Friday, June 01, 2012

May - BC2012 and Other Goals

May was a decent month overall, though it certainly could have been better.

1. Book Challenge 2012: It was a great month for reading -- 15 books! -- but I went a little crazy shopping in the last week. I always buy too much at out-of-state bookstores, and I wound up splurging on 10 books in 18 hours in Madison, WI. I also added to the challenge by committing to purchasing at least one book from my local independent bookstore each month. And thanks to a coupon in the Chicago Reader, I discovered a "new" bookstore in the South Loop that is celebrating its 30th anniversary. In the end, I broke even. May totals: 15 books finished, 15 books purchased. Overall totals: 54 books finished, 35 books purchased.

2. Cut down on e-mail: I don't know what happened here. Although I unsubscribed from a bunch of lists in January, my inbox is the worst it's been since I switched over to Gmail two years ago. I've gone from less than 50 unread messages in December and January to more than 350 now -- and it would be worse if I hadn't deleted about 60 messages without reading them. Last week I finally bit the bullet and quit two daily AlterNet e-mail lists, replacing them with one weekly message. That should help a bit.

3. Drive less: This one is still going well, aside from that trip to Wisconsin.

4. Physical activity: I took a few decent walks, but that's about it. I did one light workout with weights to test my troublesome left arm, and it seemed to be okay.

5. Drink more: I drank more water this month, but I only had a few glasses of liquor.

6. Dine and shop locally: As I mentioned above, I am going to buy at least one book at my local bookstore each month. I bought two in May. I also dined locally quite a bit.

7. Clean and declutter: It was a good month overall. First I went through the kitchen drawers and removed rarely used utensils. They went into plastic storage bins that will soon (I hope) reside on a new bookcase on the far side of the kitchen. I also sorted through stuff from my grandparents' house and eliminated a couple of boxes from the dining room. And I set aside a huge pile of bike stuff to donate to Working Bikes since I learned that they take accessories, not just bikes. Finally, I stowed my touring gear in a plastic storage container so it's all together and won't collect dust.

8. Enhance and expand my web presence: I didn't add anything to my sites, but I sold three ads and made over $200 this month! (By comparison, GoogleAds on this blog and elsewhere on have earned $15 in 21 months.) I have a few ideas that I hope to implement soon, possibly including my Route 66 trip from 1990 -- I have a lengthy narrative but I've been dragging my heels about scanning hundreds of photos. I also picked out new web development software, but I haven't purchased it yet.

9. Figure out my professional future: No progress.

10. Floss regularly: I haven't missed a single day in two months! When I used to floss infrequently, my gums would bleed if I dug too deep. Now I can dig pretty aggressively with no blood at all. Too bad my sadistic former dental hygienist can't see me now (she doesn't even clean teeth anymore -- she sells supplies to dentists).

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