Goal Setting: The May Follow-Up and June 2017 Plans

May, much like the preceding months, absolutely has flown by. I loved being able to honor and celebrate my friend’s wedding, and I particularly liked introducing my parents to our foster kiddo. With their distance in South Carolina, she’s the first kiddo that they’ve been able to meet. The garden is coming together nicely, and I can almost imagine how wonderful it will all look in another month when I check in on goal progress again.

Here’s the breakdown on my successes and failures with my May goals. Overall, I feel pretty successful, especially on reading and all the wondrously self-fulfilling hobbies that I have. My health goals were hit or miss, but I’m not displeased there either. Goals with strikethrough were completed while goals in red were incomplete.  Any commentary on a particular goal appears in parentheses.

May Reading Goals:

  • The Case Against Sugar (Holy crap – this book changed my perspective)
  • Beeconomy
  • Quarter Acre Farm
  • Ille Hobbitus (I made some progress…)
  • Raising Rabbits
  • (Bonus books read in May: Seasons of Dragonflies, Grow a Little Fruit Tree, Leaves Falling Gently, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before)

May Hobby Goals:

  • Finish winter rosettes quilt (My sewing machine is being funky, and I opted to change the thread I was using/going to use on the quilt; I ordered it, and it should come in soon)
  • Finish spinning the half-pound of roving I bought
  • Figure out where I am in the long-slumbering chuppah project and start knitting so I can (finally) donate it this fall (I actually made a lot of progress on this since I didn’t finish the quilt)
  • Write blog posts three times a week (WOO!)
  • Make at least two products for the food-in-jars challenge either past or present—this month’s challenge is cold-pack preserving (pickled garlic scapes; lemon cukes; pickled strawberries)
  • Make at least three new cheese (honey toast cheese; fromage facile; creamy mozzarella spread redux!)
  • Finish planting in the garden
  • Cut up the sod along the blueberry bed and replace with weed paper/mulch (nope, nowhere close; my husband now wants to prioritize another area)

May Health Goals:

  • Meditate five times a week
  • Continue daily exercise (I maybe missed one day, but I think this still counts)
  • Take two long bike rides around the city for fun, not commuting (Complete fail; I had plans for a family bike ride one day, but the weather didn’t cooperate)
  • Take a short walk at least five days a week
  • Take afternoon stretch breaks on days I’m working (I even set reminders on my computer, no dice. Hmm).

June 2017 Forecast

June looks to be quite a month already. The kiddo has many camps in June, and my husband and I both are taking classes this summer (he’s taking nine graduate hours; I’m just taking three). We are both going to be busy. I think that I have a few fewer hobby goals as a result, but much of my free time will also be devoted to the regular upkeep of our wonderful garden. But “maintain garden” isn’t exactly a specific, measurable, or achievable (though it’s certainly relevant and time-bound. Oh, SMART goals!

June Books to Read:

  • Ille Hobbitus (May Holdover)
  • The First Time She Drowned
  • The Weekend Homesteader
  • Compact Farms
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin
  • How to Be a Good Mommy When You’re Sick

The farming trend continues, though I have a couple of fiction books and a highly relevant non-fiction book that seemed like a good read for me. I really need to finish Ille Hobbitus though; I feel like a slacker on my Latin. Speaking to my husband in Latin to prevent a kiddo from knowing special plans is legit and all, but I need to continue reading Latin.

Hobby Goals:

  • Finish Winter Rosettes Quilt! (May Holdover)
  • Knit 12 more rows on my chuppah project (Chuppahs are HUGE!).
  • Figure out the contraption I need for my honeycomb quilt and order it.
  • Make two new cheeses.
  • Complete the June Food in Jars Challenge (June is jam!) and one other food-preservation task.
  • Cut up sod and lay down weed paper in my husband’s newly identified priority zone.
  • Cook a new recipe each week using seasonal ingredients.
  • Continue writing three blog posts a week!

This month’s hobby section is much smaller than last month’s, but I just know that the month is going to be jam-packed (literally, ha!) with things to do, people to see, and school papers to write. I feel like if I can do all these things, I’ll be happy. The Chuppah project I’m working on is gigantic, so I will be beyond thrilled if I knit 12 rows. I made good progress on the chuppah in May as I wasn’t working on my quilt, so I hope twelve rows and finishing the quilt is an achievable goal. We’ll see!

Health Goals

  • Attend more doctor appointments to investigate perplexing symptoms. Wait, I should revamp that goal: Cheerfully attend expensive doctor appointment in attempt to better my daily quality of life and determine cause of perplexing symptoms that may just be another thing I have to deal with after spending a lot of money to learn that. Hmm. Still not particularly positive. Here we go:  Take charge of my health to investigate what I need to do to medically address new daily symptoms where plausible to do so. Rawr! Nothing is more empowering than taking charge!
  • Limit added sugars in my diet (muffins, cookies, ice cream, cakes… ugh… cakes!) to two a week.
  • Seriously: Take those afternoon stretch breaks!
  • Take just one long bicycle ride for fun around the city (lowering expectations a little).
  • Continue these new and established habits: meditating five days a week, a short walk five days a week, and exercising almost daily, even if it’s just stretching.

Yep, June brings more doctor’s appointments and more health concerns. As you can see, I’m trying to find ways to be positive about this, but I’m not excited about it. I often feel as if every time I go to the doctor I’m jeopardizing our finances, but I also need to understand what’s happening with my body because it is absolutely not normal. In the meantime, I’m going to do the very, very hard thing of saying NO! to sugar. We do a darn good job of not eating a lot of added sugars in prepared foods because we cook so much food from scratch, but that’s not to say I do a good job of avoiding sugars altogether. I want to make a concerted effort this month after reading the Case Against Sugar and watching That Sugar Film. Yikes! If I can get my relationship with sugar under control, maybe that will be a really, really positive step for me in the right direction. I’m hoping to get sweets down to a once-a-week treat, but starting with twice a week seems like a better starting place.

June isn’t as dramatic of a month for me as May was—no out of town family, no weddings, no big symbolic holidays. It’s just a month in summer where I’ll spend a good majority of my time outside working in the garden. I do have a Bee Fun Day coming up for my regional beekeeper’s association, and I’m definitely looking forward to that. The swam demonstration is a hoot, and the presenters are skilled and knowledgeable. We’re also hoping to get a weekend camping trip in somewhere in Kansas, maybe at a state park we haven’t yet visited. Other than that, I’m kind of both terrified and excited to be a graduate student again. I hope my health will allow better participation than it did last time. If not, that’ll be a hard lesson to learn, but whatever happens, I’ve had harder knocks. The hardest knock I could be facing this month is losing my job due to lack of grant funding. We should know by mid-June, which gives me just about two weeks to find other work, which isn’t easy when you have a disability.

A Hive Inspection:  Looking Forward to a Fun Day with the Bees

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