2014 Christmas letter

I suppose it is traditional to write a Christmas letter and enclose it with my Christmas cards.  I have failed to do that for the last several years. It feels presumptuous to me, I guess. I don’t really know. Maybe in the age of Facebook, I don’t feel like the Christmas update is as necessary.

There is some value in introspection though, so I’ll give it a shot.

Dear Friends and Family-

Well, can you believe it? We managed that annual trip around the sun once again.  I hope this season finds you all in good health and high spirits.  Just remember, winter is coming. 😉

This year has been a good one for me, I think.  A lot of things have come to completion, which is nice, and I have probably grown a lot too. Continue reading

Things that are making me happy right now

I thought I’d take a few moments to just list out some of the things that are making me happy these days.

1) My favorite blueberry farm opened up temporarily after having announced that the polar vortex cold of winter had damaged their crop. I picked my fill.

2) Audible.com + Bluetooth is allowing me to listen to books with reckless abandon.

3) My flowers are absolutely gorgeous. The gladiolas are blooming right now.

4) Ginger beer. Mmmm….

5) I was approved to give a TED style talk at the Affirmation conference. I’m going to apply the Start with Why principles to living an authentic life as an LGBT Mormon.

6) The 2014 Emmett Family Reunion went off without significant hitches.

7) This video from the reunion. (I love the soundtrack!)

8) Also, this video: (I feel like the soundtrack is perfect on this one too!)

9) The flavor of sun warmed cherry tomatoes.

10) The Ann Arbor District Library Summer Game. This library is awesome, and I have a good time playing along every summer.

11) My Primary class.

12) My new dehydrator, blender, and ice cream maker.  Funny how the right tool at the right time can improve your life so much.

I think things are going fairly well right now, but it always helps to stop and count the little things. What is making you happy?

Happy August!

 

Midyear Goal Introspection

It’s the middle of the year, I’m stuck for a blog topic, and it’s an eep day to boot. Looks like it is time for some introspection about how my goals are going.  Here are my goals and how they seem to be doing:

[ ] Create more – I seem to be on track

[ ] Constellation Quilt: I’ve been a little stalled out on this one. Quilting isn’t a summer thing, plus I’m down to the stars on the section that I’m working on, and I really haven’t figured out to do those efficiently. But all in all, it has gotten a lot of work, and will get done.

[ ] Say Hey Doctor K video collab 1x/month : Oh yeah, this one is on track. Have you seen them?  You should watch them all! 

[ ] Blog 2x/month: Modified this to 1x per month, and I’m hitting that one. (If I get this published today, that is.)

[ ] Daily Diary: On track. It’s sometimes hard to find something to write down, but the fact that I am space constrained helps a lot.

[ ] Be kinder: Hard to measure. Anyone want to give me anonymous feedback. Am I doing a good job of being kinder?

[ ] Be more active – Seem to be on track, I derailed once on purpose in order to spend out on a relationship.

[ ] Symbolic Bike Riding Goal (tbd): The tbd is sitting at 500 miles at the moment. I haven’t really figured out what that symbolizes. I have logged 165.5 miles as of today.  I have derailed twice, paid my fine, and am on track presently.

[ ] More steps than 2013: On track, no derailments.  As of today, I’m sitting at 1.17 million steps for the year.

[ ] Do more yoga: Completely off track. I didn’t set up a beeminder on this one, and I haven’t really done any yoga at all. I’m kind of thinking of a monthly daily goal in August or September to try to remedy this.

[ ] Cook more – I am on top of this one. I have been on a cooking jag all year. I have days when I don’t feel like cooking, but overall, my habits have changed significantly.

[ ] Plan meals: Have I sung the praises of eMeals?   Oh, that’s right. If you listen, I have probably talked your ear off about it. I highly recommend it for people like me who have a hard time planning. It has taught me a lot about menu development. I have used the Vegetarian and Paleo meal plans, and like both of them.  I am spending more at the grocery store, but less for lunches at work, and I’m throwing away less food. Here’s my referral link: eMeals.com

[ ] More Vegetarian Meals: Thanks to eMeals, I consider this one a success, even if I am currently on the Paleo plan, which is very definitely not vegetarian.

[ ] Spend out: I feel like I’m doing ok with this. I spent out on a closet system that is making my life better. I got some art I love and some other tools that I am using (hello, new ice cream maker and dehydrator and shelves). Also, some concerts!

[ ] Plan better: This is a perpetual problem for me. I’m starting to get a system down at work, and need to transition that into my personal life.

[ ] Plant a garden: Planted

[ ] Eat what I grow: So far, the harvest has been green beans, sugar snap peas, squash and zucchini , and herbs. Yummy. Looking forward to / slightly terrified by the prospect of the tomatoes

[ ] Be ok: Yes. I am ok.

[ ] Be braver: I went to Nauvoo all by myself and didn’t know anyone. That’s brave, right?

[ ] Be a good Primary teacher: I think I’m doing ok. I just changed classes from the 9 turning 10 class to the 7 turning 8 class.  That’s a whole new ballgame, that is.

[ ] Deliberate practices – 1000 paper cranes: Paper cranes are all over my house. I have folded or caused to be folded 541 so far.

[ ] Host more dinners: 6 so far, my favorite was a waffle party.

[ ] Invest in relationships: I’m trying, but I sometimes let my emotions and Eeyore side get in the way.

[ ] Take a class: I’ve taken 2! Both at Zingerman’s. I may need an intervention, and/or enablers and gift cards.

[ ] Do things I’m not good at: I’m not sure. I’ll have to introspect on this one a bit more.

So, that’s where I am at. I feel like I’m doing pretty good. I’m most happy about the Be More Active and Cook More goals, plus the collab goal with Kara for Say Hey Doctor K. Those three seem to be my brightest successes.

Here’s to the best of the rest of the year.  How are you doing with your goals for the year?

2014 Resolutions

I’ve been putting this off.   Here goes, it is largely based on last years goals:

[ ] Create more

[ ] Constellation Quilt
[ ] Say Hey Doctor K video collab 1x/month
[ ] Blog 2x/month
[ ] Daily Diary

[ ] Be kinder

[ ] Be more active

[ ] Symbolic Bike Riding Goal (tbd)
[ ] More steps than 2013
[ ] Do more yoga

[ ] Cook more

[ ] Plan meals
[ ] More Vegetarian Meals

[ ] Spend out
[ ] Plan better

[ ] Plant a garden

[ ] Eat what I grow

[ ] Be ok
[ ] Be braver
[ ] Be a good Primary teacher
[ ] Deliberate practices – 1000 paper cranes
[ ] Host more dinners
[ ] Invest in relationships
[ ] Take a class
[ ] Do things I’m not good at

Update 2/28 – Finally figured out what I want my 2014 Theme to be: Engage

Resolutions Update

So, you can see from the graphs in the post below how I did with my personal challenge to try to get 10,000 steps in a day.  If you throw out the final data point for a day when I forgot my Fitbit, I averaged about 9600 steps a day, which is a fantastic average.  My long term average is 5,400.  I had 16 days over 10K steps, which is the same as what I had in all of 2012.  I ended up getting a new Fitbit One mid-month, when my Fitbit Classic kind of fell to pieces.

2013-03-10 08.58.37-3

 

Things I learned:
– To get that many steps, I have to do a Morning Mile without fail. (Thank goodness for Radiolab)
– It’s still pretty cold in the mornings in March.
– The Fitbit One has a nifty feature that allows it to vibrate an alarm. I use it to remind me to get up and walk around at work mid-morning and mid-afternoon.
– I still have troubles getting my steps up on Sundays
– The Briarwood Mall is about 1200 steps round trip
– Sams Club is further away than I expected it by foot.
– If I walk while I’m on the phone, I can up really up my steps

Other goals:

I’ve been doing more Yoga via a Rec and Ed class. It’s been challenging and rewarding.
I have been shaving with a razor (instead of an electric shaver) since the beginning of the year. It’s nice because I don’t have to shave every day anymore.
I spent out on a few things that I wanted for myself. (A new television!)
I’m not very good at getting reviews of the media I am consuming written up.
I am about 36 miles into the 130 miles of the Huron River. I am right on track.  The graph below is my Beeminder graph, so you can see when I’m slacking. I don’t actually know if it live updates or not. (The closer the dots on the graph, the more frequent I am rowing. As long as I stay above the yellow/orange line, I’m on track.)

 

I think my April goals are Plant a Garden (I planted flowers and built myself a raised bed garden last Saturday. Now I just have to fill the garden with soil and figure out what to plant in it.) and Be Braver. I’m also testing Take a Real Vacation.