I didn’t write a 2017 recap post because although I had a pretty good year 2017 was a shitty year overall: every day a new injustice. I’m hopeful that the promise of a new year holds true and maybe 2018 will be a little brighter.
I set out to do too many things in 2017, so this year I’m going to try to focus on a few goals per category.
- Continue my daily writing habit. I will consider this achieved if I write an average of 5/7 days a week.
- Write a second draft of my Tokens of Kindness book.
- Finish outlines and character sketches for everything I have started to write.
- Make a plan to integrate this blog, my portfolio, and my shop. If I have time I will execute. This year will be about research, planning, and prototyping.
- Continue to learn and practice code. I plan to take the Java and PHP courses on w3 schools.
- Keep practicing and learning new techniques. I want to continue taking SkillShare classes and do some in-person workshops this year. I’m not sure if I want to keep doing the monthly creative challenges this year because I got burnt out on those (hi, my name is Calee, and I set way too lofty of goals).
- Limit my sugar intake. Continue to buy foods without added sugars, make processed food and desserts a sometimes thing, and make most of my junk at home.
- Find another suitable tomato substitute AND try tomatoes again. This year marks 5 years without tomatoes! I tried minimal amounts of (ultra processed because that’s easier to digest) tomatoes last year and had varying results. Even though I had minimal initial reactions each time, the resulting days-/weeks-long inflammation of my GI system was not worth it. I will keep experimenting with hope that tomatoes might be in my future.
- Be better at planning MY lunches. Mark got really into meal prep for lunches which freed up most leftovers for my lunches. I go home for lunch every day, so can usually scrounge up something, but sometimes come up empty-handed. I need to have some pre-planned meals in the freezer. We just bought an instant pot, so maybe this will help with my lack of planning for lunches? (Yes, cooking-nerd friends from whom I’ve begged for reviews, we took the plunge).
- Stretch daily. Maybe even take up yoga…?
- Strength train regularly (2-3x a week). Maybe even take up yoga…? Lordy I hate yoga but damn is it good for everything.
- Restart chiropractic, massage, and/or therapy (for mental health hygiene). I have an existing relationship with a chiropractor up here (all the way in St. Louis Park!), found a massage therapist I love, and am working on finding a therapist I like. Because the stigma against therapy still exists, I want to mention that therapy is great for mental health hygiene, just like going to the dentist for cleanings. If you have access to therapy you should give it a try—especially if you don’t think you need it—because then when you do need therapy you will have an established relationship with a professional who knows you so your sessions will be much more beneficial to you (just like getting major dental work done—don’t go to a new random dentist, right?). I’ll get off my soapbox (therapy is great)!
- Read at least 30 books. For the purpose of my challenge I will not count audiobooks. I don’t listen to audiobooks much anymore since I don’t drive long distance often (thank goodness) anymore and I have a hefty collection of podcasts I listen to daily (ummm…can we talk about Dirty John? And Savage Lovecast?)
- Keep focusing on different authors and genres. David Bowie’s son started an online book club devoted to Bowie’s favorite books, so I may read some of these. I have also been trying to read books recommended to me by people in my writing group because they have different tastes than me.
- Finish books that I have started—even if this means slogging through ones that I don’t like. I’m better about finishing books that I start than I used to be. Typically I give a book 40 pages before I put it down. I gave up on Ready Player One after about 15 pages because I didn’t see getting into it (IMO it’s the plot from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory set to cheap 80s references, but people seem to like it). I still haven’t finished a short book a blog friend of mine wrote a few years ago because it’s not my jam. And I have tried to read The Night Circus at least 10 times (almost made it once!). I plow through some pretty terrible romance books, so why not finish these? Besides, I think my reading taste has changed now that I read more often. I may surprise myself by enjoying some things I didn’t like in years past. Yikes. Just looked at my “started but put down” list on Goodreads and I have some monster-huge books to get through.
- Continue listening to more new artists/music. My Spankin’ New playlist system worked well for me last year. I want to give my 2017 <3 playlist a few good listens, though, before I start mowing down new albums.
- Fix and set up stereo equipment. I would like to have a stereo in the basement, where we spend most of our time, and have a (100% working) stereo in our upstairs living room. We have all the equipment (3 receivers and 3 record players from which to choose) but some of it (mostly receivers) doesn’t work. I love our parents’ old equipment, so I want to try to get that fixed before looking at new stuff.
- Blog more about music. Revisit my top 10 albums (that I swore would never change…ha!), do more Sweet Tunes Thursdays, and make a list of “must see” artists that are left on my to-see list.
- Explore the Twin Cities. New stuff pops up all the time and we have barely begun to see what already exists. This year I plan to go to Como Zoo, Paisley Park, the Weisman Art Museum, Can Can Wonderland, the Walker Art Museum, Marvel Bar, see a show at 7th Street Entry, and many more things.
- Travel and plan a trip outside the country. We keep joking about doing a week of Islay scotch tours, but we also joked for years about having cheesecake at our wedding. Scotland, here we come. We keep talking about a New Orleans, Denver, or LA trip, but since we want to save for a larger trip we might do Dallas this year instead. A friend lives there and I have a slight JFK hangover after reading 11.22.63 last year.
- Make a household project plan. We are new homeowners and there are a lot of things we want to do to our house, but more importantly, there are a ton of things we need to do to the house. Mostly those involve landscaping and minor paint jobs. Oooh, I see a spreadsheet in my future… 🙂
Social goals (new for 2018)
- Do a better job at maintaining friendships by being the one to initiate get-togethers. Anybody who has ever been friends with me knows that I majorly SUCK at this. I have one friend I made on Bumble that makes a point to do something with me every month. This year I want to be the first one to say “hey, let’s do a thing”. I have a good friend from Iowa who moved here and is FAR more social than I am. I want to do more things with her (I told her once a month is a good frequency for me, and she’s held me to it). I enjoy people from work, so I want to try to plan more happy hours or trivia nights. I also would like to plan to visit some of my friends who no longer live within a 3-4 hour drive. I have multiple friends who live in cities I want to visit, so let’s do that!
- Show the fuck up. I’m not talking about flaking on plans. I’m talking about showing up for political and social things that matter to me. Last year I did the Women’s March in the Twin Cities but pretty much quit participating after that. I made the excuse that our state is blue (barely) and our (former) senator already supported everything I support. That and news and politics make my anxiety unbearable (hello night screaming), so I had to take a break (because I’m privileged and can). Part of why I want to start therapy now is to figure out how to be present in this messed up political stratosphere and figure out how I can make a difference—at least in my bubble.
- Host something big. We have a house now and have a great space for hosting. We talked about hosting Easter but I’m not sure if that’s a thing we’re doing. We never had a housewarming party, so once it gets warmer outside again we want to do that.
Let’s do this, 2018!