3 Words – the Anti-Resolutions

In general, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t make them because I know that I don’t follow through on them. Why set myself up for disappointment and failure? I think this demonstrates a certain level of self-awareness, but also a certain level of immaturity. I am perfectly capable of setting goals and meeting deadlines in my work, but something about the nebulous deadlines and lack of accountability in personal goals makes them exceedingly more difficult to accomplish. I’d probably prefer a resolution that has a specific end and measurable result, but I don’t have the slightest idea what that would be.

Many of the grant professionals I chat with on Twitter talk about 3 Words and how they are a guide for their year rather than resolutions. I decided to check it out. The idea is that you pick three words that are overarching themes to guide your year. The three words should resonate with you and reflect your goals in a big picture way. I like this concept because the three words feel like reminders to keep in mind rather than resolutions that must be accomplished.

After writing down a few potential goals, I found some themes and categorized them into my 3 words. My 3 Words are Habits, Healthy, and Present.

Habits is relatively simple. First, I’m an adult so I should have a better bedtime ritual that includes regular teeth brushing and face washing. I should also be making my coffee the night before to save time in the morning – why else would we have a programmable coffee maker? Another habit is better time management, which includes limiting unnecessary distractions at work. Even though my time management is significantly better than it was in college and grad school, there is always room for improvement. A crossover item between Habits and Healthy is “me-time.” I think everyone knows by now that I’m an introvert and not ashamed of it. But this also means that I require time to myself to recharge my batteries. Finding that time and being unafraid to say leave me alone would be a good habit, and I believe it would contribute to my overall well-being.

Healthy is more than just lose 10 pounds this year or whatever other arbitrary weight loss goal people set for their resolutions. Healthy for me is figuring out any underlying issues related to my health (without getting too personal this is something I’m working on this month). Related is trying to find ways to make healthy food choices. Healthy is being honest with myself about my needs and wants. And finding my passions. I think I’m mildly passionate about a lot of issues and causes, but which one really matters to me and how can I develop that into something? Maintaining healthy relationships is also important to me. In the past, I was really good at maintaining toxic relationships, I think I’ve gotten over that, but it also means I need to learn more about keeping the good ones going. I’ve always liked the quote “Begin each day as if it were on purpose,” and I think I could incorporate that more into my daily life plus I think it fits with Present.

Present is about trying to live more in the present. I’m really good at living in the future – I did get a degree with “planning” in the title after all. But sometimes it is better to go with the flow and stop thinking about the future, which is generally out of my control. An exercise a meeting facilitator did once has stuck with me, which is to write down what’s keeping you from being present today. By getting stuff, like future plans, out of my head and on paper means I don’t have to keep thinking about it during the day, and I can focus on what’s happening in the present moment. The last part of Present is trying digital detoxes. All too often I have my head stuck to a screen which keeps me from being in the moment, so taking time out from some of that could be a healthy habit (see what I did there?). I think this one could be hard for me, since I’m a bit of a tech addict, but it is worth a shot.

There’s my three words. I have absolutely no idea if I’ll stick to any of what I just wrote, but I’ve put it out there for all to see, which is a step in the right direction.


Day 5 Peach, Cream, Black

I’m back to remixing after a lazy day off.  Today as you know is Monday, and some people (my mom) have a theory that you should wear black on Monday.  I went with it today.  It was actually a pretty fast moving day.  Probably because I spent a significant chunk of my day summarizing the month of January at my job.  As part of my job I have to file monthly reports to my sponsoring agency.  I did quite a bit in January, so it took some time to summarize the whole month.  Anyway this morning I had the peach t-shirt on but decided I would be too cold at work, so I switched to the long sleeve cream shirt.  It was a wise choice; I would have been cold.  The vest is from Macy’s.  The cream top is Izod, but I believe it is from JC Penney’s.  The pants and boots are the same as Day 4.  Busy day tomorrow, what I am going to wear?

Bye for now!

Lazy Sunday

I’m not going to lie to you.  I’m not getting out of my pajamas today, so the remix challenge will resume tomorrow.  Yes I get lazy.  Sometimes I am lazy more often than I should be.  I’m not in a great mood, but since I am trying to maintain a positive attitude online I’m not going to delve into it too much.

I could talk about the fact that I have been reliving my childhood on Facebook via the Oregon Trail game.  Oregon Trail was THE game when I was in middle school.  Whenever we had free time in our computer classes everyone played Oregon Trail.  I can only imagine what the kids are playing in their computer classes these days. They are probably designing their own games.  The Facebook version has maintained many of the original elements of the game.  Fording rivers, hunting buffalo, and whatnot.  Obviously the graphics are a billion times better than the original game.  It is still a beta version on Facebook, so I imagine it will get even better with more testing and input from players.  Needless to say I’ve been enjoying the trip down memory lane.  That’s all I know for now.  Back to the remixing tomorrow, yay!

Bye for now!

More movies

Well I’ve seen quite a few more movies since my last post, so I’m going to chat about them.  This is my easy way to get back in the blogging routine.  Since it is a new year I shall try to have more to say on this blog.  It might get a little schizo this year, but that’s just how I roll.  Anyway back to the movies.

Hereafter – Excellent movie.  The premise was good.  It had multiple storylines that came together in the end which I always enjoy.  I also always enjoy Matt Damon.  He can do no wrong in my opinion.  And the female lead, Cecile de France, had amazing hair throughout the movie, and inspired a little bit of jealousy.

Morning Glory – A fun and happy movie.  I love Rachel McAdams.  The movie was funnier than I was expecting.  It was more of a comedy than a specific romantic comedy.  There was a touch of romance, but it wasn’t the main story in the movie.  Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton played off each other very well.  Also some of my favorite actors.

Burlesque – Entertainment to the max.  If you enjoy a lot of singing especially from Christina Aguilera then you will enjoy this movie.  There is plenty of singing and dancing.  I’m not Cher’s biggest fan, but I enjoy her in movies (I love Moonstruck).  I don’t feel like Christina had to do a lot of acting, but I can’t imagine anyone better for the part she played.  Stanley Tucci was also great, and Christina’s love interest was hot!  Just another fun movie.

Unstoppable – Loud, non-stop action.  What’s not to like about Denzel Washington and Chris Pine attempting to stop a runaway train?  Nothing that I know of.

Love & Other Drugs – Romance and Parkinson’s.  Anne Hathaway has early onset Parkinson’s which she acts out very well.  Jake Gyllenhaal is a womanizing, drug rep for Pfizer at the same time that Viagra hits the market.  They have amazing chemistry onscreen and make a believable couple.

True Grit – A remake western from the Coen Brothers.  First, I’m not a big western fan, but I loved this movie.  Second, I have not seen the original nor do I have any desire to see it.  So I make no comparisons between Jeff Bridges and John Wayne.  Hailee Steinfeld was the show stealer for the movie.  She was excellent the entire movie.  She stole the show from Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and Josh Brolin, no easy feat for a 14 year old.

The Green Hornet – Another action packed, superhero movie.  The origin story for the Green Hornet.  Origin stories usually appeal to me, and this one was fine.  Seth Rogen was funny, as usual, and in tip top shape for him.  The dynamic between him and his sidekick, Jay Chou, worked.  The movie is a lot of stylized action and violence.  It is entertaining, but definitely not one of my favorites recently nor one of my favorite superhero movies.

Black Swan – Dance thriller.  As a former ballerina naturally I was intrigued by Black Swan.  The movie is intense to say the least.  Natalie Portman is phenomenal and absolutely deserving of a best actress nod.  She is an obsessed perfectionist ballerina.  And it makes her pretty crazy, and she has a crazy mother.  It is an exaggerated story, but it is very good.  Mila Kunis is also very good in it.

No Strings Attached – The definition of a romantic comedy.  Another Natalie Portman movie that was a complete departure from Black Swan.  It follows the relationship between her and Ashton Kutcher that starts when they are teens.  She acts more like a guy when it comes to relationships, and we watch her change her attitude in the movie.  Kevin Kline was a pleasant, unexpected surprise as Ashton’s dad.

Bye for now!

Let’s talk about free movies…

So I’ve just started blogging and I’m already slacking on it. I’ve thought about making a goal like writing everyday, but I feel like many of my posts would be pointless drivel. Maybe once a week is a reasonable goal?

Anyway let’s get back to the topic at hand: free movies! While I was in Kansas I discovered free movie screenings through some friends. As it turns out studios have free previews to most popular, up and coming movies. You just have to know where to get tickets. While I was in Kansas I saw movies like the Fantastic Mr Fox, The Dark Knight, Avatar, Shutter Island, Body of Lies, and some others I can’t remember all for free and before they were officially released!

Since I moved to Phoenix I’ve brought this skill of finding free movies with me. My mom and I have seen 5 free movies so far. We saw Going the Distance, Easy A, Buried, The Social Network, and Life As We Know It. Since I’m not overly picky about movies and tend to like everything I have enjoyed these movies. Some more than others of course.

Going the Distance was funny and cute. The trio of guys in the movie were hilarious and had a good dynamic. Justin Long and Drew Barrymore of course had good chemistry since they used to be a real life couple. I would have liked more Jim Gaffigan. And the story was overly optimistic about long distance relationships in my opinion. I suppose movies are supposed to be overly optimistic not exactly like real life.

Easy A was hilarious!  Probably one of my favorites of the five. Emma Stone is great. I’ve liked her in everything I’ve seen with her. The story was cute and original. It was full of great writing that had quick wit and fast talking. Quick wit is a quality I admire in movies and real life. All of the supporting characters and actors were excellent as well.

Buried features Ryan Reynolds buried in a coffin in Iraq. He is the only character the audience sees in person. He talks to people on the phone that is conveniently buried with him. I was skeptical of this film at first especially since I don’t like the idea of being buried alive. The movie was intense and very good. Ryan Reynolds was superb and the movie managed to have some twists even though there was only one actor.

The Social Network was also one of my favorites of the five. Some people will call this the Facebook movie but it isn’t really about Facebook. It is about Mark Zuckerburg, the inventor of Facebook, being sued by two different parties.  One is his ex-best friend who wants his piece of the very large pie that is Facebook. He was part of the creation, put in the startup money for the company, and wants a fair share in the company. The other party is claiming Facebook was their idea not Zuckerburg’s. Jesse Eisenberg portrays Zuckerburg as a fast talking, quick witted genius which I of course loved (that whole quick wit thing again). Justin Timberlake also gives a stellar performance as Sean Parker, a Napster co-founder, who gives Zuckerburg business advice. Justin Timberlake proved to me he has some acting chops to go along with his other talents. Overall a wonderful film!

Life As We Know It is a typical romantic dramedy featuring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel. They are chosen as the guardians of their best friends’ kid after they die in a car accident, even though they hate each other. The movie was okay. Many of the funny parts were shown in the previews, but it was nice to look at Josh Duhamel for the duration of the movie!

Well that’s a wrap-up of the free movies I’ve seen so far in Phoenix. Agree or disagree? Let me know!

Bye for now!

Being the new kid at work

When I moved to Arizona I also transferred within my current retail company. Transferring is an interesting experience I must say. I never moved as a kid so I don’t have any experience being the new kid. Since I’m doing the same job I didn’t need any training, so I was just kinda thrown into this job. When you are a new person you get to know people easier because someone has to show you the ropes. I cannot say it has been easy getting to know people. It doesn’t help that I’m naturally somewhat shy and quiet. I’m also very task oriented so I’m mostly focused on doing the job and not meeting people. But it would be nice to make some friends at this job. Any advice out there for getting to know new people at work or otherwise?

Bye for now!

The introduction

Let’s start with the basics.  Who am I? My name is Amanda. I’m 25 years old, a cancer, only child, single, and INTJ.  I make lists for everything. I have selective OCD. People say I’m understated.  I’m extremely observant.  I don’t think I have a biological clock.  I dislike ignorance and racism.  My blog is called work in progress because it and me are works in progress 🙂

Let’s move on to what should be an easy question, but in my case is complicated.  Where am I from? The easiest way to determine where someone is from is to ask them where they graduated high school.  By that definition I am from Minnesota.  I lived there for 18 years and it is definitely where I grew up.  But then I went to Florida for my undergraduate career.  I lived there for 4 years, really started to find myself and define who I am as a person.  I went to Kansas for my graduate education and I lived there for 3 years.  I just recently moved to Arizona to live with my mom, save money and be free of a lease.  People ask where I’m from and I just sigh, say it’s complicated and try to explain.  Some of the best and worst years of my life happened in Florida and Kansas and those years have defined me as a person, but I lived in Minnesota the longest.  Thus it truly is a complicated question

How about some other basics? My undergraduate degree is in geography and sociology.  My graduate degree is in urban planning (a lovely synergy of my undergraduate majors).  I currently work for a retailer that will remain unnamed for the time being.  I will be leaving my retail position at the end of October (thank god!) to “serve” as an AmeriCorps VISTA.  I’ll be working for a city and doing grant writing among other things.  I’m sure I’ll write more about it after I actually start the job.  I’m very excited about this recent change as I have been job hunting for over a year (I don’t know if you noticed but this economy sucks!).

There are five things I compulsively buy: books, movies, music, chapstick/lipgloss, shoes.

What about my interests? Sports especially hockey and college football, most types of music, any movie, reading, shopping, art, dancing, crafts.  Yes I have a wide variety of interests and I like to believe that I am one of a kind.

And finally (for now), why am I blogging?  One reason is to prevent brain atrophy.  Second, I have things to say every now and then.  This is as good a place as any to share my opinions/thoughts.  Also to provide some relief for my slight quarter-life crisis.  And why not?  I may be late to the trend but that is usually my style anyway.

This blog may contain book reviews, movie reviews, music & concert reviews, and definitely my random opinions.  Soon I will be sharing my opinion of recent New York Times article about 20-somethings.  I don’t know how much or often I’ll be blogging but I’ll figure it out as I go along.

Bye for now!