Checking In with My List for 2011

Now that September is officially here (sniff, sniff...summer went by too fast!), it's time to check in again with my list for 2011. I tried to knock off as much as possible over the summer, and feel like I did a pretty good job! Here's what I accomplished:

1. Lose the rest of the weight I've gained since I started dating A.P. four and a half years ago. Do it at my own pace, and without headache or self-loathing.
I've lost 8 lbs. so far this summer. I've been eating a lot of fresh, yummy stuff from the garden, and thanks to our budget, A.P. and I have been eating out/ordering out A LOT less. I'm hoping that by the time we take our post-engagement photos I'll have lost 10 more. And then (crossing my fingers) by the end of the year, I'll be nearly back to my old weight! Can you handle it? I can't!

2. Do my knee exercises more often. I have a bum knee. It's sad and true that I have a bum knee and I'm not even 30. Supposedly if I did these exercises 3-5 times a week, it'd be less of a bum knee (but still technically a bum knee).
Yeah, I'm an ass. I've not been doing these at all unless my knee is bothering me. Oops.

3. Wear this sexy green dress I bought several years ago that I, for whatever reason, have never worn.
I haven't worn it yet, but I just bought a bra that will hopefully allow me to wear it! Yay!

4. Find a bra to wear with the sexy green dress.
I just bought a bra to try on with the dress. Hopefully I can cross this off next week! Double yay!

5. Get measured for a bra. It seems like every time I gain weight, my boobs get bigger. But then when I lose weight, my boobs stay the same size. I've been guestimating for too long what size bra I am. It's time to bite the bullet and let some old lady at the department store grope me a bit.
Did it! Read the post here.

6. Make A.P. take me out on a fancy date so that I can wear the damn green dress!
If that bra fits, I can hopefully cross #3, 4, and this one off by October. Woot.

7. Take our engagement photos. Yes, that's right. We still haven't done that. Oops.
I've been emailing our photographer and we're hoping to have this done in October. Her schedule is a lot more open then, and hopefully I'll have lost more weight.

8. After we take our engagement photos, chop off my hair. I found this old picture of my grandmother and am thinking about whacking off my hair so it looks like hers (in a slightly more updated way, though I do sort of appreciate the vintage charm of this cut).
If #7 gets crossed off in October, this won't be far behind. I'm starting to look for styles and am logging them on my Hair Affair Pinterest board.

9. Travel somewhere exotic...again. We went to Belize on our honeymoon and it was my first time really visiting an exotic location. I see what the fuss is about.
I'm not sure we'll get this done, but I'm still holding out hopes that we will. I was thinking we could do it over the holidays, but now The Half-breed Swede is visiting, which is way more awesome. So, now we're thinking about Thanksgiving time, but we'll see. We've spent so much money on trips this year (Florida, NYC), that I'm okay with skipping a big vacation this year and waiting until next year.

10. Join a team sport of some kind. Possibly rope A.P. into joining, too. I want to be a part of a kickball team. Or maybe a good badminton foursome? I just want to exercise in a way that isn't in a gym, with my headphones on, ignoring everyone.
A.P. and I are discussing taking a badminton class, which would knock this off as well as #19.

11. Scrapbook. That's right. I said it. Scrapbook.
Yeah, still haven't done this, though I've bought the supplies.

12. Pay off my credit card before my 30th birthday. When I was 21 years old, I studied abroad in Italy. In order to get myself there, I had to put my airfare on a credit card. I've had credit card debt ever since. What's funny about that is how little I actually use my credit card and how totally not reckless with money I am. For almost a year, I carried an expired credit card in my wallet because I forgot to change it out. That's how little I use my credit card. I've just never been in a position to pay it off completely. This goal is almost completed. On my 30th birthday, I will make my last payment, and the balance will be $0!
Done and done! Sweetness!

13. Get my life organized and keep my apartment clean.
I'm definitely working on this and hope that by the end of the year, A.P. and I will be in a routine with our cleaning that will keep this permanently crossed off this and all future lists.

14. Find a way to get my life organized and keep my apartment clean.
I've developed a list of daily/weekly/monthly tasks that once we get stuff reorganized, we'll use. Hopefully that will be the big solution! Fingers crossed!!

15. Try out the GTD system. (Not GTL...that joke never gets old with me.)
Yeah, this was way too complicated a system for me. I even tried to use software that might help, but it didn't. Nevertheless I took some good stuff away from this, including the "If it takes two minutes, do it now" idea, which is GENIUS.

16. Get new glasses. My prescription hasn't really changed much, but the last time I bought glasses was an embarrassingly long time ago. I want some new, rad glasses I can sport around town.
Done and done. Get this, in 11 years my prescription hasn't changed AT ALL. My eye doctor praised me for being a person who actually listens when the doctor said not to wear my glasses all the time. Still, I find I like my new glasses so much, I almost want to wear them all the time. Like today, I wore them all day at work (and got a lot of compliments!). Plus, I ponied up for fancy glasses. That's right, ladies, I'm rocking some Versace!! You can see a picture of me in my glasses here.

17. Go camping in Michigan again. For a while, I did this trip annually, but A.P. and I have taken other trips the last two summers (Smoky Mountains, where we got engaged, and our wedding present trip to Montreal), and so didn't end up going camping. I miss it, and it's always fun to take the dog on a trip.
Done and done! And I was lucky enough to take some new friends this time, too. Sadly, it will probably be my last camping trip in Leland. You can view the picture from my trip here.

18. Write random, lovely letters. When was the last time you wrote someone a handwritten letter? Not a birthday card or a thank you card, but a real hello, how are you letter? I want to write at least five random hello, how are you letters. Email is overrated.
So, I've only written three so far, and even though I plan on writing a couple more, I'm crossing this off. I feel like in the past I've NEVER written letters like this, so any progress in this area counts. I wrote a letter to my brother-in-law, one to Rev/Rach, and another to a friend in St. Louis. I'd like to write a couple more to some older peeps who don't really email or to some friends I rarely get to talk to. And can I tell you how much people enjoy getting letters in the mail? They really do! Rev/Rach still has hers up on her fridge! : )

19. Play badminton more. We registered for, and awesomely got a badminton set for our wedding. We only got to play once last summer, but it was so much fun! I want to make it a point to go to the park, set up the net, and bat around the shuttlecock (love that it's called a shuttlecock, btw).
Um, yeah, it's almost the end of summer and we didn't play once. I even took the set to Leland, but it was so damn windy, we couldn't play. Grrr. But like I said, I'm hoping that the team sport I join is badminton which would kill two birds with one stone.

20. Read more. If only you knew what I did for a living. If only you knew how little I read. You'd be as embarrassed for me as I am for me. I read magazines all the time, but I need to find some new authors/books that I can enjoy. (Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments).
I read some at the beginning of the year, then got busy. I read one book over the summer, but I bought about three others. I figure if I can read all of those by the end of the year, I'll be able to cross this off. I think next year, I'm going to put some more measurable constraints on a goal like this (e.g. one book a month or something like that). After all, what is more?

21. Rotate in some new old shows. I watch a lot of TV shows. So many, in fact, that sometimes I have to stop watching shows for a while, and rotate in other ones, which means I can get a few seasons behind. Right now I'm super behind on Mad Men, Dexter, Rescue Me, and Big Love. I aim to get caught up before new seasons start up again (particularly Rescue Me and Big Love, which both end this year).
22. Buy a home. This might trickle over to the beginning of 2012 (hopefully before the apocalypse), but we've been talking about it a lot lately, and think that we can start looking for a place by the end of the year.
I won't cross this off yet, but I'm definitely half way through this goal. I'm currently catching up on Mad Men and Big Love. When I'm done with those, I'll do Rescue Me and Dexter. And then this sucker gets crossed off.

23. Walk in A.P.'s shoes. My brother suggested that A.P. and I walk in each other's shoes for a month. He says we bicker too much about how we both contribute more than the other. I don't know if I'll truly be able to do this one, or if I'll be able to convince A.P. to do it, but it might prove interesting, that's for sure.
I didn't think I'd be able to cross this off the list at all, but lately, A.P. is all kinds of on board. So maybe I'll get this done after all.

24. Take a photography course. I have a groupon for one, so this should be a cinch.
I haven't taken it yet, but I've registered for it. On October 16th, I'm taking the Chicago Photography Center's Film Boot Camp. I'm excited to FINALLY get into a dark room. I've done so much work with digital and I'm definitely learning more and more each day, but it will be nice to actually take a class and get some processing experience. Yay for film photography! It's not dead, people! Not at all. : )

25. Take a guitar course. Same as above. I heart groupon.
Done and done. I took my 1st guitar class over the summer and I start my 2nd class today! I'm learning more and more songs. So far I can play the following (in order of awesomeness):
- The White Stripes' "We Are Going to Be Friends"
- REM "The One I Love"
- Jimmy Buffet "Margaritaville" (learning that one for my brother-in-law since I actually loathe Jimmy Buffet)
- Johnny Cash "I Walk the Line"
- Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Were Made for Walking"
- The Rolling Stones "You Can't Always Get What You Want"
- Take Me Out to the Ball Game
- Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land"
- Concrete Blonde "Joey"
- Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean"

There are more, but those are the biggies, with my very best being The White Stripes' song. I even had a recital. You can view a picture of that here. Maybe one day, I'll get brave and post a video of me playing or something. But until then, you'll have to use your imagination.

26. Do another picture a day project.
Even though I still haven't finished editing all the photos, I did the actual project. You can view half of the photos here and by the end of the year, I'll hopefully have the rest posted. At least I *hope* I do. That would be pretty lame if I didn't. Geesh.

27. Get regular about doctor appointments. Before grad school, I was super, super diligent about going to the lady doctor and to the dentist. Since grad school started, I've been not so diligent. Time to get back into old routines.
I have to make my 2nd dentist's apt. and my lady doctor apt. soon and then this can get crossed off. Woot. Honestly, the lady doc thing was a bit of a headache. I realized that I really couldn't go to my old doctor because she works out of Northwestern and I really, really don't want to have a baby there. Let's be clear, I'm not pregnant AT ALL, but I am at a point in my life where I need to start thinking about that. I've had a lot of good friends have their babies at Swedish Covenant, which lets you work with midwives. So I had to hunt down a friend who had their baby there and ask for a doc recommendation, which let's face it, is strange. It's strange to ask a friend for a lady doc recommendation knowing that she has seen/will see both of your vaginas. Anyway, now I'm just waiting to get an appointment with her. I'm a little nervous because I really did like my old doctor. I just can't fathom giving birth in the baby factory that has become Prentice (even though, 30 years ago, I was born there and it would be somewhat cool to have a baby where I was born).

28. Journal again.
Yeah, this still hasn't happened. Maybe I'm over journaling altogether? In some ways, I feel like this blog has replaced that. I don't know. I'd still like to rock it old school if possible.

29. Go someplace new in Florida, possibly Disney World. A.P. is a Floridian, born and raised. Every year, at some point, we make the trek to Florida. And I hate it. I'm bored, and all I see are the insides of people's houses. I feel like I've been to Florida three times, but I've never really been to Florida. I told A.P. next time we go, we have to take a day trip somewhere. I voted for either Disney World, or Eatonville, the birthplace of Zora Neale Hurston.
Done and done. You can view the pictures here and here.

30. Go on a hot air balloon ride. I bought A.P. a gift certificate for a ride for his groom's gift, but we still haven't used it. It's time to cash that baby in.
I have no idea how I'll fit this into our fall, but I'm going to email the guy soon and tell him we want to go when we can. I have to tell you, the more I think about this, the more I freak out a bit. I think I'm going to shit my pants a little when we actually get up in the air. I'm not scared of heights, but they do freak me out a bit. I'm really just scared of plunging to my death.

31. Get our finances completely in order. I think we finally found a money management software, which is going to be awesome once we figure out how to use it!
I'm not crossing this off yet, because it's a work in progress. BUT we have created a budget and we're working on getting our savings and retirement into order. So I'm pretty confident that this will be crossed off by the end of the year.

32. Call my parents more. Call my great aunt more. Part of GTD is to schedule things like phone calls. That may sound silly to some, but I'm the sort of person who at 7pm as I'm cooking thinks, "Oh crap, I have to call my mother," but don't because it's inconvenient at the time. Then, at 11:30pm, I remember again and it's too late. The cycle starts all over the next day. So scheduling a phone call wouldn't be the worst thing.
Yeah, I'm still an ass about this. The older I get, the more I'm just NOT a phone person. I hate wasting all that time on the phone. I have been talking to my great-aunt a lot more this year, but my mom and dad still suffer. I just need to get into a habit of scheduling these phone calls and biting the bullet and making them. I hope I can cross this off by the end of the year. It would be so sad if something happened to any of these people and I felt like I never got to talk to them really.

33. Blog five times a week on this blog, and 2-3 times a week on my other blog (that we write for our family only). That's a lot of blogging! But I think if I try hard enough, I can do it.
I'm not crossing this off until the end of the year, but I think we can agree that I've met the 5x a week goal. The other blog has suffered, but I'm going to get better about posting there, too. : )

34. Prioritize. Family first. Hopes/dreams/personal goals second. Work third. I'd hate to be 40 and still wondering why I haven't done what I wanted to do.
I think this is one I'll save for the end of the year, too, but I really do think that I have done this. I really focused on doing what makes me happy and I try really, really hard to not let work take over. It's hard because if you knew what I did for a living, you'd realize it's near impossible not to let it bleed into your life. Still, I think I'm getting better and better about prioritizing.

35. See Spring Awakening. If A.P. won't buy the tickets, I will. I've wanted to see this for a long, long time.
Done and done. And guess what? I didn't even like it that much! You can read what I wrote about it here.

36. Learn to sew. More on this later.
This really requires me to take a class, and right now, I'm strapped for time. I'm already taking guitar and have a photography class slated for October. I just don't know when I could do it. But I'm hoping I'll squeeze some time in soon because right now the really, really nice sewing machine A.P. bought me is still sitting in its box in the living room and it's making me sad (and him mad).

37. Eat out less. Eat fruit more. Eat candy less. Eat dairy more.
Again, I'll save the cross off for the end of the year, but I would say I'm getting better about this. I'm still not good about dairy, but the other three are getting better and better.

38. Play with our guinea pig, Henry, more. Yes, we have a guinea pig. It's a long story.
Poor Henry. He just never gets a break. I definitely pet him every day, but I need to take him out more and play with him. I just do. It's just hard because my cat and dog always seem to take priority. Plus, unlike them, Henry will poop and pee on me, which, as it turns out, is not so fun.

39. Find a good pair of gym shoes.
I will wait for the cross off until I get them and try them on and keep them, but I just bought these. Aren't they cute? Who'd have pegged me for purple?

40. Digitize all of our photos.
I FINALLY figured out how to get all of my old pictures off my old laptop and on my faster, more awesome new one. I'm currently in the process of uploading all the old digitals. Then, when I'm done with that, I'm going to start attacking the film pictures. I want to buy a film scanner so that I can scan in the negatives. I think that would be easier and the quality would be better than scanning in the actual image. So yes, hopefully this will get crossed off by the end of the year, too. I have a lot of pictures, though, so we'll see.

41. Record my father talking about the Olympics. My father was an Olympian. He didn't win or anything, but he won a lot of awards in the Asian Olympics. It would be so cool to record him looking at photos and discussing both. How cool would that be to show to our kids one day?
Yeah, haven't done this at all. I need to, though. STAT.

42. Visit my sister and her husband in India. I wish I could have traveled to India before I met A.P., by myself. I think it would have been amazing. I've always wanted to go, see where my father was born and raised, and I'll be excited to do that. But the thought of traveling to such an exotic place with my picky eater husband, and staying with my sister kind of makes me dread the whole thing. Maybe that's a good thing, though. Maybe if we do go, the trip will be awesome because I had such low expectations.
This isn't going to happen. It's a bummer, but honestly, we just don't have the money to go to India right now. As awesome as it would be to visit them and see the place where my dad grew up (and the street named after him), it's just not going to happen in 2011. Oh, well.

43. Get A.P. to put his keys and wallet in the same damn place every day. This won't happen, but wouldn't it be awesome if it did? And I didn't have to hear, "Have you seen my [insert keys, wallet, glasses, headphones, bag, etc. here]?"
So far, so bad. Why can't men just do this naturally dammit????

44. Throw at least one party. Back in the day, I threw awesome parties. I would cram up to 30 people into my one bedroom apartment throughout the night. It sounds crowded, but it never felt like it. It always felt awesome. The last party we threw was our housewarming party when I first moved in. Instead, we've been focusing on hosting holidays for our family. I'd like to throw a kickass party again. It's a lot of work, but always so much fun.
We are sending out invitations this weekend for our End of Summer Fiesta, which we are planning for September 17th (the last weekend of summer). So, I'm not crossing this off yet, but it's totally in the works. And also, the Half-breed Swede is coming into town for NYE this year, so methinks another party should be had for that, too. : )

45. Clear my skin. This is the year, I've decided, that I'm done with acne. It sucks to have adult acne. And what's worse is I can never seem to find a product that clears my skin. This is the year I find a dermatologist, and start to look like a grownup, not a teenager!
This is slow-going. I started using a homeopathic remedy, which I didn't think did very much. I'm going to give it another go, but if it doesn't work, I might have to break down and go see a dermatologist. I guess I'm just trying to avoid being on prescription medication, but I'm pretty much sick of the sight of my acne. I'm O.V.E.R. it!

And that's it! Whatdya think? Am I doing a good job? Did you have goals for this year? Have you been meeting them?


  1. I think your list is pretty awesome. :) Hey, I can send you some book reccomendations, if you want- I just need to sit down and make a good list. For now, have you read The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger or The Liar's Club by Mary Karr?

    Also, have you tried tea tree oil on your skin? I've tried loads of things, and that's the only one that seems to actually help.

    Also (#2), congrats on blogging consistently! I decided about six weeks ago that I was going to start making 6 posts a week, and I've done it, but man, it is hard sometimes.

  2. @Helen: I've read The Time Traveler's Wife, but not The Liar's Club. I've heard good things, but sometimes I get a bit leery of reading something that everyone loves. I've not tried tea tree oil only, but I used to use Burt's Bees acne treatment which has tea tree oil in it. I always liked that and am thinking about going back to it. And yes, doing it five times a week is tough work. It gets easier once you get into the habit of pre-posting. Getting good at that saved my life. I don't think I could have done it if that didn't exist. : )

  3. Holy crap, dude. This is a lot! It's a lot to read, much less accomplish. Seems like you're well on your way. We seriously need to do some budgeting work -- what sort of software did you get? Is it expensive? And I also would love to learn to sew. I don't have a big yearly list like this, but maybe I should, so I have something to cross things off of and keep an eye on. Your list seems very well rounded. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...