Auld Lang Syne (2013 Edition)

To close out 2013, I wanted to think about the goals I set out to accomplish at the beginning of the year.  I’m still mulling goals for 2014, and trying to figure out which ones are lofty yet attainable.  But to recap with notations added to this post from May:

As is usually the case, my ambitions are larger than my output so here’s where I’m at with my New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. A pic each day — this lasted all of three nine days.  But that’s due in part to how cold our weather has been this year and that becoming a Chicago Architecture Foundation Docent Trainee has been my substitute for looking around myself more deeply.  Trust me, few buildings pass me by without at least an “I wonder if the architect/builder/designer did that on purpose?” OR “Just what the heck would you call that do-hickey?” OR “Huh, I have no idea what to call that style. I should look it up.” I have about a 10% rate on actually remembering to look it up by the time I get home.  But that’s another resolution for another year.  EOY UPDATE: The technical term for do-hickey is ornamentation (not decoration, ahem).  Looking forward to attending some lectures in the new Docent training to learn architecture beyond skyscrapers goinng forward. DC, ahem,  like Queen Anne.
  2. New reading goals: I’m only aiming for 75, but thankfully Goodreads is helping me keep track. According to my account, I am off by 2 on my pace to meet my goal.  The breakdown on that goals was also to read 12 non-fiction (4), 12 Chicago (4), and 6 from my TBR/unread pile at home (0).  So, yes, the 4 that were non-fiction were also Chicago.  But I had always intended for my breakdowns to overlap.  EOY UPDATE: If I finish one more book today (a distinct possibility, I am devouring Ian McEwan’s SWEET TOOTH), I will have read 100 books this year, including meeting all of my subgoals on Chicago and non-fiction.  I did read from my TBR pile, and quit counting after I hit my 6.
  3. Make gifts for my peeps for the Creativity Challenge – 5 friends, 5 random gifts. I have the gift ready for NK (knitting friend) if we ever meet up to give it to her (she’s had a rough 18 months, poor dear). For CD (former boss), I have the yarn and pattern picked out.  For MV (high school friend), I have the yarn selected, but can’t settle on a project.  And ford MR (law school friend), I have cast on, and knit one row, but that’s it.  And poor CS (NALP friend) — I’m drawing a blank.  But I’m sure something she says will inspire me — that’s how she rolls! EOY UPDATE: I finished this with about a week to spare, and all pieces are in the mail! I will create a post later this week with a shot of each of the FOs (finished objects).
  4. New knitting skills — magic loop (check — I have one sock that I’m about to pull out so I can use the yarn for something else) and double knitting (have a kit purchased — just need to figure out how to do ptbl — the videos aren’t helping so far — so yet another reason NK and I need to meet up). EOY UPDATE: I am not finished with my double knitting project, but it is a priority for the friend whose 2013 quite frankly was the worst possible in so many ways.  But I also learned fair isle and became fairly adept in using magic loop on my fingerless mitt projects.

And though not stated as a New Year’s Resolution, I need to resurrect my social media and writing lives.  I have some ideas on how to do this, we’ll see how they go. . . Stay tuned!  EOY UPDATE: Moving forward with how to incorporate this into the 2014 goals…

72 and counting….

So what’s with the 72?  This past Saturday, I headed out on the Razzle Dazzle walking tour with Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF). By my count, I’ve now taken part in 72 different tours through CAF! It was a great tour lead by Robin S., who clearly knows the subject and truly enjoys sharing her love of theater with others.  It was snowing nearly the entire 90 minutes, which made it a fun tour to consider how great Chicago can look when the snow is still white and lofty. (And gives pause to thinking about which groups clean their sidewalks…) This tour focuses on the Chicago Theater District, and how it is evolved since the 1850’s. Only since moving here in the last five years have I seen The Blues Brothers, but there are various downtown scenes that really give you a sense of how desolate the Loop was in the latter part of the third quarter of this past century. (BTW, you can learn more about that movie in CAF’s Lights! Camera! Architecture! walking tour — which I did in the pouring rain.   I’m seeing a pattern here….)  Here’s to more tours in 2013!

Not to jinx myself…

…but a little healthy competition is a good thing, right?  That’s what I’m telling myself anyway since it has been a little over a month since my Fitbit Flex arrived in the mail.  I wear this device on my wrist, and it counts my steps, activity minutes, and will track my sleep if I activate it before I fall asleep.  From there, on the dashboard, I input my food and water intake, and can also add other activities, such as raking leaves or biking, and also set various goals.  The basic goals were 30 minutes of activity and 10,000 steps daily, so bumped those up to 45 minutes and 12, 500 steps. Based on your weight loss goals, it will also try to help you target your calorie intake against output.  I’ve set mine at moderately high, so that I’m trying to lose about 1.5 pounds per week.  So far, I’ve only lost three pounds, but given the lazy Thanksgiving I had, I’m okay with that.

So wait, I said competition, right? So yes, your friends can join so you can compare and cheer each other on (technically, you could jeer too but that’s not what this is about, right?).  You decide what your friends can see from your profile, and I’ve decided to put my weight out there for those friends to keep me more accountable.  So hopefully, I’m not jinxing myself, but if I can make myself get out there and finish 7500+ steps in the snow like yesterday, then just maybe I can stick this out.  Wish me luck!

Early December Resolution Update

Eek, I was only panicking about finishing my gift knitting when I realized I may not have finished some other things like….