It’s September, which to those of us who never really left school, is the beginning of the year. Don’t hate me for this, but it’s time for resolutions. At least, it’s the time when I make resolutions, whether or not I really want to. I’ll be pleasantly sitting on the beach, minding my own business, and then BAM! September 1st rolls in breezily on a rain cloud to point out what a mess my fridge has become, and to remind me that I haven’t had a haircut since last fall, and that my tan will not hide my ice cream weight forever, and by the way, when was the last time I even attempted to publish something (Remember that little thing you wanted to do -write for a living? Is that still a thing or…). Yep, September is a bitch. So rather than let her swoop in and boss me around, I prefer to take charge. I’m ready for her: my fridge? That’s on the list for tomorrow. I also plan on restocking it with vegetables and low-fat protein items, in case you were wondering.
This year, not only do I have a little bit of extra time, due to being on strike, but I also can finally do the things I want to do without worrying about retaliatory back pain (because time heals all wounds, and have I mentioned my physiotherapist is awesome?).
This all adds up to having an especially long and unrealistic list of resolutions and goals. I should probably try to cut it shorter and remind myself of the bitter cynicism that always hits me once I realize that I just can’t be the awesome things I want to be -at least not all at once. At the very least I should prioritize so that I’m not so overwhelmed with my list that I end up watching youtube videos of seals that sound like humans while guzzling cookie dough ice cream instead of doing anything on it.
But I just spent a whole summer learning to be content with not chasing goals. I have practiced calm gratitude for myself and the good life I enjoy. I have worked part-time. I have taken naps. I have been thoroughly in the moment. And I’m done now, thank you. The over-achiever in me is feeling very well-rested and is venturing into IDNGAF territory, having been told to just go relax and read a book or something for the past five months. She will not be reasoned with, and the list will be what it is. Just to heap a little bit of added pressure on myself, I thought I’d share my list with you. I mean, that’s what all this preamble has been about, hasn’t it?
Within the Space of Only One Year, I Will Accomplish All (Or None) of the Following
- Become an adult. This includes owning a vehicle not given to me by my parents, going to the dentist and making a budget.
- Own a dog. I’ll admit that this may not be possible, given my lifestyle, but knowing that I could, because I was both responsible enough to remember to feed one every day, and financially viable enough to move to a dog-friendly apartment would make me feel way better. Because I REALLY want a dog. Like, SO BADLY.
- Travel. This year, I had to cancel my trip to Iceland because of the back, and I had to work all summer because of the strike, and I’ve been making up for the lack of running around by contemplating moving abroad. I think if I can just go away a couple times this year, I won’t need to uproot my whole life to work in a remote village school in Burma or wherever, which seems like a good compromise.
- Not have to work next summer. Because it kind of sucks. Obviously, my income will have to at least double to make all this happen. Totally possible.
- Become a better friend/conversationalist/more considerate and empathetic human being. This is more than one thing, but lumping them together makes them seem more achievable. Also, using vague, unmeasurable language is definitely the best way to set goals.
- Trail run. Once I have a vehicle, getting to trails will be easier. I also plan on running at least one half-marathon in under 2 hours, but that goes without saying.
- Climb at least 5.11. I could do it before, I’ll do it again.
- Learn to dance hip hop. Because why wouldn’t I?
- Floss regularly. Because I didn’t go to the dentist at all this year. They’re starting to send me emails asking if I’m still alive.
- Swim 800m in a reasonable amount of time. Don’t ask me to define “reasonable”.
- Publish a feature article in a magazine that will actually pay me for it.
- Get to at least 500 followers on Twitter (don’t laugh -it’s hard!)
- Cook most of my own meals. Currently, I cook about once a week. I’m living on coffee shop food and the Whole Foods salad bar.
- (Mostly) stop eating sugar. Even my overachieving self recognizes this may be a pipe dream.
- Get an ice axe and bag some peaks. Woo!
- Ski steeper things. Without having a pseudo-asthma attack or falling at every turn as a preventative measure.
- Spend more time with my family. Last year, I tried the, “You’ll do my hobbies with me, and thus we will be able to spend time together while I accomplish all my other goals,” approach. It resulted in a hilarious video of my mom on snowshoes, but not much else. I need a new approach.