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Thursday, August 9, 2012

2012 Resolutions Update!

The subject line alone is hopefully making you laugh already.

We're now into the 8th month of 2012, and many (if not, all) resolutions have long been forgotten by people all around the globe. Since I'm back to writing again, I thought it'd be a hoot to see what my goals were at the start of this glorious year, and if I had kept up with any of them. I also wanted to see if there were any resolutions that had slipped my mind completely. The results are quite fascinating. Let's revisit them, shall we?

1. Put laundry away as soon as it comes out of the dryer.

I still have good days and bad days with this one, but I have to say that overall, I have gotten better and the items get mostly put away as soon as I bring them up from the laundry room. Mostly.
(Yes, that was a tip o' the hat to "Aliens" ... thanks for noticing)

2. Whittle down my CD collection and put more on the computer and my MP3 player.

This is one resolution that I have been on top of, which pleases me! I gave away 40 cds this past weekend actually, so it feels good to know that this is something that has become a rather nice habit. And as a side note: I still have the MuchDance 2000 CD in my collection. Just sayin'.

3. Recommend one documentary a month and attempt to write about what it means to me personally, instead of a critical review of it.

I haven't even attempted this yet. Maybe after my August Playwriting Month is over and done with, September can be my Movie Review Month. Something to think about .....

4. Do 15 minutes of tidying everyday - minimum.

Once again, there are good and bad days with this one, but even though the bad days exist, at least I'm still making an effort in trying to not become overwhelmed.

5. Do Morning Pages every day. See comment with #6
6. Revisit "The Artist's Way" and "The Right to Write" by Julia Cameron.

I was faithful to the Morning Pages for about a month but found that I enjoyed typing posts on here instead. We see where this got me, eh? I was doing well with "The Artist's Way" but when it came to writing about past issues and how I dealt with them, it was harder and harder for me to stick with it. When I turned 40, I made a decision to cut toxic people out of my life. It was extremely hard and uncomfortable for some individuals, but the end result has been worth it ... and *then* some. Unfortunately, there are a few family members that I cannot do this with, so I am stuck between a rock and a hard place in that regard. I'll definitely go back to writing about these personal issues again, but will do it in baby steps.

7. Start reading more books from my bookcases as opposed to always going to the library, and give away 20 this year as well.

This would be the one on the list that I have truly excelled at. In addition to the cds I gave away this weekend, 20 books joined them. I can fit all of my books onto my 2 bookcases now. Huzzah! I have to say that I forgot about the potential project that my friend and I had chatted about, so I think I'll rekindle that conversation. It's never too late to start anything!!

8. Be more cognizant of surroundings, people and situations.

Another one that has become just a normal reaction for me. Unless it's a huge work event that's understaffed or kind of overwhelming event, I tend to not freak out - inside *or* out.

9. Get back into musical instruments.

This resolution has also fallen by the wayside. I did pick up the flute again, but found that I couldn't play it! With the help of a lovely music teacher (who was recommended by a friend of mine), I discovered that I need to relearn how to play it altogether. I've had asthma my entire life but it has become a lot more manageable in my adult life. Sadly, the way I played it as a child and teenager was completely different from the way I'll need to play it now. Breathing easier, but also having had a bruised lung from one of my PFL fights has shifted the way I blow the air through the instrument, so it's like learning from scratch all over again. I *will* prevail though because it means so much to me!

10. French and Spanish!

Haven't really followed through with this one either. Let's see if I can pick some of it up again before the end of the year.

11. Reread the Big Book and start going to AA meetings again

I can honestly say that reading the Big Book and keep a spending record have become regular habits for me. That's pretty good! However, the real big one in those resolutions is the "going to meetings" part. I haven't been reguarly to meetings for ages. I thought I'd found a good one just down the street from my house, but it never made me feel like I was at home - which is how I felt at my old home group. I'm going to see if I can make my schedule work so that I can start going back to it.

12. Keep a spending record again.

Funny how I was never good at keeping on top of this until *after* I paid off all my debt! I was diligent for months but July ended up being all over the map due to the fact that I had a film festival to run. Basically, money didn't really have any meaning for the weeks in the middle of that month. I'm now back on track and have been back to writing my spending every day for the month of August. It's incredible to see exactly where you money disappears to when you write it down.

13. Teach myself to bake, and bake one new thing a month.
Maybe I can learn a few new things before the end of the year so that I'll have tried at least a few new recipes. Still making the same old loaves, but since I'm feeling more confident there, I think I'm ready to kick it up a notch to say ... cookies. Time will tell.

14. Get back into PFL shape.

Oh boy! Well ... I lost 22 lbs last year and felt fantastic, but since I've started working in movie theatres again, I've put 10 lbs back on and haven't been exercising at all. When I started my spending plan again at the start of this month, I decided to do at least 15 minutes of exercise each ay and write it on the same page. Building up slowly has been great, and I already feel better. Not feeling exhausted after I climb the stairs in the subway is fabulous! If I keep it short and sweet, I can maintain it better and slowly build it to more when I'm good and ready.

15. Finish all latchhooks in my bin and give them as presents or hang them up on the wall.

I love that this was the very last resolution on my list as it's the one that has been the most special to me and made this year wonderful. I finished the Elvis latch hook that had been in my possession for 3 decades!!! Granny bought it some time in the early 70s and it was the first one I tackled this year. I was so surprised that even though it was huge, it only took me a month to complete. I decided to give it to my dear friend PJ as she is a really big Elvis fan, and she helped me tackle my debt last year. I then did something even more ambitious .... I custom-made two rugs for other friends of mine. This has not only rekindled my love of something positive from my childhood (and one of the rare things I can remember), but also stirred a new passion inside of me. I'm now planning 3 more custom-made rugs and will start them in a couple of weeks. I'm going to set up an Etsy page and see if there's any way I can have this as a side business - wouldn't that be great? Here's hoping that pans out, but regardless of the outcome, I'm still going to enjoy every minute of the activity.
And if any of you are interested, I have a Facebook page set up for my custom-made latch hook business: Playing Hooky Rugs

So .... overall, I'm doing alright with what I had set out as goals for myself. Looking back, I'm not feeling that I failed in any of the resolutions that have fallen by the wayside. In fact, it's just the opposite: I look at it as getting back on that horse when I'm feeling ready for it. I know that it'll be sooner rather than later, so once again .... all is good.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Coincidence???

I was up late tonight watching a screener that had a huge impact on me, and now find myself awake again at 3:30am. Did I have coffee too late this evening? Am I riled up by the movie I watched? Is there an unseen powerful force at work here that made me wake up?

I have no idea which one it happens to be, but sitting here at the computer in the *real* middle of the night, I thought I'd scroll through links that I have bookmarked over the past couple of years. My post from a few hours ago talks about setting and accomplishing goals in 15-minute spurts at a time, and in that post I mention that I couldn't remember where I had read about this concept in the first place.

Guess what I found in that bookmark list?

The article that started it all: Jerry Seinfeld's Productivity Secret

It's incredibly interesting to reread this piece, and see which parts I took to use and which ones I haven't tried yet. I think I'll keep doing what I've become comfortable with for now until I feel the need to throw something new in, or kick it up a notch.

Maybe I should think about including "sleep" in the 15 minute category tonight ....

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The VERY Effective 15-minute Exercise

I cannot for the life of me remember where I first read about tackling cleaning chores around the house in 15-minute chunks, but it helped me more than I could ever imagine. And that in turn helped me set up Depletapalooza last year (my über-ambitious self-coined cleaning project), which you can read about in earlier posts here on the blog.

Why am I bringing this up, you may ask?

Well ... on the subway ride home last night after work, a radical thought popped into my head: what if I took the 15-minute exercise and applied it to writing?

By jove, that just might work!!!!

There's a one-woman show that has been stirring inside of me since it first formed in my noggin 2 summers ago at Tracy Erin Smith's workshop. The few people I've told about it in detail have expressed excitement at the thought of seeing me perform it one day. That alone should have helped spur me on to get it down on paper, right?

(insert riotous cackling here)

Just the thought of writing it all out has been daunting enough, so I have yet to write a single word.

Til today, that is.

I haven't thought of a snappy title/catchphrase for it (yet), but I am making August the 15-minute-a-day Playwriting Month. Huzzah! My 15 minutes have already been taken care of today, so the pressure to write more is nowhere to be found. If I *do* happen to feel like writing more on any given day, I will certainly do so, but to make this new project as freeing as possible, I didn't want to set any unrealistic expectations.

Just a portion of my subway ride to work and Bob's Your Uncle!



PS - This is what my egg timer looks like. "Gotta set the chicken!"



Monday, July 30, 2012

Half a year gone ... just like that.

I'm wondering if anyone out there has been waiting with bated breath for another blog post from me. If you have then bless your heart, but please tell me that you've been keeping yourself busy doing other things these past 6 months!

It would be so easy to blame my silence on any number of things, like:

- starting a new job at the Bloor Cinema
- getting another promotion at Toronto Centre for the Arts
- doing my annual New York crossword puzzle tournament
- throwing myself back into latch hook and making 3 new rugs
- my role as Operations Manager for the Shinsedai Cinema Festival
- wasting time on Facebook
- going through a funk

... but that would be far too easy.

Instead, I will admit that I got overambitious yet again and put too much pressure on myself to do more than I thought I could handle.

I don't need to publish something every. single. day.
I can post bit and pieces whenever I damn well please.

So I will.

I spent some time today rereading my posts from January and was surprised to see how well I had expressed everything that was going on in my head. That's always been a huge stumbling block for me.
There are many projects I've thought of that I would like to see come to fruition someday, and the only way they will see the light of day is if I just keep writing.

Ramblings. Drivel. Nonsense. Puns. Musings.

Will I be "back" this time with a vengeance?
Probably not.
Will I write on here passionately with every fibre of my being, whenever the fancy strikes me?
You bet your ass I will.





Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Footloose!!

This song popped into my head the other day so I knew right away it was perfect for Shake Your Booty Day.

Crank it and dance y'all!


Monday, February 6, 2012

I believe!

I usually have an inspirational quote picked sometime in the morning and then post it here with my comments on the theme. Today I found that there didn't seem to be anything popping out at me .... until 10 minutes ago.

The announcement that "The Book of Mormon: The Musical" will be coming to Toronto next year is the best news I could ever hear! I had the good fortune of catching it in New York early last year when it was just in previews - before it became the hottest ticket in town.

I never thought that any show could ever top (or even match) "RENT" for me, and "The Book of Mormon" did it in the first number alone.

One of the pivotal songs in the show is called "I Believe" and I play it any time I'm feeling down or doubting my abilities. The show is hilarious and controversial and incredibly smart, and in my opinion, about how one can finally find their faith. That faith can be in God, or "a" god, or in the power of a group of individuals or community, or more importantly ... in themselves.

This is what I take from it and it really strikes a chord with me as I have spent decades questioning everything about not only myself but also spirituality, my environment and my family. As I enter my 5th decade of life, there are so many regrets I have had and "if only" and "what if?" moments, that they made me doubt that I was capable of doing anything that could truly make me happy. This song reminds me that as long as I believe in myself and trust that whatever I want to do to make me happy is right for ME, then whatever anyone else says or thinks about me should have no negative effect on me at all.

The lines that stick out for me are the following:

I've always longed to help the needy
To do the things I never dared.
This was the time for me to step up
So, then, why was I so scared?

.....

I can't allow myself to have any doubt.
It's time to set my worries free.
Time to show the world what Elder Price is about!
And share the power inside of me...

I've written here before that I now feel I am confident enough and have lived long enough to finally have things to say - this song echoes those feelings in the two stanzas I have written above. I hope you're all not too offended by some of the lyrics in the song (as I've attached it below) - remember that it's a satire and when you boil it all down, it's about the human condition.

More importantly, I hope you believe in yourself like I have finally found the belief in myself!


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Where in the world ... ?


Happy Sunday to you all!

I'm spending the day relaxing with "Battlestar Galactica" on the screen as I finish my giant Elvis latch hook rug. Yay!

But I thought I'd take a minute to check out the little visitor map I added to my blog to see where people were reading my blog from, and it seems like I have fans all over the world!

I'd love for you to write in the comments where you all are.
Thanks for checking out my blog and helping me stay on this writing journey of mine.

You are all fabulous!! :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Malvina Hoffman


Malvina Hoffman
American (1887-1966)
Sculptor

Malvina Hoffman refused to take "no" for an answer. The eminent sculptor Auguste Rodin declined to see her five times before he finally accepted her as a pupil in his studio. There, Hoffman not only developed her art, but mastered the physically and technically demanding aspects of sculpting, including how to cast her own bronzes. She personally did the heavy lifting usually done by foundry workers. In 1930, Hoffman received the largest commission ever granted to a sculptor, to create more than one hundred bronze sculptures of "The Races of Mankind" for Chicago's Field Museum. Over the next five years she traveled the world to find models and lived with the peoples she researched. Anthropologists and Modernist artists criticized Hoffman for her interpretations, but these figures have since been appreciated for their vitality and insight into character. In her long and prolific career, Hoffman also created portraits of prominent Americans, monumental sculpture groups, and a bas-relief frieze of Russian dancers that The New York Times called "a great legend of the art world".


(Source: Library of Congress 2006 Engagement Calendar)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I got the beat!

On this overcast Wednesday, I think some Girl Power is just the ticket to brighten everyone's day! How can you go wrong with loveable ol' Jane Wiedlin?

So many songs from this group to choose from but this is one of their best. Clap your hands at the 1:50 mark and sing it out loud! :)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Vision Board!



I am so happy and proud to say that I created my very first Vision Board!!

Spent a few hours over at my friend Beth's place and put it together on her dining room table. I had collected a bunch of images from magazines I had at home and then went through more at her place, as well as adding puffy, sticky letters and flowers that she had on hand.

My focus for this board was strictly Creativity. There are quite a few things I want/need to work on in my life, but I truly feel that by concentrating on the creative aspect of my life, it will help everything else fall into place ... however long that takes. Years ago, I quit a well-paying job with the ACC and MLSEL (Maple Leafs) to go into theatre. It led me down the road of poverty and I'm still playing catchup, but I knew then (and still feel today) that it was the right choice because I listened to my gut and followed it whole-heartedly. I have no idea where my creative life will take me, but I know that not tapping into it completely for the past few years, I have felt the void and have not been as happy as I should be. Choosing to make my Vision Board all about my untapped creative potential is, I believe, the key to my happiness, and I cannot wait to see where my journey will take me.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

I'm finally seeing the tail end of the bug I caught last week, but my head still seems to be too fogged up to think clearly. This will not, however, stop me from getting back up and writing again!

I do apologize for not having as many posts lately - I will correct that as of now!

When it comes to the quote I pick every Monday, I choose one that is resonating with me at that particular moment so that everything I write in the post is basically a stream of consciousness then and there. The one that is hitting me today my favourite reading from AA meetings. It doesn't preach anything, so fear not. It's just stating a simple fact and really hits the point home for me. I hope I'm not breaking any AA rules by posting it here as I think it's something that everyone should read - not just people in recovery.

May you have a wonderful day and week, everyone!


YESTERDAY, TODAY and TOMORROW

There are two days in every week we should not worry about, two days that should be kept free from fear and apprehension.

One is yesterday, with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains.

Yesterday has passed, forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed. Nor can we erase a single word we've said - yesterday is gone.

The other day we shouldn't worry about is tomorrow, with its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise and poor performance.

Tomorrow is beyond our control.

Tomorrow's sun will rise either in splendour or behind a mask of clouds, but it will rise. And until it does,we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is yet unborn.

This leaves only one day - today. Any person can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when we add the burdens of yesterday and tomorrow that we break down.

It is not the experience of today that drives people mad - it is the remorse of bitterness for something that happened yesterday, and the dread of what tomorrow may bring.

Let us, therefore, live one day at a time!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Healthy = Productivity. Sick = Blechk.

I unfortunately caught that nasty bug that was going around and have spent the past several days resting in my papasan chair drinking OJ by the gallon and torturing poor Chris by watching seasons of "Buffy". It's hard to say who has felt worse: me or him. :P

When my head clears up again (which'll hopefully be in time for Monday's Inspirational Quote) I'll start posting away my ramblings, but wanted to put something up quickly today.

I just saw this on FB and it made me laugh SO hard. It's the first real laugh I've had in days so I thought I'd post it here to make everyone else laugh and have a great kickstart to the weekend.

Happy thoughts!


Monday, January 23, 2012

I Sing The Body Electric .... do YOU?

Today I find I'm doing a different kind of inspirational quote - it's coming in the form of a song. On Facebook this morning, Saul Williams (the brilliant American poet, writer, actor and musician) posted the video "I Sing The Body Electric" from the 1980 film "Fame". I remember my mom taking me to see it, but what I remember more is the movie utterly blowing me away. Films in general had changed for me (and for the world) three years earlier when "Star Wars" hit the screens, so now I saw cinema in a completely different light.
*I'll talk more about "Star Wars" and its impact on me another time. :)

"Fame" really made me take notice of real people and the potential for the younger generation (ie - students in school, like myself but older) to be free and creative. Unfortunately, I only tapped into my creative abilities on the smallest levels and never had the courage to push myself further. I don't feel bad about that at all, though, for now I believe you are never too young or never too old to start expressing yourself creatively. It's taken me 40 years to get to this point, but for me personally, I needed all that time to build up material and experience from life to be able to realize what I wanted to say. And I find that I want to say a LOT!!

In keeping with that sentiment, I make today's inspirational quote the entire song. I've posted the lyrics below so you can sing along (it repeats almost twice).

32 years ago, the song made me dance and feel good.
Today, it inspires me to write my own songs to dance to.
And that makes me feel FREE.

***Note: I was unable to find the real clip to post because all of the ones I found were disabled by the user, so I ended up finding the song from the film but with clips from an amateur production. If it's too distracting, you can find the real clip on your own on YouTube and then read/sing along with this in a separate window.


Enjoy yourselves nonetheless!!!





I sing the body electric
I celebrate the me yet to come
I toast to my own reunion
When I become one with the sun

And I'll look back on Venus
I'll look back on Mars
And I'll burn with the fire of ten million stars
And in time
And in time
We will all be stars

I sing the body electric
I glory in the glow of rebirth
Creating my own tomorrow
When I shall embody the earth

And I'll serenade Venus
I'll serenade Mars
And I'll burn with the fire of ten million stars
And in time
And in time
We will all be stars

We are the emperors now
And we are the czars
And in time
And in time
We will all be stars

Friday, January 20, 2012

Valentina Tereshkova.


Valentina Tereshkova
Russian (b. 1937)
Cosmonaut; Parachutist

"Now the name of a woman will stand for centuries among the glorious names of the first discoverers," proclaimed the Soviet Union's news agency Tass when Valentina Tereshkova made history in 1963 as the first woman to fly in space. Over a three-day period about the Vostok, she made forty-eight orbits around the Earth. Tereshkova was chosen for cosmonaut training as one of 5 women out of more than 400 applicants. She was already a skilled parachutist who had made her first jump in 1959. After her pioneering flight, she was honoured as a Hero of the Soviet Union and received the Order of Lenin. She studied at the Zhukovskiy Military Air Academy, graduating in 1969. Tereshkova also held several positions in the Soviet government and the Communist Party. As a spokesperson for the USSR, she received the United Nations Gold Medal of Peace, among other international awards, including the Order of Friendship from Russian President Medvedev this past April. Briefly married to a fellow cosmonaut, she gave birth to the first child of parents who had traveled in space: a daughter, who later became a doctor.



(Source: Library of Congress 2006 Engagement Calendar)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Shake Your Booty!

This came into my head on the subway the other day and I knew it'd be perfect for "Shake Your Booty Day".

Come and shake your body baby!! :)

Trying to find the words.

Something happened yesterday that really shook me up in a bad way - and carried over to today - but gave me a really great wakeup call. I apologize for being cryptic here, but it's going to take me another day or two to be able to put it all into words.

I'll most likely post it on Saturday as that is one of my "day off" days.

Trust me, you'll find it pretty interesting. :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Not who you think it's going to be.

Today happens to be Martin Luther King Day, so it would make sense to post a quote from this great and powerful man. I am choosing to not do that, though. You will find a plethora of quotes posted all over Facebook and Twitter and many other social networking sites, so I am picking something that is more reflective of how I've been feeling this past week.

"It is never too late to be what you might have been." - George Eliot

George Eliot was the pen name of Mary Anne Evans (1819-1880), one of the leading writers of the Victorian Era. She wrote under a man's name so that she would be taken seriously and have the opportunity to get her work published easier than if she had submitted her work as a woman.

This year I will be turning 41 years old, and I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. Whereas this cold hard fact used to cause me endless sleepless nights, I now find myself embracing it more and more. Am I worried about money and how I'll get by? Yes. Do I wonder about having to work right up til the day I die because I have no Retirement fund to float me for the last decade or two of my life? Of course, I do.

I find myself now at middle age (and I am even there yet? Is it 40 or 45 these days?) with the 2nd half of my life waiting precariously ahead and no backup plan to be seen. Instead of saying "What the FUCK am I doing with my life?" over and over again (which I have been known to do), I am now saying "What CAN I do with my life?"

I still have no idea how I will get by money-wise, but am now taking the opportunity to look back at the first 40 years of my roller coaster life and celebrate the person I have become. And I am changing the phrase "What am I going to do?" - the nagging phrase that played continuously in my head that made me feel like a piece of shit.

From this moment forward, it will now be: "What am I going to do TODAY?"

It truly is never too late for anything, and I am determined more than ever to prove it.

Where'd she go??

Heavens to Betsy, I haven't posted since Tuesday??

I have had quite the busy week with work, so I sadly couldn't find the time to write everything out. Luckily I have still been doing pages of hand-written notes so I have plenty to post this week.

I will post my regular Inspirational Quote for the day and also post on my blog days off to catch you all up on the wackiness that has been concocting in my noggin.

Here's to a full week of excellence on Polly's Piece of Peace! :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Blog Schedule.

Now that I'm getting into the swing of this writing gig, it's time to decide what I am going to post each day. I have made up a schedule which will show you how I am breaking down the week, so you'll know what to look for each day here on the blog. I've decided that Tuesdays and Saturdays will be my free days. I'm putting no pressure on myself to post on those days, so I can choose to either do nothing, post a random item or get a draft ready for another day's post. Here we go!

MONDAY - Inspirational Quotes
These will be quotes that I find bring me up or inspire me. Sometimes they may come from an unusual source, but they will mean something none-the-less.

TUESDAY - Day off or random ramblings

WEDNESDAY - Shake Your Booty Day
All this is, is a video of a song that is fun and funky enough to dance to. Hump Day blues, begone!

THURSDAY - Reminiscing
This day will become quite special to me as the time goes on. On this day I will reflect on what made me happy as a child. I'm finding it incredibly important to think about this and the effect it has on me as an adult today.

FRIDAY - Wonderful Women
This will be a short piece on a woman who has made her mark in the world. Most of these women will be well-known, but I'm hoping to showcase one local Toronto woman every month or two who is just as wonderful and deserves some recognition as well.

SATURDAY - Day off or random ramblings

SUNDAY - Observations of the Week
I've been carrying a notebook around in my purse every day and have been jotting down if I've seen anything funny or unusual or utterly fabulous. Sundays will be the list of everything that caught my attention that particular week. I'll probably post it all point form style.

Dance Party!

Be prepared for something incredibly fun to dance to every Wednesday! No long ramblings from yours truly ... just good ol' fashioned boogying!

If you're at home, crank up the volume! If you're at work, plug in those headphones and let your feet go crazy under the desk!

Tin roof! Rusted! :)

2012 will involve ...

The problem with sharing a computer with a guy who works from home should be quite obvious to you all: I have to wait to see when I can get on it. So my lesson here is to write as much as I can when I am on it, but not just for the post for that particular day. I should write as much as I can and stock up so that when it comes time to post one of the items, it's already there.

That's a new resolution I came up with today ... while waiting for the computer, of course!

The following is my list of what I hope to accomplish this year. It's the most ambitious list I've ever made and my goal is to complete (or at least start) as much of it as I can. I know that it'll be hard to do all of them, but I'm going to give each item 100% of myself. Some of these are ones that will push me farther than I've ever dared to dream, most are basic run-of-the-mill stuff, and a few are going to sound downright silly, but needed to be written down so that I realize how silly it is to NOT do them.

I hope you enjoy this list, but more importantly, I hope *I* enjoy this list!

POLLY'S 2012 RESOLUTIONS

1. Put laundry away as soon as it comes out of the dryer. This is one of those silly ones, but I swear if I don't write it down and take a good, hard look at it, I will continue to just leave it on the chair or bed. I've been good so far at putting the stuff to BE washed in a large bag that is ready to carry downstairs, and am now folding the clothes on top of the dryer so that they are ready to go directly to the drawers and closet once I bring them up, so I'm off to a roaring start.

2. Whittle down my CD collection and put more on the computer and my MP3 player. I got a hand-me-down CD tower near the end of last year and put all my CDs in it. My collection filled it to the brim and then proceeded to spill over into 2 rather high piles on either side of it, so I would like to get it down to at least filling just the tower itself. I've already given away or sold a bunch of them, but now I'm actually having to think hard about each disc. I've started pulling some out that have only a couple of songs on them that I like, which will make it a heck of a lot easier to give them away since I'll still have the songs on the computer. The problem is with
ones that have a lot of songs that I like on them, but really have no purpose being in my collection. I don't *need* the MuchDance 2000 CD but something inside me tells me that I'll be doing a scene in a show one day that will benefit from the funky transition between TLC's "No Scrubs" Hi-Bias Remix and "It's Not Right But It's Okay" by Whitney Houston so I shouldn't give it away just yet.

3. Recommend one documentary a month and attempt to write about what it means to me personally, instead of a critical review of it. This is going to be one of the tougher ones. I get in my head BIGTIME in regards to my writing, but if I want to continue to write, then I need to give myself projects in order to hone and perfect my craft. My closest group of friends are movie bloggers and though a cinephile since birth, I cannot write a critical review of a film. I don't know how to talk about subtext or theme or whatever else you can talk about in a film review and have always gotten in my head about it and felt depressed at this inability. BUT if I just try to write about my personal feelings on why I love the film, then it's just a personal opinion and not anything that can be scrutinized. Gotta give it a shot, right?

4. Do 15 minutes of tidying everyday - minimum. This is to get me to realize how little effort it can take to keep the apartment clean, instead of panicking when friends are coming over and I spend 2 entire days bulldozing items into closets and sectioning off quarantine rooms.

5. Do Morning Pages every day. See comment with #6

6. Revisit "The Artist's Way" and "The Right to Write" by Julia Cameron. Item #5 is part of what Julia Cameron recommends in tapping into your creative self. These are two books that are essential to almost every performer I know. She really helps you get inside and bring the best out of you. There are many projects / activities / exercises involved that help you on your journey to a more creative life. It's been far too long since I took a look at them, so it's time to pull their dusty covers off the shelf. And speaking of bookshelves ...

7. Start reading more books from my bookcases as opposed to always going to the library, and give away 20 this year as well. This pretty much explains itself. I got rid of 100 books a few years ago and got rid of about 40 books last year. Now the only books left on my shelves are ones that I actually want to read. My plan is to finally read a bunch of them and then pass them along to friends or donate them. There's a potential project that a friend of mine and I have casually commented on that I think should be looked into further and followed through on, so stay tuned for more details in the future!

8. Be more cognizant of surroundings, people and situations. I should really not get all huffy if I have to stand in line for 10 minutes at the grocery store, or end up getting stuck behind someone who chooses to stand on the left side of an escalator instead of the right. So I have to wait a wee bit. Who cares? There are bigger things that stress me out but every once in a while when a really bad day comes along, these trivial and insignificant things get my blood boiling. It's time to stop that and take those few minutes to appreciate everything I see around me instead.

9. Get back into musical instruments. I played the flute for 12 years in school but haven't played one in 23 years. Yikes! I picked one up at the TTC auction a couple of years ago and had it checked out so I'm all set to start practicing again. To really push me to stay on top of this goal, I've agreed to play at my former high school's 100th anniversary concert in May. I have a deadline, so it's going to help me to get cracking! I'm also proud to say that I learned a new instrument yesterday. I was invited to practice with the Toronto Gamelan Orchestra last night and had the most amazing time! If this is my year to make a breakthrough in my creativity, I know that music is going to be as big a part of it as writing.

10. French and Spanish! Languages are, or at least used to be, one of my passions. I really miss being able to speak rusty French and Spanish so I'm going to start studying again. Latin was another favourite of mine, and I plan to get back into that as soon as I'm deep into the other languages. There's been a project I've thought about doing for years that involves Latin, so I think that will be a resolution for 2013.

11. Reread the Big Book and start going to AA meetings again, and
12. Keep a spending record again. I have no shame in admitting that I am a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and was once a member of Debtors Anonymous. I haven't been to meetings of either of them for quite a long time. If you know anything about these organizations and maintaining sobriety, you know that that's not a good thing. My work schedule is all over the place so I can't commit to one specific home group. I try to see if I can squeeze in meetings around my work, but largely failed at that in 2011. So, I will do my best in 2012 to attend more meetings. To help keep me on the right and safe road I will begin rereading the Big Book again. I have never read it the entire way through (just snippets and chapters here and there), so it's time that I finally did just so. And one of the best things I did with DA was to write down what I spent my money on every day. It really made me sit up and take notice of when I was making essential purchases and when I was spending it willy-nilly. With my finances in the state that they are, it's very important that I maintain control when and where I can. If I stay on top of both of these, it'll help make 2012 a very healthy year.

13. Teach myself to bake, and bake one new thing a month. Unless you count toast and boiled water, I can't cook to save my life. I lucked out in ending up with a guy who's a magician in the kitchen. Yes, I consider what he does magic because he'll have a counter full of food and then mix them all together to make a huge delicious pot of food that lasts 2 to 3 days. Amazing! I might try learning how to cook some things this year, but I'm deciding to focus my hopefully-hidden culinary talents in the direction of baking. I can now successfully make muffins from a mix, as long as I bake it as one big loaf and not as individual muffins. We affectionately called those ones "Nervous Breakdown Muffins", and my guy says I need to write out that recipe and publish in a book called "Polly Esther's Recipes for Disaster." I think that's a hilarious idea so I will attempt to make other baked goods - first from mixes and then by daring to make them from scratch - and then write down exactly how they were prepared by yours truly. This book idea sounds like a great project for 2013, doesn't it?

14. Get back into PFL shape. It's been a few years now since I was in the Pillow Fight League and I let my body go all to hell. In 2011, I decided to change my diet and cut out soft drinks, fruit juice, chocolate, potato chips, switch from cream to milk in my coffee and cut down my overall sugar intake by half. In doing this and this alone I lost 13 lbs. When I started exercising again, I lost an additional 9 lbs making it a grand total of 22 lbs I had lost just by starting to take care of myself again. Since I got past that hurdle, I'm making 2012 the year to get back into the kind of shape I was in when I was fighting. I won't be doing any real fighting but want to get as toned as I can again, and would love to take boxing classes. This will be another tough one to do, but since I saw results from what I did last year, and I know that I feel both physically and mentally better when I'm working out, I'm confident that I can get into this resolution slowly but surely.

15. Finish all latchhooks in my bin and give them as presents or hang them up on the wall. My Granny taught me how to latchhook when I was little and it was one of the most enjoyable things I loved to do. I have a huge rubbermaid container filled with them and so this year I will attempt to finish all of them ... or at least 3/4 of them. My year of creativity can only be fully complete if I get back into my favourite crafting hobby!

Well .... there you have it. That took me about 2 hours to write out. Phew! I'd love to hear your thoughts on my ambitious plans for the year ahead, or even what you all have planned for 2012.

Whatever you choose to do this year, do it with your whole heart! :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Day of Discovery.

Though I haven't posted anything on here since January 3rd, I've been diligent in my writing long-hand at home (and on the subway and in Tim Hortons and in the staff room) so I'm not feeling as guilty for already being behind on this blog.
A lot of my writing was figuring out what it is exactly I want to write and post on here. I've now set up a schedule for myself and by the end of the month you'll all know which day will be your favourite one to check in on here. I shall post all that tomorrow along with my 2012 resolutions list (finally!!).

Back to what is now my regular Monday post - Inspirational Quotes.
I had one person to quote in mind today, but after writing it out for a while, I realized that what I wanted to talk about on the Tuesday was a great companion piece to my original idea for today. Since there wasn't enough time to get all my thoughts out in writing for that today, I will prepare it for the following week and go with something short and sweet for right now.

This is a quote that I first heard a few years ago and came into my head this morning.

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anaïs Nin

I've made it clear that I want to push myself further than I ever have this year. This is one of the quotes that really hits that feeling home for me. I cannot shy away from life anymore. I must venture forth into the great unknown and not be afraid to be myself. Push myself and fully accept that with victories there will be failures. When that happens, I will take note of everything I did wrong and do better the next time. More importantly, I will feel good about the failure and realize that it was meant to happen so that I could appreciate everything about the situation/event/moment.
When I was studying the Meisner Technique years ago, my teacher Jacqueline McClintock
said the most incredible thing to me before I got up and did a scene exercise.

"Every time you go on stage, you must be willing to fail and fall flat on your face."

If I do something but don't succeed, I cannot let it get me down as long as I was prepared and ready for whatever outcome lay ahead. There's no way to be disappointed in myself at all with that mindset.

Looks like my short and sweet day ended up bringing TWO lovely and unexpected quotes here!
I'm loving discovering all these interesting and hidden things about myself as I head down this road of writing!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Checkin' in.

The temperature outside right now is -15 degrees but feels like -28 degrees with the wind chill. To say that wind chill and I are not the best of friends is an understatement.

Instead of writing something specific for my blog today, I will instead keep myself warm at home by getting back into tidying and reorganizing the apartment.

I started doing some major decluttering earlier this year and in November while my guy Chris was away in Tokyo, I revamped the apartment up a bit to "feng shui" the energy in here.

I wrote about the progress day-by-day and kept them in draft format and starting next week (the specific day will be determined a bit later), I will finally post all the drafts. The last few days need more writing as I was concentrating more on getting the place cleaned up (!), but it'll be fun to go back and reread what I went through to change it all up. There are some before and after pictures that will show how bohemian our home is!

I'd better get crackin' on the cleanup .... it's getting cool in here! :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

So Say We All!

It's the second day of 2012 and though it's 6pm at night, I'm still going to stick to my guns and post away. I'm still working on my Resolution List but have decided on one thing for sure regarding my blog: Mondays will be Inspirational Quote Day.

Mondays are the least favourite day of the week so what better way to start it off (even if it's at 6pm!) than with a saying that will make you smile, laugh or possibly even stir up a spark inside of you.

My quote for the first Monday of the year will seem silly to some but it struck me as soon as I heard it again yesterday. I decided to start rewatching "Battlestar Galactica" from the beginning and in the pilot episode, Edward James Olmos (as Commander Wialliam Adama) is making an announcement to the fleet about the attack by the Cylons. The majority of the human civilization has just been wiped out and there are now only approximately 50 000 people left. The last few sentences of his speech made me pause and rewind so I could write it down. Sadly I cannot find a clip of it to post here but will write it out here for you all:

"You've trained for this. You're ready for this. Stand to your duties. Trust your fellow shipmates, and we'll all get through this."


2012 will be the year I fight back against my doubts and fears - this quote makes me realize that it's not such a silly thing to think is possible.

I hope the rest of your Monday is lovely everyone!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Oh hai, 2012!



We're just over 12 hours into the New Year (in Toronto, at least) and I can honestly say that this is the first time in many years where I have truly felt a change in the air. I'm ready to tackle things head-on this year and dive into many glorious adventures.

I have no idea what this year has in store for me, but starting and maintaining daily routines is right at the top of my list. Keeping focused will be key for me.

Inertia is defined as: indisposition to motion, exertion or change. I plan to do exactly the opposite this year. Every. Single. Day.

I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year!!