Monday, October 22, 2012

#26: Create an Online Blog for my 101 Goals

Good lord, how could I have not made this number 1?  I guess I technically did....but I didn't title it with a number so now everything is all wacky.  Psssh, sometimes I have no clue where my mind is.  Either way, you're reading #26 right now, so we'll call it good.

On a random note, I kind of like this blogging thing although I don't update it frequently enough so I may have to start another blog someday.  Maybe something anonymous where I can bash the stupid things people do and say.  And where I can talk about how I feel without the fear of judgement or ridicule.  We'll see.  For now, I have another 75 goals to get done and write about and less than a year left to do them.  I gotta get crackin'.

#25: Send a personalized Christmas card to at least 10 people

I like when people know I care about them.  And as much as I wish I would write to people more often like my cousin Katie does, I'm horrible at sending people letters or postcards.  I don't even send them mail around the holidays.  They're lucky if they get a text. 

Last Christmas (sad, it's been almost a year and I'm just writing about it) I decided to buy a box of cards and send a bunch of people a happy holiday blessing.  I included friends, family, and some of my friends' families.  I wrote notes in each one and although it was nothing spectacular, I hope each one of them enjoyed getting something in the mail unexpectedly.  I know I do, so hopefully that's the least I could have done to give them a moment of joy.

Maybe this year I'll put in the energy to do it again.  It's always important to let the people you love know that you love them, even if it's only once a year around the holidays.  It's better than nothing.

#24: Clean out my closet and donate clothes

This was a much needed goal.  I was taking up two HUGE walk-in closets at my last apartment, plus some totes and dressers with clothes in them as well.  So, before I moved, I decided it was time to make a big donation and get rid of some old clothes.  I had four giant black garbage bags full of stuff, including the following:

2 pairs of men's swim trunks
23 tank tops
16 pairs of pants / jeans
6 pairs of shoes
4 blouses / sweaters
2 pairs of socks
4 sports bras
5 pairs of brand new underwear (grandma works in retail!)
30 bras (WTF?)
13 pairs of shorts
2 skirts
13 belts (which I should have kept a few of because mine are too big now!)
11 t-shirts
12 miscellaneous items (including books, purses, wallets, and stuffed animals)

These are not my clothes - I filled 4 of the giant black pine-needle type bags.  You get the idea.

I used the Salvation Army range of acceptable donation values to calculate the estimated costs and for as many thousands of dollar$ that I (and more so my parents maybe!) spent on those clothes, the donated value was approximately $400.  It's all for a good cause but man does it make you think about what you spend money on.

I donated to the Dog House Thrift Shop in Lakeside, Arizona because my mom works part time at the Humane Society of the White Mountains and the Dog House uses the sales of their donations to help the Humane Society.  I've always been a huge animal lover so I'm glad that my giant piles of stuff went to a really good cause. 

So adorable!  :)

I have a feeling that I'll be doing another giant closet cleaning next year sometime but we'll have to see....there's a lot more work to be done on that front.

*Change of Plans!

I'm irked.  I was numbering my blogs as the number of the item on my 101 list until tonight.  For some reason, the website I keep my blogs on isn't tracking all of my "done" items on the total list so the numbers are getting all screwy.

So, sadly, I had to go back and edit the numbers of the items.  However, now it will be easier to see how many total items I've completed of my 101.  And just a reminder, I have like 109 goals written down but my goal is to finish at least 101 of them, just in case some become impossible (i.e. an event that gets canceled for future years).

Still, I felt like this kid when I had to go change everything.

#23: Join a Sports Team at Work

It's hard to describe how important networking is at the company I work for.  You need to know lots of people (and the right people) to learn about possible job opportunities and help get you the "in" you need to get there.  I figure that a work sports league is a good, casual way to get to know people.  It forces me to get out there and network in a less formal way than trying to ask others about their connections and hoping you can meet people that way.

So when softball came up this spring, I was in.  Sadly, I spent a majority of our 8 week season with a chronic sinus infection that took 4 bouts of antibiotics to kill.  (Thanks a lot to Melissa's devil spawn, "Baby Lemons", for getting me sick for a month and a half.)  I only got to play 3 weeks with my team at the time so it was hard to feel welcomed when I had to join so late.  We did make playoffs so I guess it was 4 weeks.  I enjoyed the time I had to play but wish I had been there for more.

This fall, softball came up again but I discovered my team wasn't reconnecting for another season.  Luckily, I reached out to my team captain and he suggested I contact another team and see if they could use an additional player.  They're only supposed to take 15 players total but they needed another girl so here I am, player #16.  Most of the team come from a few departments I know very little about (but are in my building) so it's kind of cool to meet new people.  I didn't know any of them.  I did, however, recognize one guy in particular because I've always thought he was the best looking guy in my building.  Now he has a name and a department, which I will not state on here due to my own personal privacy policy (and protection of both him and myself from embarrassment).

We're only 2 weeks in to the season but the team has been so welcoming and fun.  We all trash talk each other and I hear every week a lot of them go out after the games to a bar and just chill together.  I'm looking forward to that because it's a new opportunity to make friends and work connections.  I'm excited for Saturdays and hope that I remain close enough to the team to play with them again next spring.  We'll see how it goes but so far, it's been more than worth the $43 entry fee and the humiliating fall over my own two feet that happened the first week...but that's a story for another time. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

#22: Eat Alone at a Sit Down Restaurant

Hey, what better way to attempt to conquer a fear than to write it down and make it a requirement?  Yeah, I have a weird fear of eating alone.  I don't even prefer to do it at a fast food restaurant if I can help it, but I have done it a couple of times in the past.  What makes it even more unusual of a fear is that I have no qualms about going to a movie by myself.  So why do I have a fear of restaurant "masturdating" but not movie "masturdating?"  (Read that closely...and check out if you need a definition).

I think it all started when I began to bus tables when I was 16.  I worked at a steakhouse then and shortly after a fine dining restaurant.  And every time I saw someone eating alone, I immediately felt sad for them.  I wondered if they didn't have anyone special (friends, family, a significant other) to join them.  It never occurred to me that maybe it was by choice.  Until I learned about this little old German man who came into the fine dining restaurant weekly.  He always ordered a meal and then enjoyed coffee afterward.  Sometimes he had a book with him but he was always at his leisure.  I originally felt sorry for him too, assuming maybe he was was a widower.  But then I found out from someone else at the restaurant that once a week he came in to eat, have coffee, and read by choice- because his wife had her own weekly ritual that she did without him as well.  It was time for just "him" and having a nice quiet dinner is how he chose to spend it.  It's been almost 10 years since I worked at that restaurant, and I finally went out to do the same thing.  Sort of by choice, sort of by circumstance.

My job chose to send me out to Missouri for the state fair this year so I could run a booth to educate people about our college savings plan.  I flew out on my own and spent a weekend (which will be another blog since that checks off #108 on my list - attending a state fair) in the mid west - my first time ever.  On the airplane I met a woman who asked me where I was going and when I told her Sedalia for the state fair, she said I had to try Kehde's BBQ because they had amazing fried green tomatoes.  It's a restaurant made out of an old train cart.  I decided to be bold and instead of picking up fast food and bringing it back to my room, I was determined to check out this quirky restaurant and have some fried green tomatoes.  So, I unloaded my stuff at the hotel and off I went to Kehde's.

I went at night so I had to steal this picture from the internet
I ordered the fried green tomatoes and their Posh baked (a baked potato stuffed with different BBQ meats, cheese, and green onions).  It's funny because the tables just have a small walkway between them so the table next to me, a young couple with their daughter, started talking to me and asked me what I was going to order.  So even though I was eating alone, I made "friends" and visited with them while they were paying their bill.  The girl was actually born in Phoenix and grew up here as a child but has been in Missouri for awhile.  They were nice people and their conversation made me comfortable sitting there, without a book or any other distractions.  Just the enjoyment of my fried green tomatoes (which were amazing and I'd go back to the mid west just for those....I wonder if I can find anywhere that serves them in AZ?)

Inside of the train cart / restaurant

I ate somewhat quickly because I showed up about 5 minutes before the restaurant was closing and I didn't want to be "that jerk" but the experience made me less concerned about having a meal alone if I really want to go somewhere.  I still prefer my meals out to include good company, but I think my previous fear of eating alone has been squashed.  "Masturdating" at dinner = success.  :)

#21: Buy a Little Red Dress

I don't wear a lot of red.  But I'm not sure why, because I love the color and think it's very fun and bold.  So, I wanted to force myself to buy a red dress.  And what better way than to throw it on this list.  Truthfully, it's not really fair to call this dress a "little" red dress for a couple of reasons.  First, because I picked it for a wedding so it's not scandalous or inappropriate - aka "little red Vegas dress" or anything like that.  Second, because I'm not small enough for any clothes I buy to be considered "little".  However, I do consider this an accomplishment to the goal and perhaps as I continue to lose weight and get healthier, there could be an additional little red dress in my future, in which case, I'll add new pictures.

Photo op with Kellen before leaving the wedding

No red dress can compare to how lovely the blushing bride Margo looks!