January in Review

The first month of 2015 is gone. To be honest, it seemed like it took forever.

I am pleased to announce that I successfully completed my resolution to write a novel of 50,000 words this month, sliding in just under the wire yesterday afternoon. No one will ever read it, so don’t ask, but it was an accomplishment to complete it, sort of like climbing a fourteener: arduous at times, exhilarating at other times, and the time at the summit is too short. You come home feeling tired, happy, and a bit sore. I’m glad I did it. It even makes me think of what my next stab at fiction might be, sometime down the road.

And… what were my other January resolutions?

Oh right! Biking and dates. Well, I only biked about half as much as I said I would, which means I only biked to work twice in all of January, which is a little pathetic given my not-so-lofty ambitions starting out. On the plus side, I did bike two work two days which is better than no days, but it leaves room for improvement. This will be one of those ongoing, back burner resolutions until one day I write in to report that I’ve completed some massively awesome race and am going on to the tour de France (she said ambitiously, or maybe fiction writing has just carried over into other parts of my life).

Going on once a week dates was pretty fun, but as with biking, it was a little difficult to maintain the momentum each week. Last week we went dancing, which was fun and cheap, and I’d go again in a heartbeat. Other than that, we went out to eat a few times, and ordered a pizza and watched a movie. The things on my dating to-try list: rock climbing, touring the California Tower, and kayaking did not happen because 1) too expensive, 2) sold out, and 3) too cold right now, respectively, but I have hope for the future of all of these things.

Looking ahead to February, I am cutting back on my resolutions for the month. I’ve noticed that doing three a month means that I really only succeed at one, and only succeed averagely or terribly at the other two. So for February I’m cutting down to two resolutions, and focusing on productivity. For February I will:

  • Avoid multi-tasking
  • Spend less than 2 hours per day browsing the internet

I picked these resolutions because I think being happy is about being present, and I can’t really be present in whatever I’m doing if I’m trying to do six things at once. Secondly, much as I enjoy vegging out and reading the internet, I don’t think it contributes to my happiness in the same way that relaxing with a book or going for a walk does. I want to make sure that I’m using my time to take care of myself, not just mindlessly spending it.

On the money side of things, January was a good month. Have I mentioned how much I love “You Need A Budget”? I loooove it. If it was a person, I would marry it. It just makes tracking my spending so much easier and it produces all kinds of lovely charts and graphs–my heart just flutters at the sight!

Anyway, YNAB aside, January was a good month. I saved almost $1,500, though about half of that went to my taxes fund (which according to my tax guy is probably overfunded, which is good? We’ll see what happens with that soon). I paid off another $500 toward my car, which keeps me right on track to finish paying it this year.

Looking at areas for improvement though, I spent over $200 on eating out in January, about half my total food spending. I would love to see that number cut in half in February. It would actually be pretty great if I could see my total food spending cut in half, but we’ll see how that goes.

Currently reading: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
Up Next List: On Immunity by Eula Biss, rereading Wishcraft by Barbara Sher, maybe some Wizard of Oz? Now that I’m not writing a book, hopefully I’ll have some more time to read them.

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