resolutions half a year in


Since half the year has elapsed, I thought I would give myself leave to tamper with these resolutions a little bit. I thought I would take the opportunity to try and look at both my six-months-past and -future selves with kindness and clarity. Resolutions needn't be static. Here we go: 

- learn to make my own happiness (because it is not Tim's job, and because circumstances will not always be peachy)in particular,  1) develop strategies for managing anxiety attacks, 2) take myself on dates

- complete one wearable sewn garment (hello brown paisley dress) 

- master fair isle knitting (in order to make things such as this

- remove makeup every night (this has never, ever been a habit--now that flossing is down, it's time)

- reach goal weight once and for all (140 pounds)--or don't; keep lifting, keep cycling, keep learning to eat

- pay back money owed Tim (so very close); stop spending money that doesn't yet exist

- pay off student loan (not so close)--or don't; make dent in current loan, pay 2013/2014 tuition straight up

- repair book cubes (damaged in the move last spring)

- further improve backyard (especially firepit, but also hope for fruit trees, removal of gravel, chopping of hoary huge evergreen); also enjoy said backyard

- write something (anything) every day (this should be at the top of the list); or just fill two notebooks

- learn more about math and computing (calculus, number theory, Python)--finish A Transition to Advanced Mathematics and the online MIT computing course

- publish in at least one magazine (which means submitting)--acceptance counts too

- give excellent presents (better than last year); in particular, surprise Tim

- apply for at least one "real" job (something outside the service industry, something challenging, something that utilizes my skills)

- properly repair bathroom ceiling and baseboards (and begin to learn about renovating a house)

- play the violin again (Vivaldi's "Winter")

- learn more about baking bread (to begin: read the lovely book Laura got me for Christmas)

- get a tattoo (at last at last)--or don't if the money still doesn't exist

- put more of myself into relationships (especially that relationship with one Tim Put); in particular, 1) be kind, 2) write letters--every week

- use my nice things (and remember that I have many--especially tins of expensive tea)

- make and repair more, and buy better and less (I need a darning egg); in particular, 1)stop buying cheap clothes that need to be replaced every six months, 2) refashion unwearable clothes in closet

Resolutions in April and May (The Dress)


- learn to make my own happiness (because it is not Tim's job, and because circumstances will not always be peachy)
Can I just say that facing this issue head-on is difficult and painful and frustrating and frightening?

- complete one wearable sewn garment (hello brown paisley dress)
Done. Rousing success. Observe:

Please note that this is almost certainly the first you have ever seen of my legs. It's that summer, people.




- master fair isle knitting (in order to make things such as this)
Hazelhurst is almost done. 

- remove makeup every night (this has never, ever been a habit--now that flossing is down, it's time)

- reach goal weight once and for all (140 pounds)

- pay back money owed Tim (so very close)

- pay off student loan (not so close)

- repair book cubes (damaged in the move last spring)
They are patched. Painting has begun. 

- further improve backyard (especially firepit, but also hope for fruit trees, removal of gravel, chopping of hoary huge evergreen)
Tim built two more raised beds. We planted blueberry bushes. The firepit should be usable within the month. 

- write something (anything) every day (this should be at the top of the list)

- learn more about math and computing (calculus, number theory, Python)

- publish in at least one magazine (which means submitting)

- give excellent presents (better than last year)

- apply for at least one "real" job (something outside the service industry, something challenging, something that utilizes my skills)

- properly repair bathroom ceiling and baseboards (and begin to learn about renovating a house)

- play the violin again (Vivaldi's "Winter")

- learn more about baking bread (to begin: read the lovely book Laura got me for Christmas)
I have a new rye starter and should get back to the recipes.

- get a tattoo (at last at last)

- put more of myself into relationships (especially that relationship with one Tim Put)

- use my nice things (and remember that I have many)
Bicycle. Hand pruners. 

- make and repair more, and buy better and less (I need a darning egg)
Candle holder. Chest of drawers. Book cubes. Lamp shade.

Resolutions in February


- learn to make my own happiness (because it is not Tim's job, and because circumstances will not always be peachy)
It was paying to get my hair cut. Painting my toenails. Walking in the cemetery. Making a good effort at work. Spending time with friends, in spite of that fear that I am socially awkward. Drinking beer while making supper. Singing--which I hadn't really done since moving in with Tim. 




- complete one wearable sewn garment (hello brown paisley dress)
I actually have all the cutting and marking done. 

- master fair isle knitting (in order to make things such as this)
This is for March.

- remove makeup every night (this has never, ever been a habit--now that flossing is down, it's time)
Something of a fail. Must get back to this simple thing.

- reach goal weight once and for all (140 pounds)
Indulge me while I digress for a moment. The more I think about this, the more I realize that what I want for my body is a hell of a lot more than a smaller number on the scale. I want to be really strong. I want to be able to run when I feel like it. I want to take a bike trip this summer. I want to feel good after eating. 

I am becoming attracted to the idea of more serious lifting. Since Christmas, with a lapse in the middle of February, I've been doing both strength training and short bouts of cardio. I feel amazing after lifting free weights, holding a long plank, actually feeling my chest touch the ground during a push-up. I adore my biceps. Today I squatted for the first time, holding one of the dumbbells Tim uses on his arms. 8 hours later, my whole body hurts in a very, very good way. 

- pay back money owed Tim (so very close)
Closer. Almost.

- pay off student loan (not so close)

- repair book cubes (damaged in the move last spring)

- further improve backyard (especially firepit, but also hope for fruit trees, removal of gravel, chopping of hoary huge evergreen)

- write something (anything) every day (this should be at the top of the list)
Like washing my face: so easy, so hard. I must, I must. And notes for poems too. 

- learn more about math and computing (calculus, number theory, Python)

- publish in at least one magazine (which means submitting)

- give excellent presents (better than last year)
My friend Amelia got married. I bought her this book. If that isn't a good present, I don't know what is. 

- apply for at least one "real" job (something outside the service industry, something challenging, something that utilizes my skills)

- properly repair bathroom ceiling and baseboards (and begin to learn about renovating a house)
I watched Tim repair a window frame, and watched Tim's Dad rip up three layers of lino and lay down tile. I have a lot to learn.

- play the violin again (Vivaldi's "Winter")

- learn more about baking bread (to begin: read the lovely book Laura got me for Christmas)
As you know, this is going well. I'm through the first chapter on basic doughs. I've started the sourdough chapter. 

- get a tattoo (at last at last)

- put more of myself into relationships (especially that relationship with one Tim Put)
It was continuing to talk. Trying very hard to nip passive aggression in the bud. Not spoiling Tim's birthday with impossible expectations, but leaving a miniature cherry pie at Transcend for him to find when he opened the cafe. Making friend dates.

- use my nice things (and remember that I have many)
It was yarn that had been "stashed" for a while, turned into a cowl and a sweater. Hoarded coconut milk turned into rice pudding, and saved butterscotch chips turned into cookies. A tiny handsewn notebook filled with grocery lists. A perfume bottle emptied. 




- make and repair more, and buy better and less (I need a darning egg)
Tim's sweater is done, after trials and tribulations. I'm in the middle of a mildly overwhelming repair/restoration that I hope to blog about this week. As mentioned, I repaired my rubber boots. 





Resolutions in January

Thank you for the beautiful comments on Wednesday's post. I could not have asked for friendlier support, and I feel very lucky indeed for the friends and readers that I have. 

Much of January looked like this. I promise more pictures in February.

One month in, how are these looking? Still relevant, still doable? 

- learn to make my own happiness (because it is not Tim's job, and because circumstances will not always be peachy) 
Obviously this one is hard to quantify. What does "making my own happiness" look like, anyway? One of the most important things I did on this front was to start talking about my sexuality,  booting some of the guilt that I've never really lived without. 

- complete one wearable sewn garment (hello brown paisley dress)
I've made a sewing date with Laura and a promise to make some progress on the dress beforehand.

- master fair isle knitting (in order to make things such as this)

- remove makeup every night (this has never, ever been a habit--now that flossing is down, it's time)
I think I am currently managing this about 40 percent of the time, which is an improvement. 

- reach goal weight once and for all (140 pounds)
There is a slight problem with this goal, in that I haven't weighed myself in about six months. I've been going by clothing fit, muscles. By those rubrics, I am doing well. My once-impossibly-small-grey jeans tell me that I'm about as skinny as I've been since I was fourteen, and my biceps and abs tell me that the strength training is paying off. (Also, I can do better push-ups now, and I'm using 17.5-pound dumbbells instead of 10-pounders.) I'm not super happy about my cardio. I need to drink more water. I'm not super happy about my eating habits, though I have, somehow, gone two full months without eating pastries from the cafe, and feel better for it. 

- pay back money owed Tim (so very close)
Even closer. I have a very mere amount left to pay back.

- pay off student loan (not so close)

- repair book cubes (damaged in the move last spring)

- further improve backyard (especially firepit, but also hope for fruit trees, removal of gravel, chopping of hoary huge evergreen)

- write something (anything) every day (this should be at the top of the list)
I haven't written every day, but I have written more. There is plenty of room for improvement. 

- learn more about math and computing (calculus, number theory, Python)

- publish in at least one magazine (which means submitting)
I'm still holding out for a print journal, but I did have a poem accepted at The Blue Hour this month, which is an excellent start. 

- give excellent presents (better than last year)
Tim's birthday was yesterday. He got a radiant heater for the workshop, an enormous Pyrex measuring cup to use as a tea cup, and a Leapmotion, which was, for once, a surprise. I am almost finished his "Christmas" sweater. Yes friends, this one is going well. 

- apply for at least one "real" job (something outside the service industry, something challenging, something that utilizes my skills)

- properly repair bathroom ceiling and baseboards (and begin to learn about renovating a house)
Well, Tim fixed the shower door . . . 

- play the violin again (Vivaldi's "Winter")

- learn more about baking bread (to begin: read the lovely book Laura got me for Christmas)

- get a tattoo (at last at last)
Does haunting galleries of knitting tattoos count?

- put more of myself into relationships (especially that relationship with one Tim Put)
Prompted partly by Allison's journaling assignments, and the writing that followed, Tim and I have talked and listened more over the past three weeks than in the three years previous. I have apologized for shocking, old, ugly hypocrisy, callousness. I am exhausted, but our lives are raw material again. Hope springs. 

- use my nice things (and remember that I have many)
Ethiopian tea has been drunk, fountain pens have been drained, headphones have been listened through, the daunting dried porcini and black trumpets have been turned into soup, and nice writing paper has been turned into letters.

- make and repair more, and buy better and less (I need a darning egg)
Blue cardigan, black cardigan, makeup bag, orange camisol--check, check, check, check--by which I mean fixed.

resolutions

Everyone seems resolutely set against resolutions. I am not. I love them; as my friend Deanna said yesterday, "And I am always waiting for natural spaces to start things or change things, so I relish the thought of a fresh new year." I am starting with a long list:

- learn to make my own happiness (because it is not Tim's job, and because circumstances will not always be peachy)
- complete one wearable sewn garment (hello brown paisley dress)
- master fair isle knitting (in order to make things such as this)
- remove makeup every night (this has never, ever been a habit--now that flossing is down, it's time)
- reach goal weight once and for all (140 pounds)
- pay back money owed Tim (so very close)
- pay off student loan (not so close)
- repair book cubes (damaged in the move last spring)
- further improve backyard (especially firepit, but also hope for fruit trees, removal of gravel, chopping of hoary huge evergreen)
- write something (anything) every day (this should be at the top of the list)
- learn more about math and computing (calculus, number theory, Python)
- publish in at least one magazine (which means submitting)
- give excellent presents (better than last year)
- apply for at least one "real" job (something outside the service industry, something challenging, something that utilizes my skills)
- properly repair bathroom ceiling and baseboards (and begin to learn about renovating a house)
- play the violin again (Vivaldi's "Winter")
- learn more about baking bread (to begin: read the lovely book Laura got me for Christmas)
- get a tattoo (at last at last)
- put more of myself into relationships (especially that relationship with one Tim Put)
- use my nice things (and remember that I have many)
- make and repair more, and buy better and less (I need a darning egg)

Because, like all resolutions, they are mostly long-term, requiring sustained effort and the taking of many small steps, I am planning to recap on progress made at the end of every month this year. If 2012 lacked anything, it was pause. This year, I must have appointments to halt, think about what has happened and what should happen next. Who I am. What I want. What is right. Hopefully, you won't mind if I do some of my ruminating in this space. Thanks, ever so much, all of you, for listening and responding to my rambling. Happy New Year!

post-Christmas




Now the sun has started to strengthen. Full of hope and resolve, armed with, inspired by Nice Things--a fountain pen; a pleasing bottle of blue-black ink; Shakespeare's poems in two blue, small, Yale edition volumes; a Lifesaver book; a leather tassel for the zipper on a future garment; Colours of Shetland, Kate Davies's new book; a ceramic slip stone for sharpening my needles, scissors, and knives; the carol CD most prominent in my childhood, a box of Moroccan mint tea, new kitchen shears, money to make this most expensive month a little easier--I am quite ready to shed the old year.

I am thinking of next summer's garden. Tim and I will build more raised beds, will buy a real lawnmower, make the yard better than it was before. Next Christmas I will have jars of jam to give away again, next winter on a night like tonight, I will drink tea from mint that I grew and dried. Simpkin will be grown up, safe, sweet, no longer shivering miserably during thunderstorms.


In the meantime, I feel lucky to be weathering this cold, this smothering northern slowness and isolation with Tim. We had quite the year. We'll have to work hard through the rest of the winter. I go back to work at the cafe tomorrow and my classes start on Thursday. I will need to get up early and go to bed late, to save money to stave off the monstrous leech that is Student Loans, to try to keep reading and writing for myself. But I can do it. I have great plans.



2012 passed by in a bit of a daze. Uprooted in March, I seemed to stop growing. Of the goals I made last January, I can take credit only for flossing and growing a garden. But here at the end, I can add that I managed to get straight A's in my first semester back at uni. And we bought a house. I finally banished the acne that has been plaguing me since I was 19. I published poems in three magazines and got paid for my writing for the first time. We rescued a tiny, sad cat. I struggled through my first "real" job interview. I started learning about making my own clothes. I didn't succumb to seasonal depression. I worked while going to school. As always, I am loathe to say that it has been a Good Year. But it certainly could have been worse. I think I am better equipped for next year: I feel stronger and older.

On Mess

I thought that by now I would have permanently escaped mess. Escaping mess, I would have also escaped cleaning up. By now,  I thought, I would be able to start existing in earnest; in a pristine and well-oiled environment I could start the perpetual-motion machine which would define my adulthood as one of accomplished glory and efficiency. Now that I didn't have to deal with the mess my mother dealt with, I could write, carry on a clear-cut yet passionate relationship with my husband, excel in school, save scads of money, and finally, steadily begin to acquire gorgeous new possessions instead of haphazardly replacing the victims of breakdowns, wear, accidents.

Escaping mess was probably my penultimate childhood goal. My bedroom was as minutely arranged as a nativity scene on a mantel. Everything that didn't fit the schema was chucked outside the door. If something broke, I hated myself and threw it out. If I ate something too messy, too large, larger, crumblier than a carrot or an apple, I hated myself and threw it up. I panicked over the relentless advance of kipple, and drew my circle ever smaller. The dream of a poised and perfect stasis dies hard. However. 



By now I see that since I left home, started eating, and grew up, I have been actively courting mess. The mess of living with a partner. The mess of transplanting in the kitchen. The aphids in the pepper plant. The mess of house-training a cat. The mess that is academia. The disappointing grades. The mess of moving. The mess of a mortgage. The mess of our very own water pipes, leaking through the ceiling. The mess of hauling gravel around the yard. The mess of tools and sawdust in the livingroom. The mess of writing-anyway (with my terrible penmanship, feeling ugly, in spite of noise, without a speck of inspiration). The mess of oiling a bicycle. The mess I never admit is mine. The mess of relationships: coworkers, family, tenants. The apologies. The mess of homemade food. The mess and mud of a garden. The failed radishes. The mess in the laundry room after replacing the windows. The mess of learning how to do something. The knitting ripped back 6 times. The mess of publishing poems that make me cringe a little. The mess I try not to clean up so I won't drive Tim crazy. The mess of grinding a knife. 


The knitting that got ripped back six times. But look at it now! It's a poppy pod.

Though I am living and managing, though I am making things, fixing things, though I am doing well, everything I want is a bit of a mess. So strange, and a little sad, to realize it.

This turned into something a little more vague and moralizing than I had intended. I would be very interested to hear about your views on specific or general life-messiness, should you care to comment or send off an email.


another enormous reading list

This afternoon, it rains and it positively gusts. I am working my way through the last pages of the last book on this list. It took me a year--instead of a summer--to complete it, but it was a good, rigorous way to structure my reading, and I am ready to plunge in to another. Without a deadline, and without further ado:

A Time of Gifts - Patrick Leigh Fermor
The Chocolate Connoisseur - Chloe Doutre-Roussel
Fashionable Nonsense - Alan Sokal
The Maytrees - Annie Dillard
The Overcoat - Nikolai Gogol
The Poetics of Translation - Willis Barnstone
The Idiot - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
A Transition to Advanced Mathematics
Poor Things - Alasdair Gray
Darwin's Dangerous Idea - Daniel Dennet
The Better Angels of Our Nature - Steven Pinker
In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
Relativity - Albert Einstein
Dakota - Kathleen Norris
The Basic Writings of John Stuart Mill
The Tempest - William Shakespeare
Breaking the Spell - Daniel Dennet
The Great Crash--1929 - Kenneth Galbraith
Last Orders - Graham Swift
Anatomy of Criticism - Northrop Frye
The Habit of Being - Flannery O'Connor
A Good Man is Hard to Find - Flannery O'Connor
How the Mind Works - Steven Pinker
The Blank Slate - Steven Pinker
The Journals of L. M. Montgomery
What Einstein Told His Cook - Robert Wolke
Pegeen and the Pilgrim - Lyn Cook
Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life - Nick Lane
The Time Quartet - Madeleine L'Engle
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
Six Easy Pieces - Richard Feynman
Six Not-So-Easy Pieces - Richard Feynman
Guns, Germs, and Steel - Jared Diamond
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek - Annie Dillard


Any suggestions?

false spring



Happy New Year! Is it even winter?

Some resolutions:

- floss!

- run the 5k in April--officially, this time

- finish a new story

- tend a proper garden come spring (tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, rainbow carrots, beets, kale)

- save 4000 dollars

- lose 9 pounds (I've maintained the same weight and size for about a year now, which means that I'm at a net 15-pound loss from the 164 I started at during the summer of 2010. I still don't feel totally comfortable, or pretty, or healthy, and would like to get down to 140.)

- work through a math text (Zorich)

- work on becoming a better cook (Indian and Thai food, especially)

- finish sewing first dress (brown paisley)

- drink champagne for 21st birthday

I am getting stronger again. Push-ups, planks, pike crunches, free weights, running, stairs.

I started painting the second book cube this evening. Whipped-cream white. It's only taken me six months--what of it?

And the rough shape of a new poem today. Something novel and important, slightly shocking; the crucial thing is to treat it naturally.

I would like to give away a couple of felt books. How to go about it? I am not good at creating hype. If you want one, speak your piece. (I will post anywhere.)

Boxing Day

Christmas is over. Why wait for the weekend? It's a new year already and I have 50 dollars in my savings account (the first non-zero balance in over two years). We are making plans, reorganizing, hoping. I have a new journal. I worked today for double time and a half. I've decided to lose another ten pounds. My nightstand holds two new books on writing, the collected poems of Wislawa Szymborska (from my Dad, who gives better presents and books than anyone), French Women Don't Get Fat, and A Brief History of Time. My hair is longer than ever. The presents I slaved over were received with joy, and I would like to make more things--now, not on a deadline. I work again tomorrow. It's hard, but good: I want to save a year's tuition and learn to wring my time for all it's worth. I want to learn to apply mascara and nailpolish (properly!). I want to write thank you notes for all the wonderful gifts. I want to read A Winter's Tale.

And what do you want?

30 Days Hath November

It is the first of November. It is getting cold and dark. The winter does not seem like a harbinger of death this year, only an incubator of life-inside. Everyone is embarking on some project or another - whether growing a mustache (or, like my friend Gustavo, half a mustache), following a charming blogging schedule, or writing a novel. If I am perfectly, perfectly honest, I woke up this morning convinced that I should write a novel, myself.

The idea was tantalizing. And perhaps I am just under-confident, perhaps I am stifling myself, but while I sat in bed considering, one half of me couldn't help reminding the other half of what we set out to accomplish this winter: a fat collection of poems. I think there is a place in the creative life for this kind of self-denial, this wrenching back to the plan one knows is good, one knows could be fruitful. There will be no novel. Instead, over the 30 days of November, I will write 30 poems. Yes indeed, that's exactly one poem a day.

And at the end of the month, this autumn's work will be compiled in a felt-covered booklet - some evidence that I actually do the work I constantly mention. (I cannot publish poems anywhere on the internet if I want them to be accepted by a magazine. Hence the closure of my Etsy shop.) I will stitch the covers in scraps of wool, and print the words on creamy paper. The work is already piling up. Before the year's end, it will turn out that the year will not have been wasted.

How are you spending this darkening month?

Peter-Pan

Growing my hair out means a lot, lately. I'm doing it because, as I said to Tim this morning, "I think it looks more grown up".

I want to grow up.

I am twenty years old and it would be trendy here and now to put off growing up for about ten years; but I am not interested.

The idea of a professionalism that has very little to do with the corporate world appeals to me. Focus, confidence, self-possession, ability, style.

There are a thousand different ways I can stop playing the child. I can, for instance, stop wearing ripped hoodies and using a can of hairspray a week.


journal excerpts: autumn ideals and Francesca the violin



Friday, August 26, 2011

I am eager to be back home, making plans and working on things again. One thing to start on right away is a September goals list, as well as a more general goals list for the Fall semester. I want to be careful, though, to make a realistically-accomplishable list--somewhat like the one I made before I left for Africa, though more long-term and in some ways, less concrete.



Sunday, September 4, 2011

For lack of a better beginning, my year of personal work starts tomorrow with the first of a new regular (weekday, opening) shift at Transcend. My class on cyborgs and post-humanism starts on Wednesday. Five full days a week are my own . . . A self-imposed structure will be crucial. I hope my plans are feasible. Every day (or most days) I'd like to spend a few minutes tidying the apartment, complete a set of exercises (arms, legs, or core, depending on the day), practice violin for at least 30 minutes, sit down to write something (with a plan to "finish" three "pieces" a week), go for a walk or bike ride, and read a good deal. I'll continue working through my uncompleted summer reading list into October at least, I suspect. Also, for fun (and decided after a conversation with Amelia today), I'll try to brush up on my left-hand printing. This notebook will likely soon become almost illegible.



September Goals:

- lose three pounds
- finish GEB, Dr. Zhivago, Godel's Proof, and The Selfish Gene
- fill this notebook
- send off three new poems to at least one magazine
- continue growing out hair
- pay off last 40 dollars of student loan
- save 100 dollars, in cash, for frivolity (tips)
- finish Justina's sweater



Friday, September 9, 2011

I am working on the G-major, -melodic minor, and -harmonic minor scales. A Wohlfahrt study (No. 31). Gavotte en Rondeau by J.S.B., and maybe soon, the first movement of Vivaldi's Concerto in A Minor.

Tim is happy to see me play.

a summer list

Spurred on by Mme.'s recap, I have decided to share the list of summer goals I made at the end of April, as well as my reading list, with a progress update on each. Books first.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson finished
Freedom Evolves - Daniel Dennet finished
Skybreaker - Kenneth Oppel finished
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath finished
Godel, Escher, Bach - Douglas Hofstadter in progress
Godel's Proof - Nagel and Newman
To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
Dr. Zhivago - Boris Pasternak
The Bit and the Pendulum - Tom Siegfried
Le Ton beau de Marot - Douglas Hofstadter
Atonement - Ian McEwan
The Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka
The Diary of Anne Frank
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Julie and Julia - Julie Powell finished
I Am A Strange Loop - Douglas Hofstadter
The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins
Cleaving - Julie Powell finished
My Life in France - Julia Child finished


(As you can see, I've added to it. Now on to the goals.)

- sew something in progress (and pictures to come soon)
- fill three notebooks in progress
- publish something
- print Tom-Tom # 8
- lose 10 pounds in progress
- save 4000 dollars
- repay student loans in progress
- apply to the U of A
- inquire re: U of A honours program
- run an official race
- grow herbs and vegetables in progress
- visit Grandma
- visit Oma and Opa check!
- continue to grow out hair in progress
- bike to North Edmonton and back (~30 km) check!
- make and keep a dentist's appointment check!
- inquire re: braces check!
- plane, fill, and paint book cubes in progress (and pictures to come)
- knit sweater in progress (and pictures to come)

summer reading program

These are all the books I want to read this summer. Two years into a BA, my best education continues to happen on my own time.

Freedom Evolves - Daniel Dennet
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Godel, Escher, Bach - Douglas Hofstadter
Godel's Proof - Newman and Nagel
To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
Dr. Zhivago - Boris Pasternak
Le Ton beau de Marot - Douglas Hofstadter
The Bit and the Pendulum - Tom Siegfried
Atonement - Ian MacEwan
The Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka
Little Dorrit - Charles Dickens
A Brief History of Time - Stephen Hawking
The Diary of Anne Frank
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
I Am A Strange Loop - Douglas Hofstadter
The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins

a recap

... remember these?

- practice writing whenever and wherever I can (some of these goals are too vague. however, I think I can tentatively check this one.)
- run often, so that I can begin to call myself a runner (as above.)
- lose 9 pounds (nope. it's ok though.)
- find a pleasant job (check!)
- go for a tattoo consultation (not yet. I have yet to decide what I want.)
- brush my teeth more regularly (since I can't have braces yet) (check?)
- continue to grow out my hair (check!)
- take more photographs (...)
- publish Tom-Tom #8 (not yet. it will come. it will come.)
- drink "copious amounts of tea" (check.)
- achieve a 4.0 in my fourth semester (nope. I wrote poems instead.)
- register for a 5k (check!)
- employ a knitting pattern (check!)
- fill two notebooks (one.)
- read 15 non-school books (six.)
- listen to Beethoven's symphonies (now on No. 7.)
- have friends over more often (check!)
- court new friends (check!)
- write with integrity--even for school (check.)
- submit new poems to new magazines (not yet. I have a list though.)
- spend time alone (check.)
- get to know Tim better (check.)
- reduce debt to 500 dollars (how about 0 dollars?)
- become more mindful about shopping (check...)
- start over in the morning (check...)
- take care of my skin (check.)
- dress up more (check.)
- take my vitamins (check!)
- work to become physically stronger (check!)

5km

What happens when you wake up at 5am on the morning of your first race and realize that not a single bus runs past the park you are supposed to run through?

You check out the local taxi situation, learn that a 20-minute trip will cost you 30 dollars. And then you put on your race shirt and your mascara, and instead run 5.4 km along a well-known and well-loved route. The sun rises, the mist burns off the river valley, Whoopi Goldberg sings in your ear. Your legs are fine. You hold your head up. And you burst in the door 40 minutes and 30 seconds later, just as your husband is waking up.

Counting this as a win.

Soon I will be twenty (an unconventional update, and some goals)

When I realized two days ago that my birthday was coming up, my first thoughts were, 1) I want to have a party and make a truly spectacular torte, 2) I hope someone buys me a bag of matcha powder and a gift certificate to Sephora, and 3) I want to weigh 144 pounds by March 9.

On my twentieth birthday, I want to claim an even twenty-pound weight loss to-date.

It seems odd, perhaps, that the loss of three pounds is so significant to me? But I can explain myself. Since August I have lost 17 pounds and lowered my weight through a slow, healthy, and sustainable process. I eat lunch every day. I eat chocolate every day. Sometimes I can hardly believe it. I know that this time, everything is different.

I've been at this weight before, as a scared, miserable fifteen year-old caught in a starve-binge cycle. Historically, it's been the place to stop, the lowest I could go, before I had to start eating again. (I remember thinking that "losing weight" meant eating 750 calories a day.) In August, though, I set out to lose 30-35 pounds. And this time, I know how to do it. I can do it. I want to do it.

I am sick of being a "big girl" - awkward, unattractive, unstylish and uncomfortable. I am ready to move more easily, to hold my head up, to wear clothes that fit, to relish getting dressed in the morning, to eat in public, to wear shorts in the summer, to pull my hair off my face, to strut a little.

All this I want in my twenty-first year. I've wasted enough time as a teenager. I am ready to grow up.

And so, over the past 48 hours I've made two 5km slogs through the slush and weak sunshine. I've blended spinach in my smoothies, eaten cake for breakfast, bread and hummus for lunch and vegetables for supper, drank litres of water, applied vitamin e oil to my broken-out face, and paid attention to my posture. The goals for the rest of the working week?

- 5km walked or ran every day
- 50 flights of stairs at least once
- 10 push-ups in a row (I need to get back up to this)

Some Winter Goals

to
- practice writing whenever and wherever I can
- run often, so that I can begin to call myself a runner
- lose 9 pounds
- find a pleasant job
- go for a tattoo consultation
- brush my teeth more regularly (since I can't have braces yet)
- continue to grow out my hair
- take more photographs
- publish Tom-Tom #8
- drink "copious amounts of tea"
- achieve a 4.0 in my fourth semester
- register for a 5k
- employ a knitting pattern
- fill two notebooks
- read 15 non-school books
- listen to Beethoven's symphonies
- have friends over more often
- court new friends
- write with integrity--even for school
- submit new poems to new magazines
- spend time alone
- get to know Tim better
- reduce debt to 500 dollars
- become more mindful about shopping
- start over in the morning
- take care of my skin
- dress up more
- take my vitamins
- work to become physically stronger