2014 Resolution Success?

And my one, singular, task oriented 2014 New Year’s Resolution is….

Watch less TV

I love TV. I hate this resolution, but it has to be done. I’ve caught myself falling into Netflix black holes fairly regularly this past year. It would not be unusual for me to wake up at 8:30 AM on a Saturday morning, turn on the Good Wife and consume six episodes without thinking twice. I’m all for solo down time, but I’ve been walking the fine line between relaxing and complete laziness. I still want a lot of downtime in 2014, but I want it to be spent reading, doing yoga, listening to the radio, going for walks or anything other than staring at yet another screen for more hours in the day.

Just because I only have one resolution for 2014 doesn’t mean I don’t have big plans. I’ve got financial goals. To save 10% of my take home income in an RRSP and TFSA. I’ve got some travel plans. Texas, Republic of Congo, somewhere in Europe, all sorts of nooks and crannies in the Pacific Northwest and maybe even Newfoundland, though I’m waiting to see how many more friends get diamond rings this season before I commit to too much time away. I want to get back into shape and run some races. TC10K, a half-marathon and a trail race. And I’ve even got some existential aspirations. More spontaneity, less planning. More positivity too. While there are benefits to being a risk-mitigating realist, there is no benefit to seeing what can go wrong before anything else. But when it comes to resolutions, I’m sticking to just one: watch less TV. It’s going to suck, at least at first, but I’ll do it. I’ll figure it out.


Resolution Fail, Kind of

Historically, when I make a New Years Resolution, I make one. I take it seriously. And it sticks. In 2009 I started writing more letters to my Grandma. In 2010 I finished every glass of water I poured myself instead of always dumping the last little bit down the sink. In 2011 I learned how to cook. In 2012 I was pretty happy with my life, so my resolution was just to maintain the awesome. Last January I strayed from my proven successful resolution formula. I made too many resolutions. While it wasn’t a complete failure, it was a black mark on my track record of resolution success. Here’s a recap, if you will.

Don’t get anxiety from an iPhone app 

Success, for the most part. Sometimes it’s hard to close those little social platforms when the anxiousness starts creeping in, but I’ve done pretty well. There is a whole half-written blog post on this topic when the time is right.


Fail, unfortunately. Insomnia is something that haunts me from time to time, and I tried everything I could think of in 2013 to get it in check, but it didn’t happen. Here’s hoping 2014 will be the year. Preferably early 2014.

Don’t eat after 7pm

Fail. Dumb resolution.

Run 1900km

Huge fail. I was on track for the first 4 weeks of 2013, but then I started dating my boyfriend and having a boyfriend, friends, 2 jobs and trying run those distances just wasn’t something my constitution could handle. This was such a huge fail in fact, that in March I revised my resolution to:

Enter no races in 2013 (other than the TC10K)

A much bigger success. And life was so much less overwhelming when I didn’t have to add training to my schedule.

Don’t be busy

I’m going to rule this one as a half success, half failure. I did spend a lot of time alone, which I loved. But at the same time, there was a lot going on in 2013–weddings, travel, 50-60 hour work weeks, fitness, friends, my man, etc. It was kind of impossible not to be at least a little busy.

So that’s where I’m sitting with my resolutions at the end of the year. I’m going to take this as a lesson learned and stick with just one for 2014……

Good King Wenceslas

Q: How does Good Kind Wenceslas like his pizza?

A. Deep and crisp and even

Every day at 10AM my little iPhone will play this song to prompt me to call a stand-up meeting with my co-workers. You know, just to keep one another in the loop and all that. If I’m not in my office and say, out at a meeting, the song still plays and I feel silly. I will never remember to turn it off. At least it’s not as bad as Beyonce’s Upgrade U going off in the middle of the boardroom at the Victoria Foundation, which happened at least twice prior to October when I started listening to Christmas carols.

Some things to consider before you go out to eat

1. Your server is literally being paid to be nice to you. Consider this before asking her for a date. I’m not saying she will say no, but just think about it–she earns her living from laughing at your jokes.

2. Chances are your server makes minimum wage and has no say in the way the restaurant is run. She probably isn’t involved in the menu selection or how much of what item is ordered. It’s not her fault the restaurant is out of halibut or the lamb stew got taken off the menu two and a half years ago. Also a “fake” pout because they are out of your chosen item is very unbecoming of an adult.
3. Your server probably has to tip out about 5% of the bill to the house. Your 10% tip means 5% for her.  If you tip her nothing then she paid out of her own pocket to serve you. I’m not saying that customers should be supplementing low wages, but this is how the game is played at the moment.
4. That said, if the service is bad, you don’t have to tip. You can also complain to the manager. But if you choose to berate and humiliate your server in front of the other customers, you’ll look like an idiot. And if this is your choice of action, you probably are.
5. Even if you don’t live in a small town, it’s a small world. Be kind. Maybe your server is also a teacher and you have a jerk kid. Or maybe she’s about to become a nurse and your mother-in-law isn’t the sweetest of ladies. Or maybe she’s about to buy a house and you’re a mortgage broker who wants her business. The possibilities are endless. Life is hard these days and many young professionals hold second jobs during the first few years of their careers. You never know when your paths might cross again, so don’t be mean, servers never forget mean people. They also point them out to the rest of the staff.
6. If you’re not ready to order and you say you’re ready to order but just talk really slowly while you make your decision, you are the worst. End of story.

Sometimes you have to change the goal

This is something I wrote on September 23:

I’m currently not unfit, I’m just as not as fit as I once was. I used to run half-marathons through the forest after work like it was no thing. Today,  I struggle when I try to run 5km at a strong pace. This happened over time, slowly, with many singular decisions adding up as the months went on. Instead of running the Elk Lake 10km loop, I’ll do 5km on road. Instead hiking Mount Finlayson I’ll hike Mount Doug. Instead of a Sunday morning 18km run, I’ll lie around in bed with my boyfriend, Netflix and treats. 


I was going to post it alongside all sorts of promises on what I was going to do to get my fitness back. But I didn’t want to be that girl–the girl that complains and makes false promises without ever doing anything about it. I’ve been that girl before and she drives me crazy. Instead I decided to record my milestones and post it all at the end, retroactively.

September 24. I ran 8km on road and didn’t walk once. A good first step I’d say. I was slow and there were a lot of wheeze-like sounds, but it happened. It felt great.

October 8. I’ve been making some good life choices. Running further, harder and faster. It feels good. I feel different. It’s been easier than I thought it would be, deciding to push just a bit more each time I head outside.

October 16. Work is extremely stressful right now. Today I ate my feelings in the form of honey crueller(s) and pumpkin pie and got too sick to run. A setback and my tummy hurts.

photo (16)October 21. Between going on vacation, catching up from vacation, a lack of sleep, a cold, a heavy workload at my full time job, extra shifts at my part time job, and a minor injury (see gross toe at left) I’ve let my fitness slide over the last 10 days. When you’re where you want to be, this isn’t the worst, but when you’re working towards a goal it hurts the progress and momentum big time. And momentum is so important when it comes to fitness, at least for me.

November 6. I’m back on track. I went to Katie’s after work for a visit, with the intention of running afterwards in her neighbourhood because it’s nicer/safer than my own. She offered me food, wine, cuddles and TV and I declined and stuck with my plan to go running. This is huge. Also, I forgot how much I love evening runs in the fall and winter. I can’t believe I forget this feeling year after year.

November 17. Momentum is back. Fitness is back. I feel awesome. While I don’t think I could get out and run a half marathon tomorrow, I’m not far off. However I’m wondering if I even want to run a half marathon? At least right now? Something to figure out. It doesn’t seem so hard, in retrospect, getting in shape. Just a series of good choices to get up and get moving a little faster and harder than the last time.

Confession. As I’m slowly attaining my fitness goals, the 5-10 lbs I’ve put on in the last year have made it clear they aren’t moving as easily. It’s time to admit this mission was as much about that as it was being able to run a longer distance. While my running is more or less back on track, I’m going to have keep working pretty hard for awhile longer if I want pants that are less tight.

November 30. When I look at the month of December and it’s 60-hour work weeks, and visits from friends and family, and house hunting, and Christmas parties and shopping and just, everything, the thought of maintaining my fitness at this level throws me into a panic (I panic easily). I don’t have time for more panic. In order to continue what I’ve started, I’m going to have to give up one of the following: my job, my family and friends, my boyfriend, OR I just need to stop beating myself up for only getting in three moderately challenging activities each week. Still not sure what I’ll do yet.photo (15)


December 13. I’m changing the goal because it’s my life and I do what I want. I feel happy and confident with where my fitness level is at and I intend to maintain it (and in the future hopefully improve it). The new goal is to have that same attitude towards my body. The time has come to accept the fact that I’m a woman in my 30’s who loves couch time and treats as much as I love running and vegetables. I’m healthy and that’s what matters. Being hard on myself for not logging 50km a week isn’t going to do me any good. Self-acceptance might.

So that’s the new goal. We’ll see what happens come January.

Nelson Mandela

On December 5th 2013 one of the greatest human beings of the last century passed away.

Of course I’m talking about Nelson Mandela. What this man accomplished in his life time, “freeing not just the prisoner but the jailor as well” (spoken oh so eloquently by Barack Obama) is enough to move even the most hardened hearts.

Today, December 10th 2013, only 5 days after his passing, I could not believe it when I heard prominent Canadians on the CBC news whining and complaining that none of their countrymen were invited to speak at his memorial. Five Days. 

Seriously Canada, could you be any more uncouth? You’re like the kid crying at the party because he has less sparkles on his cupcake then the birthday boy. Stop embarrassing yourself and let the world mourn this remarkable man, his exceptional life and the permanent mark he has made on human kind.


Basia Bulat

Basia Bulat and her beautiful voice graced Victoria on Wednesday night, and I sold my tickets last minute like a jerk. But sometimes life throws you curve balls and you don’t get to hear all the pretty music you plan to. C’est la vie I guess.