Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Self-Improvement World Tour - January check-in

A certain malaise always settles into my bones in January. This winter has been particularly hard on me for some reason, and while the New Year is all about hope and promise and self-actualization, in reality I spend as much of the month eating Bagel Bites as I do on self-improvement. That being said, my year-end post always seems to invigorate me to try to Do Better, at least for a little while.

The incomparable Meg Zandi mentioned that she'd been working away at her resolutions and that reminded me that I had once had goals too. And a tan. And I used to wear fabrics other than polar fleece. I digress.

As I have basically become a hermit due to this terrible-even-for-a-Canadian winter, her post was a good reminder to get off my butt and get some of those indoors activities going.

If you'll recall, my resolutions were as follows:
  • Read 12 books
  • Visit 12 new restaurants
  • Make 12 new dishes 
  • Do that hanger trick once in the winter, once in the summer, to try and downsize my closet
  • Make a list of things the house needs done and complete at least half of them
I've read my first book of the year, one of the treasures I picked up at the annual Family Christmas Bazaar Extravaganza, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. I really liked it, but that's another post. I made butternut squash soup last night for the first time which was very hearty and tasty (okay, full confession, it was a pre-chopped vegetable mix that I added broth, brown sugar, S&P and curry powder to, stuck in the slow cooker, then immersion blended. For shame.) I haven't gone to any new restaurants this month, which I hope to remedy this weekend. Hint, TB. HINT. We tried to go to a few this past weekend but literally every one we walked to was closed for lunch on Saturday. BECAUSE NO REASON.

I've started the hanger trick and, let me tell you, it works. If by works you mean "makes me feel guilty about the clothes I'm not loving enough which I then wear out of sadness". And I know that's what you meant. 

It's a great exercise, actually, because it forces me to realize that a) I really do wear 20% of my clothes 80% of the time and b) there are combinations of clothes that I have not even begun to imagine, child.  Granted, some of these should not be imagined outside of a dress-up box but it's made me see where the gaps in my wardrobe exist and what items I have too many of (*cough* black dresses *cough*)

I also made a list of things that needed doing around the house over the next little bit. Nothing too big (roof replacement, redoing porch) but nothing so small that it could easily be "undone" (tidying up flyers, cleaning floor). If there's anything more satisfying than crossing something off a list... well, it's probably a deftly performed flash mob, but to-do lists are right up there. Right now I'm working on my spare room, which is kind of the forgotten child of the house. I put up an awesome poster the kickass Meaghan designed, and I am* putting up a picture rail so I can put some more art up on that. I'm searching for rugs and putting frames on things and it's actually making me feel accomplished at something more than heating up soup and putting on socks.

And today, as I was getting ready to go home, I saw something I haven't seen at work in ages. The sunset. And it'll be a little earlier tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. And then I will wear flats again. And then we shall be free.

*Boyfriend is

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