Way back in January, I spent several days stewing about my 2012 resolutions. Now that the year is half-over, I figure it is high time to check in on how I'm doing.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about my resolutions this year is that I attempted to prioritize them, with the most important coming first.
Anyway, I will attempt to use a separate color to include my current update.
1. Complete my first (and likely last) weighted marathon. I'm aiming to run the Bataan Memorial Death March Marathon on March 25 in New Mexico. DONE! Although, I'm not sure you'd know it from reading the blog. I never finished my race report. Oops. I still need to do that, primarily for anyone who may be interested in running that race in the future. Running a marathon while carrying a 40 pound backpack was not easy. The training and even the return to unweighted running were both painful and SLOW. But doing this race in particular made it all worthwhile. Getting to meet the Death March survivors and hear their stories was an experience I will never forget. And I performed better than I ever could have imagined in the marathon. Utterly incredible experience.
2. Travel to one new-to-me country. The current plan is that the country will be China and this will happen in October, but if things change, I still want to go somewhere new in 2012 -- I need to keep broadening my horizons and experiencing new cultures. IN PROGRESS. This one is on the books. Tickets to and from China have been purchased, and the trip will be in October. Although, on further consideration, I'm not entirely certain this will count. Because I was in Hong Kong for a while on vacation in 2001, and it was already part of China then, so China may not really be a new-to-me country. Either way, the resolution was intended to get me to explore someplace utterly unfamiliar and foreign (and maybe even a little scary or at least well outside my comfort zone). Our trip should definitely meet those objectives.
3. Stairs at work going up every Tues-Wed-Thurs that I'm in the office and it's not raining. I am on the fifth floor, and the parking garage adds one more flight. I'd love to try to do it on Mondays too, but with working from home on Fridays, sometimes I'm really loaded down with my laptop and too much other stuff on Mondays. So Mondays I'll play it by ear, but Tues-Wed-Thurs, game on. And if it's raining, then I'll take the stairs from the first floor instead of from the parking garage (I think the stairwell is outside). But this resolution doesn't go into effect until Jan. 5 (since I need to make sure I know where I'm going and my co-worker to show me isn't back in the office until Jan. 4). IN PROGRESS. The resolution went into effect on Jan. 4, a day earlier than planned, and I am actually rocking this one. I even take the stairs most Mondays. Thus far, I think I've missed the stairs on about 5 Mondays and about 5-6 other times (I completely forgot on Ash Wednesday for no reason, once I was in a major hurry, and once (or twice?) I decided the resolution applied only to my first time coming into the office on a given day and didn't apply if I left to run an errand or something, and during the end of June during our audit week it was so hot and I didn't want any sweat on my clothes, just in case). Even on days that it's been raining, I've taken the elevator to 1, and then walked up the rest of the way. I've learned that many flights of stairs while wearing wedges is substantially more difficult than I would have imagined. But the future of this resolution is in jeopardy. Our office will move to the 9th floor of a new building in the fall. I'm not sure I'm ready for that, but I'd like to give it a try. But I would expect I'll be invoking my "Monday pass" pretty much every week.
4. A 10k or shorter PR. A little more flexible than last year's resolution to get a 5k PR. I could very easily get an 8k PR, but there aren't tons of 8k races around here, and that wouldn't really be fair since my 8k time is from 2007. But most of my other PRs in that distance range (5k, 4m, 5m, 10k) will take some real work to beat. I'd also like an 8 mile and 15k PR, but that's just getting greedy. FAILURE TO DATE. I got a 10 mile PR, but that was cheating -- it was my first 10 miler. I've run a couple 10ks, but they were while wearing my weight vest. I've also run a 5k, but it was a week before my weighted marathon so I wasn't going all out, and I wasn't in shape to beat it either. I am considering taking the easy way out -- there are 2 8k races of which I am aware. One was right around the 4th of July, but we were out of town, and the other one is on Dec. 29 -- that would get me in right under the wire. But I really need to make a go at some fall races for a legit, non-8k, attempt. Maybe I could go hard at the 10k I have set for Sept. 15?
5. Entertaining at home. Again. At least 6 occasions feeding friends with home-cooked food. At least 3 of those occasions must include people who haven't been part of this resolution last year or the year before. I think we're going to have two parties -- one next week for some friends who live in Sweden now and are back visiting, and one in April for the anniversary of our rehearsal dinner. IN PROGRESS. We're exactly halfway there. And two of the occasions were with people new to our dinner parties. I've got a few dates in mind for a few more parties, but I need to work on who we should invite. I love this resolution -- I love doing it, and I love that the resolution reminds me to do it, because it could easily be something I didn't otherwise push myself to do.
6. Yoga. One month of heated yoga, and then yoga at home once a week minimum or 48 times in the year (not counting the month of yoga in January). I think it's relaxing and good for me. It may help me be more patient, more fit, more calm. NEAR FAILURE. I did the month of heated yoga in January. And then I didn't do anything really, at home or otherwise, for a few months. Now I've been trying a new studio about once a week or so (actually, probably slightly less than that). I bought 25 sessions, so that will get me halfway through the resolution. And I am planning on going back to heated yoga, probably in late July or early August. When I do that, I'll attempt to go nearly daily, and that will get me to a total of over 80 yoga classes total for the year. But really, that wasn't the heart of the resolution -- the resolution was balance, to do it regularly, including at home when there wasn't a convenient class. I will still finish my 25 classes and go back to Bikram for at least a month, but when I hit the Bikram breaking point (basically where my husband gets mega-pissed he has barely seen me awake for more than 30 minutes total in the last X weeks), I need to make sure I focus on doing this.
7. Emptying our magazine rack. This should be so easy, but I want to actually flip through everything that's in there before throwing it away. I'm down to two magazine subscriptions in 2012 -- Vegetarian Times (a Christmas gift from my brother and his new wife), and a Texas running one. IN PROGRESS, but barely. I've cleared out a few, but I need to make a ton more progress.
8. Finish our wedding scrapbook. We've been married since April 2009, and my memories of the day aren't getting any fresher. I'd love to make progress on some other photo albums, but the wedding scrapbook is most important to me. IN PROGRESS. I completed about half of what remained, and I brainstormed a bit for the half that is still undone, but I need to spend a couple more weekends working on it. I really need to finish this one.
9. More quality time with my two female best friends. One lives in Virginia but I am planning to see her more this year, and I'd like to call more too. And one lives here in town. She had a tough year last year and we didn't get to spend as much time together, and I miss her terribly. Whether we spend the time running, going for ice cream, working on puzzles, watching bad tv, doing yoga, whatever, I just want to spend the hours together. IN PROGRESS. I'm doing better but not great on calling the one in Virginia. I'm doing well on the one who is local -- we've mostly been going to yoga and doing things with her family (like our roadtrip to the Blueberry Festival, and spending Memorial Day weekend at her parents' house). We've got more fun things planned, but glad I looked back at this resolution -- it's spurring me to make a phone call and get some more on the calendar!
10. Maintaining a list of the books I read this year and reading at least 20 books. I used to read so much more, and now I just feel exhausted when I fall into bed, but I need to add it in somewhere since I enjoy it. I'm torn as to whether I should count books that are currently in-progress (I think I'm reading about 3 right now). I think I will. An incentive to finish them. IN PROGRESS. I have been keeping a running list. I may have to publish the list to date soon. A couple books in progress that I'd like to wrap up before doing that. But I'm on pace.
11. Learning at least 100 Mandarin Chinese characters. One of the blogs I enjoy reading, AlmostFearless, had this statistic recently: Full fluency is 3000 characters, but with 100 characters, you're already 42% fluent. That would be lovely! If I could get to 200 characters, I'd be at 55%. Now I'm no Joseph Needham, and I know it will be tough, but I would think I could learn 100 characters in 10 months. Maybe. I hope. It will be fun to try! 1500 characters is 94% fluent, so it's really diminishing returns at some point. IN PROGRESS, but barely. I think I'm giving up on literacy but I have been working on speaking a little. It's hard, but if I can say some very basic things, I think it will help. I'm hoping to work with our neighbor's relative and do a little trade -- I help her with English, she helps me with Chinese. I need to be more disciplined about this. My favorite book is Chinese in Ten Minutes a Day, but I tend to do an hour on the weekend instead of a daily 10 minutes, and that does not work as well. It's too much to remember. Either way, I have about a dozen characters so far.
12. Closet purge continued. Alter or donate most things that do not fit. I might try that old trick of turning all my hangers backwards to see what I actually wear, but I think I do wear most of the clothes. It's just more than I need. How many black tops does one person need for example? IN PROGRESS, but barely. I turned the hangers backward, but it just showed me that I do wear a lot of what I own. But it's still too much. I need to work on this one a lot.
So that's where things stand as of today!