New Year’s Resolution #4: Blog about events in a timely manner
As hard as it’s going to be for me to comfortable wear a bikini this summer (gulp!), this resolution might be even more difficult. I’ve gotten into a terrible habit of waiting so long to write things that happen in my life that I never get around to it at all. Like my trip to Orlando last month. In spite of my knee injury during the Disney World Half Marathon it was a great vacation, but I’ve barely blogged about any of it here. I hate that. Granted, I don’t have the most exciting life, but the purpose of this webpage is to share my experiences. Even if no one wants to read about them but me! So to try and stem the tide of blog amnesia (did I just coin a phrase there?), here’s how I spent my week.
As I mentioned in Wednesday’s post, in anticipation of working all weekend I took last Friday off. It was supposed to be a nice relaxing day for me to unwind before spending Saturday and Sunday working. And it mostly succeeded. I know you won’t be surprised when I say that I started Friday off with a with a morning visit to Disneyland. I hadn’t been there in a few weeks and I love the smaller winter crowds. Unfortunately there were a few more people there last Friday than I expected. I ended up walking around for a while, seeing the “Cinderella” sneak peak in California Adventure, buying a pin for a ride that’s closing forever soon (Luigi’s Flying Tires), and going home after a few hours. The rest of the day was extremely relaxing considering I didn’t do much but watch TV (I’m trying to catch up on Oscar Best Picture nominees from the last few years) and do a few chores. When the weekend officially arrived I ended up working 10 hours on both Saturday and Sunday. Although I got a lot of work done when there wasn’t anyone else around to bother me, it was just a drop in the bucket of everything I had to complete. On Monday I was still working like mad on my own projects, but I had to split my time between that and another activity that was going on. I worked 10 hours on Monday, 14 hours on Tuesday (that was rough), and 10 hours on Wednesday. That’s a grand total of 54 hours in 5 days. It wasn’t fun, and I was completely exhausted on Wednesday night, but I got everything done that I needed to in the short term. And I had earned a day off! So yesterday morning I met a friend and her daughter at Disneyland. It was an extremely hot day for February (I really hope winter isn’t over already), but we had a lot of fun. We went on every ride and attraction that the two year old wanted to, including Ariel’s Undersea Adventure twice. It was a lovely day despite the heat. I need more days like that. And per this New Year’s resolution, when they roll around I’ll make sure to blog about them in a timely manner!
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been pushing myself to write more often now that October is drawing to a close. This means that National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) is right around the corner. I missed at least one day of posting in November 2012 and 2013, but if at all possible I’d like to complete the full challenge this year. I’m not sure how feasible that’s going to be, or whether I’ll even have enough topics to write about, but I’m going to try. Most of the time I find writing therapeutic. When I have something to say and I don’t feel like it’s something I’m forcing myself to do, I love writing. I started blogging fifteen years ago as a creative outlet during my days as an engineering student, and a way to share my day-to-day life with anyone who was interested. I think the life of a college student is more conducive to blogging than your average adult’s, though. The whole working, eating, exercising, and sleeping routine doesn’t really lend itself to a lot of sharable yarns. These days I have to dig deep to find something to write about on a daily basis, but I know the NaBloPoMo challenge will be a good mental exercise. But since it’s still October I’m going to take the opportunity to cut this post short while I’ve got a chance. No strenuous exercise for my brain tonight!
It’s time to make some changes around here. At the beginning of the year I was blissfully posting every day without breaking a sweat (January is always the easiest month for blogging as far as I’m concerned), but in April that trend started to slow. Not only did I realize that I was spending far too much time in front of my computer screen at night (probably causing some sleep problems), but I was having trouble coming up with decent content. It’s not that I don’t have anything going on these days, but writer’s block seems to have made it difficult for me to put any of it into words. There’s not much I can do about the writer’s block, but after giving it some thought over the weekend I came up with a few new ideas to shake things up.
1) No posting simply for the sake of posting. I think I’ve said this a few times before, but I’d definitely rather update my webpage with something decent rather than with filler of some kind. Obviously I’ve already abandoned any idea of posting every day in 2014 so there’s no need to hit the publish button unless I really have something to say. It’s very liberating!
2) No photo-only blog posts. Goodbye Wordless Wednesday! I’m going to miss my mid-week crutch that I’ve been leaning on when I can’t put a sentence together to save my life, but leaving it behind, at least for now, is for the best. Of course I’m allowed to include photos in my posts (I prefer it actually), but they must be accompanied by some narration. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but blogs need words too!
3) Only write about running once a week. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, running is a big part of my life right now. I have no problem admitting my obsessions! However, I am fully aware that no one else really cares about my workouts. And that’s OK. So to avoid alienating any readers that I extremely am fortunate to have I will restrict my ramblings about running to once a week. Hello Sunday Runday! (Yeah, I know it’s dumb, but it rhymes so I’m going with it.)
4) Use a writing prompt once a week. I’ve been gathering a bunch of great prompts, but what’s the point if I don’t actually use them? Hopefully they will be a good catalyst for posts about something other than my day-to-day life, and maybe they’ll even help be break through this stinkin‘ writer’s block. Writing Prompt Wednesday, perhaps? This should be interesting!
I suck as a blogger recently, as I’m sure is painfully obvious. Quite often I sit down with my laptop to write a post, but I can’t come up with anything to say. Maybe it’s writer’s block? I don’t know. Many days I have several topics on my mind, but the bottleneck comes when I try to translate them into anything publishable. Actually, not just anything publishable, but anything at all. It’s embarrassing when I can’t even string together a single sentence! Putting that aside for a moment, one of the culprits for the reduced frequency of my blogging is my resolution to read every night before going to sleep. I’m doing pretty well fulfilling that resolution so far, and I’m OK with my blog suffering somewhat for that reason. And I’m also trying to reduce my TV time, especially my sedentary screen time, on weeknights. I’ve been limiting myself to one show each evening while parked on the couch. If I want to watch something else I have to be productive during that time – washing dishes, cleaning, paying bills, etc. I think this self-imposed rule has made me more active when I get home from work each day, which is good, but once again my blog suffers. I have a few changes in mind for my webpage going forward, but since it’s late I’ll save the details of those for another time. For now please accept my sincerest apologies for being an absentee blogger for the last month or so. Even if I don’t get back to posting every day I am definitely going to try to improve the quality of their content. We’ll see how that goes!
I haven’t been feeling well for the last few days, for reasons I’d rather not get into. Until yesterday I didn’t run the nights I was supposed to this week and I definitely didn’t eat right. I know I’m going to pay for this backslide – both mentally and physically. (I have already, actually, but more on that in a minute.) As I’ve said before, if I don’t keep up with the things I should be doing I get really upset with myself. I’m trying to not be so hard on myself this year, but it’s a really difficult habit to break. One step at a time, I guess. Speaking of steps, to prevent my fitness from backsliding too much I went running last night. My ankle was feeling great after three days of rest so I was hoping to get the full benefits of my new stability shoes. Unfortunately the whole experience was miserable. I felt OK until my second mile, but then my feet and ankles started hurting as much as ever. It was awful. Clearly the new shoes are not helping me at all. Tomorrow I’m going to take them back to the running store and hopefully exchange them for something else. I’m really frustrated because a run that goes as badly as last night’s did makes me nervous to go out and try again. What if my next run is just as bad? What if it’s worse? It’s a fear that’s hard to overcome. This is unfortunate because I have a New Year’s resolution to run a race in 2014 and I really want to make that happen. But since this topic deserves its own post I’ll save it for next week.
Running isn’t the only place I’ve been backsliding. Among other things, my writing has been suffering too. And since my blog has such a vast readership I’m sure this has caused lots of unrest on the interwebs. (I’m kidding, of course – I’m pretty sure I only have two or three readers, max. But don’t think I don’t love you guys!) I’ve had some good posts in 2014 and some seriously lame ones too. I love Wordless Wednesday, but I have let that laziness bleed into too many other days as well. Terrible. I’d like to say it won’t happen again, but I know it will. I’ll just try to minimize that cop out as much as possible. For heaven’s sake, I started blogging almost fifteen years ago because I like writing! So in an effort to exercise my brain as much as I’m exercising my body (when I’m not neglecting my running) I’m going to use some writing prompts as catalysts for posts this week. Back in 2011 when I signed up for National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) for the first time I looked over the daily writing prompts that the website provided, but none of them inspired me at the time. But over the years I’ve gathered a few that I liked and stored them for future use. Starting tomorrow, I’m going to pick a prompt each day and use it to help me write a better post than if I was just to rehash my very mundane day. If nothing else, it should be an interesting experiment!
It’s November again and that means National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo). Granted, November isn’t exactly the best month for me to easily update my webpage every day due to possibly being out of town for Thanksgiving, but I’ll do my best. And I’ve made a promise to myself to only post recipes on Fridays. I never intended this to be a food blog, but it would be really easy for me to fall back on a recipe to fulfill my daily posting requirement. Well, that’s not going to happen this month. I want to challenge myself to write again. One of the best things about my webpage is being able to go back and see what I was thinking and what was going on in my life over the last fourteen years. Even though I’m older now and my life isn’t as exciting as it used to be, I still want to document everything – the good and the bad. It’s time for me to remember why I started writing in the first place.
It’s no secret that some days I rely on photos or quotes (or recipes – sorry!) to fulfill my daily post requirement, but I know they’re no substitute for actual writing. So for the next seven days I vow to only update my webpage using my own words. This will be a good exercise for my out of shape writing skills and hopefully I can get around to posting some stories that I’ve been keeping in the back of my mind for a while. That being said, here’s the first one!
I have a great love of turkey sandwiches. I used indulge my addiction at Schlotzsky’s Deli in Gainesville when I was at UF and at Potbelly Subs in DC when I was there on travel. Unfortunately I haven’t found a place in Los Angeles that makes a turkey sandwich that I’m really crazy about yet. I have been enjoying the search, though! I used to think Togo’s Sandwiches fit the bill, but then I heard about Jersey Mike’s. After trying it I’ve discovered that I could eat turkey subs from Jersey Mike’s every day. My favorite part is that they douse the sandwiches with oil and red wine vinegar and sprinkle oregano on top which makes them absolutely delicious. No mayo needed! So Jersey Mike’s has been my sandwich of choice for a while. But then I joined a couple of my co-workers for lunch on Monday at John’s Philly Grille near work. I have been staying away from John’s because I’ve tried their cheesesteaks and I’m not a big fan, but when the Italian sub one of my co-workers ordered had oil and seasonings on the top and I was inspired to order a turkey hoagie. It was so good! So now I have two places in my area that offer delicious turkey subs. But the question is, how far am I willing to go for a great sandwich? If I have time and I’m willing to brave a little traffic (and crowds, depending of the day/time) I head to Downtown Disney to visit Earl of Sandwich. I’ve written about this place a couple of times before, but I figured it was worth another mention. The ham and swiss sandwich there is delicious, but I haven’t tried turkey. Not by itself, at least. I’ve tried turkey with roast beef, but I have a feeling it would be pretty tasty alone too. I’ll have to order it next time I’m there. Another example of a sandwich shop that requires more than a short drive is Capriotti’s. Last week when I was nearby one I had lunch there because I’d heard good things about it. Unfortunately I was really disappointed by the turkey sub I ordered. It was dry and bland. But the bread was good so I’d like to go back and try something else when I’m in the vicinity again. And then there’s Firehouse Subs. My holy grail of delicious sandwiches. I’ve only been able to eat there in Tallahassee (twice when I was there for Christmas) and in Alexandria, VA which is the closest one to where I stay when I’m on travel in DC. Firehouse Subs has the best turkey sandwich I’ve ever eaten, but we Los Angeleans just don’t have access to it. At least not easy access. I checked the website today and I’d have to drive about sixty miles to indulge my addiction there. That’s quite a commitment, but don’t think I won’t do it one weekend! I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. I’ll keep you posted.
I did it! I successfully posted a webpage update every day of 2011. However I’ll be the first to admit to backdating some of those posts because I published them after midnight. In most cases it wasn’t too long after midnight, but at least once I didn’t post anything at all until halfway through the next day. That was an extenuating circumstance, though, involving getting paged in to work at 9 PM and having to stay until 6 AM. Other than that I’ve been successful and I’m pretty pleased with myself. And believe it or not I’m ready to sign up for another year of this post-a-day challenge because I’m just that crazy. As boring as my life is most of the time, I like how well 2011 was documented due to my frequency of updates. So here’s to 2012 and all of the inevitable ups and downs it brings! I’ll make sure to write about all of them.