Sunday, February 20, 2011

Family Day Eve

Twas the night before family day, and all through the house (aka condo), I could be seen and heard jumping for joy that I have the day off tomorrow.  Don't get me wrong.  I love my work, but a long weekend is not unwelcome.

I've been more of a weekly blogger of late, I'm noticing.  Since the new year and my big plans to follow through on goals from my Annual Review (thanks Chris Guillebeau), I have noticed that simple sounding things like 'getting to bed on time', 'packing a lunch' and 'walking an hour a day' really eat into my discretionary units of internet time.

In the first 5 days of January I was in Ottawa hanging with my mother.  I spent quite a bit of that time, and all of the 5 hour bus ride home to Toronto working on my Annual Review goals for 2011.  I decreed that 2011 was going to be a year of 'Release' and that I was going to focus on my 'Big 9' areas (I've made links to some sources of inspiration for these):

  • Financial (Savings, Debt repayment, Edinburgh, Nothing New after January)
  • Creative (Writing, Crafting, Blogging, Music, Stand-up, Documentary)
  • Travel (Newfoundland, England, Edinburgh, Bard writing retreat)
  • Marriage (Common Goals, Fun, Domestic, Plus some privacy protected goals here!)
  • Family (Twin, Mom, Dad, Steps, In-laws, Siblings, Nanny, Cuz'ins, Other extended family)
  • Friends (Friday night friend outreach, Friday friend lunches, Stitch & Bitch, Book Club, 'Show Up')
  • Health (Weight Watchers, Walking, Multi-task working out, Yoga)
  • Organization (Home decluttering, Bills, Closet renos, Work systems to get more efficient)
  • Personal (Self-confidence, Appearance, Mindfulness)
It's a lot of stuff to think about.  And, as usual, I am a work in progress.  I've recently picked up my gorgeous special Knock Knock organization books from my friend Christine Bougie.  But, as yet, I've gotten started on my work one, but not my 'fun' one (aka the non-work-rest-of-life one).  

I did make some cute icons that I need to figure out how to make electronically so I can share them.  But, in my grubby notebook, just drawing them works fine.

I'll catch you up on where I'm at, progress wise:

  1. Financially: I've decided to place massive laser beam focus on paying off my non-student loan debt before cutting down to one job.  If all goes well and I don't get fired or laid off, and save like a maniac between now and the end of November 2011, I've calculated that I can pay off the $1969 on my CIBC Visa, as well as the $15466 on a personal loan.  I'm using some of the concepts like 'snowball' payments where when you finish paying off one debt (i.e.: I just finished my RRSP loan, so I am applying the $430 biweekly I paid on that to expediting the payment of this blasted personal loan.)  I'm putting on hold radical saving for cottage until debt is paid off, and am saving a modest amount for trips this year.
  2. Creative: I have been blogging, albeit less frequently.  I've been writing a few jokes.  (I'm more theoretically interested in joke writing as I do not feel the need to have two stand-ups in our household, but do like having different modes of creative writing outlets.).  I've been keeping up the crafting with monthly things with my stitch  & bitchers, I've bought myself a ukulele (It is on loan right now to a very funny actress, Linda, in my wife's class.  Perhaps if times get too tough down the road on one job only, I can rent it out!). I've also been mucking about with a cheap, fun, doc idea about twins.  Still needs lots of thought.
  3. Travel: I definitely plan to travel home to Newfoundland, to see my wife perform in the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and possibly to a writing retreat in New York State at Bard College.
  4. Marriage: We've been enjoying working on common goals and finding time for fun things together this year. Travelling to Scotland will be a highlight.
  5. Family: Focused time spent with my twin, visiting my family in Toronto and in Ottawa and Newfoundland are in the works, and in some cases already happening regularly.  I've also got 3 engaged relations (cousins and siblings) which makes for some upcoming fun clan gatherings. And, I read a book about women's family relationships which I think is going to help me strengthen all of mine.
  6. Friends: I'm trying very hard to make sure I do lunch with one (or more) friend on Fridays and get together in the evening with someone/some people I like to hang out with.  My 'friend outreach' has been quite successful this year, with me doing something all but one Friday since the beginning of January.  
  7. Health: I rejoined weight watchers the second week of January, since if I'm not really structured and focused on it, I'm basically gaining.  It's actually been a fun way to start my Sundays.  I have coffee and hang with my sister after and then plan and shop for groceries.  After 6 weeks I've lost 10.8 lbs which is plenty fast, since I'd just as soon keep it off.  I've been walking a lot, packing my ridiculously healthy lunches, swapping stories with my like-minded coworkers, and bringing clients from work to the YMCA (my idea to multitask being healthy for me with getting clients healthier, as well as other coworkers). I've even used our condo gym 3 times in the past two weeks almost shocking my wife into stupefaction. AND, I have an unlimited pass for Mokshatres flexible these days.
  8. Organization: I've purchased notebooks that, ah hem, I've yet to put into action.  I have some unpacked socks from my January shopping spree.  I still do not have sufficient drawer space to unpack them from the shopping bag they came home with me from the mall in.  I do have a small bag of donations waiting by the door to leave our home.  I have done some small organizing baby steps at the office.  MUCH to be done.
  9. Personal: I think that mindfulness meditation has been very helpful for feeling confident I can handle things and feeling peaceful.  Also, I put as a part of this goal, keeping up with the grooming stuff.  I know I'm not the best at this.  I never wear make up.  My wife needs to beg me to brush my hair.  But my 'deliverables' in this category are: keep up with threading eyebrows; keep up with dying grey hair; keep up with pedicure; and wear skirts occasionally.  I'm happy to relate that I am up to date on all of the above.  I even took advantage of Friend Outreach Friday to multitask and met my friend Natalie for a pedicure instead of for drinks.  We got in a good catch up chat, and walked away with less empty calories in us, and delicious burgundy toes.  
That's about all the news for me.  I did want to relay a funny story about work before I hit the Tudors on Netflicks:  I was telling my sister about how at my part time job there are cutbacks, and a fear of jobs being cut, and a general message to do more, spend less money, get more clients out to things, etc.  As Dawn's eloquent Dad would say, to 'eat it and say yummy'.  I was relaying my woeful tale of how tough things are to my twin.  As in, I need to keep this job until the end of November when I've paid off my debt, then I had this meeting with our manager who sort of let us know it's all a house of cards that could come tumbling down so 'do more, better, with less, damn it!'  And my twin hauled out a Toronto Life magazine from her bag, and said, you mean like this? The article was called 'Work Sucks', and begins, "It's not just you. We're all working more, making less and going berserk. Tales from the post-recession office."  And with that we were able to howl with recognition and laughter.

Happy Family Day Eve.  My wife just got home so I'm off for some mutual admiration society stuff.

xo Tara


Tena Laing said...

That was a delightful update - and glad the Toronto Life hit the spot. xo

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