Sunday, February 06, 2011

stuck in chicago

but hopefully not for long!

just a little weather delay, i hope.

one of my biggest irritations about canadians is their belief that they can somehow speak really derogatorily about americans as though we are inherently better by the simple fact that we are not americans.  it is lame and goes against all that we like to pride ourselves on as canadians.

but.  but, i have been at the chicago airport for only a few hours and i am already finding myself want to assert my canadian-ness.  either by being overly polite or enunciating my words or refraining from overusing the word 'like' in conversation.

i am not quite sure why.  i hope it is not coming from the same place that allows canadians to get smug and self righteous.

and a real shame that i couldn't have planned with this delay in mind because they i could've wandered out of security and visited one of my favourite chicago residents!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

29 + 12 = 30!

i made it!  survived 2010, a sometimes trying year, and my 29th year.  i warmly welcomed my 3rd decade with a wonderful birthday with deliveries of flowers and cupcakes, hilarious ecards, wonderful presents, and well wishes from across canada and the united states, ireland, georgia, kenya, south africa, the philippines, australia, the uk, italy, thailand, mexico, bermuda, africa's newest country of south sudan, japan, france, and afghanistan!

and here is how my 9 for 29 goals shaped up (or, in a few cases, shipped out!):

1 - conquer my anxiety, or at least win a few battles against it.  this last month of 29 has left me feeling content and calm, not normally my modus operandi, and at peace with my future.  part of that has come from knowing i get to go to new york next week for more un speak and potential career connections.  i certainly have had some down days, but overall, i feel as though i am entering my 30s in a much more solid place in terms of anxiety and stronger than recent years in my 20s.  exciting and reassuring.  but as i have said all year, this battle might be won, but there will be a constant war against anxiety in my world.

2 - be more thoughtful of others, especially around special occasions. i can't really remember the motivation behind setting this goal, but i feel as though i managed ok.  i am not sure that i improved much on previous years, but i maintained my thoughtfulness and tried to observe special events and occasions of those around me.
interestingly, i find this much more difficult now that there are so many ways to communicate with your friends, family, and acquaintances and more places to store information.  i used to have 1 daytimer and a phone that received calls.  now i carry a blackberry, an iphone, AND a daytimer and i need to streamline this whole system so that i know when people's birthdays are without having to rely on facebook to tell me.

3 - continue making visiting family and friends a priority.  this year, i got to visit a friend in vietnam, my dad on vancouver island twice, and many friends and near-family in south africa.  i had intended on doing more travelling within north america, but the cost and timing didn't work out during 29.  i STILL have washington dc and chicago on my travel list and am hoping to get to at least one of those in the coming year.  i will get to see some old friends from my nairobi days while i am in new york next week and that should be lovely.  

4 - nail down some sort of short-term career goals.  remember what i said last month?  yes, that 2011 will be the Year of Direction!  i hadn't done a lot of work to get to the bottom of this goal in the last year.  i did a lot of thinking and a lot of worrying and even a little daydreaming over the past year, but not a lot of the work that i think will be necessary to help me to get to where i want to be.  or figure out where i want to be.  that might be a better place to start.

5 - lay a nest egg to accompany my nest.  the nest egg is there.  but it is more like a robin's egg when i wish it was an ostrich egg.  i think that as long as i stay in calgary, this will be moved higher on my list of priorities.  as life planning goes, this is one of those elements that needs to be there so that i can do whatever it is that i want to do (once i figure that bit out...).

i am not bad with money per se, i am just still unsure of how much money i should be spending on my house, on entertainment, on food, on travelling, on savings, on investments...
but i have a new(ish) friend who is a financial planner and i might hit him up for some advice or business once i am back from new york.

6 - eat more balanced, regular meals. i don't know what has happened to me over the past few weeks, but i have been a human garbage can, eating cheeseburgers, chips, pizza, chocolate, and ever other bad thing within my reach.  i am not normally a compulsive eater, but i can't seem to stop once i get started (typically in the evenings) and nothing satisfied me.

i hadn't been cooking, but i am back on that train and have brought out the slow cooker and my newest addition to my kitchen, a kichenaid food processor (that did nick my finger during its installation on my counter resulting in a lot of blood).

throughout the year, i fluctuated between eating really regular and healthy meals to forgetting to eat until 4pm or munching on crap late into the night.  this will likely always be the case, but man does it feel gross if my eating habits are not in order (like now).    

7 - sleep an appropriate amount.  there were some weeks there in the fall that i could have slept for hours and hours and right through the morning, but lately i have been getting by on less sleep and that is probably a good thing.  mostly because i have actually been getting out of bed when my alarm goes off and waking up relatively rested and ready for the day.

part of what makes it easier not to sleep and sleep and sleep is not being on any anti-anxiety medication, which makes me rather sleepy (although i do still miss the technicolour dreams) and being busy, which means that i don't have the option of hitting snooze (well, more than twice) and have to get my arse out of my bed.
one thing that i do notice is that if i haven't started the week with sufficient sleep, i play catch up all week and never feel as though i am well rested until friday night where i am useless and just want to put pyjamas on and sit beside the fireplace.

8 - maintain my priorities.  perhaps one of the challenges of this goal was that i never officially stated my priorities, but i do think i made sure that when i was becoming overwhelmed with one job or the other, that i took a step back and did something for myself.  one area that i feel as though i should've made a stronger effort to prioritise was physical fitness and running.  after my half marathon training ended last spring, i ran a little bit here and a little bit there, but without any specific goals or program.  i like the fact that after a few weeks without running, i can hammer out a 10km run without much difficulty, but i know i need to replace running (or something physical) back in my list of priorities moving forward.

9 - keep asking for what i want.  i did a really good job of this during 29.  when i wanted something, i asked for it.  most often, i got what i asked for, and the times that i didn't didn't turn out so bad either.  i am heading to new york next week because i asked for something and i have already asked a few people there to meet with me to explore opportunities and chat about life in new york.

i started my 30th year with a job offer in my inbox (but sadly, i do not speak the francaise, which i really should get back on one of these days...) an even though that wasn't a suitable post for me, i do feel as though that once i figure out what i want, i will certainly be asking for it!


i am not sure if i will draft goals for my 30th year.  if i do, i want them to be more specific so that i can use them to stay on track rather than recap what i have been up to and see if it fits.  i think goals are important, but i do thin that to make them effective and useful, i really should spend quality time unpacking what it is that i want and how that would translate into goals for the coming year.

work in progress, i tell ya!