I want to go here.
As soon as I turned 29 last November, I started thinking about "30 Before 30" goals for myself. I pictured myself entering my 30s as an accomplished, well-rounded woman, with many interests and travel tales to share as a result of my year of self-improvement. Who am I kidding? It is the end of February and I haven't even made the list. And I mean, 30 things? Three-oh? It's not happening.
But 13 I can do. One goal for every month, plus another thrown in for good measure.
- Find a hobby or creative outlet I truly enjoy.
I have already made some progress on this one. I just finished the first-time potter course at the Lill Sreet Art Center. I am TERRIBLE. It was frustrating. But I still loved it!
I would also love to give quilting a try. But considering I cannot even sew a button and am also the least detail-oriented person ever, quilting is not exactly in my wheelhouse. No matter, my 13 for 2013 goals are not about staying in my comfort zone! My best friend's mother is a great quilter with the patience of a saint, and I have a sewing machine (purchased over a year ago, still in the box). There is no excuse.
2. Visit at least one of these U.S. cities: Los Angeles, Nashville, or New Orleans.
More progress! It looks like I am going to Los Angeles at the end of March.
I am practically 2 for 2! Look at me go!
3. Get out of the country.
Zero progress. I don't even have a valid passport right now. But I am thinking here or here. Get on it, girl.
4. Make substantial progress towards buying a place.
Many people happily rent into their 30s and beyond, and there is a lot to be said for the flexibility of renting. I, however, am OVER it. I am tired of moving on a yearly basis and never feeling like the place is quite my own. The market in Chicago is such that a comparable place is often cheaper to buy than to rent (assuming you can come up with the necessary down payment). It's time to save my pennies and do my homework.
5. Make my house a home.
Even though I am mentally done renting, my lease tells a very different story: I am in this little one bedroom until October. I firmly believe anything you can do to improve your home- even a rental- is not a waste. To that end, I have painted the kitchen, living room, and hallway. And the trim. And the ceilings. Did I mention I have 12-foot ceilings?
Overall, I feel "at home" at home thanks to these efforts. If I can get my bedroom and closet up to snuff, I will consider goal #5 to be a smashing success.
6. Read 13 books this year.
I once was an avid reader... now I watch Bravo. Time to turn off the Real Housewives of WhoosyWhatsit and open a book. 13 is a rather unambitious goal but my addiction to Shahs of Sunset will not be easy to break.
I am currently halfway through Cutting for Stone... which I was supposed to have read for my book club meeting back in January. We'll call this progress...ish.
7. Continue to improve my cookeries.
I would no longer describe myself as a Person Who Can't Cook. I cook regularly and even took a knife class recently. I just need to keep up the good work. Maybe I will set a more specific goal down the line... a pie, perhaps?
8. Quality over quantity.
I am addicted to "deals" and my closet is overflowing as a result. Since I have plenty to wear, I need to turn my focus to quality items that I truly love and that will last. This may mean spending a little more on a given item or even- quelle horreur- buying something full price.
9. Get involved in something.
More progress! I am signed up for volunteer training with One Tail at a Time, the wonderful rescue organization that brought us Biscuit.
10. Find a form of exercise that I can tolerate.
I HATE working out. I do not get "runner's high." I count down the seconds until yoga class ends. But I know that I feel better mentally and physically when I get up off my duff and move around. Plus, the sedentary office/couch potato life kills.
Surely there is some form of exercise out there that will work for me. I am going to be realistic about this one: if I can find something to do twice a week and stick with it for a reasonable length of time, I will declare victory.
11. Work at work.
Speaking of the sedentary office life... I won't bore you with the details, but this year I want to focus on my long-term career goals. I have a wonderful job but since I have been in my position for 2+ years, it is easy to get complacent. I need to keep my eyes on the bigger prize.
12. Reach out.
Living alone has been a change for me, but I have found that it suits my introverted ways... almost TOO well. I have a horrible tendency to wait for others to take the initiative, even when I would love to see them. I wind up feeling lonely due to this silly anxiety. There is no reason for me to feel alone when I have so many great people to call upon. And really, isn't everyone just waiting for the other person to initiate? So: reach out in 2013.
13. Remember that comparison is the enemy of happiness.
The fact is that the internet can make you feel like crap-- or really, makes it easy to make yourself feel like crap. Naurnie summed up my feelings pretty well here. I have made big strides in this one, but I need to remember that the cliches are true. Do you! Stay in your own lane! To thine own self be true! You get the idea.
WHEW. I am exhausted just from typing that list. Here's hoping that putting these goals out there will help hold me accountable. 13 for 2013!