I am trying to build a better self, to move from survival mode to something more fulfilling. And resist turning this into a kitty blog.

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The Voyage of the "Dawn Treader"
Betting on the Muse: Poems and Stories
Pattern Recognition
Les Misérables
Anne of Green Gables
The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry
The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)
Wuthering Heights
Brave New World
The Ringed Castle
The Return of the King
Omnivore's Dilemma
A Wrinkle in Time
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Agnes and the Hitman
On the Road
Dark Blonde: Poems
Fables: Wolves

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Tinniegirl Blogtoberfest 2011






The Plan

I cannot remember the last time I set and achieved a goal.

Okay, okay, I guess deciding to sing in a band start counted as a goal. But I can't think of the last time I set a goal that was outside of my existing area of comfort and expertise. I already knew I could sing. I did set out last year to finally really learn to cook, but I had learned most of the basics from my mom growing up, and so far I haven't progressed further than being able to follow a recipe well (which I'm pretty proud of).

But a weight loss goal? Learning to play an instrument? Large household projects? Nope. I tend to make lists, do the research, and then quit out of boredom and/or discouragement.

As a child I was motivated by fear. Fear of failure, fear of humiliation, fear of disappointing my parents, fear of hell, did I mention fear of humiliation? This overriding fear prevented me from venturing into the unknown, but with the help of friends, it also spurred me to not insignificant academic and extracurricular achievement. I was on the honor roll, in choir (including our high school's honor choir), in the worship band and church, secretary of drama club, a founding member of the environmental club--I could go on.

But because I never ventured far from my natural abilities and most of my accomplishments were somewhat tied into a race against fear, once I was on my own and discovered that the world doesn't stop turning just because I neglect something, I had a hard time tapping into any kind of motivation. But I'm working on making the quality of my life a motivating factor.

So now that I'm a great big grownup girl, it's time to set some goals and set a good example for the children I'd like to have in the next couple years. But I don't want to get toooooo crazy. So here are some reasonable goals for the next year, in no particular order:

  • Lose 30 lbs. Ideally more, sure, but since I managed to gain over 10 lbs in the last year, I think we'll aim for something reasonable. After all, I *heart* beer and cheese.


  • Write regularly! It's been more than a month since I started this. Actually, truth be told? More than a month since I started this post. AURGH! So... 3 posts a week?


  • Expand my kitchen repertoire.


  • Learn to play a dozen songs on guitar--just rhythm, but at regular speed.


  • Figure out what I should be doing professionally. My job is soul-crushing. I need a new plan! But I have no idea what I should do, so I think making a plan has to come before implementing a change.

Is that short and vague enough for you? Me too! But let's go!


…because I’ll never get my own Groundhog Day

A few months into our marriage, we had one of those late night talks couples have from time to time. You know, side-by-side under the comforter in the dark, I asked my husband "If Groundhog Day happened to you, what would you do with all that time?" Yes, I was referring to the Bill Murray classic. This obviously launched a lengthy, soul-baring discussion, which then morphed into the related topic: "Would you rather relive the same day for ages a la Murray, or live a full life, and then re-set back to early childhood (to a significant or insignificant event) with all of your accumulated knowledge and adult understanding?"
Imagine if I
Matt prefers the re-set to a particular day in his childhood, while I lean towards the Groundhog Day experience. How great would either be though? If I was granted a whole life do-over, I would do so much differently. And no, I'm not talking about invest-my-lunch-money-in-Microsoft stuff. I mean I wouldn't be so afraid of everything. I would start learning guitar at 7 or 8. I'd go out for cheer leading even though it was completely against type... or I would if I wanted to. I'd consider it and everything else available. And then I'd understand before my 29th birthday that my family really does love me unconditionally, and would have still loved me if I'd pursued my own fantasy future instead of what I thought they'd find acceptable. I'd study art and music and food, but maybe I wouldn't do the 4 year degree that I thought was so important the first time around. I'd move to a city and play music and find my way while still young and unattached enough to live that unstable life.

But my life as it has been has been fine. Great, even. Sure I wish I'd been less afraid and tried more things, but ultimately I have a happy life: a great husband, good friends, so far so good. While I have regrets, I don't feel any imperative to undo. But how much would I love to learn everything I've been meaning to learn seemingly overnight? So much! To play guitar, to cook without recipes, to draw and paint and sew... all in one day as far as the outside world could tell. It wouldn't matter if I bailed on work--it's only one day! Sure, it'd get frustrating and lonely at times, but ultimately Phil Connors gets his perfect day and moves forward. I'm confident I would too.

I confess that I have daydreamed about this more than is probably useful or healthy. Or normal. But at the end of that conversation, before I fell asleep it struck me how ridiculous it is. Or at least how useless. We don't actually get to stop time so that we can learn everything we want. This is not profound, I know, but I realized that I have been living that way most of my life. Waiting for the moment when somehow pursuing my dreams and interests is easy and painless. And that day is never going to come.

I first had the idea for blogging How to Build a Better Bombshell 4 years ago, when I was still in a bad relationship, drinking every night and singing in a band. In my laziness and fear I put it off. I made some changes and improvements, met and married Matthew, but I'm still looking to build a better me. We embarked on our second year of marriage just a few days ago, on August 8. So I'm going to do this now. Document my attempts at improving myself: learning to cook and sew, lose weight, play guitar, and maybe even keep my apartment clean. Maybe.

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