Ten Things Tuesday – December 28

28 Dec

It’s the end of the year, and as always, we’re taking a look back and a look forward at the same time. This week’s double dose of TTT is the ten best things that happened this year, and ten new goals I’m hoping to stick to in the coming year.

Ten great things about 2010:

1. Concerts. Without a doubt, this was the year of concerts for me. The year started fabulously with an excellent John Mayer show in Nashville, where I also got to spend time with Akinya. Next up was John Mayer, round two, in Charlotte – same tour, just five months later. A week after that was Paul McCartney, the most mind-blowing experience of my life (first, because he was so good, second because I was in the same room with a Beatle). Last, Jason Mraz in Greenville, which was especially memorable after having my picture taken with him dressed as a dinosaur. How many amazing concert ticket deals will I score in the next year? We’ll see!

2. Traveling. I went some pretty awesome places this year. At the beginning of the year, it was Chicago and DC for grad school interviews. There wre trips to Nashville, Charlotte, and Spartanburg throughout the year. There was an overnight “business trip” to Chattanooga. And then there was Boston – wonderful Boston with the lovely Katy. I’m itching for another road trip just thinking about it.

3. New clothes. Not that it’s something I need so much of, but my wardrobe got a healthy dose of amping up this year, thanks to my 365 challenge to take a picture of my outfits every day for a year. I haven’t always lived up to this task, but I’m always working on improving it and sticking to it. I think it’s definitely helped me to think more about what I’m wearing on a daily basis.

4. AmeriCorps. I’ve really enjoyed being a member of this. Even though it’s been pretty crazy and kept me busier than I ever imagined, it’s been very rewarding. It’s been nice to have more responsibility at the Museum, too. I’m glad to have a few more months next year to continue.

5. Yoga. My mom and I have been going regularly – in fact, over the summer, rather than actually working out, we just went to yoga. It’s been helpful in keeping us flexible and stress-free. Well, not entirely stress-free, but it’s certainly helped. It’s nice to know that, one day per week, you have an hour to just kind of zone out, regroup, and restore your energy.

6. Letting go. There are things in life you just can’t change. It’s important to recognize the ones you can change, and actually do something about it. It’s equally as important to just let go of the others and not worry about them so much, because there’s no sense causing stress for yourself about things that you can’t change.

7. Exercise. Although the second half of this year hasn’t really been my most diligent time, as far as calorie-counting and regular exercise, we’ve vowed that we’re going to get back in the habit of it. As much as I actually hate the physical act of exercise, it does make me feel better – physically and mentally.

8. Baking. The thing I like to do when I’m stressed, or bored, or find a really great recipe for something that sounds delicious. It’s inspired me to open my own cupcakery. Not that it will particularly happen, but it’s a nice dream to have. Grace is particularly interested in going into business with me, so we’ll see. It might be a great business venture to get into, although I don’t know the first thing about running a bakery. It might never come to fruition, but you never know!

9. Purging my life of excess clutter. As you may remember, I’ve recently taken up cleaning and organizing my room, which I see as the first step to moving out. I needed to take a kind of inventory of the things I had to determine the things I need. And to just generally get rid of all the extra stuff I’m really, honestly not going to use anymore. It feels good to get rid of it, and send it along to someone who needs it more than I do. I like having all my things organized and where I can get to them easily, rather than searching all through the house and the garage looking for my stuff.

10. Discovering new music. As a general rule, I do not find new music or artists I like as much as the ones I already know about, so I hardly see a point in finding something new. The radio stations I listen to are all classic rock stations, where the musicians are either dead or old enough to be my parents. This was the golden age for rock and roll, and I think it is, sadly, gone. The few musical discoveries I have made this year have probably come a little too late – that is, I’m definitely having to run to get a ride on the bandwagon. If the bandwagon even exists anymore. The point is, no matter how late I am in making these discoveries, I did it in my own time and on my own terms, and that makes my love even sweeter.

Now, ten things I’m hoping to accomplish/looking forward to in the new year:

1. Going to grad school. Finally. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this. Especially after visitng Katy in Boston. I’ve had to put it off for a year longer than I intended, so I’ll be ecstatic to actually go this coming fall. Not to mention the fact that I’m more than ready to move out and be on my own. It’s nice being back with my parents for a while, but I’m reaching my limit. I’m ready to be an actual adult, with my own life and my own space.

2. Get a dog. This does, of course, involve moving to a place that is dog-friendly, scheduling my life to properly care for it, and finding a dog that fits that lifestyle. I worry that I will be too busy all the time with grad school – I’m sure it will take up a great deal of my time. But finding a nice dog to lounge around with me while I study or write papers will be excellent company. I’m planning on taking my turtle when I move, but he’s just not as much company as a snuggly dog.

3. Go on some dates. I seem to recall making that promise last year… Well, as you can see, it didn’t work out at all. In my line of work, I meet only dads. Not what I’m looking for. I’m not looking to settle down quite yet, but I do miss having that kind of love and support in my life. Honestly, I don’t expect to find anyone around here – I don’t really like Tennessee men for some reason – so hopefully moving to an urban area with a higher concentration of men my age will be to my benefit.

4. Make art again. I haven’t made anything new in at least a year. I’m not counting knitting or jewelry-making. We’re talking painting, collaging – all the things I love most. Part of this is because our spare room, which my dad set up to be my art room when I moved back home, was used as garage-sale storage for a long time. Now that the garage sale is over, I still can’t use the room because it’s been converted into a guest room again for my brother’s girlfriend, who is coming to visit in a few days. So, this entire month I’ve had off, I haven’t been able to paint anything because the room is put back together again. Most inconvenient. Once her visit is over, though, the bed is out, and it’s back to art studio. Hopefully I’lll find some sort of creative inspiration soon. I miss creating things.

5. Visit Mallory in Belize. She’s down there for 2 years in the Peace Corps, and it’s been so fun and interesting to read her blog about her experience. I really want to go see her, and find out more about what she’s doing. It seems like a really amazing experience. I’ve never been to South America before, and I’d love to see it. I shouldn’t save my money for this in the coming year, but I want to so badly!

6. Improve my vocabulary. This is left over from last year, and I think it’s mostly due to being around kids so much. Like, way more than I had anticipated at this time last year. I feel like I’ve kind of had to dumb down my knowledge and vocabulary in order to best communicate with the kids I’m around. I’m not saying that kids are dumb, certainly, but that their brains aren’t developed enough yet to understand some of the things I do. If I’m going to earn a Master’s degree in the next couple of years, I need to speak more like a grown up.

7. Exercise. In my never-ending quest to get in shape, this past year was definitely the most progress I’ve ever made on that goal. I lost about 40 pounds since last December, putting me at about halfway to my goal. I’ve seriously slacked off the last several months. For a while I was doing such a good job of keeping up with my nutrition and calorie intake, and exercising 4 or 5 times a week. I have to get back on this plan if I ever want to cross this goal off my list.

8. Finish the things I start. I’m notorious for starting projects and not finishing them. I’ve gotten much better about this recently, but it’s still a habit I’d like to break. For example, I have two decorative pillowcases sitting on my floor right now that I need to finish making. They’re the reused remnants of a pretty pillow I bought at Epcot Morocco that started to look a little deteriorated. They’ve been sitting on the floor, waiting to be finished, for at least two weeks. I think this need to finish things comes from the fact that I want my things organized, meaning they shouldn’t be in little piles all over my room.

9. Knock out a good portion of my reading list. I did a terrible job of sticking to this resolution last year, so it’s coming back again.

10. Detaching myself away from Facebook and living a real life. It’s kind of sad when most of what you know about your friends is found out through news feed. I have a serious addiction to Facebook that needs breaking. No time like the present to start!

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