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And we’re back

Photo Credit: Βethan via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Βethan via Compfight cc

So…sadly, I didn’t win Nanowrimo this year. I only wrote 35ooo words instead of 50ooo. And there are so many excuses. There was an entire week when I couldn’t write at all, and then other social commitments and blah blah. I didn’t make it.

But! I am still really happy with my effort. I wrote an average of 11oo words a day, and I have the beginnings of a story that I am really happy with. I switched my idea halfway through to something that felt a lot truer to me, and the words came faster after that. So now I just have to keep on it.

I’ve still been hibernating, and I’ve still been cooking all my meals and working out hard and eating really well. Still haven’t spent anything. Well…actually I bought a set of measuring spoons and cups, but I count that towards health because it improves my cooking. And it will also save me money because I kept getting ratios wrong and wasting ingredients.

And in other exciting new, Christmas is just around the corner and I will finally be getting my food processor! I couldn’t be more excited, and have big plans for the first things I’m going to cook.

Looking forward to reading everyone’s blogs again and catching up on what I’ve missed. Did anyone else do Nanowrimo? Manage to finish? Got yourself a story, if you didn’t?

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Why I’m hibernating…and fine with it.

Photo Credit: Jethro Taylor via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Jethro Taylor via Compfight cc

I’m not that much fun to be friends with at the moment, I’ll admit it. I’m rarely saying yes to invitations, and when I do I am the first to head home. I’m not initiating anything, and I’ve all but stopped going out mid-week. Mondays are set aside for cooking, Tuesdays + Thursdays + Saturday mornings are for crossfit, and Wednesdays I’ve been trying to work on my novel. That’s not to say I am not missing everyone like crazy. And of course, I am still making time for my nearest and dearest. I’m just not being a party animal. There are several reasons for this, and while I initially experienced a great deal of FOMO and anxiety that no one would be there for me when I was ready to re-join the land of the living, I have gotten past that now and made peace with my hibernation.

So, why am I playing the hermit crab? Five good reasons:

1. I want to concentrate on my nutrition. Since cutting out all grains and really shaking up my eating habits about 8 weeks ago, so many great things have happened. The keratosis pilaris that I have always suffered on my upper arms is just gone. Gone. I can’t even describe how happy that makes me. My skin in general feels softer and just…in better condition. My tummy is rarely angry or inflamed, when that was essentially a way of life for me before. I can’t remember a time when I’ve felt so healthy! And although the scales say nothing has changed, I know that my body shape has. This is also due to exercise, but you can work out all day and if you eat shit nothing is going to happen. So I really want to keep cooking for myself and only eating food I eat. I want to get a good repertoire up and then just spend one night per week cooking for the whole week ahead.  This means it’s harder to join in on dinners out. And anyone who cooks for me can expect explicit instructions and a thousand insane questions (sorry Fais!). But it’s something I need to do. Something I want to do.

2. I want to concentrate on exercise. I love crossfit. I don’t think that’s a secret. What’s also not a secret is that I am shit at it (“Kelly”, I am looking at you, bitch). (PS that’s the name of a workout, not a person.)  But no matter how bad I am, or that I can only squat and dead-lift about a third of the weight that some of the other girls can, I simply love the feeling that the workouts give me. It’s not only physical but mental achievement. And this is something new to me. I have never before liked exercise. And I want to set aside my three times per week for it, with the devotion of a church-goer. So those nights too, I am unavailable. I am hibernating. And it’s something else I really want to do.

3. I want to save money. I’ll be honest. I am already totally over not spending. I hate my wardrobe. It’s coming into winter and I only have two jumpers. I might need to buy an item or two just so I have a full week’s worth of things for the office. I’ve done everything I can think of – sectioned it off into little capsule wardrobes that I rotate amongst, combined pieces I have never tried together before, tried to find any clothing swaps going on (none). I desperately wish I could just go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. But what I really want is to just pay off my debts already and be square. And the harder I hibernate, the quicker that will happen. So I am doing alternative things, like inviting friends to my place and cooking for them. Or meeting people after dinner if I go out at all. And trying to limit the amount of drinks I have when I am out. And trying my hardest to stay off the shopping websites. I think one trick I will try is getting some nice lipstick. I never wear lipstick but it makes people look really dressed up and as though they have made an effort. It might draw attention away from the fact that I am basically wearing the same black skirt each day…

4. I want to cut back on alcohol. Not cut it out. Never, ever cut it out. But just not drink so mindlessly. Not have so many nights where I can’t pull myself together for work, or where I waste a whole Sunday in bed recovering. Because I am shit at not having hangovers. I have already become much better at this. I haven’t really had a big night out in a long time. And I do want one, I will be back. But winter is a great time for me to be doing this. It’s dark early, the beergardens are closed, it will soon be holiday season and most of my ex-pat friends will fly home. So it’s a good time to be limiting my alcohol intake. Temporarily.

5. I want to finish this novel. I have had this idea in my head for about five years. And I just want to get a draft out. I know it will be terrible, I am prepared for that. But it’s the thing I want most in this life – to complete a book. To write. I mean, I do it all day at work, but to write something I would want to read. And it takes time. And it’s really hard. I’m currently on around 16,ooo words. I plan to spend most of tomorrow getting that up to 25,ooo. And then I am back on track to finish Nanowrimo by November 30. Of course, I realise that by “finish” I mean have the world’s roughest first draft. But at least it will be something I can edit. And at least I will be taking steps all the time towards my dream.

So that’s why I’m feeling ok with the fact that I am spending a little more time than usual alone. Why I am ok with saying no a bit more often. Come 2015, I cannot wait to launch and best version of me there is. To get back out and enjoy socialising a little more. But in the meantime, I’m working on my goals.

Building Rome – Steady as she goes

Photo Credit: Paolo Margari via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Paolo Margari via Compfight cc

Can’t talk! Got a novel to write. I’m participating in this year’s National Novel Writing Month and you can cheer my progress in the widget on the right hand side.

In other news, here are my goals from last week in the Green Embers Building Rome weekly goal setting event:

  1. Go to crossfit three times. DONE! Read more about it here.
  2. Bring my lunch each day. DONE! Cooking up a storm over here. Thank god for the interwebs providing me with a constant source of paleo recipes! 
  3. Eat fermented food three times a week. DONE!
  4. Eat NO grains. (I’ve actually already been doing this for three weeks. I feel like a NEW person.) DONE! Getting easier and easier. And I feel like a million dollars. 
  5. Get my outline ready for Nanowrimo. I am going to attempt to write a novel in 30 days. Anyone else out there doing this?! I need some buddies! DONE! And the games have begun! 
  6. Continue Sober October until the end of October. DONE….well. I went to a Halloween party on the night of the 31st of October. Debauchery ensued. And it occurred before midnight. However! I kept myself only to blood vodka jelly shots that went from fake plastic syringes into my mouth. Well that and marshmallow vodka. So partial credit.

And my goals for the next week are basically the same. They will be for a while. So this might be the last time I check in on them during November. It’s hard. I’m busy! Still got around nine-tenths of my book to write. But I might share some good passages on here if I feel like my muse has done a good job 🙂

Good luck with your goals!

Building Rome: Wait…what week is it?

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It has come to my attention that I have no freaking clue what day I check in with my goals on. So from now on, it’s Mondays. Ahh Mondays. That shitty, shitty day where you remember you haven’t won the lottery and you have to get up at 630am again. Or in my case, when the snooze button runs out. Which is approximately 15 minutes after first alarm, but a good while before second alarm. Second alarm is set for the last conceivable minute that I can get up, tie my hair in a knot, run a washcloth over myself, and leave the house decent enough not to cause alarm to the general populace.

It should only be used in extreme cases.

But I digress.

Here are my goals from last week, from the Building Rome event hosted by the lovely Green Embers,  and how I did on them:

  • I will not spend any money. After the Finland debacle, I’ve been very careful with this one. Mission accomplished. 
  • I will go to crossfit twice this week. Nailed it!  
  • I will bring my lunch each day this week. Also a gold star on this one. Have not missed a single day of packing my own lunch. Even though I eat in the company cafeteria with everyone else and the heavy, eastern-European cashier who looks like an extra on Orange is the New Black makes me hold open my containers for her. Yeah right. Like I would steal that food. Bitch, please. 
  • I will continue Sober October. This is going to be a BIG test. I am going to the Whiskey Festival with friends on Friday, and a very good friend is visiting this weekend. Not just any friend, an Irish friend. I have decided that for Friday and Saturday nights, “sobriety” will mean two standard drinks. Just for those two days, and only because these two events are pretty rare and special.  OKaaaay. So. This one. Huh. Well, I not only tumbled off the wagon, I hit every sleeper on the track during the night of the whiskey festival. The glorious, delicious whiskey festival. I literally don’t know how many I had, but it was enough to cause a bone-crushing headache the next day. And to not remember taking at least half the pictures I found on my mobile the next day. Which mainly involved hands holding whiskey glasses. Case in point at the top. I didn’t notice the middle finger. That’s what happens when you drink with boys. Aaaand, then I drank again the next day and the next. Not half as much. Just two drinks on Saturday and one on Sunday. But then I dusted myself off and got back on the wagon, and rode it clean through to Friday. When I tumbled off it again. This time I only had a single Moscow Mule. And now I am back on it again. 

I would like to give myself extra credit here, because I did not drink on Sunday. Not even when a bird flew into my apartment. An actual bird. Which then totally panicked and started smacking itself against the window. The closed one. Not the open one it had just flown in through. I am PETRIFIED of birds. And there was no-one here with me, and my distress calls went unanswered. Mostly because I am not sure any sound actually came out of my mouth. For the next ten minutes, this bird and I moved around each other with flaps and screams and ducking, while I tried to get the window open wider for it, and it shat on the sofa, floor, and coffee table and did laps of the kitchen. Eventually when the door was wide open, I cautiously retreated and then curled into a ball on the floor. As soon as the thing FINALLY flew out, I got up and slapped the window shut and so it shall remain forevermore. Most terrifying moments of  my life to date. And I had a whiskey bottle in my hand thirty seconds afterward. But I talked myself down. The strength this required cannot be underestimated.

  • I will add fermented food to my diet 3 times a week. Done! I’ve been eating sauerkraut and drinking kombucha at least 3 times a week. 
  • I will do at least one page on any of my creative writing projects. Done! I have been outlining in preparation for National Novel Writing month. Which is a new goal below. 
  • Complete my German homework, and watch a half hour episode of a familiar show in German. Nope. Didn’t even go near this. Apologies to my darling German teacher. I will do better this week, Carmen, I promise.

And on to this week’s goals! We’ve got some big ones here.

  1. Go to crossfit three times.
  2. Bring my lunch each day.
  3. Eat fermented food three times a week.
  4. Eat NO grains. (I’ve actually already been doing this for three weeks. I feel like a NEW person.)
  5. Get my outline ready for Nanowrimo. I am going to attempt to write a novel in 30 days. Anyone else out there doing this?! I need some buddies!
  6. Continue Sober October until the end of October.

I think that’s enough for now, don’t you? 🙂 Good luck on your goals!