checking in

August 19, 2008

I listed the following goals on January 3, 2007:

– cut back on the amount of smoking, so I’ll be closer to my goal of quitting before I’m 30
– walk to work more
– learn how to plan meals that are healthy and inexpensive (eat less meat!)
– check out the gym and see if exercise helps my stress
– get on top of getting the dental work I need
– reduce the amount of “stuff” in my home environment
– get closer to becoming the adult I want to be

So how am I doing with those?

I attempted to quit smoking late last year. I succeeded pretty well for a few weeks, I think, but then I started up again. And now I’m 30. And I think I’ve come to terms with the idea that I might not ever quit. The guilt I’ve felt over smoking all my life has pretty much disappeared. Because, yeah, smoking is a filthy, nasty habit, but I’m pretty upstanding in most aspects of my life that I think I can get away with one filthy, nasty habit without beating myself up about it.

I now walk to and from work every day, out of necessity mostly. The walk is only 20 minutes long, and it would be silly to wait for the bus. Parking on campus is out of the question.

I’ve gotten much better at meal-planning and cooking in general. I don’t always need a cookbook either – sometimes I can wing it. I’ve even developed my own recipe for what I call “Poverty Stew.” I make a big pot of it every few weeks. It’s quite nutritious and delicious and provides meals for days for roughly $10 total. And I only cook with meat two or three times a month. This is due to the cost of meat and my intense fear of food poisoning.

I went to the gym a few times with Cathleen, but in the end it was too stressful trying to make the time for me to go to the gym. I just don’t have enough time. Plus, I can’t afford a gym membership.

I had some dental work done late last year. Dental insurance only covered about $2000 in reimbursements for the calendar year though, so I had to wait until this year to get some more work done. Two more teeth have broken in that time. At this rate, I’m never going to catch up.

After two moves, I now have less “stuff” but I have more furniture. There are a few troublesome spots that I still need to work on though. I continue to try to trade CDs in at the local record store for vinyl. That has reduced a LOT of bookshelf clutter. Speaking of which, I have almost no books left. The top of my wardrobe is a mess and needs to be organized. And there are still two boxes left of “random stuff” that still need to be unpacked. They might never be unpacked.

I’ve made some painful decisions that have aided me in becoming closer to the adult I want to be. I won’t ever make it all the way there, but in the meantime I’m becoming much more confident, much more certain that I deserve to be happy, much stronger, and more self-reliant. Sometimes I’m even able to shut off the navel-gazing commentary that’s always running circles in my head. I still rely on song lyrics as my emotional shorthand though. That’s not ever going to change, I don’t think.

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