I have waited and waited and waited to publish this post, mostly because I didn’t feel like what I had to talk about was interesting enough to share with my faithful, but few, readers. Despite feeling this way, I decided to go ahead and publish this post, more for myself than for anything else. Hopefully you feel inspired. I couldn’t do it all, but I traveled to the places I could see and had a wonderful time when I did.
Each year of my life, I make a list of goals for the new year. I shared last year’s list here, and to keep with the tradition, I thought I’d post another tab up on my blog to keep me accountable for this year’s goals.
The problem, if you can call it that, is that I don’t feel like my ambitions for this year are good enough. I’ve had some cool bucket lists in the past, starting with the one I made as a senior in high school. Just before graduation, I sat down in my room and made a list of all the things I wanted to do in my lifetime. Most of them involved traveling, which should be no surprise, but that particular list was birthed out of the perspective that the world is mine to play in and the last thing I wanted to realize in my old age is that I wasted it not taking advantage of what my life might have to offer.
I’d like to think that passion still remains today.
While I have yet to complete everything on that sheet of paper from high school, I’m proud to say that I’ve been able to slowly cross off some of those wishes on that list.
We are well into the new year, if you can even call it new anymore, and while I’d hoped to have my New Year’s goals posted earlier last month, I will share them with you now, weeks after I first put pen to paper.
Create a travel budget and use it.
I had high hopes of making it to San Francisco last year…and New York City…and Washington D.C. To be honest, I already know that when I write down my goals, not every one of them will be acheived. Life happens, interests change and we aren’t able to complete everything we hoped to do in a given time frame. So while I didn’t make it to every place I wanted to go, I will still keep making lists of places to visit in an effort to encourage myself to never give up on my passion for experiencing new cities. While I didn’t make it to those US cities last year, I did make it to the Bahamas and had a relaxing vacation while I was there.
So instead of putting down a list of places I want to go in 2012, I have decided to take on a different approach to my travel goals this year. Budgeting is not my forte, yet over the past year at my current job, I had to work on this skill set weekly with the events I plan. The fruits of my labor are spilling over into my personal life and I’ve decided to try to keep a better budget this year with my finances – starting with making room for something that’s important to me, travel. Stay tuned for how I used the funds, but for now, know that it this new budget formally exists and is intended to be used.
Reupholster my living room chair.
My goals for 2012 would not be complete without at least one decorating project for the next 12 months. This chair holds more sentimental value to me than any other item in my apartment and if I ever had to pack my car up and move back to Georgia quickly, I would somehow make room for it in my Civic. With that said, it desperately needs to be refinished and recovered. Stella has used the chair as her scratching post more than once and I feel that with a new look, and some disciplined squirts from the water bottle, I might be able to reclaim my stake on this piece of furniture. Just one block down and around the corner sits an upolstry shop that specializes in refinishing old pieces. All I need is an estimate and a spot in my budget and the project is complete.
Take photography class.
How long has this been on my list of things to do? Since 2003 without exaggeration. I’m proud to say I just signed up for a Continuing Education class at a nearby community college. Classes start in April for Saturday mornings. It will be an early wakeup call, but well worth the sacrifice. I’m excited to finally sit down and learn f-stops, shutter speeds and apertures.
Pay off American Express card.
I paid off a small amount of debt in 2011 and it felt good…real good. Here’s to checking off a big one…again.
Ride a mechanical bull.
It must be done.
And this, my friends, is a serious one.
One of the amazing things about having a master’s degree in counseling-psychology is the multitude of friends who are therapists that stay with you long after graduation. Like the rest of the world, even therapists need a little help and can also feel clouded when trying to make sense of the world around them. I can’t tell you how many therapeutic conversations I’ve had on chat where a friend has talked me out of sabotaging something good in my life or where a broken heart was mended by a kind word or where I was gently, but honestly, told something that was difficult to hear.
My good friend Selena texted me the last week of December and asked me the following question:
When I first told Selena “hope” my stomach instinctively churned. In psychology, we called that a visceral response, which can mean that our bodies are telling us that there is more to be discovered in what has just happened.
But I can tell you this: Hope is not one of my most favorite of the “inspiration” words.
I guess you could say that historically speaking, I’ve had a hard time with hope in my own life. While I’m carefree and pretty spirited at times, I also find that life can be really complicated. The desire to make sense of these things is what drew me to psychology and counseling…maybe if I study the human mind really hard, I can understand life enough to make sense of it for myself. Three years later I understood less about how to make sense of everything and more about the freedom of letting life happen as it should.
But hope? That’s still a tough one for me.
I had a really nice ending to this section of my bucket list but when I sat down to edit it again for you just now, it didn’t really feel true to where I am with this conversation I had with Selena. All I know is that I continue to ponder this word and will probably do so for the next ten months.
So with that, I leave you with my goals for the new year: travel budget, new chair, photography class, less debt, bull riding and the word hope – Let’s see where this takes me in 2012.
Happy New Year (a bit late) and as always, thanks for reading my blog.