Updates In The Early Going

Four days into the new year and I’ve decided I should post an update, just to reassure you all I am still going strong.  Given my intentions to reinvent myself (which I do every three months, not just on December 31st) I have begun tracking my successes and failures.  Of course, I started with January 1st, which was a success, however the 2nd and 3rd days were deemed failures.  I didn’t fail in any massive sense, I just did not manage to do the little things I set out to do.  Let me explain.

Instead of living or dying by resolutions that are bound to fail, I’ve decided to give myself little attainable challenges for each day of the year.  Yes, those intentions of losing 30 lbs., speaking 8 languages, and marrying a supermodel still linger in the back of my mind, but while I take baby steps towards each of these goals, my daily challenges are simple enough that I should be able to dive right in and accomplish them.  Day 1 was to be nice, in general, and then to one of my co-workers who he and I have not had the best of relationships in the past. (I’m not sure if that’s a sentence, but it’s staying.) For the most part, I considered it a success.  I didn’t lash out at any customers and I spoke with my co-worker without any malice.  Day 2 was to introduce myself to someone either at the gym or the laundromat.  The laundromat was a failure only because there was no one else there besides me as I was washing my clothes.  I suppose I could have waited around while my clothes were on spin cycle, but I didn’t and there were no introductions.  I have said many times before I should introduce myself to more members of the gym if only because I have been a member there so long it might be nice to say Hi to the people I see whenever I am there.  The catch with meeting others at the gym is the fact that most of us, myself included, wear headphones so we can enjoy a little music while we workout.  I don’t really want to make a fool out of myself trying to say Hi to someone as they continue to workout, having no idea I said anything to them at all.  Granted, this is not a great excuse, and therefore day 2 was deemed a failure.  Day 3 was an easy one, but I folded early.  I wanted to write at least 50 words in my French blog, but instead I did other random things, avoiding trying to improve my French.  Now, this morning, I did manage to write quite a bit, so I suppose I could try to combine today and yesterday and balance things out.  I’ll talk it over with the officials.

Now, a broader goal of mine, and one that could potentially be broken down into daily goals, is to introduce myself to at least three women in the month of January.  That’s one new woman every ten days.  As I sit here at Starbucks (Should I put a link to their site?  Probably not.) I wonder if I can manage at least one before I return to my apartment?  We’re four days in to the new year, so I have a week to make a move, but, to continue the sports theme here, do I really want to wait until the 4th quarter to score some points?  Ok, sure, when the pressure’s on, some of us perform better, but then again there are those of us that fall apart.  Do I want to wait to find out who I am, or make a move now?  All right, to be fair, the only “women” in the store right now appear to be about 19 or 20 years old.  Cute, sure, but not life long mate material.  Then again, the goal is only to meet three women, not marry them.  Eh, unless they have older sisters, there would be no benefit to meeting teenagers.

The problem with Starbucks, and the problem with coming here to write these posts (Yes, I blame you partially) is that I look busy or disinterested in meeting someone.  While it’s rude to stare at people, at least if I made eye contact with people they might think I wouldn’t mind being disturbed for a moment or two.  What I need is an angle; a question or comment I can throw out there without sounding terribly desperate.  “Do you come here often?” is not what I had in mind, but something harmless and yet direct.  I’ve been trying to use the foreign language angle for some time now, but few people realize my copy of Harry Potter is written in Spanish, and I fear they may think I’m some kind of weirdo, carting around children’s novels as I sit alone in a coffee shop.  I came here today for a few reasons.  One, I had a gift card, so I knew I could get a coffee and a snack without spending any money.  Two, my preferred option is the coffee shop closer to my apartment, but the Spanish speaking population there is much heavier than here and I worry I may get in over my head.  Yes, a Spanish speaking woman is much higher on my list than an English speaking one, but I figure it’s better to start here and work my way up to the big leagues.  If I can dare to speak with someone here in English, it will only be a matter of time before I go for the real deal in Spanish.  (It should be noted that there are several Asian folks here not speaking any language I can understand at all)

Since I arrived here, the place has cleared out a bit, meaning I have my choice of seats, and I could potentially move closer to the young girls talking by the window, but I fear that would really appear creepy.  Instead I’m going to try to formulate some goals for the rest of the week.

I did make it to the gym twice this week, and I did indeed manage to lift weights.  Tomorrow is my day off, so I plan on making it back there for at least a solid hour of cardio.  I fear my dinner of pizza last night may have negated my efforts, but I imagine if I up my attendance to three to five days instead of just two, I will manage to drop at least a little weight.  Right now, my serious goals are aimed at my birthday in April.  By then, I would like to be able to fit into a 32″ waist pair of jeans, speak my three romance languages at a pretty decent level (fluent in Spanish, conversational in Italian and French) , and maybe have some new female friends.  I can justify not going to the gym today since I have to go to work in a couple of hours, but I need then to do something to promote my other two main goals.  As far as languages, as I said, I wrote a bit in French and studied a small amount of French and Italian with my Anki deck.  While I have told myself I must take my time with the languages, I feel I could do something more today without stretching myself too far.  Trying to make goals around when I am at work is difficult.  I don’t think I would have much success trying to introduce myself to women while I serve them fries, so that goal is certainly a stretch.  I have plenty of opportunities to speak Spanish with my employees, so perhaps I should find a way to go farther than normal tonight.  I can usually manage to ask them how their days went or how their families are, but usually I don’t go much beyond that.  Maybe today I should push for more conversation.  Of course there are time constraints on that, as I actually have to do my job when at work, not just chat with the employees.  Getting in shape while at work can be an interesting challenge.  On one hand, I managed to avoid all McDonalds food except for grilled cheese sandwiches and apples for about a year, but then again, chicken nuggets are delicious.  Food goals are the easiest to accomplish, for me at least, so I’ll go for that one while at work.  Grilled cheese and apples it is.

It’s now about 12:20, which gives me about 45 minutes to an hour to accomplish something before returning to my apartment to get ready for work.  I won’t consider today a failure, but I feel my baby steps may have slowed to a crawl on this Wednesday morning.  If I’m not able to shove forward much today, I do have some plans for tomorrow which will hopefully open me up to some more options.  In addition to getting to the gym, I’ve been dabbling in the idea of cooking more in my apartment.  I did cook up something nice on New Year’s Eve for myself, and I have invited my brother ans sister-in-law to come over tomorrow night for dinner.  Between going to the gym and shopping for the necessary food stuffs, I should have plenty of chances to say Hi to someone.  Also, I have a gift card for Half Moon, my preferred coffee shop, so I think I’ll attempt to sit there and do the exact same think I am doing right now, hoping some fine young woman will stroll past me and be eager to chat.

I think I have run out of things to talk about, but I need to keep myself looking busy or people are going to wonder why I am still sitting here.  In any case, I’ll bring an end to this and move on to maybe writing a bit in Spanish.  I’ll keep everyone posted on how things go tomorrow.  Ciao.

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~ by James on January 4, 2012.

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