Friday Five

Resolved: These are my resolutions. Deal with it. I read or heard that something to the effect of only eight percent of Americans actually keep their New Year’s Resolutions, especially when they are fitness or health related. Oops. To combat this staggering possibility of failure, the writers at your local online self-help websites suggest to make yourself publicly accountable. So this is me. Doing that.

Couch to how many k?
I wrote about the starting of the C25K program a few months ago, right before I started traveling. I was really nervous that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with it. And I killed it. The day I got back from traveling, I downloaded a new set of podcasts, the bridge to 10k. My goal is to run a 10K race, with my sights set on a possible half-marathon. I realize it’s normal to train for a marathon in this amount of time, but goals are meant to be attainable. Until you set the next crazy one.

Improve My Posture
I’m over six feet tall. I’ve been over six feet tall since I was twelve years old. I’ve been stooping over people for more of my life than I haven’t. And now I really want that to change. I need to build up core and back muscles and be generally uncomfortable for a long time. One exercise suggested envisioning squeezing an orange between your shoulder blades and ‘make some orange juice’ has become my new mantra. The days of the ‘shrimp walk’ are over.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Before I came to Thailand, I was an April-October runner. Then I wasn’t a runner or an anythinger because of a multitude of factors with life in Thailand. Now some of those are working in my favor as the cold weather isn’t stopping me from keeping up with a running schedule. In 2013, I would like to maintain a year-long program of exercise.

Can’t Take the Heat then Deal with it and Learn to Cook
I’m not a foodie that enjoys cooking, watching other people cook, or waiting for food. I don’t have a large appetite either. These factors generally conclude that I eat whatever is tasty and quick, which usually means pretty shitty health wise. To nourish my body properly for exercise (and, life), I need to learn how to cook. Nothing elaborate, rather a development of taste and how to prepare food to satisfy my tongue and the needs of my body.

Communication Nation
I’m not very good at making new friends or meeting new people. I’m one of those terribly shy people who suck immensely at small talk, especially in large groups. And then when the one poor soul that initiates a chat, I get awkward. Even if I do manage to gimp along, hide my racing heat beat, and survive until the natural end of a conversation, my follow through is weak. What do you say to those people you just met? Clearly Thailand hasn’t really helped in this department as it is totally normal to discuss bowel movements, what I ate for breakfast, and the current weight of your conversation partner within minutes of meeting. Mostly, I think I need to practice, practice, and practice some more. Force myself to be uncomfortable to cast my net and hope for a good catch of a friend or colleague. In 2013, it is my resolution to be better at talking to people I don’t know yet and develop more meaningful relationships afterwards.

Small Accomplishments

This is more of a personal accomplishment rather than one in my community, but I’m proud nonetheless. Remember this little New Year’s resolution about keeping up in my journal, one page a day? Well, I kept it (mostly, I only missed three days, I think, this year so far) and I’ve done something I’ve never done before.

My first PC journal

I’m sort of a notebook nerd. Back to school sales and school shopping is my favorite time of year (despite having graduated from academia three years ago). I’ve never been able to finish an entire notebook full of journaling before my eye has caught the eye of another. The problem was, I would go on a burst of writing, going for two or three weeks of solid chronicling before something coming up and I would go for months without an entry. Later I would start afresh with a new notebook, promising myself to get through this one.

I’m happy to say that I’ve broken my bad habit by expecting a new one from myself. Now I’ve filled not just one, but two entire notebooks of my thoughts, frustrations, doodles, and dreams. It’s amazing to see time and my growth as a person in such a literal way, as pages in my journal. I find myself remembering things better and having it on paper when I can’t. Going through the last twenty months made me shake my head, laugh out loud, and realize how far I’ve come on this crazy journey in Peace Corps Thailand. I’m really glad to have recorded it thus far, both in print and with this blog. It forces me to realize how important writing is to me as a person and for other people to write down their own story to share.

First two full already, on to #3!

I’m starting my third journal now and I’m considering upping myself to two pages of day, but worry about slipping into a quantity over quality of my entries. I worried about that with my one page goal and while I’m sure there were some days that didn’t need to be recorded (ex. man I hate doing laundry by hand, I can’t wait for cheese to be in my daily life again), but I think the positives outweigh the negatives. I hope one day to publish something, anything and see my name in print. Practice makes perfect right?