2012 – The Carryover Resolution

I carry around a slip of paper on which I have written my three top goals. I do this based on a suggestion from Scott Ginsberg, the Nametag Guy. I am convinced that, although I have not achieved my three goals every year, I have come a heck of a lot closer based on this one small action. I don’t think Tenley’s and my trip to Guatemala in July 2011 would have happened without my habit of keeping a tangible reminder of my goals in my wallet.

I haven’t decided on all three 2012 goals yet, but one “carry-over” from 2011 is my goal of running a 5K in less than 30 minutes.

My involvement with the “Badass Army” is going to be one of the keys to achieving this goal. Thank you Shannon Colavecchio for this resolution template. Here’s my take on it. 

Badass Army 2012 Resolution
My body is a fortress that must be respected, fortified and prepared for any and all of life’s battles. I, Paula Kiger, as a devoted recruit of the Badass Army, do hereby resolve to stand firm in the duties and responsibilities inherent within.

Because the Army individually and collectively must stay strong and healthy, I resolve to abide by the the following principles:

• I will find at least 30 minutes a day at least five days a week for moderate physical activity. My personal fitness goal is to be active 30 minutes a day for six days a week. I choose a variety of things for my physical activity (ies). This variety includes:

          Running three days a week, with one of those days being interval training.
          Cross Training two days a week.
          Yoga at least once a week.
I will not back down from opportunities to have fun while being fit, even if they are outside of my comfort zone. I will also actively seek out and promote fitness opportunities that do good for causes I support. (This italicized section is an addition to the template.)
• I will not use the
D-word. Instead, I will eat to live; I will eat to fuel my active lifestyle.

• I will fuel my Badass with clean food, 85 to 90 percent of the time, incorporating “real food” like fruits and vegetables, dairy and lean meats and fish into my eating.

• When I crave something that falls in the category of “not so Badass approved,” I will – approximately 10 to 15 percent of the time – let myself enjoy it in moderation. Life is about enjoyment, not an existence of meager rice cakes.

• I will in all things seek balance, taking care of my fortress even as I push it to new challenges.

• I will complete one fitness challenge that I have, until now, been too under-challenged*, sleep deprived**, or overweight*** to do. My personal goal is to, before the end of 2012, run a 5K in 29:59 or less.

• I will support, respect and cheer on my fellow recruits. I will not be afraid to turn to them for guidance or encouragement when I need it. When I need a swift kick in the Badass for motivation, I will ask for that, too.

• I will not let the criticisms or passive-aggressive comments of naysayers bring me down. My eyes will stay on the prize.

• If I fall down, I will get back up and press on. That’s how the Badass Army rolls.

I am strong and capable of great things. I will use this resolution as constant guidance and motivation in the year ahead. Hooah!

*By underchallenged I mean that I have not sufficiently challenged myself. This is why I am working on adding a second activity to some of my days, such as Tabata drills in the morning and yoga in the evening.

**Gary Droze, who coaches our interval sessions, asked me about my sleep. When I sheepishly admitted how much sleep I (don’t) get, he said to envision it like a farmer who has planted carrots. If he pulls them out of the ground every night to check how they’re doing, the carrots will never have an opportunity to reach their full potential. The parallel applies to fitness – your body needs time to recover every night in order to reach its highest capacity.

***Estimates vary, but some sources say a 10 pound weight loss can result in a minute shaved off of a 5K race time. Here’s one article.

Dear Blogger-To-Be (A Mama Kat Writing Prompt)

This week, Kat’s writing prompt number five (which random.org “assigned” me) instructed us to write about this:   If you were to go back to the moment you decided to start a blog, what ten blogging tips would you share with yourself?  I don’t necessarily have ten tips, but there are several things I would do differently.

What Should I Call This Thing?
I just went back and read my first post, which I posted on May 18, 2008. I had forgotten that I was inspired to blog by the audiobook Julie and Julia. When I sat down that day and hastily created a blog, I had to think up a name quickly. I chose “Momforlife” because, clearly, I will be a mom for the rest of my life. As my blog grew and changed, however, I did not like the fact that the name “Momforlife” made it sound like I was solely a “mommy blogger,” especially when I wrote business-oriented blogs. That is why I eventually changed the name to “Perspicacity.” (The story behind the name is in this video (with my apologies for the horrible cinematography!)) I would have thought through my blog name when I established the blog.

What Platform Should I Use to Blog?
I started blogging on Blogger because …. it just seemed the easiest option at the time. How could something called “Blogger” not be sufficient? As my quantity of blogs on Blogger approaches 300 and my number of followers approaches 200, I am concerned that a switch to a different platform may be disruptive and no one will be able to find me (and that I won’t be able to figure out how to transition my history to the new platform). But I know what a pain it is for me as a reader to make comments on Blogger blogs, and I love comments, so I’d like commenting to be less problematic. I’m also still miffed at Blogger for those days it stole from me in May 2011 and the fact that the heartfelt post I had written about my childhood best friend reverted back to the half-finished version. I would have gotten some reliable advice on which blogging platform to use.

Is Anyone Reading This?

When I wrote those first posts back in 2008, and as I kept blogging into 2009, I think I had some expectation that the blogosphere would just “become aware of me.” Not because my blog was that amazing, but I just thought if I would write stuff, someone would read it. I know now that it does not work that way. Being a blogger who wants to be read requires some self-promotional capabilities, and that you do your share of interacting with other bloggers. I was fortunate to get some great advice from a friend about using Twitter to promote a blog. Between Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, link-ups, and getting to know other bloggers through patiently commenting and engaging, I got to the point where I could anticipate a few comments with almost every blog. I have also discovered more recently that I had underestimated the role YouTube can play in expanding your social media presence.  I would have developed a more systematic strategy for promoting my blog.


I am bored with the design of my blog. I like it better than the template I originally used, but I want pictures of green felt-tip pens! I want pictures of me! I want people to see my blog and know immediately that they are in Big Green Pen territory. I did some barter work with an individual who was helping me with design in exchange for my editing assistance on some of his work, but I never felt completely “in sync” with him and I did not devote the time necessary to tweak his proposed design. Which gets me back to Square One. I would have secured a design resource I trusted and/or taken a full day to patiently work through the process of incorporating my felt tip pens into my blog presence.


When I first committed to blogging weekly, every week’s topic was going to be a report on how close I was to reaching my running goal of breaking thirty minutes for a 5K run. Then I started expanding on other things, posting Wordless Wednesdays, and writing to Mama Kat prompts. I wrote rather candidly about my teenager and my work. Now that the teenager is sneaking peeks, I find myself backing off of writing about her. Now that my supervisor has counseled me that my blogging about work may be undermining my credibility, I find myself censoring the work-related comments a bit. I am my family’s only breadwinner and the carrier of our health insurance – as much as I like to write about work, as cathartic as it is, and although I stand behind every word I have written and every visual I have used, I can’t jeopardize my family any worse that it already is by writing or videotaping something that would be perceived adversely. It’s not that I would have done anything differently about which topics I chose, but this “topics to avoid” issue keeps rearing its ugly spectre and I am grappling with it weekly.

Step Away from the Keyboard and Talk to Them

When I committed to blogging weekly, after a complimentary “rent Scott’s brain” session with Scott Ginsberg, my main priority was to “flex my writing muscle.” Then I discovered other benefits of blogging: it was therapeutic (and cheaper than therapy!); I am a different, more uninhibited person behind the keyboard than in a face-to-face conversation; I could make peace with things and people that I had not gotten closure with. But the problem with baring your soul to an individual through a blog is that for the blog to do any good they have to read it and you can’t make someone read your blog. As was the case with the people who I used to supervise, writing about them a year later, giving them a copy of the blog in a gift bag along with a memento, was no substitute for the 30 minutes I should have taken along with some a few pizzas. Sometimes you just have to look people in the eyes for what you have to say to matter.


Can You Remind Me of Your Name?

Tonight’s topic is one that I have had in the back of my mind (maybe THAT is what is taking up the room where my memory for names/faces should be) for a long time.  Today’s incident at the Film School sealed the deal. 

Five years ago, when I started auditioning at the Film School, I didn’t know anyone.  When I went in twice yearly to audition, there would be a new trio of faces behind the camera and directing the action.  Over the last year and a half, I have been sufficiently involved that the faces behind the audition table are frequently ones that I have encountered on one project or several projects as the students cycle through the various responsibilities involved in making a film. 

When Laura walked out to call me, I could mentally check off one face (and Facebook friend).  Another young woman in the room is a student I have dealt with, but not someone I have worked with extensively so that interaction was okay with a “hey how are you?”.  But the student behind the camera is a student I have worked with on enough films that I have lost count.  I said, “Oh, I think you auditioned me last time.”  He said, “No, I didn’t work auditions last time.”  Backpedal, backpedal.  I kind of brushed it off, naming the person who auditioned me last time.  But I was still struggling to name this person.  

This names/faces problem is really, really irritating!! 
I vaguely remember hearing an ABC news story about faceblindness awhile back and thinking, “hey! I feel that way a lot!”  I remember running into Carladenise Edwards, someone I was meeting with several times a month at the time, in Publix once and literally having no idea who she was.  The list of these types of incidents in my life is pretty long by now.  (By the way, this is one reason I am such a huge fan of Scott Ginsberg, also known as “The Nametag Guy,” who has worn a nametag for the last 3,616 days.)
Why did my interaction at the Film School, just another incident like all the others, matter enough to make it blogworthy?  It matters because when I fail to recognize someone that I have been involved in a project with, for a cause/enterprise we are both passionate about, I can’t help but feel that the person feels minimized or less important.  It matters because, although acting talent is the absolute main thing that a film student looks for when casting a role, I don’t want to be the one that the student’s main recollection is, “oh yeah, she’s the one who didn’t remember my name.”  It matters because, after reading Still Alice (about early onset Alzheimer’s Disease), I didn’t feel any better about this problem.
When I started researching material for this blog tonight, I realized that this onion is going to have many, many layers now that I have started peeling it.  There is a Yahoo group devoted to the problem (the medical disorder is called Prosopagnosia, but I am not self-diagnosing, just confirming that I share similar frustrations) and blogs.
I would be interested in hearing about your experiences with names/faces difficulty, along with any strategies you have for coping.  I have tried this:

But, as my experience today showed, I am far from being any kind of “memory champion”!

In the meantime, bear with me if I ask your name again (and again).  And if you have a juicy role coming up in your film (or not juicy, just a role) (or a job trimming beer bottle labels for the breakaway beer bottles!), let’s face it, all you have to do is call my name.

It’s Guatemala Night

All week long, I envisioned this week’s post being about the “2009 Resolutions” that have been in my wallet most of the year.  Scott Ginsberg, of http://www.hellomynameisscott.com/ (check him out!) recommended, in our conversation this summer, that I write my primary goals down and put them in my  purse so “they’re always really close, in a physical way, so when you are, for instance, talking with someone at a party, you know your goals are right there within reach.”  Here they are, complete with the crease from being in my wallet for months:

If I tried to discuss these three goals (plus the two I did not write down) in one post, it would be a lengthy post, even if I kept it to an explanation of what each goal is.  I have decided to break it up and dedicate a post to each one, so eventually I’ll write about the other two.  Tonight is Silvia’s night (which means it’s “Guatemala night”).
I have been learning Spanish since our family was stationed at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, when I started elementary school.  If you lived in Puerto Rico, Spanish was automatically part of your curriculum.  Although we moved back to Florida in the middle of my second grade year, I continued to be interested in Spanish, took Spanish in high school, and minored in it in college.  Back when our bench was not quite so deep at Healthy Kids, I somehow stumbled through explaining our program to Spanish speaking callers in a pinch.  It’s a good thing someone caught me when I was trying to publicly explain the program once in Dade County (it was just Dade County then and not Miami-Dade), and said the program cost $500 dollars instead of $15 a month! 
I have always wanted to do a Spanish immersion program or find some way to interact enough in the language that I become more adept at communicating in the language.  But wanting is not doing, I’m 45 years old, and it’s time to “do.”
The “doing” of this goal has morphed a little bit. 
Our extended family has been sponsoring Silvia for about eight years now.  My in-laws send money each month to the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging, and this money serves to help Silvia and her family with food, clothing, and education costs.  We receive at least one picture a year, and several letters.  Eight years ago, Silvia was a little girl, 1100 miles away but so relatively close (developmentally) to my daughter:
A few years ago, I learned that it is possible to visit Guatemala and CFCA’s operations there, with a strong possibility of meeting Silvia.  I fantasized about meeting her, and about my children getting to see Silvia in her environment.  As the crush of teenage peer pressure and “gotta have its” has been bearing down on our family and specifically on my daily interactions with my children, I have desperately wanted Tenley and Wayne to see life in a developing country.   Will they “get” the fact that it’s not a crisis to be without a touch screen interface when some children are longing just to touch the pages of a book of their own?  I don’t know, but I feel compelled to try. 
So, it didn’t happen in 2009 but I am going to push harder to get myself (and maybe Tenley) to Guatemala in 2010.  When I picked up the pictures of Silvia from my in laws tonight, my father in law stated his opinion that going to see her “costs too much,” at $450 per person for the lodging, etc., and the cost of flying to Guatemala.  
I saw a quote yesterday for a sports equipment company that said, “We believe the size of the mountain is measured in heart not feet.”  Getting to Guatemala, improving my Spanish, and giving my kids a broader perspective of the importance (or lack thereof) of material goods is my mountain right now, and it seems mighty tall. 
I am planning to apply enough heart that it will no longer be on my list in 2011.    See you this year, Silvia!  (Here’s a recent picture of 15-year old Silvia.)
I’ll “run” into you next week!