Category Archives: The Year Without

2011 – The Year Plus

I was kicking around the idea of altering The Year Without for 2011, partially inspired by both Jane and some of Dave Holmes’ “My Year of Everything” observations, and then Jaime suggested it to me too, so at least 80% credit goes to those three.

In 2011, rather than eliminating something from my life every month, I’m going to add something to it. Jane has been doing this and she’s getting awesome results. Dave Holmes has remarked that people who do something as opposed to avoid something tend to fare better (and it’s more interesting to read about). And as Jaime put it,”that way you’re turning something negative into a positive.”

I’m not going to list every monthly goal up front, but they’re all going to center around my 4 main goals for the year:

1. Lose 30 pounds (yes, the same ones I’ve been trying to kill since I gained them back over the last 2 years, shut up)

2. Write something that makes me proud of myself

3. Eliminate my debt by at least 1/3

4. Become a nicer, better, happier person

Some of the monthly “Plus” goals I want to try are writing fiction daily, using cash/debit only, complimenting someone (sincerely) every day, going out of town every weekend, working out regularly, attending church (the gay-friendly kind) networking professionally, cooking all my lunches and dinners, etc.

I’ve already done several things to put my big goals in motion:

Goal 1: Purchased a BodyBugg and made plans to join the downtown Y (I will probably get rapemugged in an alley on the walk over, but it’s worth a shot)

Goal 2: Reading before bed, bought a computer and a big notebook (writing freehand is much better for your brain)

Goal 3: Switched all paypal/Amazon/monthly fees to debit instead of credit (I have plans to buy pre-paid gas cards, too)

Goal 4: Planning two vacations, biting my tongue more than usual, re-reading The Happiness Workbook

I know that New Years Resolutions are dumb, and that’s why I decided to do monthly resolutions to begin with, but you guys … I’m about to turn 30. This is the decade where shit gets real. I’ve got stuff to pack up before I hop on the wife/mother/homeowner/possible breadwinner train. I’m pretty confident that if all my little goals add up to big ones, I can knock these aspirations out of the park.

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Tide Is High

I haven’t been in much of a sharing mood lately. It’s mostly because I’ve been dealing with a lot of negative people and a lot of situations that shouldn’t be blabbed about online. (Though I love how I’ve managed to milk like 4 entries out of it anyway. This is “undersharing” for me? Pathetic.)

But also? The Internet is grossing me out these days. I can’t articulate why without getting long winded and insulting people (including myself), but basically I’m trying to do more real world stuff instead of Internet stuff. This is why Secretly Stephie is not as fun as a Tumblr.

So far, my month has been all about this:

Halfway in, I’m finally getting it. (Seriously, how eerie was it that I picked the exact Year Without Goal I needed, just before I needed it the most?)

But mainly, I came here today to share that lately I feel like a completely different person.

I’m not sure why. Love? Loss? Moving? Searching? Sleeping? Accepting? Generic birth control vs. brand name? I have no idea. But I almost feel like I’ve been dropped into a new life, and I’m approaching everything cautiously because I’m not sure how to feel about it these days. Work. Friends. Family. Me. Not bad feelings. Just different. I’m seeing everything with new eyes.

There’s been a shift, is all. Something happened. I don’t know what it means yet, and I don’t know if I have the energy to be excited, but I hope it’s interesting, or at least fulfilling.

New me is pretty yappy and boring, huh? Maybe this is just how people blog in their thirties.

(Image via SlightlyPretentious)

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Well, That Was Quick

I love how, the day after I vow to not put myself down, I have one of the most discouraging days and end up crying about it for most of the night. I need to stop vowing things because the opposite usually happens.*

I’m trying to focus on the possible positive outcomes, or remind myself that unhappiness is the best motivator for bringing happy stuff into your life, or just be grateful for everything that I have, that millions of people would kill for.

It’s just hard when people make it clear that they don’t believe in you. Or, when you tell people that their actions are hurting you and they do everything short of saying that they don’t care. Can I still believe in myself when that happens? Can I care about myself?

Do YOU believe in me? I believe in you, invisible Internet readers. I do.

I just feel stuck today. But if I’m really going to do this, the first step is to stop feeling trapped and start finding a way out. Clap if you believe in me; I’m fading fast.

*I vow to always be fat and totally poor and never win the lottery!!

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A Basement Without Abasement

My last Year Without Goal for 2010 will be a December without Abasement.

I’ve been really hard on myself for the last few weeks. Other people have actively (actively!) been on a mission to put me down too, and while some days it’s amusing, other days it pushes me over the edge. Plus, it gets dark at like noon these days and that’s depressing. Holiday traffic makes everyone a dick. I’m photosensitive, so all those rush hour lights give me a headache and make me homicidal.

I would say my two biggest sources of depression are body image and family, and the holidays are the worst time of the year if you’re trying to eat healthy or are missing a recently-deceased parent. Also, this is the last month in the home my parents have owned my entire life. Soon my mom will sell this house and I’ll never see this basement again. It’s heartbreaking. This is not the time to be tough on myself. This is the time when I need to take care of me.

So this month, I’m not going to put myself down. I’m not going to get discouraged.
I’m going to write because I love it, not because I get paid to.
I’m going to work out because I love the strength from lifting and the high from running, not because I hope it’ll make me skinny.
I’m going to look in the mirror and appreciate the good without automatically aiming for the flaws.
I’m going to call people who love me, not worry about people who need to show me that they hate me.
I’m going to smile.
I’m going to sleep.
I’m going to love.
I’m going to work.
I’m going to move.
I’m going to be proud of myself, even (especially!) on the days when no one gives me a reason to be.

But most importantly? I’m going to take what little energy I have left during the holidays to bring people up instead of down. No abasing other people, not even the ones who feel the need (actively!) to do it to me.

Life is hard enough. It’s time to pick myself up, and maybe give you a lift, too. High fives for everyone!


(gifs via starsweptnight)

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Hoosier Withdrawl

Ugh, being back home is lame.

I’ll write more about my trip later, after my memories (and all the food I ate) have time to digest. This was my first trip in 3 years and I met 95% of Justin’s extended family in the span of 40 hours, so I was understandably nervous, but I had an amazing time.

I did so-so with my Year Without Goal … though lately my goal has been to boost my metabolism, and I’m pretty sure it’s working since Justin’s mom fed me nonstop and I only gained 1 pound over the whole weekend. I’ve been keeping up with the food logs and workouts and I’ve mostly stayed off the computer at night.

What should my next goal be?

Tomorrow night is Justin’s birthday party if any of you (non-crazies) are interested in coming. I’ve mentioned this before, but he revamped his Rooftop TV club and now it’s at the Mini-Moolah. This Tuesday, the theme is 30th Birthdays! Come help Justin, Danny Tanner, Matthew from News Radio, the gang from Friends and more celebrate their 30th birthday!

I forgot to tell you guys that I saw Black Swan a few weeks early at SLIFF. It was bananas. I’d recommend it to any Aronofsky fans and also to all my male friends for obvious reasons, but otherwise, it was pretty cray cray. It was nice to see Winona, though. Oh, and in case you were wondering? Harry Potter was

Totally bitch gifs via starsweptnight

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The Year Without – Update #11

CAT Scan was cancer free; yippee!

Since my October Goal was such an epic fail, I’m trying it again in November along with TWO new November goals. I’m still living at home with my moms and not paying rent, so I would be a dick if I didn’t challenge myself somehow.

I’ve already kicked off the November goals to adjust. So here we go, friends:

1. Food Log!

Not a log made out of food (which would surprise no one, sadly) – writing down everything I eat. It’s the holidays and therefore it’s time to shame myself into behaving. I won’t post it here, don’t worry. In addition to food, I’m logging the time, place and reason that I’m eating. This way I can identify and better attack the problematic habits.

2. No Computer After 9:30!

Y’all, I have a problem! Catching up on my Dexters, chillin with the Teen Moms, checking my favorite blogs constantly even though I have a Google Reader … it’s addictive and so, so sad. I love my computer (still thinking of a name) but my sleep schedule and free time are suffering so much. Time for some control.

3. Insanity Month 2! I Will Kill You!

I started it AGAIN this week and can hopefully keep up the momentum. I’ve decided that if I do this until the end of the year (consecutively this time), I get to buy myself a treadmill. The exceptions are my Thanksgiving trip to Indiana (3 days off) and my Christmas trip to Branson (3 days off). Insanity is not something you can do in a shared space.

So those are my goals …think I can do it? Goal #2 will certainly help with Goal #3, so I think it’s possible.

And yeah, due to insane expenses (CAT Scan, mouthguard, room remodeling, car insurance, etc) and the fact that Justin and I are taking our sweet-ass time finishing this bedroom, I will be living at home for at least one more month. My mom is happy about it (the holidays are a terrible time to suddenly live alone) and as I’ve said before, free rent is one hell of a drug.

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An Update with Cheese

I lived through the night! However, I have to wear this nightguard for six months. And I have a CAT Scan this afternoon for unrelated nonsense. So my life remains in peril. Maybe Erin can make me some more Mac ‘n Cheese?

I’ve decided that for our housewarming, Justin and I are going to have a GRILLED CHEESE PARTY. Last night we finished Buffy season 4, and Justin met this dude:

Also, I am totally failing at this month’s Year Without goal. I’m going to keep attempting to do the Insanity Month 2 workouts and if I get a good run going, I’ll continue it til next month. But we’re doing so much loft stuff after work and I’ve been falling asleep later (I blame the computer and this nightguard) so it’s hard to wake up an hour early. And if I have to choose between exercise and sleeping 7-8 hours, these days I choose sleep. Melatonin makes it impossible to sleep any less, and NPR agrees with me that sleep is pretty important.

I’m determined to keep attempting it though (these last two weeks especially), and someday the habit will stick. I didn’t realize what a bad month this was to try. :(

Tonight after my CAT scan, I get to eat beef from Moon Dance Farms! We might paint, depending on how I feel. Tomorrow I get to hang out with one of my oldest friends, Jane. (Her mom was my first grade teacher!) Saturday, we camp at The Spot. The leaves are insanely beautiful right now and hopefully I can take some pictures today – Missouri in the fall is the best. Big fun things are on the way!

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