Getting my oil changed, eating sushi, and…

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Cutting out the muslin for my new arming cotte.

I never know whether to set goals or resolutions.  It always seems to me like the verdict is split down the middle on the two with half saying you should always make resolutions because you will stick the them better and the other half saying goals are the better way to go.  With the exception of 2011 goals seem to have worked better for me in the past so that’s what I’m planning on sticking with.

I did my 2011 retrospective a little over a week ago and I’ve been spending the first week of the new year really thinking hard about what I would like to pursue over the next year (while I feverishly worked on finishing projects due by next weekend! :)).

Goals for 2012

1) Work on my physical fitness and fighting.

I started this one early.  As of this week have been working out regularly for 3 weeks.  I’m in the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays doing 20 min of cardio (usually on the elliptical b/c it’s my favorite) and 20-30 min of circuit training.  I can now do 15 assisted pull ups, 20 assisted dips, and leg press 200 lbs.  I also try to take the dogs on nice long walks (at least 45 min) 2 other days a week.  Rather than focusing on weight, which always seems to make me crazy, I am focusing instead on how I feel and how my clothes fit.  And honestly I feel great.  I’m even starting to sleep better.  My clothes are also starting to fit better.  My black silk suit fits again (it hasn’t fit in at least a year and a half or more) and today I tried on my beloved black wool doublet and it fit beautifully.  I’m very excited and I’m looking forward to continuing to focus on improveing my health.

As for fighting, weather, the holidays, and projects due by 12th Night has meant that I haven’t been able to make it out to a practice since Thanksgiving but I’m looking forward to attend practice on Sunday after 12th Night and regular weekly practices after that.  And I think my workouts will also be very beneficial to fighting.  This year I want to pick up my sword and shield authorization and I am setting a goal of fighting in all the heavy and rapier warpoints at Pennsic this summer (minus the champions battles of course…unless I’m asked).

For the first time in months I’m really feeling great and I’m very excited about the upcoming tourney season.

2) Complete the projects I start

I started a lot of projects last year that I didn’t really finish.  This year I really want to focus on my follow through.  So far I’ve managed to finish 3 of the projects that I had started last year which is awesome.  I’ve also picked my blackwork jacket back up and I’m making headway on it once again.  I’ve set myself a schedule of two motifs a day and laid out a road map of mini goals so that I can accomplish my goal of wearing for 12th Night 2013.  I’ve also set a goal of finishing the surcoat project and pluderhosen project by Gulf Wars (along with quite a bit of other personal sewing-apparently I have no fencing shirts anymore.  I don’t know where they went but there you are).  I’d also really like to make good progress on the Wardrobe Project (good progress=at least 60% completion) by the end of the year.

3) Work on some sewing projects for myself

This is wear my goal of making good progress on the Wardrobe Project (good progress=at least 60% completion) fits in.  I’m really getting the bug to sew for myself again so I want to make sure that I’m definitely setting aside time for my own projects and not always prioritizing them below projects for others.

4) Write some new articles and start teaching at University again

Like a lot of other things my research took a back burner in 2011.  The last University class I taught was June 2010.  In retrospect this has been pretty disappointing to me.    Currently I’m scheduled to teach several marshal classes at March University but I’m starting to work on ideas for a class and article for Summer University.  I definitely want to make a priority of teaching a new HMA class at at least every other University.

2012 Planned Projects

Each year I keep a list of projects I have planned for that year.  The 2012 Project Plans list went up just before the new year.  I’m pretty sure that I accomplished less last year than I have any other year since I started keeping this list.  So this year I’m trying to start things out with a bang.  Now I just need to keep up the momentum.

My happy, healthy Fozzy Bear

If I was going to describe 2011 in three words those words would have to be: unfinished, unfocused, but hopeful.

2011 was a very odd year.  Our dog Fozzy was very sick with a massive antibiotic resistant staph infection (think doggie MRSA) for nearly the entire year.  He came down with it at the end of 2010 and he didn’t really start to mend until this fall.  It was very bad and at points we were afraid we would loose him.  To be honest if it weren’t for the amazing vets at the NCSU Vet School, and Dr. Murphy in particular, we probably would have lost him.

And to be honest, that’s where most of my year went.  I didn’t go to Pennsic or Gulf Wars, we didn’t go diving, I didn’t accomplish much in the way of projects, and I really stopped blogging for all intents and purposes.  There just wasn’t much good stuff to talk about.

Thankfully though Fozzy is now fully mended and chasing the cat to his little heart’s content so 2012 is looking much more promising…

….provided those crazy Mayan’s are wrong. ;)

I went back to review my 2011 goals and planned projects.

2011 Goals

1)  Continue to improve fitness and fencing
2)  Have one sewing project a month
3)  Publish a new ebook every 1-2 months
4)  Be able to play 1 Elizabethan popular song by December

2011 Planned Projects

Get my fencing in top notch shape In progress
Embroidered Jacket In progress (Started August 2009)
Flander’s Gown In progress
Silver Training Manual In progress
Swetnam Training Manual In progress
14th Century Cloth Hosen ebook
New Rapier Armor
Shirt, Brais, Hosen
Charles de Blois Pourpoint
Edwardian Lingerie Gown
Arming Garments Class

What did I actually accomplish?  Well, I wrote an article on Monochromatic 16th Century Embroidery, two articles on the 1903 Savoye Corset, and finished hosen ebook, one commission, a pair of ventians, and a pair of trunk hose.  I also migrated my entire site to WordPress and I accomplished some cool real life things like starting an awesome new job, picking up two freelance web design jobs, getting my puppy well, and paying off debt.  I did start a 12th Night project, a pluderhosen project, a surcoat project, and a 3rd corset article…all of which need to be finished…very soon.

Highlights of the year though were Gaston’s Pelican, Wistric’s White Scarf, being approached about taking apprentices, and Christmas.

Looking over the past year has given me a lot of food for thought with regards to what I want to do in the new year.  I taking some time to really consider where I want to focus my time and energy but one thing is for sure…I have a lot of projects that need finishing.