September Update – 2016 Goals Check-in

september-update-2016

 

It feels like it was yesterday that I was writing last month’s update. Boy, did that month fly by; I went up to Boston to babysit my cousin, I was in not one, but TWO of my best friends’ weddings and four more couples I love got married that month as well (I didn’t attend them all. I’m not that magical). It was a very long month. and yet, suddenly we’re halfway through September! I’ve been a literal zombie for the past week, recovery from my trips while trying to get back to work as usual. At least I haven’t gotten sick yet (fingers crossed that I won’t!).

This month isn’t too busy, but it is full of planning for the next year. So many exciting things are happening! I’ll tell you all about them soon, but first, let’s check in on my goals for the year.

TOTY 24 Goals:
Write Every Day – This is day three! I wrote a book review each of the last two days, and I’m hoping to write another two over the next couple days, while I finish this post and hopefully get some time in on my novel during my day off on Friday. I tried to write last week, but my brain was so dead that only nonsense came out of it. It was painful.

Apply to Full Time Jobs – I HAVE NEWS!!! My aunt and uncle and I have been discussing a potential opportunity for me for nearly a year now, but I didn’t want to rely on it because it always seemed like it wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. They had a baby in March, and up until now, my uncle has been a SAHD (Stay-At-Home-Dad). He’s due to start a new job in November though, and that’s where I come in. I’ll be taking care of my cousin for them all day while they are at work. For all intents and purposes, I’m a live-in nanny. If that isn’t a dream job at some point in the life of someone who is maternally inclined, I don’t know what is.

If all of that wasn’t exciting enough, they live in Boston! Which means I’m MOVING there. Like, I get to live in this city that I’ve been mildly obsessed with for ages. Which brings me to Goal number three for the year –

Apply to Grad School – My top grad school at the moment is Emerson College and their Masters in Writing and Publishing program. Being that Emerson is in Boston, I’ll finally being going on a tour of campus and trying to meet some of the professors to determine if it’s definitely where I want to go.

Also, this Friday I’m sitting down to plan out my studying strategies for the GRE. Woop Woop!

September Goals:
This month I decided to let y’all in on a secret. I don’t just have yearly goals! I also make up a set of goals for the month, which filters into my daily to-do list(s). This month I want to:

Read 5 books – So far I’ve only finished two, but I’m nearly halfway through my third, so it’s looking good!

Study for the GRE – As I mentioned earlier, this starts on Friday!

Walk 5 miles, 4 times – I originally had this read “walk 5 miles, once a week”, but after the double weddings I was down for the count. Hopefully, I can walk one of my 5-mile stints on Friday!

Ab workout, 4 times – Another one that read once a week and has since been amended.

Write 3 posts for TCSB – This is the first! I’ll probably fill you guys in on more details about Boston, and I’m visiting a Renaissance Faire on the 24th that should be pretty interesting as well!

Write 4 book reviews – Two down and two to go! Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich and The Escape by Mary Balogh are up on CSR now!

Write 10,000 words towards your novel(s) – That’s right, I’m writing a book (or is it ~SeRiEs~?). I’ve been writing it for over 10 years actually. Very few people have read any of it, and those who have, haven’t read it in so long that they probably wouldn’t recognize it today. For one, the characters started out as 11 or 13-year-olds, and they’ve since evolved into 20-somethings. Not like they aged in the book, more like as I aged I found it harder and harder to write young characters. The universe(s) the book(s) take place in has expanded exponentially, to the point where I keep trying to populate parts of it and ending up with literally hundreds of characters. And I love every one of them so much that they all have a background and purpose and a future… And you wondered why I’ve been working on this for 10+ years. My goal for the year (TOTY 24, not 2016) with writing every day is to get at least half of my rough draft of the first book finished. Hoping to dive into this some more this month.

 

I think that’s all for now ,you guys! I hope you enjoyed this update, and I can’t wait to share more with you about my move to Boston, and my grad school apps, and my adventures in writing!

 

Until Next Time,

Amanda

Wellness Update #3 – New Year, New Opportunities to be Healthy

I didn’t run the 5K on Thanksgiving. Not just because I was lazy, not just because I didn’t find out about the $15 entrance fee until the week before, and not just because I had a severe cold, but because I psyched myself out. I built it up to be such a big thing that I worried if I didn’t perform at a certain level that my family would make fun of me for it. Did they? Nope. Did they pick on me for not running at all? No. Because to be honest, they had all completely forgotten about it. No one mentioned it, not even once. I felt foolish for thinking my athleticism was so important to other people. It does not, in fact, have anything to do with them, nor is it really even any of their business what kind of shape I am in, except how it pertains to the yearly family Football and/or Ultimate Frisbee game.

So now it’s the end of January and I am still out of shape. I’ve attempted to recruit my friend, we’ll call her Big Red (BR for short), to be my workout buddy. She’s getting married in September and I’m her MOH, and we agreed we want to get in shape and look fabulous for it. The only problem is that She leaves for work early in the morning and I work until late at night, so we haven’t been able to find a time to work out together yet. I am determined, however, to make it happen, even if I have to workout alone.

I’m just waiting for all this snow from the Jonas Brothers’ Blizzard to melt…

Just kidding, it won’t melt until May at this rate. We got slammed with around 30″ of snow this weekend and Big Red and her fiance hiked to the grocery store on Sunday because we all ran out of food.

I’m in the middle of planning some sort of routine for working out around 3 times a week to start, and I’ll go from there.

 

On the Acne front, I finally made it to the dermatologist at the beginning of December and the meds are working! She agreed that we had probably jumped the gun and went too-harsh-too-fast with treatments, so she prescribed a Retin-A cream, as well as an antibiotic to kill off whatever acne I had. So far it all seems to be working! I’m just using a mild face cleanser, Cetaphil, which is surprising available at the local grocery store/pharmacy/etc. and 99.9% of my acne is gone already! We still have to wait and see if it will stay away when I go off the antibiotic, but all indicators point to me being acne free in the future.

I am beyond excited, mostly because people will finally stop asking me about my acne, but also because no acne means I can wear less makeup, and I am mostly not a fan of makeup.

 

Until next time,

~Amanda

Wellness Update #2 – The Thanksgiving 5K Logs #2

Last week and this week are pretty interesting because I have visitors at my house just about every day. Despite my failure last week to get a run in, I have free time tomorrow to finally do one. In the mean time, I’ve been attempting to catch up on some sleep and do some yoga.

Yoga is always interesting to me. It looks so simple, yet it is easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I am not very flexible, at least not anymore. In 5th grade I used to do those pretzel sits where your feet go on top of your thighs, like this:

pretzel maker sitting like a pretzel

Source: CraftCaravan.com

and I could ‘walk’ on my knees like that. Not anymore. Whether because I grew another five or six inches in almost strictly my legs (I was already over 5′ at 10 years old. ohhhh the stretch marks), or because I started running and actually built some muscle, I doubt I’ll ever know. My flexibility has been all downhill since 5th grade, and my athleticism has only gone up. So yoga, with it’s focus on flexibility and strength, fascinates me. I would love to someday do the 30 Day Yoga Challenge where I do yoga every day for a month, but I get really wiped out after about 2 days right now.

There are some pretty amazing people out in the world who are living a yoga-centered life and they inspire me all the time to keep at it. Whether I’m able to hold my downward dog for 3 more seconds or get into a deep lunge without tipping over, I’m gaining ground every day.

If you’re interested in yoga, you should check out two of my favorite people:
Adriene Mishler of YouTube’s ‘Yoga With Adriene‘ and Rachel Brathen of Instagram’s ‘Yoga_girl‘.

Check back next week to see how my running goes! There are 6 weeks left until Thanksgiving. I’ve got this, right?

Until next time,

Amanda

Wellness Update #1 – The Thanksgiving 5K Logs #1

As I prepare for the Thanksgiving 5K, I decided it was a good idea to update you all weekly about how I’m doing. So here’s the first update.

I ran my first full mile in almost four years today. It hurt a lot, and not just because it was mostly up a hill.

I’ve been rather lethargic the last few days. No energy, brain dead, too blah to even be bored. Maybe you know what I’m talking about. I suspect its an introvert thing. If you’re a fellow introvert like me, you should check out my post tomorrow for tips on how to be an introvert and still interact with the rest of the world.

Anyways, I was feeling yucky, and I recently got over a cold/virus thing that seems to be going around, so I decided to walk the only place nearby that I can walk. It’s a five and a half mile loop of road. Hard, paved, concrete. There are variations I could take to make it six miles, but five and half is usually enough for me, and there are plenty of hills to keep it interesting. To be fair, it isn’t the only place for me to walk, just the most convenient. So, I set off. A mile and a half in, I decided that walking and trying to run various places over the last month had prepared me enough to run a full mile without stopping. So for the third mile of my route, I ran. And by run I really mean more of a limping shuffle. It was pitiful really, but it was also mostly uphill and I couldn’t breathe, so I didn’t really care.

At the end of that mile, I checked my running app: 11 minutes and 36 seconds. Well, it was a far cry from the 7:29 PR I had in high school – not that that was spectacular either – but it was a starting place. Even if I run the whole Thanksgiving 5K at that pace it’s still only 35 minutes. I’ve run worse, and I still have six weeks before the race.

After my mile run, I still had another two and a half miles to walk. My lungs burned something fierce, and my chest hurt (apparently I need to invest in a better sports bra before race day), but otherwise I felt amazing. I haven’t felt runner’s high since high school, and the clarity is something that stays with you forever. I walked the last two and a half miles slowly and in silence, turning off my iPod and just breathing in the world around me. The air was crisp with the scent of Autumn leaves, and I could hear neighbors fixing their four wheelers, mowing their lawns, chopping firewood. It was peaceful… And then it started raining.

All good things come to an end eventually, and I just managed to make it home before the downpour began, which was lucky. Today was just the first of many there, where I hope to eventually add more running and less walking, even if it is hilly. I don’t know what the course will be like on Thanksgiving, but I guarantee that town doesn’t have as many hills as I do. It’ll be rough, but I think I’m up for the challenge.

Until next time,

Amanda