Sunday, January 31, 2016

31 Days: New Year's Goals

31 Days of Writing Prompts: Looking back at the first month of 2016, how are you doing with the goals you set for yourself?

i don't know if i actually made any concrete goals beyond half-jokingly scribbling a few things in a list in this blog post, but i suppose we could go over those:

floss more: i'm holding steady with this! when you don't have health insurance, that means you don't have dental coverage, which means you ought to take really, really good care of your teeth. so, i always make sure i brush well 2-3 times a day, but i definitely floss pretty much every night (except the couple nights a week i spend at my boyfriend's, because if he has floss, i can't find it and i'm too lazy to ask). i got big on flossing a few years back when i read about how mouth hygiene can play a huge part in your overall health, and let's be honest, it actually doesn't take a lot of time. everyone should do this. think about the bleeding-gums shame you'll save when you visit the dentist!

get passport renewed: (almost) done and dusted. i wasn't quite ready to go through with the gut-punch to my self-esteem that is the terrible, terrible passport photos, but whatever, i sucked it up and did it anyway. (the awful lighting really highlighted my greasy face and developing age lines, but at least i avoided a double-chin) after that, it's been as simple as printing off the forms, collecting my references, and now waiting on my next paycheque so i'll have the $150 in fees. then i'll have to brave the lineups at service canada to go drop it off, but it's right next to my gym, so it'll be an easy trip. it's a process, yeah, but having a valid passport will definitely come in handy at some point. i don't intend on staying in canada for the rest of my life.

i still do miss my first passport photo, though:

i will stab you.

get out of the house more (esp. to see friends): i go through this in fits and spurts, and i'm pretty sure it has something to do with my hormonal cycle, but i think i managed okay this month. since i work from home, it's entirely easy for me to be 100% antisocial and mostly just stay in the nice refuge of my own apartment (only emerging to go to sean's a few times a week), but my moods have been really off lately, and i finally realized it's because i haven't seen my friends in a while. like, well before christmas. i could put up plenty of excuses - too busy, holiday craziness, chicago - but truthfully, i knew i could make the time and that i should. friends are great! they help ground you, and they give you a sounding board, and they listen, and they know you and what you're like. anyway, i'm still failing a little bit on this - i'm busy, the weather sucks, moodiness, etc. etc. - but i did make an appearance at a friend's birthday party last week, so that was something.

adopt a cat: yeah, this ain't gonna happen in a month. i need a little more time to sort out expenses and such. but honest to christ, i saw this big gorgeous dark tabby flopping on the porch for its owner a couple weeks ago, and my heart fluttered. i react to cats the way some women react to babies. ergo, i need one of my own in 2016.

also, the import boy needs one too. it's like his life is lessened without a cat in it:

we nicknamed this neighbourhood friend "cuddlecat".

wash sheets and towels more often: it often takes a few mental reminders, but i have definitely started tossing in my pillowcases and face cloths when i do laundry every week (i've always worried that the dirtiness of those surfaces have a negative effect on my skin), but yeah, sheets? not so much. i am completely gross when it comes to washing my bedsheets and i do need to start doing this more often. because gross.

less junk food: this is an easy one to quash for me: if there isn't any crap in the house, i won't eat it. however, as is typically around the holidays, sweets and goodies just tend to kind of accumulate. it's even worse if you don't work in an office and can't pawn it off on your colleagues. so definitely, by january 1st i was already vowing to get rid of what i had and stop buying more (even if it was on sale after christmas). i faltered only once - buying a terry's dark chocolate orange for $2 - but i've managed to keep healthier habits and focus more on fresh produce, good fats, and protein. in the meantime, i'm finally finishing off what's left of my holiday stash, including these gummies (my favourite kind) that sean put in my stocking:

and this final bag of my imported chicago snacks, the chex mix that i'd saved for eating while watching the royal rumble:

i'm actually weirdly proud of myself for parcelling out goodies over the last month and a half. i used to vacuum up all the sweets in sight within a day or two, so being able to have this stuff in my possession and limit myself to only a couple pieces at a time is a huge thing for me. anyway, once that's all done with, i can get back to keeping my cupboards mostly free of junk (save for the occasional bag of cheddar rice chips or dark chocolate bar). though i did have pizza for dinner last night, so i don't fucking know.

more music: i used to be really in the habit of putting on indie 103.1 while i work or blog, but i'd eased off on it in 2015. for one, my laptop speakers blew out, and music sounded pretty crummy coming from the laptop's tinny speakers. for two, streaming online radio drains a lot of my internet usage, and i'm not in a great position to be paying extra on my bills. for three, i really fell out of the practice of writing with music on, and so i just found it distracting while i was trying to work. (it seems like i mostly rely on it when i work in a loud open-office environment, but not so much when i'm at home.) there's nothing much i can do about that third point, because doing my best work is important, but i've begun putting music on again while i blog in the mornings (but not for too long -- gotta save that internet usage) and i'm slowly getting back into it. after all, this is how i discover new music and remember old favourites, and if i don't have that in my life then i feel a bit out of the loop. indie 103.1 has been a constant in my life since 2006 and i do miss it when i don't listen.

take vitamin b12: done and done. i've been holding myself to two cups of coffee a day, so when i hit the afternoon slump, i take a vitamin b12 rather than drink another caffeinated beverage. i've read that b12 helps with energy and metabolism, plus the bottle says "helps produce red blood cells," which is a bonus when you're as iron-deficient as i am. (to that point, i really ought to have put "take iron pills" on my 2016 goals list, but i'll get around to it)

stop telling baristas my name is "kate": not super applicable because i rarely buy the fancy coffee-based beverages that require you to leave your name (i like plain coffee, it's cheaper and has a stronger caffeine punch). but i still do say my name is kate to salespeople who need it for changerooms etc., just because it's somehow easier than them asking me to spell my name out, disregarding the fact that i hate when people outside of my family and a few longtime friends call me kate/cait. maybe i need to take more of a stand on this with strangers. oh, well.