A new challenger appears!

There are two positive habits I have managed to hold onto for years—habits I honestly believe have helped to keep me grounded and sane. I drink two large mugs of tea daily and I walk for 30 minutes a day. Last year I picked up a third daily habit: balancing my budget.

Of course, it’s all too easy to pick up a habit when it’s enjoyable. I listen to my favorite music while I walk. I browse the web while I drink tea. And my budgeting software is so similar to the simulation games I’ve been obsessed with for years that it’s actually a pleasure mucking about with it. So while making the activities repetitive ones have allowed them to become habits, I would have never engaged in said activities on a daily basis were they not fun.

Regarding the tea and the walking, if I stop doing either for more than 5 days? I feel lousy. My brain and body simply do not work right any longer without that caffeine-endorphin cocktail. Given the things that people in this world are addicted to, I’m glad I lucked out with walking and tea (and also bread, but that’s a whole other blog post)!

Though my good habits have improved my life considerably in the past, at this point they simply maintain a mundane status quo. To shake things up a bit I’ve embarked on a couple of 30-day challenges. The first challenge is to write daily for 30 days, be it a blog post, journal entry, or article. This challenge is more preventative than proactive, but will hopefully help to keep my mind sharp. The second challenge, one that is considerably more difficult than the first but should actually produce visible results, is to stick to a weightlifting routine for 30 days. Day one has been a success—both challenges met with ease—but I worry what day thirty will look like! For good or for bad, I plan to check in with the World Wide Web once a week to blog about it.

See you next Saturday!


Maps.

It has been a decidedly long time since my last post. Since then, my life has changed dramatically. This certainly isn’t an excuse for the absence of posts. I’ve been active on Twitter, discussing topics such as Remender’s comments regarding his work on Uncanny Avengers, the role of the “strong black woman” in American fiction, Rick Ross’ departure from Reebok, and how African American Vernacular English has changed dramatically depending on region and proximity to other racial and ethnic groups. So, I’ve been talkative—just not publicly.

My grandmother, my family’s matriarch, passed recently, devastating everyone who was lucky enough to be blessed by her presence. I took two very important lessons from her death: share one’s creations with the world; do not be afraid to accept what the world offers in return.

Live life.

I’ve chosen to do so, but it is extremely difficult not to retreat and indulge in overly cautious behavior. I like lists, detailed strategies, patterns, carefully reasoned hypotheticals—but it is dangerous to simply plan and never act. One steals one’s life away preparing for it.

I’ve prepared enough. I’ve given notice at my current place of employment and plan to pursue a career—one that allows for greater diversity and creativity—in the field of publishing or advertising. I am moving at the end of the month and will to use my nest egg to purchase a home in an area where said career can flourish. Plane tickets have been purchased. Possessions have been sold. Contingency plans have been made.

Kelly Sue DeConnick (an amazing woman—if you don’t know her, get familiar) posted about the importance of having a biannual review to assess one’s accomplishments, goals, and strategies to achieve said goals. At the close of my first quarter, the first day of April, I went back and looked at the goals I had set for myself the first day of 2013. Three months later, I had met every single financial goal, one of my fitness goals, and none of my career goals.

Problem.

I am at the start of my second quarter and the problem has since been rectified. I was able to meet all of my financial goals because I wrote detailed plans as to what tasks I needed to complete to reach them and when I needed to complete those tasks. I relied on habit to achieve my fitness goals; the result was minimal success. I was at a loss in regards to attaining career goals; I felt achievement of one’s goals were dependent upon the whims of others. Working harder afforded me no career movement. I have decided to establish clear-cut career-oriented tasks to be accomplished and place myself in an arena where those accomplishments will be rewarded. Will it work? Ask me the last day of June.

This post is a turning of the key. The engine will start next—emails will be sent, questions will be answered, stories will be written—and I will embark upon that long, winding path to the destination waiting for all of us.

The trip should be fun though. Feel free to come along for the ride.