I want the world to know I burn for you

OK.  So here we are, almost a month in to 2014, and I feel quite behind.  Not behind where it counts, on my thesis (157 pages and counting) or on my books (finished the rough draft of Book 3, Book 1 is almost finished and ready to go to beta readers, and Book 2 is in its first round of edits), but on self-care, and setting my goals for this year.  Last year, I made a list of 10 goals, and I achieved six of them.  Not too shabby!  In the last month or so I’ve realized that I’m definitely a person who needs something to strive for, something to drive my nature.  2013 was SUCH an amazing year.  As soon as I got over the hump of my divorce and setting massive goals for myself, I went on to hit most of them — and feel really good about myself in the process.  So without further ado:

Goals for 2014:

1. Graduate.  Well, this is a no-brainer.  Right now I’m slated to graduate on May 15, 2014.  I’d say “fingers crossed”, but I don’t believe luck has anything to do with it.

2. Complete my Master’s thesis.  Obviously this goes along with 1.

3. Get a second job.  Ah, this is the toughie.  My hopeful plan is to start shopping my resume even before graduation, in the hopes of getting a summer job.  I’d love to be teaching this summer, and hopefully I’ll score a teaching position by fall.  But even if I don’t, I’ll need to find a second job to pay for my student loans.  Even if I have to work retail, I’ll have to grab something.  I’m fortunate enough to have a really great, secure day job right now that pays enough for me to live on (but probably not enough when the student loans start rolling in, come June).

4. Finish C25K.  I was doing SO WELL with this last year!  I made it all the way to Week 7 before arthritis sidelined me, and between school and the book, I gave up on it.  I restarted C25K this week, this time with a 1.0 incline, so I didn’t feel like I was completely back at square one.  So far, so good.  I’m doing Week 1, Day 3 today.  We’ll see how this goes.

5. Climb Bear Mountain.  I climbed Mt. Washington in September of 2013, and it was an amazing, amazing experience.  And one that I will never repeat.  In hindsight, with my physical issues, it was dangerous and foolhardy and I was in no way prepared for it.  But that doesn’t mean I want to stop climbing in general.  Drea suggested Bear Mountain in CT for this summer, and I think I’ll go for that with her.  Could be fun!  And at 1/3 the height of Washington, it isn’t nearly as dangerous.

6. Work out an adult budget.  *sigh*  I am so bad at this.  I’m great at paying my bills, I’m great at putting money away, I’m not so great at avoiding skidding into payday with minimal money in my checking account.  This needs to stop.  ESPECIALLY with the possibility that I very well may be living on my own come May, with student loans rolling in.

7. Stop having kittens over it and send the book out to more beta readers. Drea read Book 1 and she loved it.  She keeps asking for more.  I need to get over my ridiculous fear and send it to other people.

8. Get over my fears and ship the book to a publisher.  Damn right.

9. Work on my fire spinning, get more prolific with staff and flow wand.

10. Lose at least 10 lbs.  I’m on MyFitnessPal and I’m back to three times a week at the gym.  Hopefully this sticks this year.

I think that’s quite enough to be going on now.  Obviously I’m allowed to add goals as I go.

 

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Not how I wanted to start off the year…

I’m manic today.

Two of my books are missing for my thesis.  Two.  I ordered them from Barnes and Noble a week and a half ago, and as of last night, I hadn’t seen them.  They were delivered by #$(#&$*(@&$ UPS to the BACK door of my apartment building, which is someone else’s private residence.  Usually, when this happens, they put the packages on the back steps leading up to my apartment.  Not so much this time.  I fucking hate UPS, I really do.  And they didn’t even really respond to my complaint, just said that I had to be a registered UPS user to file a complaint.  Fuck you very much.  I’m hoping that one of the boys who live downstairs is home this afternoon and that they have my package.  If they don’t, I’m well and truly screwed for my deadline for next week.

I have double- and triple-booked myself for this week, which is also bad.  I don’t want to spend every waking minute doing thesis but that might just be exactly what I end up doing.  I’m on my fourth cup of coffee today, that should carry me at least until 1 AM.  Lunch was nonexistent — the soup that I had in my car apparently froze and then thawed into sludge and was inedible.  So I’ve had toast and coffee all day, whee.

I have to spend tomorrow afternoon at Verizon (my phone contract with David is up as of today and I need to go on my own plan) and Wednesday afternoon at the DMV (have to register my car in my own name).  What joy is mine.  Yes, I would love to spend something like $1000 this week.  I don’t even HAVE that money in my account, I’m going to have to chip into savings, which really upsets me because I have more in savings than I’ve ever had and I HATE chipping into savings, but at the same time, I knew I would have to do that when I got the car signed over to me ANYWAY, so it’s not the end of the world.  Hoping that I can get a decent phone with my free upgrade through Verizon and that I don’t have to pay for anything really up front.

I do have SOME good news.  After a fruitless six weeks of trying to have my lung issues diagnosed, I finally went to Urgent Care in Newington and they took care of it.  All of my tests (EKG, chest x-ray) came back negative, and I apparently have the heart of an 18 year old (which is awesome), but my cough is horrible, really raspy and hacking, and I’m having trouble breathing.  So the doctor is treating me for pneumonia, bronchitis, and asthma.  I’m on prednisone, a z-pack, and an inhaler.  And I’m happy to say that this battery of meds is working.  I made it through the night on Saturday without choking or gasping for air, and my lungs don’t feel quite so heavy.  So SOMETHING is working.  And that’s great.

I am nine days away from the deadline for my lit review and my perfectionism has resulted in procrastination which has resulted in panic attacks.  The three p’s of being a Virgo.  Amazing.

Work is insanity.  My boss’s email got hacked, and we’ve been inundated with phone calls all day about it.  One of my coworkers is even more manic than I am, and I just got sniped at by a woman who misunderstood me on the phone.

Is it Friday yet?

Whoa! When did that happen?!

How did I let two months slip away from me?  Is anyone even reading this thing still?

Yesterday, November 18th, marked one year since I moved out of the apartment I shared with my then-husband, so I was feeling a burst of nostalgia and that urge to look back and see what’s changed, what I’ve accomplished in the last year.  It’s not an anniversary I ever thought I wanted to commemorate, but it’s one that I’m glad that I have.  Because when I look back on the past year, I see…a lot of joy, a lot of growing, a lot of learning.  I hadn’t lived by myself or with roommates other than David since 2009, and that’s quite a long time.  But I learned that I am still financially independent, I’m doing well, and even though I still don’t sleep alone as well as I did when there was someone else there, I sleep just fine.  I have no regrets about my conduct or my behavior in the past year.  I think I’ve done all right for myself, for the most part.

So what’s happening in the life of me?

School: I have 75.25 pages completed in a rough draft of my senior thesis.  I originally had hope that it would be completed by Christmas, but I see now that this was a ridiculous goal.  Although I technically am ahead of schedule (with two and a half completed chapters of four), my professor does not think that the editing process will be complete before the spring.  There are two pieces of good news that came along with this.  The first being, I don’t have to defend my thesis (which is AMAZING), and the second being that Dr. LW promised me that, if I complete all four chapters by December 20th, she won’t give me any work to do over Christmas vacation.  Which means FOUR glorious weeks off.  I can’t even imagine.  I may just be inebriated for most of it.
Dating: Well, I’ve gone on a couple of dates.  None of them really panned out.  That’s okay.  I’m awfully freakin’ busy.  The right guy will come along eventually.  Right now I’m not trying to push anything.
Writing: Would you believe that, on top of my already crazy thesis writing, I’ve undertaken the task of writing fiction?  I have!  My friend Jess and I pulled out the notes we had on a series we’d thought of writing back in 2007, dusted them off, and rebooted the whole thing.  And would you believe that the rough drafts of the first TWO books are finished?  There will eventually be five, but I’m really surprised (and psyched) that they’ve been coming along as well as they have!  I’m also doing NaNoWriMo (because I am completely, utterly insane) and I’m already at over 43,000 words with over two weeks to go.  I’m a writing machine, guys.
Holidays: I am so, so psyched for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.  Last year’s holidays were rough at best, between the separation still being fresh and the question of divorce still up in the air.  This year, there’s nothing standing in the way of me and a wonderful holiday.  I couldn’t be more excited.  Plans are underway to decorate the apartment; Sam inherited a fake tree from one of her friends and I have to get my ornaments and creche from David’s basement.  I even managed to find Advent candles, so now I just need to pull together a wreath.  As for Christmas shopping?  I’ve barely started.  Not even thinking about it right now, guys.  Not even a blip on the radar.  I just paid my credit card bill (almost in full — the rest will come on Friday) and then I can use it for holiday shopping or emergencies if need be.   The only person who is “set” (as in, I know what I’m getting for him and just haven’t bought it yet) is my father.  Everyone else?  Well, it’ll come in time.  Always does.
I leave you with this hilarious photo from Halloween.  That’s me and Drea in the foreground.  Can you spot Jess?

Now I know I was built to last

(This is going to be image-heavy)Friday afternoon, around 4 PM, Drea and I left for New Hampshire.  It was a four hour drive that turned into something like five and a half hours because of Friday afternoon traffic.  We had fun on the drive up, as much fun as two people can have who are stuck in traffic and tired, and at least one of whom is terribly anxious.  The whole time, the climb was in the back of my mind, and I kept thinking, what if I can’t do this?  What if I get hurt?  What will happen?

We got to the hotel around 9:20, and guys…the proprietor was a dick.  He reminded me SO MUCH of our old landlord, Derrick, who used to just barge into our apartment for one reason or another (and who, Drea was convinced, was a sex offender).  He yelled at me when he found out we had two extra people in our room, and insisted I pay an extra $40.  I didn’t say anything because I was just so tired.  But when we finally got INTO our room, I burst into tears.  Drea had to sit down and hug me and tell me, yeah, it’s going to be okay.  You are GOING to climb that mountain tomorrow.

I don’t know why I was psyching myself out so early.  I usually take the Crazy Bruce approach to things like this.  “What’s the worst that can happen if you fall short?”  Is anyone going to die?  No.  (Well…funny enough, when Drea and I were getting water at base camp, the boys saw a list of fatalities, which included some 20-year olds, recently, on the trail we were taking.  Scary).  I had used this approach when Drea had been worrying about falling short on Katahdin.  But I couldn’t do it for me.

After she calmed me down, and we called Jess, Drea and I went to the gas station to get some provisions and batteries for the air mattress pump.  And when we got there, we beheld the glory that is New Hampshire gas stations:

Beer, cider, and wine in the gas station.  WHY DON’T WE HAVE THIS IN CONNECTICUT?!

Matt and Paul got to the hotel around 12 AM, Sam arrived close to 2:30 AM.  As I guess you can probably imagine, I didn’t sleep.  I was way too jumpy, too scared.  When the alarm went off at 6:45 AM, I was relieved.  One way or another, it would be over with by the end of the day.

We hit a Dunks before getting to Pinkham Notch, and then…we began.

Sam was there, too, but I took a terrible picture of him and Drea at base camp so I didn’t post it here.

We took the Tuckerman Ravine trail, which I’ve taken twice previously, so I knew exactly what it entailed.  The first two miles are nothing but straight walking, on boulders, which can get tiring, but it’s nothing compared to the latter half of the trail.  By about halfway, it was evident that Drea and Paul were in the best shape, and me, Matt, and Sam were lagging badly.  I think Sam was mainly lagging because of me, not because he needed to…but I was glad he did (more on that later).

We finally got to Tuckerman’s Ravine, which is just…beautiful.

(Yes, Paul’s in a utilikilt)

Hard to believe, but that bowl of the ravine?  We climbed that.  Seriously.

Climbing the Ravine was the worst for me.  I was seriously hurting by the end of it.  Every time I had to lift my left leg above my hip, it just burned.  I started crying a little at that point.  Sam held back and kept saying “You can do this, you know you can.  I know it hurts but you can do it.  It’s less than 2 miles, you’re already halfway, you can do this.”  But it was a nasty, nasty leg of the climb.

Finally we hit tree-line and got to sit for about 20 minutes and just breathe.

You can’t tell, but that hill behind Drea?  That’s the top.  A lot further away than it looks.

There was still .80 of a mile left.  And I could not have believed that it could be worse than the Ravine.  It wasn’t, but at that point, I was so tired and sore that everything was pretty terrible.  At this point, the hike becomes a boulder scramble.  You have a lot of points where you need to use your hands to scrabble.

Drea is optimistic.  I, on the other hand…am not.

We started the boulder scramble.  Paul and Drea pulled far ahead, and the three of us who remained, lagged.  At this point, I was almost exclusively crying.  I had to stop to rest over and over again, and I felt terrible.  On multiple counts.  My pelvic bones ached, I was embarrassed to be crying, and I thought other hikers looking at me were thinking things like “God, what a baby, it’s not that bad of a hike, get over it.”  What I didn’t know at the time was that Drea had gone up ahead, and was telling almost everyone who talked to her that her friend who had broken her pelvis was climbing behind her.  One person said to her “She is the biggest badass on this mountain.”  When I found that out later, that felt pretty great.

I need to insert here, because it’s important, I guess: I had seriously underestimated the gravity of that fact.  Like I did when my aunt told me back in ’05 that I was ‘lucky to be alive’, I had just brushed it aside.  I knew that it would hurt, I KNEW it wouldn’t be easy.  But I never thought that my pelvis would be the thing that stopped me on the mountain.  I thought it would be me.  I never thought “You know, you might just be physically incapable of doing this.”  Until I got to the boulder scramble.  There were a bad few minutes where I told Sam “I don’t think I can do it.  It’s not endurance, I just don’t think I can physically finish this climb.”  Of course, when you get past Tuckerman’s Ravine…you really have one of two options.  Get to the top, and take the bus down.  Or go back down on your own, which hurts probably more.  But I wasn’t really thinking that in the moment.

We finally got to the point where I could see the top.  We could see the orange weather poles.  I knew from experience that you see those poles, and then as you get closer, they fall out of sight again over the ridge…and then you see them when you hit the top.  So I knew we were getting close.

And then the worst thing happened.  I put my foot down on a loose rock, and I wrenched my ankle.

That was the worst.  I burst into tears and I just kept saying “No, no, I am so close, I can see it, it’s right there, no, this isn’t happening.”  Sam, the perfect Boy Scout, whipped out a couple of handkerchiefs from his pack and set my ankle, binding it up.  He said “You’re right, we’re damn close and you’re going to do this.  I know you are.”  He immobilized it perfectly, and I was able to keep going.  Turns out, in the end, it was just a wrench, not a sprain (thank GOD), and I was able to keep going.

But the last leg was bad.  I was sore, I was tired, I was hurting, I couldn’t stop crying.  Also, the wind speed was 50 MPH near the summit, so that was working against us too.  I almost felt like God was saying “You want this, but do you want it badly enough?  You gotta work for it.”  Hikers kept passing us, and saying “You are so close, you can do it.”  A man in his sixties patted me on the arm and said “I’m a Giants fan, Patriots, and I’m pulling for you.  You can do this.”  Drea and Paul appeared with a sign they had made with one of the gift shop bags, that said “Go Meg!  6,288 feet!  30 got nothing on you!”  But I was just…I couldn’t do it.  I could see the top.  But it still felt so far away.

Drea and Paul and Matt and Sam hung behind me and kept talking.  Drea said “You’re going to do this.  For yourself, for all those people who doubted you.  Everyone who said you couldn’t do it.”  And I gave it one more surge, one more push, and stumbled over the step into the parking lot.

And I burst into tears.

I stumbled around in a circle for a minute, gasping, crying, staring all around me, and then I sat down on that rock and just sobbed.  Drea sat next to me on one side, Sam on the other, and it was one of the best moments of my life.  I did it.  It was painful, it was horrible, but they were all right.  Once I was there, it all went away.  It was perfect.  Drea asked before she took that picture, and I felt kind of like “Well, I’m bawling my eyes out, do I want to remember this?”  But I did.  Paul said, when he saw it “there never was a more genuine moment”, and that’s pretty accurate.  I had nothing left to give.  But I was there.  And it was perfect.

And then, we summitted.  Because the summit is actually further away than just the top.  But the last leg was easy.  I did it with all of them.  Yeah, I limped my way up.  But I made it up.  Which is more than many people ever do, as Drea and Sam kept pointing out.

They let me summit first.  Even though by rights I should have gotten there last…they let me summit first.  I have, without a doubt, the best friends in the world.

This is the picture I sent my parents.  Who had no idea that I climbed the mountain until it was over.  I wrote “This is what I did today!”

Three times.  In 1994 (age 10), 2002 (age 19), and 2013 (age 29).  And guys, three times will be it.  Three is enough.  I knew when I reached the top, and I knew the next day when my pelvic bones were on fire…this will be it.  I will never summit Mt. Washington again.  But it doesn’t matter.  I did the climb.  I did it when it mattered to me.  I had to know if I could do it.  And I did.  I summitted Mt. Washington for a third time on a pelvis that had been broken in three places.

I couldn’t have done it without these guys.  They pushed me, every step of the way.  Because this was never just another climb to me, and they knew it.  This was something I had to do.  I had to.  I knew in my heart, if I didn’t do it this year, I’d never do it again.  I had to do the climb.  And I did it.

My parents were shocked.  My dad was jealous!  He said I should be proud of myself.  He couldn’t believe I did it.  A lot of people, I guess, couldn’t believe I did it.  I’m okay with that.  Like I said…I didn’t realize what a big fucking deal breaking my pelvis would be on my ability to climb.  When I summitted at age 10, it was nothing.  No pain.  At 19, sure, some pain, but I could handle it.  At 29…everything hurt.  I really would not have finished the climb without these guys pushing me.  This is the last time.

But I did it.

That is something that nobody can take away from me.  No matter what happens to me the rest of my life, I did this.

I’ve been beat up and broken down,
and I’ve been there a thousand times.
I may have walked through the worst in hell, my friend,
and we’ve all got our reasons why.
I’d give my life for the things I had,
and it all flies by so fast.
I may have walked through the worst in hell, my friend.
Now I know I was built to last.
– Redlight Kings, “Built to Last”

Honestly, Changes

I’ve been debating what to do with this blog now that my divorce is six days from being finalized.  Because this really, truly, began as a “divorce blog” — a place where I could be completely honest, and chronicle my navigation through separation and divorce.  I began it about a month after we made the decision to separate, and now the journey is almost over.

In the past, my modus operandi has been to just jettison the blog in favor of starting a new one, with a different URL and a fresh start.  I don’t want to do that this time.  There’s a reason why I picked the name “Honestly, Megan”, instead of something separation- or divorce-related.  I wanted to allow room for change, for the story to evolve and transition into happier content.  I wanted to be able to continue the journey, long after the ink was dry on our divorce decree, long after I ceased signing my checks “Megan B****” and went back to the familiar old “Megan F******”.  There was a time, a few months ago, when I didn’t see a foreseeable end to the rocky, bumpy saga that this has all been.  But the end is in sight.  It is six days away.

And it is time to think of new things, of where I want this blog to go.  Some of them seem pretty obvious.  Others are gazing pretty far into the future.

Academia, or chronicling my climb from neophyte to true historian.  This one seems painfully obvious.  I’m slated to graduate either in December ’13 (doubtful at this point) or May ’14 (more realistic, I think).  Once I complete my Master’s degree, I plan to try to get a job, but also to explore the option of going for my Ph.D., which was recommended to me by my thesis editor, Dr. W.  The idea is terrifying, but exhilarating!  Obviously the GRE comes first (I didn’t have to take it going in to CCSU)…so that will be fun.   My first choices would be Boston College, Boston University, or Northeastern University, but I wouldn’t say no to a school in the D.C. area as well!  Most sources recommend applying to at least five schools for candidacy, so there’s quite a bit to think about!  Obviously with that goes…

Moving from Connecticut.  David and I had always planned to move to Massachusetts (his home state) at some point during our lives.  Clearly, the dream of us moving together has fizzled out, though he plans on going himself.  And naturally, he assumes that I will not go.  But why not?  I have friends in Massachusetts, it’s only two hours from my parents, and I could be quite happy there.  The last year saw me alter my plans and resign myself to living in Connecticut for the rest of my life…but it doesn’t have to be that way.  With divorce comes the knowledge that I am master of my own destiny; I can do what I like.  I can move where I please.  And…we shall see.

Entering my 30’s.  I’m not going to lie.  I’m a little terrified at the prospect of turning 30 in just over two months.  But as I said in my “About Me” page…my 20’s weren’t exactly a walk in the park.  I’m a little saddened that I spent so much of that decade fumbling in the dark, trying to figure out who I was and what I was doing and how to get healthy again, but I suppose that is what your 20’s are for: screwing up and figuring out who you are.  Of course, there were some bright, happy moments as well: the first three and a half years of my relationship with David were the happiest years of my life (age 24 and 1/2 to 28).  But as I go into my thirties, I go with the realization that it is time for me to do the following things:

– Stop apologizing for who I am and what I believe in.
– Stop living for everyone else, and:- Start living according to what makes me happy, because nobody else is living my life.

(Eventually) dating again.  Eek.  As terrifying as this is…I’ve already gotten a head start.  I’ve been on one date and talked to a few other guys (none of which panned out) and I’m slowly tiptoeing into the dating pool again.  It’s been weird even thinking about it when David and I were still married (on paper), so hopefully it will get easier once everything is finalized.

Children.  This one is in the far distant future, most likely.  I’ve wanted to be a mother since before I even knew I wanted to be married, and I always assumed (in my “I’m never getting married” years) that I would probably end up having to adopt.  I’ve decided that if I am not in a committed relationship by the age of 35, that I will begin the adoption process, even if I have go the foreign adoption route.  Again, this is YEARS away.  Considering that I met, married and divorced David in the span of five years (and two months)…clearly, anything can happen between now and 2018 (when I turn 35…eeek).

Navigating finances.  The plan is (eventually) to buy a house and pay off my student loans.  We’ll see how this plays into the next few years of my life.

Becoming a better fire spinner and continuing involvement with the Wildfire community.  I’m taking on my first staff position in August, and although I can’t go to Wildfire in September (I’m a bridesmaid in a wedding that weekend), I look forward to Wildfire next year, becoming a more intrinsic part of the Wildfire community, and improving my skill on both staff and fans.

Whew!  That’s a long, crazy list of upcoming events, goals, and plans.  I think that’s all more than enough blog fodder, don’t you?

In any case, my short-term (hell, even long-term) goals begin with finishing school.  I’m working on research for my thesis (story of my life) and gearing up for my final year (or half-year) of my Masters’ education.  I’m pretty happy with my apartment (now that the washing machine is no longer busted), and after a short hiatus from running, I am back on the C25K bandwagon!  This week promises to be a roller coaster, but I think after Monday, things will begin to look up.

I hope you’ll come along for the ride!

Come the Spring

It’s another cold, sunny day in central Connecticut, but there’s hope in the air…it’s spring.

My journey to this point has been through fall and winter, without much sunshine and warmth, but this is spring, and it’s a whole ‘nother season.  I have to say that yesterday I struggled through the day (and it was a wet, rainy, sleet-y day) with a cold and aches and misery.  I tried powering through, but around 3 PM I gave up and said “Fuck it.”

Why was I slogging through this shit?  Some days you have to just say “I fold” and give up for the day.  Which is what I did.  I did all the necessary errands (paid my car tax, dropped off my car at the mechanic’s to get the timing belt replaced), emailed my professor my midterm paper, and then went home to crawl in bed.  And that was my day.  I didn’t do homework.  I knitted a little (I’m working on a prayer shawl to donate to church), and I watched The Conspirator” with my sister (a decent film, certainly nothing groundbreaking, and I could live the rest of my life without seeing Alexis Bledel in anything else — my God, she is awful).

And you know what?  I feel better today.  Not 100% — I’m still a little tired and my nose is a tad stuffy.  But probably at about 80%, and I’ll take it.

I’m leaving for Washington, D.C. on Friday afternoon.  The lovely Nicki (my Game of Thrones partner) and I are driving to Maryland the long way (re: around the ridiculous amounts of tolls) and then to D.C. on Saturday, returning to Connecticut on Sunday.  I have been counting down to this trip for about three months, and I seriously cannot wait.

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of reminiscing, and I have to say it’s not only the opposite of constructive, it’s extremely destructive.  The only way that I won’t constantly be tempted to look back, though, is to delete my entire diary (on another website), which I can’t bring myself to do.  The entries may or may not be exactly happy, but they ARE mine.  It’s a record of my life, and even if they aren’t happy, they were my experiences.

I’ve been feeling like I’m stuck in a rut, looking backward, only tentatively moving forward.  And I just can’t do that anymore.  I have to move forward.  It’s the only way I’ll get out of this terrible limbo that I’ve been in since September of 2011.  A year and a half ago.  Hard to believe so much time has passed.  But i can’t keep looking back.  I have to move forward.

I have so much to look forward to this spring and summer: D.C., Wildfire June (if I get a ticket), Wildfire August (if I get tickets), hiking Mt. Washington, finishing my prospectus, finishing my thesis.  And there will be other happy events in there, events I don’t even know about yet.  Too much to look back on the things I’m missing.

The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time. – Abraham Lincoln

 

Little Victories, Week 1

For 2013, I’m going to have a Friday post every single week, for positive victories in my life.  They may not be big things, but they will be things that I am proud of, things I did in the past seven days.  I’m hoping this will keep me focused on the positive, all the good things that are going on in my life.  So this is Week 1 of “Little Victories” (which may or may not always be little).

– My friend Drea saw this beautiful idea for a 2013 memory jar somewhere on line and suggested we all do it.  She probably got it from someone who linked to a Pinterest board.  I don’t do Pinterest, though I do have an account (that is a rant for another day), but I fell in love with this idea, and we’re going to AC Moore after work today to get the supplies to make our own Memory Jars.  And to knit.  Because we do that.

– I made peace with D on New Year’s Eve, which is something I didn’t expect to do.  I stopped by his apartment to pick up my key, because we both feel it’s only right that I retain a house key so long as I still have property and furniture in there.  While I was there, we had a long talk, accompanied by tea and petting Ollie, and both of us seemed to get on the same page and really make peace with each other.  I’m happy to say that in the last seventy-two hours, we have not fought or hurt each other, and that is a major victory in my book.

– I cleaned my apartment from top to bottom on New Year’s Day, allowing me to feel like I’m getting a fresh, clean start.  Of course, there’s already a laundry basket full of clean laundry that needs folding and putting away, but at least it was a start!

– With the exception of Monday (NYE, so it doesn’t really count), I have had homecooked meals every single night this week (and cooked all but one of them, on NYD, which David made).  Dinner this week included: chicken parmesan (Tuesday), grilled chicken and baked potatoes (Wednesday), and chicken cutlets with rice (Wednesday).  I eat a lot of chicken.  That’s okay, chicken is good for you.

– I finished (almost!) all of my Christmas shopping.  I know it’s weird to still be Christmas shopping in January, but my final Christmas party is this weekend, so I had a little extra time.  Plus being sick really knocked me for a loop last week, so I really did need the extra time.

First picture of me in 2013.  I look tired, which I guess is normal for getting over a terrible illness.  But I feel happy, and I think I look pretty happy.

I still feel pretty confident that 2013 is going to be great.

Self-Improvement Goals (I Guess We Can Call Them Resolutions)

I hate the idea of “New Year’s Resolutions” because (at least in my experience) they all get abandoned the minute one of them gets fudged.  I’m tired of giving myself goals like “lose 30 lbs”, “go to the gym multiple times a week”, and “stop eating chocolate” and then abandoning them within two weeks of the new year.  Great start, Meg.

BUT.  I love the concept of a new year, a new slate, and a new chance to do all those things you said you’d do last year, or didn’t realize needed to be done.  SO, without further ado, here’s Megan’s Honest List of Goals for 2013 (in no particular order of importance, I think):

1. Straight A’s one semester?  Let’s make it two more!  I have two more semesters left of graduate school (if all continues to go to plan), and three more classes.  If I can get straight A’s in my remaining two semesters and on my Master’s thesis, I will be an extremely happy camper.  The Virgo in me is a total perfectionist who has, until December ’12, never achieved perfection — and having achieved it once, sees no reason to strive for less.

2. Graduate in December ’13.  Sounds like a no-brainer, until you realize that CCSU has a terrible history of holding students as long as they possibly can before graduating them.  I have only two friends who graduated with their B.A.’s in four years.  Yeah.  In any case, it looks like graduation in less than a year is going to happen…but I’m putting it on my goals list because I’m not taking any chances.

3. Get divorced — as amicably as possible.  Well, it’s not really a goal I wish I had to write down, but bowing to the inevitable seems like a healthy place to start off this year.  D and I are attempting to end our marriage as painlessly (there is no way) and as amicably (we still hope there’s a way) as possible, so if we get through the paperwork and court and emerge relatively unscathed and on as friendly of terms as possible, I will consider that a success.

4. Buy a better car.  This is slated to happen in February when my father buys a new car and sells me his 2006 Honda Accord EX.  I’m hoping to do so without breaking the bank.  Also along with this goal — keep the damn thing in good condition instead of trashing it constantly.  I’m not a teenager anymore.

5. Keep up physical appearance.  This includes but is not limited to: keeping a semi-regular gym schedule, attempt to lose some weight, build up some muscle, learn how to blow-dry hair straight, maintain skin care routine, wear makeup/nail polish every day, wear clothes that fit and flatter, etc.

6. Start meeting people — and hopefully dating.  Even though D and I have only been separated for six weeks and only positive we’re going to divorce for one, I feel as if I have been in mourning for our marriage for a lot longer.  And I have been — it was fifteen months ago that D told me he didn’t know if he wanted to be married anymore, and almost nine months since he told me he wanted to separate.  He last kissed me on my birthday, in September.  I haven’t felt married in quite awhile, and I’ve been in mourning for a very long time.  I’m ready to start putting myself out there — not dating, not yet, but at least meeting people and making friends.

7. Read more.  In 2011 I read 101 books, not too shabby!  That was the result of my setting a goal of 100 books, and consciously making the decision to read more new things, rather than just re-reading books I knew I loved.  Of course, that was when I wasn’t in grad school, and I had more time to devote to shamelessly slogging through fiction.  But I realized this year that I barely read a single new book from cover to cover that wasn’t assigned reading by my teachers, and that made me sad.  My goal this year is to get back into reading — a second time.  I’ve set myself a goal of 50 books, and I started Ken Follett’s World Without End last night (The Pillars of the Earth is one of my favorite books ever, so I’m  hoping I love the sequel just as much).

8. Climb Mt. Washington.  My friends Drea and Sam have volunteered to go with me, so I’m planning on setting the hike for some time in August or September.  They’re climbing Mt. Katahdin in Maine around Drea’s birthday (August 30th) so that’s right out.  I always dreamed of climbing it a third time, particularly after my accident in 2005, but never got around to it.  Getting it done before age 30 seems like a good goal.  This will be the year!

9. Write more — not just grad school papers!  I have so many ideas whirling about in my head, and I never seem to get them down on paper.  My friend Lyndsey is quite a writer, and has a level of dedication that I just can’t seem to master — she writes every. single. night, something I haven’t done since high school.  I want to write something, and I have to just…buckle down and do it.

10. Take more pictures.  I realized at the end of last year that there were almost no pictures taken of me this year.  It didn’t really make me sad, because it was such a terrible year that I really don’t want it commemorated.  But I don’t want to do that again.  Photographs and memories are all we have, and I want to start taking more.

Well, this looks like a good start.  It’s a long list of things that need doing, but I’ll get through it!

What about you?  Are you making any goals/resolutions for 2013?