Birthday Resolutions

Yesterday was my birthday, and today I was thinking back to the year that was. How did I grow as a human? What goals have I accomplished this past year? I realize that New Year’s Day isn’t the only time of the year that we reflect and make habitual changes.

Having a birthday in February, I already know which resolutions I have abandoned. Since it is so fresh on my mind, I also have a pretty good idea as to what happened. My birthday offers a great occasion to course correct and try to do better.

One of my goals for 2018 is to lose weight and be healthier. I am getting to an age where I just can’t ignore a small pain or another annoyance that if I was in my twenties wouldn’t have even thought about. I have done nothing to push this goal forward. My biggest obstacle – other than not wanting to do it – is exercise. It is really cold outside. I’m trying to push through more of it. I mean as I move I get warmer. Eating is just a matter of counting calories. Even though I hate that, too. But at least it leads to results.

There’s also those pesky blogging goals. I really do enjoy blogging and want to do more. Why is it so hard to do things we love? I think my biggest problem is that I want to do everything at once. I just need to remember to give myself time to do it all. Have small goals and do what I can. Then readjust my goals. There is no need to get frustrated when I can’t reach a goal if it is unrealistic.

So that is my plan for the rest of February. Evaluate where I’m at and move forward to a better me.

The end of my software development career

I’m not sure the title is totally accurate since my career never took off so to speak. But what it did was take up a lot of my time.

While I do know some programming and have been on a couple of projects as a developer, I am still just a hack when it comes to it. That is not the reason I am calling it quits though on this journey that started 18 years ago.

It started when I was in college. I had taken a visual basic programming class and was in love with programming. I wanted to change my major but opted not to since most of the development model at this school was geared to business reporting languages – something that didn’t interest me.

So I spent the next few years learning a little bit about coding but it just never clicked for me. Through my current job I was able to attend a Java boot camp and finally learned a lot of programming. Then I was on a couple of short term projects. When the last project ended there wasn’t a development role for me, so I had to choose another type of work.

Since then I have tried to learn more about coding. I have several ideas but just cannot seem to make anything happen. If I am honest with myself, I just don’t enjoy it but feel that I must continue because..well I’m not sure why but it just seems like the thing to do.

I am realizing that this holding onto this dream that is not my dream anymore is getting in the way of my current dreams. I have to let it go. It’s time.

Live Your Dream Now

Ever heard of morning pages? The idea is to write three pages in the morning of your thoughts, etc so that you get that out of your head and make room for other things the day may bring.

This have been very helpful because I wake up with so many awesome ideas that by 10am I have convinced myself I will actually do them. I never do. It’s only in the morning window where I am full of ideas that I care about doing it. So not all ideas are meant to be carried out. That is hard for me as I am a hoarder of ideas. But sometimes you have to let go and make room for an idea that is a better fit for you.

My big goal for 2018 is to work from home. While I enjoy my office job, it drains my soul. I just need more from everyday life. Working in an office is not meeting my needs. So I have to decide what makes sense for me to do from home. This is really hard because so many options seem pleasing. I know I want something I have some control over. This is why I’m leaning toward online sales like ebay, maybe Etsy, and possibly some other ventures. There are a few t-shirt ideas we have so maybe pursuing that some way.

Circling back to the morning pages, I wrote something today that I’m going to make my mantra, “Live your dream now.” So many times I think my dream will happen in the future but I can make it happen today. I just need to do those things that bring me joy like blogging and stop planning so much. More action for sure. It’s time to get out of my own head and stop worrying so much. Take action and live my dream. Everything else will fall into place.

How often can you blog and still be called a blogger?

Asking for a friend. Wow. It’s been a while since I blogged. I miss it though. It seems the harder I try to blog the harder it is. Why is that? I mean it should be easy. I have something to say and I have a blog. So just sit down and write. It’s the little things that can be the most difficult.

Another January and another round of resolutions. Although I have to admit that this year I am doing what I did last year. I don’t have a resolution as much as a mantra. Last year it was “no excuses” and I challenged myself to not put off tomorrow what I can do today. This year the mantra is “no fear.” Take those risks. Do that web comic. Make that video game. Why are you waiting? Fear of failure? Well I fail for not even trying. The challenge for me is to concentrate on one thing at a time. I want to do it all at the same time which is impossible.

One thing I do want to do is blog more. I want to regularly blog but part of me revolts against schedules. She can be really hard to live with sometimes. I’ll have to start out small and go from there. It is nice just to hear the keys clicking again. It’s like music to my ears.

So for 2018 look for more updates on this blog. I promise the next one will be sooner than six months.

Writing Burnout

I used to blog a lot. My motivation was simple: make money blogging. I did so many paid posts it isn’t funny. But that money was just what we needed as I was staying at home with my daughter. Losing that second income hurt..a lot.

Thanks to better job opportunities and returning to work after my daughter started school, we are financially sound for the first time in our lives. It’s kind of a weird feeling but one I could get used to. Since I have stopped paid blogging, I find I have trouble blogging or writing in general. I suffered burnout at the end of my paid blogging career. I thought once I took a break from writing that the burnout would fade. Now I’m wondering if it ever will.

It doesn’t just affect blog posts either. Anything that has to do with the written word gives me fits. I took up Java coding and find it very had to stay focused as it is basically writing and thinking about what to write. I miss writing. I want to write but cannot keep myself focused.

One thing that used to help when I had writer’s block was to change up where I was writing. That little trick now is not as effective. Part of me just says buck up and write. It will get easier. There is a part of me that doesn’t believe that. I will forever struggle with writing.

One thing I plan on trying is writing down what I love about writing when I’m in the head space to think about that sort of thing. Then post it where I see it every day. It’s time I remind myself just what I really love doing and why. Then just do it.

Resolutions to live with

Resolutions. I have made many through the years and have maintained very few. Why is it so hard to turn over a new leaf? Make a new habit even when it is something you want to do?

We are creatures of habit, right? It is said that it takes 3 weeks to make something a habit. I brush my teeth without having to really think about it, and I’ve been doing that way longer than three weeks. I think for us all there is a number of days we do something before it becomes a habit. I’ve brushed my teeth for all of my life so let’s hope it isn’t that long that it takes me to develop a habit.

This year I have no big resolutions other than to enjoy the things I do. I do want to draw, crochet, and program more. Oh and I want to blog more. It’s not enough to just say I want to do these things. I need a way to get through to myself each day that this is the stuff that brings me the most joy and should be the activities that I partake in. Why am I so stubborn to myself?

For now my goal is simple. Do something everyday that I enjoy. This takes some pressure off having to do it perfectly or to even finish it.

I also want to read more in 2017. This subject needs a post in itself to track progress.

We are halfway through January. While I have drawn some this month so far, I have missed a few days. As long as I can do something to average out every other day then I will call January a good month.

Relationships

As Valentine’s Day arrives, I am reminded of my daughter’s first Valentine. She was in first grade and got a huge stuffed heart from a boy. It was sweet. Sadly they didn’t last and the reason is something we can all learn from.

It’s amazing how wise children can be. I mean if we could just keep the perspective as we get older. She had mentioned before how she liked this boy, and he found out she liked him. He liked her back which was when the problems arise. You see he changed. He treated her differently – maybe acting a little weird around her. Sure first graders may not know how to show affections. The point my daughter made was that she like him for the way he was and just because he found out she liked him was no reason to act differently. Their relationship changed but the only thing that truly changed was their knowledge of how they felt about each other.

But maybe we all do that. We try to impress those that we know how feelings for us when in fact they have feelings for us because of who we are. We do not need to be more or anything else. So this Valentine’s Day as you set out to impress that special someone just remember they already like you for who you are.

January 2016

Holy cow! Is it really already January 28th? Not sure why I’m surprised. For the first month of the new year, January is a terrible way to start. It seems someone always gets sick. We stay inside way more than we should. Plus it is always cold.

For 2016, I have big plans. Those plans require actions. January has slipped by with very little done to move anything forward. But as Scarlet O’Hara says, “Tomorrow is another day.” I feel like February will be a better month. I did get some things accomplished for January.

Videos:

I edited a couple of videos for my daughter’s You Tube channel. I also made a video for my crochet channel. Both of those accomplishments felt good and like real progress. It reminds me how much I love the editing and shooting videos. It’s a real throwback to the early days of my first career in television.

Web Comics:

I made two web comics. Granted they are one panel each but at least it’s content. I have so many ideas that I just need to start putting out there hoping that it will entertain someone besides me.

So yeah. January wasn’t a complete wash but hoping to do more in February. I think I am slowly learning that I cannot do every idea I have and that I must choose which projects I want to pursue. That alone will hopefully keep me focused and motivated.

Book Readers and Game of Thrones Season Six

George RR Martin has spoken through his blog about Winds of Winter.

The news is disappointing because the book will not be out by the same season six of the HBO TV show begins. As a book reader who read the first book after watching the first season, I thought I might share a few of my thoughts about my experience.

I started watching season one because of my husband who had read the books. I enjoyed the show and after season one began to read A Game of Thrones. I had tried watching a movie based on a book and then reading the book. I could never finish the book as it was just too spoiled for me. I knew what was coming, and the book couldn’t hold my interest.

With Game of Thrones, I made it through the whole book even though season one was pretty much everything that happened in the first book. It took me longer to read that book than the next two books combined, but I made it through. Even though I knew the plot which was the reason for the slow read, the book entertained me. I loved Martin’s writing. I was in Westeros following the journey of all these vivid characters. It held my attention. I love his writing. Because of the size of the books and how little I read, I can safely say that I have read more of Martin’s writing than any other author.

So I am not worried the I will be reading Winds of Winter after season six even though it it possible I will know some possible spoilers from the TV show. It is quite possible that the TV show takes a different spin from the books or at least a different road getting to events. Either way I’m OK with watching season six and then reading Winds of Winter.

Look at the bright side of the book being released after season six – you won’t have to worry about the book coming out right before the premiere and having to stay up all night reading it. See? There is a bright side to everything even those things that are truly disappointing.

2016 Goals

Happy New Year! How am I starting the New Year? By looking back on my 2015 goals ofcourse!

The last update I had done was way back in May. So I will update each goal for an end of the year report and what’s ahead in 2016.

Here it is. The last day of March already.

Freelance full-time
(Feb)Still would like to do this but exploring options right now.
March – Still wanting to do this and thinking either by the end of the year of next spring is my goal to make it happen.
May – This month I plan to actually do some writing for two content websites. I’ve worked with them before but it has been a while. I plan to write 2-3 articles for each.
End of Year – No real progress with this. I have basically changed jobs so hoping this new venture with the same company will bring me satisfaction and I can take building freelance work slowly.

Debt Free
(Feb)working to dwindle down the smallest student loan which should be paid in March. Two more to go and then the car. This goal is pretty much on track.
March – The IRS wants more of our money for taxes so this will hinder paying this off until April.
May – Got the IRS their money and also knocked out another student loan. 2 more to go. Both are $2800 so should be relatively fast. Then it is just the vehicle.
End of Year – Down to about $1K on the student loan(just one left). Have spent too much on the credit card but we will get that paid off by February. Then it’s onto paying off the car notes as we got a second vehicle in October.

Save at least $3K
(Feb)I haven’t started saving this yet.
March – no change. Haven’t started saving.
May – Sadly no savings.
End of Year – nope. No where near $3k.

WRITE
(Feb)Have written very little. Have to do more.
March – Have done a few blog posts and have an idea for Camp Nano which will start in April. I have a goal of 15,000 words.
May – Failed Camp Nano. Had less than 3K words. But I am working on a novel idea and a short story.
End of Year – Writing has been a struggle for me for quite some time and I’m not really sure why. I just have to make myself do it. So I have an idea for a book that I plan to write. Right now I am still outlining it but hope to have a complete idea of what I want to write. That way when I write I already have an established plan.

Draw
(Feb)I’ve drawn a little bit and bought a drawing book that I’ve yet to open but looks promising.
March – I try to draw everything – at least something. My new project is work on one comic for a week and then post the best drawing of it.
May – I haven’t drawn much. Have plenty of ideas but just can’t get them out of my head. ARRGGHH!!!
End of Year – Still not drawing as much as I would like. I have a ton of comic ideas and hope to at least get down how I want to draw the characters consistently.

Lose Weight and RUN!
(Feb)have gained a pound. Must tighten up this even if it means doing a diet like Atkins to get started just to see some progress.
March – Not much progress here. I did buy a stepper exercise thing that I enjoy using and am gaining some stamina. Now that it is better weather it will be time to get out more. That is if the pollen doesn’t dictate otherwise.
May – Have lost 9 pounds but haven’t started running yet. The goal is to do a 5K by September.
End of Year – Maybe a 5K sometime by May. Still haven’t started running or losing weight.

Organize and clean house
(Feb)House is still an utter chaos but have started working on a plan.
March – The living room is now in order. This weekend we will shampoo carpets, wash curtains, and rearrange furniture.
May – Downstairs not bad – The big stuff is done but still plenty to do.
End of Year – Developing an action plan for de-cluttering and organizing our whole home. It may take a few months but it will be worth it. No more band-aiding the clutter problem.

(Feb)While I haven’t had a lot of progress, I hope the next update to have the clutter under control and to have lost 5 pounds. Baby steps are better than no steps at all.
March – Not too many updates and not where I’d hope to be. But that is the whole reason for doing an update is to remember these goals and to work on them.
May – I feel good about where I am. Ofcourse I would like more progress on the writing and drawing but I feel the more I do to organize our home, the more focused I can be on other tasks. Here’s hoping for a great May.
End of Year – While I didn’t meet any of my 2015 goals, I do feel like I am on track for long term progress. I will be hopefully blogging more in 2016 as well as moving forward to some other pet projects.

Here’s hoping everyone much success in 2016!