A late welcome

Since the end of last year and the beginning of this year, I’ve had a rough time. You see, I’m not a huge fan of family vacations, holidays, snow days, or anything else that can disrupt my patterns — and we just had all of them over the last month. So, I’m a month or so behind where I should be in various things due to constant interruptions. So, while this post is a welcome start to the new year when I finally get the time to shrug off responsibilities (actually, I’m running from them so I can enjoy this cuppa rosie), it’s also my list of personal and business goals for this year.

Goals versus resolutions

For me, resolutions are made to be broken. They are those hollow things you say to make people feel better about themselves at the New Year’s party because we all know we won’t keep our word on what we said. You know, the promises to defeat the epic sweet tooth, get in shape, etc. They are things you say because you want them to be true… but they never will be unless you make some massive changes to your life.

Goals, however, are changes you want to make and are going to work toward doing them… even when it’s difficult and flies in the face of reason. Goals are those things you say you are going to do because you truly want to see the results fall through.

My goals

I have one main goal this year, and that’s to become better at doing the things I need to do, despite the constant interruptions, setbacks, and obstacles in my way — and there are many of all these. I see this inability to focus on a goal as weakness of mine that needs to be rectified, and one of the goals for this year. I will always honour mothers for they can get through a lot with the sound of a screaming child in the background, whereas I can not really even function with the cats and fiancé nagging me for attention in the evenings and weekends — even when I just need 10 more minutes to get something done.

Obviously, this is going to be difficult, time consuming, and I’m going to fail more than once. It’s just the way life is. However, I have a battle plan… and more goals.

My other goals that I’m striving to reach while keeping in mind my primary objective are:

  1. Graduate with my masters.
  2. Get into the National Guard Reserves
  3. Guide Insanitek to a brighter, more stable future.

Uh-huh. So much for easy things, eh?

Well, that’s why we have battle plans.

The plan

First, I made a time line.

I need to graduate, and the sooner I do it, the better. So, I put that at the top of the list. In fact, I put it so far at the top of the list that I spent the first 2 weeks of quiet, interruption free time finishing it and submitting it to the committee rather than working on anything else. I submitted it on the 17th of January — and now all that’s left to do is paperwork, the presentation (also known as the defence), and paying the fees to Purdue’s administration to do their job filing so I can graduate.

Due date for all this: 14.Feb.2014.

And you know what? The only part of this that is falling behind is the financial aspect because I can’t sit here for hours a day with my thesis while also writing for money and getting paid. *sigh* Priorities. I might have to make the concession to have a crappier presentation or shove back the date on paying the bill in full. We’ll see how my sanity holds up before making that decision, though.

Next in the time line is getting into the National Guard Reserves — boot camp is, as always, in the end of summer. I need to be in and pass it this year before I turn another year older. They don’t accept people in after the age of 34 — and I’m pushing my limits on this one.


I’m already halfway through the action on the thesis and halfway through to graduation. I finished my part, sent it to the committee, communicated with the committee to hold them to their end of it, and now I’m left with the paperwork, defence, and finances.

To get the paperwork and defence done, I’m afraid, I have to give up something from my life to make room for it. I’ve carved out this time from my social and personal life and a little bit of the time I put in for Insanitek. The cost of this is that I have to rely on the unreliable a little bit more (or that I have 8 times as much work to do later) and that Insanitek moves slowly for the time being without me pushing it faster. I can deal with these outcomes.

The finances are something of a whole new beast. As a member of the working poor the word “money” is usually said with a feeling of bitterness or dreaminess attached to it. Usually “I wish I had” comes before it, too. I’ve looked at my finances and combed through them with a fine toothed comb. I don’t have more than $10 a month that doesn’t go somewhere. Purdue will not settle for $10 a month, so I have to find the money somewhere — which means more sacrificing something to pull this off.

The only question is what do I sacrifice? More time with my family? Sleep? Do I let the house go into more disarray than it normally is by not doing laundry as frequently or letting dirty dishes pile up in the sink? Obviously I don’t have money to outsource tasks that need to be done, but these things must be done.

After a considerable talk with my fiancé, I decided to sacrifice a little more time with the family, carve out yet more time out of my 7 hours of sleep that I get a night, and limit my workout time — all to work an extra hour and a half so I can get paid a few dollars more. I also have decided to tap into my savings account and drain it by half and extend the time I would take to pay off Purdue.

With that, all aspects of Operation Graduation are accounted for and planned in enough detail to allow me to get by. Now, I’ll turn my planning to Operation Ass Kicking.

Getting into the National Guard, even as a reserve, is going to very, very difficult for me. You see, I’m not in the best of shape. The last known picture of me is far from flattering. I’ll be bluntly honest with myself because I have to be to get through this. I’ve gotten fat since I started academic life. Years at a keyboard have taken their toll, and I’ve a long way to go.

I know the limits on getting in. I have to be able to run 2 miles in under 20 minutes. Then, I will have two minutes for each exercise to perform over 50 situps, and over 20 pushups.

I give these limits like that because the faster you are, the higher your score is. They don’t care about form so much as results.

Now, I know I can’t do 10 sit-ups before I feel like dying, let alone do them for 2 minutes straight. Pushups are an utter joke — I have carpel tunnel in my left wrist that goes both undiagnosed by a professional and thus unchecked by any other than myself. While I could see a medical professional for it, who would pay for it? Certainly not the working poor that don’t qualify for aid like myself.

Now, running. I have bad knees made so by being fat. Yep. I acknowledge it so I can move on. Fat, bad knees; need to move, moving hurts. Well, this is a pretty conundrum, isn’t it? (Doesn’t hurt any that my fiancé is far from healthy and detests moving too…)

It isn’t unworkable, though. First thing is a diet overhaul, a membership to the local YMCA, and a will of steel. Oh, and a blog to hold me accountable. I hate to bore you all with this, so I’m going to put these in health and fitness category so you can choose to ignore them if you want. After all, some people are here to follow the life of a working poor person bootstrapping their way up in the world, not a health and fitness blog.

The sad thing is that right now I’m working with the obstacle of getting graduate school done. It takes a lot of time. Do I dare carve out more time from sleep and family? No, I don’t think so. I’m already pushing the boundaries of my sanity hard enough, so putting one more stressor on the table is likely to break me if the delicate balance is broken. Instead I’m going to utilise The Daily Hiit for short exercise that I can do in 15 or so minutes and healthy eating as my backup plan. My primary plan with be healthy eating and a 30 – 45 minute butt-kicking sweat session either in MMA training or running at the gym on the elliptical trainer.

For Insanitek I plan on working through these issues that I have for myself while maintaining what we have so far with Insanitek. Every spare second I get will be devoted to strengthening it’s foundation until I complete my other two goals. After I’m in the Guard, not even the world can stop me from building everything I dream of.

This detailed planning is the difference between a resolution and a goal. It’s also the difference between failures and successes for me because life is never easy, but dreaming big and daring to fail is a way of life.