Tuesday, January 30, 2007

How's It Going?

Has it already been a month? Time is flying.

I wanted to look back at my goals for this year to see how well I'm doing so far and where I need to "re-orient" (yeah, I like the word/concept. Sue me.)

Post In My Blog More Frequently
Remains to be seen. This is the most I've posted in a January, but is it sustainable? And for the right reasons? No posting just for the sake of increasing the post count. And now that I put CrazyEgg and FeedBurner on here, I can tell what people are clicking on. And it aint much. So will that affect what I post? Probably not since this is really all about me, isn't it?

Artistic Photos
I have Dan and now Adrea to partially thank for this one. Both have compelled me to strive for higher art with my photos. But, I also have a frame on the wall that we started in May and each month we pick our best photo that doesn't include any of us in it and put it in the frame. There's been some neat stuff. One month it was a super close-up on a sea horse and we couldn't use a flash because it could kill it. So it's impressive how decently clear the shot came out and how cool it looked. Almost the entire photo was blue. There's a shot from inside the greenhouse at the sculpture garden that's almost entirely green. Looks really cool and I gotta say I'm really starting to like the photos that are entirely a single color. Lori's picked out five shots from iStockPhoto of italian food items, one per photo, and in each photo, a single item or collection of like items (bread, grapes, pasta, cheese, peppers) takes up the entire frame. Right now we have proofs that we enlarged taped to the wall with painter's tape to see how we like it, but I think they will look really good on glossy paper in thick black frames on white mattes. Not to find affordable frames in the size we want without having to custom order.

Lots of Reading
I think I've read 3 or 4 books so far this month. That's pretty good. I temporarily burned out on the marketing stuff so when Lori said Blue Ocean was due back and I'd only read a page, I handed it back to her and picked up a mystery anthology that's been on my nightstand. She gave it to me for either my birthday 2006 or Christmas 2005 and I'd read the first short story and gone no further. So I've been working through that. After this I'll pick up The Experience Economy that Mr. Pine was nice enough to send me an autographed copy of with words of encouragement. My reading list seems to grow weekly. I'm also devouring Inc., Fast Company and Consumer Reports. I've got a stack of Newsweeks to get through and some Parents magazine, a Reader's Digest or two and then the Entertainment Weekly cast-offs from Lori (of which I pick and choose and don't read most of.) After a slow start, I'm almost back on track to read the New Testament again this year. It's a pretty simple plan but I started really late. And I'm still reading through the Bible with Rachel at night. Usually a chapter a day. We're up to Jeremiah and it seems like it's going to forever before we get done.

More social
Not sure if I've had much opportunity to work on this. But I'd call this one "needs improvement."

Diet will return
And sooner than expected. It's going slower than I'd like, but I am down 6 pounds since the start of the month.

Less busy
Not sure about this one. Not yet sure how to make that happen.

Bigger help around the house
I think I have been. I need to ask "How can I help?" more often. I've taken on a lot of the laundry. The washing, that is. Taking the dirty laundry down to the laundry room, sorting it and then scheduling the washing machine to run while we're asleep. Often that leaves it to Lori to move to the dryer the next day and then bring it out to fold. I'm trying to make time in the morning to transfer it to the dryer before I leave for work. I've also taken on much of the vacuuming. Not sure why, but I enjoy it. I think it's such an easy thing that makes things look so nice.

Make it to The City monthly
Check. Was up mid-month for a Seattle Direct Marketing Association dinner -- in the middle of a snow storm -- and then this past weekend with Allison and Steve to the sculpture park (scroll down). In February I have another conference and we're planning a trip to the zoo. We might also head up that way on the first -- I'm taking the day off from work. Woo! We also drove through Seattle to go to Marysville to surrender the dog, but that might not count.

New Restaurant Each Month
I had forgotten about this. I did eat at a Thai restaurant and enjoyed the food... went with some tame and simple safe foods. A real coup would be to get Lori to try it. But it's no longer new so I need to find a new restaurant.

Same Restaurants Less
Yes, but only because we've been trying to watch our money a little bit this month.

Send Lori More Flowers
Haven't sent flowers since Dec. 11. I'm going to actually count "bring Lori flowers" in this particular goal, but haven't done that lately either. Again, watching the money a little bit.

Don't waste time on the computer or doing chores when spending time with Rachel
Yes and no. My rule is that if she asks to watch Sesame Street, then I get to play SimCity. And some chores I've involved Rachel in. Like we washed my car over two evenings. And Rachel now has a new chore of her own -- taking dirty laundry down to the laundry room. Each night she does that (starting today) she earns stickers to put on a blank orange piece of paper I taped to the wall in her bathroom.

Find a new home for the dog
Yes. It was bittersweet, but it had to be done. Due to a lost post, apparently I never did actually post on here, but Barkley went to a wonderful woman in Marysville A-Z Pet Care / A Bark Above and Ginger's Pet Rescue who is fostering Barkley until a permanent home can be found.

Get finances under control
Not yet. Haven't had time. Need to do that.

Talk to family more frequently
Mostly, yes. I do need to talk to Lori's mom more often.

Yes, yes, yes. I'm thrilled at the progress made this month. The downstairs is now presentable and the last bit of clutter has finally been removed from our bedroom. New shelves in the storage area has helped clean things up too. There's still a little bit to do downstairs, but the next area should probably be the garage. Lori finally found the last two items that I thought had been lost in the move.

Enjoy the view out my bedroom window more
I guess...?

Appreciate the beauty of nature more
Definitely. Much easier to do now that it's light out in the mornings for the drive to work. I'm excited that it will soon be light after work. And it's mostly been warm enough to walk at lunch, and even a couple of times before work. That's exciting. Helps with the diet, too.

This month has gone by so quickly. But it's been a really good month. I continue to feel more and more settled in the place. We did have a crazy snow storm, but we never lost power during the entire month. We're having some really beautiful weather lately. Still, it's been really cold this week, some days not going above 40 all day. My rule for walking is that it's gotta be above 40. And it's sad to look at my computer at lunch time and see that it's still 38 outside. That also leads to $400 a month power bills. That really, really hurts. This next month promises to be good as well. Life is just becoming more and more relaxing.
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