The Mid-Year Check In

It’s already August?!  When did this happen?!

Well, obviously I haven’t been around for a while, and seeing as “Devote more time to blogging – aim for one entry each week (at least)” was one of my goals for this year, I thought it might be a good time now to see where else I’m failing (or perhaps excelling).  So here it is!  The mid-year report!

Goal #1: Get a full-time job.  Verdict: CHECK!

I most definitely did manage to get a full time job!  (Which is a large part of why I’m failing on some of these other goals – 8 hours is a huge chunk of time to lose in your day…)  I am happy to say that the job is exactly what I had been looking for – something that pays, comes with full benefits, and doesn’t give me homework.  It’s nothing glamorous or brag-worthy, but it is a job, and the pay is better than my last job, which is a lot more than many of my fellow recent college grads can say.

Goal #2: WRITE!  Verdict: um…I’ll give myself a C on this one…

Yeah, this one…not so much.  I attempted to do Camp NaNoWriMo in June, but the problem was I was attempting to use the word count goal while editing, which is counterproductive since the editing process pretty much requires you to delete stuff.  Needless to say things became far too frustrating and so I just threw in the towel.  However I have started in on a new story for the August Camp NaNoWriMo, so YAY!  I’m clearly out of practice though.  Writing is like a muscle that needs development.  If you use it every day, you only get stronger.  If you forget about it and ignore it for 6 months, then when you try to use it again it screams at you yelling “THIS IS SO HARD!!!” and it makes the whole process rather painful.  This first week is sort of my hell week right now.  But we’re going to push through!

Goal #3: Publish a novel before I’m 30.  Verdict: I haven’t failed yet!

Thankfully this was one of those long-term goals, so while there’s still plenty room to fail, there’s also plenty room left to succeed! 🙂

Goal #4: Finishing a first draft of a novel by the end of this year.  Verdict: can’t call it just yet…

Thankfully the year is not yet over, and I’m still only at the beginning of the August Camp NaNoWriMo (and there’s still the November NaNoWriMo which I’ve been DYING to participate in ever since I heard of it – this is the first year I won’t have piles of homework to keep me from it!), so there is still hope that I might pull out a complete draft of a novel that actually makes it all the way to “The End.”  I just need to, you know, write it.

Goal #5: Submit short stories to writing contests. Verdict: hazy…

I was totally gung-ho about this at the start of the year, but then I did a bit of research.  According to an article in Poets&Writers, most writers end up spending a ton of money on contest entrance fees and then don’t actually win the contests (or when they do, they’re maybe only breaking even instead of making a profit).  So that sort of deflated my hopes.  But lately I’ve stumbled on a few different sites/contests that don’t require entrance fees and yet still offer decent prize money, so I may give the whole contest thing another try.

Goal #6: Explore video blogging.  Verdict: Fail.

Video blogging is definitely something I’d like to get into (and when I stumbled across a few blogs/vlogs about VEDA I got really excited about the idea) but the thing is that I don’t have a whole lot of time on my hands as it is with my current work schedule, and I’ve been pretty much abusing the free time I do have watching Smallville and other TV shows I never fully appreciated when I was younger.  I figure I should probably focus a bit more on the writing stuff for now instead of getting distracted by every–ooh!  shiny!

Goal #7: Devote more time to blogging.  Verdict: so far, fail.

Half the reason I hopped on here again is because one of my friends has been keeping a blog of her summer adventures in Spain.  Now I don’t lead a terribly interesting life, and I don’t get to visit cool places every day of my summer, but that does not mean I cannot keep a blog.  On the contrary, I think keeping a blog might encourage me to do more interesting things with my free time.  That still leaves the problem of me finding enough free time for the blogging and the writing and things like laundry, washing the car, and running errands, however.  This whole life-juggling thing is a little tricky.

Goal #8: Make time for friends.  Verdict: I’ve got time…

Here’s the tricky thing about getting older and entering the “real world” with a full time job: it’s a lot harder to hang out with your friends.  Either your friends’ work schedules don’t mesh well with your work schedule, or they have significant others that take precedence over their limited free time, or they don’t have a job yet (a common theme in this economy) and have a rather tight budget, or they’re out of town (or even out of the country) for school/vacation.  All of these are totally understandable and I do not blame my friends at all for any of this.  It is, however, annoying when you go through your entire list of friends only to find that you’re going to have to go see the new Spiderman movie alone if you want to see it in theaters because no one is available to see it with you.

Goal #9: Enroll in group fitness classes.  Verdict: doesn’t count due to injury

I was actually doing really well with this – the new fitness center had opened up near my house and I was going to it as often as I could to take kickboxing, Zumba, cardio fusion, and a bunch of other group fitness classes.  But somewhere in all that, I did what I always manage to do – I injured myself.  This one, apparently, wasn’t entirely my fault.  Turns out I was born with feet way too narrow for their own good with arches much higher than the average person.  This combined with old workout shoes that didn’t have enough arch support to begin with meant that my feet decided to develop neuromas (the nerves were being pinched, didn’t like it, and decided to swell – I don’t recommend it).  So I got orthodics and things are on the up and up, but that cut out like 3+ months of workouts.  Now I’m slowly reintroducing myself to running, and hopefully come fall I’ll be back in gear.  At least I hope so.  I need more excuses to wear my sexy new running shoes.Yes, I just called my running shoes sexy.  For some girls it’s heels.  For me, nothing makes my legs feel sexier than a nice pair of running shoes and a bit of runner’s muscle toning my legs.

Goal #10: Read more.  Verdict: I’ll give myself a B.

I have definitely been reading, that cannot be denied.  Thing is the books I’ve been reading lately aren’t rapid page-turners.  They like to meander and take their time telling the story.  So, naturally, I take my time reading the story.  I’ve also noticed that while I would love to spend my lunch break reading, it’s often hard to do so when everyone else wants to talk during lunch break, and I don’t really want to be that loner who never socializes and always misses out on the inside jokes, but…at the same time…I want to read.  I may have to find some other way to strike the right balance here.  For now, I am at least reading.  I just know that I could be reading a lot more.

Total scores:

definite, no questions, passing score: 3

to be determined, disqualified, or otherwise uncertain: 5

definite fail: 2

Well that’s actually better than I thought – at least my definite fails are less than my definite successes.  Yes, there’s a lot in the hazy category, but we’ll think of those as the “needs improvement” category.

What about you?  How are your new year’s resolutions/goals holding up?