touring in the Summer and Fall--but over the past year, every single time I passed up the opportunity to ride my bike I regretted it. So even beyond training for the century and planning for tours, I will make a deliberate effort to say "Yes" every time I wonder if I should take the bike. Even in the rain and cold.

  • Take more photos, more mindfully.

  • Stretch more. Doing yoga and my PT stretches regularly keeps me pain-free, makes my knees happier, and makes me a lot more comfortable in my body. I slacked off both during the past few months and I've been feeling it, and getting back to it feels like starting from zero. I don't plan to get to a place where I have to start over again.

  • Write more (and LJ more).

  • Spend some time each day not staring at a screen. (Unless the screen is displaying a book, because I'd also like to read more).

  • Learn Spanish. The next two goals will be difficult without this. I've already signed up for a class at BCC, as my efforts to teach myself haven't been going well (I pick up languages quickly, but need the structure and motivation of a class).

  • Find a new job. I'd kinda been hoping that things at work would be stable enough that I could hang on to the reliable paycheck and flexible hours at least until starting grad school, but the paycheck is no longer reliable and the hours are only flexible until there is a crisis, and there's a crisis more often than not. So once the current one has passed, I'll be polishing my resume and starting the hunt.

  • Apply to grad school. I can't start grad school until I get in to grad school, which I can't do until I apply!
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I had a post-in-progress that started off wondering how March is almost over already--and of course now we're more than halfway through April, and I have no idea how. I have got to stop letting time slip through my fingers like this. It's not like I'm not having novel experiences or making full use of my time, it's just that I don't give myself much time to sit down and process. So one day it's the end of March and then life happens and the next time I sit down to write it's already mid-April.

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March was a very rollercoastery month. It started off with an awesome birthday, which involved an extended week of celebrations with friends and loved ones and culminated with a wonderful oceanside BBQ at Crissy Field with stunningly gorgeous weather where I got all my (local) people together in the same place for the first time ever, and nothing went horribly wrong. We feasted on crab and oysters and other delicious noms, and played in the sunshine, and just generally had a blast.

And I got a new bike! Not for my birthday, it's something I'd been thinking about and researching for awhile. My first big-girl bike served me very well, but after spending more and more time riding it became clear that I needed something better geared (literally and figuratively) for long, often hilly road rides and better fit to my body. I did a bunch of reasearch and test riding and eventually settled on a Jamis Coda Comp Femme. She is purple and beautiful and, especially now that I've swapped out the handlebars, grips, saddle, and pedals for ones that work better for me, I love her. Her name is Leela--not after Turanga Leela, though it's fitting, but after the 4th Doctor's companion, and the Sanskrit word for "divine play."

The day after I brought her home, it started raining. And raining. And raining. In March! It's not supposed to rain here in March! It was frustrating not being able to ride my shiny new bike, especially since I'm training for a 50-mile ride in early May. When the rain showed no signs of letting up I ordered a bunch of rain gear, found out some of it sucked (rain capes are a great idea in theory, but in practice they are essentially water-collecting wind-resistance-increasing sails), ordered some more, and made myself do a few wet rides. In light rains it's no problem--it's actually kinda fun, once I got used to the reduced braking power, and I barely even need the waterproof outerwear--but in heavy downpours it's just miserable. I'm glad I've got a good rain jacket, helmet cover, and rain pants now, but I'm hoping I don't have to use them much.

Life on the bike has been almost entirely about training lately--racking up miles and saddle time, working on my form, trying to get to the point where riding 50 miles in a reasonable amount of time seems like a doable thing. I'm definitely getting there, despite the obstacles the universe keeps presenting me: the rain, knee problems, and a crash weekend before last. The rain seems to have finally stopped, I'm getting the knee problems under control with proper cycling form and lots of ice (and I have an appointment with a sports doc next week), and the crash was not nearly as bad as it could have been. I still don't know exactly what happened (and I hate that part), but I discovered that I'd stocked my first-aid kit well, and both the bike and I escaped with only minor cosmetic damages. There will be scars, but chicks dig scars, right?

I had some more work done on my tattoo, but it didn't go very well. The plan had been to finish coloring the bunny-and-flowers entirely and maybe start outlining the rest of the piece, but due to various factors I was extra-bleedy, which made it difficult for the artist to work, so we stopped after an hour and a half. I didn't mind so much, because it was also extra-painful. The next session, just last weekend, went much better--no crazy bleeding, much more bearable pain, and now the bunny is completely finished! I have the next session scheduled for after the Tour de Cure, so I don't have to factor healing time into the rest of my training, and I can't wait to see the rest of it start to take shape.

Work has been alternately frustrating and gratifying, and I don't expect that to change anytime soon. I have come to accept that the nature of the beast that is our small, dysfunctional company is a chaotic one, and I can work with that for now. Esepcially when I get to work with it in my pajamas at home most days.

My personal life has been equally chaotic, but I'm feeling a little less Zen about that.

*******************************

So far April's been a rollercoaster ride, too. I'm trying to remember to hang on loosely and relax into the curves.
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Happy Valentine's Day!

This is our biggest holiday at work--so much so that we have our company holiday party in February instead of December--but since we're an Internet retailer, all the craziness stopped at the Overnight shipping cutoff yesterday afternoon, and today is a day of rest.

So I'm taking the afternoon off to get my new tattoo started. Squee!

******************************

Because I have a giant schoolgirl crush on most of you, here are the cards I would fill your pretty pink-and-red construction paper envelopes with:

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