Goals Update Summer 2017

So, it’s been two months since I did my first goal post for this summer.  In the midst of getting engaged, graduating, moving, job hunting, adjusting to a new job, and wedding planning, this blog has fallen by the wayside a bit.  But I miss it, and everyone I’ve come to get to know a little bit through WordPress.  I haven’t kept up with the blogging community, or my goals, as much as I wish I could this summer.  But today I get to remedy that by taking a quick look at what my goals were for this summer (yikes).

  1. Be selfless — nothing in my life affects me and only me.  Honestly, I’d forgotten all about this one.  I don’t know that I’ve been more selfish than normal (though I definitely have my moments), but I haven’t intentionally been selfless either.  Although I’ve managed to get my attitude somewhat, kind of in check about having a traditional, fairly expensive wedding, which was why I made this goal in the first place. I better not think about that too much, though, so moving on.
  2. Communication
    1. Talk to myself.  I have, but again, no more than normal.  Although a couple times lately I’ve noticed myself sliding into a sour mood, and told myself to get it together, and it’s helped a little (when it doesn’t make me more annoyed than I already am, anyway).  Actually, one of my new coworkers has helped with this a bit — she’s always sweet and kind, even when she’s stressed or pissed or doesn’t feel good, and it’s a great example for me.
    2. Make it a point to speak to people I don’t see on a regular basis.  Well, I’ve spoken to people I don’t see often, but only a few times has it been me initiating.  Still, mission accomplished?  I guess?
    3. Always tell my fiance if something is bothering me.  And here, folks, we have a work in progress.  There was something a few days ago, and I brought it up (after a few days of stewing and knowing I should bring it up), and he didn’t see the issue as a problem and/or was too uncomfortable to talk about it like I wanted to, and so I let it go.  So I guess props to me for actually speaking up, but fail to both of us for not following through.  I’m hoping premarital counseling might help with our weird communication issues.
  3. Be assertive.  I have tried to do this.  A big thing has been in choosing wedding details.  I don’t normally like being the one to make choices, especially about small details, because I usually don’t care that much.  But I’ve had to make myself care, and I’ve had to learn to just say, “Let’s do this,” because as the bride-to-be, I’m the one everyone turns to for final decision making.  As I’ve learned the policies at my new job, too, I’ve tried to be assertive and confident.  I can’t run to my supervisor every time a customer gives me an issue, especially if it’s about a policy I know back and forth.  I need to present myself as competent, even if I’m not as confident as I seem.

This summer has been a whirlwind, and it’s not going to stop anytime soon.  The most I can do, I guess, is try to enjoy it as much as possible.  That’s what life’s about anyway, isn’t it?


What I’m Reading: June 2016

One thing I hoped for after graduation has come true: I have a lot more time to read.  I finally have a full-time job, so my days are spoken for, but I no longer have to make room in my evenings for homework.  So books have made it back into my life on the regular, thank goodness!

Resultado de imagen para my not so perfect life coverIt’s not summer for me without a Sophie Kinsella book, and this is the newest one, published in February of this year.  It follows the classic Kinsella style of zany characters and hilariously ridiculous situations, but it felt a bit more serious than her earlier books, especially the Shopaholic series.  In this, Katie Brenner is a recent college grad (like myself) who is trying to break into the world of branding.  She lands a job at a prestigious firm, but is a bit intimidated by her boss, whose social media accounts make it look like her life could not be more perfect.  Katie is simultaneously in awe and repulsed, but when she gets fired she has a whole host of new problems to deal with.

I enjoyed this because it’s the first Kinsella protagonist I’ve read who was just starting out in life.  I identified with Katie, and I admit felt a bit jealous that she is working in her field so soon after graduation.  But Katie is definitely not perfect either, and that made her so easy to root for.  I saw myself and my friends in her, and I wanted her to succeed.  She learns a lot of hard, adult-y lessons throughout the book, but it still has the nice, satisfying ending that is characteristic to Kinsella books.

Resultado de imagen para universal harvester coverUniversal Harvester is one I wish I could have read in school, or even in a book club, because it begs to be re-read and pondered and analyzed.  Set in the late 90s, it follows Jeremy, who works at a video rental store.  Jeremy, who has lived alone with his father since his mother died in a car accident, is settled into his routine, and likes it that way.  But he can’t help but be curious when several tapes get returned with extra scenes edited in, scenes that seem to have been shot not far from his house.

When I started this, it felt like a creepy thriller.  The mystery surrounding the tapes seemed dark.  Once I realized that — spoiler alert — the narrator is not the author, but another, unknown character, it got even creepier.  But as I got even farther into the book, the creepiness melted away, and it just felt horribly sad.

I know I’m being vague about this book, but it’s the kind that demands to be read to be understood.  You can go read the description on Amazon or Goodreads if you want more info.  What I will say is that Darnielle’s writing style is incredible.  Reading a novel with an unreliable narrator is one of my favorite things in the world, and he executed that perfectly.  This is going to be one I beg other people to read so we can talk about it.

Resultado de imagen para yo julia alvarez coverYo! is by the same author who wrote How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, which I loved.  This I have not loved nearly as much.  But part of it is because at first I didn’t realized that this book continues the story Yolanda, one of the Garcia girls, throughout her lifetime.  It’s an eventful one, too — she angers her entire family by writing about them, gets kicked out of college, and marries — three times.  If I had realized that this Yo was the same as the Garcia Girls Yo at first, maybe I would’ve liked it better.

But another reason I haven’t loved this is because I am reading it in Spanish.  While I have no trouble reading and comprehending words, comprehending voice is a different story.  In this book, each chapter has a different narrator.  Sometimes they are named, and sometimes they aren’t.  I also didn’t realize that at first, because it does take a little more effort for me to understand Spanish novels.  I found that it helps immensely if I read out loud, but I can’t read the entire thing aloud to myself.  I did finish the book, but I think I would have enjoyed it much more in English.

That said, it’s still an incredible work.  (Also, some of my issues may stem from the translation, since it was written in English originally.)  But even with my somewhat foggy understanding of the book, Alvarez’s unique writing style comes through.  Her characterization and place settings are both beautiful in their own way, and the fact that she wrote every single chapter in a different voice speaks to her talent.  Even though I haven’t enjoyed this nearly as much as How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, I’d still recommend it, and I may end up reading it again in English in the future.


Summer Goals Update

So, how am I doing on my summer goals?

1.  Be positive!!  Honestly, not too bad, but not great.  My job really tends to bring me down.  I try to go in with an okay attitude and then I get there and end up in a horrible mood.  Which is not good for my customer service skills or my well-being.  However, I’ve had some interesting opportunities for the fall (which I’ll talk about below!) and I got to see the boyfriend for the Fourth, so those are all happy things.  Plus, I may get to go home for the rest of the summer.

2.  Plan meals for the week and cook at least four times a week.  Planning I’m doing great on!  Every time I go buy groceries I make a point to have a list of possible dinners and make sure to get the things to make those.  Cooking those I’m not doing great on, but it’s a start at least.  It helps to make a physical list of dinner options so I can look at it during the week and try to plan time to prepare food.  My main thing is actually remembering that I have options.

3.  Research job options.

Last week I stumbled upon a local realty website whose contact form specifically requested info from people who are interested in real estate, so of course I emailed them!  I got to go to the office and talk to the broker, who told me a bit about the licensing process, the regulations for real estate agents, and a bit about the daily process real estate agents go through.  Then I got a tour of the office and got to meet some of the agents and realtors, and met one woman, Brandi, who needs help with data entry.  She showed me an example of a listing and told me the basics of what you would input into the system.  There’s the possibility that they may call me to help with that, which would be awesome.  But if not, I still learned a lot more about realty than I knew before, and it was super helpful to be able to see an actual office.  I learned that it’s higher stress than I imagined, but the flexibility and work still sounds appealing to me.  Just from those few minutes, I think realty is still something I should look into.

Also, for the fall semester, I am officially a part of my university’s sports video production team (got the official email a few days ago).  I know almost nothing about sports or video production, so it will definitely be a learning experience!  Besides the fact that the work should be really fun and interesting, I’m excited for several other reasons: 1) my boyfriend also applied and will more than likely get hired, so I should get to work with him; 2) I will get to choose my own hours for this job every month, because they know students have weird schedules; and 3) I’ll get paid more than minimum wage.  Yay!

4.  Do sewing projects.  I have time, but not the supplies.  I should probably take this off the list.

5.  Read Spanish.  Honestly, I kind of forgot about this one.  However, one of my classes is about to end, which will free up a bit of time.  I should make it a point to get one Spanish book next time I am at the library.

6.  Go hiking.  Too hot.

7.  Go home.  I’ve gotten to go home so much in the past few weeks, which has been wonderful.  And like I mentioned before, I may get to go home for the rest of the summer.  I’m hoping that will work out, partly because my sister gets back from Mongolia in July, and I’d actually get to see her before the fall semester begins.  She’ll be starting her freshman year at my same university, but this next semester is gonna be so crazy we’ll have to actually work to see each other.

8.  Look into selling erasable calendars.  Maybe I’ll actually price stuff if I get to go home.  Must remember that pricing stuff is an option when I get bored at my apartment.

9.  Make a savings plan and budget.  Hahahahahahahahahaha.

10.  Blog a little.  Ta-da!  I’m about to finish another review book, so a new review will be going up soon in addition to this.

11.  Exercise at least 4 times a week/every other day.  Not great, but not awful.  I ran/walked about 2 miles with my dad last time I went home, and did the modified Pinterest routine at home again the other day.  I also seem to remember using my Sworkit app for a small 10-minute yoga routine last time I went home too.  But I think I forgot to put that in my workout log.

Overall, I’m doing pretty good on 6/11 of my goals, which is a little over half.  Not too shabby if I do say so myself.


Summer Goals

At the beginning of the summer, before classes started, I made a list of goals for myself.  It consists of things I’d like to get back in the habit of, and also things I can do to reverse bad habits I know I have.  I know my blogging habits tend to drop off during the school year because I get busy, but for this summer I’m going to try to do regular updates of these goals to keep myself on track.

So to begin, here are my summer goals, straight from my journal:

  1. Be positive!!  So far, this is touch and go.  I’ve good days and bad days.  This is definitely something I need to work on all the time, but I’m trying to remember to have a good attitude (especially about work).
  2. Plan meals for the week and cook at least 4 times a week.  Pretty good on this so far.  Plans change a bit when I accidentally make enough chicken and quinoa for 15 people as opposed to one, but at least planning keeps me cooking!
  3. Research job options.  I have definitely been doing this!  I’ve explored real estate certification quite a bit.  Need to keep that up and look into jobs with study abroad programs as well.
  4. Do sewing projects.  None of this yet.  I’m supposed to be doing a 4H quilt for my sister and a tulle skirt for a friend, but I don’t have all the supplies I need for either.  May need to take this off the list and save for next summer?
  5. Read Spanish.  Borrowed several Spanish books from the library a few weeks ago, but didn’t finish any of them.  Need to find an interesting one and be diligent about reading.  Also could look for Spanish TV shows.
  6. Go hiking.  Haven’t done this yet.  As a small female, I’m a bit wary of hiking alone.  Need to find someone to invite.  I have been for a drive out to the more rural parts of the county, though.
  7. Go home.  Plan to in the next few days!  So excited!
  8. Look into selling erasable calendars.  Random idea I had for an Etsy shop since I made myself one for freshman year, and most of the ones on Etsy are a bit pricey.  Need to do some research on frame and paper prices so I can decide if this is something I might want to do next year (as a side project after I graduate — definitely can’t spend that kind of money now).
  9. Make savings plan and budget.  Haven’t looked at this at all yet.
  10. Blog a little.  You’re looking at that accomplishment!
  11. Exercise at least 4 times a week / every other day.  I’ve got a good start on this!  Two days ago I ran a mile and this morning I modified an exercise ball routine to do in my living room since the school fitness center was closed.

Overall, I’m not doing too bad so far!  We’ll see how the rest of the summer goes.

Also, here’s the workout I did this morning: