Goals: November and December

I kind of kicked ass on my November goal to blog every day of the month and in doing so, write about things I’m grateful for. You can check it all out on the blog by reading the previous posts or just clicking on the NaBloPoMo category.

My goal for December is to be present and at the same time make shit happen. Yup.

December is always a busy month for me. I have so many family and close friend’s birthdays, the holidays and all the get-togethers that come along with the holidays, regular work stuff, decorating, normal family time, Elf on the Shelf fun, shopping, etc. I used to also have a MFA residency to prepare for. Since I’ve graduated, I don’t have to worry about this anymore, though I do have two (or more) planned trips to CT to visit the residency. It’s not easy to get rid of me! You think that losing the residency would help me be more calm and relaxed this month, but Spry, my new literary journal, is publishing its first issue on the 15th and I am struggling through edits and website stuff to pull this all off.

I love this month. I really do. I  know I can’t add any crazy goals to accomplish, so I’d rather just sit back, work really hard at accomplishing my normal December goals and be present, calm and relaxed through the whole experience. Let’s see if I can pull it off.

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Today is my fifth anniversary. Five years ago today I quit smoking, which is something I never thought possible. Five year ago today, I didn’t think I would be sitting here with a true nonsmoker status. I wasn’t sure I’d make a few days, a week, a month, a year, nevermind five whole years. But I have, and I think that is extremely special. I’m not sure what to say about it this year. Five years seems so significant, and I don’t know what to say. But I document it every year; see, last year I documented my fourth anniversary

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I don’t know what is wrong with me, but I’ve decided to take a go at NaBloPoMo again. November is the official month and many of my blogging friends are participating as well. I’m going to try focusing in on gratitude this month. A few years ago on my old blog, I took part in Grace In Small Things, which is a 365 day project where you list what you are grateful for every day of that year. Now, I loved this project and think that the month of November is a perfect time to try to resurrect a more grateful nature. If all goes well, you’ll get thirty days of gratitude on the blog.

 I think my monthly goal and NaBloPoMo will nicely compliment each other this month. Are you wondering how my goal to organize for the month of October worked? Ehh, I did try. There were many organizational projects I tackled. I just don’t see the type of results I wanted. My plate is pretty full right now with work and Spry and family and life in general, so I do need to cut myself a little slack. October was a decent month for my organizational goal; it wasn’t a failure, but it also wasn’t a huge win. I guess you guys will see first hand how well I do in November!

So to start my first November NaBloPoMo post off: I’m so thankful that I quit smoking five years ago on that drizzly, chilly November morning. I’m so glad that while the Chantix I took literally made me crazy, it also helped me quit smoking. I am beyond grateful that I got off the Chantix as quickly as I did and I didn’t end up too far in the deep end. I’m so happy to have the people in my life who supported me through that tough time in my life.

I’m also so thankful and proud of myself. Good for you, Erin. You loved smoking so much. Cigarettes were your friend, your confidant, your support. Good for you for ending that toxic relationship. You have a strong will, and I usually don’t give you enough credit for your strength, but you deserve a huge hug and a pat on the back. Yes, the Chantix helped. Yes,  you had a pretty good support system. But no matter what, you did this all yourself. Every day in the past one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven days, you have made the conscious decision not to pick up a cigarette. How cool is that? Good job, Erin. Good job.

 

Reviewing and Setting Goals: September and October

I’ll have to say, I did a great job with my goal for September. I’m very happy with the progress I’ve made on the literary journal this month.

When I started this 12 months’ challenge, I hopped on the bandwagon a bit late. I didn’t really take the time to plan things out or question what I wanted to accomplish in 2012. I saw a lot of people who set concrete goals for themselves, and knew exactly what they planned on accomplishing in each month. I personally thought that was an impractical approach, just because plans change, life changes, things don’t always work out the way you expect them to. However, as I get deeper into 2012, I do wish that I had set up a more concrete approach to my goals. If I choose to do this again in 2013, which I probably will, I’d like to go into the year with a plan. I think what I will do is set up a list of 12-24 goals that I’d truly like to work on and then just pick a new one every month. In 2012, sometimes I had no clue what I would choose as a goal for the month, and before I decided I already wasted 7 days of the month. Sometimes I knew what my goal would be for the following month, but when the time came to focus in on the goal, I was disinterested. If I’m going to make these goals work for me, I’d like to at least enjoy them. So in 2013, I’d like to be better prepared. That’s it.

Which leads me to announcing my October goal. This month I would like to work on organization. I truly need to be organized to live. I will fail at home and work and everything else if things aren’t organized in some way. I need an agenda or things won’t get done. I need a process at work or things won’t get done. I need a system at home or things won’t get done. Basically, I’m doing okay in general, but I feel a steady anxiety lately, because there is so much to do and remember. So I know when I get like this, I need to take a step back and simply put things in order. I desperately need to do this at work and with Spry, because there is just so much happening at once for both of those commitments. At home, I just need to portion time to organize. I need to find a way to make it less of a chore and more of an activity. Wish me luck.

Reviewing July’s Goal and My Plan for August

Let’s talk first about my new goal for August: write every day. I’ve already attempted this goal in 2012. My results were so-so. I wrote a good portion of the month, but there were a handful (or two handfuls) when no writing happened. I think now is a very important time for me to focus on daily writing. I just graduated last month, and I don’t want my output to slow down. I don’t even care what it is that I write. I think I’m going to try journaling more than essay writing in all honesty.

Are you wondering how I did with my July goal? Not very good at all. If you don’t remember, my goal for July was to try to be fully present. It was a very eventful month, and I wanted to enjoy and experience the moment. I definitely did enjoy my experiences. I had a fantastic month. It was just ridiculously hard to live in the moment. When I’m busy my brain tends to be in at least ten places at once. So from July 1-13, my brain was all over the place. Then school was great (July 13-23), but again, my brain was functioning in a different way compared to how it normally works, and for most of the residency, I was very stressed and concerned for my dad. Plus, I had so many responsibilities to prepare for graduation, it was more of me obsessing over details versus relishing in the overall experience. When I got home, I went through my normal P.R.T.B. (post-residency transitional blues). It was very hard to get back into the swing of things at work and at home. Plus, there was a lot of stuff to do when I got back, and events that had been planned, so it was just like jumping from one thing to the next. So enough with the excuses. I did try throughout the month, and I am pleased with my mini successes.

Here is to August!

Goals: Reviewing May and Announcing June

I’m proud to say I did a very good job with my May goals. I wanted to spend the month of May being a better blogger, and I think I accomplished what I set out to do. I didn’t blog every day or anything like that, but I did comment on other blogs almost every day. And I also found new blogs to read. And that, my friends was what I was really aiming to do with this goal.

So June’s goal is a bit super secret. (Ha, I just like saying super secret, it really isn’t THAT secret)

I’m starting a business with a friend and while we have been plotting and scheming for a month or so now, I want to dedicate June to making this happen. I promise to tell you guys all about it soon.

So remember how I am graduating next month?!?! Wild, huh? I guarantee my blogging from now until then will be spare, so I’ve decided to add another regular series to this blog. While I’m busy, I’m going to be posting old posts from back in the day when I wasn’t self-hosted (and when I wasn’t even Reinventing Erin!) I’ve recently stumbled through some and they’re kinda funny so I thought I’d share.

Reviewing April’s Resolution and Announcing May’s Goal

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My goal for the month of April was to spend time journaling. I’ll be honest and claim April as a failed month. I didn’t write one word in a physical journal. I did a lot of nonfiction writing for school, but those two are completely unrelated and different writing styles. I forgot who it was that I was talking to goals about lately, and they reminded me of my Project Life scrapbook which I’m been drooling over and working on almost daily. If journal/scrapbooking counts, then I did a pretty decent job in April. I got the Project Life stuff on 4/11, and I have been working on it almost every day ever since. So depending on how you look at it, I either failed, or I did an “ehh, alright” job.

IT’S MAY!

So to announce my May goal….drumroll please…..In May, I’d like to work at being a better blogger. I’m an accidental selfish blogger. What I mean by that, is that I read every blog post (of the people I follow) but I rarely comment back. Or I let great posts sit in my reader without sharing them. Or I go days without blogging. Weeks without saying anythign good sometimes. I’m still going nuts with school, but I’d like to spend more time on the blog this month. I want to comment more on the blog posts I like. I want to share more posts in my Weekly Internet Finds Series. I want to write better posts, connect with more people.

That being said, I’d like your help! Introduce yourself if you don’t usually comment on here. I’d love to make a new friend. Or suggest a new blog I should read, because my Reader could use some spring cleaning.

12 Resolutions: Reviewing March and Setting April Goals

So I’m coming into this one a bit late. In the beginning of the year, I vowed to work on one thing each month. I’ve never been a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions, because I think they set many people up for failure. Then I noticed that some of my favorite bloggers were choosing a goal for each month and focusing on that one thing. Now, I like that idea. My goal for January was to not waste and my goal for February was to purge. I shared many photos of my February purging goal on this blog. I think I did a pretty damn good job with each of these items. My goal for March was to write a minimum of 30 minutes per day. I did alright with this goal. It is hard to measure my success though. I didn’t write daily and that is for sure. I did however complete quite a bit of new writing for my thesis, and that was the whole reason I wanted to write every day in March. So I guess overall I will consider March a success. But I won’t be boasting and bragging about it anytime soon.

So I’m a bit late to announce April’s goal. That is because I didn’t choose one until today. For April, I’d like to try to journal/scrap-journal for the majority of the month. I’m going to be revising my thesis like a maniac this month. So there will be a lot of writing and editing to do. However, through the Fierce Love course I’ve realized how much I miss journaling in my daily routine (or weekly routine even). I’m not going to stress about completing this daily, I just want to dedicate some time this month to get back into the process of journaling. Wish me luck!

Pulling Back the Curtain

So I am participating in The Scintilla Project, and today is day one…One of the prompts was to pull back the curtain and introduce our true self. Now, I think I do a decent job of baring all on the blog, but what if you’re new? What does this blog really tell you about me?

I snuck a peek at my About Me page, and BOY is it outdated. It states that I am in my first 101 in 1001 goals challenge. Not true, In October of 2011, I started my second 101 in 1001 challenge. I honestly love this challenge. It gives me space, yet still keeps me accountable. The only issue I have with it right now is my lack of update. I have not posted one single thing yet about challenge #2. I think the goals are listed on the new blog, but I do not think I’ve even updated it. The first 101 challenge was fun. I didn’t complete as much as I’d like, but hey, I tried hard. The same goes for updating my first challenge’s blog. I started to write the items I failed at, but I still haven’t cleaned it all up and tied it with a bow. I really hope to do that soon, and I am sure when I do, I will announce it on this blog.

This year, I am  trying to recap every month– here is January and February— at the end of the month so that I don’t have to scramble and try to remember what happened during the year in December. I like the monthly check in so far.

I’m also participating in the 12 Months Challenge. Every month I pick a goal and try to work on that one goal for the month. Then I check in on this blog and let y’all know how I am doing. In January I worked on wasting less. In February I worked on purging unneccessary material goods from my life. I kicked ass these two month. March has been difficult for me so far. My goal is to write for thirty minutes a day. You’d think this would be easy seeing as I am working on my thesis right now (more on this in a second), but nope. I’ve got a case of semi-writer’s block, totally the wrong time to have writer’s block. So I’m trying. I think I’ve done thirty minutes for 7 or 8 days so far, which isn’t too bad. Be sure to check back in the beginning of April (or end of March if I’m caught up with life) to see how I did.

So, thesis… I am a graduate student at Fairfield University. I am studying Creative Writing and I am in the Nonfiction Genre. I graduate in July and I was chose by my peers to be the graduation speaker. I am pretty excited about that and consider it to be such an honor.

While there still is a lot to know about me, that is it for the time being. You can check out this post for a little more info, but I’m sure with this Scintilla Project, you’ll all get to know me well.

More Purging

Good riddance junk I don’t need!

The first picture is of a bunch of junk I found in my floral supplies. I had no plan to sort through that bin (I thought it was organized! ha!), but I was making a corsage for my niece (she and my brother were going to the father/daughter dance that night). Most of the stuff I took out of there got thrown in the trash. Actually, I threw out everything in that first photo. The rest of the stuff I organized so that I’d be prepared the next time I needed to use my floral supplies. For whatever reason, I had mascara and lip gloss in there. I also threw out an empty pin box, remnants of ribbon from a previous wedding, some plastic container and the leftover fabric from my bridesmaid’s dress for my friend Holly’s wedding. I french braided the bridesmaids bouquets with that fabric.

As you can see the second photo is a bunch of movies that I am either going to sell or donate. I boxed them up for now, but they need to get going soon. I want the clutter to be completely done, not just hidden. When Hollywood Video was open, I used to go there all the time and buy the movies they had on sale. I accumulated a large collection. Some of these movies I own doubles (shame on my memory!), and others I’m just not interested in keeping. I used to buy movies just to try them out since the cost of renting was sometimes the cost of purchasing! If anyone wants some movies, let me know. I’d be happy to part with them.

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12 Resolutions: Reviewing February and Introducing March

So, basically, I kicked ass in January and February for my monthly goals. In January I wasted less, and in February, I purged more. I’m actually going to be posting a lot about last month’s goals. I tried my best to take pictures of everything I donated or trashed, but to be honest, I know a lot went without being photographed. It shocks me that I still have so much I can get rid of, but I actually found purging to be quite fun and motivating, so I will definitely continue it this month as well.

I’m already failing a bit this month. My goal for the month was to write every single day for a minimum of thirty minutes. In the grand scheme of things, this should be remarkably easy. I am a creative writing graduate student who is completing her thesis. This simple fact alone makes it necessary for me to be writing at least thirty minutes, but really I should be doing much more.

The problem is that I have been falling flat on my face this month. My next packet is due two weeks from now, and I need to hustle in order to complete it. Not only do I need quantity, but I need quality. I definitely find that my writing is better when I write regularly, so I am hoping and praying to complete 45 good pages at minimum in the next two weeks. I know I can do it, but it means I need to make some life changes. Today is the 13th of March. So far, I know there were 6 days that I wrote for thirty minutes. There are nineteen days left in this month (only 14 until my packet is due though), so I’m making it public, and I hope when I check back next month I can confirm that I’ve followed through.

February Purging: Take One

Yeah, so apparently I didn’t save the draft of what I’d written for this post… and now have to type it all up again. Sigh. I had actually spent a bit of time writing my first “purging” post, and now I don’t know if I have enough energy (or memory) to make it happen again. Basically, I spent the month of February sorting through our belongings and purging the unnecessary from our lives. It was a huge success. I was terrified by it at first, and then I loved it. I’ll write more about the process in another post, but for this one, I am just going to list all the items I got rid of. This first post covers day one: which was random stereo, computer, music, electrical items.

The items were either donated or trashed:
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Above: An alarm clock, a travelling iPod deck, half of an old MP3 player (from like 1999), 8 wheely things that you can put on the bottom of storage bins, one random wire, 5 USB  plug-ins for old cameras or cell phones, two USB wall plug-ins from old cell phones.

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Above: I donated these 4 phones to my local women’s shelter. They took the wall charger, 2 car chargers and charger clip as well.

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Above: I guess there was one extra USB Charger, ear phone cushy things, a remote and two docks I never used.

There is more purging coming your way!

February Observations

Can you believe February is over? I honestly cannot. I feel as if it was just New Year’s Day, but two whole months have passed. Last month I promised you that I would be recapping my months for all of 2012, so since I like to keep my promises, here is February…

February Highlights:

  • I got LASIK eye surgery, and everything went so smoothly. I can see! This experience has been incredible, and I feel so fortunate for my great vision.
  • Getting my first thesis packet back from Kim Dana Kupperman. She is an incredible mentor to work with, and I am so pumped for this semester.
  • I signed up for Statejoy’s Fierce Love Course. I know I barely have time to sleep, and this is another thing I will need to make a priority, but you know what? I think it is a great decision. It is about time I make myself a priority in life. Plus, the lovely San and I decided to be Fierce Love buddies and keep each other in check.
  • Mr. O and I ate lobsters again for Valentine’s Day, but this year we shared the meal with Wolverine and my parents.
  • I started my 365 pictures goal for my 101 in 1001 challenge.
  • My resolution for the month was to Purge! I kicked ass at that goal this month. I can’t wait to share all the pictures with you next month.

Stinky February Moments:

  • Mr. O’s car has been giving him a bit of a hard time.
  • This is my thesis semester. Boo. It is a lot of work. (I’m thinking this might be here every month).
  • I feel like I did quite a bit of laundry this month. It isn’t so much that laundry is a bad thing, the problem is that Mr. O has pointed out to me (quite fairly) that my ironing skills are so-so at best. Que sera, sera. I tried.

Other Mentionable Moments:

  • My grandmother turned 101 years old this month.
  • My wonderful friends Sarah, Monica, Jim, Jenn, my cousin Briget, Mr. O’s sister, and my best friend’s mom all celebrated their birthdays.
  • It is a Leap Year! I’m obviously unsure of what today will have in store for me, but I’m planning on making the best of it. I think Mr. O and I are going to write a note to us to be read the next leap year. That should be fun.

I’m looking forward to____ in March:

  • Mr. O, Wolverine and I will be taking a weekend away in New Hampshire.
  • Going to the Blog Better Boston Conference and meeting my lovely friend Kate (and new friends too!)
  • Kicking ass with the new writing I need to do this semester.
  • Putting effort into the Fierce Love Course.

Overall Thoughts:

February was an okay month. Everything seemed so busy. I have a lot of work and a lot of schoolwork to get done. Not sure how I am going to accomplish it all. Mr. O and I have been settling in quite well, and I love our routines and everyday life stuff. I’m worried about my friend whose husband, sister and niece are all extremely ill. I can’t wait until all my friends start having their babies! I’ve got one coming in March, one in April, another in May, one in July and one in September! I love infants. I can’t wait to hold one. Not much more to really say about February. It was a busy month. I felt a bit overwhelmed all month. It was a nice month though, not bad at all…just looking forward to March. I can’t wait until Spring is officially here.

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Want to know more about my year? Check out the previous months:
January