Last year, I tried out 25 before 26 — a list of goals to reach before I turned 26. I did not reach most of them. I’d say I failed, really, but I also ended up making choices that didn’t correspond with the list. That either means I don’t follow goals, or I am adaptable, and I’m going with the latter. Mostly I believe that when one is in school, every semester of the year brings changes that you could not have known about. That’s a good thing!
My goals last year:
Lose 20 pounds.I just didn’t do it. However, I started to gain weight slowly at the beginning of the year until I got to a point where I knew I had to focus more on me and less on what was easiest to eat at the time. I was at a plateau for a long while, but I stopped gaining, and now I’m losing again! I’m at 6 pounds lost.
2. Release at least 5 archive podcasts. We are at 5 episodes! I’m editing the sixth right after this, until Derek and I leave for our New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Submit a paper to be published. I decided I didn’t want to, actually. Last year in school it felt like that was the most important thing I could do, but I’ve since changed my mind, for better or for worse. I want to work directly with people more than get my name in print. The paper I had chosen as an ideal paper for publishing also needed a lot of rewriting and more research, and the rest of my life got in the way. The paper I wrote was on the Srebrenica genocide, and how the Potocari memorial is an archives.
4. Get a 4.0 each semester. Yep.
5. Obtain a second job. I did way more than that! I learned what I needed to learn in the Serials department of WHS by the end of Spring semester 2012. I was also a tutor that semester. In the summer, I began in the Archives Research Room at WHS and started to volunteer at Circus World. In the Fall, I became a TA for LIS 201 as well as did a practicum at Wisconsin Public Radio. Here’s my LinkedIn!
Write a long blog entry once a week. Not really, but I decided to not make this blog a priority that would get in the way or make me stressed out.
Write a letter to a friend once a week. Not really, but I did try to keep in contact with good friends over the phone, through emails, and Facebook. I did write some letters!
8. Finish at least 10 books NOT related to school or my field. Yep! I had a reading list but stopped updating it on here since I got to this goal so quickly. I just finished Gone with the Wind most recently, and began The Postman by David Brin last night.
Stick to a household organizational system. Hmm … I think so. I didn’t plan it out, but we stayed organized.
10. Volunteer at the radio station once a week. Sort of. I did my practicum at WPR once a week in the Fall semester. My time ran out for digitizing audio at the student radio, and decided not to do it.
11. Make dinner with fresh vegetables at least 4 nights a week. It depended on the week, but overwhelmingly, yes. We’ve tried new dishes (like cauliflower and carrot with aged white cheddar gratin) and stuck with old ones, like roasted sweet potatoes. Sometimes a dinners could be pathetic frozen pizzas and canned soups, but that was when I was extremely busy.
Take more time out and about with Derek, going on day trips, hikes, little dates, etc. Unfortunately, this may be a “fail” as Derek got a second job in February that takes up his afternoons and evenings. A normal work day for him was 4am-9am, come home to sleep, then go to work 2pm-9pm. I was often out 8am-8pm. Sundays after he came home from work around 9am became our days together.
Utilize Zotero and Flickr more effectively. Nope. I tried Zotero again, but actually Pinterest has taken over for most things. Zotero comes around when I have to use it for an assignment but I haven’t needed it much. Flickr — I just haven’t had time to work on my photos.
Go to Maine. Nope! Maine Historical Society allowed me to volunteer, but the costs of a hotel and the plane were too expensive for even a week. Derek and I haven’t had time for longer vacations, either.
Attend the Farmers’ Market at least once a month. Nope, but we did become members of the Willy Street Co-op.
Lift weights at least 3 times a week. Nope, but I did start attending the gym more regularly and the RSI in my right arm from computer use has gotten a ton better.
[a personal one I just want to share with close friends!]No, but made the decision to not do it, for good reasons.
Sit quietly and meditate 15 minutes a day. I didn’t do this as purposefully as I wanted, but I spent more time in cafes purposefully not working and more quiet time in bed before going to sleep.
19. [another personal one!] Yes! :)
20. Be humble and thankful. Yes! :)
Spend less than 40 dollars a week on outside food. No, especially because my friends and I discovered City Bar, where everyone knows our name …
22. Buy clothes that are made well and will last me for years. Buy LESS clothes. Yes.
Be spontaneous and adventurous, especially with Derek. Erm, not really, with reasons stated above. :(
Do not pull any all-nighters for school. I’d love to say I achieved this, but just 10 days ago I pulled basically an all-nighter working on a reflection paper. Not in my defense at all, I was watching Bones all night while doing it because I had no other responsibilities besides the paper.
25. Watch less TV programs — on SideReel, Netflix, etc. Not really, but I found ones that I liked more than ones that were mindless. For example, I watched all of Mad Men instead of Desperate Housewives, I started Bones instead of bad reality TV, etc. I really enjoy the programs and love to follow the stories.
I’m not going to think of 26 things this year, because one of my overall goals is to simplify. I do have goals for this age, though, and I suppose conveniently my birthday matches up well with the New Year.
- Continue to revel in our engagement, but don’t worry about the wedding day. Right now, I’m having fun pinning things to my wedding board on Pinterest, but it’s mostly because I’m on vacation. We have a lot of time and things will fall into place. It’s about the feeling of the day and spending time with those we love, not how cute our napkin holders are. I also don’t want all of our conversations to center our the wedding day, since really that’s wasting precious time to continue to cultivate our relationship when the actual ceremony & reception will probably be less than 12 hours long. In short (too late): I love Derek, and I’m so happy he proposed to me, and I can’t wait for our celebration.
- Continue to raise healthy, happy kittens. Francesca was a little sickly there at first but she’s robust and happy and eating too much now. Oslo is crazy as ever but calming down a bit. We love them so much!
- FOCUS. Focus on what makes me happy and what is best for us. Focus on the jobs and work I want to do, like going to Circus World.
- Take it easy. The program I am in is not hard, it is just time-consuming, and the more I freak out about a grade, the more time-consuming it will be. It’s not the grades that matter, it’s the experience.
- Spend more time with close friends that mean a lot to me. This has been really successful this past semester :) I don’t feel like I’m spreading myself too thin, and I’m making lifelong friendships.
- Be prolific and productive. It’s important to me to balance focus and taking it easy, and still remain productive, relevant, interesting, and prolific. I want to contribute to the community in a way that is best for me.
- Dream about Derek’s cheese shop. Derek wants to open a cheese shop and I am fully supportive! That’ll be the thing we really start to save and plan for after the wedding.
- Cook and bake more. I had such a wonderful time this holiday season, from Thanksgiving until now, making things for us to eat. Damn, they were good. Some of my favorites were that gratin I mentioned, a mixed berry pie, and roasted red pepper that we roasted ourselves/cream cheese/basil on bread. It is so fun and so rewarding! Plus, it cuts out processed foods.
- Visit Boston to see Sarah for spring break. My friend Sarah has been wonderful ever since I announced my engagement (as has my friend Nicole, who is full of resources since she got married in August 2011!). We’ve been giddy and I’d love to go try on dresses with her! Plus, I’ve never been to Boston. :)
- Continue to read more, both fiction, non-fiction, New Yorkers, etc. I love taking the time out from a busy day to sit down with a book at lunch. It’s worth it!
- Continue to write here, in personal journals, to friends, and so on. The more I do it, the better I get. It’s a great outlet.
- And the big one … the very big one: get a job that I hopefully love and is hopefully as close to the Bay Area as possible. Before our engagement, the whole US was ours for the taking, but now I really don’t want to plan a wedding in the Bay Area from thousands of miles away. If the job is right for me, I’ll do it though! Grad school and my past experiences have finally helped me towards work in the public services, including outreach, reference, education, programming, etc. I belong there. I’d love to be in a historical society like Maine, Minnesota, or California; they seem like such vibrant, relevant, important, and fun places that the community loves.
- The above also means that we’ll move this year. Goal: move as inexpensively as possible. And if I didn’t find a great full-time job somewhere, I’m completely willing to move to the Bay Area or to my parents’ house, working part-time in an archives and part-time at Starbucks or something. It’ll be an adventure. :)