Tuesday, January 31, 2012

More Reality

The day after I wrote my last post, we had another reality check.  One of Rob's closest friends from his Navy days died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 52.  I had only met them a few times, but Rob had kept up with him and his family since he got out of the Navy in 1992, and in recent years we had traveled to their home in KY for their oldest daughter's wedding, they had come here for our son's graduation, and our son and their youngest daughter had even dated for a few months.  Their 2 girls are within a year of each of our children and, particularly in recent years, the kids have kept in touch directly as well.  We made the 8 hour (one way) drive to KY and back that weekend to attend the funeral, and while it was a long trip, we needed to be there. He was only 5 years older than Rob, so I think it was a dose of reality for all of us.

So yes, I know, I'm not doing very well on my goal to write here at least twice a week.  I haven't been doing so well on most of my goals, with the exception of my PT exercises, which I have, amazingly, done almost every day.  There have a been a few days here & there that I've missed, and I decided I deserve a "rest" day on Sundays because the exercises pretty much keep me sore all of the time, but I have otherwise been very consistent in getting them done.  But other than that one goal, I've pretty much failed so far at the rest of them.

I'm working on ways to motivate myself and make time for the others though, so I haven't given up completely.  I have to work on not letting the unexpected things that come up constantly derail me from my plan, and I need to plan a little better overall.  I'm trying to come up with concrete ways to do that, so hopefully I will be posting here more frequently soon.

In the meantime, take care of yourselves!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Reality Check

I got together with some of my knitting group last night.  A lot of laughs, chatter and fun, and a little bit of knitting was achieved.

Towards the end of the evening we were down to just 4 of us, and recapping recent family visits during the holidays got us to talking about family relationships, which lead to discussing our childhoods.  I am very, very lucky in the wonderful childhood I had and the family situation  in which I was raised.  While it was not perfect, because no one and no family is ever perfect, it could have been much further from perfect than I even want to contemplate.

I have only been in this knitting group for a couple of years, and due to my work schedule I sometimes have been unable to attend for months at a time, so I feel like I'm still getting to know people in general.  But as one of the women said last night, I see all these women as women who are confident and outgoing and seem to have it all together.  But I don't know what they've been through in their lives and how they got to where they are now.  It's so easy to imagine that everyone you meet has a similar history to yours, and humbling to find out how much more some have overcome than you ever imagined having to deal with.

I wrote last year about the book Unbroken and how it made me wonder how I would react to such horrible conditions.  Last night made me realize that there are people I know in real life who have lived through conditions that, while not POW camps, may have been just as bad in the way they could break a person down. 

I've never had a lot of close women friends, and I don't pretend to think that one conversation last night has bonded these women to me for life, but I feel honored that they were willing to share some of their stories in my presence, and I look forward to getting to know them all better.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Goal Setting for 2012

I was looking back at my goals for 2011 (some of which I posted here and some of which I didn't) and thinking that I didn't really achieve all that much.  But then I realized that I actually accomplished a really big goal in 2011.  It's one of those goals that I sort of half-heartedly set every year, and yet never accomplish, so I didn't even mention it here, but I actually did it in 2011.......I quit smoking.  After smoking for almost 27 years, I smoked my last cigarette on June 27, 2011.  So regardless of all the other goals I did not meet last year, that one makes up for it in MY grand scheme of things.

Hoping to do a little better on some of the other ones this year though.  The two general categories remain the same....health/weight loss and writing.

Health/Weight loss

I put health first, because although I do want to lose weight, my first priority is recovering completely from my back surgery.  I'm hoping in the process of focusing on that first that I will lose some weight, and I'm planning to take other steps to help with weight loss as well.  However, I don't expect to complete my weight loss in 2012, but I do hope to make some progress and get myself in a better position physically to do the exercise I know will be necessary. 

Specific goals:
  • Do exercises recommended by physical therapist, as often as recommended. (currently daily)
  • Walk at least 1 mile either outside or on treadmill at least 2X per week. I hope to increase this over time in both the mileage and number of times per week, but right now 1 mile takes almost 30 minutes and the PT exercises make me really sore, so don't want to overdo to the point I give up and quit.
  • Re-evaluate exercise goals monthly and set specific goals to achieve.
  • Track food intake.  Note that right now this is not "eat healthier" or anything similar.  I just want to get in the habit of tracking what I eat.  I know that as I make the tracking a habit I will naturally start to eat healthier.


I just need to make writing regularly a habit.  There were a couple of weeks during the middle of my recovery from surgery, when I was still on pain meds but reducing the amounts, that I journaled in my handwritten journal daily, and sometimes more than once a day.  Maybe it was the pain meds, or maybe it's that I was home alone so much at that point that I didn't have anyone to talk to so I just wrote things out instead, but I'd like to get back to doing my personal journaling on a more regular basis, in addition to posting here more frequently, and I still need to work on some of my story ideas as well.

I think I was a little overly ambitious last year about how much time I would be able to put aside for writing, but maybe not.  I'm currently reading The Productive Writer and I may revise these goals some as I have time to ponder the recommendations in that book and see how they best apply to my real life.

Specific goals:
  • Write in handwritten journal at least twice per week.  I should really try to do this daily, but I'm going to start with the 2X per week goal.  
  • Post on blog at least twice per week.  Again, would love to do more, but I think the 2X per week is achievable.
  • Spend at least 2 hours every month working on fiction.  This includes fleshing out story ideas, reviewing and editing already written material, and doing writing exercises.  I should be able to find at least 1 weekend in every month where I can find 2 hours of quiet to do this, but if I manage it in 15 minute increments throughout the month, that works too.
I'm going to come up with some way to remind myself of these goals on a regular basis, otherwise a week gets away from me too fast.  I will also try to remember to update here every month or so as I reconsider or change specific goals and just to generally report on my progress.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Welcome to 2012

Happy New Year!

Just wanted to post something to say I'm still here.  Started back to work this week.  Who knew sitting in an office chair could lead to so much stiffness?  Doing o.k. as long as I remember to get up and walk around a bit every hour or so.

Haven't had time to really work on my specific goals for the year.  Plan to do that this weekend.  Have my first physical therapy appointment on Friday, which will help me determine my preliminary goals for exercising.  I know that my exercise goals will definitely change as the year progresses and I am able to do more, so it may be that one of my goals is to set new goals every so often, we'll see.

Also thinking about making a list of knitting projects that I've been meaning to get around to, but never seem to do.  The list would serve as more of a reminder than a goal list really, but there are several things I keep saying I'm going to make, like fingerless mitts for myself (I made them for everyone else Christmas 2010) and I want to get to at least some of them this year.

I've added a new post to track my reading for 2012.  You can find the link in the sidebar.

More to come soon!

2012 Reading List

Books I've Read in 2012 (129 Total)

I also have a Goodreads page where I sometimes provide more
 commentary on what I thought of the book.
January (8)
Mr. and Miss Anonymous by Fern Michaels
The Unquiet by  J.D. Robb, Mary Blayney, Patricia Gaffney, Ruth Ryan Langan & Mary Kay McComas
The Ballad of Tom Dooley by Sharyn McCrumb
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Iron House by John Hart
On Lavender Lane by JoAnn Ross
The Snowman by Jo Nesbo
Lover's Leap by Emily March

February (14)
Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
Tribute by Nora Roberts
Three Day Town by Margaret Maron (yes, I read this in November, but unfortunately I was on drugs at the time, so I had to re-read it because I couldn't remember a thing I had read!)
The Productive Writer by Sage Cohen
The Shack by William P. Young
Under the Dome by Stephen King (started this in 2009 when it first came out, but got so pissed off at some of the characters I had to put it down, so I finally picked it back up and finished it)
The Summer Garden by Sherryl Woods
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
Under the Skin by Vicki Lane
Secrets of the Lost Summer by Carla Neggers
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian
In the Presence of the Enemy by Elizabeth George

March (14)
Redwood Bend by Robyn Carr
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
The Murder Game by Beverly Barton
Killing Floor by Lee Child
A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George
11/22/63 by Stephen King
Die Trying by Lee Child
Payment in Blood by Elizabeth George
Killing Her Softly by Beverly Barton
Zapped by Carol Higgins Clark
Well-Schooled in Murder by Elizabeth George

April (13)
Close Enough to Kill by Beverly Barton
The Dying Game by Beverly Barton
The Other Daughter by Lisa Gardner
Tripwire by Lee Child
A Suitable Vengeance  by Elizabeth George
Decked by Carol Higgins Clark
Cold Hearted by Beverly Barton
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie
The Chalk Girl by Carol O'Connell
The Devil's Hearth by Phillip DePoy
The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King
Sunrise Point by Robyn Carr

May (11)
Running Blind by Lee Child
Echo Burning by Lee Child
For the Sake of Elena by Elizabeth George
Missing Joseph by Elizabeth George
Silent Killer by Beverly Barton
Iced by Carol Higgins Clark
Twanged by Carol Higgins Clark
Line of Vision by David Ellis
Playing for the Ashes by Elizabeth George
Deck the Halls by Mary and Carol Higgins Clark
Fleeced by Carol Higgins Clark

June (9)
Dead by Midnight by Beverly Barton
Big Sky Country by Lina Lael Miller
Deception on His Mind by Elizabeth George
The Unexpected Husband by Debbie Macomber
Summer Days by Susan Mallery
Home for the Summer by Mariah Stewart
Without Fail by Lee Child
Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews
In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner by Elizabeth George

July (15)
Lucky in Love by Jill Shavis
A Fatal Fleece by Sally Goldenbaum
Summer Nights by Susan Mallery
Midnight Promises by Sherryl Wood
Left for Dead by J.A. Jance
The Inquisitor's Key by Jefferson Bass
Moonshell Beach by JoAnn Ross
Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis
Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis
Persuader by Lee Child
The Enemy by Lee Child
The Hard Way by Lee Child
Jinxed by Carol Higgins Clark
Popped by Carol Higgins Clark
Dead by Morning by Beverly Barton

August (14)
Dead by Nightfall by Beverly Barton
The Sweetest Thing by Jill Shalvis
Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child
Nothing to Lose by Lee Child
Big Sky Mountain by Linda Lael Miller
All Summer Long by Susan Mallery
The Harbor by Carla Neggers
The Widow by Carla Neggers
61 Hours by Lee Child
Worth Dying For by Lee Child
The Affair by Lee Child
Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce
Cast On, Kill Off by Maggie Sefton
A Traitor to Memory by Elizabeth George

September (13)
A Place of Hiding by Elizabeth George
The Christmas Thief by Mary & Carol Higgins Clark
Burned by Carol Higgins Clark
I Left My Heart by Debbie Macomber
Nightingale Way by Emily March
Catching Fireflies by Sherryl Woods
Where Azaleas Bloom by Sherryl Woods
A Wanted Man by Lee Child
The Lovesick Cure by Pamela Morsi
Guilt by Degrees by Marcia Clark
At Last by Jill Shalvis
Forever and A Day by Jill Shalvis
Judgment Call by J.A. Jance

October (6)
The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian
And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman
The Man with a Load of Mischief by Martha Grimes
Rules of Prey by John Sandford
Bones are Forever by Kathy Reichs
Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell

November (6)
Garment of Shadows by Laurie R. King
The Old Fox Deceiv'd by Martha Grimes
My Kind of Christmas by Robyn Carr
The Buzzard Table by Margaret Maron
With No One as Witness by Elizabeth George
Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz

December (6)
Broken Harbor by Tana French
Drop Dead on Recall by Sheila Webster Boneham
Stay Close by Harlan Coben
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Already Home by Susan Mallery
An O'Brien Family Christmas by Sherryl Woods