Month 4 and 5

I skipped last month. Last month I had nothing to report. Last month we were in a whirlwind of moving and hosting amazing guests and I didn’t know which end was up. Last month very little was accomplished (except so very much was accomplished, just not having to do with the goals for my 25th year).

Month 5, though, has been loads better. I’m steadily writing a new story, with the help of some great edits by Margaret, and I’ve also been sprucing up my “finished” short story called Benz, with the help of my undergrad friend (and another fellow writer), Steven. Hopefully I’ll have another set up submission in October.

Running has been slow going. Work changed locations, meaning my morning routine went all higgly-jiggly, and now at 6AM it’s night time outside instead of being a lovely rosy color. I just can’t get up and go outside in the dark. It feels like bootcamp torture and I won’t do it. This means I need to get my butt into gear after work. Immediately after work, otherwise I end up gluing myself to the couch. This has been my dilemma. Last week I kicked things off with a hard core 2 hours ass kicking walk which left me REALLY sore in my hips for about 3 days. My aim is to run 4/7 days to start. One day in the middle of the week + Friday, Saturday, Sunday. I feel like this will narrow my chance of failure. I’m taking a new approach on distance. Instead of working my way up to 6 miles, I’m going to chart a course that is 6 miles from the beginning. I won’t be able to run the entire thing, but I will be moving for 6 miles and then 6 miles won’t be so daunting anymore.

Eventually I’ll need to start really working out for the wedding. I think we are planning on joining the YMCA after Christmas. That will make winter workouts so much easier.

More news to come next month!

Month 3

Today marks the completion of my third month being 25. The goal of writing every day has now become more like “let’s see what we can do this month”, because writing everyday – although awesome the first month, didn’t really happen the second or third. But you know what I have done? Finished a short story called “Benz” and submitted it to (3) places. Woo hoo! I haven’t submitted anything to anyone anywhere in 2 years! But now I have. And so begins the cycle of rejection. Sigh.

This weekend I bundled up my polka dotted computer and headed out to the land of CoffeeShop with Margaret for a writing date. And that is how productivity happens. I’m going to start doing that more – at least once a weekend. It will be easier once I get my desk back (yeah!! shipping all seattle stuff this weekend!), but even then, I think it’s important to escape the house and the television and the internet to get some writing done.

You know what other ideas I’ve come up with? Maybe, possibly, starting in again on my novel. Oh that’s right – maybe even getting it ready to submit to agents (she said with enthusiasm).

With running – it ebbs and flows. I’ve decided (with some encouraging from kamel) to begin running twice a day on days I have time to do so. I’m hoping it happens at least 2-3 times a week. It will help me look great for my wedding and also push me to improve on distance at an accelerated pace. And being outside makes me happy. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Month 2

Today marks the end of my second month being 25 and the beginning of my third. This month has been insane, life altering, exhausting, and also a lot of the same ol same ol thrown in. Right now I am sitting in Maris’s living room in Chicago struggling to stay coherent. I don’t think I have ever been more exhausted during a period of time where I am not at work, do not have school, and most people would call this a vacation. I think if there was a tired meter I may break it. But back to the whole month 2 thing.

Life has taken me, chewed, and swallowed. My personal goals have been hard to find under all that mess. My accomplishments for this month are a finished chapter one of the new novel. Finished is a funny word when you apply it to writing, because, really that word means nothing. When I say finished I mean there is a story there. It has tension. I am pleased with this and hopefully other people will be too. And I’ll be working on it later. I’ve also started chapter two, but started really means I had one session of writing it and now I’m stuck. The issue is this part starts the bulk of the story – which happens to be set in Maine. My trouble is, I’ve never been to Maine before, and I’m feeling sheepish about writing about this place I know about only through books. I have a nagging itch in the back of my mind constantly telling me “go to Maine. go for a weekend. get on a plane and go” but then the other part of me is like “yeah, and plan a wedding, and pay your bills, and keep your job” and those things are currently winning. I didn’t keep track of how many days I didn’t write this month. There were too many and that’s shitty of me and I feel guilty. But life was happening, good life things, and stressful life things, and then the normal life things that keep me on my toes, and that’s ok. I’m never going to be a writer who stops living in order to inspire others to live, or to create worlds where other people live for me. And maybe that means I’ll never be really Great with a capital “G”, but maybe I’ll be happy. Next month though, meaning this month, I’m back on track. I want to succeed at this art of mine, I want to do what I’m good at, and I need to work harder at it. Fresh start and all that. Reset the counter.

With running I’m doing pretty well. Kamel and I have added wall pushups and sit ups to our mornings and before he headed to mexico and I went to chicago, we were doing a really good job of keeping each other on track and running most mornings. In order to get into wedding shape I also need to stop eating like crap. This begins once I get back to SF tomorrow. But that’s more about my constant battle with the 5-10 lbs that seem to creep up on me, and less about my training for an easy six miles. The easy six miles is currently at a moderate three with much less walking between my running spurts and I’m on my way to an uneasy 4 miles.

This next month will bring apartment hunting, prepping for a trip to Seattle, and lord knows what else. I’ll keep you posted.

Month 1

It has officially – today – been one month of being 25. One month of having cheaper car insurance (not yet realized), one month of being able to rent cheaper cars (who knew?), and one month of steady running and writing (both of those having nothing to do with cars).

When it comes to running I always feel like I should be doing more, I should push myself harder, run more days, etc. Right now I have Kamel as a running buddy and I have to admit I never knew how much fun running with someone could be until now. I was always very adament about running alone (except for those handful of times I ran with Lauren Mig in college and wow I was in shape then). Running, for me, hasn’t been about races or running a better paced mile, it’s always been about exercise and stress reduction, about personal goals and private reflection. And those things are still there – I force myself up hills, I push myself the extra block, I run a notch faster than I really want to – but now I also have Kamel huffing and puffing beside me as extra motivation. I know he is pushing himself, I know he is forcing his legs to continue on, and that makes it easier for me to do the same. Right now we aim for 5 days a week of running. I think we’re averaging about 4, which isn’t bad, but of course I want to be better. We run/walk 2.5-3 miles and everyday the walking becomes less. Right now I am running a consistent 1.5 miles and struggle with the next 1.5 but it’s happening.

It’s slightly embarrassing to admit to the world that running a solid 1.5 miles is a mile stone. I know so many of you are able to pound at 6 like it ain’t no thang. I applaud you. I’ll get there though. I’m chugging away and I will get there.

I am also proud to say that I have only missed 6 days of writing in one month. 6 days is more than I wanted to miss – I wanted to miss 0, but the truth is my TOTAL days of writing before this month would have been 6 and not the 24 that I have accomplished. I’m going to take this month by month, every time the calendar flips, my new goal will be 0 days of not writing. It’s amazing how productive you can be if you just sit down for a minimum of 30 minutes a day and focus.

Sometimes I missed days because I was too busy outside of the house to sit down and write. This is my biggest obstacle. Being a writer who succeeds means having to say “no” a lot more often than I would like. I need to put writing above that last minute social activity or chore, no matter how fun or seemingly important. This makes me difficult and sometimes puts a burden on others, but if I don’t look at it like a job, it won’t ever be.

As far as my life list goes – as long as we’re talking goal making – I’m getting frustrated with the making of lists. I want to start crossing things off of them instead of making them longer. Instead of putting my energy into thinking of new challenges, I want to start taking on those challenges. Coming up in the next few months I will be reading more books by Atwood and Didion, exploring new baseball stadiums (chicago in June!), possibly (Cross your fingers, close your eyes, wish on a star, hopehopehope) working in the writing industry, and possibly possibly (eee!) going to england in the fall. I’ve started charting a roadtrip between Miami and San Diego for next summer as well (did you know that a one way car rental is RIDICULOUSLY expensive? Anyone have tips for this, please comment!). Once I start accomplishing a few things I’ll get back to the list making. Maybe some smaller goals that don’t take all of my spare time or all of my (spare) money. In the mean time I’ll check in with you next month for a writing/running update. Onward!