We are three full months into the 2009 calendar year, and a lot has happened in my life. However great that may be, I can not forget about the goals I set for the year on January 1. Tonight is my opportunity to evaluate how I have done, where I stand, and what to look forward to in the next quarter of 2009.
- Move Out: Still in the same living situation as I was before. I originally had April 1 as my move out date; that ended up being a nice April Fools joke. I still have full intentions of moving out; it is just not happening when I originally thought. Maybe my expectations were too high. Regardless, I said April 1. Grade: F.
- Improve Overall Health: This is one that I have done a lot of positive with. I am training for a half-marathon and my eating habits have improved, which has led me to lose 16 pounds. I started the year at 212, and as of last weigh in, was 196. I am fitting into jeans that I originally bought because they were so cheap, but just a bit too tight. Then again, many of my shirts, pants/jeans, and suits don’t fit as well anymore. This is a good problem to have. Despite all that, I can do more. I can run more, workout more, eat better. May 31 is the date of the Minneapolis half-marathon, and I am running in the Run with the Wolves 5K on Saturday. I need to be in better overall shape to do well in both races and in any other that I may sign up for in the next couple months. Grade B+/A-
- Smile More In Pictures: I have not had too many pictures taken of me recently. I don’t know why I put this as a goal. Grade: incomplete
- Blog: I’ve created it, updated it, and maintained it. There was a stretch of a few weeks in February where I was a little busy dealing with a job transition that kept me from posting anything. I did not want to let any clues out that I was leaving. Another nice thing about the blog: it has improved my presence in the search world. This blog last ranked #17 on Google’s SERP for Jason Douglas. Before this, the highest mention of me was on the 11th page. I need to write about a wider variety of topics, both personal and professional. Grade: B
- Eat Out Less: This has always been a struggle for me. The last two days, I had brought food to the office, yet, I ate out, and spent $22 for no reason. What did I benefit from those two outings that I would not have had otherwise? I have improved and do not eat out all the time. I may have to start an allowance for this, and really teach myself how to conserve. Leftover budget would go to saving for something I really want (iPhone). Grade: D
- Improve Money Management: The eat out less goal has not gone as planned; I am spending less on other frivolous items. Basing my spending habits on material things I need vs. want has helped. Sure, life is a little less exciting; I look in my closet, and realize that is about 60% of what I own and wear on a regular basis, I look at the shoes I have, and everything else in my room; I am doing just fine. Grade: C+
- Ask Questions: I feel I am still struggling with this one. I was just becoming ‘comfortable’ at my old job when I decided to jump ship. For some reason, I am reverting back to the quiet side I showed when I began at the old job. I have improved from where I was; that did not take much. I’ll get there someday. Grade: D
- Become More Giving: I have not volunteered my time with any charitable organizations to date. That is what I had envisioned for this goal. What I have done is become someone people come to for help with career questions, social media questions, etc. I have helped a few people become part of twitter and LinkedIn. Professionals are referring people to me to help them with their career search. I never thought I would be regarded as someone to go to for help. It has been fun helping people establish themselves, learn about themselves, and share any tips that have helped me along my journey. There is always more one can do. Grade: B
- Quit Drinking: I said this one would be easy. I have been sober since December 27, 2008. It has been easy. A friend recently told me he did not go work out because he felt too hung over from the night before. That is the exact reason why I quit in the first place: the night you drink you become worthless; the day after, there is a good chance you become worthless. Two days wasted all because you had a few too many. Most people are understanding of what I am doing; some even admit they have taken an extended hiatus from drinking. A few others do not seem to get it, and that is fine. I am doing this so I can get to where I want to be. Even when I finish the half-marathon on May 31, that does not mean that I will have a beer in my hand after crossing the finish line. Grade: A++
There is my analysis of how I have done in the first quarter of 2009. Based on my tough grading, my GPA is 2.25, which on a four point scale, equals just above a C for the quarter. The saying: “c’s get degrees” does not apply here. A grade of a C is very disappointing. I knew this before, and I especially know this now: I am nowhere near where I want to be.
I am happy, but I can be happier.
It is a tough thing to say goodbye to. I have had such a thriving social live for so long; to see the decrease in mine is kind of shocking, especially because of what I blame the majority of it on: sobriety.
Earlier this month, I graded myself on how I did on my 2009 goals for the month of January. When writing about the ‘no drinking’ goal, I wrote: “and people are still willing to hang out with me!” This is semi-true still; I just get this odd vibe that people do not know what to do if someone in their group is not drinking when they are.
People are used to me being a good chunk of the life of the party. Whether it is just having a good ol’ drunken fun time, or if it’s just me being too drunk, annoying, and giving people something to talk about, all is good if I have a drink in my hand.
I was out last night with a couple college friends. My main goal was to watch the NBA All-Star festivities, do some dinner, and possibly let my eyes wander for any single women out celebrating what people call ‘Singles Awareness Day’. We went to Liquor Lyle’s based on a suggestion that they had very good wings. Whoever told my friend that obviously was playing a joke on him.
All was good through the skills competition, dinner, the 3-point contest, and the dunk contest. Drinks were consumed, laughs were plentiful, and there was talk ofpossibly meeting people at another location or having those people meet us where we were. Then at 9:30, my friends became tired. Then came 10pm; NBA All-Star Saturday Night festivities were done. We got our check, paid, left, I dropped them off all by 10:10. Was my night over at only 10:10pm?
I called another friend, and he was out on a date. Despite this, both him and the lady he was with invited me to crash their date. After a couple minutes of thought and being pitched on the idea, I met them downtown. I was there for about a half hour and they decided they needed to get back home. On ‘singles awareness day’, I was home before midnight.
This was kind of shocking at first glance. I hope this is not the case, but when my friends became tired, it had the feel of ‘tired’ to it. Am I that boring sober?
I then thought back to a couple weeks prior when a bunch of us went to Hooter’s to watch UFC 94. Again, I was the sober guy and sober driver. I was legitimately tired when the event ended at midnight. When trying to figure out what to do, I left the decision up to everyone else. I may have given off the vibe that I didn’t want to go out or do anything, which I regret if that is what I did, because I may have been the one that sent the signal saying ‘I’m sober, and I am not staying out late anymore.’ I am all about everyone having a good time. Things just seemed to die down and I ended up dropping everyone off either at a bar nearer to their home, or at their home. Maybe that was a product of people being downtown Minneapolis, where they’re not as into that scene as I am.
There is just something going on here that seems odd. My friends are my age, in above average health, and just do not get tired at 9:30pm on a Saturday night.
The problems with this situation: I have over three months until I compete and complete a half-marathon. Then I earn the priviledge to drink alcohol once again. If I am that boring sober, it is going to be a while before that changes. The other problem: are any of my friends only friends with me to see what I will do next? How drunk will he get? What will he do? What can we tell him he did since he is obviously blacked out? What story will be created because of this?
I hate that these thoughts are going through my head. It is probably a bunch of paranoia all on my end. If I am right, I need new friends.