Taking Stock

The last time I took stock was January 3rd, 2007. On my blog that day I looked at my 2006 goals and decided I had accomplished about 50% of what I set out to do, then I set new goals for 2007. Now, it’s that time again, time to take stock. Here’s what I wrote:

The areas I will focus on in 2007 are:

1. Health
2. Work

And that is all.

Or more specifically:

HEALTH

1) Diet
a. Drink lots of water
b. Eat breakfast
c. Control portions
d. Nutrition & balance

2) Fitness
a. Walk everywhere, every day
b. Strength exercise consistently
c. Find an activity (or activities) that you enjoy and participate regularly (dancing, swimming, tennis, ?)

3) Mental
a. Yoga
b. Meditation
c. Sleep

WORK

1) Get organized & stay organized
2) Declutter and maintain
3) Plan and follow through
4) Focus and maintain focus
5) Get ahead of the workload and stay out in front
6) Develop time-saving and productive work habits

Now let’s break it down. I think I accomplished more this year with regard to the work part of the goals than on the health side. I feel like I slipped on the health side of things.

I do feel more organized, uncluttered, planned and focused on the work front than ever before. If you were to check my inbox right now you’d only find 40 emails there, everything else has been filed in the right spot. This is major! A year ago you would have found hundreds, perhaps thousands. I’m getting better at dealing with email as they arrive whether to file or delete or reply or whatever action is needed.

This year I also had another hard drive blow up on me, which was relatively painless as far as my work went because everything was backed up and filed where it was supposed to be. Systems are getting better. I’m getting better. Writing the novella Sammy story changed everything with regard to my ability to maintain focus and follow a plan.

I have developed some really good work habits this year. Some strong habits. Including actually using my day planner to make a plan and then following that plan. I’ve not been really good at maintaining that sort of organization and focus ever before. Yes, there are still a goodly number of pages left blank as I finish off the book for 2007, but I’ve done well, much better than any other year. And I’m exceling at using a wall calendar, having touched every day, even if just to mark its passing. I feel I’ve grown more conscious of my time and in doing so have become better aware of how to more productively manage it.

I feel like I improved about 80% on the work front this year. I feel strong heading into 2008, ready to overcome more obstacles, only grow better and take things to the next level. I haven’t gotten ahead of the work load yet. I’m still chasing the work. But it feels like that is the next piece to fall into place.

But health is another matter. Moving to Miramichi seemed to majorly impact my success level. There have been a lot of weeks spent in high stress and anxiety this year, many more than the year previous, all related to me moving back to Miramichi. Not that I regret the move in any way, it’s just like anything else, there’s been a period of adjustment.

Yes, I had months of absolute brilliance but I also had way more months of absolute crap than I’d had years previous. On the healthy balanced diet front, I think if we put my good days on one side of a scale and my bad on the other, they would not balance but the bad would weigh the thing down. I lost nutrition ground this year. I stopped eating the way I had been consistently eating in Sackville. Overall, I’d say I probably did at least 50% worse on diet this year than I did last year, quite possibly more. I need to work hard just to get back to the level I was once at.

As poorly as I did on the nutrition front, I did even worse on the fitness front. Yes, I had brilliant moments of stepping. Yes, I purchased a pedometer. But overall the year was crap as far as fitness. I walked less than the year before in Sackville. In Sackville I walked consistently. Here, I’ve been beyond patchy. If I lost 50% ground on nutrition, I’d have to say I’ve lost a good 75% ground on fitness.

As my one year anniversary of moving approaches in February, I’m feeling more calm, more settled, more stable, and better able to make up the ground I’ve lost and continue the journey forward.

The only physical fitness aspect where I feel I’ve gained any ground at all is under the sleep component. Consistently I am getting better rest here than I was in Sackville. Consistently I am getting up earlier. Rising anytime after 8 really has become a sleep in, whereas my natural rising time in Sackville was consistently after 10am and anything before 8 seemed very damn early. Yes, I still stay up late a lot of the time, but I am able to go to bed before 10pm without thinking it’s too early. I’m able to function better on less hours than I used to before. This seems to be a major benefit of the move and having more natural light in my life.

I came into this exercise of taking stock really feeling as if overall 2007 was a bit of a lost year for me, a wash out, but now I’m not so sure. I have grown. And while I did lose ground in one area, I really came ahead in another. So maybe like other years before this I was actually 50% successful at what I set out to do. And accomplishing 50% is not too bad to my way of thinking.

Later I will post my goals for 2008. This year they will be wellness goals in keeping with the new year being one of wellness and accountability. Let’s give the buddy system a whirl and see if it increases our success ratio.

Mood: contemplative
Drinking: instant coffee
Listening To: just me typing
Hair: uncombed, unwashed, unrazored, unkempt

Happy Christmas!

I’m so over Merry y’all. It’s days past the big day and I’m just getting into it. Well, maybe I’m not getting into the Christmas thing at all, just the New Year thing, but no matter my belly is fluttery with butterflies and I’m excited about life! Maybe this is just because I seemed to sleep a bit better last night and the mucus in my throat has dissipated somewhat. But who cares! I’m excited about the day! It’s snowing! Like big ass flakes!

Last night Stacy and I exchanged our Christmas gifts. As usual I felt like I didn’t get her nearly enough, but mine was the gift that if properly executed will just keep on giving throughout the year, so maybe that compensates. As usual she got me everything I wanted and more! Bakeware! A set of six pieces, that is like earthenware that you can go from oven to table. Just makes ya want to bake beans and make a lasagna! They’re brown (very earthy and good!) and the set includes a rectangle piece, a square pan, a round pot with cover (for the beans don’t ya know!) and two smaller round ones (are they called ramekins?). Very excited about it!

That on its own was enough, but the giving continued. She also got me a mug made by an NB potter named Babineau. It’s lovely and big, which is how I like them and unique in that the base of the mug is pinched, good for picking up by the base instead of the handle. Good grip. The base is light coloured, plain, and it’s trimmed in green tones. Kinda rough and imperfect, not too much glaze, which is exactly what I like so well.

And now you’re thinking surely that’s all, but nooooo, she also got me two gift sets one from St.Ives and the other from The Healing Garden Organics (Fig and Lavender!), which are both things I love but other than the St. Ives apricot facial scrub (which I just ran out of and needed some more) I never buy for myself.

Another gift was the Sentimento Latino wall calendar featuring artwork by Antonio Broccoli Porto, which has some very interesting and lovely paintings in it. Fabulous! There was also a dayplanner for 2008, a tin of Timothy’s Coffee of the World White Hot Chocolate, which I’m dying to try, and two body bars from the Method line (which is natural, organic, etc.) The bars are called pure minimalist, which we all know suits me pretty well, lol. Oh and I nearly forgot! (Because I’ve nearly eaten them all) A box of homemade chocolate truffles! Oh boy! They are yummy!

So we had a great time exchanging gifts and catching up. Part of my gift to her involves our blogs. The theme of my gift was Wellness and Accountability. Basically her and my wellness, us being accountable to one another. It’s kind of a gift to both of us. I promise to be all up in her face every day and this will help both of us. I wrote her three notes on postcards of different women. One said that we would each write three wellness (mind, body, spirit) goals for 2008 and post them on our blogs for the world to see (and thereby hold us accountable to achieve them). Another said that beginning in the New Year the first email I send every day will be to her, telling her how many steps I took the day before and asking for her numbers (we both have pedometers). And the third card said that we would begin the year with a cleansing detox diet for seven days. I emailed her the instructions for that one this morning. My gift included Sobeys gift cards to buy the fresh produce for the cleanse. I also gave her a Women’s Day Planner, a time management course with cd, a book on emotional health and two planters. So yeah, totally doesn’t seem like I got her very much in comparison. I need to be extra diligent in my bugging her to keep stepping.

Today I’m expecting more company. A friend is coming to stay the night. Girl talk!! Yay! Hopefully, the snow will not ruin our plans. Fingers crossed.

Mood: happy
Drinking: coffee, instant, black
Listening To: the fridge hum (it seems excessively loud these past few days)
Hair: forgotten and neglected

Dreams With Deadlines

As we get closer to the end of 2007 I’ve been a little concerned about myself. Normally as soon as the calendar flips to December I go into reflection and planning mode. I start to take stock of the past year and get excited about setting new goals for the new year. But this December came and stayed and I felt nothing. And there’s been a little nagging voice in the back of my mind whispering, “What’s wrong? Are you gonna take stock or what? Don’t you have any dreams to fulfill?” And then the other day at the office we were having a last holiday toast before we all scattered to our various family festivities for a week and T asked me to reflect on the past year, and I had nothing. Not a thought in my head. So I was concerned, understandably. Very out of character for me. But this morning the first reflective rumblings in my tummy, the first anticipation of new goals. Whew! That was close! Maybe I’ve just been too busy to get into it. But rest assured I’ll be back next week to look at the year in review and plan for the year ahead. Yay! I’m back!

It’s Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! Wish me luck!

Mood: excited
Drinking: black coffee
Listening To: somebody to love, queen
Hair: soon to washed and fluffed

Achy Again

Awake since 5am though I tried to continue sleeping until 6:30, should have just gotten up. I’m in an achy season again. There seems to be an excess of moisture in the air or something. Pain makes me tired. I self-medicate. IOW (my own shorthand for In Other Words) I drink. And this is the drinking season too, so that can get excessive. One glass of wine can easily turn into two this time of year. And as I saw on the weekend two glasses quickly becomes two bottles. So I’m kind of in constant pain. There is no isolated spot, it’s an all-over achy weariness. Even in sleep I’m in pain. Last night’s series of dreams involved me being tortured. I’m not sure what information was being sought of me or why these people wanted to bend me to their will, but I found myself repeatedly being strapped into machines for various painful exercises. Chained into a chair with my arms dangling loosely by my side. Suddenly my wrists are enclosed in steel cuffs and the chair begins to rise. Lying on my back on a concrete slab, the man with the welders goggles begins to drill slowly into my knee cap. And so it went, from dream to dream, all night long. That is the sleep of one who is in pain. This morning I don’t feel like going to any of the soirees I have been invited to this afternoon/evening. Perhaps I’ll shake it off as the day progresses.

Mood: tired, sore
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: still haven’t found what i’m looking for, u2
Hair: uncombed

Right Next to the Right One

Yeah, I’m listening to Celine. Go figure. Well, here we are, heading into insanity. No turning back now. This evening Stacy and I went grocery and liquor store shopping, then back to my place for a way late supper and wrapping gifts for the family we’ve sponsored at work. Tomorrow morning we’re going to deliver them. Tomorrow night me and Stace had thought maybe we’d exchange our gifts but now I think we’re going to hold off until next week. After the holiday rush. Something for later. Friday the crush begins in earnest for me. I’m going to the office to work. We’re going to knock off early and dig into a bottle of wine or two, the bulging beer fridge, enjoy some spirits. Then me and Stacy head off to Barnbonia for the Tea House staff party, followed directly by a road trip to the rip roaring rapids for a house party. I’ll stay all night at the folks, return to town on Saturday, where I’ll try to make sure everything is prepped for a longer stay upriver. Take care of the last minute shopping and housework, etc. It’s possible I’ll be nursing a hangover. With any luck I will be completely recovered and relaxed by Sunday’s big adventure with CMC, definitely lunch, maybe a ball game, who knows what else? Anything is possible. Conversation lasting into the wee hours, fits of giggles, holding hands . . . I have a good feeling about this one. But a new adventure is always exciting. Monday I pack up and leave for a couple of days at the folks. I am now leaning toward making the jerk chicken nachos for the xmas eve festivities, purchased some fixings this evening including the frigging Maple Leaf Prime boneless skinless chicken breasts! That’s some damn fine chicken! It’s funny, at the store all I wanted to buy was stuff that needed no prep, like pudding and microwave dinners, you know quick stuff, open the package shove the food in your mouth. I don’t know why I always fall out of love with food this time of year. I crave nothing. I’m ho-hum about everything. It’s weird. I’m doing a 7-day toxin cleanse after the holidays, maybe that’ll bring some spunk back into my taste buds. No caffeine. No alcohol. No chemicals. Nothing unnatural. Should be interesting. Need to spend the couple of days I’m in Barnbonia visiting. Then back home on Boxing Day, where life should return to normal unless people visit me, which I’m hoping some will. No plans for New Year’s Eve yet. I may bring it in on my own terms. I’m due, I think. We’ll see if anything more interesting presents itself. And so ends this eve’s ramble.

Mood: sleepy now
Drinking: california cabernet sauvignon
Listening To: harvest moon, neil young
Hair: messy

Butterflies

I’m having a butterflies kind of day/week/almost month. Fluttering in my gut. Yes, I am excited. Nervous. Crippled with anticipation. Heart racing in my chest. This is not a panic attack. At the same time swatting self-doubt. Shoo! Go away! I am cool. I am confident. I am a good person. I am intelligent. I am fun to be around. I am beautiful, inside and out. I will take slow calming deep breaths and repeat this mantra all day every day until Sunday. Then the adventure begins in earnest.

Mood: fidgety
Drinking: water
Listening To: 1979, smashing pumpkins
Hair: wrecked

O Xmas Tree

I posted pics on Facebook already, but here some of them are again for those who don’t go there. It’s hard to get a good pic of the tree it seems. It’s much more lovely in person.




Mood: sore
Drinking: water, lots and lots of water
Listening To: guy downstairs wheezing and sneezing
Hair: we’re not sure