Thursday, January 09, 2014

Putting down a marker

I hesitate to use the phrase “New Year’s Resolutions” mainly because I am perpetually setting goals and agenda items for myself, regardless of the date on the calendar.  However, with the major holiday push  behind us and looking forward to a year that will soon be free of outside-force agenda items, I feel this is a good time to take a peek at my goal list and stick marker in the sand noting how far I’ve come, and where I am headed.
My health goals are broken into two categories… food and activity.

My Food Goals: Cook more from scratch and become more consistent in cooking leafy greens better.
I have been exploring more seasonal recipes with some great successes and I have made some improvements on the leafy greens, although consistency on the greens front is still a challenge.  At the very least, I figured out that the garlic needs to be added at the *end* of cooking, not the beginning (to avoid that burnt garlic bitterness.) Though I am still not confident enough to just “toss together” food without a recipe, I am at least choosing recipes that work.  The most helpful aid in this endeavor has been reading Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, which goes into great detail as to how each recipe was developed.  Understanding the mishaps that others have had in the kitchen helps me to understand where I’ve gone wrong in the past, and I am slowly building a foundation of knowledge so that maybe someday I can wing it with random ingredients.

My Activity Goals: More inversions and challenges in yoga
 Last summer I gave Hot Yoga a try, and while I enjoyed the challenge of the heat and I believe the extended flexibility helped resolve a shoulder injury… I just didn’t much enjoy doing nearly the exact same routine every single time.  (My gym does the traditional Bikram yoga, which is the same 26 poses with very little variation in a room roughly 90 degrees with 90% humidity)  Once school started in the Fall my schedule had to adjust to fit with G’s new school, and it took some time to settle in and figure out when I could work out and what sort of classes were available.  I’ve recently discovered this Yoga II class at the gym, which I can generally attend at least once a week.  This class is a great challenge, I have achieved poses that I’ve never even attempted before, and so far she includes inversions in every class period.  This class has inspired me to include at least one good long-stretch yoga session at home every week, where I warm up and then lean into a stretch and hold for at least 20 breaths, and I look forward to the crazy circus-performance type poses she will dream up for us.

My Crafting Project Goal: Catch up on scrapbooking
My scrapbooking fell to the wayside back in 2003, when I first packed up my supplies in anticipation of our move to Washington in 2004.  Back then I was only about 18 months behind.  Since that time, my photography equipment has evolved, and every time I attempted to pick up the reins of my scrapbook I found myself buried in great frustration trying to wedge new technology into an old platform.  I was also creating more work for myself than was necessary, making two identical albums at once so that G would have her own set, in addition to her baby book, a separate album for school, and what exactly should I do with the multitude of travel photos piling up?  I was trying to keep each book to one calendar year, but I just shoot too much, and the idea of the duplicate set was determined back when I thought we would have multiple children who would each want their own family album.  So, last summer I decided to scale back.  I will complete the analog scrapbook through the end of 2003 (since I already paid to have all those photos printed) and begin digital albums starting 2004 for a majority of the photos, and to tell the story of our years as a family. I have still collected ephemera from our travels, dance recitals, etc… so I will construct accompanying journals for each calendar year of just those event-related items.  This plan gets the photos out of my hard drive and out for the world to see much faster, and still allows me the creative page-building time in the art room that I really do enjoy.  As of this moment, I have October of 2003 photos laid out on my craft table for the last analog album, and I have completed the digital albums for 2004 and 2005.  The photos for our 2006 digital album are nearly completely edited and just about ready to upload to a new book.  This is *great* progress for me.  I will have simultaneous projects going on, but the analog project is in the art room – where I can work on it in the evenings - and the digital albums are on the laptop.  When I have days like today (where I am currently off-site for a few hours without wifi) I can make headway with the digital stuff.

My Photography Goal: Complete the update of my website and maintain editing/uploading new work
Now that I shoot in RAW format all the time, it has become more of a necessity than a goal to keep up with the editing.  I simply run out of hard drive space on my laptop, and I am required to basically shit or get off the pot with these photos.  I have edited up through roughly last winter, and the final photos are separated into categories, however every time I look through them I debate about whether or not I want to add them all to the site (is this shot worthy?) or reorganize the edited stuff and do a smaller update.  Clearly I need to get over this speed bump and move forward.

My Communication Goal: Cut back on unimportant distractions and remember that Blogger Exists

I am truly remiss that I fail to even check Blogger, and I know that I have said this before.  It is not for lack of desire, it has just been a few years of major adjustments and trying to rediscover a new balance under all of life’s new circumstances.  Some clarity came to me last week when I read that a friend of mine on FB has decided to bail the format all together, but will still be online via blogging and other means.  I have already been wavering on my own time spent in that forum, and I have been taking steps to reduce the distraction-based posts there and in my email (it took me 2 hours, but I unsubscribed to nearly every automated list I was on, which brings my daily email in-box down to a far more manageable level)  His post has inspired me to reconnect and communicate in a way that is not limited to 140 characters and a link.


Gino said...

per food goals: i find that all i really need is garlic, olive oil,veggie oil, chili flakes, a large skillet and a lil salt and pepper and i can cook anything.

Jade said...

Oh... I like the idea of incorporating chili flakes. I did just recently unearth a recipe for chicken and broccoli stir fry that the whole family loves where I make the marinade from scratch (rather than a pre-done packet or bottled sauce) I like being able to control the ingredients, as most pre-done sauces are too sweet or have MSG.