A Wee Update

Although my goal-setting to goal-achievement ratio is…quite bad, I am not discouraged. If you could have seen my room before Sunday and then see it now, you’d give me bonus points for the transformation. I found a bag in there of things from my Christmas stocking. No joke. And I chucked a whole big trash bag of stuff. I’m wondering now if I could do that every weekend. That would definitely be one way to simplify. Hmmm…

Here’s how the list stands now:

  1. Sidewalk chalk a driveway.
  2. Salsa dance party in my living room.
  3. Swing! (aka play on a playground)
  4. Story telling night.
  5. Four square tournament.
  6. Random dress-up night.
  7. Photo scavenger hunt.
  8. Iron Chef: Cookies (bake cookies using ingredients found in the kitchen).
  9. Beach trip! (complete with sand castle contest).
  10. People watch – make up stories about the people.
  11. Public craft night (invite passers-by to join in).
  12. Picnic.
  13. Make a friendship bracelet/mail it to a friend.
  14. Stargaze.
  15. Kickball game.
  16. Field Day!
  17. Segway tour.
  18. Rock/Wall climbing.
  19. Progressive dinner.
  20. Offer to do people’s caricatures in the park.
  21. Send a silly package.
  22. Spend a day in a podunk town just looking around.
  23. Finger paint.
  24. Bake cupcakes and give them to my neighbors.
  25. Let a child pick out an outfit for me at Goodwill. Wear it to work.
  26. Buy a plate from Goodwill, paint it to commemorate my Awesome April Adventures, and display it on my mantle.
  27. Set up a free face painting table downtown.
  28. Ride a horse.
  29. Go somewhere after hours.
  30. Ride the carousel at Pullen Park.

I’ve still got the plate ready to go. I just need to come up with a design. And I have a plan in place to go horseback riding this Friday! Plus, there’s sidewalk chalk in my car, so that can happen at any moment. And let me just tell you about the swinging. I went on Saturday night after seeing Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, which is really good despite the fact that it sounds really weird  and stars Emily Blunt, whom I’d like to hate (because she’s married to John Krasinski and I’m not) but just can’t. And furthermore, who knew it was the Yemen? That was new for me.

Ok so as it turns out, I didn’t want to tell you about the swinging at all, but about the movie, which I’ve done now. Go see it if it’s playing near you. It was delightful.

In unrelated news, I’m sort of on a diet. It’s not terribly strict or anything. I’m just watching how many calories I eat with a goal of losing a goodly amount of weight by this time next year. I’ve been doing it for a couple of weeks, which means theoretically, I should have lost a couple of pounds by now, but since I don’t own a scale, there’s really no way to know, and that’s ok. It’s not about the number, just about paying attention to how much I’m eating and hopefully fitting into smaller clothes in a year. I’m using a Nook app called “Lose It,” which I’m told works sort of the same way Weight Watchers does: You’re allowed a certain amount of calories each day depending on how much you weigh, how tall you are, how much weight you want to lose, how quickly you want to lose it, etc. If you exercise, you’re allowed as many more calories as what you burn doing the exercise. Pretty simple, really. I’ll let you know how the smaller clothes thing is coming along in a few months, but it might help me stay motivated if you tell me I look thinner the next time you see me. I will have forgotten by then that I wrote this, so it doesn’t even have to be true. Thanks, friends!

I OWN You, 2012.

I’ve never really liked the idea of New Year’s resolutions because they are so rarely kept, and really, why do we wait until January to make resolutions? Can’t we resolve to do things any time we want? I submit that we can. So in the spirit of bucking the system, I’m just going to continue doing things this year that I started last year and would like to continue. I also may very well make new resolutions mid-year. Just because I can.

So Simplify2011 will now be called Simplify2012, and it will comprise the following goals:

  • Get rid of all the books on my small bookcase and half the books on my big bookcase.
  • Get rid of half of the clothes in both my dresser and closet.
  • No new home decor purchases. Anything new must be given to me or made from items I already own.
  • Clean out desk drawers.
  • Finish consolidating teaching materials into binders, and get rid of unnecessary bins.
  • Get rid of anything in my bathroom I haven’t used in the past six months.

I’m also going to re-motivate myself to run, not because I’m resolving now to exercise more for exercise’s sake, but because DLF and I have been talking about running a 10k or half-marathon for almost a year now, and my butt ain’t in any kind of shape for that at the moment. Or my heart or lungs or knees for that matter. And since my body insists on getting sick EVERY November, thus putting me out of commission for at least a month, and since I just finished watching EVERY episode of Bones ever made, it is now time to get off the couch and start moving.

And to round things out, I want to continue exploring and developing a few things I started learning about myself last year. When I was preparing to go to Pennsylvania for that week with World Team, they had us take a lot of tests – Bible tests, spiritual gifts tests, personality tests, etc. And on one of the personality tests, I scored really low on the characteristic of dominance (a key leadership quality). And when I say “low,” I mean like really low. Like almost negative. But when we were there, it became really evident to me and everyone else that the test was way wrong. Like holy-crap-what-happened-here? wrong. So I started thinking back on my life, and I was able to pinpoint at least one incident wherein that quality was trained out of me. That kind of pissed me off and inspired this post. So now I’m re-learning who I am naturally and how to use my God-given qualities and abilities to benefit everyone.

Another thing I’ve been learning about myself is still kind of hard to explain, but I think Dr. Brennan (aka Bones) said it pretty well in one episode I watched recently. She’s explaining to Booth how she has changed since she met him, and she makes a distinction between a substance that is impervious and a substance that is strong. She tells him that an impervious substance doesn’t have to be strong because nothing can affect it, but a strong substance allows things in and out and therefore must be strong to survive. That is, of course, a tad too scientific for my liking, but it’s more or less how I feel. I want to be strong, but I also want to be softer. I want to invite people, wisdom, Jesus, love, and yes, even pain and failure into my life if they will make me stronger, wiser and more loving. This one is going to take more work than consolidating my teaching materials (which is saying a lot), but I think it’ll be worth it.

And as always, if you’d like to participate with me in any of these things, you are more than welcome. Especially the running. I’ma need a LOT of butt-kicking in that department.