Friday, January 28, 2011

2011 Learn Go Do - Reflection

February is here, and so I wanted to take a few moments to reflect on my progress on my list of 2011 resolutions. I view resolutions not as something to start on January 1st, but as an ongoing list of the ways I want to better myself, which could be started at any time. I divided my goals into 3 categories: Learn, Go, Do (Click the link above to see the whole list).

I have two knitting goals this year: to learn to do short-row shaping and to learn to knit lace. To that end, I chose the "February Lady Sweater" pattern.

This is not the one I'm knitting. The one I'm knitting doesn't look like anything yet. This is the finished one. You can grab the pattern FOR FREE from Flint Knits. Huzzah for free!

I've shied away from patterns involving lace for a long time. While I know all the stitches needed for knitting lace, I've felt like I've lacked the patience. However, I've tackled a few in-depth cable projects over the past couple of years, so I think lace is within my abilities. (For you non-knitters, thanks for suffering through the previous sentences).

Anyway, I haven't actually started the lace part of the sweater, but I'm almost done with the top portion. Lace, here I come!

I thought that the easiest of my goals would be to go to a new restaurant each month, especially because I travel regularly for work. And I love to eat. However, I can only half-count my January attempt: I went to the "bistros" in a couple of hotels in San Antonio and Austin. Lately, a bunch of restaurant chains that cater to business travelers (like Hyatt Place and Marriott Courtyards) have begun serving a little bit more than bags of pretzels, but a little bit less than meals. While I guess these "restaurants" were new to me, the point of this goal was to revive my culinary adventurousness, and these hardly counted in that vein. I met the letter, but not the spirit, of my goal.

So, I acted on a few of my "Do" goals:
  • I finished the first draft of the novel I started for National Novel Writing Month. That felt like a big accomplishment, especially because I started it on November first. I'm going to add "Revise my novel" to my 2011 list of goals.
  • I renewed my commitment to sustainable eating. I've been doing lots of cooking at home, eating lots of vegetarian goodness, and have even flirted with vegan cooking. Traveling for work remains my biggest sustainable eating weakness, but I tried to make (at least a few) better choices while eating away from home.
  • Exercising. Fail. I started strong but got sidelined by two major colds. However, since I got one of the colds from my beautiful nephews Ian and Nelson (ages 2 years and 2 months, which means a lot of slobber), I don't feel too bad about it.
  • Finish one item from my big household to-do list every two weeks. Another fail, but a valiant attempt. My first item was to replace the drip-pans on my stove burners. I measured the ones I had and set off to the store. However, it turns out you have to know the type of burner you have, and then it was too late to return home and go back to the store (plus -- NOT green). I'll be returning to this item this weekend.
What's up for February:
I'm traveling to Washington D.C. and possibly the Bay area, so a new restaurant seems to be in the cards. I'll begin the lace-knitting portion of my sweater, and as soon as I kick this cold, I'll be out walkin' for exercise. I'm preparing for one of my "Go" goals: a trip to Spain in March! Which will help me with one of my "Learn" goals: Improve my Spanish (I'm best at language learning through osmosis). I need to do some research to make the most of my time there.

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