Monthly Goals for April

Monthly Goals for April

Hello! It appears another month has begun, and you know what that means. It’s time for the monthly goals for April!

I don’t know that this is a goal, per se, because the tickets are already bought, but I’m going to Portland, OR the last weekend in April to visit the boyfriend! I’m so excited; I’ve never been further west than Houston, and that only happened last Christmas. I love traveling, exploring new places, and learning new things. If you have any recommendations of things to do, see, eat, or drink in Portland, please leave a comment down below!

In the last week of March I lost four pounds. I don’t know if that was because I’d been bedridden from a bout of bronchitis where I didn’t eat very much, but I’m happy about it and proud of it. I’d like to lose two pounds a week this month. I’ve been eating like crap in the recent past, and I’ve been noticing the difference in how I feel. It isn’t worth it, and I have to remember that.

I want to look at my phone less, pay more attention, listen better, and read more paper books. My phone and laptop are crutches I use to escape being social, and I need to realize that not only do people like me, they want to hear what I have to say. I like to be listened and paid attention to, so I’d like to do the same for the other people in my life.

These are a few of my April goals. Hopefully I meet them. If not, I’ll try not to beat myself up about it. Happy spring!

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Monthly Goals for March

Monthly Goals for March

A new month has begun. How is it March already?! Here in the DC area March is practically spring, though yesterday and today have been bitterly cold. Next week should be better, and hopefully from there, as they said in the new Mary Poppins movie, there’s nowhere to go but up.

I have a few goals for the month of March. I hope to accomplish them in the next twenty-six days. It’s a reasonable request, but we’ll see. I’ll try not to beat myself up about it if I don’t accomplish them all.

This month, I’m going to try to blog five days a week. I’m shooting for Monday-Friday. I’ve noticed that when I sit down, determined to create, I typically do, almost prolifically. Writing leads to more writing, which leads to more content.

I’m also going to catch up on my journal entries. As a busy woman, I have a habit of typing my journal entries, promising myself to write them out in the paper-and-ink journal soon after. You can imagine how well this has gone lately, I’m sure. I just checked, and my last written entry is from September 14, 2018. I don’t journal daily, perhaps on average weekly, but it has been a few weeks since that one in mid-September.

I am going to finish the two library books that I checked out and mentioned in a previous post, and get more, and finish them too. Along that line, I am also going to read more blogs, a habit I have never truly had, but probably should begin.

Lastly, at least for this list, I’m going to begin working out at least three times a week again. I’ll work my way up to five days. I don’t care how long it takes. I need to exercise, for my physical, mental, and emotional health. I do exercise at work, where I regularly walk a few miles while lifting ten or more pounds over my head. But work doesn’t supply me with as many hours as I need to exercise.

These are some of my March goals. Do you have any monthly goals? Let me know how they’re going in the comments!

Trying to Adult

Trying to Adult

Everyone wants to improve. Change is the only thing that is constant in this world – change, and death, which is its own change. Improvement is a type of change, as well. We should all strive to improve, as we are humans, and humans are innately flawed beings. In the same vein, because humans are flawed, there is no way for us to achieve perfection, so improvement is always possible, no matter how large or small. I’ve taken a few steps to improve myself and my life lately, and I’d like to share them with you, perhaps as a source of inspiration.

I’ve been reading more. I’ve been reading novels, in particular. For some time I was in a rut of buying and checking out self-help books and essay collections, and found after a while that my mind was craving a story. Right now I’m reading Big Cherry Holler, the second book in Adriana Trigiani’s Big Stone Gap series, The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee, and The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert.

In that vein, I have also been writing more. I’ve been trying to blog more, as you might have noticed, and I’ve been journaling again, too. Journaling especially has been helping with my mood, emotional wellbeing, and the general depth of my thoughts. It’s a lovely and difficult challenge to write, truly write and not just type how much I want to write and call it a day, every day. Sometimes what I write is absolute garbage that goes nowhere, but sometimes it is the beginning of the articulation of a concept that has been floating in my mind for ages.

I’ve been listening to more podcasts – news podcasts, TED podcasts, true crime podcasts – to keep myself aware and informed. Who knows, maybe it will allow me to be more interesting at future cocktail parties. I love stories, and podcasts are the modern, adult way of being read to or told a story, like many children are every night before bed.

I have been discovering different music. A great big thank-you and shoutout to the love of my life for introducing me to Lake Street Dive and reintroducing me to ZZ Ward. Music enriches my life, especially with my synesthesia, and brings me catharsis and true joy.

I have been purging my life of material things, mostly clothing and decorations. I wear the same twenty or so items in my wardrobe. I asked myself why I keep things I rarely ever wear, when someone else can love and get use out of them instead. I’ve cleaned out old and unused makeup, books that will never be reread and are not favorites to forgive that fact.

I’ve been taking extra care with my skin and hair. I’ll admit, sometimes I would slip up and not add my oils to my hair, or not moisturize my skin after a shower, but I have been much more consistent lately. I have also been taking my vitamins (yes, they’re gummies, but the pills make me sick) and my medications with perfect compliance.

I’ve been keeping up with my chores. I make my bed almost every single morning, only skipping that step when I know I will inevitably crawl back in it before bedtime. I have been dusting and vacuuming my bedroom and cleaning my bathroom with regularity.

I’ve been trying to be a responsible, proactive adult. Sometimes that can be difficult when one lives with one’s parents, especially in one’s childhood home. But, I am making a conscious effort not to fall into old habits and behaviors. Here’s to adulting!

Reading

In addition to rewriting the book I started, I’ve been doing a lot of reading. Some of it, unfortunately, has been rereading. But, sometimes you just need the company of an old friend. Mine are Rilla Blythe and Harry Potter.

The new books I’ve been reading (or, at least, new to me) are Tony’s Wife by my favorite contemporary author, Adriana Trigiani; An American Marriage by Tayari Jones; and Georgia, by Dawn Tripp. So far I’m enjoying them all. I’m the furthest along in An American Marriage, but I imagine Tony’s Wife will soon catch up to it.

Another book I was previously reading and will soon pick up again is Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss, which interested me mostly because one of the three main characters has synesthesia. I cannot express how much I love to read about characters with synesthesia. It is one of the reasons I have realized that representation in general, whether based on gender, race, sexuality, religion, or anything else, is so important. I love to be represented, and others should experience the same joy.

But I digress. Like I said, I have been reading. Reading is good, but I feel it is a little bit of a cop-out for me. “But I’m reading! That counts for writing!” The truth is, writing counts for writing, and I can’t call myself a writer without doing that activity. Reading is essential to the process, but writing is more so.

What are you reading? Leave a comment down below!

General Update

*Slinks up to the microphone* Hello . . .

I have completed the first summer session of classes and am well into the second. I’ve been working as a nanny since April, as well. In between I’ve been reading, reading, reading.

I’ve been reading Delusions of Grandma by Carrie Fisher (I love you forever, Space Mom) and Ellen Herrick’s The Forbidden Garden. I’ve also been continuing with Stephen King’s On Writing, The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer, and rereading Rilla of Ingleside – I’m always somewhere in the Anne series at any given moment.
I’m going to pick up The Sun Also Rises, as well. I bought myself a handsome copy of it at my favorite used bookstore, Ed McKay’s. I hated The Sun Also Rises in high school, because I had read The Old Man and the Sea too young (seventh grade) and hated it, so I decided to hate Hemingway on principle. Honestly, this view of mine didn’t change until I read A Moveable Feast for the first time. How can one, upon reading about Paris in the 1920s, not fall in love with anyone writing about it when they’ve lived it? And so, I fell in love with Hemingway.

Cheer Up, Buttercup!

Do you ever wake up and it’s raining and the dog pooped in her crate overnight and you forgot a homework assignment and you’re down on yourself the whole rest of the day?

Me neither.

But, if that were hypothetically true for me, this is what I’d do to cheer up.

I’d name everything I was grateful for, even if it was something as simple as breathing and a full belly.

I’d walk my dog and be patient with her as she sniffed everything and searched for the perfect place to do her business.

I’d journal about how I was feeling, no matter how silly or stupid it seemed later.

I’d watch something funny, or at least some favorite of mine that’s uplifting.

I’d talk to a friend, whether in person or on the phone. I’d vent about my life, then be sure to ask and listen about theirs. Other people’s problems and triumphs are a good distraction from your own troubles.

I’d cuddle my dog and kiss her silky little head, knowing that her love is unconditional and eternal.

I’d list everyone I know loves me, and remember that they still love me, too, no matter how badly I feel or how badly my day is going.

I’d read an engrossing book and lose myself in its pages and story.

I’d eat something delicious and healthy. A full belly makes for a happier perspective.

I’d drink water. Being adequately hydrated means you’re more awake, which means you’re in a better mood, most of the time.

 

Four Favorite Children’s Books

DISCLAIMER: Though these books all feature strong female protagonists, this list has not been assigned a title that excludes any gender. It is important for true feminism that all genders see many different types of people in positions of strength, whether those positions follow traditional gender roles or not.

  1. A Wrinkle in Time – Madeline L’Engle

An excellent introduction to science fiction, this book is engaging, chilling, and enlightening. This book is important not only for this reason, but also because it stresses Meg’s worthiness, despite her lack of conventional beauty and traditional academic success. It showed how her intelligence was in other areas, and just as valid as any other type of intelligence. This book forces the child to think while it never lets them go until the last page.

2. Ella Enchanted – Gail Carson Levine

(DISCLAIMER: Judge not this book by its movie, despite Anne Hathaway’s talent.) I’m a sucker for any iteration of the “Cinderella” story. Ella, though, is not the traditional Cinderella. Inflicted with a curse from birth that forces her to be obedient, Ella Enchanted offers an explanation besides traditional societal roles for her remaining with her abusive family. Ella disobeys to the best of her ability, and she is brave and charming and considerate. The book is full of adventure. A great read for girls and boys alike.

3. Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery

Anne is the funny, lovable, imaginative protagonist of these books (yes, it’s a series – eight books long). Her imagination inspires the imagination of the reader. The descriptions of Prince Edward Island are utterly beautiful. A delight.

4. The Diary of Anne Frank – Anne Frank

I need not tell you why this book is important. Though this book is for the middle-school age reader and older, it is an essential read. Anne is wise beyond her years, even as she goes through typical and universal adolescent struggles. This book shows the resilience of the human spirit and keeps alive the legacy of one of the best writers of the twentieth century, who was struck down in an untimely manner, and torturously and inhumanely.