The gauntlet has been thrown

I’ve made a “challenge list” for myself this year. I prefer this term, since “resolution” gets overused, and I tend to bull-headedly accept challenges just to prove that I can. Case in point: when my husband told me that I couldn’t quit smoking, I quit cold-turkey on the spot, just to prove him wrong. He’s a sly one, that guy.

Anywho, here’s my challenges for the year:

1) Read 150 books. This challenge came about through the Goodreads 2011 Reading Challenge. I read 92 books last year, so I decided that this year, I’d try to stick with about 3 books a week. Mind you, I am a librarian, and I read a lot of children’s and young adult books, so this goal isn’t really quite as tough as it sounds. So far, I’ve read three and a half books the first week of this year, so I’m on target.

2) Stop drinking soda. A few years ago, I would drink about a soda a month. I also cooked almost every meal my husband and I ate, and baked our own bread. Then I went to grad school, and I was reintroduced to late night study sessions, the giant burrito and the extra large soda. I don’t buy junk food, including soda, for my house, so you’d think that now that I’m graduated I would have no problem with this challenge. However, at my current job, we get free coffee and soda from the cafeteria. This means a trip or two each work day to fill up my reusable mug with diet whatever. So, my soda cup has been repurposed as a water mug. Not quite as satisfying, but definitely more thirst quenching. I decided on this challenge about halfway through New Year’s Day, and haven’t had a soda since.

3) Knit/handmake one Christmas gift per month. When I first felt accomplished enough as a knitter to give people gifts, I’d often start them sometime in early December. After a few failures, and extreme late night knit sessions to finish projects on Christmas Eve, it dawned on me that summer is probably a more appropriate time to start working on handmade holiday gifts. Then, I started working on larger holiday gifts. Whole sweaters and shawls and the like. These take a REALLY long time to knit, so this year, I scaled down and made socks, hats and other accessory items. This was definitely more doable, but I started too late again (like, after Thanksgiving). So, inspired by my friend Brenda, this year I am going to attempt to knit or otherwise handmake at least one item a month, so that I can relax next December instead of giving myself carpel tunnel.

4) Cook more meals, bake more bread. Ideally, I’d cook all our food again. But I’m really busy with all that reading and knitting, so I’m not going to try to put a number on this one. But I’m going to try to make at least a couple meals a week in my crockpots, and increase the number of veggies no matter what. I’m also going to try to bake bread IN the bread machine (rather than just using it to knead the dough), since I think this convenience will make the goal more attainable.

5) Get the hell out of bed in the morning without hitting the snooze button for thirty or forty minutes. I love sleep. I love my bed. It is very hard for me to wake up in the morning, and leave my bed. Especially in the winter, when the flannel sheets and down comforter make the bed so very, very toasty and cozy. I can sleep for upwards of ten hours a night, no problem. However, this is a gigantic waste of my time, and actually makes me more tired during the day. So. I am going to get to bed at a decent time (something I already do, actually), and then I am going to set my alarm for seven or eight hours hence, and then GET UP when the alarm goes off. I never want to wake up, but once I get up and move around, I’m just fine. This should give me more time to do the following challenge.

6) Walk the dog for AT LEAST an hour in the morning before work. I am currently walking Rocky about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on when I can force myself out of bed, and how cold it is outside. Sometimes, it’s damn freezing out, but I have warm mittens and scarves and hats that I’ve knit, Cuddle Dudz and a down coat. What I might need to invest in, though are some really good winter boots. The ones I have now are cheap, and I need to wear two pairs of socks so that I can still feel my toes after a good walk. (Rocky is just fine in his fully lined dogsuit.)

7) Blog at least once a week about my progress on these challenges, amongst other topics. You would think this would be easy, but since I have a work blog as well as this one, plus an obvious myriad of activities that fill my time, it’s hard for me to sit down and say “I’m going to write a blog post today.” Even when I do, something else gets in the way. So. Once a week. At least.


About Courtney Walters

Mama. Information librarian. Food lover. Knitter. Gardener (ish).
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2 Responses to The gauntlet has been thrown

  1. Jealous says:

    your husband sounds like a terrific human being and i’m sure he’s quite the handsome fellow as well. you’re truly the luckiest person in the world.

  2. AthenaMB says:

    LOVE the title and format of your blog. I didn’t realize it was yours when I followed the link and as I read the first lines I thought “Man, Courtney would really really like this…Oh wait…Courtney? Is that you?”

    Very nice work! Agenda item for a conversation sometime: starting a blog of my own.


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