2013: Resolutions are dumb, goals are awesome

In these early weeks of January, there are as many different resolutions out there as there are people who’ve dreamed them up. Those tasks are always in the eye of the creator, however. It seems we never outsource inspiration for these intentions; we never ask those around us what we should do more, less, bigger, better. We embark on these crusades in a vacuum.

While I was really tempted by Zoë‘s suggestion to ask other people what they thought I should try to improve about myself in 2013, and really almost asked close family and friends for opinions, I chickened ut and came up with these instead.

Decorate our downstairs. Our basement is finished, and it’s half my closet, half workout room, half media room, and now it has a bathroom. We spend a good amount of time down there, but there is not a speck of decoration. I’d like to paint the walls, but being realistic I’d be happy with some throw pillows, a few decorative knock knacks, and some framed photos or art on the walls.

Stay on track with our emergency fund. We’re about halfway to having three months of living expenses saved up, and if we don’t have anything expensive come up, we should be there by the end of 2013.

Financial confession: since we refinanced our mortgage last month, we got to basically skip January’s mortgage payment, plus I have some Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket, and I have been a spending fool this month. Nails done, we’ve gone out to eat six times already this month, and a ton of stuff fell into my cart at Target this weekend. I’m not too worried about it since I’ve been sticking to the budget pretty well for the past few months but sheesh.

Get back into swimming. I sort of have my eye on a 2.4 mile swim in September, but even if that doesn’t happen, I want to start swimming again. I haven’t been in the water since my last triathlon in September, but it’s my favorite form of exercise, and I want to make time for it. I may look into taking more lessons or Masters classes, we’ll see.

Spend less time working. Don’t worry, I already discussed this one with my boss. In the last half of 2012 I started letting work sneak into too many evenings and weekends. It’s fine if the occasional urgent project comes up, but I’m not going to spend my Sunday nights doing anything that can wait until Monday or Tuesday. The catch phrase for our team is #worksmart.

Dust off the old brunch blog. There was an amazing blog about all the different champagne brunches in San Diego, and Chris and I thought we could recreate that directory for Denver, but so far the project has been pretty neglected. I’d like to get at least ten new entries this year.

Unplug before bed. I have been getting sucked into my iPad before bed and staying up later than I mean to. I think switching to a book or my kindle before bed will make me happier and more well rested. I’m typing this in bed at 10 pm, though, so we’ll see how that goes.

Get involved with the Denver Public Library Friends Foundation. I have attended a handful of Friends Foundation events and we go to the Booklovers Ball every year, but this year I want to be a more involved volunteer. I’m having lunch with a contact there this month about getting involved in event planning, and Chris and I are volunteering at an event next month. I volunteered at the Winter Used Book Sale, and it was a lot of fun. As my Minds Matter commitment is winding down (only four more months), I’m ready to move onto a new project.

Volunteer at a race. I committed to taking a year off of signing up for races, but I’d really like to volunteer at one in some capacity. Probably at a triathlon, I’m thinking maybe at the Harvest Moon 70.3 since that was my toughest race last year and all the volunteers were so super great they made me cry.

Take a mini vacation. I get three extra days of vacation this year thanks to a change in our benefits, and I want to go be a tourist in D.C. or go the balloon festival in New Mexico or go be pretentious in Portland or something.

Buy clothes I love. I’ve been pretty stingy with my clothes budget lately, but buying new clothes I love makes me really happy. I want to add a few more dresses and some bright, flowy skirts to my wardrobe. Who says resolutions (or goals) have to be things you don’t really want to do?





Get Off My Internets

So, Get Off My Internets almost shut down this weekend, but apparently readers/commenters donated enough money to keep it going, even with all/most of its ads being pulled. You can find other pages with more info on all the drama.

I’ve had this post half written in my head for a while. I used to really like reading the main page. They level a lot of legitimate criticisms:

Super un-PC Halloween costume

“Pinkwashed” products that do squat for breast cancer

Fake shopping service scam

But also some really weak snark lately:

Lady says she has kicked her sugar addiction but she still totally eats sugar you guys

This dining room makeover is not really that awesome

The forums are a whole nother ballgame, and I suppose that’s where most of the real scandal is. The comments are sometimes valid criticisms, but a lot of times the conversation just devolves into nitpicky meanness.

But it seems to me like the most graceful way to react to the comments is to ignore them. (Obviously easy to say here from the sidelines, I might feel differently if I had pages of mean stuff written about me.) I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone engage or react in a way that really improved the situation. Fighting mean, anonymous comments on the internet doesn’t seem like a great use of time.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that on one hand, you have people saying this is a cess pool of jealous hater monster bullies. And on the other hand you have GOMI alleging they are policing the internet to root out lies and unfairness and providing valuable feedback to the blog world, and really neither one is right. Because you can’t just sum up thousand of comments from thousands of people that neatly. Some of them are insightful critics, some are monster bullies.

When I see something that makes me roll my eyes on a blog, call me old fashioned, I just email it to a friend or read it out loud to Chris. I see why we like to share that moment, to say OMG this is ridiculous, right? I’m not sure keeping the snark private makes me any better than people who post in those forums.

2012 Goals – How did we do?

Here is my post about 2012 goals, in its entirety:

Subject: Resolutions are Dumb. Goals Are Awesome!

So far on my plate for 2012:

  • Read 25 books
  • Plan an awesome vacation for our ten year anniversary
  • Run the half marathon I just signed up for in the spring (my first!)
  • Race the same Olympic triathlon I crashed and burned at in 2011, except this time not have my race go off the rails
  • Turn 30
  • Complete a 70.3 triathlon in the fall (Boulder or Harvest Moon? I can’t decide!)
  • Add a second bathroom to our house

The only thing that’s more of a I’m-going-to-TRY-to-make-that-happen-but-it-probably-won’t is a “resolution” I’ve made a few times: to blog more. I love going back and reading my almost daily posts from livejournal when I was in college. I’d love to just jot more things down for my own memories down the road.

  • Books – Yeah, let’s just start with the saddest news. A very sad thirteen books. I started the year strong, but the second half of 2012 I felt very short on free time and when I had downtime I wanted brain candy in the form of a bubble bath, a glass of wine, and a silly tv show. Definitely room for improvement next year.From left to right, top to bottom:
    Liked, loved, hated, LOVED, loathed
    LOVED, liked, didn’t love, loved, liked a lot until the end
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  • Vacation – Check. Debating a repeat this February for our 11th anniversary. The snow on the ground is making a warm beach sound so lovely.
  • Half marathon – check.
  • Olympic triathlon – check.
  • Turn 30 – check. (It’s satisfying to hit a milestone birthday and feel like your life is where you’d like it to be.)
  • 70.3 – check.
  • Second bathroom – check.
  • Blog more – mostly check. Checkish.

Also in 2012…

Commuted by bicycle all last winter. I fell off my bike twice, but I was happy and proud I did it.

Refinanced our mortgage, which will save us money in the short run and help us pay it off faster in the long run.

Let’s just say something vague about professional success. Last year I was taking on a lot of new responsibilities and kind of struggling with juggling them, but this year I felt more like I hit my stride.

Migrated my blog from tumblr to WordPress.

Spent a lot of time crying about Aurora, Newtown, and the shooting of a police officer at an event where I was volunteering.

Struggled with balancing work, trying to train, and having some semblance of a social life.

Saw a lot of awesome music (a lot for me, who doesn’t really love live music):

Tyler Lyle
John Heart Jackie
Daniel Ate The Sandwich
Avett Brothers
Devotchka (times two)
The Colorado Symphony
Jason Mraz
The Lumineers (times two)
Paper Bird
Shovels and Rope
Jason Mraz
Christina Perri
Alanis Morissette

Sang “Rolling on the River” with Hazel Miller

Worked with my mentee at Minds Matter to apply for college. They grow up so fast.

Wore the same pare of gold glitter flats, like, seriously almost every day this summer.

Tried out toastmasters.

Did my annual LALA (Ladies at Little America) trip.

Had a fun power’s-out-party with our neighbors.

Saw Temple Grandin speak and had her sign my book.

Tried acupuncture.

Got really into yoga. Somehow I went from a yoga-hater last summer to a borderline evangelist.

Had a quasi-roommate for the first six months of the year.
So! Some ups and downs, but I’m really proud of myself for completing my goals. Still working on some for 2013.

Dressing room snaps

Here are my fashion goals for 2013…

Just kidding. It feels like everything is about a wrap up of 2012 or goals for 2013. I have thoughts on both, but it’ll probably be February before I get them online.

But I did some shopping over the past month and wanted to share because dudes, the Gap is all about ridiculously cute dresses lately. Just an FYI. If you like dresses, it might be worth a visit. (I wear dresses probably…80 percent of the time? A little more in the summer, a little less in the winter.)

I am obsessed with this dress. I wore it to three holiday parties, and I  will wear it to work with boots or flats. Plus it’s on sale. It comes in black, but I don’t know why anyone would wear black when they could be wearing bright orange.

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I bought it in navy blue, too.

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This is essentially the same thing at J Crew except instead of being totally adorable it’s too short and too wide and not cute at all.

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I also ended up with this Gap sweater dress because it is the only sweater dress, maybe in the whole world, that didn’t cling in weird places and was super flattering. Also because it has zippers on the shoulders and I am a sucker for decorative shoulder fasteners. Buttons, zippers, even velcro.
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I keep putting this stripy dress into my cart online and then not buying it because I want it to go on sale. I tried it on and it was super cute but not $65 cute.

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This dress from Banana Republic was a contender, but it was kind of too dressy to wear every day.

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Two more random thoughts on fashion, er, clothes, speaking as a total civilian:

One, every time I see peplum (a peplum? peplums?) I can only think of Judy Jetson and my mom’s clothes from the 80s.

Two, can we please stop ruining perfectly adorable tops and dresses with exposed zippers? Ugh.

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