Tag Archives: blogging

Project 365, Round Two

2 Jan

Well, it appears that I’ve renewed my domain for another year, so here I am on the couch again on a Wednesday night wondering what I have in my head to share.

By now you all know the answer is absolutely nothing.  And I appreciate you sticking around to listen to it.

It’s been exactly 2 years since I wrote my very first post in my very first 365 Challenge: to fire up a blog I once adored and had let sit dormant for years. It was far more successful and fulfilling than I could have imagined and I’ve become an advocate for 365 Projects, much to the irritation of my friends and family.

So it’s a new year and I need a new 365.  I didn’t do one last year; I think I was right to have taken a break.  It was a big challenge and a big payoff.  And I really missed that sense of satisfaction when the ball dropped of knowing I’d spent 365 days working on making one very specific thing about myself better.  I mean, what a waste of a year, right? 

Well not a waste, but you get what I’m going at here.  Last year was good to me.  I got out of a corporate job that was sucking the life from my body and replacing my blood with black sludge.  Instead, I decided to go back to school to get a dual masters, not knowing how exactly that looked or how I would pull it off financially.  I lost twenty pounds and put ten back on (I’m choosing to celebrate the net -10), and I spent more time with my family and friends than I have in a long time.  All in all I’d say that’s a pretty darn good year.

But I’m a monster that can’t be satisfied with mere short-term human achievements.  And let’s face it: if you’re going to force me to keep writing by continuing to read, I’m going to need some subject matter besides awkward elevator conversations, how upset I get when old ladies cut me off when I’m shopping for produce, and my soon-to-be-famous million dollar ideas (if you have money to waste and want to sponsor me, please reference Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C and then wire me the money directly so I can squander it on my inventions).

I was going to tell you something when this all started.  Oh, right.  I’m going to run a 10K.

Oh man I just wrote it.  It’s right there staring at me, all big and 10Kish.

Well I thought about how it felt to finish a 365 the first time and I thought about what thing I could spend 365 days working to improve that would best-affect me in the future.  And that answer is my fat ass.  I shall dub it the Fat Ass 365.  I will spend every single day of this year doing something fitness-related for at least 20 minutes and I will celebrate my success with a 10K.  I already looked up the race.  I have the race.  It’s a go.

I thought I’d invite you all to join me and we could get jackie blog t-shirts and make a team and conquer world hunger or cancer or the dwindling population of honeybees together, but then I realized that if I did that you might actually come and I might have to deal with the anxiety of meeting several completely foreign people and that I might die of a panic attack before I even get to achieve my resolution.

So no, you can’t know which race. You might find me and inadvertently cause my death. That would be a shame.

This is somewhat about the 10K and much more about the fact that I need to seriously incorporate movement into my daily life.  It is a simple fact that I am happiest when stuffing my face with junk food and watching television or playing video games.  This will never change about me.  I mean, I can do other things and try to replace it and even if I’m successful, I’m always going to wish deep down that I could just be in front of a screen stuffing my face and filling myself with disgusting self-deprecation that will breed in my mind and cause my own self-destruction over the course of several years. So this year, in order to help keep that natural adoration at bay, I’m enacting Operation Fat Ass 365.

I remember when I was just knee high to a grasshopper envisioning my 20’s.  Specifically, my late 20’s. I pictured what most lower middle class kids picture: a family and a nice house and great holidays and a job I don’t hate.  Of course then I grew up to be a member of the Boomerang Generation, a bunch of over-educated late bloomers with poor job prospects and an abnormally high sense of cynicism.  So I can’t really have any of those things little Jackie envisioned for herself at the moment (Sorry, little Jackie, but someday you’ll grow up and realize being a kid is all about being stupid and wrong all the time. Deal with it). 

There is, however, one thing I envisioned that I can absolutely do – and that’s be in the best shape of my life.

I mean it’s now or never, right?  I turn 27 this year.  That’s like, 3 years away from 30.  I have to imagine that someday in the near future, kids, self-loathing, and hips twice my size are coming my way and before I give up all hope of ever being the kind of person who can run for 6+miles and/or fit into single-digit clothing, I’d like to give myself a fair shot by forcing myself to face my fat every single day for 365 days.  And then of course running a 10K so I can be sure something tangible came out of it: a certificate and a t-shirt.

There’s no doubt in my mind I’m going to hate it.  But that’s okay because I’ll have lots to write about.  I love to write about things I hate. And eventually I’m going to get sick of running and I’m going to have to do things like take dance classes or go to Zumba (Lord, help me).  And those, my friends, count as Lollipop Tuesdays.

I’m already in the midst of my next one. Tune in Tuesday for the goods.

So that’s what my 2013 looks like: sweaty and disgusting. I hope yours looks fantastic too.  And in all sincerity I hope you consider a 365 Project (it’s not too late!) or at the very least, one single Lollipop Tuesday for yourself.  That way when I cross the finish line we can both celebrate.  

Happy New Year folks; thanks for reading – especially the seven of you who were with me from the start.  You’re all puddings.  Now tell me what your 2013 self challenge is. 

By The Power of Grayskull. ♣

It Lives.

21 Nov

Hey there, my beautiful ducklings!

Too much? Too much.

Where on earth have I been? Actually, that’s a good question.  An even better question: where on earth have you been? A hermit girl starts a blog to help herwy stop being a hermit, she stops going on adventures, stops posting, and you just go about your day!? I COULD HAVE DIED IN THERE.

“There” being the cocoon I just broke back out of.  I could have died in the cocoon.  I should have mentioned there was a cocoon.  Speaking of cocoons, did it not occur to anyone that I recently posted that I was going to attend a UFO Convention for my next Lollipop Tuesday and then never returned to post about it? I could have been abducted.

Actually, I’m sure that would make for some pretty great material.  

Anyway, I didn’t get abducted and I didn’t even go.  Instead, I started the pathetic and classic Jackie downslide, wherein I stop doing constructive things (posting on blogs, trying new things) and instead do deconstructive things (playing a lot of Fat Princess, eating Cheez-Its).   Anyway, I’m out of it now, no thanks to you.  It’s just guilt that brings me back, not your scores of pleading.  Just pure, unadulterated guilt.  It started as a week I forgot, it went on as a week I intentionally skipped, and before I knew it, BAM – it’s National Blog Posting Month and I have yet to post on my blog.  I haven’t participated in No Shave November either.  No blog and no beard; I have failed you, November in America.

I thought about you all a lot.  I really did.  I thought about you lots of times.  When it was my fourth day unshowered and I caught a whiff of my armpits while watching television, I thought of you. When I attempted to be constructive and try some craft pins on Pinterest and horribly, horribly failed, I thought of you.  When I thought I was gay for Jennifer Lawrence and then didn’t because she said she liked Honey Boo Boo but then did again because she went on Ellen and was perfect, I thought of you. 

look at what you let me become. LOOK AT IT.

So this Thanksgiving, friends, I’m thankful for you.  Thanks for sticking around even when I didn’t bother to visit.  Thanks for subscribing and following, and thanks for letting me come barf all my crazy on you.  You’re the swellest.

Have a Happy Holiday and here’s to firing the blog back up.  Now go eat so much you pass out with your pants unbuttoned. 

A Day in the Life of a Postal Worker’s Wife

18 Jul

You can find anything on the Interwebz. Even a chipmunk delivering mail to foreign lands. Also, if you have any knowledge pertaining to what the hell this says, please inform me.

Dave is a mailman.

Did we cover this? Have we covered this?  I think not.  This happened some time ago; once a week just isn’t enough.  Stay a while, have some tea.

So Dave is a mailman.  He delivers letters to people and is given a paycheck in return.  He’s a professional courier pigeon.  

Believe it or not, it makes complete and total sense that Dave should join the United States Postal Service because the USPS has haunted me for my entire life.  It’s true.  My father worked there, my brother worked there, and my mother is still an employee of 13 years.  She’s probably due to go postal soon.  I don’t think anyone actually retires in the post office; they just lose their minds, go to jail because they stole all the mail and buried it in their backyard, or both.  

I even worked there.  For a day.  Apparently my family is of good letter carrying stock.  Dave’s and my offspring will be mail marines with all that raging postal blood coursing through their veins.

Honestly, I don’t understand how it all happened.  All I really remember is that the application was just the most awful thing I can imagine doing.   Applications drive me insane in the first place but this monster is the ugliest there is.  It asks you where you’ve lived and who’s lived with you.  For your entire life. 

That’s particularly hard for me, not just because I hate applications, but because I’ve moved 13 times.  And I’ve cohabitated with a lot of people (in a non slutty way).   I have a tendency to exaggerate, but that one has been fact checked by the United States Postal Service, folks; that’s real.

So somehow I managed to not set the paper on fire before I completed it and I handed it in and I was hired.  I ordered my uniform.  I got all nervous for my first day.  And then they called me the morning I was supposed to go and told me that the position was actually no longer open and they didn’t need the extra help and thanked me for my time.

The Postal Service isn’t a very organized lot, despite having the most detailed map to our country.

It was a complete waste of two weeks of my life.   The t-shirt was all I had left.  I kept it, much to Dave’s dismay.  When I wear it casually, he has a visceral reaction.   I guess it’s like him buying a t-shirt that says “Hi Jackie! How was your boss today?!” … I can understand why it might upset him.

There are lots of things about Dave being a mailman that amuse me.  One is that he’s a particularly attractive man and he finds that he gets hit on by a lot of middle-aged ladies who are home waiting for the mail.  The other is that his entire world is now shaped by the mail service.   It’s impossible to perform a task for 10 hours a day and not have it fundamentally shape you as a person.  And though Dave tends to leave his work at work, there are still days he’ll come home with the mail in his hand and say “Honey, you’re failing your duties as a mail recipient”.  He gets worked up when I forget to get the mail.

And he’s for realsies.

Then he sees it’s all Presorted Standard mail and rips it up with raucous laughter. 

For those of you who don’t come from a long line of good postal stock, Presorted Standard is a class of mail that is basically reserved for paid advertising.  When you look to the upper right of an envelope you receive in the mail, if it says Presorted Standard, you can just throw it out.  That’s a piece of mail that a company has paid money to have the Postal Service send to you without you asking.  It’s how they make the bulk of their money so mailmen are stuck delivering these unwanted pieces of garbage to every single person on their routes, just to have them throw it directly in the trash.  

Of course, that’s a big monumental waste of time so Dave would much prefer to bury the Presorted Standard  mail in our front yard and be carted off to the loony bin.  But he comes from good stock, so he delivers it all.  And when he comes home to find that I’ve left a nugget of Presorted Standard beauty for him in the mailbox, ripping up his own junk mail is a welcome bit of catharsis. 

He’s also losing weight faster than any normal human being could possibly match.  Apparently carrying over 50 pounds on your back while you walk up and down stairs and hills for several hours a day in intense heat is quite the Ab Blast.  

Obviously, I’m cleaning up my diet to counterbalance.  I can’t let myself be the fat one.  I just can’t.

Anyway, that’s all.  You already know I quit my job (so I can live off my handsome mail carrier).  And hey, I’m not allowed to blog about work because I could be fired, but Dave’s job is fair game, right?

Maybe I’ll change my blog to be a day in the life of a postal worker’s wife.  

That sounds like a shot straight to the top of the famous farm. 

The Trojan Unicorn

23 May

I’ve come to you this week in a bout of confusion and ecstasy.     

Seven short days ago, I was at work having a rather terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  Honestly, that’s usually the case if it’s a weekday and between the hours of 8am and 5pm.  All times outside this window are sprinkled with pixie dust and merriment.   But seven days ago was different.  Because as I was encroaching on the final hour of my workday, I received an email from someone I didn’t know with an attachment I instantly loved.  And it changed the course of my life’s trajectory forevermore.

Well, maybe just for the remainder of the workday. But that’s still pretty epic.

At first, I was hesitant.  Typically, if I don’t recognize a sender or if there’s no subject line I instantly trash the message.   But I was feeling adventurous and clicked on the note in a bout of carelessness.  There was a name and a non-spammy looking email address and what looked like a hand-drawn attachment (dear non-gmail users: gmail lets you thumbnail preview attachments. come drink the google koolaid). And since I just couldn’t stop my rabid curiosity, I opened it and found this:

I have no rights to this image except that I adore it. If you own the rights, please email me back. WHY WON’T YOU EMAIL ME BACK!?

Yes – that’s a baby unicorn being tickled.  And it’s amazing.

Now, as my longtime readers will recall, I have a doppelganger who lives in California and who has an email address that must be strikingly similar to mine because I frequently receive emails that are intended for her.  She is a constant source of frustration in that she won’t email me back and is apparently friends with a bunch of people who don’t feel inclined to say thank you or sorry when I reply to kindly let them know they’ve reached the wrong person.  That’s why when I received a receipt for 25 of her students to attend mini golf in California, I considered grabbing 25 of my friends and going to mini-golf in California.  But it wasn’t really fiscally responsible.  And I guess a little vindictive.

Anyway, it is quite possible that this ticklish baby unicorn was meant for her.  

But those longtime readers will also remember that California Doppelganger Jackie is the antithesis of Jackie Blog Jackie.  She likes to go places and do things and run and has blonde hair and tan skin and surfs.  I don’t like any of those things.

I only actually know about half of those from the emails.  The others I intuited.

But given that she is so far away from the core of my personality, is it really possible that we both share a love of this uncontrollably ticklish baby unicorn?  I think not.

There is, of course, every possibility that someone doesn’t like me, reads my blog, has gathered that I harbor a love of such things, and forwarded a “Trojan Unicorn” if you will, that has downloaded a big awful virus to my computer.  That’s entirely possible.  Which is why I have saved this baby unicorn in several places in the event that my computer is wiped out.  I will win, Trojan Emailer.   You can take my files but you cannot take my newly acquired baby unicorn.

I’ve also considered the possibility that this person reads my blog and actually likes me.  Or is indifferent about me and just hopes I’ll blog about their unicorn and make them famous.  There’s no way for me to know because I ran the full Jackie Stalking Program on this email address and I came up with a whole lotta nothin’.  There are profiles similar to this handle, but no actual content to the profiles or followers associated with them.  A reply to the email containing the attachment resulted in complete 7-day silence.  So with nothing to go on but my imagination, I’m spinning my own stories.

It could be possible that this *was* indeed intended for someone else and this person is embarrassed that I intercepted something so adorable and unicorn-y.  

…Or maybe I’m looking at it wrong and it’s baby unicorn porn.

Well, look at it.

I mean… it could be. It really could be.

Now it feels a little dirty, doesn’t it?  With the Lisa Frank 90’s treatment and a little Marvin Gaye on in the background, it’s downright criminal.

It’s a baby, after all. It should not be sexually exploited.

Anyway, enough about baby unicorn porn.  My point is that I love it and that no one has claimed it.  So instead of hoarding this random wonderfulness to myself, I have bestowed it upon the unholy magical Interwebz.  May it find a home.  Or an owner.  Or millions of adorable-loving fans.

But hopefully not baby unicornphiles.  That would be criminal. 

I Should Have Been a Cat

14 Mar

It would be nice if everyone could just stop being so super awesome and successful at everything for just a gosh golly minute so I can gather myself and catch up.

Don’t you feel like you’re constantly being bombarded with news of other peoples’ awesomeness?  I do.  And it’s usually people my age being awesome.

Do you know who topped the Forbes list as the number one highest paid musician in the world?

Taylor Swift.

That’s right: the Swifty.  A girl about my age who picked up a guitar and started writing mediocre love songs is a billionaire and topped the Forbes List over a band like U2.   Or how about the Olsen twins?  Two chicks also about my age who are billionaires, icons, and own their own fashion line.  Or how about Lindsay Lohan?  Also my age, except unlike Swifty or the twins, she now makes money for being so awful at things.  

And for taking off her clothes and getting wasted and whatnot, but you catch my drift here.

In fact, some of you may recall my campaign to host SNL over The Lohan, wherein I compiled a list of reasons I would be a better host than her.  And you know what? I was right.  I would have been a better host.  But it doesn’t matter.  Because in spite of the awful reaction she got from people all over America when she hosted, her episode had the 2nd highest ratings of the SNL season.  She’s so successful at being unsuccessful that she’s successful.

How can I possibly compete with that?

I shouldn’t care, but I kind of do.  After all, how can I see list after list of people who are in their 20’s shooting into stardom because they made a Ryan Goseling tumblr or a site featuring cats who spell things improperly, or a page that documents what students say on hiking trails without somehow feeling like I’m missing some great calling to create something stupid and phenomenal that whips me into an Internet sensation? 

This cat sleeps for almost the entire day and is still currently more famous than me.

I blame the Twitter Machine.  It’s feeding me information so quickly about people who are young and fabulous and full of society-altering ideas and thoughts and it makes folks like me feel like they’re at the back of the herd.   I’m the limping, cross-eyed zebra of the magical Interwebz, where young, blossoming starlets and dashing entrepreneurs are tweeting the view from the front of the pack. 

I should probably just disconnect.  How can I possibly feel like I’m accomplishing anything when Twitter is throwing top 10 lists of awesome possums at me and Facebook is constantly updating with engagements, marriages, house/car/pet/job acquisitions, and (Lord help us) creepy sonogram photos?   When the world is constantly shouting at you the things that others are doing that are perfect and lovely, it can be hard to remember that we’re not all going after the same things and it’s okay to not be an OlsenLohanSwifty.

We just have to remember that we’re all on different paths.  Mine is to have a blog where I talk about how I don’t like to do laundry so sometimes I just buy packs of underwear instead.  Or how people leaving long voicemails makes me want to scoop my eyes out with a melon baller.  Or how life is too short to get nervous about pooping in public restrooms.   And while that’s not as profitable as a celebrity fragrance line or a TMZ headline or penning young chick country songs, it serves a noble purpose that only I can serve.

Because somewhere out there, someone has lots of packs of new underwear, a hamper full of dirty clothes, and reads my blog to feel better about it.

Keep on keepin’ on, person somewhere out there.  You’re doing just fine.

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Why I Should Host SNL Instead of Lindsay Lohan

22 Feb

I’m launching a campaign to host Saturday Night Live instead of Lindsay Lohan.

I feel strongly about this.  I thought hosting SNL was supposed to be a sign that you were relevant and that people wanted to see you.  On occasion, it’s also a tip of the hat to your ability to roll with a gag – to think on your feet – to be, oh, I don’t know- entertaining.  And though I’m really excited about how SNL seems to be pumping out some good stuff lately, I’m pretty disappointed in the choice to let The Lohan host.  Sure, she has a great rack.  And she’s been in movies an attempted a singing career and is now an official Playboy model.  And she’s hosted a bunch of times already.  And she generates more interest in what she wears to court hearings than I do in a well-thought out, carefully constructed blog post. 

But I was improv captain in college, folks.  And if I wear two bras and shove some padding on the lower inside of my bubblie wubblies, I can give the Lohan a serious run for her money.

All she had to do was beg and now she gets the coveted honor of hosting the coolest show on television.  It doesn’t matter that she’s not relevant or that the last time she showed up in public she looked like a bleached Oompa Loompa trapped in a straitjacket.  So if she can flush her celebrity life and hotness down the toilet, follow it up with a bunch of trashy appearances and questionable outings, and then beg to host and get granted her wish, I’m pretty sure I can lock this in with the old-fashioned method of straightforward bullets-by-numbers and overwhelming persistence.  Let’s do this.

Why I Should Host SNL Instead of Lindsay Lohan

  1. I have a proven track record of creating original content.  2011 was the year of The Jackie Blog post-a-day.  And I whooped it.  Hard.  
  2. I don’t think SNL has ever let a humor blogger host and it would be a great way to engage the Internet community and give young, semi-humorous indie bloggers everywhere a senseless feeling of hope.
  3.  I have a fiercely loyal following who would support my endeavor and tune in to reap the benefits of their fandom.
  4. I Know Who Killed Me”  It’s a movie.  It’s bad.  And I didn’t tie myself for the Razzie Worst Actress  award in it; The Lohan did.
  5. My teacher told me I could do anything I wanted to do when I grew up and I’m grown now and I want to host SNL.  This is America, folks.  
  6. My day job is being Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada and this is my only hope to scrape together what remains of my soul before the rest of it is sucked away by Miranda Priestly and the Corporate Machine (which also happens to be a great band name).
  7. 8., 9., and 10.   
 
 
 
So this is the plan: I’m going to send out good thoughts into the great Internet nether and hope that the SNL gods hear my cry.  If that doesn’t work, I’m going to resort to old school mailings.  They’ll feature a hard copy of a blog post from 2011 and a reader endorsement Sharpied on a picture of The Lohan’s face.  You can go ahead and drop me a line in the comments if you want to sponsor a Lohan-face-note.
 
I’m not sure if that will get me an invitation to New York or a restraining order, but I’m willing to risk it.
 
I need to work fast and furiously.  Lindsay Lohan hosts on March 3rd.  That doesn’t give me much time.
 
Then again if this doesn’t work, I could just start lobbying now for her next comeback. 

Stop SOPA, Save the Unicorns

18 Jan

I was going to post today but I like the magical Interwebz and I feel like you do too and I thought I should take a moment to point out that we might want to work together to save the magical Interwebz unicorns.

Some other people put it a different way.  You can check out their version here:

http://vimeo.com/31100268

Thanks for taking a few minutes to edumacate yourselves.  And for helping the pages you visit stay online.

Fellow unicorn lover,

Jackie 

The Newsletter for Superhumans

4 Jan

This could be you.

I’ve written a draft post every day and haven’t let myself hit the ‘publish’ button.  That’s how hard a habit dies, folks.

Welcome to The Jackie Blog 2012, where I won’t be posting every day like I did in 2011.  Instead, I’ll post once a week on Wednesday in a considerate attempt to help distract you from the ghoulish terror that probably is your work week and to encourage you to log questionable web addresses in your browser, thereby causing suspicion in your corporate entities and getting you all fired. Then, when we’re all jobless and happy, we can form an elite group of superhumans and I can use this blog as our newsletter.

Too much?

Well anyway, I’m going to be posting every week this year. That leaves me with 6 more days to sleep and play video games and leaves you with 6 less emails in your inbox.  If you subscribe.  Do you subscribe? You totally should.  Every time someone clicks the “yeah sure” on the top right side of this page, a baby angel learns to fly.  Granted, I got quite a few followers in 2011 and I’m so thankful for each and every one of you.  You’ve raised a fleet of baby angels that shall someday do our bidding when we form our elite group of superhumans.  But I also know there are gremlins in the woodwork who didn’t want to be spammed with my brain splatters every day and instead chose to stop in on occasion.  If you’re a gremlin, you should subscribe.  Out with you!

Also, I made a Facebook page in 2011.  And I got a Twitter account.  And I had this header image designed.   Listen, a lot happened last year that I’m still sleeping off.  So take your time, browse my brain goop, and reap the beautiful, chaotic bounty I sowed for you in 2011.  Oh, and for those of you who keep asking: yes, I’ll be doing Lollipop Tuesdays in 2012.  But they’ll be more like a surprise Tuesday post than an every Tuesday post. Less pressure, less emails, less running all over the country, putting on costumes, doing questionable things, and sprinting to a computer to write about it.

So there we are: look forward to 2012, revel in the treasures of 2011. Facebook, Twitter, Email Subscription, and 365 posts.  There’s fun for everyone.

See ya next Wednesday. 

The Final Post: A Postaday 2011 Conclusion

31 Dec

I don't get to cross an actual finish line, but I can stare at this and pretend.

This is my 365th post in a row and the final in my postaday2011 challenge.

When I started a 365 project, I started writing this blog  because I didn’t know what else to do.  I had a blog back in 2004 that I infrequently updated for a few years and thought I could take it out and dust it off to see what came of it.  I wanted to know how it would feel to dedicate myself to a journaled, daily experience every day for an entire year.

The answer is that it’s pretty mind-blowing.  At the risk of sounding life a Lifetime television special, I’d certainly say I learned a lot about myself and my process for achieving something that doesn’t have room for small failures.  You either post every day, or you don’t. There’s no room for anything in between: no ideas to write about, people to see, things to do, sleep to catch up on, a project due… the list of obstacles go on but they’re simply that – obstacles.  In the end, it’s as easy as answering the question of whether you did what you set out to do or not.

This is a powerful concept for me.  I suppose that’s silly since our lives are littered with tiny advertising mantras (e.g. No Excuses, Just Do It).  But repeating a few small words to yourself and actually carrying them out are drastically different things.  I learn by doing, and so now I have truly learned.

I know this is powerful because for the past 5 weeks, I have been carrying out the Couch to 5K running program.  Five weeks ago I decided that I would apply the same concept to running as I applied to my blog.  As a natural-born couch potato, I couldn’t imagine me following through on my most hated activity: running. But this morning I ran for 20 minutes straight and graduated to the 6th week of the 9-week program.   It’s incredibly close to being a success story.

The idea that I can look back on 2011 and know that I have documented every day, accomplished the goal of breaking out of my shell and trying new things with my Lollipop Tuesday series, and have become a better writer by forcing myself to write and post it on a public forum every single day of the year is awesome.  I have never completed a New Year’s Resolution before and it feels incredible to have documented proof of achieving my goal this year.

I would encourage everyone to attempt a 365 Project for 2012.  You can do anything, but make it daily and document it somehow.  Take a picture, draw something, cook something, write something, go somewhere, create  something, exercise, try a new food – no goal is too big or too small.  No matter what you choose, you’ll be better at it and be so much more knowledgeable after 365 days of practice and next year at this time you can look back and know that you bettered yourself as a person and grew in whichever area you chose.  You can assure that you don’t sleep through another year with the same old drudgery.  You can point to something very concrete and say you did it.  You learned, you grew, you conquered.

So what will you make 2012 about?  I made 2011 about being a better writer and being more openminded.  It was difficult.  There were days I didn’t want to post, days I had a thousand things to do, days I was embarrassed of what I had to offer but had no other choice to offer it, and days that I hated myself for doing something so public and grandiose.  This isn’t about a New Year’s Resolution.  This is about a 365 Project. It’s about discipline and dedication.  It’s about putting your year to good use and remembering to take time for a passion.

Thank you all so very much for joining me on my journey.  I’m overwhelmed by the amount of support I had along the way from people I’ve never even met.  I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to read, especially on the days that were less than inspired.

Who knows? I might miss posting tomorrow and not be able to resist the urge.  Or I might stick to my guns and reduce my posts to once a week. At any rate, it’s been one heck of a ride and I’m so grateful that you took it with me.

Thank you all and Happy New Year.  May we all put it to most excellent use. 

2011: The Year I Sucked at Lots of Things

27 Dec

You know that moment when you’re watching a television show and you realize that the entire episode is going to be a flashback/homage to past episodes?

Then you know what today’s Lollipop Tuesday will feel like.

Happy Lollipop Tuesday, folks.  It’s the last of the year.  The last – the final – the end of the road!  In my ideal world, I would have written this post from a hot air balloon ride – the perfect cherry on my Lollipop Tuesday sundae a year in the making.  But I didn’t go on a hot air balloon ride.  It turns out they don’t do amateur blogger discounts.

So it’s all over. Man, what will I do with all the time I used to scour the local paper for listings or drive hours outside the city to explore some strange activity?  Maybe I’ll miss it so much that I’ll continue in 2012.  Maybe I’ll give up on it entirely and look back at 2011 fondly as the year I tried a bunch of things that made me want to vomit from anxiety.  I’m betting on the latter.

At any rate, it’s been a heckuva ride.  When I started Lollipop Tuesdays this year, I had two goals in mind.  One was to break up the monotony of postaday by having a weekly series that folks could tune into if they didn’t care for the ranting and raving of my borderline psychotic mind on other days of the week.  The other was to challenge myself in a way that would force me to grow, whether I liked the journey or not.  The concept was simple: seek out something new that I would inevitably suck at (hence the lollipop/sucker reference in the term). 

I remember after a few Lollipop Tuesday adventures, I began to hate the fact that I ever started them.  I think it was right around the time that I said yes to taking a pole-dancing class and then realized I had no way to get out of it.  Sometimes I really despised conquering the unknown, seeking out locations posted on flyers and wandering into places having no idea what to expect or what would be asked of me. 

But that was the entire point.

I’ve convinced myself I hate movies that I never actually sat down to watch.  I’ve waited so long to try new things that they build up in my head as insurmountable.  For a long time, I was content to note that I’m awkward and inwardly and have no interest in anything that makes me uncomfortable.   So 2010 Jackie saw to it that 2011 Jackie would be forced to change.  

I’d like to think that I have.  I’d like to think that these experiences have helped my anxiety and attitude toward new experiences and that I’m a more open-minded and daring person than I was before.  I don’t know if any of that is necessarily true – I suppose it comes down to what I do and how I react when I’m not held accountable to post about it later on.

One thing I have definitely begun to stew on is the idea of a Bucket List (a list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket).  I think Bucket Lists are fantastic in theory, but in action I don’t really know too many folks who are actively seeking to accomplish the things on them.   There isn’t much point in keeping track of a bunch of good intentions that you hope to cash in on when you’re too old and penniless to make it happen.  I think Bucket Lists should be more like To Do lists – we should set out to accomplish them as soon as we are able.  

If everyone just committed to a Lollipop Tuesday every so often, they might look back when they’re old and penniless and realize that they don’t have a whole lot left that they haven’t already tried.  Maybe in time, Lollipop Tuesdays can push out the idea of the Bucket List and we can be people who are constantly trying new things, not people who hope to someday accomplish them.

Here’s to 2012 and whatever new adventures it brings.  May we be open to the daring and unknown. ◊

Have you seen all fifty Lollipop Tuesday posts?  If not (or if you’d like to brush up for old time’s sake), check out the “What’s Lollipop Tuesday?” header at the top of this page.  Or just click here
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