September 2017 Goals

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How is it September already?! And it's Labor Day weekend?? I talked to at least three people this week in the elevator at work and asked them if they had any fun plans for this weekend, and they were like, "Why, what's up with this weekend?"

"It's Labor Day weekend!" I'd exclaim.

"What?! No way! I'm glad you told me, because otherwise I would have come in to work on Monday!"

Surprise! I'm not one who usually likes surprises, but a surprise three-day weekend? You can surprise me with one of those any day.

But since it's September, it means it's time for GOALS!

Recap of August Goals:

But first remember how in my last goals post I was being tortured by a possessed clock that McCrae brought home? That clock is blissfully silent now. It only took it a week to die though. A week of random dinging and clanging, at the end of which I happily sang, "Ding dong the clock is dead!"

Writing

Post at least twice a week. Nope nope nope. I only posted 6 times this past month BUT they were some pretty lengthy posts. Besides my August goals post I had a game recap of the NCFC game against the NY Cosmos, the solar eclipse(!!), a travelogue from Chicago, and coverage of the Sir Walter Miler race event. It's been a crazy busy month, but I'm okay with that! I think this month it was quality over quantity, and I'm perfectly happy with that.

Get a decent draft of fiction together. I'm getting closer with this. I did a lot of creative writing this month. I think long backpacking weekends help with that, plus I purposefully avoided overbooking myself so that leaves more time for better writing.

Photography

Keep learning. Keep trying new things. I definitely accomplished this! I played a lot with night photography with some urban cityscapes in Chicago, some astrophotography (with mixed results from a tripod malfunction and cloud cover that you'll hear about later), and a SOLAR ECLIPSE! Oh heck yeah!

Running/Fitness

Run three times a week. Half marathon training started, and I have two group runs a week, but shhhhh don't tell anyone that I haven't been doing my third run of the week. It's just way too interesting to do other things!

Climb at least once a week! Not quite. August seemed like an insanely long month with 5 weeks. We climbed 3 out of the 5 weeks. How do I know? Because of text messages I sent to my climbing partner the mornings after we climbed with snark like "I just grabbed the 'oh s**t handle in the car and my biceps bulged up" or "My hand grip is dead and I can't write any notes in my meetings today" or "I love ground. I love ground. I love ground." Yes. I do love ground.

Go backpacking! Yesssss I did this twice! Once in the Shining Rock Wilderness for the Pleiades meteor shower and a second time to Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness for the solar eclipse. One of those trips I'd be willing to hike again. (Hey Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock, I want some of my leg skin back please! Stupid blackberry brambles.)

Travel

Plan a climbing trip! Gonna have to roll this goal forward again.

Solar eclipse trip! Yes yes yes! Best last-minute-Liz idea ever. Minus the traffic back. Let's not talk about that traffic on the drive back.

Plan something amazing for September. Aww so I really thought I'd be able to sneak in a trip to Yellowstone this fall, but it's not looking promising right now. So we'll try to figure out something else.

Personal

Read a book. So first I picked up The Aeneid(why yes, I just happened to have a copy available in my library/studio/office!) but I didn't like the English translation that I had so I started reading it in Latin with a copy in English available for reference. It took me all of one long evening but I got through ten pages. And then I didn't pick up The Aeneid again. Next I picked up Don Quixote* because our running groups this year are "running literature" themed (think "The Hobbles*" or "Great Race Expectations*", etc.) and my running group was dubbed "Run Quixote." My knowledge of Don Quixote is very dependent on what I recollect from the show Wishbone ("what's the story, Wishbone?!") and snippets of Don Quixote references from Travels With Charley* so I figured I should brush up on my Spanish literature. Once again I had a copy lying around in my personal library, and once again I rather disliked the translation, so I found the original Spanish text available on some website (it's fine, the book is old and no longer under copyright) and once again spent an evening reading the original text and referring to the English translation when I got stuck. I surprisingly got through more of Don Quixote in a much shorter period of time. I guess taking Intro to Spanish four different times after moving schools a bunch as a kid pays off?

Okay fine, but starting two different books in two different foreign languages doesn't count as reading one book this month. What if I told you I completed two audiobooks? Do they count? No seriously, I'd like to poll the audience on this:

DOES LISTENING TO AN AUDIOBOOK COUNT AS "READING" THE BOOK?

  • YES
  • NO

Please leave your answer in the comments. If "yes" then I successfully completed two books this month: Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circusand Jane Austen/Seth Grahame-Smith's Pride & Prejudice & Zombies* which in a way doesn't seem to count since I know the original Pride & Prejudice so well I basically have it memorized. (Spoilers: The zombie version of the book is just as silly as Lydia Bennet herself, and equally as entertaining as Lydia if you happen to be stuck in a room with nothing else to do. Tl;dr it's both amusing and annoying.)

Take Ryder on another adventure. Ryder came with me to Shining Rock Wilderness for the Pleiades meteor shower adventure, and he was a royal pain in the rear to boot. Spoiled rotten dog. (I love you, fluffykins!)

Alright. September 2017 Goals.

Writing

Let's try posting twice a week again. I feel like it's a reasonable goal. The only problem with achieving it is my own deficiencies.

Finish a draft of fiction. No, seriously, I have to do this. I'm reading to the writing group in October. I have to do this. I have to do this. I have to do this. (Crap, I'm a terrible writer.)

Photography

Work on some lovely fall sessions. I've got a few fall sessions coming up that I'm so excited about! I can't wait to work on those photos!

Running/Fitness

Run three times a week. I'm already running twice a week with the group. Come on, Liz, commit to that third run!

Climb at least once a week. Actual goal: climb at least twice a week. But we *actually* only climb about once a week.

Go hiking as much as I can. Or at least 3 or 4 times.

Do yoga at least once. I can feel my muscles getting tight with half marathon training, so I'll thank myself for this later. Plus I totally got called out last time on not having any yoga goals in August! 😁😁😁

Travel

Plan some great October trips. I hear the fall foliage in NC this year is supposed to be epic. I've missed the peak of fall foliage in the mountains my entire life. Not this year!

Start planning for holiday trips. Is November and December really coming up already? Eek!

Personal

Read a book. Like an actual physical book that you hold in your hands and consume with your eyeballs. Audiobooks are cool and everything, but it's one thing to "read" while you're driving/ironing/hiking/whatever, and it's another thing entirely to be completely absorbed by what you're reading so that the world around you ceases to exist. Let's do more of that.

Give Ryder a bath. What? I've been putting it off for months, so I figure if I commit to it as a goal then it will get done! The great thing about Siberian Huskies is they're like cats - they're independent and self-cleaning - but at some point they still need a good scrub-down. I was soaking in the tub recently after some runs and Ryder, unhappy with his quality of care and attention, came into the bathroom and yowled at me loudly. I teased him that he was welcome to hop into the tub with me and have a bath if he wanted, but that only increased his yowling. He may hate bath time, but he knows it's coming and he can't put it off forever.

Finish unpacking boxes. Well, we've officially been in our house for a year, and my office/studio/library is still crowded with unpacked boxes of books that I didn't have room for. I think McCrae threatened to move out if I didn't get those unpacked within a year of living here so I ought to do that. (He was just kidding, he's not going to leave me over several boxes of books on the floor...I hope.)

Okay, now it's your turn. Do you have any goals for September? And don't forget to vote on whether listening to audiobooks counts as reading a book! Happy fall, y'all!

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