December 2017 Goals

An unhappy reindeer and recap of November 2017 goals

Poor Ryder. My poor fluffy-butt-pupperkins has the hard job of being a model when I want to play with the camera and do silly things. Like put plaid reindeer antlers on the dog and drape him in holiday lights. People always say I have a photogenic dog but it's because I bribe him with lots and lots of treats. Treats and running and hiking and snuggles. Wait, no, he doesn't like snuggles, even though I keep telling him you can't spell "SMOTHER" without "MOTHER." He said he still doesn't believe me, but he'll smile for the camera if I give him more Greenies.

Anyways, so November happened. I'm not sure how or what happened - I feel like I'm still trying to clean up the aftermath of that month. I thought things would quiet down the first week of December but nope, full steam ahead it seems. Release new versions of three big software systems? On it. More photography sessions morning, nights, and weekends? Done. Freelance writing options? I can pitch that. Holiday parties, baking bonanzas, running streaks, plan the 2018 calendar, shop for the holidays, and wait I'm supposed to remember to call my parents every once in a while? Sheesh. (Sorry, Mom!)

But okay. Goals!

November 2017 Goals:


NaNoWriMo: I did a stupid thing. I signed up for NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. I knew this was a stupid idea when I signed up but I signed up for it anyways. And then November blew up in my face. I will say that I did a lot of writing...but it's all written on paper and there's no way I'm going through all that right now and counting the words. (Try it, counting words manually is harder than you think. Pro tip: write numbers in the margins after each paragraph and do math afterwards.)

Post at least once a week. Nope. I posted three times in November...all in the first week. Let's just claim it was a hiatus "to enjoy time with family over the Thanksgiving holiday." That sounds better than being an epic failure with posts.


Plan a fun project for winter photos. Actually, I've got an inkling of an idea. Does anyone want to go on a scavenger hunt soon? Pick a weekend and let me know.


Run City of Oaks Marathon Relay! I did this, hooray! I did it with my Oiselle teammates and it was awesome - can't wait for our next event!

Run RDC Half Marathon! This is a sore subject. Apparently a 102 degree fever, Stranger Things fever dreams, and a cough that puts Gollum to shame is not conducive to running a half marathon. Dang it.

Indoor soccer! Our season started up recently and it's been a fun few games so far!

Climb at least once a week. I'm 90% sure I forgot to log a climb once or twice this month, but half this month is a fog so I'm not completely sure. Apparently if I don't write it down then it didn't happen, so I can't say whether I accomplished this or not.

Go hiking at least once! Well, I didn't go on a big hike or backpacking trip, but I did catch up with Tina of Sofiol Press, who I met through blogging and photography. Tina is an awesome writer, photographer, and digital marketer who lives in western NC and shares my love of the outdoors, so when she was in Durham for a short weekend we met up for a quick hike. Hi Tina!


Read two books. I'm sitting here trying to rack my brain and remember if I got through some books this month. I'm almost done reading a couple books which you'll definitely hear more about later, but did I actually finish any books this month? I don't think so.

Overall November was a total bust in terms of goals. A few different factors took me by surprise and threw a wrench in plans, but I've got a month before the start of the new year to get everything back on track. Until then, this is basically how I feel:

You and me both, Ryder pup. You and me both.

December 2017 Goals:


Post at least once a week. On average. There, that should be doable with the holidays coming up.

Pitch a freelance article. I was approached by a couple people to potentially write an article or two, and then my brain immediately emptied of all original ideas and turned to slush when they asked me for a pitch. Come on, brain, work with me.


Figure out how to take pretty photos with Christmas lights. Did you know that Christmas lights are actually kinda annoying to use in photos? A couple times I thought, "Oh, let's be festive and throw in some holiday lights for these photos" and then I go back and look at the photos and sheesh they look terrible! Either I'm working in a tight space and don't have enough distance to get the bokeh I want, or the lights are twisted and facing away from the camera and not giving me anything useful, or the other light sources I have are overpowering the holiday lights, or...get this...the dang strands flicker. I thought I was going crazy but I kid you not, half the photos of this "Reindeer Ryder" practice photo session had half the lights lit and half the lights unlit. At this time of night I don't particularly care to comb through my dusty memories of physics class and currents and amperes and resistance and shutter speed and what-not, but here's a secret: at least one of the photos in this post is a composite of two photos to get the whole strand of holiday lights to look like they're lit up. Grumble grumble electricity grumble grumble. Theoretically I know what to do. I just need to convince Ryder that playing with holiday lights is not the worst thing we could do this month (wait, hey Ryder! Did someone just say "bath time!"? Oh, so now you want to sit pretty with the holiday lights while I play with camera settings? Uh huh, sure.)


Make it through my 40 day running streak. Earlier in November a running friend of mine was going on and on about the Runner's World running streak: run every day from Thanksgiving to New Year's. Because I have FOMO and I like eating Christmas cookies I figured I might as well sign up for the running streak too. It's day 14 and I'm going strong!

Plan spring race calendar. Knowing me I can't promise that I'll actually sign up for all the races by the end of this month, but I at least want to plan my spring 2018 race calendar accordingly. Who knows? Maybe I'll sneak a half marathon in this month and get that fall 2018 medal since I was sick and missed Run RDC.

Climb at least once a week. McCrae just joined my climbing gym so I'm super excited to do some climbing with him!

Explore South Mountain and Doughton Park. I'm pretty excited about an upcoming long weekend in a mountain cabin near South Mountain and Doughton Park. Helloooooo, hiking trails!


Finalize spring trip plans. I've got a pretty big trip coming up and it's not to a place you'd ever guess. You'll hear about it later.


Read two books. This is a cheat goal. I'm halfway through one book and I've got 40 minutes left on my audiobook. Real goal: read 3 books. But I like to set the bar low.

Get some fiction writing typed up. It's one thing to write. It's a whole other beast to revise.

Survive the holidays. I'm not the only one with this goal, right? ::shudders:: Next thing you know it will be resolutions time, hooray! But also: Yikes!

What are your goals this December? Let me know in the comments!



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