Y’all I’m not sure what’s happened to me. I don’t know if it was the near thirty day stretch of
drinking seeing friends or a continuation of the goals I kind of started last year, but I landed in 2018 ready to kick ass and take names.
It’s been a long time since I’ve started a year fresh and prepared to tackle challenges. Some of that I blame on Tim’s death, but that’s not all of it. I’ve never been a New Year’s person. “New Year, New Me” makes me roll my eyes. Typically I start off in January saying something along the lines of, Screw your goals! I’m the same old cantankerous person with a bad attitude that I’ve always been! I don’t scream Bah humbug at Christmas — I do it at New Year’s.
But this year, I’m ready. No, I still don’t prescribe to a “New Me” philosophy. I am the same me I was before, but I am a “me” that has set some really big goals for myself this year. Since part of those goals are letting my readers back into my life a little bit, let me share them with you.
Blog & Be More Active in Equestrian Blogging Community
I won’t shock anyone by saying that I put this blog and its readers at a little bit of arm’s length last year. It happened for several reasons. Logistically, I was busy as all get out in 2017. It was easy to put this blog on the backburner, and even though I’m going to be just as busy (busier really) this year, I’m going to try and be more present here at She Moved to Texas.
But it’s more than just time. For so long I shared tons about myself on this space, and although I enjoyed doing so I did feel like readers crept in on my life more than I was prepared for. That sounds negative, but in writing memoir we spend a lot of time thinking about “the character of the narrator”. Meaning, in my book I’m not 100% Lauren but instead a version of Lauren that I’m writing about. On my blog, I feel like I’m about 95% Lauren and after so many years of literally letting it all out there… I needed to create some distance for a bit.
I’m not setting numerical goals for posting or traffic, although I have figures in mind, but I miss this space and I miss the people around the community. Expect to see more of me this year.
Start Showing Again With Simon
Remember when I said how graduate school would be a time to have Simon as a pet instead of a show horse? Yeah, that was funny. I am dying to show again, and am going to make that a priority this year. It might just be the little shows my barn holds, but damnit we’re going to jump over sticks in pursuit of ribbons again. During my cross-country holiday excursion, Simon spent a month in boot camp with my new trainers. I came back to find him 1000% improved, and will be keeping him in partial training as long as my finances allow me to do so. I don’t have to tell anyone that this is a pretty huge financial drain on a grad student, but training/showing makes me happy and my horse told me he needs a routine and professional guidance. So that’s what we’re going to do.
Consume More Media
Maybe it’s the increased amount of “free” time (I use that term very loosely…) that I have now, or maybe it’s being surrounded by the liberal arts… but I have a pretty insatiable appetite for books and film right now. I can’t get enough of story.
This year I want to read 50 books and watch 50 movies. I got myself one of those moviepass‘ that everyone is talking about, and want to hit one a week. Part of me thinks this will be helpful for my creativity, and part of me just thinks that forcing a few hours in a cool theater without worrying about horse or book or work will do me some good mentally.
Lose 50 Lbs
Speaking of appetite, I’m ready to change mine. This is not the first time weight loss has been mentioned on this blog, and it probably won’t be the last. While I haven’t rapidly gained weight, I’ve steadily increased since Tim died but have had little mental energy to change this. For a long time, my focus was entirely on mental health and I did whatever needed to get out of bed and make it outside every day.
Now, things are better and I’m ready to get back to my fighting weight. I don’t know how this will go or not go. If I’m being honest, I don’t actually believe that I can lose a significant amount of weight. But grad school sets me up for success better than I ever have been. I’m naturally way more active by walking and biking around, and have a flexible schedule to cook and meal prep. Currently I’m going through a “Month of Deprivation” (more on this later), but we will see how my plan shifts throughout the year.
Complete 1st Draft of My Memoir
This is an “academic” 2018 goal versus a calendar year one. Although I currently have a lot of pages, they look like ping pong balls bouncing around a room in no particular order. By the end of my academic year here at UCR, which is roughly mid-June 2018, I plan to have something that I can accurately call a first draft. Lord help me.
Do Not Let Others Push Me Into Crazy Town
Here’s the deal – I get to crazy town super well on my own. Half the time I live there! It’s very easy for me, especially in new places or situations, to fixate on something a person said or did in relation to me. I will continually think about said person, worry about how they don’t like me or whatever the situation is, and then fall into a negative thought spiral that can completely take over my day. Right now, I don’t have an open ‘negative thought spiral’ days on my calendar.
It sounds like one of the steps (and maybe it is for anxious people), but I need to adopt more of a ‘Help me to accept the things I cannot change’ mentality when it comes to people. This is a vague goal, but I need to learn to let things go and accept that some people are just going to be who they are.
I’d be lying if I said these were my only goals this year. There are lots of ones lurking under the surface when it comes to writing and publishing, but these are my over arching goals for 2018. Looking forward to keeping everyone in the loop more this year when it comes to the blog as well as joining you on your own stories and dreams.