They tell me that March 1 is the beginning of “meteorological spring.”
Apparently, that memo didn’t reach North Idaho, because winter has set up camp in our backyard and seems to be here for the long haul.
It’s crazy to think that the year is already almost one-third over. I keep looking at my list of hard things and goals and habits and wondering exactly how I’m going to get them all done. And at the same time, there has been progress, so as part of trying to be accountable to someone other than my best friend or the random piece of paper floating on my desk, I thought I’d share with my threes of fans how my 2023 is going so far.
The Work Goals
Not gonna lie–this one has been the toughest. I don’t have much going on with client work, and I have been struggling to re-engage in the fiction writing.
However, I have managed two baby steps forward… I’ve started the rebuild/rework of my Story Junction website. The basic structure is there, thanks to Robyn Hodgdon. She is just patiently waiting for new copy from me. And I hired a coach for a short engagement to help me figure out what I really want to do going forward. In talking things through with him, I think I found a new positioning message and focus. Not announcing anything yet–soon.
The rest… Well, I’ll need a new marketing plan for the commercial freelance work. I met with my coach yesterday, and I am hoping to finish web copy and put a marketing plan together this week.
As for fiction… I am committing to finishing the second Ian Mac Roy story this month and starting to publish it in serial form in April. Firm dates and cover to be announced soon. As soon as I get that one finished and start publishing it, I’ll get back to work on Soultainted, book four of The Taurin Chronicles.
My fiction goals this year are to finish the second and third Ian Mac Roy stories and have a draft of Soultainted ready for editing by the end of the year. It’s going to be tough, but if I can get my brain re-engaged soon, I can do it. I think my writing confidence has taken a big hit the last few months for a variety of reasons, and the “I Suck” Fairy has set up camp in my office. She might be hitchhiking with Old Man Winter… Maybe if he goes back to the North Pole, he will take her with him.
The Health and Fitness Goals
I’m doing better in this category, though still not where I want to be…
First, I’ve almost finished catching up on all the overdue appointments and screening tests and such that I needed to do. And last week, I had some oral surgery that I’ve needed since my emergency tooth extraction last fall. These were all on my list of hard things because… well, because doctor appointments are hard. But so far, so good… Here’s hoping the last couple of screenings go well, too.
I am getting my workout frequency back up to where it should be. I’ve been at five or six days per week every week except one so far this year, which is an improvement over last year. I’m not where I want to be on endurance yet with my running, but I’m gaining on it. And the last time I ran outside (which has been a while–see intro in which I discuss snow and ice), I did manage a couple of the miles in under ten minutes, which is an improvement. My goal is to get back to a 9-minute mile, participate in one race, and be able to run a half-marathon, but I have until December 31 to do those things…
I also want to take twelve hikes in Idaho. But again… the weather has not been cooperative for that goal. I’m not sure there are even any trails open. As soon as there are, I’m getting my butt back out in nature. I miss hiking.
The Home Goals
Honestly? Have not made much progress here at all.
We have one bedroom that we’re using as storage. I need to clean that room out and prepare to remodel it. The good news is–this is also the room that my daughter sleeps in when she’s home from college, and since she’s coming in a week for her LAST SPRING BREAK before graduation, I have a deadline. I intend to make some progress on that room this week. It won’t be completely cleaned out, but it will be better by Friday. I hope.
I have also not started hanging pictures on the picture wall, nor have I made progress on the family cookbook. I have found two Thai recipes for the regular rotation; my goal is to find four Thai recipes and four Indian recipes that at least The Man and I like to keep in my regular recipe rotation. I guess I’m 25% of the way there!
The Social and Spiritual Goals
Good news! I can actually check one thing off the list completely! I wanted to find a new church, and after regularly visiting one that’s about half an hour away for the last several weeks, I think we’ve decided to settle there for the long haul. We like the people, the church still sings the old hymns, and the pastor is pretty good at making us squirm just enough to provoke us in positive ways. So yay–we found a church!
Social things… I’m easing into this and still trying to figure out what I want to do. I would like to find some kind of volunteer job or role, but I haven’t made any progress on this yet. Hopefully by the end of March I’ll have progress here.
The Personal and Miscellaneous Goals
There are a whole bunch of things that just go in the miscellaneous or personal randomness bucket…
- Knit or crochet 50 things this year: So far, I’ve only finished five things. However–I would like it noted that TWO of those things are blankets, so those are pretty big projects. I am behind, but I have three more blankets on my list of things to make this year (one is in progress). I am hoping to finish blankets before summer and then just work on hats and mitts until fall/winter. That plan should see me hit the goal with ease since most hats and mitts are quick projects.
- Practice knitting in colorwork: I want to get better at stranded knitting this year, but since I’ve been crocheting blankets lately, I have only done one hat with very simple stranded knitting involved. I will keep working on this throughout the year, but it may be after I finish crocheting blankets…
- Read 50 books: I’m behind on this, but only by one or two books. I am behind in large part because I read Powers and Thrones, which was a beast, but also totally worth the time. You can follow my progress toward 50 books on Goodreads.
- Learn to eat with chopsticks: So far… no. But I did order a large number of chopsticks so that I have them in front of me. I am hoping this will make it easier to practice with them.
- Drive my husband’s truck and haul a trailer: Okay, confession from this country girl: I do not know how to drive a trailer. Like, even a small trailer. This is stupid, and I intend to remedy that this year. And second confession: I have not driven my husband’s truck even one time, and he bough the darn thing in summer 2021. It’s huge and it scares me. But I will overcome this stupid anxiety this year. Again, this one is weather-dependent… I will tackle this goal when I don’t have to do it on ice and snow.
Why I’m Sharing These Things
Why am I sharing all of this?
- Accountability. Like I said above, I need to talk about these things with someone other than the BFF, because as much as I love her, we aren’t always the best at keeping each other accountable for hard things. I feel like if I put this stuff out into the Internet ether, I’m at least pretending to be accountable to someone else.
- Transparency and authenticity. This stuff is hard, y’all. I know it doesn’t seem like things like chopsticks, driving a pickup, and going to the doctor should be hard, but they are. I’m sure you all have things in your lives that would seem easy to me. The idea here is that we have to find those places where we have some kind of obstacle–even just a mental one–and figure out how to get over, around, or through the obstacle to the goal. It’s my hope that by sharing my struggles, I can inspire you to face your own.
- Objectivity. As I said above, when I look at the list of goals and hard things, it seems overwhelming and impossible. BUT–by taking the time to review progress here, I get a dose of reality and objectivity. In other words–it’s not so bad. I have made progress, and the rest is doable. And even if I don’t finish every single goal this year, if I keep looking at progress objectively, I can claim some victories and hopefully avoid wallowing in the belief that I’m a loser who can’t get anything right.
If you’re still reading, God bless you, because this was a long slog. I hope you found something helpful in here.
Next week: I have thoughts about “guru culture,” and I’m going to share them. You’ve been warned.