Saturday, January 10, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

Inspired by Crankosaur's new year's resolution list, I've decided to make my own. Of course, she put hers up on January 1st, and I'm just getting around to it on the 10th. Oh well.

1) Stop procrastinating. As evidenced by my new year's resolutions being put up 10 days after the start of the new year, I have a bit of an issue with putting things off - and putting things off, and then putting them off some more.

2) Learn a foreign language. I took French in high school, but I only learned three concrete phrases; those would be "I don't know" ("Je ne sais pas"), how to order my coffee with milk and sugar and a dose of politeness ("un cafe au lait avec sucre, si vous plait" - now without the "avec sucre" part), and "Where is the bathroom?" ("Ou  sont le toilettes?"). I tried to teach myself French via Buffy the Vampire Slayer, figuring that I knew most of the episodes by heart and so if I watched it dubbed in French - and with Spanish subtitles - I could learn two languages with one television show. I failed, miserably. I was also put off by the fact that some of the episode titles are different in different languages, based on cultural differences and translational difficulties. I'm bound and determined to succeed this time around.

3) Subscribe to two of the many magazines I covet. I'm thinking probably "Bitch" and "The Nation" - though my father would prefer if I subscribed to "Ms." instead of "Bitch", because he is uncomfortable with the title of "Bitch". Since it is his house (well, technically I think it may be my mother's...) and he's going to have to continue living in this town the size of a postage stamp whereas I will hopefully one day escape, I may take his comfort levels into consideration.

4) Work out on a weekly basis. I danced at least once a week for an hour and a half to two hours from the time I was 4 to the time I was 17. At college, I walked everywhere and frequently. Now though, my physical activity is basically limited to lifting the boxes supplies come in at work - and having the little Italian ladies tell me to grab one of the men or to use the handcart, so it is both a workout and an exercise in stealthiness. At some point in my life, this will not be enough exertion to keep me healthy. So I think it may be better to start now. Maybe I'll buy my sisters the Wii Fit for their birthday and then use it myself.

5) Hammer out a list of 12 charities to give to, giving money to one charity per month. This is crucial. Right now, I'm haphazard with my giving. I have a long list of places I give money to, but I need a more concrete system of giving. Especially since every charity I give to then calls repeatedly or sends me letter after letter asking me for more money. I would love to say, "Sorry, this isn't your month. I'm giving to ____ this month. You're July's check."

6) To not buy any more clothing than is absolutely necessary. I have a lot of clothing. I don't need any more. So I have resolved to not buy an item unless it is to replace another item.

7) Use my Gap Reward points to buy clothing for charitable foundations. This ties directly in to number 6.

8) Post more on the shared blog. Right now, John's doing all the heavy lifting. That isn't fair to him, nor was it really in the original plan.

9) See my friends more often. I fall off the face of the earth for months on end sometimes, and I don't get to see my friends  - who, by way of being my friends, are actually people I like a lot. It is a sad state of affairs.

10) Write a novel. I'm going to follow Grammar Girl's advice on this and bang out a crappy novel first and put it aside for six months, during which time I will work on my 'good' (good being relative) novel. I'm going to hunker down and do this!

11) Blog daily. This one, unlike a couple of the others, seems like something I could possibly achieve, even though I already fudged by not posting on January 1st.

12) Learn an instrument. I'm thinking of buying a fairly small keyboard. I love music, and I listen to a lot of it. I've tried a couple of instruments, but since I can't read music it was a rough time. So, really this should be two resolutions - to learn how to read music and to learn an instrument. I think it would be fun, and it is supposedly excellent for maintaining mental health.

13) Volunteer somewhere. I feel like I'm frittering away my life, not contributing to the greater society around me. I want to fix that.

14) Read more. I read a lot of blogs and newspapers and magazines, but I feel like my intake of actual full length books has decreased exponentially over the years. Like, my attention span is getting shorter and shorter. I have books I want to read, and I should hop to reading them. I hate looking at books I've started but now have to start again due to the length of time that has passed from when I last even looked at said book. Blah on that, I say!

Looking at my list, one thing becomes clear: I need more time in my day.


John said...

Hmmm, those are some lofty goals.

I would say that 3, 5-7, 9, 13 and 14 are very doable. I would advise that you choose to do either 2 OR 12 OR 11, because each one of those is a major commitment that will take up a huge chunk of your time.

Wii Fit is pretty nifty, but there are caveats that you should be aware of. ALWAYS stretch before doing exercises, and make sure that you're stretching properly (your background in dance should take care of any problems there.) I had a pretty solid routine going on mine until I threw my back out, all because I didn't stretch properly beforehand. One of MY resolutions is to get back on the balance board!

John said...

oh, and you missed an opportunity for a shameless plug.

MediaMaven said...

Many of my resolutions are the same, and I love your charity idea. I'm going to steal it. One of my other goals (and I've been thinking about this for a while, not just an "in 2009" thing) is to just sit down and do it, "figure out my life", as if that will ever happen.

But I'm with John--we'd all like for there to be more hours in the day, and it would be too hard to seriously write a novel, learn a language and an instrument. Pick one. I think you should try watching a Buffy ep in French with French subtitles, although doing it your way was very amusing. And even though your Dad prefers Ms., in this case the fact that he owns the house you live in does not rule your subscription rights, especially if you pay for said subscription.

I'd also add "Watch Buffy with MM" to that list. It would kill many birds with one stone. :)

petpluto said...

"I'd also add "Watch Buffy with MM" to that list. It would kill many birds with one stone. :)"

Ah, but would you watch it in French? ;-D

crispybenfranklin said...

Je suis le pompiste=I am a gas station attendent. Now you're practically a native-speaker!
I really like WiiFit. My only problem with it is that it's really judgemental, but if you skip the weigh-ins there's no problem.