year in review: 2014

Dear Internet,
Working at home today and getting supremely in the groove. Re-discovered that I used to do a round up, by month, of things that went on in the previous year as a year in review. This seems like a good idea to continue insofar as giving me a perspective for the year and helping me figure out what I need to improve or cut back on.
Previous years: 2000, 19971996

Neil Gaiman’s New Year’s wish for 2015:

Be kind to yourself in the year ahead.

Remember to forgive yourself, and to forgive others. It’s too easy to be outraged these days, so much harder to change things, to reach out, to understand.

Try to make your time matter: minutes and hours and days and weeks can blow away like dead leaves, with nothing to show but time you spent not quite ever doing things, or time you spent waiting to begin.

Meet new people and talk to them. Make new things and show them to people who might enjoy them.

Hug too much. Smile too much. And, when you can, love.

It’s been a helluva a year. Here’s to 2015 being boring and slow.
xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2013, 1999

Kalendae Januariae: 2014’s Goals

Dear Internet,
Last year I decided to go on a bender of self-improvement, which I called the Kalends project (and the series list is at the beginning of this piece). The idea sprang from something I had read about the history of the Kalends, which could be summed up as such:

This single day contains the whole year in it, so that what you do during those spare twenty four hours will determine the character of the remaining three hundred and sixty four.

I broke down the improvement plan over four different sections, with a follow up in November. The fifth element, the Making Happy project, could also be tied into my goals. The sixth goal, about getting fit, has been sitting in draft format since December 2012; that still needs to be written
So here we are, 2014. If the Kalends are true and what I did in the last 24 hours sets the tone, then it’ll be Sherlock and popcorn and good dark chocolate until the cows come home.
But I digress.
What I did not account for, of course, was how many setbacks I would have at the beginning of the year between my second ankle surgery, mental health issues galore, wonky work schedules, and whatever else life throws at you. I crawled up inside myself more than I had liked, I set some very necessary boundaries, and  pissed off a number of people.
[Aside: I’m tired of people stating resolutions/goals are cliche because to me, it indicates a lack of self-improvement, life long learning, and wanting to simply grow as a human being. At that point, if you’re not willing to even grow, what is the point?]
Personally, this last year has been one of much growth even if that growth has at a snail pace. The setting of boundaries, the dispensing of fraught relationships, the ability to recognize the crazy when it happens has been tremendous success in helping me define a better path for myself even if that path doesn’t make itself visible to the naked eye. It was painful, scary, and downright terrifying at times, but I did pull through. I always pull through. So even if at first blush I come off as a chaotic train wreck, when compared to how it could have possibly gone, I am positively in a great space.
I treasure that. And you, readers, of course.

Gender bending smoking kid, circa early 1900s.
Gender bending smoking kid, circa early 1900s.

So what’s ahead for 2014?
Buy Nothing 2014
To buy nothing in 2014, unless it’s necessary (food, gas, or related),
to genuinely replace, or renews an existing service (i.e. Spotify, Netflix, etc)

What prompted me to start reining in the funds was the 114 orders on Amazon (one every two days) and lord knows what else I bought in 2012. In 2013, I dropped it down to 40 orders from Amazon, much of it spent on gifts or household items rather than items of unnecessary delight. Instead of buying things outright, I asked for them for gifts for holidays/birthdays/etc, and stopped buying things I did not need unless it was to replace. I did see some financial gain from this but with not enough to make a decent savings since other financial considerations came into play later in the year. 2014 will be even more strict and I’ll start being more judicious on recording everything I spend and saving what I can.
2014 will be the year of creativity (even if it kills me)
This was one area I was not as improved on as I had hoped, but talking to my friend Amy who gave an impressive display of her own improvements in 2013, really kicked up my own notches to get going on my own projects. Cheers Amy, for the inspiration kick in the pants!
Year of the written word
Read all the books/comics I own before buying more. Surprisingly doing better with this as time goes on. In fact, I’ve been most impressed that majority of the books I’ve read for 2013 I read in November/December, of which five I finished in one week. Still plowing through the TBR pile, lots of reading being done online for research for the book as opposed to pleasure reading.
Writing
In January 2013, I said I wanted to:

  • Write 10 hours a week  (Does not include blogging)
  • Write 250 word blog entries 5x a week (Get proficient enough to knock it out in 1/2 hour).
  • Keep notes on everything
  • Write a short story a month.
  • Write a poem a month.
  • Get something published by my birthday in June

January 1 – December 31, I wrote 151K words over 171 posts / 31 pages. Beyond that, my biggest accomplishment is this post marks the 63rd day in the row I’ve written and posted in this space. What started as a simple challenge in November to complement NaNoWriMo, has become a routine. A glorious routine, I must add. In those 62 previous days, I wrote 67,5 K words (almost half my yearly count in two months!) over 63 posts (some days had two posts).  In November I said,

This does not include any notes, work done on paper, editing of pre-2013 posts, and so forth. Add another a rather conservative estimate of 25K words for over 100,000 words this year alone and for that, I’m really proud. Sure, I didn’t get a poem or prose published, but that’s also okay. I’ve got a better sense of what I want to do and what I want to write, and I know I can always do better. Produce more. Leave a mark on the world. Keep pushing forward.

Another challenge I did for an entire year was the Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes project, which tracks all the things I wrote, watched, read, listened to, and liked. What was striking about this particular project is I’m now seeing others do variations of it across the web, so even if I’m not a direct inspiration it’s still pretty cool to see others doing something similar.
The other big thing with writing is I took my fiction writing more seriously, finished a few short stories (which I’m still waiting for TheHusband to edit), and started serious research on a book series I have had mapped in my head since the summer of 2012. I had said, quite seriously, I was going to write the entire first book during my 3.5 week vacation but my mania got in the way as well as other things. But that I had researched and outlined the first six chapters was farther than before, so I feel pretty good about what I’ve accomplished. I may not have gotten anything professionally published this year, but my output, research, and strengths are increasing. Next year will be even better.
So not exactly spot on and perfect, but I’m fairly pleased with the results. Keep pushing forward.
teh interwebs
It can broken down to this:

  • Unsubscribe from unnecessary mailing lists
  • Delete unused social media accounts
  • Stop following people/services/accounts/blogs that no longer hold my interest/are not engaging
  • Get the archives back up
  • Stop buying domains
  • Stop obsessively checking social media accounts

In my November update, I was pretty sussed with how things were turning out. I was keeping with where I wanted to be with the one exception of the last one: checking social media. Also in November, I made the decision to deactivate my personal Facebook account which turned out to be a really good idea. As of January 1, I’m taking mental health break hiatus from Twitter as well, though I’ll be posting via apps over the course of the time. I need to refocus, concentrate, and work on some big deal projects that are upcoming and putting my energy into something else.
Lastly, the Making Happy and the get fit components which I hope to be writing more about in the near future.
What are you doing for 2014?
xoxo,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2011

Crab Canapes and Christmas Pudding

Dear Internet,
Tomorrow I go back to work as my holiday break is now over, thus things may slow down around here after my mania output for the last few weeks. It’s now eight days into the new year and I thought it would be a good idea to give up an update as to how  my proposed changes are coming along.
(I’m still tap dancing around the notes that need to be finished for body and health pieces, but I’m just not there yet.)

  • Buy Nothing in 2013
    I promise I will not tell a lie: I have spent money on non-essentials this year, totaling $90.26, but it was for very good causes. Two of the items, a yearly subscription to Duotrope and the fall issue of Jane Austen Knits, were items I planned to buy in December but forgot until after January 1. I know I’ll probably end up purchasing a license for Licorize sometime later this week, but that’s a one time cost. Removing myself from temptation has been huge. I also am ignoring anything Margaret posts because I almost always end up buying what she suggests.  Anything I have found has gotten pinned or added to my wish list. Side bonus: Removing myself from vendor catalogs has slowed amount of junk mail in our mailbox.
  • 2013 will be the year of creativity (even if it kills me)
    I’ve only really worked on the cooking and knitting stuff, which have been slow going as one meal a day is a green smoothie of some sort, lunch is usually a salad, and dinner is something we come up together. Our timing is going to change once I go back to work tomorrow, so not too much to report.  In the knitting area, I’ve almost finished my brother’s hat and will be working on fingerless gloves for me next.
  • Year of the written word
    The goal was to write at EPbaB five times a week, at about 250 words per piece, and 10 hours a week writing fiction. In the last 8 days, I’ve published something here everyday except for one and in space of 7 published days, the pieces here totaled 4992 words. In fiction writing, the goal was to write a short story a month and get something published by my birthday. I’ve finished one story a few days ago and I’m starting on a second. I have two additional stories in draft form that also need to be finished.  So far, these goals are being met. But again, with work starting back up for me tomorrow, this output is more than likely slow down. The second bit of this challenge was to read everything I’ve had on hand – which I’ve not really done, but I am still shooting for finishing a book a week.
  • teh interwebs
    This was by far the best thing I’ve done as my inbox is so quiet right now, it’s kind of frightening. I did go so far as to unsubscribe from several of my favorite retailers emails, in addition to paring down other vendor emails to once a week or month. I’ve stuck with following vendors in one format instead of all of the ones they offer, which has also helped considerably. I almost did purchase a domain, one I was eyeing on in late November but didn’t follow through at the time, but refrained from doing so. I spent several days paring and cleaning up my RSS feeds, but that may end up just being a lost cause for the moment. I’ve not started putting together a workflow for the archives.

I’ve struggling as to how to articulate how I’m feeling today, and lately, finding it is much harder than I had hoped. The 900mg of Lithium has definitely leveled me out as far as moods go. I fake raged to TheHusband, while feebly pounding against his chest, if this was what being happy was like, then I’m not sure I could deal with it. Most of the side effects of lithium have dissipated, and I’m feeling pretty much, overall, okay. I’m still freezing all the time (and we’re on track for January to be our warmest month on record), but I have no evidence to say this is because of Lithium or not. But I’m far enough away from being without lithium to know the difference between when I’m on it and when I’m not. I’ve not gained weight and I am drinking a lot of water, so I do not feel dehydrated as one would think for taking a salt.
Concerta on the other hand is tricky – very tricky. I need to take it no later than 9AM, for if I do, I’m apt to be up all night. If I go a day without it, I can still sit and work without being all over the place. If I go two days without it, then it’s like I was before and like nothing has changed. I get small bouts of mania, but these seem further afield than before and seem to be random, meaning there is no trigger. My headaches are mostly gone.
In the before, I was very passionate about some things and mildly interested in others. In the during, I had zero interest in anything, and to some extent, to anyone. I could not feel or love what it was to feel or love. I did things because I knew how to already do them and I knew that they needed to be done.  Robotic. I could muster energy to feel something about tiny things, but larger things were passed over. I did not think of myself as being depressed until much later for I did not act like those I knew to be depressed acted. I did not see myself as being manic because I did not act like those I knew to be manic acted. Something was wrong, but to what extent that wrongness and/or what was needed to fix it si still remain to be seen. Well. We know, but whether this snake oil is actually working remains to be seen.
There you are. Here I am.
x0x0,
Lisa

Kalendae Januariae: teh interwebs

Dear Internet,
When Kristin talked about getting off the internets, as it is “Another linchpin to bad times,” she wasn’t too off course on how I feel about it myself. I love what the Internets can give me, but on the same token, when I’m feeling an attack of The Sads, or a variation of it, I can spend hours scrolling through Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and randomly reading Wikipedia articles with no real return on my investment of time. Back in 2009, I went off Twitter for a  month and found that my attitudes towards it didn’t change nor did my habits, things just shifted else where.
I know several people who were able to get rid of various big social media sites, either by deleting Facebook, Twitter, or something else, and felt like they were able to control getting their life back. While I’d love to ultimately do that, I’d like to be realistic on my own uses and be more prudent on how I not only utilize social media, but how I am best using my time online. And it’s not just about social media, blogs and mailing lists are almost just as bad clutter in my digital life as paper can be in my physical one.

  • Unsubscribe from unnecessary mailing lists My obsessive need to clean out my myriad of inboxes was not for naught, because it helped me start unsubscribing to lists that I no longer was interested in anymore, found useful, or was never subscribed to in the first place. My mailing list label in Gmail has over 2000 emails sitting in it, but now currently has 5. Since I’m hell bent on buying nothing in 2013, I also removed myself from any store mailing lists or shopping collection sites websites (like Fab.com) as there was no point in torturing myself. I’m sure I’ll be apt to check websites (like Boden and Fluevog) and pin to Pinterest  for 2014 shopping inspiration.
  • Delete unused social media accounts Back in the covered wagon days of social media (2008 or so), one of the big “must dos” is once you figure out your “brand,” you then register your said brand on every damn service available regardless of what it is to prevent name hijacking. Which is all fine and dandy until the emails start rolling in from all these services every time one of their employees fart, accounts have been hacked or nearly hacked, brands reimaged/bought out/discontinued, and so on.  Fuck it. This is not worth the hassle anymore. Sometime in 2010, I started keeping track of social media accounts I’ve deleted (or have died a inglorious death of some sort), and as of this writing, I’ve dumped 34 35 accounts (and it’s growing). I also keep track of the date as well as how (a lot of sites require you email in to request account removal) the account was removed. Also in 2010, I started saving the confirmation emails from sites as I create an account in case I need to find out what username/email combination I gave when an account needs to be deleted.  Sites I’m active on are typically always linked from my front page, and I’ve also started a flavors.me account to create, as they put it, a unified web presence. I used to  love the idea of lifestreaming, but services either force you to use it on their site (ala FriendFeed) or plugins available are either shoddy, missing popular services, or too much of a hassel to hack and configure. 2013 is going to be all about streamlining and consolidating.
  • Stop following people/services/accounts/blogs that no longer hold my interest/are not engaging In 2012, companies were less likely to create websites to showcase a product/service as they were more likely to create a Facebook page or a unique hashtag for Twitter. Community engagement with their community is huge in making social media work while promoting their spiel, I get that. The problem I keep finding is when people/companies make it a “thing” to either spam your timeline with constant “One of our employees just made a poopie! Like if you agree!” posts or individuals who read supposed marketing best practices and repeatedly plug their own blog / services with no engagement with others or just keep posting links to articles and or things they are interested in (and still not engaging with their followers / friends) or the blog takes a drastic turn somewhere that no longer holds my interest. I’m sure you’re very nice, and if we met over hot cocoa, I’m sure we’d hit off, but I’m under no obligation to follow you or your services anywhere online if you drive me insane. (I’ve also started a mass culling from my Twitter and RSS feeds and will soon be doing the same on Facebook.)
  • Get the archives back up This is a project I’ve been talking about forever (like years) and with the domain hopping, the archives have taken a beating so much so, I keep linking to Wayback Machine to access the content rather than just get it up here. It’s a massive undertaking as it’s not only entries from 1996 forward but it’s also the metadata and fixing of dead links that need to be addressed. But it needs to be done.
  • Stop buying domains When I bought my first domain in 1998, it cost about $70. Now, through my webhost provider, I pay $10 a domain. I’ve started to let go domains that are no longer used ove the years, but overall, the current stable is enough.
  • Stop obsessively checking social media accounts This is where the real problem comes in, because when I get bored instead of doing something vaguely useful, I start obsessively checking Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr/Pinterest. And this probably the crutch of Kristin’s earlier comment because it’s not, “Oh, let me see what is going on” and then leave it alone; it’s, “Oh. Let me see what’s going on for the next five hours even though no one has posted/responded/commented on anything I’ve done but I’m still going to keep checking.” To me, social media is supposed to be about what’s on my time, not chained to the device/service and it’s tipped over that by a long shot.

 
x0xo,
Lisa

Kalendae Januariae: Year of the written word

Dear Internet,
Happy New Year.
I knew my brain had fizzled out on me when I stopped doing two things: Reading books and listening to music. I’ve really, really missed being able to finish a book or listen to an album. Since the music part is covered by Automusicbiographically, I had to find a way to get into all the books, comics, magazines, and other bits that have been floating around here forever. So for 2013, I op to:

Read all the books/comics I own before buying more.

According to GoodReads, I read (or attempted to read), about 17 books in 2012. I used to read about 10 books a month. Touching on the “Buy Nothing in 2013” moto, no more new OR used books/comics are to be purchased in 2013.  I get this means I’ll probably be missing out on a lot of awesome new releases but I just can’t keep up at the pace I’m at now (and this is why Amazon wishlists are for). I don’t have a set goal to read by end of 2013, but if I can read at least one books a week, I can cut through my TBR stack pretty quickly. I’m also adding in that I need to do 50 word reviews on GoodReads for books and do reviews here under Bagged  & Boarded for comics (which will appear Wednesday when available).

  • This also includes Kindle/digital purchases (Yes, including the free ones.)
  • I’m not allowed to source books out from the library until my current stacks have had dents made into them. Which, as a librarian who works in a library is EXTREMELY difficult.

Second on my list under this theme is:

Writing.

Back in August, Anne and I worked worked on our own personal SWOTs – her for going into business herself, me for writing.  Since I did my SWOT by hand, I pinned (or rather taped) the pages on the wall above my desk. The ultimate goals were simple.

  • Write 10 hours a week  (Does not include blogging)
  • Write 250 word blog entries 5x a week (Get proficient enough to knock it out in 1/2 hour).
  • Keep notes on everything.

I’ll also add in the following:

  • Write a short story a month.
  • Write a poem a month.
  • Get something published by my birthday in June

You can participate by signing up to be a beta reader to help a girl out.
I was talking to Kristin about how to best track our goals, because as this list continues, it seems overwhelming about how much I want to do in 2013. So for the first few months maybe the goals will be more to get one short story finished rather than write a short story every month or write thoughtfully online twice and build up to five entries a week.  I have put together a schedule (daily and monthly) for writing online that will help, but much of that is going to stuff that’s built up over the course of a week (Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes) or can be stacked weeks in advanced. The soul will still be bared, but I want less thought provoking content up as well.
x0x0,
Lisa

Wulf-monath

Dear Internet,
Last night when I crawled into bed, way past the witching hour, TheHusband was up watching The Nazi Gospels. Apparently if I need something akin to a sleep aid, docudramas about Third Reich mysticism is it.
The Concerta is doing my head in, I think. My new sleeping pattern has become going to bed between 2AM – 4AM and waking up between 10AM – Noon. Since I’m taking the Concerta when I first wake in the morning, logic would dictate that the late start is causing the shifting of time cycles. When I woke up today, I decided to skip this days dose of Concerta and only take my lithium. It is nearing 9PM, on New Years Eve no less, and I’m yawning like a maniac.  Thankfully, TheHusband and I have no plans for this evening, as it would require the putting on of pants. Bed and a book are forthcoming.
One of my projects during our staycation (I do not head back to work until the ninth of January, TheHusband goes back on the second), was to get my office sorted out. It had become a cesspool of everything in the last year and again, the things I could not find or didn’t know I own was becoming really apparent. I’ve seen some postulating across the Internets in the last few days it was bad luck to have a dirty house on the first of the New Year. I’d rather throw salt over my shoulder then get crushed by a falling safe, and since the rest of the house was more or less clean enough, the office got a good unfucking.

  • I pulled out all the books I had purchased either for research or pleasure and had yet to read  and hauled those downstairs and added them to the giant to be read pile in the living room bookcases. So now all of my books, with the exception fo the Kindle ones, are  in one spot.
  • Pulled out all my comics and graphic novels, bags/boards, and took those downstairs as well.
  • Storage containers of various things from ye olden days were reorganized and put into the office closet.
  • Random hardware/software was also sorted and put away.
  • I put my writing desk on the other side of the room and completely cleaned off/put away everything that was once on it. You couldn’t see it under all the books, papers, random bits stockpiled everywhere!  The only thing it will house is my my Macbook Air, iPad, and my paper/calligraphy/writing supplies.
  • The three bookcases were resorted and moved to various places around the room as space allowed.

You can see the final outcome here, here, and here. (Yeah, not so great without the befores, I get you on that, but you have to understand even the dog couldn’t make way to her pillowed bed before the great unfucking.)
I also sorted through mail, got rid of a lot of junk, and finally have space again, which is the whole point of this shenanigans. It also got a good vacuuming, which the dog was nonplussed about when I ran the vacuum up to her pillow bed, with her on it, and she didn’t bat an eye. (But her hair filled up the vacuum canister.)
I’ll need to get TheHusband to put up my diplomas that I had framed earlier in the year this weekend, and I need to replace the magnetic board to go over my writing desk, but I’m pretty pleased how this turned out. With it being a L shaped room, where the foot of the L is not very deep, I’ve been mixing variations since we moved in. A very down the road project is to turn one of the unused basement rooms into my workspace so I can move all the supplies for Excessively Diverting downstairs and have the ability to make giant messes. This would free up even more space in here (right now a lot of the supplies for ED is tidily hiding in the closet.). I’d love to get a reading chair in here but with the current configuration, that would be impossible, but may another configuration later down the road may work.
During the unfucking, when sorting out a few of the older boxes of things, I unleashed some great smell we can’t find the source to. It’s living in the closet, that we know for sure, and it smells like rotten tuna fish. There is no food, mold, or water leaks, so no bloody idea what the hell it is. What I do know is that I’m not opening up that closet door for a very long time.
Compared to NYEs of the past, this one is pretty quiet. 2012 was a big giant year of reflection and making the slow path back towards wholeness. It was painful in a lot of ways, and also a gift in many others. Here’s to making 2013 more powerful than ever.
x0x0,
Lisa

Kalendae Januariae : 2013 will be the year of creativity (even if it kills me)

Dear Internet,
To continue kicking of 2013’s ass, next up is:

2013 will be the year of creativity, even if it kills me.

I have a lot of hobbies. Well, let me rephrase that, I start a lot of hobbies and never finish them. I also have lot of projects on the burner that I start and never complete. A pattern develops! A big push for the “Buy Nothing in 2013” was realising I spent a lot of time researching / buying supplies for a project, not a lot of time working on the actual project to get it to completion. Something I have said numerous time to people is an example of this is I learn how to play Chopsticks, I think I can then play Wagner.  My brain cannot fathom why it does not know how to play complicated when it learned the base, for it thinks that single base is all it needs. I don’t have the skillset on what it takes to learn how to practice. Which sounds grammatically wrong, but is so true. Throw in the ADHD (impulsivity, unable to focus), and you can see where this is becoming a mess. The idea here is to take one of my many hobbies/projects, pick a month, and start working on that said hobby. When the next month rolls around, continue with hobby/project A and then add in hobby B. Continue until all hobbies/projects are exhausted. Some are one-offs, others will be life-long learning.  Here is that list:

  • Start up the podcast, AUDIOMUSICBIOGRAPHICALLY.
    • I own 100G of music, which comprises of about 1000 CDs and hundreds of artists.  Due to my ADHD fueled depression, I actively stopped listening to music several years ago. The idea is to go through my list of artists, alphabetically from 0 to Z, listen to the band, write out how I got introduced to them and my connection to their music, and then podcast about it. Goal is a new podcast every week, 20-30 minutes each episode. Length of project is going to be over years. For holidays, TheHusband got me a mic and I did a test run reading the first chapter of Pride and Prejudice
  • Learn a language, namely Anglo-Saxon and/or French/Italian
    • Awhile ago, Alice and I decided to learn AS together, but life sort of got in the way. I think I may have to poke her on starting up with me again, but I will be going at it for sure since I have all the books / mp3s and online resources. Why AS? The better question is: Why not?
    • As for French/Italian, I have the Rosetta stone in French for levels 1-5, so that would be the easiest to start with Italian, another Romance language,  is more desirable since TheHusband and I plan on one day retiring to Italy. Or maybe Scotland. Maybe I should pick up Scottish Gaelic?
  • Learn to cook
    • If you’ve been following me for a bit, I’ve posted recipes on/off for various things, but the truth of the matter is, I’m a terrible cook. I’m a most excellent baker, but a terrible cook.  This morning, I nearly destroyed the pancakes I was making. So, I sourced the interents for suggestions on how to learn to cook and they were to get Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything The Basics and Jacques Pépin’s Complete Techniques, which were purchased before my self-imposed buying ban. Here’s hoping I don’t burn the house down.
  • Finish all my knitting/cross-stich projects.
    • Pretty self-explanatory. I bought a lot of supplies for these two hobbies, got really into them and petered out. I want to move beyond making hats/scarves and finish the gifts I promised with the stashes, that would be delightful.
  • Learn to sew.
    • TheHusband planned on buying me a machine for my 40th birthday this year, but since I was having foot surgery shortly after, throw in a long recovery, the machine in question is still on hold. Because I have zero supplies for this on hand right now, this will probably get pushed out towards the end of the year as the other projects take precedence.

While it’s awesome to keep my hands busy, what about my brain? With that, 2013 is also going to be all about the year of the written word.
x0x0,
lisa

Kalendae Januariae: Buy Nothing in 2013

Dear Internet,
When I was flip-flopping on figuring out how to celebrate the holidays with TheHusband (for if we are to truly to create our own traditions, then, we must create these traditions rather than sidestepping the old simply because we didn’t feel like making them work), I had come across an article which discussed the giving of gifts on the 1st of January that begin during the reign of King Stephen of England. For some reason which I cannot remember, when attempting to retrace my steps to get back to the article to pass on to TheHusband, I could not find the originating article I had read (and my Chrome history across all my devices was also of no help), instead I stumbled upon lots of references to an old Roman festival (of sorts), Kalendae Januariae. The Kalends, the first of each month, was the day when payment of interest was due in Rome, which then started to expand to include festivals surrounding those days. While the first of the new Roman year was in March, at some point near the end of BCE, the Kalends of January (Kalendae Januariae) became associated with the dawn of the near year along with its various rituals and festivals,  which were nothing short of Bacchanal delights (apparently after everyone paid their taxes and gave loyalty to the emperor).
Since most of my cursory research on this festival has been mainly academic (and in Latin), I really liked this summary of the Kalends of January, which sums it up pretty succinctly:

This single day contains the whole year in it, so that what you do during those spare twenty four hours will determine the character of the remaining three hundred and sixty four.

For the last several months, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to make the changes I needed to make to live the life I want. The ankle surgery and starting to see my therapist were two of the major steps, but now it was time to start working on the smaller ones.
Kristin, who is going to be my support crutch as I am to hers, has written up her list of how she’s going to make 2013 more powerful than ever.  First up:

Buy nothing in 2013, unless it’s necessary (food, gas, or related),
to genuinely replace, or renews an existing service (i.e. Spotify, Netflix, etc)

 No new books, music, comics, movies, DVDs, clothes, shoes, bags, gadgets, houses, LEGOS, pens, notebooks, domains, and so on. I had over 100 orders on Amazon alone this year (not items, total orders), I own over 150 t-shirt (close to 50 were probably bought in 2012 alone), my To Be Read pile has crawled from the downstairs and worked up to my office and our bedroom, and my Kindle is bursting. I own a lot of stuff. I never use that stuff, I want to use my stuff. Since I’m the queen of side-stepping, I have to continue to clarify such that if a blue cardigan dies, I do not replace it with another cardigan in its stead as I already  own 11 cardigans in a variety of colors and patterns. The end result is to save cash, make better buying choices, and ultimately, but most importantly, use my stuff.
There are exceptions to this rule:

  • I can buy supplies to make presents for other people or buy gifts if I can’t make the present
  • Supplies for my Etsy store are allowed
  • Work related expenses are allowed (except not subtly justifying a new blue cardigan as for “work”)
  • I can’t con TheHusband to buy it for me unless it’s a present for an occasion (birthday, anniversary, etc)

Items that I desire will more than likely get thrown up on my Amazon Wish List and Pinterest for TheHusband (or anyone really) to bestow me with gifts or for ideas for later use.
x0xo,
Lisa

Magic, dreams, and wonderful, gorgeous mistakes

20120101-174339 For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been working on variations of this post, with versions that ranged from HERE IS MY RESOLUTION LIST to 2011 WAS OMGWTFBBQ.
2011 was just such an odd year and even the thought of recounting what was learned and experienced over the last 12 months seemed ridiculous – is this not the reason why I have a blog in the first place? All of those versions of a year end post seemed relevant as well as moot. Blame it on being a librarian and our stereotype love of lists, even though I’ve argued (to myself) that keeping a list of resolutions on my website would be public shaming into doing them, the truth is, I almost never end up finishing the projects I set out to do. I dream SO BIG and in the end, there are only so much of me to spread around.
And if I confine to you an open secret, many of my resolutions do not change from year to year, and I think that is the one thing that keeps me running is knowing that I have not, and probably will not, fulfill all that my heart desires – but I’m okay with that. Because I desire so much, that I want to accomplish so much, that there is only so many lives (well, one) that can handle all of the dreams I’ve set out to do, so therefore I must never, ever die (or get old, but that is neither here nor there).
When I was reading Neil’s Tumblr over the weekend, I came across his post on his New Year’s Eve benedictions of past, that for one, the image above, someone had turned into a poster of sorts.1 And as I was reading his other benedictions of the past, I realized, yes! This is what I need! It is not about lists, goals, and tick boxes but it is all about magic, and dreams, and wonderful gorgeous mistakes. That we break out of our day to day existence, and to live, to hope, to dream, to dance, to be silly and lovely and all the wonderful, magical things that can only come from a life that has been lived.
And that I do hope this year is filled with wonderful, gorgeous mistakes, that kind that make the best stories to tell, so that I can not only learn from them but also to share them, to engage, and to laugh and mourn over things that were incredible and things that were not so incredible.
So to you, my dear friends, I raise a toast to you on end of the very first day of 2012 and say to you that I love you and I hope the year is one of dreams and love and everything you could possibly desire and so much more.
This is my 2012 wish for you.
1. He did not have attribution for the image in his post, but I would love to find out if such a poster does exist!

resolution #7

it dawned on me on the way to work this morning (after reiterating it to paul, of course), that the other resolution i was missing was that i was not going to dye my hair anymore. no, the world has not fallen on it’s knees and no, hell didn’t freeze over. After 15 years of dying my hair (i started young), I’m extremely curious to see what my hair would look like au natural. but of course I’m going to enhance it. heh. i want some caramel highlights to cover up any gray that suddenly appears, but overall, i wonder what my natural hair color is.
the last time i dyed my hair was in November when Ivette was in town and we went on a hair dying spree between the both of us. I’ve got roots nearing two inches long and boy, does it look white trashy. because i have such thick hair, it is becoming to look like a hair helmet and I’m praying i have the strength to not go get it cut or to run out and buy a box of feria.
I’m still hoping for the strength.