Hello 2020!

I know we made up calendars and decades and time, but I’m excited to start a new year and the 2020s. I am moving most of my non-travelogue writing to a monthly newsletter, which you can subscribe to at KiMDB.substack.com. I included a couple of resolutions in it, but I always like to do a blog write-up on my New Years resolutions, so here is my full list for 2020:

  • Taper back on social media usage. I’ll still be active on my usual platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) since they’re the best way to share my work, connect with friends and family, and understand all the memes. But I have definitely reached a compulsive level of feeling like I need to check my phone while in the middle of other activities, which I hate. This month, I’m activating app limits in my phone settings so I have to make conscious decisions about when and how often I check each feed.
  • Learn to cook, and not be lying when I say I’m going to this year.
  • Write every week. Continue to submit work and send out pitches regularly. I’m easing off my goal of 52 submissions/pitches which I set for myself in 2019, in order to allow myself more time to work on potential longer projects (I’m taking a novel foundations class in January, which I am very excited about).
  • The usual nutrition/regular exercise stuff. In 2019, I averaged 15 workouts per month and this is a perfect amount for me in terms of feeling good and keeping healthy while also leaving time for other hobbies.
  • Continue finding ways to decrease my carbon footprint and be more mindful of one-use plastics, etc. This past year I cut back on red meat consumption a ton. In 2020, I want to step it up by decreasing fast fashion and unnecessary purchases, and being better about shopping secondhand.
  • Visit a new place in my own city at least once a month.
  • Travel as much as possible. I have a big trip coming up this spring that I’m super excited about, as it’s been a bucket list destination for most of my life. Travelogues coming soon!

Happy New Year!! ❤

2018 Wrap-up and 2019 Goals

Aww, look at wide-eyed innocent me back at the beginning of 2018. So full of hopes and dreams! This year was bonkers but I feel good about what I accomplished.

  • While I didn’t knock any major writing projects out of the park, I did some work that I’m proud of, had a small piece published, and committed to practicing the craft of writing fiction, which has always overwhelmed me in its difficulty.
  • Also, I took care of myself! I practiced yoga regularly, once for 27 out of 30 straight-ish days, and kept up with cardio. I ate spinach and kale by the fistful in mason jar salads and green smoothies more often than going out to buy lunch. I got enough sleep and drank enough water and meditated.
  • I consumed a lot of art. I read 38 books, and out of those, 76% were written by women, 36% by people of color, and 13% by LGBTQ writers. (I also rewatched a ton of Marvel and Star Wars movies, because I’m also all for comfort found in pop culture.)
  • And I traveled! Boy, did I travel: mechanical bull riding and Magic Mike in Las Vegas, karaoke and hangover brunches in New Orleans, castles and craft beers in Denmark, pastries and parks in Sweden, conferences and interactive theater in New York City, writing and drinking in Wisconsin, stand up paddle boarding and kayaking on the Chain O’ Lakes, camping through a snowstorm in Upper Peninsula Michigan, sleeping in a van listening to coyotes in Manistee National Forest. What a full year, and as someone who could barely afford the time and expense of leaving the Midwest for much of my earlier adulthood, this life feels like such an enormous gift.

So I didn’t write 6 hours a week, or master a handstand, or completely kick sugar.  I had some crappy setbacks  and work struggles and stressful months along with the amazing months, but of course that’s life, and it’s not what I choose to dwell on. I want to carry good vibes only into 2019.

Here’s my 2019 goals:

  • Become more conscious of my carbon footprint. Cut back on my use of plastics. Recycle, but reuse even more. Be less wasteful and more mindful.
  • Keep up with healthy eating, and continue to cut back on sugar and processed foods. Learn how to use the damn instant pot. Meal prep.
  • Keep practicing yoga and doing cardio. All movement is good, whether it be dancing to karaoke or walking across a new city. Every day is Leg Day.
  • Keep writing. I have two ideas for longer projects; pick one and commit to working towards a full draft. Blog and write about travel and pop culture opinions. Put the damn thoughts on the damn page.
  • Keep traveling whenever and wherever I can. Keep jumping in as many Midwestern lakes and rivers as possible.
  • Be more mindful of my budget. Sit down with Kurt and look at our current and future financial goals together. Reading Nomadland this year really opened my eyes in terms of thinking about our eventual retirement, and though I do the “right” things (have a 401k, pay off credit cards), I still (STILL!!) have a student loan to pay off, and a tendency to run off and make a tattoo appointment the second I have some extra cash on hand.
  • Organize my house and my digital life. Let’s not talk about the current state of my digital photo hoard.
  • Every week: Submit, Pitch, or Apply. Whether it be finding a home for a piece or trying to get into my first writing residency, it’s only going to happen if I keep putting myself out there.

Happy New Year, y’all! ❤

Hey, 2018, Hey

2017, amirite?? Yes, the events of the world made me cry and have massive anxiety, but there was also a feeling of collective resilience that began to build slowly over twelve tumultuous months. Looking at brand spanking new 2018 laying before us, I feel pretty good. Maybe this is just me choosing to take an optimistic viewpoint, but I’m feeling rullll hopeful.  Like, Princess-Leia-at-the-end-of-Rogue-One Level of Hope. On this first day of a new year, we are all Mariah Carey, ready to put last year’s stumbles behind us and start anew, triumphant, and bedazzled. Plus, the Year of the Dog starts in a month and dogs always make everything better.

This year, I’ll be thinking a lot of a line from Star Wars: The Last Jedi: “That’s how we’re gonna win. Not fighting what we hate, saving what we love.”

My resolutions for 2018:

  • Continue building on what I started/accomplished in 2017. Yoga and meditation became a part of my regular routine, and have had a big impact on me. I aim to increase my yoga practice and meditate as close to daily as possible.
  • Last year, I made a goal of carving out 3 hours/week for writing. On average, I usually hit this goal and then some, so I’m aiming for 6 hours/week, hopefully falling somewhere closer to the higher end between 3-6 on a regular basis. As with last year, I will be kind to myself when Life takes over and letting myself have little vacations when needed.
  • Keep improving my nutrition habits, starting with a sugary treats cleanse in January. At this point in my life, I know how much better I feel when I’m eating well and getting lots of fresh veggies and healthy protein in my diet. Make the time to grocery shop and meal prep so I don’t have to fall back on fast, processed food in a pinch.
  • Consume art. Read whenever I can. Watch films thoughtfully without looking at my phone. Support artists. Create.
  • Continue to travel as much as I can. Swim in as many lakes as possible. Watch the sun rise. Watch it set. Immerse myself in nature whenever possible.

Happy New Year! ❤

 

Hello 2017

Oh 2016, you started with taking David Bowie and ended with us all feeling second-hand embarrassment for Mariah Carey. You ran our emotions through a meat grinder (I started reading The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher today and couldn’t get through the first 2 pages without tearing up). You gave us a sentient Cheeto who live-tweets every one of his temper tantrums and made him our President-elect. Looking ahead to this fresh new year, I may be crazy but I’m hopeful. Maybe it’s because 2017 still has that new car smell, or maybe it’s because I love making New Year resolutions as an opportunity to set goals that I’m excited about. I was successful in all of my 2016 resolutions except for one (to start a Twitter parody account, but that was a silly one anyways and I became too busy handling social media for Drinkers with Writing Problems). I also managed to hit a big goal that I hadn’t spelled out for myself, which was to pay off my credit card debt by the end of the year.

My resolutions for 2017:

  • do a sugar detox for the month of January. Diabetes runs rampant in my family and I have a weakness for pastries, chocolate, and ice cream. I’m taking a month off to break the habit and make better decisions about what I eat.
  • carve out at least 3 hours a week for writing. Don’t beat myself up when Life takes over, but don’t make easy excuses for myself either. I want to finish the first draft of the new novel I’m currently working on before next New Year’s Eve.
  • return to yoga and start a mindful meditation practice.
  • start putting more money into savings, which should be easier now that I paid off my credit cards.
  • seize opportunities at work to expand my role and branch out into new responsibilities.

It goes without saying that in 2017, I will appreciate all of the many things in my life that I’m super grateful for: my incredible family and friends, the many adventures I share with my husband and best friend, my home, my health, and every morning I get to wake up and seize another day.

 

 

Happy New Year

2015 was a weird year. After the ridiculous spree of happiness and excitement that was 2014 (got married, honeymooned, bought a house), this year was a bumpier road. Loved ones had some hard times. I went through some job changes. The world often felt like it was falling apart. On social media, everyone seemed to be in a fight with each other, slinging angry memes and sparring with links.

But there were great moments too. My sister got married and her wedding weekend was incredibly fun. I saw Half Dome and El Capitan for the first time. We camped in a blizzard and it was the greatest. Scrolling through my pictures from the last year, there’s tons of shots of fun times with people I love.  In other words, it was a Year, full of highs and lows just like any other, with good times and hardships ebbing and flowing like the tide.

So far, 2016 is off to a good start. We spent New Years Eve at home with a few of our closest friends, playing board games, drinking champagne, and keeping things relaxed. It was nice, and I especially enjoyed waking up on the first day of a new year not feeling like I was run over by a semi. Last New Years Day, I barely crawled out of bed and spent all day on the couch, trying to keep down an omelet and letting Netflix run through an entire season of a Canadian travel show. Today, I watched some football, took a nap, did some writing, and got in a cardio workout.

My resolutions for 2016:

  • take hip hop dance lessons (they start Monday!), prepare myself for random dance-off challenges, start a crew (or krew).
  • purchase a Sonicare toothbrush. I did this today, using my Christmas gift cards for something I actually need (instead of, say, Star Wars t-shirts) like a responsible adult. My journey towards healthier teeth and gums begins.
  • train myself to like coffee. This is mostly an attempt to break my terrible Diet Coke habit, which is my current method of caffeinating.  So far, I can tolerate coffee with  flavored cream, but I’d like to acquire the taste to order it Agent Dale Cooper-style, black as midnight on a moonless night.
  • In 2014, I had my big writing goal of finishing a novel. This year, I’m taking it easier and giving myself to challenge of creating a Twitter parody account. Sadly, tweeting as Laura Ingalls Wilder has already been taken.

This should keep me busy until 2017. Happy New Years, all!

Namaste, bitches

When I first came up with the name for this blog, I envisioned it as a place where I’d write about health and fitness for the drunk and lazy. The focus of the blog eventually evolved into something different, but fitness (and occasional drunkenness) remain a regular part of my lifestyle.

During the recent onslaught of back-to-back-to-back holiday parties, I did a terrible job of focusing on health and fitness and fully gave in to be drunk, lazy, and gluttonous. It was such an indulgent binge of ridiculousness that I’m actually looking forward to getting back to some healthy habits now that New Years is over. And you guys, guess what?? Sometime in the past year I got really into yoga.

I used to hate on yoga because I thought it wasn’t enough of a workout. I used to play roller derby and do Crossfit, so in my mind, if I wasn’t burning out my legs by alternating wind sprints with wall sits, or flipping giant tractor tires while grunting and howling like a zoo animal, I wasn’t really getting in shape. Yoga was for girls who spend $100 on stretchy pants and wore them to Starbucks as often as they did to the studio. I am fully willing to admit I was wrong (well, those people do exist, but if they have the strength to pull off a perfect side crow pose, they’ve earned the right to trot out those LuluLemons anywhere they please).

Last March, I found a yoga class that I enjoyed, challenged me, and even left me feeling sore the next day. This blew my Crossfit-brainwashed mind, so I got a monthly membership and kept it up through the fall until we moved away from the studio. Nowadays, I do a yoga/Pilates workout DVD at home that allows me to be lazy in that I don’t need to leave the house to get in a good workout. Also, exercise DVDs are semi-hilarious because you eventually memorize all of the small talk the instructor spouts. I like to imagine backstories for the people in the video; for example, I think that Chalene and Janelle are total Mean Girls to Michelle, who is stuck in the role of showing the modified version of each move. You can tell this because on one of the DVDs, Chalene tells Michelle during an ab exercise that she’s “blessed with a long torso” and Michelle makes a face at the camera, like “I just got Lacey Chaberted.”

I’ve also come to enjoy the meditative quality of yoga, which is especially surprising considering I’m the type of person who can’t look at Facebook for more than 5 minutes without ADD kicking in and making me switch to Instagram or Twitter. My husband once watched me play with my phone over my shoulder and he said it made him dizzy. During a 75-minute yoga class, I can shut off that part of my brain and find an inner calm.

Looking ahead into a bright shiny new year, I definitely plan to continue to make yoga a part of my day as often as possible. Though I still may flip some giant tires; a girl’s gotta live a little.