As usual, our first quarter has been full of drama, crisis, and radical change. Not as bad as last year at this time, the year of “homeless with face cancer” plus relocation, job change, and veterinary crisis. First I’ll list off all the stupid obstacles that came up for us in the first three months of the year, and then I’ll follow with the progress we’ve made on our goals and resolutions in spite of it all.
The bad stuff: Dropped a fire extinguisher on my bare foot, got the flu, had to pack and move before I was really better yet, then our dog got deathly ill before we were even unpacked. He lost over 10% of his body weight in three days, which is like a 200-pound man losing 20+ pounds over a holiday weekend. $600, five veterinary drugs, and a half gallon of carpet cleaner later, he’s fine. The hardest part of First Quarter 2018 for me was that I lost a full month, when I was only sleeping about half of what I needed and I felt like I might clinically go insane. February was not fun. Crisis every single day. Oh, and I broke my phone.
The good thing is that we actually made major progress on our goals, starting almost immediately.
I was invited to emcee a speech contest, which I did, and to be test speaker at another contest, which I also did. It’s a big deal for me to be invited to speak anywhere, because two years ago I could barely stand up at a table and say my name without shaking all over.
My personal goal was to explore a martial art. I visited three martial arts schools in my area and enrolled in one that teaches Krav Maga and Muay Thai kickboxing. I have my first stripe on both belts and I’m finally able to do pushups without putting my knees down. It took about three weeks, but I have reached the point when classes feel fun, although 10x harder than any previous workout I’ve done, other than a mud run with an obstacle course. I chose something that scared me, that felt like a major personal challenge, only to find that it’s much more of a physical than an emotional test. Much more in my wheelhouse.
My career goal was to launch a podcast. This is still on the slate as I shape the nature of the show.
My physical goals were to do Shamrock Run 2018 and build a daily stretching routine. I ran every step of the 8k race with my brother and it was really fun! I even set my first PR, cutting over four minutes off my previous time. This was great because I only did one training run and I wasn’t even sure I could handle five miles. As far as stretching, I’m finding that the HIIT workouts from my martial arts classes are loosening up things in a way that yoga never has. After just a few classes, I could suddenly do postures that were never within my reach before. I can finally do full lotus! It’s very surprising and fascinating the way that cross-training in a radically different discipline can inform something long familiar to you.
Our home goal was to lower our rent. We had all the paperwork handled for this move by the first week of January, and of course we moved in February. Good timing so that we could fund our IRAs. Consider this goal complete!
Our couples goal is to go on an international vacation together. We haven’t booked the tickets yet, but we’re “in talks” about where we want to go and what we want the trip to feel like. It’s my job to do initial research in travel guides.
My stop goal is to stop losing focus on incomplete projects. I’m supposed to be wrapping up old projects one way or another, either canceling them, scheduling them, or simply getting them done. Not much progress here yet, I’m afraid, other than reading a few books out of my stack. I’m doing pretty well with pushing forward and staying current on new things, like the move and the martial arts training and Toastmasters and this blog. Maybe I should try threatening myself that I won’t be allowed to work on any of these things until I get something old out of the way.
My lifestyle upgrade goal is to upgrade my laptop. This has not happened yet, partly due to the IRA funding deadline and partly because I always get hooked waiting for the new product release schedule. Maybe for my birthday.
My Do the Obvious goal is to speak more slowly, with more pauses. This is an ongoing struggle. Some feedback I routinely get is that I don’t pause long enough for laughter, and that’s because I don’t always realize that what I said was funny. The audience bar for “a joke” includes a lot of stuff that I consider to be filler material or transitions between stories. I’ve only just started to be able to click with specific individual audience members while performing. This “pause for laughs” issue is probably the single area where I can make the most improvement.
My quest is to travel on a fifth continent, and that’s related to planning our international trip. Looks like that will happen in the winter.
My wish was to find an amazing pet sitter. Guess what? Three doors over in our new building is a professional dog walker! She loves our dog, whose behavior magically improved after only one day walking with her pack. He gets to hang out with five neighborhood dog friends now, all of whom walk past our front door several times a day, and it’s really helping him to feel more secure. Super chill. This dog walker hasn’t met Noelle yet, but apparently she likes parrots too so we’ll see.
My mantra is to PAUSE AND BREATHE. I lost track of this during the “lost month.” Now I’m feeling competitive because my husband’s resting heart rate is significantly lower than mine, even though I’m seven years younger. Maybe that’s the metric I need to encourage me to do breathing exercises.
Personal: Explore a martial art - SUCCESS
Career: Launch a podcast
Physical: Run Shamrock Run 2018, build a daily stretching routine - SUCCESS+
Home: Lower our rent - SUCCESS
Couples: Go on an international vacation together
Stop goal: Stop losing focus on incomplete projects
Lifestyle upgrades: Upgrade laptop
Do the Obvious: Speak more slowly, with more pauses
Quest: Travel in Asia / a fifth continent
Wish: To find an amazing pet sitter - SUCCESS
Mantra: PAUSE AND BREATHE
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I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.