April: slightly disappointing, but also amazing
Best to start this post off with a little background. At the beginning of the year I made some goals. They were really pretty simple, but their achievement would be beneficial in the long-term. They were:
- Lose 100 pounds (Self explanatory as to the benefit)
- Write four first author manuscripts (career-wise this would be a great thing)
- Financial house in order (make sure things are good moving forward)
- Adventure (simply because adventure is awesome)
- Open to the possibilities of someone else in my life (done with being a hermit)
So while the goals for the year are simple the follow through was hard. I figured that the best approach to all of these was step-wise. By breaking things into pieces (or sub-goals) it would be a lot easier. For me it isn’t like I could just stop eating and start running and lose the 100 pounds, it had to be a series of steps to change my life style. In the same way I couldn’t just sit down and write four manuscripts, they have to be taken in pieces. The step-wise approach alleviates, for me, some of the daunting nature of the tasks I have set for myself. So what I decided was that each month, I would set a series of sub-goals that I would like to achieve which ultimately would add up to the big five. And then each subsequent month I would add more. Some goals (4 and 5 for example) are more open-ended, less concrete, but I figured I could still work on them in the same way. For the most part right now I’m going to leave goals 2 and 3 out of it. So for January I set the sub-goals pretty simple, things I knew I could accomplish (or at least I felt I could: Walk one mile per day for the whole month (year) and start actively working on dating (aka fix online dating profile). For January these worked out well. I started talking with a few lovely ladies, and despite the snow and ice I got out on the trails and sidewalks and got in 20 miles for the month. February saw the addition of limiting my fast-food intake (AKA NO FAST FOOD) and it was a pretty successful month. I only went to fast food place less than a handful of times and I walked almost 30 miles, and I had a number of dates. Things were going well. March came, and I thought I should just stay the course, which I did. Again very little fast food, I walked another 24 miles (not the 31 I was aiming for, but close). March also saw some movement on the 5th goal, as someone special happened into my life, Sara. Goal four also saw some inroads as I researched and purchased a kayak. The end of March brought my 38th birthday and reflection. I’d been working towards my goals, making strides towards them, I felt good.
This brings us to April. April was full of the slight disappointments, which while not setbacks, could have really gotten me down. First, April brought us 50 inches of snow. There is nothing like waiting for Spring to spring, while being continually dumped on. Needless to say I didn’t accomplish my walking goal. I only made it about 18 miles, more than half, but less than the 30 I was hoping to get. Still it wasn’t zero. I was up and moving. The weight has still not gone down significantly (-10 in 4 months is good but not significant). I still am working on my first manuscript of the year. So with goals 1 and 2 falling into the slightly disappointing category, goals 3, 4, and 5 would have to bail me out, as you will remember, I said could have gotten me down, but not “got me down”. April tried hard to punch me in the mouth, to get me down on the mat, and knock me out, but fuck you April, it turns out I had a good month. There was some mixing of the goals, which is OK. I bought a new car. I loved my truck, but it was time for something new and the Rambler (actually a kona blue Ford Flex) fit the bill. I got a good deal, on my own, with my own credit (also pretty cool and a positive sign in terms of the 3rd goal). It is also going to be a key component in the Goal 4, as I’m about to setup the Rambler as as my own Adventure Mobile, in fact despite the April snows it has seen a couple of short, fun road trips, and even helped me get to Park Point during teeth of the blizzard to do a little Lieutenant Dan-ing in the face of the big lake and mother nature (a reference to Forest Gump and the shrimp boat hurricane). The Rambler also fits Rio and another person and some stuff, which turns out is important because of movement on Goal 5. As it turns out, Sara is more than a passing fancy. She is pretty special. I could count the ways but it is not the purpose of this writing. It turns out that being open to the possibilities of someone else in your life is a good thing. I’m pretty much ready to check off Goal 5. She also got a new kayak, and was my co-pilot on a few short adventures in April. She’s got the Rio stamp of approval. She is also a good sport (a very critical attribute for being in my life). The weather in April has been awful, but with Sara (and Rio) we still got out on some mini adventures/road trips and other fun things. We went up the North Shore, with no particular goals, just for a nice drive and to see the Lake. We went to Bayfield and its cool little shops and restaurants, stopped at a dairy for cheese and icecream sandwiches, and beers from the South shore Brewery. We also marched in the smelt parade, where we donned homemade smelt hats (smelt hats are a good way to determine if someone is a good sport). In addition, I won a art print poster from a cool Duluth gallery during the Spring Gallery Hop. April as is it turns out, was a good month
And now April is over and May is upon us, and although snow is forecast (perhaps 3-6 inches) I am looking forward to what this next month holds. I know optimism is not in my nature, but neither is true pessimism, I am a realist. Even from a realists view, this month (and maybe actual spring) should bring more adventures, maybe some actual weight loss, more time with an amazing woman and some solid science and progress on my manuscripts (get one done). I think May will bring some more sub-goals: reducing red meat and junk food, joining a gym. Today is May Day, Spring seems to be here, things are greening up, flowers are blooming, things are looking up. Now to charge into May.