Sunday, January 22, 2012

I'm back! In more ways than one

They say "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans." To be specific, John Lennon said that. Sometimes that's true, but as I've been reflecting over 2011, I found that in my past year, that has not been the case. Sometimes you can put so much of your focus into one thing, such as a new job or a relationship or an opportunity, that it blinds you to everything else that is out there. And you get stuck without moving forward. As an avid plan maker, mostly borne out of disappointment from things not happening, I also believe in the axiom "Life doesn't happen when you don't make plans." And I do mean "plans," as in the plural. One plan is not enough.

And with that said, I am leaving 2011 behind and embracing the New Year. And I really do want to start blogging again. So I am sorry to the handful of you that I may have disappointed with my writing hiatus since May. I was stuck muddling with something else.

This year I am full of "plans," plural. And I already have a handful of goals that I'm really excited about--things I've wanted to do for a long time and really am going to do this year. Some of this might seem silly, but for those of you who really know me, they are elements of pure Carrie-ness.

Immediate goals:

1) Create a terrarium. I have long been fascinated with terarriums, and I don't mean those giant fishtank ones, or those empty cages at the zoo or aquarium that are plants with no animals or fish in them. I mean like those apothecary jars with a glass lid so that you can trap the moisture inside it and have a little mini rainforest going on inside it. Usually you have one to three plants, some moss covering the soil (and I love moss!) and then you can see the soil, stone and charcoal layers through the glass as well. I used part of my off day on MLK Day to purchase my jar, now I just need to get all the stuff to go in it. It's important to pick a plant that doesn't need too much light because my windows have this UV barrier that doesn't let much light in, and there's nothing sadder than a dying ecosystem trapped behind glass.

2) Create a submission for the PEEP Show at the Carroll Arts Center. PEEP Show as in PEEPs marshmallow candies, you sickos! This is a spinoff of the Washington Post's amazing contest where people make dioramas out of PEEPs, or at least the characters are made from PEEPs. Carroll's contest is a little more broad -- it doesn't have to be a diorama, it can be any kind of art -- but I have maintained my childhood passion of creating dioramas for school projects and think this is an excellent outlet. I've put off doing it because I've had a hard time coming up with a theme that would a) have mass recognition and appeal and still interests me, and b) could have a clever title with PEEP in it, since I think those are the ones that always win. Not that I really want to win, but I want to at least get a chuckle or a smirk from viewers. And I haven't thought of some amazingly better idea this year, I've just decided to go for it for my own satisfaction. The contest is in April so I should probably get started on this pretty soon.

3) Lose 4 pounds by my birthday, March 10. For years I've been struggling to lose that last 4 pounds, and while I'd like to say that's what I'm planning to do by my birthday, that's not what this goal is about. This 4 pounds is actually the weight I've put on since last summer, and that's really all I want to get back to at this point. Maybe I'll get up the gumption to go the last 4 by this summer, but I'll see how hard the first 4 are. Now that the holidays are over and crazy rich food isn't being pushed on me (OK, or created by me), I have a really sensible normal diet, so my main efforts will be in exercise. The goal is to work out 6 days a week until I make my goal, then maintain my previous routine of 3 to 4 times a week to keep it steady. I know 4 pounds might seem silly to make such a big deal over, but when you're 5'0", each pound really counts (and is visible). I'm two weeks into this routine and while I thought I had already lost 1.5 pounds, the scale changes so drastically from day to day that I can't really back that up on a daily basis. However, I'm already feeling better (and looking better, if I may say so) in the waistline, so there are already results backing up my motivation.

Long-term goals:

Still working on those. I think I might just keep coming up with more of these 3-month goals as I finish those that are already on my list.

To be clear, these are not New Year's resolutions. These are projects, and I am my own project manager. Expect photos to come as I accomplish each goal!