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Where have I been? What do I want?
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A bookish year in review
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Christmas Roundup!

Where have I been? What do I want?

Happy New Year! You know how every year I’m all “oh hey I’m going to take better care of myself?” And then the next year I’m all “oh hey I’m going to take better care of myself?” And then the next year I’m all “oh hey I’m going to take better care of myself?” You can look it up, I’ve been blogging since 2002. (Happy Sweet Sixteen, blog!)

This year… oh hey, I’m going to take better care of myself! AGAIN. If things go well, I have around 34 good years left so I can’t stop trying to be a better version of me. I need accountability somewhere. To achieve that, I enrolled in an online class that comes with a closed community. Putting my money where my mouth is, so to speak. An element of this class is journaling once a month and what better place to put that than here?

Because why journal in any of the actual notebooks that I buy and never use?

Where have I been?

After the absolute trash fire that was 2017, a year that left me physically and emotionally exhausted, 2018 was a walk in the park with many reasons to celebrate. A new nephew! Regular trips down the shore! Travel to Florida, Austin, Seattle, and Walt Disney World! A puppy that managed to make it into adult dog form without killing himself or us!

Self-care? NAILED IT. I made CERTAIN that I put aside time for self-care. However, it’s the very easy part of self-care that I excel at. Sitting! Reading! Quilts and hygge and snacks! It’s also the popular, meme-able form of self-care that makes for great Instagram photos that people like. Because who does not like cozy quilts and sleeping dogs and steamy cups of coffee?

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Brothers and very best friends. #dogsofinstagram

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I’m going to go out on a limb and say that my spin on self-care was not as good for the self as I thought it was. This year I’m going to try to do the harder parts of self-care. Cutting back on putting crap into my body on a daily basis that extends past my yearly Dry January effort. Sticking with a fitness program that extends past the 30 days of yoga that I do every January. And yes, I’m doing that this January too. This year’s practice is here.

For a while this summer, WM and I were killing it with walking and fitness, but we spun it as training for Disney. Bad idea. When Disney came and went, I quit wanting to do the work, and my exercise rings suffered.

What do I want?

I don’t do well with handwavy goals. I like measurable, trackable things. In my class’s online community, I said I wanted to treat my body and mind better so that I say “ooof” less. To get there, this is what I want for 2019.

Weight: While I am not at my highest weight, I’m at the second highest, aka the first plateau down from the highest. In 2019, I want to lose 30 pounds. That won’t make me thin (I’m pretty meaty at the moment) but it’ll make me MUCH BETTER off.

Food: I want to drink 2 17-oz bottles of water a day. I want to eat the lunches I bring to work 3 out of the 4 days I go to the office each week.

Fitness: This month will be yoga every day, and closing all three rings on my Apple Watch every day. Next month I’ll transition into a mix of yoga and Total Gym.

After a week on its charger, my Apple Watch has extremely low expectations for me. I’m insulted.

Spirit: When able, I want to leave my desk every day for lunch, even if it’s just to an empty conference room to read. I want to blog 3 times a week. I want to use the Apple Watch Breathe App 2 times a day. I got a guitar for Christmas and I want to pick it up five times a week, even if it’s only 15 minutes at a time. (D-chord, A-chord, D-chord, A-chord, throbbing fingers)

Beauty: Polish my nails every week. This helps keep them out of my mouth. Floss every day. Wash and moisturize my face every night.

Work: I do have a few work goals, but they’re staying private.

Next month: I’m going to be proud of making these incremental changes, even if my weight and measurements don’t change. I’m playing a long game.

Next two months: My pants are going to be looser. My muscles will be sore but in a good way.

Next year: Thirty pounds lighter. Able to do crow pose. Play a Christmas carol on my guitar.

A bookish year in review

Being December 30, and past the midpoint of Sloth Week, it’s as good a time as any to summarize this year’s reading. I have 2 books in progress, one of which will be done by the end of the year (Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating) and one that I’m taking it slowly with because it requires thinking and introspection (Come As You Are).

But as of today I have read 63 books of my 50 book goal. Huzzah – this is my best year yet! (For reading. Not so good for non-sedentary hobbies.) I might increase next year’s goal to 60 books, but I feel like this is my personal sweet spot for reading.

Book totals since I started taking the train every day.

My five-star books were:

  • Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup – John Carreyrou
  • The Wedding Date – Jasmine Guillory
  • This Must Be the Place – Maggie O’Farrell
  • Behold the Dreamers – Imbolo Mbue
  • The Queen of Hearts – Kimmery Martin
  • Song of Solomon – Toni Morrison
  • The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient, #1) – Helen Hoang
  • The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
  • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin
  • A Thousand Mornings – Mary Oliver

Look at all those women and women of color! While I’m not ONLY reading those authors, I’m trying to keep a good mix. Many of these books were culled from book podcasts and others’ reading lists.

Here is the full list of books, rated high to low, although I never rate a book one star, I just don’t finish it.

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That’s only 62. WTF, Goodreads?

I’m still reading mostly eBooks, because it’s so much easier to carry my Kindle on the train than a giant library book that I’m trying not to damage. The downside is that my physical library trips have been low. I know, I’m never happy.

Click here to see my Goodreads 2018 year in review.

Life According to Steph

This post is part of the special year-end Show Us Your Books Linkup hosted by Jana of Jana Says and Steph of Life According to Steph. It’s just pretty late. 🙂

Christmas Roundup!

December was a sugar-coated whirlwind of activities that didn’t let up until the 26th, which begins WM and I lovingly call … Sloth Week. Schools are closed and TNP is closed until January 2. That leaves us here in the House on Literary Lane with NO OBLIGATIONS! (other than dog care, housekeeping, hygiene, the usual.)

The family was great to me as usual. I got both a drone and a guitar, making me 100% more annoying than usual.

Family, light, coffee, Ollie being amazing and Murphy trying to eat a bow.

This year I baked fewer cookies than ever and it still looks like I’m going to end up throwing a bunch out.

This year I baked:

Cookies! Cookies! Cookie Swap! Dog wanting cookies!

Oh, and I ran the cookie swap at TNP, so I baked the vanilla/chocolate version of the dark chocolate candy cane cookies for that. But that’s it! No snickerdoodles, no royal frosting, no pizzelles. Maybe we just have too many cookie-conscious adults and not enough gluttonous children these days.

Back to Sloth Week. On the 26th we did NOTHING. On the 27th we entered the sunshine and went to PJ Whelihan’s for wings and beer. Today WM replaced the door going to our garage and I finally went to a hair salon.

SLOTH WEEK 2018.

I stopped coloring my hair in July of 2017, planning on letting my gray come in and being a natural aging hippie crone. (Un)fortunately I only have 8 gray hairs. Today I had some dark put into the roots and some toner put on the ends to turn them from brassy to ashy.

ok it looks the same here. fml. and why am I growing a giant WC Fields nose?

I think the rest of this time off includes a lasagna, a trip to Home Depot, and a new lipstick. What’s coming in 2019? A no-spend and dry January, for starters.

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