Feelin’ Good


Yesterday, I turned 43. It’s not a milestone birthday, but for some reason it feels like it’s going to be a big year. I made a lot of changes last year, and I’m feeling pretty good about where my life is headed. So, without further ado, here are my non-concrete goals for 43:

  • Stay on track with conditioning & practice
  • Be neater, at least in the house where it affects other people
  • Eat healthier
  • Cultivate creativity
  • Nurture friendships

Now, I know that goals really need to be concrete to be meaningful and attainable, so I’m going to take those 5 things and try to break it down into doable, concrete chunks:

First, stay on track with conditioning. This is an easy one, but it’s super important because it directly affects my roller derby life. So, the concrete bits are:

  • Exercise at least 4 mornings a week (I’m loving the Hero’s Journey right now, but when I’m done I’m going to start trying out some more of the workouts I have pinned.)
  • Go to the gym at least 4 evenings a week: Two days of cardio, two days of trainer-designed routine
  • Swim at least twice a week
  • Practice skills on skates at least twice a week besides team practice (in the kitchen until the weather gets warmer, then outside somewhere)
  • Keep up with nurse evaluations (quarterly) & free PT re-evals (6-8 weeks) at the gym

Next, be neater, at least in the house where it affects other people. Look, I’m a messy person. I just am. I constantly have piles of stuff around me. I’m a bit  extremely mercurial, so I never know what I’m going to want to read/work on/deal with next, and so I try to keep it all around me so I can grab what I want at a moment’s notice. What this means in practical terms is that there is an entire section of our couch that is unusable because it is covered in my stuff. So I need to:

  • Limit myself to a single project and single book/magazine on the couch at any one time
  • Do quick things immediately (e.g., mending stuffed animals)
  • Put away one project (or book/magazine) before getting out a new project if I want to change up what I’m working on
  • Take tools and supplies back out to the Craft Mine when I’m done using them in the house (this is somewhat weather-dependent, but I think this year we’re going to try to put a little porch/deck out there for me, which means I won’t have to deal with trying to find/balance on wobbly concrete blocks in the snow/rain/dark and that will help tremendously)
  • If I bring a project into the house and then don’t get to it (and won’t in the next day), take it back out to the Craft Mine until I’m actually ready for it

Third: Eat healthier. This one’s pretty easy, I just want to put it down in writing:

  • Eat breakfast every day. Every. Day.
  • No “dessert” on weekdays (candy/cake/hot chocolate/what have you)
  • Eat at least one fruit AND one salad or veg soup every day
  • Pack lunch at least 4 days a week
  • Lean protein + brown rice for lunch before practice
  • Drink at least one 32oz bottle of water every day

Cultivating creativity is up next, and I’ve already told you where I’m starting with that…Make’n’Tell starts tomorrow! (I’m not gonna lie — I forgot about Leap Year for a hot minute this morning and panicked because I hadn’t planned what to do for the day yet.) But there are some other things I want to do, too:

  • Publish two patterns
  • Blog at least twice a week
  • Cook or bake something at least twice a week
  • Sketch at least every other day
  • Journal at least every other day
  • Fully develop two classes and submit them to appropriate venues (and then go teach them if accepted, obviously)
  • Spend at least two hours a week in the Craft Mine (weather permitting)

What I think is going to be the hardest for me is the last one, nurturing friendships. I’ve traditionally not been awesome at this, for a lot of reasons, but I’m going to do my best because I’ve managed to find myself surrounded by several extraordinary groups of people and I genuinely want to make sure I’m giving as much as I’m getting. I’m going to do little baby step concrete goals for this one:

  • reach out to at least one friend every week, even if it’s just to say, “hi, how’re you doing?”
  • wish people Happy Birthday on Facebook (as applicable)

Whew. Looking back at this, it seems like a lot. But I really do think it’s all small and concrete enough that I can do it. And I think this year is going to be the best one yet.



Make’n’Tell, This Time With Feeling

Lola paints
Photo credit: Jennifer Sumilang Painting at Artistic Giraffe in Hackensack, NJ — this would’ve counted if it had happened in March.

I’ve got a problem. (No, it isn’t that I haven’t been blogging. Shut up.) I have giant piles of “won’t this be awesome when I finally get to it” projects lying around. And also, yes, it’s a problem that I haven’t been blogging. Those of you who read my old blog may remember a few years ago I did what I called a “Make’n’Tell”, where I had to make something every day and blog about it. It occurred to me that a Make’n’Tell is just what I need to get those projects cleared out and jumpstart my blogging.

So, starting March 1 (because it’s the day after my birthday and what a great way to start a new year!), I’m going to be doing a Make’n’Tell. I encourage you to join me — if you don’t have a blog just share your stuff on Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr or heck, call your sister and tell her about it. Whatever gets you making and sharing your creativity. Here are my rules for this go-round — feel free to tweak them so they work for you and your life:

  1. Every day of March, I will make a thing, take a picture of what I’ve made, and post about it here on the blog.
  2. I may not complete the thing in one day, and that’s okay, but I still have to take a picture and blog about it.
  3. The Make can be in any medium, including but not limited to yarn, fabric, digital graphics, food, photography, drawing, painting, etc.
  4. The Make should be either a complete work OR consist of at least 30 minutes of work on an ongoing project. I do a lot of bigger projects, and I don’t want to stop doing them, but I don’t always have time or ability to do a big project in a single day. On the other hand, if I have a small project in mind and it only takes me 15 minutes to complete it, I’m okay with that. And some days I might only have time for that one little thing. So I think that should count, too.
  5. I may not use the same ongoing project any more often than once a week (last time I tried this it petered out because I was working on a big knitting project and blogging about working on the same thing all the time is bo-RING).
  6. The Make can be similar to a previously completed project. For instance, years ago I made several dresses for my daughter. I used an original pattern and modified it pretty much every time. Each instance of dressmaking would count as a Make.

This time around, I’m going to try to focus on those big piles of projects-in-waiting, so to prepare I’m going to start making lists of all of the things I want to get done. Then I’m going to make a list of any additional supplies I need AND procure them. Possibly I will make a tentative schedule of which projects to work on which days. That should use up most of the 11 days I have until this thing kicks off.

You guys, I’m so excited about this. It is going to be FABULOUS!