Woohoo! This is one of my favorite weeks of the year. Super quiet at work, kids are home all day so no morning routine rush, and lots of time to complete projects big and small.
I picked up two Jojo Moyes books at the library on a whim. They have this great "new paperbacks" section up front and I've found a lot of fun reads that way. I read the very popular Me Before You and really enjoyed it. It reminded me a lot of John Greene's The Fault in Our Stars, but for an older audience. The second one, One Plus One, was enjoyable but the characters were way too similar to the other book, so I didn't enjoy it as much reading it back to back. I loved that the daughter in the story was a math prodigy, though.
This month our book club is reading Graeme Simsion's excellent book The Rosie Project. It was recommended by a few friends last year and I loved it, so I suggested it for book club. I was happy to re-read it, and I read the sequel, The Rosie Effect as well. It was not quite as brilliant as the first, but I definitely liked it.
Reading fiction again. I have never been able to match the pace I had in elementary and middle school, as high school and college came with a ton of mandatory reading. In addition, my Project Management certification requires me to spend a good chunk of my reading time on business-y books to get continuing education credits. But starting my "virtual book club" last summer has meant that I've read *at least* one fiction book a month. In addition to that, Trillian's newfound love of reading means we're at the library a few times a month and I always find something fun to read while I'm waiting for her to pick out more Rainbow Fairy books (sigh).
One of my 3 Q1 goals - painting Meridian's dresser. We bought this dresser to use as a changing table in 2009 before Trillian was born. I decided I wanted to paint it, but since we used sticky-back Velcro to attach the changing pad, I had to wait until we weren't using it for diaper changes anymore. That time came last summer (Hallelujah!) but I had to finish Trillian's dresser first. Then I lost all interest in more sanding, masking, priming, and painting.
But then TJ mentioned that he'd give me a little incentive to get this project done (and out of his garage!) We need some kind of media console cabinet/table for our living room. We have decided that we need to start buying real furniture after my IKEA debacle this summer (The Case of the Missing Mattress) and he didn't flinch when I showed him some absolutely LOVELY ones at Restoration Hardware. He said we could buy the new media console once I finished that dresser. So here we are, two days into the Second Dresser Project, and I just need to clear coat the top and spray paint the hardware. Woot!
A guy at work told me about the podcast called This Week in Photo: Family. It's specific to family photography and seems geared towards beginners/amateurs who want to get better at their personal photography. I love it! It seems to be weekly and I've got lots of catching up to do! Their Q&A episode was super helpful and got me to think about tackling my fear of learning how to use a flash. So I asked for one for Xmas and TJ was kind enough to oblige.
Both of my planners are in my hot little hands, which is better than the Passion Planner debacle of 2015, where I didn't receive my pre-ordered planner until the end of January. After hearing a ton of endorsements for the Get to Work Book, and seeing its simple black and white, project-focused design, I was sold. It even has 3 checkboxes on each day for my Most Important Tasks so I don't have to stamp the boxes myself anymore! I'm so excited about it :) That'll be my daily use planner for work and personal tasks. It also lets me plot out larger projects like the 3 scrapbook projects I have on deck for The Papercraft Lab, and this dresser-finishing project.
My second planner is the Commit30, and when I saw the 30 day check-off page for each month I knew it would be perfect for helping me track my very small fitness and health related goals for the year. Each month will be a different 30 day challenge, starting with tracking my meals daily on my phone in January so I can get an accurate picture of exactly what I'm eating. February will likely be a "walk 20+ minutes daily" challenge and I haven't thought beyond that. We'll probably do another Whole30 at some point.
Quarterly goals for 2016. Laura Vanderkam suggested making goals quarterly as it's easier to stick to them than a New Year's Resolution which I'll forget about by April. I have 3 goals for Q1:
- Walk 75 times for 20+ minutes a session
- Make my 2015 holiday scrapbook by the end of January
- Paint Meridian's dresser & get it into her room
I also did a year-end performance review following this template. At first it seemed like a lot of unnecessary work, but actually going through month by month, I found a lot of things to be proud of and a few surprising lessons:
- I dislike group exercise classes and prefer working out alone
- I spend way too much time on Facebook
- Having my daily to-do list on paper in a weekly planner works amazingly well for me
- I can be a morning person!
- I was able to find flexible, well paying, remote, part-time work
I ended up writing about 5.5 pages for my review, and it was a really nice way to wrap up and reflect on the year, and think about how I might approach 2016 differently. I highly recommend it, especially over a nice cup of tea :)
So there it is, my last Currently post of 2015. Happy New Year everyone!