2013 Resolutions

The new year is right around the corner.  I can’t believe that it is nearly 2013.  I still find myself accidentally writing 2011 on assignments or in my planner.

As is the custom with New Year’s Eve, I’ve been reflecting on the past year and have developed a few resolutions to hopefully help make 2013 the best year yet.

I am declaring 2013 the year of strategy.  I have lots of goals that I want to achieve, but I always get lost in what steps I need to take or where I need to go.  For each of my resolutions, I am developing a strategy for how to accomplish them and maintaining motivation to see the goal through to the end.

My first goal is to not only get back into running, but to train for and race in the Chicago Marathon in October of 2013.  As you already know, I ran cross country and track in college and always loved running long-distances.  I remember when I was a freshman in high school I was so driven to be the best that I would run around the block every day after school, even in the middle of February.  This was no small feat because we lived out in the country and a jaunt around the block would measure up to about 4 miles every time.  I had no idea about how to train back then and the longest race I would run was the 2-mile.  But after graduation I somehow fell out of practice and lost my love for the run.  It’s hard to maintain that passion without fifteen teammates always out on the trails with you, but I’m determined to get it back, even if I have to chase it down.  I start training tomorrow with a very short run and will continue training for a 5K, 10K, a half marathon, and the full marathon in October.  This is a big commitment, but I made a promise to myself  that I would complete my first marathon before I turned 26 and I’m getting too close for comfort.

My second goal is to focus more on my relationships.  That includes my relationship with C, my relationship with my family, and my relationship with my sorority sisters and friends from school.  I’m going to make a greater effort in 2013 to reach out, to enjoy company, and to truly appreciate the wonderful people that I do have in my life because they are so special to me.  I also want to make a bigger effort at reaching out to people in my program and at school.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned from moving to Ypsi and going to graduate school it is that it is incredibly difficult to make friends.  Every single person in this class or that project group has an incredible story and already has tons of friends from home who already know them.  So how do I propose to be someone’s friend?  Do I ask them out for coffee?  A beer after an evening class?  I’m determined to figure out the method and find some friends.

My third goal is to truly dig in deep and thrive in my classes this coming semester and next fall.  I didn’t do too bad grade-wise this semester, but I definitely know how I could have improved my grades.  I need to reach out to professors, ask questions, go to office hours, and be more organized and responsible.  I’m paying a lot of money to work with some pretty incredible people and I need to step out of my comfort zone and take advantage of the opportunities that I have.  I’m already working on this goal through applying to participate in my program’s Alternative Spring Break where I’ll (hopefully!) spend my spring break volunteering with an organization in New York City.

My fourth goal is for you, dear readers. I’m trying to create a better strategy for developing posts, timing of posts, and just further developing the blog.  I might dabble in Pinterest, do a better job on Twitter, or create a few more series.  Maybe I’ll ask for guest bloggers, post more photos, or get deep in my personal life.  Wherever I decide to go in the next year, I’m happy that you’re with me and that you’ve been with me.

Expect updates periodically on how my goals are going.  What are your resolutions for the new year?  How do you keep track of your progress?

Happy New Year!  Let’s make 2013 the best year yet!

XOXO

A

NaNoFAILMo

That’s right, friends.  I said it.  NaNoFAILMo.  I’ve done it again.  I’ve started a novel, fully intending to complete it, and have thus far failed.  Sure, maybe I’ll struggle until the end of the month and end November staring red-eyed and disappointed at my computer screen again, but for some reason, I’m not entirely upset with myself.  And I’ll tell you why.

It’s because I have been writing.  I’ve been keeping up with this blog (somewhat!) regularly and all while managing to do better in classes and stay organized.  This month has been crazy with projects and papers and presentations, and it’s only going to get crazier.  But even though I’ve been slacking on my novel, I know that it will always be there, waiting patiently for me to write Olivia, my MC, along her epic adventures with her rag-tag group of sidekicks.  I might do some more work, and maybe I’ll even stage my own month-long writing adventure when I’m less busy, but this November for me, despite the fact that I probably won’t finish, is still a success.

This further proves to me that, though I might complain, stay up too late, and drink too many vanilla lattes, I love being busy.  I thrive in the pressure and enjoy the stress.

And that’s just the way it is.

Onward!

XOXO

A

Five Fall Favorites

September is here. The weather here in Michigan hasn’t quite realized that it is no longer summer, but fall is definitely on its way.

People base the changing seasons on lots of different things: weather, the calendar, or even the arrival of Starbucks’ seasonal treats. Fall is probably my favorite season, followed closely by winter, and so I thought I’d share with you some of my fall favorites!

  1. Colors! Sure, one day you’re crossing the quad and wondering when the seasons are going to change, then BAM! All the leaves are bursting into thousands of different hues – orange, gold, purple, yellow, and tons of others gorgeous colors. Be sure to take time and notice the leaves changing this year. Instead of staring down at your phone during your walk to work/school, put that phone away and take in this beautiful time of year. Take a walk in the evening, sit down and read outside, or go for a run and enjoy the beautiful autumnal palette.
  2. Apple picking and pumpkin carving! Alright, so I haven’t picked a pumpkin since I was in high school, but it’s a tradition that I am determined to bring back. Before moving north for school, C and I lived in a tiny studio apartment that only had two small windows and had very little space for seasonal items (i.e. pumpkins, Christmas tree). That being said, I have told C that this fall will be quite different. I’m going to insist that we do those cheesy fall activities like pumpkin carving, apple picking, and even a corn maze or two! Traditions are good, whether they’re cheesy or not. And opportunities for cheesy traditions abound in autumn.
  3. Plain and simple – FOOTBALL. I am a crazy person when it comes to football. Football has always been an indicator of the changing season to me. Whether it meant I was gearing up for marching band practices in high school or settling in to finish homework in my dorm room on Sunday afternoons, football has always been in my life. I am currently running two Fantasy Football teams (Delta Tau Chi Pledges and the Chupacabras) and have already been to two NCAAF games this season. I am a huge Indianapolis Colts fan and am violently supportive of the Michigan State Spartans. If anybody ever wants to talk football, count me in.
  4. Back to school. Yes, I have always been a nerd. And I’ve come to realize that I will always be a nerd. That being said, I love school. After a year of working in the real world following my graduation from DePauw University, I decided that I definitely needed to get back to school in order to pursue the kind of career that I wanted. As an Art History major focusing on medieval art, I didn’t have a lot of practical options when it came to career choices.  So I’ve chosen to attend the School of Information at the University of Michigan to pursue my Master of Science in Information while specializing in Archives and Records Management and possibly Library and Information Science. It’s a mouthful of a title, I know, but I can already tell after one week that it is going to be an incredible experience. Difficult, but rewarding.
  5. Winter is coming. Being from Michigan, I am used to a lot of snow action in the winter. And while most people despise the snow and the cold weather…I love it. I can’t get enough of it. I love the entire season. I love preparing for Christmas, the feeling of goodness in the air, the warm treats and delicious drinks, and who can say no to a nice viewing of The Muppet Christmas Carol?! Call me crazy but this is, by far, my favorite thing about fall – winter is only one season away!

These are a few of my favorite things about fall!  What are yours?  Do you live for Pumpkin Spice Lattes or do you long for scarf season?  Is football your favorite?

XOXO

A