Goals, 2013-14

As you may have noticed, I neglected to post, and therefore complete, any summer goals this year. I could say I don't know what happened, but I do know what happened. I was busier than normal with work this summer, and busy with trips, and then Vinnie's wedding and associated happenings took up some extra time. All great stuff, but it meant I didn't spend any time doing much of anything "extra," including writing on this blog and making summer goals, which has always been really fun for me; what's more, those goal lists have actually gotten me to do some things I wouldn't do otherwise. Sometimes those were big things, like running a 20K race, and sometimes they were little, like building a sandcastle. Sometimes the goals don't work out, like when I wanted to "get into tea," which is simply not ever going to happen.

Anyway, I decided that I wanted to make a list of goals anyway, to be completed during this academic year. As I mentioned in a previous post, it's how we organize our life now that our kids are in school, but it's kind of how I've always organized my life. The fall (my favorite season) = the start of something new.

This is also a good time to make a list of things I'd like to do around New Haven since our future here is up in the air. Not that we don't absolutely love our life here - which we do - but J's post-doc is winding down and it's time for him to look at permanent positions. This is something I always knew would happen; I understood when we moved here that we wouldn't live here forever. But spending time with family here, having children and making new friends has rooted me to this place in ways I didn't anticipate. It's difficult not knowing what will come next, so I'm trying not to think about it too much until there's some definite news, and in the meantime I'd like to make the most of our time in Connecticut.

There's more, though. This is a good time to make a list like this because, if I'm being totally honest, my life has felt a little crazy for the past year or so.

Not crazy in a good way. Believe me, a good crazy exists, and J and I have a ton of it in our lives. And I'm lucky, because as far as my family is concerned, when it's crazy it's usually the good kind and when it's not good we are pretty successful at fixing it. When we noticed our weekday mornings were always a rushed and unhappy time for us (crazy in a bad way) we decided to take some steps to fix them and did pretty well. Not this morning, mind you, it being only the second week of school and me being possibly still hungover from the wedding two days ago, if that is humanly possible, but most mornings are much better.

I guess what I'm saying is I don't feel any self-help-book-type need to "work on my relationships" family or otherwise, or anything like that. But I would very much like to work on my own daily routines, my career and other goals and just...myself in general. I really do want to read more, even though episodic television is so incredibly tempting. I don't want to use coffee and a crutch and, correspondingly, I'd like to go to bed early most of the time because that is something my body truly appreciates.

I'd like to plan, and spend, my time a little more wisely. That's a big theme for me here, and writing down the things I'd like to do makes it a lot more likely that I'll do them.

When I write these goals, I purposely make some of them very specific and easy, some are more vague and some are bigger things that require little steps that I don't include at the outset, just to save space. But the initial act of writing down the big idea helps me think about how to make it happen. Last summer I printed out a half-marathon training program and used that to get in good enough shape to run that 20K race. Writing down the goal itself was the first step.

This year, I'm including "write blog posts more regularly. I realize that the mere act of adding it to the list won't make me do it. I need a plan. But putting it out there publicly helps me take it more seriously than just thinking about it all the time. "Become a better traveler" is another one this year. I don't know how that will occur. By buying new luggage? Getting a prescription for Valium?

I mean, we'll have to wait and see right? That, in fact, is a big part of the fun.

1. run another half marathon 2. write blog posts more regularly 3. see a play at the Yale Rep 4. host a wine tasting night 5. spend some time in Beinecke Library 6. make (edible) cupcakes for Nora's fifth birthday 7. visit the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford 8. see "Pippin" on broadway 9. become a better traveler 10. visit New Orleans 11. start learning Spanish 12. research taking a trip somewhere warm in the winter; maybe actually make it happen 13. make a photo album (recycled from a previous list) 14. go to a fall festival 15. go camping 16. make dedicated and continual efforts at exploring new work possibilities 17. visit the Mark Twain House 18. plan an amazing day in Brooklyn 19. fix up the home office, redux 20. go shopping, all by myself, for as long as I want 21. go to the movies, order popcorn and Junior Mints 22. get a new computer 23. spend a fall or winter weekend in Maine 24. go on an unplanned day trip