Reflecting Back on My List for 2011

2011 was not an easy year. For every positive step forward, there was a step backward, too. It was incredibly tough. I learned a lot about my friends and my family and most importantly myself. I was talking to the Half-breed the other day, reflecting about the year, and I was talking about how it was one of the hardest in a while. But then we talked about how there were also a lot of good things that happened, too. In the end, we decided it was a year of change. I think this is true. 2011 was the year I turned 30, the year I finally felt financially stable. It was the year I stopped being a newlywed and started just being a wife. It was also the year I ended some friendships and realized the damaging effect my family was having on me. It was the year when we lost one furbaby and gained another. I may not have experienced all the luck in the world, but I didn't get permanently damaged either. Most importantly, I accomplished a lot. So, without further ado...

...here it is. My progress on all my goals for last year. I made this list for 2011 in lieu of a traditional resolutions. I got sick of making resolutions that didn't seem to ever get resolved, so to speak. It seemed wiser to make a list of specific things I wanted to do and try to get them accomplished. Some of the things on this list were long shots, some were manageable, and some I knew would spill over into 2012. There were 45 things total on my list. Let's see how many I managed to get done. (Warning, this is a big ol' post, people! Read at your leisure!)

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.

Okay, I cannot officially cross this off, but I think I am looking pretty good. I think that if I get serious again, I can lose the rest easily. I lost 12 more lbs. this year and am only about 15 lbs. away from my goal. I was doing well until we took our post-engagement photos and then the holidays hit. Then I kind of stopped dieting at all. I'm willing to get back on the horse and give it my all, but for now anyway, I'm satisfied with where I am, too. I'd like to lose about half of the 15 lbs, call it a compromise and go about my business. So don't be surprised if you see a similar goal for 2012.

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).

Ummm, yeah, I suck at being a rehabilitated person, yo! I only do my knee exercises when my knee bothers me. Something is wrong with me, people. Ugh.

3. Wear this sexy green dress I bought several years ago that I, for whatever reason, have never worn.

I didn't wear the damn dress (see why below). Oh well. I still have 2012!

4. Find a bra to wear with the sexy green dress.

So, I bought a bra and it still doesn't work with this dress. It is near impossible to find a bra to wear with this dress. It's KILLING me. I think I'm going to have to rock that shit Carrie Bradshaw style and show my bra in the back. So for that purpose, I at least have purchased a fancy, pretty bra. So, let's cross that shit off my list. I'm sick of dicking around with this one damn dress.

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 about it here.

6. Make A.P. take me out on a fancy date so that I can wear the damn green dress!

Well, he took me out on lots of fancy dates, but I never wore the dress mainly because of the bra issue. Sadly, then, I can't cross this off my list. Bummer!

7. Take our engagement photos. Yes, that's right. We still haven't done that. Oops.

Done and done. You can see some of the best here.

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).

This is for sure spilling over into 2012. Not because I'm not still into the idea of short hair, but rather because it's freaking cold out and I'm waiting until the weather warms up a bit before I go exposing my damn neck.

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.

Unless you count Florida, we did not do this at all. I guess we'll tack this on to next year's list as well.

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.

Yeah, did not do this at all. I don't know if I'll throw this on my list for next year or not. The fact of the matter is that despite my strong desire to do this, I really don't have the time nor can I really make the commitment. It's hard enough to do guitar once a week.

11. Scrapbook. That's right. I said it. Scrapbook.

I have not scrapbooked yet, but I have mad plans to do so once my photo archiving is done (see #40 below).

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!

This felt so, so good to do. Now if only I could not use a credit card each month. That's a goal for next year for sure!

13. Get my life organized and keep my apartment clean.

I don't think this is possible at all. Here's why: we have outgrown our apartment. My brother-in-law is going to take a lot of stuff off our hands, which will open up a lot of space in our storage downstairs. I'm hoping that will help keep the upstairs clean and organized until we move into a bigger space. But yeah, there's just no room for organization and cleanliness.

14. Find a way to get my life organized and keep my apartment clean.

Still working on it. : )

15. Try out the GTD system. (Not GTL...that joke never gets old with me.)

This system was not for me. It was too complicated and frankly, I felt like I needed a system for the system. There was a better book title for this book a while back. It was "Write Shit Down." I'm thinking since that's what I do anyway, that's what I'm going to keep doing. I like that GTD allowed me to put really long term things on my list, too, so I'll definitely pull/adapt my old methods to work with what I learned, but other than that, I'll be the guy who just writes shit down. : )

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.

Finally got some new glasses! You can see a picture of me in them 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. You can view photos 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.

I wrote my friend in St. Louis a letter, sent a card to Rev/Rach, and sent my brother-in-law a funny card. That may not be a lot, but I did zero the year before, so guess what? That shit counts. Cross it off!

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).

1 nice long summer, no badminton played. Lame, lame, lame. Next year for sure!

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 attribute my mild success with this goal to the present I liked the least from last Christmas: the Kindle. For Christmas 2010, A.P. bought me a Kindle, which was not at all what I wanted. But I have to admit it made purchasing books and reading a bit easier for me. I may not have read all that I wanted to, but I read more than I would have without it. Next year, I have a plan for how to make this more achievable a goal. You'll see.

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).

I haven't worked my way through all of the shows that I wanted to, but I got a lot done. Because of that, I'm crossing this off. I finished Big Love, got through 1.5 more seasons of Mad Men, and did some catching up with Rescue Me, too. I still have to get completely caught up on Dexter, too. I think part of the reason I didn't completely accomplish this goal is because I realized early on that I have to be in the mood to watch certain shows. And I kind of wasn't in the mood for Dexter or Rescue Me. And frankly, I got a little tired of watching Mad Men after my huge summer binge. So, this too shall carry over to next 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.

Obviously since I just complained about not having enough space, we haven't bought a new house yet. We knew there was a chance this would spill over to 2012. But that's gotta be it. 2012 or bust, people! We can't take it anymore!

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.

We never did this, but we nag each other less and say thank you more. Call it almost two years of marriage under our belt, call it almost four years of living together, or call it picturing walking through the other's shoes. Call it whatever you want, it's more and more a non-issue.

24. Take a photography course. I have a groupon for one, so this should be a cinch.

Done and done. Read about it (and see the photos I took) here.

25. Take a guitar course. Same as above. I heart groupon.

Did it (and still doing it)! Here's a picture from my first recital. And here's an actual video from my second recital.

26. Do another picture a day project.

Yeah, yeah, so I still haven't posted all the pictures, but here's half.

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.

So, I saw the lady doc and the dentist. When I went to both, they didn't set up next year's appointments. LAME. Still, I think the fact that I made these appointments and went was a big deal. From now on, I need to be better about making them make my next appointments before I leave, but I did what I wanted to do, so consider this crap crossed off!

28. Journal again.

Yeah, never did this. Oops.

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.

Did it! You can see 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.

So, confession! I got really, really frightened about going. I still want to go, but I think I'm going to get A.P. to make the arrangements. I think if I think about it too much, it won't go well. I also really wanted to wait until I bought a DSLR camera, which I didn't do until after Thanksgiving. By then, it was too cold. I smell something for 2012's list!

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!

We're not 100% there yet, but we're doing much, much better. I don't think you can ever have your finances completely in order. After all, each month presents a new challenge. However, I think we're doing pretty well. We've got a budget. I'm saving. A.P. is saving. We're trying to get our savings a bit more organized, but other than that, we're doing well. So, guess what? I'm crossing this shit off! Woot.

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.

I can't say I've been a million times better about this. However, I have tried like heck to call my family members more. I've definitely been better about calling my dad and my great aunt. My mother on the other hand has suffered. I think that since I want to be really good about this, I'm not crossing it off and instead I'm going to make a more measurable goal for next year.

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 crossing this off my list. Here's the thing: I wasn't good about our family blog at all. I started out the year posting there fairly frequently, but tapered off around summer. I'm still crossing this off my list, though, because instead of being hard on myself for that, I'm going to give myself credit for being super consistent with my posting here. I know there were some weeks where I didn't post 5 times, but there were others when I posted more than 5 times. And no matter what, I did a lot of work here and I'm proud of that. Crossing this off my list is my reward. : )

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 felt like I was making a lot of progress with this goal until October. Work hit the fan and everything became just madness. I don't want to cross this off because I think I still have a lot to learn.

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.

Did it, but as it turns out, I wasn't a fan.

36. Learn to sew. More on this later.

I didn't do this. But I'm definitely making it a goal for 2012! I just bought a Groupon last week to take two classes, too, so it should be a lot easier to make it happen.

37. Eat out less. Eat fruit more. Eat candy less. Eat dairy more.

Similar to #34, this went to pot not too long ago. I've been eating fruit and yogurt every day for lunch so that I was meeting my two "more" goals in one fell swoop. I did that well and throughout the year, but eating out less and eating less candy were harder goals to meet. Candy is my stress food. I like to eat things like Skittles or Twizzlers when I work from home. It's a terrible habit. But I'm trying to kick it. In fact, lately, I've been doing a lot better. So, who knows? In terms of eating out less, we were doing really well up until Thanksgiving. That's when work got stressful for both of us and grocery shopping became obsolete. So, I'm going to keep working on it next year, though I don't think I'll make it a goal.

38. Play with our guinea pig, Henry, more. Yes, we have a guinea pig. It's a long story.

I can't say I did this. I did vary his diet a little more. He's a bit picky, so I tried to give him some new veggies instead of his favorite carrots every night. I also pet him a lot more and give him more overall attention, but poor Henry, he's always third fiddle to the cat and the dog, first with Radar and now with Ollie.

39. Find a good pair of gym shoes.

Here are the ones I bought. Rad, no?

40. Digitize all of our photos.

I'm crossing this off my list. I have not completed this at all. However, like #33 above, I have to give myself credit for the work that I've done. This year, I've archived all of our digital photos from 2006 through half of 2009. Plus, I already had a lot of 2010 and some of 2011 in there. I want to get to the point where I upload pictures as soon as I take them off my camera, but it will probably be a few more months until I get to that point. In the mean time, I will keep uploading all of the old stuff and then soon, I will start scanning in the film photos. Yay!

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?

I didn't do this, but am for sure making this a priority for 2012!

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.

We didn't get to do this, but her contract was extended through 2013, so there's hope yet! I don't know that I'll put it on the list for 2012, but we'll for sure do our best to maybe go visit.

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]?"

Yeah, still haven't done this. But, tell the truth, are you really that shocked that this one isn't crossed off?

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.

Done, and done. You can read about it here. And technically, we threw two, since we had a New Year's Eve party, too. So, take that, list for 2011!

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!

I'm crossing this off! I still have breakouts, but I finally found something that keeps my skin clear enough 90% of the time to the point that I sometimes even feel comfortable wearing little or no makeup! Yes! I'm sad that it took me so long to find and that I had to suffer permanent scarring in the past two years before I found it, but I'm glad I found it. The problem is that I sometimes have a hard time finding the product and I'm scared that they'll discontinue it. If that happens, I will for sure have to go to the dermatologist. But in the mean time, consider this one crossed off!


22 things done, people! That's only .5 less than half. I can't say I passed, but I feel like I made progress towards each and every one of my goals. Plus, I did some stuff that didn't even appear on this list:

- I started my Gardening program at my job and was super successful in my first year despite terrible weather and a cucumber beetle infestation.

- I won another grant this year to expand my Gardening program at my job. And this year, I got more money. Woot.

- I met my personal savings goal and then some. I wanted to have a cushion that would get me through at least three months of bills and I did that. Plus, I saved for our joint goal of a home.

- I ended an unhealthy relationship even though it killed me to do so. It was probably one of the hardest things I did this year, but I did it. And I had to learn that it was okay.

I'm proud of all that I've done whether I completely met my goals or not. It's better than I've done in all my years of making resolutions and that's a big deal. Later this week, I'll give you guys my list for 2012. Hopefully, like a fine wine, I'll only get better and only get more done.

: )

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...