YOUR New Year’s Resolutions

I’ve made my resolutions, now it’s time for me to help you make yours!

These, of course, are suggestions that you can take or leave but if you’re looking for inspiration or confirmation, this is it.

  1. Find a type of exercise you actually love. Story time: my mother is one of those people that wanted to do something about her current fitness level and tried to sign up for gym memberships and even beginner volleyball classes but nothing stuck and all motivation would peter out quickly. Just 3 months ago, she signed up for some aquafit classes at the local YMCA because she heard it was good for your back and she’s been going around 3 times a week since then! She’s become one of those people that complains when she had to miss a class! So you CAN get fit or lose those pounds, you just need to find your method! The gym is not for everyone, it might be competition or environment that gives you a reason to keep coming back to it.
  2. Read one book per month. Reading is something that people feel like they don’t have time for but books are, in my opinion, a great part of life and important to expand your imagination. So by setting aside your commute to listen to audiobooks or before bed to read a chapter or two, it is definitely plausible to get through at least one book each moon cycle. Definitely try to get a diverse selection from fantasy to non-fiction because the world is huge and there’s no telling what you might learn.
  3. Invest in friendships. You have no idea how important this is. It’s so easy to let great people slip out of your lives or to not initiate getting to really know someone because you already have your family to talk to. Coffee dates are easy to plan, letter writing is not dead and potlucks are really fun. You don’t have to become a social butterfly but do hold on to the friends you have and make sure they know that they are important to you! That isn’t done enough in my opinion.
  4. Create. Totally open-ended, totally depends on what you enjoy and what you’d love to try. I believe we all have something inside of us that needs to create things whether it be an elegant computer code, your very first knitted scarf or a story. I’m sure there’s something that you’re passionate about and if you’re passionate about it you will totally be able to make the time for it in this coming year!

These are my tips to making your year a success (hopefully), let me know what you would have added to the list or what you’re taking from mine!

School Year Resolutions

Forget New Year’s Resolutions, let’s talk about School Year Resolutions!

I know it’s a new year and everything which makes people want to turn over a new leaf but when you’re between the ages of 4 and 22ish then change in your life is really dictated by the school year starting every September. You have to adjust to different classes and different people so why not change up a few more things in order to make your life a little better.

Here are a few of mine for my third year of university! If you feel inspired to do the same, please put the link to your post in the comments so that I can check it out!

Write everything down. This ranges from due dates, ideas and journal entries! I know for school especially that I will easily forget about a project or assignment as soon as I leave the threshold of the classroom which tends to be a bad thing. So by physically writing it down somewhere (aka an agenda or wall calendar) that I look at often will alleviate me of future stress! I adore looking back onto old memories – I should give you a room tour at some point because my walls are covered in this sort of thing – and a journal is the most compact way of keeping them. These are some of the years I would love to look back on so this is me telling myself to write it all down.

Set aside time for socializing and being alone. If these moments are already predetermined, life just gets a heckuva lot easier. It’s easy enough to schedule time to hang out with people and go out and have fun but this tends to squeeze out any time I need to be alone and recharge. I’ll often just give people all of my availability and book it up until it’s a Thursday and I’m grouchy and I just want to go home but I can’t because of previous commitments. It’s not healthy to be alone all the time just like it’s not healthy to always be surrounded by people so I need to make sure I keep this in mind now that I have actual university friends.

Read and go outside!! As soon as classes start, I
have a real excuse to be on my laptop all the time and my time spent reading and exploring the outdoors severely drops. It’s easy to get sucked into the black hole of checking every five seconds for notifications that will still be there in a couple of hours.

Cook one meal from scratch each week. This is not my doing, this is my mother’s. I am not a cook. I like to spend the least amount of time in the kitchen as possible because there are just so many other things to do! But since I live at home still and she wants my sister and I to recognize the importance of having some cooking skills, I will need to plan and prepare one meal per week that did not originate from the freezer. I’m only against this in theory cause I also see the value of knowing your way around a kitchen. Still, it’s gonna be hard.

DON’T PROCRASTINATE. It ruins your life and everyone else’s too for that matter. There is not much else to be said here except try harder to stay on top of things! Limit your internet usage! Reward yourself after you’ve finished something, not before! Pleeeease let’s not let the stress build up! There needs to be a support group or something where we just guilt trip each other.

note to self
note to self

Help out around the house. This is something I’ve been steadily improving on since I do live here free of charge which is not something I should take lightly. I’m not renting out my room from my family, I’m living in a house with them and I need to continuously do my part with the workload that comes with it. I don’t care if that’s not how other families do it, but here everyone pitches in (supposedly without being told to) to keep the house well-stocked, clean and functioning.

Man, writing this all down already makes me feel more calm about the new semester and all the work that’s going to come with it. Hopefully I stick to my guns and you won’t see me here 3 weeks later crying about how hard school is when you pretend you have no responsibilities!

Technical Writing and I

It’s a struggle.

I’ve always loved writing. Ever since I was a kid, I would fill notebooks up with random stories usually centered around my current favourite animal and document my day, journal-style. I was a voracious reader and for a good portion of my childhood, I thought I had it in me that I could one day be a famous author. That or a pet shop store owner, that it.

Fast forward to my first year of university where I get to take a wonderful, joyous and soul sucking class about technical report writing.

It could be the fact that it took place at 5pm on a Friday but it could also be the fact that we relearned basic grammar and got reminded that anything imaginative and unprofessional was not needed.

The one thing that I’m actually thankful that I learned in that class was the proper use of the word “whom” which says a lot about everything else that was taught.

Right now, I’m actually required to do a lot of technical reports and summaries for my coop job which feels a lot different from that writing class in that people are going to actually read them and need them to be at a certain level while in class, the only person I had to impress was the TA and only enough to get a decent grade.

The part that is similar is that it’s still like pulling my own teeth in order to produce something other people would consider a professional technical report. I still do love writing as a way to get my thoughts out on paper (hello! I have a blog!) but I find the methods completely different.

I have to go through an entire process where

  • I first ramble out what I want to say in this sort of format, bolding and italicizing words and sections in the process (bold means “is this really important enough to add” and italics means “I’m too busy to find a good synonym right now but there is no way in heck that this word is going to be in the final draft”)
  • Then I need to go back through it and make better sections and subheadings in order for things to be clearer. My saving grace turns out to be bullet points because everyone loves their easy, informative layout but I also don’t have to put together sentences that actually flow!
  • Finally, I correct everything by reading it out loud to myself under my breath and rearranging everything until it is actually good. And I always have to remind myself to go through the bolded and italicized text to fix what past me left for future me.

I think in my time here I have improved on my writing skills just from sheer volume of writing and that those professional connector words like moreover and consequently are slowing worming their way into my textular vocabulary.

I would love to actually go back and read that report on Composite Parts for Automobiles I handed in for my final grade in that class to see how bad it looks from my newly experienced eyes.

Pro Tip: Whom

Here’s the how-to on when and where to use the word “whom”.

Turns out it’s not just thrown into a sentence to make oneself sound fancy! The rule I use that consistently works is to answer the question about the subject of the sentence.

If the answer is he, use who.

If it’s him, use whom.

Simple as that!

Here are some examples:

Who/whom are you going to do cartwheels with? I am going to do cartwheels with him. Therefore it’s whom!

Who/whom is going to weigh the cat tonight? He is going to weigh the cat tonight. So you get to use who!

But here’s the real secret for these two tricky words…Literally no one uses whom, you get the message across just fine if you use who for everything and it’s much easier than trying to figure out the difference? Maybe if you want to be annoying you can correct people on their usage of the word or there’s always the classic trying-to-sound-fancy-and-better-than-thou-so-I’ll-use-words-like-thou-and-whom.

But it is kind of fun actually knowing the difference, isn’t it?

The Curse of Wasting Time on Your Own

Or, Karen complains about nothing important!

So I’m living the office life 37.5 hours a week for the past 14 weeks. I went through the phase of being in awe and excited about everything from attending a teleconference to having a drawer with my own stapler. We’re past that, although I am going to miss my plethora of sticky notes.

I’m sure everyone’s on the same page with me on this when I say that it’s impossible for me to work at 100% efficiency for the entire 8 hours that I’m here. Sometimes you just need to click away from what you’re doing and take a walk or check facebook.

The thing is, we all pretty much pretend we’re working all the time, I’ve seen many a fast window change or two screens with one having a buzzfeed article and the other a random excel sheet. And that’s totally fine I know these coworkers of mine are competent and have been powering through their work during the day also.

The people that I’m envious of are the ones that like chatting as a form of straying from their work. I have been in a conversation about firefighters for almost half an hour one time because the dude I was talking to was so effective at continuing the conversation. I see those people that bring over a paper to another section of the office then stay to talk about their vacation and this tv show and what they’re having for lunch which is great and the only way to ever got to know who you’re working with in the long run but it’s so subtle at wasting time.

If I was on youtube straight up just laughing at what I’m watching for 20 entire minutes, that’s extremely different than standing up and talking with the person across from your cubicle for the same duration.

“But Karen, nothing’s stopping you from also doing that”, you say. Yes, there is something stopping me and it’s that I’d rather be working than attempting to converse for a long amount of time a) with people I don’t know very well and b) when I’m tired and am actually wanting a break. It doesn’t make me energized in the least to have a vague discussion about weekend plans which truly does suck because I feel like those types of people can get away with so much more!

That concludes my non-issue at work today, back to trying to explain the math I did to people who don’t care about math‼

Smek For President

The first answer to any of those “what person dead or alive would you want to have dinner with” questions is Adam Rex.

smekforpresidentHe’s the author and illustrator to many a book, including my all time favouriteThe True Meaning of Smekday.

We’ll get into exactly why that is in a later post so that I can put all my focus into converting you into a major fan also but the point of this post is to celebrate and anticipate!

After 8 long years, there is now a sequel. The first book was a standalone, the ending was satisfying (actually it was a lot more than that) so it’s not like we’ve been dying over a cliffhanger for the past couple years but it excites me to no end that there will be more of an alien named J.Lo and a girl named Tip in a post-alien invasion world that will apparently include a presidential campaign but I know nothing because I haven’t even read the description I just want to go in blind and be amazed.

that was one very extremely long run on sentence

Things I Hope To See In The Sequel:

– more boovish history

– comics

– Gratuity and her mom

– J.Lo not understanding normal human things

– J.Lo’s horrible grammar

– how the aliens have integrated themselves into our world

The novel came out February 10th so there is absolutely no reason as to why I am not reading it right now. That makes me a little upset. Not sure if I should just go out and buy it or wait for the 8 people in line ahead of me at the library to hurry up and finish…

If you guys are fans of Adam Rex’s work, let me know so we can discuss at length how awesome these books are!!

Procrasti-peeing

Oh hello friends. Let’s pretend there wasn’t a 5 month hiatus on this blog and get straight to what we like talking about most: procrastinating and peeing.

I am currently trying to finish a paper for my business class that is actually worth 20% of my final grade and seriously I had this assignment from the beginning of the school year yet it is only in the last week that I have actually looked at it. Go me. I’ve already gotten tired of perusing social media in attempts to distract myself so at this point I have resorted to reading my own blog and drinking water.

I’ve literally peed 4 times in the last hour and then read an article on how too much water is actually bad for you so my water bottle is going to remain untouched for the next few hours.

What a great way to ease back into the blogging life. I bet this post will get everyone excited for what’s to come. Who doesn’t want to read about someone’s bathroom habits???

Man I get sarcastic when I’m stressed.

The Opposite Of Writer’s Block

My thoughts go at a million miles per hour.

Seriously, there’s an individual, albeit sometimes subconscious, thought in my head about every shred of information I take in with all 5 of my senses. That’s a lot.

Some of those thoughts turn into ideas and some of those ideas I find worthy of becoming a blog post! Sometimes I even get these thoughts stuck in my head, as if they were the lyrics to a song or something and basically that’s the main reason I even have this blog: to get them out. (Although it pleases me to no end that people actually enjoy reading this!!!)

Usually what I’ll do, since it’s often due to the situation I’m in aka an interesting one that I find inspiration and I can just sit down and start hacking away at a draft, is write down the mains points and tell myself I’ll get to it later.

There are so many of these jot notes. On sticky notes, in the drafts of my dashboard (currently there’s 29), in my organizational computer notes; they’re everywhere. And truth be told, they rarely make it out onto the internet.

It’s not that they’re not good! (I’m not cocky and full of myself….) It’s that I never get around to writing all the words that need to be added in order to make it a worthwhile post. I used to have the excuse of time and not having enough of it to spend on this side-hobby but now it’s really just the fact that I don’t have the willingness to sit myself down and write it all down.

//especially those hard ones that require research and taking corresponding pictures//

So in my head, it feels like backwards writer’s block. I have tons and tons of ideas but I’m not sitting at the computer staring at the screen. Just thought that was cool, not really even complaining or berating myself, it’s just funny.

All The Time, None Of The Progress

What is it with having all the time in the world and not doing anything at all?

It seems to me that humans work so much better under time constraints and hectic lives. Well, at least the non-motivated ones like me. I can literally get so much done if I have 5 things due by the end of the week than if I have like 3 fun, non-stressful things planned during an entire week and nothing else to do otherwise.

I don’t know how I manage to complete nothing on my to do list while simultaneously keeping seemingly busy.

It’s extremely relaxing and refreshing not being worried about grades and fitting everything in and doing it right but at the same time it’s really frustrating how little I’ve accomplished.

I’m obviously talking about the fact that in the two weeks since I had my last exam, I really haven’t done much except turn 19, hang out with friends (barely) and watch Grey’s Anatomy. Like I can’t even be bothered to clean out my emails and that doesn’t require anything different from the sitting around on the computer that I do anyway.

I think time management when there’s really nothing to manage is a learned skill. It’ll take me time to develop how to construct my days so that I manage to still feel awesome for not having a lot on my plate but still getting a little bit done each day. Taking the time for myself and for little tasks that are on my list.

Don’t know if anyone else really agrees with this idea; let me know if you’ve ever felt like this before. As I’ve probably said before, this blog is just a way to get my ideas out in writing so this is probably a super boring post but my head’s a little more clear after writing it all out so #worthit.