March Goals in Review

Fun fact: I was going to do this as a video post! Then I saw myself on the screen, laughed, and went, “Yeah, that’s not happening.” I know you’re all disappointed.

March was not my dream month in terms of accomplishing what I’d set out to. Let’s look at the list, shall we?

Knitting & Craftiness

  • Finish the Leventry shawl I’m currently working on, or at least the body portion
    • 3 repeats by March 6 (17 repeats total out of 26)
    • 3 repeats by March 12 (20 repeats total out of 26)
    • 3 repeats by March 19 (23 repeats total out of 26)
    • 3 repeats by March 26 (26 repeats total out of 26)
  • Start the shawl border by the end of the month

This is a good place to start because it’s one of my least spectacular fails. I did not finish the shawl, or even the body, but I came close. I also didn’t stick to my schedule. The thought was there, but I had so much overtime (including three nights where I worked 7:30a – 10:00p) that I just couldn’t stick with it. We also had a lot of weekend commitments, between my riding lessons and random wedding or social obligations. I wasn’t scheduled for any OT this week, and as it happened, on Monday, I got an email saying the project had finished early and we could go back to our regularly-scheduled lives. Also as it happened, this week I re-discovered podcasts.

I hadn’t done the podcast thing since Lime & Violet, and if you remember them, you remember how long ago that was. I know I listened to them on my train rides to the city when I was working on my MA, and that was 2007. But recently I’ve been needing something new to keep my brain occupied at work. I found some excellent knitting podcasts: StressKnits, Pinfeathers & Purls (Candace has a birb!), Inside Number 23, Yarngasm, Knitting Ex-pat, Sticks + Twine…and I’m adding more every day. (I also listen to a number of non-knitting audio podcasts at work, including Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me and Embedded.)  The video podcasts, though, have enabled me to get so much knitting done! I sit down at night for an hour or so, watch an episode of something, and knit.

So the shawl is not done, but it’s currently sitting at 21 repeats out of 26 + the border, which is another 26 rows. It’s getting fairly large – the garter edging measures ~36″ and I did the pythagorean theorem on it last night to determine the measurement of the edge that sits on the cable – it’s ~50″ if you’re curious. We’re to the point now where I have two cables connected together, and where I have to be extremely careful when unbunching the fabric on the needle. My KnitPicks cords do not have the strength or the quality to stand up to this shawl, and this morning as I was (gently) sliding the fabric around, one of the plastic cables separated from the connector/needle. This isn’t the first time that’s happened, to me or to anyone else, but I still lost about 30 stitches. I’ve got everything back and it’s set, but I wish I could move this thing to my ChiaoGoo Spins. Don’t have a long enough cable, unfortunately, in that set. I think I may start getting KnittersPride cables, though. People seem to have fewer issues with them than with the ones that KP sells.

Anyway. Moving on.

Riding & Fitness

  • Learn to post from my knees and thighs – not my back!
  • Keep fingers closed – “relaxed upper body” does not mean “lose your reins”
  • Work on cardio and stamina out of the saddle to improve same in the saddle
  • Hit the gym at least 2 times per week, in addition to weekly ride
  • Lose at least 5 pounds this month via calorie tracking

Oh, here’s where it gets bad. I did manage to mostly fix the “fingers closed” issue, which seems to have just been a function of returning to riding after a three-month hiatus. I’m working on the posting from knees thing; that’s going to take time. I feel pretty good about the riding (even though I have a ton to work on and I keep finding new issues), because I go to all my lessons and give it 110% when I’m there.

What I do not feel good about is the gym, because I didn’t go. Not even once. And I’m almost not sorry.

I like the gym, sort of. I like how I feel when I lift – I feel like Big Strong Woman. But it’s hard for me to motivate myself to go, and this past month with all the overtime and the messed up schedule and extra tiredness, I just said “the hell with it” and…didn’t go. I also gave up on the calorie tracking. I hadn’t lost anything in three months doing it faithfully, and I think it’s time for another solution, because in the past, calorie tracking has worked for me. Right now, I think a combination of my meds, my age, and some life factors are inhibiting my weight loss through calorie tracking. Scott and I have appointments in the next couple of weeks to join a medically-supervised weight loss program, so I’ve just sort of been eating. I mean, I’m not binging. I’m really not eating any more than I normally do, I’m just not tracking.

Professional

  • Develop a deadline schedule for editing my dissertation for publication
  • Finish at least the preliminary edits on the literature review
  • Renew American Psychological Assoc. (APA) membership if finances allow
  • Look into American Educational Research Assoc. (AERA) membership

I did not develop an editing schedule, or look into my professional association memberships. Finances really aren’t allowing for those right now, honestly, and I’ve discovered some professional development opportunities at work (for free) that can help me get where I want to go within my company, so I’m less concerned about those. I’m part of the National Association of School Psychologists as well as my state association, I think that’s okay for now. I did do the preliminary edits on my lit review, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. I know I should really want to get my dissertation published, and I know I need to get on it because while research doesn’t “expire,” it does because less relevant, and that tends to happen quickly. But right now, I don’t want to do things that feel like school. I want to go to my riding lessons and take naps and watch podcasts and knit things, and I don’t think that’s unreasonable.

Personal

  • 15 minutes of training with Bailey, my eclectus parrot, daily

This is a yes and no. I’ve tried to squeeze in 15 minutes of training with B on the nights I was home. Fifteen minutes is about his limit for learning, although not for playing or snuggling or puking on me. I’ve discovered, though, that he does better if I give him a night off every few days. In the last month, Bailey has learned to sort toys of three different colors: red, green, and yellow. If I put them into a pile and name a color, he can pull out the correctly-colored toy, and then put them in their own piles by color. Smart parrot!

I haven’t decided what my goals will be for April yet. I might pare down a little, because obviously I just set myself up for failure. Tomorrow I have my riding lesson, so that’ll be tomorrow’s post, but I’ll try to figure out goals by Monday.