Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Halfway There -- Resolutions Check-In

More than six months of the year already gone.  Wow...

I did one recap of my progress on my 2013 resolutions back at the beginning of March, I seriously intended to check in earlier to see if I'm progressing, but now's as good a time as any.  12 resolutions, roughly in order of priority. 

1. Hardest effort ever at a couple months of speed training, then hardest effort ever training for an early fall marathon. The idea is that this work will lead me to a marathon PR by 11 minutes and 30 seconds in Berlin in late September. IN PROGRESS. I worked with a speed coach until the end of April, and marathon training officially began in mid-May.  This past weekend was what I consider my first "real" long run -- 16 miles.  I'm doing most my easy runs about 40-80 seconds slower than I plan to race.  I've been struggling when I attempt to run race pace or faster sometimes, but I have to remind myself that it's probably to be expected, given current training conditions of over 70 degrees on every single run.  I'm going to keep at it!  This week, we had 4 miles of marathon pace, and I pretty much nailed it (a bit too fast on the last one, but solid otherwise). 

2. Cook at least 52 real dinners from recipes. STRONG PROGRESS.  I've posted updates on this resolution about the first 30 recipes I've done, and I'll continue that until I get to 52 (or until year end possibly, whether it's 52 or more or less).  I love doing this resolution. It's great to have the leftovers for lunches or easy dinners during the week, and having a real meal (and leftovers) makes me feel more like a grown-up than eating stuff that's just thrown together and/or microwaved. It also makes me feel like a good wife since I usually cook on Sundays, and my husband usually works on Sundays, and there's something that makes me very happy to see how happy he is to come home to a real dinner. 

3. Quit Facebook. Not actual facebook suicide, I'm leaving the profile up, and I may log in on weekends to check for messages and/or invitations, and I'll probably check if I'm tagged in a photo by someone else just to make sure it's not horrifying, but no more daily reading what's going on with friends. SO FAR, SO GOOD. I've logged on about sporadically to get email addresses, to respond to a couple personal messages, and to browse, but I've been avoiding the news feed for days or weeks at a time and I'm happier for it. I've been playing more sudoku on my phone, but I rationalize that sudoku is brain exercise.  One benefit of no FB is that when I go to my 20 year high school reunion at the end of August, I'll be more surprised by the photos rather than already having seen anything shared in advance on FB. 

4. New to me country (a repeat resolution, since I'm not sure I really achieved this in 2012). If all goes as I hope, the new country will be Lichtenstein, and that will be on about October 4. NOT YET. It's still a plan for the fall though.  Since my last update, we have actually purchased plane tickets that have us landing in Berlin, returning a rental car in Lamezia Terme, Italy, flying to Venice, and flying to Amsterdam (then flying home), so with that rental car, in between Berlin and Lamezia, hopefully Lichtenstein will be explored. 

5. Study Italian at least once a week and attend an Italian conversation class regularly. FAILING. I've been good about attending a conversation class frequently, but I'm not studying at all on my own, and that is perhaps what I need to do most. Only about 2 more months to buckle down on this to have my Italian be coherent when we see my husband's family in October.  This resolution should move up in priority. 

6. Weight management. Right now I'm sitting just over the halfway point of the 10 pound range where I've hovered for the last few years. I want to get to the bottom half, ideally the bottom, and stay there. STRONG PROGRESS.  For the most part, I'm almost always in the bottom half of my 10 pound range since about mid-March.  I'd like to maybe lose a few more pounds before the marathon, but most of all, I don't want to gain. 

7. Entertain at home at least 6 times, at least 3 times included people who haven't ever come over for dinner before. STRONG PROGRESS. We've entertained five times, including three times with people we hadn't invited over before.  I need to work on having a dinner planned for the end of August probably (I'm thinking of inviting all my friends going to Germany for the race and their spouses), and then maybe one in November.  Having so much travel planned for the end of the year means I should knock this one out soon.  I've decided that dinners with family members don't count, and I probably won't count any dinners with just our next door neighbors (I counted the one we did, but we'll probably have them over at least a couple more times this year). 

8. Finish our wedding scrapbook. FAILING.  I have the scrapbook sitting out in plain view in the living room, but it's still only about 60% complete.  And we've now been married more than four years.  Sigh. 

9. Less procrastination at work. The three big areas where I drag my feet are voicemails, reports, and reviewing records. I need to check voicemail at least once a week (we have a log, so I can see who is calling, so I answer the calls I want, and let the "ugh" ones go to voicemail, then I suck at checking messages). I need to do initial case reports within 3 weeks of it hitting my desk (for most my cases, it's actually easier to do it sooner, rather than later, because the later I wait, the more information I have that I need to include). I need to review records within 60 days of receipt (I sometimes let "not urgent" stacks sit for way too many months). IN PROGRESS. I'm doing so much better on voicemails (as of last night, I had zero, currently I think two). Reports are getting done pretty quickly (I am only behind on one). But records review hasn't been happening. But I feel more on top of things and more productive, so that's good.  And I recently transferred about 15 cases off my docket to a new attorney in our group, so that is easing the pressure too.  I'm more caught up than I have been all year.  I'm hoping when I travel next week, I'll make a dent in some records. 

10. Update our stairwell photos through the end of 2012.  The stairs between our first and second floors on one wall are full of photos of the two of us beginning with our very first photo together, and presently ending in Sweden in 2010. IN PROGRESS. I chose and ordered photos beginning with Russia in 2010 and ending with China in 2012.  Then I went to an Ikea in a BFE suburb to get the frames, but they didn't sell them anymore.  So I tried another Ikea near Austin, and no frames there either.  So I bought similar frames in a different color and I have put all my photos with my law school roommate (on the other side of our stairwell) into those new frames, and I have used those original frames to frame updated pics of me and hubby.  AND I've hung several photos.  I have 15 photos left in matching frames that I need to hang, but only room for two more on the wall (and that will take us up to April 2012).  And then I need to figure out what the heck I'm going to do since I will be out of frames that match and out of wall -- I can start taking down photos with my law school roommate (that I just reframed a month ago), but that means new holes in the wall, and frames that don't match.  Hmmm...  This resolution is a mess. 

11. Sunday organizing time. I need to set aside at least one hour every Sunday before 6:00 p.m. to prepare for the coming week -- that means making my lunches in advance (with the current running commute plan, I have to bring Mon-Thurs lunches on Monday), planning my outfits (including shoes and jewelry), packing my outfits (including laundry bags), and pulling together any "other" stuff to bring to the office on Monday (usually bills that need to be paid, greeting cards that need to be mailed, etc.). IN PROGRESS. I've been doing outfits and/or lunches on Sundays, occasionally both, and I feel like I'm making progess. But I need to get this one all the way done, so that most weeks, it's all done on Sundays.  I'm still in the habit of having too much to do before I drive to work on Mondays.    

12. Regular non-drive commute to work. STRONG PROGRESS. Even on days where it hasn't sounded like fun, I'm regularly commuting to work on foot. I have a total of 5 possible commutes in any given week that can be done on foot (given that I work from home on Fridays, have to bring the laptop and clothes on Mondays, and have to bring home the laptop and dirty clothes on Thurs nights). Thus far, taking out holidays and jury duty days when I didn't go to the office at all, there have been 116 total possible commutes on foot. I have done 94 of them on foot. Not bad. And a vast majority of the ones I've skipped have been because I had an evening commitment that I felt was really important -- volunteering, an alumni event, or a work dinner. I've been lazy (or not wanted to run in bad weather) a few times and asked my husband to pick me up on his way home. In the last two weeks, I've also asked him to pick me up on his way home once each week so that my mileage wouldn't get too high.  I'd be thrilled to average about 66% of my possible commutes on foot for the year, but we'll see how it goes. Even 20% is better than nothing in my book, and this will greatly depend on how marathon training goes.  If commuting wears out my legs too much, I'll drop it, but I'm very happy to have done it for more than half the year already. 

So that's it!  A good reminder that the next few weekends should be spent studying Italian, figuring out and finishing up the stairwell, finally finishing the wedding scrapbook, and planning out our next dinner party! 


  1. OMG. Voicemails are my most hated work thing. I also never check mine. I know who called and I just call them back instead of listening to their message. I feel like.. if you're going to say something of substance in a message then just EMAIL me. Ugh.

  2. Wow, you are doing really well with your year goals! It's hard to get EVERYTHING in, or at least that's what I've discovered, but you are doing really well by being on target with so many of the things your set out to do! I like the entertaining goal! I'll have to put that one on my list for 2014 ;)

  3. you know...i live in Austin and if you need a store checked to see if they have something you're looking for, just let me know. that way, you don't have to drive all the way down here just to find out that the store doesn't have what you're looking for :)