Burnt Toast

This morning I burned my toast.

I hate burnt toast, with a passion. Burnt anything, for that matter.

My bread was dry and hard.

I ate in anyway.

Why? Why did I eat something that I clearly wasn’t going to enjoy? Why didn’t I just compost it and start over? That would be the logical solution…

I ate it because I was late. I didn’t have time to put new pieces of bread in the toaster and start over. I didn’t have time to make a cup of tea.

I realized, as I was driving to work this morning, reflecting on my burnt toast, that I wasn’t following the old saying “That which matters the most should never give what to that which matters the least”. I often try to listen to this saying, to ensure that I have time to do what matters most to me. I always make time to ride my horse, see my family and my boyfriend, and to go to school.

It also occurred to me that I spend a lot of time doing things which matter very little to me. Work is a prime example. In a roundabout way, work helps me to complete school, which is very important. But the physical act of going to work is something which matters very little to me. I have a very unfulfilling and boring job (libraries I tell you) but that’s not even the point. The point is, I know that I want to be doing something for the rest of my life in which I can feel fulfilled.

Work is a fact of life. I can’t do anything about it. But I can start to give up other things that don’t matter to me at all. I spend an inordinate amount of time checking Facebook and Twitter. I also spend a lot of time aimlessly surfing the web while at work, when I could be doing something else (like writing my book). These simple little time wasters hinder the completion of the things that I want to do in my life.

I have an awkward 2 hour break on Wednesdays, when I transfer between libraries and wait for them to open. I have a forty minute drive, then I sit in the parking lot for an hour and a half. I have been using that time to read all summer. Today, it occurred to me that although there are many books I would like to read, there are few that are holding my attention at the moment.

This morning I almost grabbed my knitting on my way out the door, but I was in a rush. I’m really wishing that I had grabbed it, since the book I’m reading is a little boring at the moment. Using these spare moments to do something I enjoy, like knitting, will allow me to complete my goals much more efficiently. That which matters the most won’t be giving way to that which matters the least, because I’ll have some knitting with me anytime I need it.

Car knitting, you will be my saviour.

And finally, tonight, after a week off, I’ll be working on the Zoomobiles. I can’t wait to get home.

The Blogging State of Mind

thetravellingsock has been up and running since May, as many of you dedicated readers know. In that time, I’ve discovered how to put in pictures and links, and I’ve garnered around 230 views. This is my first blog, and the learning curve has been huge. I’ve been inspired to take more photographs, and put myself out there: share my goals and opinions, and comment on others’ blogs.

It’s been tough so far, I can’t lie. Every time I sit down to write a post, I try to put my best writing out into the world. I chose one of the most difficult times to start a knitting blog too: the beginning of summer, when knitting is low on the priority list.

Still, blogging almost daily has changed the way I think about things. When I wake up in the morning, I think: “What am I going to blog about today? What has happened in the past 24 hours that can become a richly told story, complete with photos?” Sometimes, the answer is nothing. Today, the answer was nothing. No knitting progress, nothing exciting at all.

It’s taken this long for me to realize that people don’t visit my blog just to see exactly what I’ve been doing that day. My readers don’t want a play by play of my life. They want insight, opinion, and interesting topics. They don’t need to see a new sock every day. They want something that will make them laugh, cry, or think a little harder.

I think some of my posts have done that, particularly the ones with more views. Some of my posts have been witty and humourous, and I hope others have been thought provoking. Though this is primarily a blog about knitting, its also a blog about me, my life, and my opinions.

I’ve try to remain mostly anonymous until now, not revealing my name or posting photos of others. I do post pictures of myself from time to time, but I would be shocked if a reader actually knew me personally.

Though I’ve been blogging a lot lately, I’m not sure if my posts are exactly what I was going for when I started this blog. I wanted to be witty and informative, with knitting and humour and the last bit of my opinionated disposition that comes from being a teenager. I haven’t figured out if this blog has done what I wanted it to. I don’t know if I’ve been able to give you readers something that makes you want to come back again and again.

I’m going to keep working on it. I’ll be posting, and editing more before I post. I’ll be looking at experiences in a new way. I’ll be challenging the way I think and the way I write.

Thanks for coming so far on this journey with me; I’m not sure where I’m headed, but so far, I’m enjoying the ride.

 

Back at it

So I’ve been trying my hardest to get those SIPs done. I curse those Sampler Texture Socks. Never again will I knit them, never again. I knit and knit and knit… And nothing happens. They barely grow. To say it’s depressing is an understatement.

I still haven’t run out of the purple yarn though! I’m down to a ball the size of a quarter now, but I still have some left. Hopefully I will switch to the pink tonight and then I’ll know that some progress has been made…

In other news, I’ve been working on my writing a lot. I’ve done seven chapters on one of my stories! It’s probably not my best writing, and my story is definitely going in a few different directions, but it’s working out well so far. I can’t wait to get to the editing stage (is it weird that I like to edit?).

Sorry for the lack of postings lately guys, I’ll try to get something with photos up soon. I’ve been so busy with my horse and work that I haven’t had a spare moment to take some pictures (or get any knitting done)!

 

Goals

Sorry for the crazy post yesterday… Sometimes I just get crazy happy and my thoughts go in all directions.

As you may have surmised, I’m a goal setter. I always have been. Recently, however, I’ve stepped it up a notch. In January I made some yearly goals. I typed them up and printed them out, then hung them up on the walls of my room for the world to see. Since they were so public, it seemed even more important to complete them.

There were many goals, and since I don’t have them right in front of me, I can’t tell you all of them, but the ones I do remember go something like this:

1. By April 2012, qualify for Pony Club National Quiz at the A/B level (that’s the highest level, and I would have to finish in the top four competitors to make Nationals, for those of you who don’t know).

2. By April 2012, obtain an 80% academic average.

3. By June 2012, run a cumulative total of 250 kilometers (started counting in January).

4. By August 2012, jump a 3’3″ course with Domino.

5. By August 2012, jump a small course with Felix.

Let me tell you how these goals went/are going. #1, make National Quiz for Pony Club, has happily been completed. I worked really hard, and studied for it a lot, and I made it! I was so happy when I got to take that goal off of the wall. #2, however, did not go as planned. I worked extremely hard this past semester in school, and going into exams I had a 79.9% average. I had over 83% in all of my classes except chemistry, which I was in danger of failing (I had a 57%… And I do not fail things. I take school very seriously). After exams, my average was only¬†a 72%. To say I was dissappointed was an understatement. However, this failure only served to motivate me further. I can’t wait to go back to school in the fall and prove that I can do it.

Domino last year, jumping a cross country fence that’s around 2’3″.

Goal 3 was also uncompleted… I did well at the start of the year, but I think I’ve only run around 130 kilometres in total since January. My motivation just fell off. More about that later. Goals 4 & 5 are still in progress. I think I can do #5 with no problems, but #4 seems a bit lofty at this point. In all fairness to myself, when I made them, I thought it was going to be a challenge, but doable. I have reassessed, and I don’t think that 3’3″ is attainable this year.

Here’s Felix jumping for the second time ever. This definitely shows promise for Goal #5.

So I figured that I would make goals for the year, then reassess & make new goals only once per year. I’ve found that this doesn’t work… My priorities change, and there’s always new things popping up that I want to complete. I’ve decided to play it by ear; make new goals when I feel the need to. I’m also going to continue making them more and more public. I found a great tip somewhere to make your goals into your passwords for websites… Though I have yet to try it, this seems like a great way to keep your goals at the forefront of your mind.

So I made some new goals yesterday. Here they are:

1. I achieve my D2 Riding Level with Pony Club on July 2, 2012. (For those of you that don’t know, that’s just a certification that you can ride and compete at a certain level)

2. I run a half marathon on July 29, 2012.

3. I write the first draft of a novel by August 31, 2012.

4. I acheive 350 hours of riding on Domino by September 1, 2012. (I count my hours through the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Horseback Riding Program, where they give you rewards for riding for a certain number of hours).

5. I send in a draft of my novel to a publisher by December 31, 2012.

6. I achieve a 80% average by December 23, 2012.

So. Those are my short term goals for the time being. They are all attainable. For my Pony Club testing levels (#1), I have to jump 2’6″, which I know Domino is capable of. I have some novels on the go, and my boyfriend and I are running the half marathon together, so I know that he will help to motivate me. I’ve already got 295 hours of riding in on Domino so far, and I’m ready to work hard this semester for my average.

I’m a goal setter. It helps me to do the things I want in life. To be honest, I didn’t think I would be running a half marathon for a few years… It was a long term goal. That’s what happens when you have a boyfriend who dares you to do things.

Notice that I don’t set goals about knitting; knitting is a hobby for me, something that’s relaxing. I like to keep it that way, so I’m free to work on whatever I feel like, with no deadlines (except Christmas, of course).

What are your goals? What are your goal setting methods, and how do you motivate yourself to get them done? Leave a note in the comments; I love to hear what is important in your life.

A Thursday List

1. OMG I’ve been surfing the blog-sphere and I’ve found something amazing. I kind of want to try it. Kind of. I found it from a post on the lululemon blog, which then linked me to the real blog that they featured in the post (confused yet?). The blog is called 12 Months of Lent and its all about goal setting… With a twist. The writer picks something she’s always wanted to try/do/improve, and dedicates a month to it. Some of her challenges are fun, some are not. I’ve been reading through the blog and it’s addicting!

2. Writing: I’ve got 3 chapters done on each book I’ve been working on. I discovered that if I sit down at the computer and think about writing a chapter instead of writing a book, the words come to me a lot better. I also print each chapter after I finish it, so I can watch the pages physically stack up. It’s like watching your knitting grow; I just can’t wait to keep writing so I can watch it get bigger! Inspiration comes in the strangest forms!

I had this quote on my wall in sticky notes all year. Read it. Live it. (And for me, that means write it.)

3. Happiness. I’ve definitely had a great life. I would say a fantastic life. I’ve been given lots of opportunities, and my family is very close. That said, I’ve definitely had a battle with happiness. Over the past year, I’ve come to terms with an event that occurred thirteen years ago. It was traumatizing, and it was a huge struggle to overcome it. That’s why I’m going to write a series of essays or a book or an article or SOMETHING to celebrate my “getting over” this event. I’m really proud of myself, but I would love to share my experiences so people in similar situations realize that they always have somewhere to turn. I don’t know how/where I’ll publish it, if I even do, I just think that happiness is so undervalued and yet so necessary. And I want people to be able to overcome whatever is holding them back… Can you tell that this is still a very nebulous idea in my head?

4. Knitting. What’s knitting? Oh yeah, that thing that this blog is supposed to be about… Right…

5. My sister. I’ve mentioned offhandedly a few times how my little sister is severely disabled. She had surgery in April to repair hip dysplasia (dogs get it often… it’s similar to dislocation but I’m a little fuzzy on the exact details). Since she has limited walking ability in the first place, we were concerned that she would never be able to walk again. Yesterday, with the help of her walker, she made it the entire length of my house! It made me smile so much, I thought I would share.

I don’t live here (just erase the mountain and then its about accurate), but the weather is the same where I’m from. Get outside people, the sunshine will make you smile.

6. In light of #1, there are so many things I want to accomplish this month! I’m going to make a goal list for the summer, right now. But I want to try making someone smile each day. I want to write at least 50 words every single day. I want to train for my half marathon. It’s all too much. Time for some prioritizing.

Peace & love.

Help

I’m drowning.

I mentioned a little while ago that I wanted to write a book. In fact, I’ve wanted to write a book since I was a little girl. I’ve always wanted to write a book. When I was a kid, people would say, what do you want to be when you grow up? I would say a vet, and an author on the side. Or an interior designer and an author on the side. Or a pastry chef and an author on the side.

Then I went to highschool, got horses, started being more social… And the writing thing kind of dropped off. I was busy enough writing essays and stuff for English class that my creativity was being utilized.

Then I went to University. I rarely wrote papers, and when I did, they were the strictly factual scientific kind. That’s what happens when you’re in an biological science program.

I mentioned it in passing to my boyfriend, who said: Why don’t you do it? Write a book. Promise me you will send something in for publishing. Just to say you did it.

So I made a goal, that by the end of the summer I would have something to send in. Something.

Because when I said I wanted to be an author on the side, I meant the famous, best-seller, book-deals-abound, turning-it-into-a-movie kind of author. That’s what I meant.

So I’ve been writing. I have a great idea, with good characters and my story line is all mapped out. But I turn on the computer to write, and I end up cruising Ravelry or writing blog posts (at least I’m writing something I suppose). I just can’t seem to sit down and spew out the words necessary to get it done. I mean, I have about 7,000 words right now, and I’ve been working on it for three weeks.

I need to get serious. I need more motivation. I need some more time. I need dedicated writing time, when I’m not wishing I was doing something else (likely knitting/riding).

I need your help dear readers. Are any of you writers? Are any of you crazy organizational masters? Do any of you have ways to make me write more? Or words of encouragement? Leave something in the comments or contact me via email (see the contact link above) to let me know.

Somebody throw me a lifesaver.

Briefly

Briefly, my weekend in a list:

1. Finished one of the Sampler Texture Socks, and on to the next one. Pictures to come!

2. Definitely didn’t make it to my horse show this weekend. It was cold and rainy, so my mom and I went shopping to pick me up some new riding boots (very necessary)!

3. Picked up the mail today and I received a BookCrossing book in the mail from the UK! For those of you that don’t know, BookCrossing is a website dedicated to the sharing of books. You give your book a number, and either wild release it (leave it somewhere for someone to find) or controlled release it (send it off to someone specific). Since I live in the middle of nowhere, I’ve been doing controlled releases, and finally got a book I’ve been waiting for! If you haven’t already been, visit this link to check it out!

4. I’ve been working on writing a book, and man, is it tough. I mean, I have a bazillion ideas, but none of them seem to come easily to the page. I get 5-10 pages in, then I get distracted. Perseverance is necessary.

That’s all I can say for now, I’ll update with photos of the socks tomorrow!