Second Quarter Check-In – Goals for 2024

After forgetting to post the first quarter check-in that I wrote at the end of March until yesterday, let’s hope I actually remember to publish this one!

  1. made 24 new foods/beverages – still way behind on this goal, which is unusual for me as this is the one that I usually knock out of the park. After only making 3 new-to-me foods/beverages in the first quarter, I only made 2 this quarter!

The two things that I did make were:

  • mango salsa – we bought a box of mangoes at Costco and needed to use them up, so salsa it was. it was pretty delicious.
  • cream cheese pistachio cookies – these were pretty good. They aren’t like a crispy cookie, but have an almost but not quite cake-like consistency. The recipe says dipping them in chocolate is optional, but I found them a little too bland without chocolate, in my opinion, the chocolate is mandatory.

I’m only at 5/24 (21%) done this goal and we are 50% of the way through the year. But I’m confident that I can catch up on this one, as it’s something I love to do and I have a huge list of recipes to try. Also, my friend Linda said she’ll teach me how to make both tempered chocolate and mustard, so I just need to arrange a date to go over to her place to do that.

2. read 24 books – this one I’m kicking butt on, thanks largely to having gotten into the habit of borrowing audiobooks from the library. I’ve finished 16/24 (67%) and have a few others books on the go. Here are the books that I’ve finished so far in 2004 (the five in the list are the ones that I read in the first quarter of the year):

Screenshot of the covers of all the books I've read as of June 30, 2024: Sure, I'll Joine Your Cult; Leslie F*cking Jones; Parable of the Talents; Daring Greatly; The Bookseller's Secret; Breath; Parable of the Talents; Excruciate; Station Eleven; The Glass Hotel; The Hidden Lives of Trees; The Woman in Me; Decolonizing Wealth; Madly, Deeply: THe Diaries of Alan Rickman; The Kiss Curse; Thirteen Stories

My book choices have been, in large part, dictated by what books are “available now” as audiobooks from the library, although a few are ones that I actually sought out and had to go on the waitlist for.

3. read 7500 pages – I’ve read 5460 pages, which is 73% of my goal, so I’m ahead on this one!

4. 26 blog postings – I’ve fallen behind on this onk. As soon as I publish this posting (which I’m hoping I’ll remember to do after the Q1 posting mishap), I’ll have published 9/26 (35%).

5. 52 journal entries – Behind on this one. Only 18/52 (35%). But that’s an improvement over Q1, in which I had only done 13%

6. 260 mindfulness meditations (5 per week) – As with Q1, I’ve been doing OK on this one, but only because I have been doing meditations as I go to bed. So I’ve done 145/260 meditations (56%), but I haven’t always stayed awake for the whole meditation. When it comes to meditation sessions that I’ve done not at bedtime (and stayed awake for the whole thing), I’ve only done 5. Some of my bedtime ones I’ve stayed awake and done the full session, but I don’t know how many as I haven’t been tracking that very well.

7. learn 12 things – I’ve learned 8/12 (66%) things so I’m slightly ahead on this goal. The four things I’ve learn in Q2 (to add to the four things I learned in Q1) are (5) weaving in ends in a crochet piece, (6) how to do a foundation crochet stitch (which is so much better than having to do a first row of crochets into a chain!), (7) how to make a centre pull ball of yarn from a hank of yarn, and (8) Olympic lifting. That last one is quite a bit different than the others! Basically, I was getting kind of bored at the gym and decided I should mix things up. After chatting with a friend I realized the problem was that I hadn’t learned anything new in a long time. I know all the regular lifts and all the variations of those lifts. So I asked my trainer to write my programs to teach me how to do the Olympic lifts. It is so different from regular weight lifting – very technical, so I really have to challenge my brain and my body and I’m really loving it!

8. crochet a stuffed animal – still not this one yet

9. do stretches 260 times (5 days a week) – I’ve only managed to do stretching on my gym days (and like one time after a hockey game), so I’m at 67/260 (26%). I have a physio appointment this week to try to get them to fix the fact that my right QL is tight and achey 24/7 and has been for ages. I’d kind of resigned myself to I’m-old-and-that’s-just-how-my-body-is now, but I had a massage at the massage therapy college recently and the student (who was in his last term, so reasonably well educated by this point) said that he thought I could fix it with some dedicated physio.. and, of course, the boring exercises that the physio will recommend. But it would be really nice to not be in constant low grade discomfort, so I’m going to give it a try. And I will need to come up with a real plan on scheduling in dedicated stretching time beyond just my post-workout cool down stretches. Wish me luck!

10. practice French 365 days in a row – I’ve screwed this a few times now, by being out late and thus not paying attention to the notifications pining on my phone from Duolingo telling me I’m about to lose my streak, and only realizing it after midnight. *face palm*. Duolingo has a thing called a “streak freeze”, where you can skip a day without losing the streak you are on, and I have earned a few of those, so I can cash them in and Duolingo thinks I’m now on day 666 in a row of French lessons, but I know the truth.

11. eat fish or plant-based protein at least once per week – I’ve recorded 27 dinners where I’ve had fish or plant-based protein (though I think there might have been some that I forgot to record). This 27/52 (52%) puts me right on target for this one!

12. make a charitable donation every month for a year – Fallen behind on this one. Only made one donation this quarter (*hangs head in shame*). It was to the Canadian Evaluation Society Educational Fund. They do good work supporting students in my profession. I need to catch up on this goal by making more donations to at least reach the goal of 12 donations, even if they weren’t actually made one in each month of the year.

13. work on at least 1 joke per day (doesn’t have to be a good joke!) – been sucking at this one, but really want to get back into it. I have been jotting down joke ideas (but not doing a good job or recording when I’ve done that), so I have some material to work with. Have also now read two memoirs by stand-up comedians and am reading another book on writing comedy, but as Leslie Jones says in her memoir (which I really think should have been called “Leslie Jones’ Diary”): respect the craft. You have to do the work! Going to try to work on a joke a day from here to the end of the year and be meticulous about recording that I’ve done it.

14. do 20 comedy performances (including open mics) – I only did one in all of Q2 (*hangs head in shame*) – it was at the evaluation conference that I went to in May and I did an evaluation-theme set. It went over pretty well – and it was tough because there was nowhere I could test out the material since it was way too niche for an open mic audience! I really need to get back into doing open mics.

15. do a quarterly check-in on my goals – as soon as I click “publish” on this posting (if you are reading this, I have done so), I’m exactly on track for this one!

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