Resolutions for the New Year (2019)

Last year, I came up with a bunch of cool new years resolutions. I woke up really excited to review them this morning and see how I did.

Then I realised I deleted it sometime this year. Probably in the process of separating my main domains and their corresponding blogs (maryn/telepathics/revertdata). Great.

If you want to see this blog post in video form, plus some more 2018 reflection and more, I’ve been participating in Vlogmas on my Patreon page. It’s at least dollar a month to pledge, which is cheaper than one cup of coffee per month, and you get tiered rewards in support of my music!

2018 Resolutions Review

Unfortnuately, I only really remember two of the resolutions I made. At least I can reflect on those.

Drink More Water

The full resolution was actually something like “drink at least 50 oz of water for 50% of 2018”. Over last winter break, I created an application to help me keep track of this.

Resolution met: no. I didn’t even meet half of half of my goal.

Resolutions in Drinking More Water

At least I can honestly say I ended up drinking a lot more water than I did the previous year, even if I didn’t meet 50 oz a day. I generally only had about 6 oz a day in 2017.

In addition, I only logged when I drank plain water, not water that I mixed with something (like Mio). There were also some days where I drank water, but forgot to log. To keep it relatively “true” (i.e, not estimating my intake), I only kept my accurate logs.

Something that really helped with this was my reusable water bottle. It carries roughly 20 oz of water (which is why a lot of my dates are in increments of 20). It also helped to have this app to remind me every single day.

To carry over the resolution for next year, I’m going to be lowering my goal to 20 oz a day (one water bottle), but aiming for 75% of 2019 to be 40 oz or more. If that makes sense. I’ll have to fix my app a little bit to reflect this new goal (and store my old logs as well as new ones), which I have been meaning to do anyway.

Read More Books

The full resolution was to read 12 books, at the rate of one book per month. I started out the year strong, finishing Animal Farm before I even went back home after New Years.

Resolution met: no. I finished a little more than 8.

After January, I read basically nothing until September, then I read the other seven books until December. I’m now “currently reading” three books, but I know I won’t finish them by tomorrow. So, we’ll have to carry over the goal to next year.

However, eight books is a lot more than my 2017 record of absolute zero.

Some things that really helped me with this goal was the Goodreads challenge. I also got a Kindle in November. Having a dedicated library device kind of nudged me to read more, even if it may be a psychological placebo. I keep it on my bed at all times, and I try to read a little (no matter how little) before I fall asleep.

For next year, I’ll lower the goal a little to ten books, but I’ll be aiming for one book a month again.

2019 New Years Resolutions

Alright, enough reflection. Time for the meat of the post! These aren’t in a particular order, except for when they’ve chronologically come to mind.

Release on a Label

Honestly, it doesn’t matter which label. I just want to feel a little more validated in my music. I only started teaching myself production back in April, and I can feel that I’m getting better and better with each new project!

For measurability, I would hope to release on some kind of recognizable platform before 2019 ends. This will be stepping out of my comfort zone a bit, since all of my songs up until this point have been self-releases or something taken care of by someone I’ve collaborated with. I’d have to reach out to labels myself and see if anyone would want to pick up my projects.

Might be one of my more aggressive goals, but definitely something I can work toward.

Get Better at Math

I didn’t mention this in my Vlogmas video, but I really want to get better at Math. It was definitely my worst subject all throughout school, and it honestly scares me.

You wanna know something embarrassing? We were playing cards at Christmas, and my cousin-in-law asked me “What’s six times eight?” My nine year old cousin answered quicker than I could. Yikes.

To be a little more specific, I want to have all of my times tables memorized again, like I did back in elementary school. Like my nine-year-old cousin has. Maybe once I feel more comfortable with those, I won’t be so scared anymore and I can progress to other math subjects. I did want to take a refresher course in the Spring semester (since my tuition would be paid for by work), but HR still hasn’t gotten back to me about the reimbursement, so I dropped the class.

Learn React.JS

My full-time job as a web developer really only requires me to know WordPress development, even though my education is in Javascript, Python, and C++. I didn’t even know PHP until I started working here, and it was cool that my foundations translated so easily.

React seems like a framework popular enough to feel reasonable. It also helps that WordPress 5.0 is now built off of its groundwork, and I may have to touch it every now and again to maintain the plugins I’ve developed. In addition, there is plenty of free documentation online, so financial drawbacks shouldn’t be an obstacle.

To measure this goal, I’d like to write one personal project in React. Doesn’t even matter if it’s small or if no one uses it or if it’s transposed from one of my previous projects.

Stabilize My Routines

This goal kind of encompasses a couple of resolutions.

First, I want to go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier. I accidentally did this in October, when I came back from France, because of the time difference. My sleep schedule for about a month was 8pm to 5am! However, I’ve kind of fallen off the horse over this winter break, so I’d like to bring it back.

The goal here will be to set a bedtime of 10pm, so I can wake up at 6am, even on weekends. Occasional slip-ups are forgivable, but let’s aim for returns of at least 88% of the year. I’ll keep track with my phone’s Health (sleeping/bedtime) feature.

Second, I want to stay off my phone when I’m in bed. I have a horrible habit of browsing Twitter as the last thing I do before I sleep and the first thing I do when I wake up. Last night, I tried out charging my phone in my office, and not even looking at it until I made my bed and my morning coffee. I already feel ten times more ready to take on the rest of the day.

Third, I want to put together a “bedtime” and “morning” routines. Not sure what this will look like yet.

To measure these resolutions, I’ll be writing a blog post about my sleep schedule and routines before the end of 2019.

Closing Remarks

I love setting New Years resolutions, but I also try to tweak and refine throughout the entirety of the year.

For example, in 2018, I reset my reading goal to 5 books back in October. When I exceeded that, I was able to read 8 books in 2018 instead of just the one I read in January.

So, throughout the year, I will be revisiting and revising. I’ll keep this post up as a Master Post for posterity. However, you can expect more in-depth analyses as separate posts, which I will link in their related sections.

Thanks for reading, and have a happy new year! Good luck with your own resolutions if you make them ūüôā


love,
maryn

Christmas 2018

A Brief Overview

For Christmas this year, I did 12 days of Vlogmas on Patreon, so I won’t go into too much detail about what we did. However, I will give you the TLDR.

Generally, My sister and I drove four hours to visit our hometown. Because Kaylin had work on the 27th, we only stayed with my parents from December 21st through the 26th.

Usually, we have Christmas Eve dinner with my dad’s side of the family. This year, we did something different: Christmas Day dinner was spent with my cousins and my grandpa on my mom’s side of the family. As predicted, both dinners were wonderful! Additionally, I am so grateful that I didn’t get food poisoning from either feast.

Christmas Family Photo!

Gift Ledger

When I was younger, both my parents and my grandparents kept a ledger of what they got for Christmas (or their birthdays) and what they gave. I’m not exactly sure of what the purpose was, but I decided I want to start keeping one so I can reflect and remember.

I only shopped for gifts for my immediate family and my Secret Santa (mostly because I procrastinated this year), but plan to get something for my grandparents and a couple of friends who were kind to remember me during the busy holiday.

For the sake of accountability, I’ll be keeping this ledger updated!

Friend/Family Member Received Gave
Mom & Dad
  • Essential Oil Diffuser (and oils)
  • Thermal shirt
  • Vitamins
  • Bandaids
  • Tea set & tea
  • Socks
  • Candy (chocolate orange, toblerone, skittles)
  • Pepper spray
  • Thermometer
  • Lip gloss & aloe vera lipstick}
  • Movie Theatre Gift Card
  • Beef Jerky
  • Monster trail mix
Kaylin Sweater
  • Crazy Rich Asians (book)
  • Nutter Butters
  • Target gift card
Ryan Bulbasaur Planters
  • The Odd 1s Out (book)
  • Nutter Butters
  • Target gift card
Secret Santa (Jacob) GameStop giftcard (Tashi) Backpack & Face masks
Grandma & Grandpa $25 cash and ice cream!  
Jessemy Face masks  
Robles Undertale mug  
Louca
  • Fake planters
  • Herb & tea set grow kit
  • Letterboard
  • $10 paypal donation
Game design textbooks

Christmas and Distance

Because I live so far away now, it’s always a treat to be able to visit my family. I’m glad I got to spend my Christmas with the people I love and trust most.

However, I really missed Quentin throughout the Holiday. I suppose that’s common for long distance relationships. As a result, I hope to be able to visit him for Christmas next year. We both would really enjoy that.

In addition, I hope next year we can actually implement Secret Santa for the Entire Universe Discord Server! We talked about it briefly, but I believe it wasn’t planned well enough. Now we’re working on something for New Years. ūüôā


love,
maryn

Trust Your Body

For Black Friday, I got myself a Nintendo Switch and some food poisoning.

Warning: the Graphic Symptoms

I absolutely¬†hate¬†feeling sick.¬† No one really¬†likes¬†feeling sick, but my body generally refuses to throw up.¬† I had about a three year “no vomit” streak going, and I lost that streak yesterday morning.¬† The last time being three Thanksgivings ago, where everyone in my family got food poisoning from the feast.

This year, however, it was just me and my sister.¬† I woke up at about 5am, per usual, but I could tell something was off.¬† I kept trying to brush off the feeling.¬† Eventually, I made my way to the bathroom.¬† My sister was laying by the toilet, and I immediately thought to myself, “Oh no.¬† Not again.” and ran to the other restroom.

After a short bout of vomiting, I got up and went back to bed.¬† This happened a couple more times throughout the morning — waking up, running to the bathroom to puke, and then going back to sleep.¬† Before I knew it, it was 5pm.

Luckily (?), I haven’t had any diarrhea, which is extremely common with food poisoning, but that could be due to my IBS-C.¬† Aside from vomiting and nausea, I also experienced some extreme hot/cold flashes.¬† I had some general sleepiness, but I believe that was simply from overworking my body to get the¬†poison¬†out.¬† Walking to and from the bathroom, I could tell I had dizziness and weakness, but that could also just be from the lack of food/water since Thanksgiving dinner.¬† I’m still experiencing stomach cramping now (more than 24 hours later), but I hope that subsides soon.

Breaking (an unintended) Fast

The Food Poisoning Cure: Cabbage Potato Soup.

Since I was not feeling well all day, all I was able to stomach was a bottle of gatorade.  Near 5pm, my dad made me a nice bowl of cabbage potato soup, and I had a handful of Ritz crackers.

I can’t tell if it helped or not, since now it’s the next day at 1:55pm, and my stomach is¬†still¬†aching pretty badly.¬† This makes me think perhaps it isn’t food poisoning, but some kind of stomach bug.¬† My sister is feeling fine now; she went out last night with friends and is heading out again now.¬† I’m doubled over in pain, I have knots in my stomach and my throat is throbbing.

In the Name of Thanksgiving

I’m beyond grateful for my parents.¬† Both my mom and dad helped a lot while I was/am feeling sick.¬† My mom cleaned up a lot after me, and my dad made some soup.¬† It makes me feel almost nostalgic.

There’s nothing I wish for more right now than to just feel healthy again.¬† I’m grateful for my overall health, and I touched on that a little in my previous post.¬† Food poisoning is no fun.

Listen to the Cues

I’m actually surprised at how well my body was able to warn me before I had to puke.¬† I’m also surprised that I was able to listen to my body and make my way to the bathroom, even though I was sure nothing was going to happen.

From this situation alone, I’ve learned it’s important to trust your body.¬† Really listen, and I don’t mean¬†just¬†when you are sick.¬† Listen when your body tells you to drink water, or eat healthy, or go for a walk.¬† It sounds kind of stupid writing it out, but it’s definitely something I think I need to work on.

Post-Food-Poisoning Plan for Wellness

All I can really think to do right now to get better is to drink more water and gatorade.¬† I was able to eat a decent breakfast (my mom made dan bing!), but I feel like it was a bit too heavy for my stomach to handle.¬† Maybe I’ll take a nice relaxing shower and a nap before playing some more Celeste.

Some quick Google research assures me that I should be feeling better within the next few days.¬† I really hope so.¬† I’m definitely feeling better today than I was yesterday, and there has been no sign of nausea (though the knots in my stomach feel like they may disappear if I had one more¬†flush).

If, unfortunately, you also contracted food poisoning this Thanksgiving, please remember to wash your hands and get plenty of rest.

What do you usually do when you’re sick, besides rest and drink fluids?


love,
maryn

Thankful Thoughts

On being thankful: a snapshot of where I am, right now.

Hello, World!

As some of you may know, I recently took on a couple of therapy sessions in lieu of at-home internet access for the last month.  I’ve also taken up reading more self-help books, yoga, and kindly giving myself some well-deserved “me time”.  Overall, I believe I’m in a much healthier mindset now than I was pre-Paris trip.

One of the many key attributes I’ve been working on during this time was simply gratitude.  Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to forget to take a second and be truly grateful for what you have.  Sometimes, I find myself unmeaningly saying, “thanks” — such as to strangers on the elevator when I arrive on my floor.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s better to say it more often than not.  However, I wanted to truly feel thankful for what I have.

Although the coined history of the American Thanksgiving is horrendous, I do like to take this time of the year to reflect on what I am thankful for.  Sure, it may be a little clich√©, but for good reason.

Health

Honestly, I’m very healthy now, in multiple areas of the word.  I’m grateful for that, especially since I just got over a nasty cold that lasted about two weeks.  But there are also several other factors under the umbrella-term “health” that I’ve improved on in the last year.

Spirituality

As aforementioned, I’m in a better mental space now than I was two months/two years/two lives ago.  I am truly grateful for my progress, even though I still struggle with social anxiety quite a bit.  However, I can definitely tell a decrease in my generalized anxiety.  I don’t necessarily get stressed out over situations or things anymore.  It’s refreshing.

Living Environment

I feel as though a lot of my social anxiety stemmed from my previous living environment — student housing filled with roommates who were all friends with each other, and excluded me from their activities.  I recently moved out, and my living environment has improved immensely.  I’ve taken up homemaking as a hobby, and it’s made me very happy to be able to have that control again.  To feel comfortable where I live.

Recently, I fell in love with my town as well.  I get the biggest smile on my face when I’m walking around the area running errands or heading to work.  It’s small, it’s quaint, and it’s just about perfect for me.

Romance

I’m in a much different relationship now than I was this time, last year.  Though I’m so (fucking) grateful for my ex, I am insanely happy with my current boyfriend, Quentin.  He has unknowingly taught me several valuable life lessons in the six months we’ve been together.  Not to mention, he’s supportive, kind, and caring.  He deserves the best, and I’m thankful to have him in my life, even though we live oceans apart.

Health & Fitness

Again, I recently got over a nasty cold, so I’m especially grateful for my current health and my ability to breathe without sniffling every ten seconds.

I’ve been trying on-and-off for years to get back into yoga, and I’m trying to get back into it again on Monday mornings with my sister.  So far, we’ve only made it to one and a half lessons — no one except us has shown up, and the instructor didn’t even make it to the second class.

Pre-Paris, I was taking a trial of Tang Soo Do classes.  It was really fun, and the instructor seemed really personable and interested in helping each student.  I hope I can start taking those classes again, or even get back into Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, but I had to temporarily put a halt on these to accommodate for the living environment changes I’ve been making.

Professional

So much has changed in my professional area within the last month.  I’m incredibly thankful for these opportunities and realisations.

Growth & Learning

I graduated with my Bachelor’s in June, and began attending the most difficult school of all — life.  Actually, it hasn’t been that bad, though it’s been different to have to come up with my own “lesson plans” and find ways to keep my creative and academic juices flowing.

As I previously stated, I started reading a lot more.  I try to read every night before I go to bed.  You can keep up with me on GoodReads if you’d like.

I’m also now subscribed to many developer newsletters (sent to a special inbox of course).  The goal is to keep up-to-date with new technologies for work.  Lately, I’ve been learning a lot about Gutenberg and WordPress 5.0, since it will affect our CMS at work.  I’m grateful for a progressive growth and learning experience.  There are so many resources available for me to grasp a better understanding.

Work

According to a Google search I made on “areas of life”, this section was originally titled “School”, but I covered most of that in the “Growth & Learning” section.  (Side note: I actually did sign up for an actual academic class for the spring semester — math!  Thank God my employer covers my tuition.)

I decided to change this section to Work, since that is where I spend the majority of my day now.  I recently graduated from Part-Time to Full-Time, and I am very thankful for this upgrade.  I’m now able to support myself completely.  The new job has also opened up new opportunities in several different fields.  For example, the academics, as I have for my upcoming math class.  I also now have health insurance and have started up my retirement fund.  Adulting!

Financial

I saved up a lot on my own during my college education, because I knew I wanted to move out of student housing as soon as possible.  I’m grateful to my past self for doing that then, so it isn’t such a burden now.  Because of this, I was able to afford a bed and mattress, which definitely beats sleeping on a camping pad on the floor (which I did for about a week until I bought the mattress).

I’m thankful I’m able to just sit down once a month and keep a log of what I’m doing with my money.  Money doesn’t rule my life — I’m in charge of my money, and I am truly grateful for that freedom.  I also give myself a little wiggle room for leisure spendings, so I’m thankful to be able to head out to lunch or dinner with friends on occasion.

Personal

I’m still working on my social anxiety, but it just makes me more grateful for the people I’m able to feel comfortable with.

Family & Friends

Luckily, I still live fairly close to my parents and I was able to visit them for the weekend on Thanksgiving holiday.  It was nice to see them again, since the last time I went home was for Virtual Self.  My family is amazing, and anyone who hears me talk about them knows how much I love them.  We’ve always been very close and I’m eternally grateful for my parents and siblings.  They’re the best.

My friends are also super, super important to me.  I don’t know where I’d be without my tight-knit Twitter community and IRL friends.  I hate using my anxiety as an excuse.  The overwhelming feeling makes it difficult to start or engage in conversations with people.  This makes me especially grateful to feel welcomed regardless.  And it’s nice to have one-on-one conversations with some of my favourites.  You know who you are.

Fun

I’m grateful for the many interests I’ve developed over the years, particularly music, art, and development.  There’s no better feeling than progression in creativity, and I’m thankful that I can feel that in my free time.

Though I’ve been fairly busy since I started working full time, I am grateful that I can leave my work at work and do some fun things.  That’s actually something that I hadn’t thought of until a couple days ago when I was talking with a friend; he’s still in school and has to finish up homework when he leaves class, whereas my work projects are left in the office.  That’s a new experience I’m grateful for.

Community

As I’ve said before, I’ve recently fallen in love with my town.  I’ve been trying to get more involved in volunteer work and local events, even though it’s a little out of my comfort zone.  The important thing is that I’m actually trying to put myself out there.

I’m grateful that I’m a part of a lot of different little communities, especially groups that are tied into my interests.  I was on a phone call the other day with my buddy and we were talking a little about the “SoundCloud community”.  I feel like people have split a little more now than they had previously (which some of my Twitter anxiety derived from, but that’s another story).  But I always feel as though I’m a part of something.

Thankful Closing Remarks

We have Thanksgiving feast in about an hour, so I’m going to try to wrap this up and help my family out with some preparations.  Life has changed a lot, just with a new perspective of gratitude — you can really see a difference.  I’m grateful for so many things in my life right now, and honestly, sometimes I’m a little afraid to show that thankfulness.

It’s important to be grateful for what you have, and it’s also important to keep in mind those who may not have things going great for them.  Therefore, I’d like to close with a few links to some charities I’ve been keeping an eye on and contributing to over the last year.  The first one being probably the one most personable to me.

Laurie’s Cancer Relief Fund

My aunt was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  She’s been a huge inspiration to me throughout my life, particularly in humanitarian aide and writing.  Thankfully, she has kept close friends and family updated on her treatment status in the form of blog entries and pictures.  December marks the end of her treatment, and she could use a kind hand with some funds.

I was inspired to chop off 16 inches of my hair as a statement and donation to Pantene.  This is the last year they’re taking donations.  I announced the change and my aunt’s fundraiser on Twitter.  It’s been really encouraging to see familiar names pop up in the donation feed.

As of writing this post, she’s only $5,000 away from her goal.

https://www.gofundme.com/laurie039s-cancer-relief-fund

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

My sister and I walked for the AFSP “Out of the Darkness” event in my town.  We also were able to raise the funding goal right before the walk, which was amazing (huge shout out to Bradford).  The charity is great, I’d recommend checking them out!

The campaign page should be open until the end of December, but please feel free to donate to the charity even afterward:

 https://afsp.donordrive.com/participant/maryn

Charity:Water

Last, but not least, I’d like to show my support for Charity:Water.   Once a month (on the fifteenth), I fast for 24 hours.  Then, I donate the money I would have spent on meals to Charity:Water.  I got this idea from an organization called “Fast For Peace“.  The difference is that they change the charity every month.  Hopefully, when I’m a little more financially ground, I’ll be able to participate in both.

They’re doing a cool referral program where you can “Pledge Your Birthday” with me: 

https://www.charitywater.org/get-involved/pledge-birthday/telepathics


love,
maryn