Sunday, July 21, 2013

101: Reflections

So, in my absence, a lot of my thoughts pertaining to the blog circled around the 101 in 1001. 

The tl;dr version is: Naturally, like all grandiose goal-setting endeavors, this has technically failed. But there's a nice long read here about the ways in which it did not fail, and how I'm OK with the "failure" this endeavor entailed.

What the 101 has done for me

It had been years since I wrote out a list of all the discrete things that interested me. More shockingly, given that I am a planner by nature, I'm not sure I ever compiled anything resembling a to-do of personal development. I guess my planning was always externally-focused.

But there is nuance. There is grey area. This has only failed in the strictest sense: I will not complete those 101 goals in 1001 days. I'm OK with this. I've been whittling at the list in my blogging absence. Blog silence did not cleanly translate into goal stagnation. I slowed down, yes. My 101 was very ambitious given that the math works out to just over 9 days per goal. I won't accomplish everything on the list. Which translates to...

The 101 was a larger lesson in prioritizing. I had fallen into that classic trap of "Oh, That'd be cool if I could/would..." but, you know, never actually doing anything. Spending a little mental energy to compile all those wishes & wants, and to compare them to each other, gave me more motivation - especially once I looked at the time I had on my hands. The catch to this is that while I have some time, I don't necessarily have energy to match it. I was very gung-ho those first weeks, and there was - to a point - a feedback loop where the sense of accomplishment fueled me even more, keeping the energy going. But that eventually has diminishing returns. There is an equilibrium I have yet to establish where I'm accomplishing things with enough downtime to not burnout, which I struggled with in February. Note I've been talking about time, not money. 

There is, of course, the money prioritization. A LOT of my list demands funding. Whether it's saving for goals, or spending to gain materials/teachers for skills, this is probably the biggest constraint - and the major force in slowing the 101 down. But money as a constraint has brought focused creativity in working around it. In fact, this problem as posed by the 101 has, in part, solved itself with one of the goals buried within the 101: to visit the library more. In one of the bigger "Well, DUH" moments known to man, I remembered that the library (which, for those first 10 weeks, I failed to get to even once), packed all sorts of information for the various skills I'm looking to improve.  Ugh. DUH. So, yeah, weekly library visits - not a problem anymore.

So, I loosened up my ambitions due to time, energy & money. I also loosened up the "101" part. 101 is a large number, even when time/money/energy constraints are loosened. I knew I was simply creating filler toward the end...the last 10ish items in particular. So when I sat down to re-evaluate the goals I had set for myself it was no surprise that I wanted to replace ~8 goals and modify 2-4 more. 

The 101 likely won't continue on as "The 101" in this blog. I just haven't thought up a clever name to replace it yet. Who knows, I'm generally carrying on in the spirit of the 101 either way. 

So, What Have I Done?

-My dancing was going very well, until the studio took their Xmas break. I lost motivation in those couple of weeks. My foot started hurting. When I came back there was a new ballet teacher I don't learn as well under. It's been rough. Same with my flexibility work -  I *was* doing well, but going easy for my foot's sake and getting discouraged overall have undone the progress I was making. But my foot slowly gets better, and I'm finding new ways to dance (namely, Salsa). So I'm on the upswing again.
-Visited the indoor trampoline park
-Mr. Burly & I refinished the master bed together. 
-The home message & planning center is maybe 2/3rds finished
-I'm taking more pictures, even if with just my phone, for the purpose of having pictures in my blog. It's a start.
-The daily journaling has stopped. This is one of those goals that is very conflicting. I certainly have a desire to have a daily record, my memory can be sorta crappy - especially as days seem to blend together. But somehow it seems to take too much energy to write about the day. So, it's just not happening.
-Started my music file cleanup. It happens in fits and spurts.
-I work enough on my German to keep the low-level of ability I have, but I'm not working enough to get better.
-We covered the library goal.
-Visited new restaurants, continue visiting new restaurants
-Reading plenty more, knocked Let's Pretend This Never Happened off my list.
-Actively working on my left-handed legibility
-Building, and tackling, a Bucket List
-Weekly working on wardrobe streamlining/updating
-Going to First Fridays
-Planning on attending GenCon
-We got a couch
-Pinterest-inspired things: my planner, wardrobe cleaning/streamlining/updating, meal planning, a few recipes
-Visited the Eiteljorg (to see Nat Geo pictures), the Indiana State Museum (for the corn-lobby sponsored corn exhibit), the IMA (for Ai Wei Wei)

Look, Ma! I got corn! And a Corn God!

-Oddly enough, started working out, to dvds, in the morning. Something just clicked here. This will be its own post.
-Got back to my rainbow colored hair. (It's rather faded to blonde now, and I think that, while I'll continue color, it won't be as rainbow-ific in the future. But the blonde needs to go, and soon.)

Hey how 'bout another picture? I got this beauty for super-cheap at the neighborhood garage sale!

I'm not creepy at all. And my new owner has no intention of hanging me in the guest bedroom to creep.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


When we last left our heroine, her computer had died. Though she tried valiantly to blog from Mr. Burly's netbook, it just wasn't the same...

Lo, she returns as if from the dead (indeed, she's rather felt as such the past 2 months. The winters of Indiana are cruel [expound upon any place further north, though you may]).

Melodrama aside. It's probably good to be back. I think. I had lots of time to think about my blog while I was away, and will have very little to show for it (in this post, as in the blog as a whole, too). Rather, some things will change a little, a lot of things will stay the same; because, while I entertain fantasies of full-time home-blogging as much as anyone, I totally don't have that sort of initiative. But for the time being, I'm just gonna throw a picture post in here of my five month absence (hint: I plan on putting more pictures in my posts, because popular bloggers say pictures are ALL TEH RAYGE).

So We Begin.

I purchased my very first (hopefully not last) Jonathon Adler item. Yeah, it's one of his super-mass produced items. Yeah, I totally got it on clearance in February. Yeah, it's totally an Xmas ornament when I don't even have a tree. But I love all things ballet and circus, and what better than a circus ballerina? I do aspire to own something more distinctively JA, but this is a start.

I bought an awesome lamp at GWill that just needed the $8 lamp kit replacement and a shade. So, I gave her a good washing, dolled her up with some new hardware, and bought her a brand new ill-fitting dress so that she'd be my new bedside lamp. 

Disproportional is how I roll. Also, this light makes the color of my bedroom wall look awesome.

In October, I saw Coheed & Cambria in concert (Ft. Wayne). They were a Bucket-List band & it was everything I hoped it would be. They had just started touring their new album Ascension (first half of a two-album concept release; Descension followed in Feb). These two albums are half of my top 4 from the band. I could go on a long time about the show, I listened solidly to C&C for the next 2 weeks - no room for any other band in my headspace (with only limited music expansion for the next 2 weeks after that).

I live a better life when a planner is involved, and I'm one of those types that can be a bit obsessive about the planner. This time around I made my own, following this design. I'm liking it. I have way more space than I use.

I will soonishly attempt one of those GWill refashions that are so-oft blogged. We'll see what this little beauty becomes...

And on the subject of sewing*, I picked up some gorgeous orange wool for a pencil skirt.

*I used to sew. Then I stopped. I'm slooooowly getting back into it. First with curtains for the house, and experimental GWill refashions, then some easy-sew patterns. This skirt is some ways away, but damn I love me some orange wool.

My office, while my computer was dead, became quite the mess since it was generally unused. Became one of those dreaded catch-all rooms. The cleaning & reorg (as it is also intended to be "library") has begun. It starts with:

a new wall color. I've tried living with this color since we slapped it up pre-move in July, but it's just too blue. In certain lights it's practically periwinkle. I want a true silvery-grey.

On Feb. 21 I drove 1 hr. 45 minutes in the beginning of an ice storm to Newport, KY to see Man Man!
 No Really, This was my view.

But when I looked up:

Or if Honus Honus went to my left (and he spent the majority of his standing time over here):
So, you know, not too shabby.

Man Man was another Bucket-List band, and also the name-sake of this blog. It took me another 2 hrs. 45 minutes to drive home since the ice storm was ongoing while I was in the concert, and during my drive. It was exhausting. But it was worth it. In contrast to Coheed & Cambria though, I geeked out on Man Man so much pre-concert that afterwards I was done. No need to listen to them non-stop for the next month. I needed to get some new music into my system. Namely, the new Nick Cave (BUCKET-LIST ARTIST PRIME, WHOM I WILL SEE IN APRIL).

I found my Soul Cider. It's season has run out. You can bet I'm buying caaaaaaases when it comes back in August.

And I found my Soul Ice Cream. I don't know a B&J "limited batch" entails. I currently have several stashed in my deep freezer. I hope someone is looking at the numbers and thinking "Damn, there's a crazy person in Indiana. Maybe we should make this part of our regular line, just for her."

Consider yourself caught up with my life.