2018 Goals: A Look Backward and a Look Forward

Over the last several days, I have been thinking about goals. I didn’t set birthday goals this year because they were starting to feel almost arbitrary, like I was setting the goals out of habit. However, it is absolutely true for me that if I write something down that I am much more likely to get it done…even if I forget that I had written it own. There are lists that I have found this year that prove that to me.

This year was an interesting one for me personally.  I made some adjustments that I needed to make in the spring and my life took on a different shape. I found myself doing a bunch of things that I wanted to do, but had not been doing. I took myself on a solo trip to Tennessee which is probably one of the most important things that I did this year. I took myself to a concert. I went by myself to the west side of the state to enjoy the lake and enjoy myself. I took in several movies at the theater with only myself as my companion. This year, though I spent considerable time in the company of other people, I made a point to do things by myself in a way that I had never done before. I’m definitely better for it.

Part of me wants to look back over the year and pull out a list of accomplishments. The rest of me doesn’t. I think that I tend to feel like a collection of achievements and failures, but I don’t want to feel like that anymore.

Speaking of feeling, in 2017. I think that I did a better job of letting myself feel my feelings than I ever have before, and I think that has been good for me. Feelings come and feelings go…letting myself just go with it made that seem a lot more manageable.

I lost about 20 lbs this year. Part of me wanted to set a goal to lose 10 more–30 was my original goal–but I just don’t feel like making that a priority. And that’s fine. I might change my mind. And that’ll be fine too. I’ve enjoyed good health, and this body is always down to be physical. I think that’s enough.


  1. In 2017, I found myself wishing that I had kept a list of the media that I had consumed. I aim to do that in 2018.
  2. I began to write for PULP this year which was extremely rewarding. Through this, I made a point to pay more attention to what was going on around me and to take advantage of the opportunities that  make this area appealing. I aim to keep this up. 
  3. I started this in 2017, but I have a bazillion t-shirt ideas. I want to turn them into reality in 2018.  
  4. Secret poetry project.
  5. Get back into Mathematics of A Race Riot. To make the goal measurable, I intend to write about 25 riots in 2018.
  6. Put a fire pit in the back yard!
  7. Make bao at home.
  8. Get the bricks on my house taken care of.
  9. Replace my stove.
  10. Find a household chore routine that works for me. 
  11. Decorate the big, blank, living room wall.
  12. Put order to the basement.
  13. Return the humiliating collection of bottles that reside in the garage.
  14. Grow some food. 
  15. Try the new workouts that I have been pinning over the last few years. 
  16. Successfully make sauerkraut. If at first you don’t succeed….
  17. Take another solo trip. Maybe camping?
  18. Private donation #1.
  19. Private donation #2.

And that’s it. My totally unsexy list of 2018 goals. Who cares if there is an odd number? Not I! That’s how I’m rolling into this new year. 

One More Goal: 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die

I’ve decided to listen to the songs listed in the book 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die

I don’t know a whole bunch about music. And I’m fine with that. It’s one of those art forms that I enjoy as a consumer, but have no desire to create, which makes me engage with it differently.

However, often, when I’m listening to a song, it seems like it’s another song’s cousin. I think that listening to these songs will be informative and will enhance my enjoyment of music.

I also find that, once introduced, I like a wide variety of music. I’m hoping that this little endeavor will help me to discover more things that I like…or even remember things that I like.

Here at the beginning of this 38th year, I am about 30 songs in. Assuming that I don’t totally abandon the project, I should have no problem knocking this out this year. I look forward to it. 


Out With the Old–In With the New


I like to write something around my birthday, usually goals. Usually these goals are something that I’d been thinking about for weeks.

This time around, though, I’ve been so busy living my life that I haven’t focused on goals as much as I have in the past.

This year, I made some changes. I realized that I wasn’t as happy as I wanted to be. I figured out why and acted accordingly. This year, I didn’t draw my decision-making process out. I did what I knew I needed to do, even though going through with it was uncomfortable.

I went by myself to a Hall and Oates concert and loved it. I took a weekend trip to the Smoky Mountains.

Now, some people I know are calling me “New Sherlonya.”

And I feel “new.”

I’m taking advantage of the many things that are cool about the area where I live.

Solo date 2

More importantly, I’m not letting the idea that I should be doing an activity with someone else stop me from doing the things that I know that I want to do. In fact, I’ve made a point to “date” myself. I’ve had a lot of fun doing this, taking myself to Detroit a few times to check out museums that I like, out to Lake Michigan. I’ve taken myself to the movies a couple times, and I’m loving it,

So, in this next year, I aim to keep it up. 

I’m calling this year, my 38th year, my Gerald Ford year. When Tom Brokaw delivered his eulogy, he mentioned President Ford’s fashion choices:

We could identify with him — all of us — for so many reasons. Among them, we were all trapped in what passed for style in the 70’s with a wardrobe with lapels out to here, white belts, plaid jackets and trousers so patterned that they would give you a migraine. The rest of us have been able to destroy most of the evidence of our fashion meltdown, but presidents are not so lucky. Those David Kennerly photographs are reminders of his endearing qualities, but some of those jackets — I think that they’re eligible for a presidential pardon or at least a digital touchup.

Solodate 1
So, I’ve decided in the Gerald Ford year to introduce more plaid into my wardrobe and to photograph it whenever I do wear plaid.

I plan to continue to check out interesting events and to write about them, too.

I’ve long collected ideas for t-shirts, and this is the year that I’ll make that happen.

Finally, I want to be sure to make the time to be grateful for all that I’ve been fortunate enough to have and experience. Gratitude is important to me, and I want to be sure to act accordingly.


Whole 30: Day 25

I thought that I would be writing about the Whole 30 experience more frequently. (Then again, I often think that I will write about something that I don’t wind up writing about). But, I have to say that this time has flown by.

It is is an interesting thing to adhere to a plan that is unfamiliar to the people who surround you. When I said Whole30 to one person and described it a little bit, that person said, “Oh! Like the Atkins Diet.” I never know what to say to something like that because I am not familiar with all of the details of the various diets that have been popular over time, plus, it feels rude to respond to a statement where the speaker’s intent is to relate to you with a bold and flat, “I have no idea.”

This will surprise no one who knows me. I read as much as I could about people’s experiences following the Whole30 diet before I began this experiment, and through the beginning of it. It turned out that the Whole30 website had a what-to-expect area on the website.

I didn’t experience a number of these things. However, I did have a very weird dream about eating pizza. I described it to someone like this, “Have you ever had a dream where you had an affair even though you know that you would never do that? But you wake up FEELING like you had an affair and you’re all like ‘What have I done? How could I have done that?'” That dream was a little stressful.

I also noticed a strange change to my sleep and my energy. I normally sleep like the dead, and sleep for around 7.5 hours per night. Some of these days, I haven’t been able to get to sleep right away because I’ve just felt too awake. Also, there have been times where I feel like a fully-wound wind-up toy. I’ve felt on several days like I needed to just go and expend a lot of physical energy. There have been days where I feel tired in my mind, but my body felt very charged. This type of energy, if that’s even what it should be called, did not feel good at all.

The energy thing made me feel like a dog that’s been in its kennel for too long, like I needed to just get out on a field and chase some frisbees or something. If I hadn’t been so active over the last several weeks, I wouldn’t have minded. But over the course of my Whole30, I’ve stayed on the move. For example, there are only 5 days of the last 25 where I took under 14,000 steps. Some of the exercise that I’ve done has been relatively intense, like the studio cycling class I’ve been taking, yet still, afterwards I might feel like I need to blow off more steam. 

There are several foods that I’ve leaned on pretty hard over the last couple weeks. I’ve eaten a questionable amount of apples, almond butter, salmon, and beef. I’ve also acquired a taste for kombucha.

I had tried kombucha in the past and thought it was disgusting. I didn’t understand the appeal of it at all. During this time, though, I gave it another shot and found it enjoyable. Maybe this is because I wasn’t drinking anything else other than tap water, coffee, and the occasional La Croix. Maybe this is because I tried enough of them that I started to enjoy it. I like kombucha enough now that I am attempting to brew a batch right now. And yes, the scoby is every bit as alarming as I thought it would be.

While I am looking forward to completing the Whole30, I am nervous about the reintroduction period. The idea is that at the end of the Whole30 your deliberately reintroduce that food groups that you eliminated during the 30 days. I know that my stomach and company have been happier over the last few weeks. This makes me a little gun shy about reintroducing things. I’m excited to put beans back into my diet. I hadn’t realized just how often I eat them. I don’t really miss grains. I’ve never been a big rice eater, and I haven’t specifically wanted pasta. Bread, of course, is delicious. Your girl loves tortillas. I’m nervous about cheese in particular. I love cheese. Sometimes when I am stressed out, I like to visualize myself sitting in a hot tub of queso dip. I am serious. I’ve suspected, however, that my mouth is the only part of my body that likes cheese. I’m worried about other dairy as well. I don’t like milk, so that’s not a biggie. However, I do enjoy the occasional ice cream cone. Eating one of those strikes fear in my heart. I’ve gotten used to black coffee, so I’m not even worried about cream in my coffee because I don’t think that I’ll really go back to drinking it that way.

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Finally, I notice that I haven’t been as hungry on Whole30 as usual. This is a tricky assertion because sometimes I’m simply not good at listening to my body’s signals. There are times when I might have thought I wasn’t hungry, but really, when I reflect, that was happening during times I was just ignoring my body’s signals. During this Whole30 so far, this body has not been shy about letting me know when it’s time to eat. In fact, upon waiting too long, I’ve done some disgusting things like eat a mouthful of Whole30 compliant saurkraut right out of the jar or eat beef of questionable doneness, slicing off a piece from the piece I was eating as soon as I could tell myself it was done enough to eat

So far, so good.

Now it’s time to wrap this whole thing up.

365 Days of Salad

I decided at the last minute to do a New Year’s goal. 

I’m going to try to eat a green salad every day in 2017. 

This shouldn’t be too hard. I love salad! I love coming up with different flavor combinations. However, sometimes when you don’t slow down, it can be a challenge to get in the things that you know add to a quality life.

Here’s to fiber and tastiness and better habits one day at a time.



Birthday Goals 2017


This year, I’m only setting two birthday goals.

Goal 1: Cook more. I love cooking. I, however have let myself fall into the habit of eating out too much. So, this year, I’m making an effort to get myself back into the kitchen. Having had goals around trying new recipes, I find that while I love reading them, I more often use them as guidelines, so there won’t be any of that as a goal. 

Goal 2: Try my hand at bullet journaling. It seems so fun, so I’m going to try it.

That’s it. Those are my goals.




2015’s one word theme is home.

There are a lot of things that home should be, in my mind anyway. 

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my various projects that I don’t make the time to maintain the home environment that I want to maintain.

This can result in less relaxation at home, and seriously, if you can’t relax at home, what’s the point. It can also lead to some bad habits.

Did I mention that I ate out more in December that I think I did ever in life before. This is a shame particularly because I love to cook. However, sometimes the idea of eating and being done with it just took over. But home is where some things should happen. For the most part, eating is one of them.

So, this year, my theme is home and making it the place that I want it to be, and making it the place I want my son to remember.

36 Goals Progress


I’m making some progress on the goals that I’ve set for this year.

I’ve mostly done the goals that I set out to do for September. I’m a little behind on the book proposal thing, but I’ve set some new goals for October that will bring me back into line there.

Speaking of those October goals:

  1. Finish my bicycle shirt.
  2. Submit book proposal for Head of State Cakes to at least 3 agents.
  3. Make some jewelry. 

My month, for this project starts on the 9th.  and I’ve started in on these month’s goals. 

Finishing the bike shirt was one of the goals that I had set in the past as a goal, but I’ve been on a bit of a sewing streak, so I decided to get on with it. I want to sew everything that I’ve already cut out.

For me, I think that it is helpful to think about sewing projects in phases, and to think of each phase as a project in and of itself. Those phases are the pattern adjustment phase, cutting out the fabric, and sewing the garment. Something about thinking of it this way is really helpful.

Back to the book proposal. I know what I want to do to the draft to improve it, and plan to do that sometime this weekend. One of the people who peer-reviewed it graciously offered to edit it, and I’m going to take her up on it (and figure out what kind of baked treats do best in the mail). Once I get that done, there is only the matter of submitting it. That, historically, has been the hardest part for me, but this time, I’ve decided that I’m going to do it. And that is that.

Regarding the jewelry, I’ve been collecting ideas for a while and want to just do some of the things on my list. Until I’ve tried the things, they will hang out in my mind as things I should do. They’re in there taking up space and resources! I need to just get them out of my system once and for all.