new year, not the same old

new year, not the same old…

This is the last post of 2011, and I’m pretty excited about that. While having an (unspoken) goal to write two blog posts a month, I found that as long as I got one in a month, I was pretty ok. It’s not bad to set goals for yourself, as long as you at least do a little bit and keep it up throughout the year.

So, naturally, this post will be about setting new goals, doing new things, and keeping it simple in my life. Last December, I posted a handful of goals and was generally just skeptical about the whole idea of resolutions and goals and whatever. My initial idea was to list things I wanted to do in life, and I didn’t include everything on that list. Shock of all shockers, on the real list, I checked off tons of things this year. The unofficial theme of 2011 was to say yes to everything, get out of my comfort zone and just generally do things I had never done before. Keeping that theme up, I did things I never even thought I would do and things I had always dreamed about doing and never thought would be a reality. 2011 was a game changer.

Here are just some of the things I did that made the year so different:

* saw Barlowgirl, Kylie Minogue and Scissor Sisters in concert
* got a stick shift driving lesson from my husband
* change the oil and bled the breaks on my car
* took a boxing class
* traveled to a city I had never been to before (LA)
* went to baseball Spring Training in Arizona
* visited the Grand Canyon
* worked at a “real job” this summer
* hosted an exchange student this summer
* visited with a close friend from high school for the first time since the 90s
* went on a cross country road trip with our dog

I could go on… Goals big and small and everything in between. I may sound like I’m bragging. I’m ok with that. But the real motivation for listing this is to just be in awe of the amazing, crazy year I’ve had.

I wonder if life would be simplified for people around New Year’s if they didn’t set resolutions for vague things like “get healthy” and “work out every week” and instead thought of things outside of the box and then made little concrete things they could check off their list. I wanted to be more independent, so I learned how to change the oil in my car. I wanted to be tougher, so I took a boxing class. Just one thing to tick off the list in each case. It’s a cool feeling and much more like a to do list then these ideas swirling around in my head that just make me feel guilty all year. And there was no visit to the gym on January 1 involved. I like that.

So, in the interest of keeping things simple and making a micro life for myself, I’m going to go along with it and try to top this year. I’m going to dream large and small. I’m going to think of things that I can tick off a list instead of feeling bad for the rest of 2012 because I don’t have a “rockin body” (which is a goal I still have a lot of affection for!). It’s about goals, checklists, concrete actions and not resolutions. Here goes…

* Finally finish reading Last of the Mohicans (an ongoing project since about 1994)
* see the Bolshoi, the Joffrey and/or the New York City Ballet ballet perform
* drive stick on a real road (no more high school parking lots)
* go to Japan to mark 10 years (!) since I last lived there
* learn a song on piano by heart (uh… ongoing project since about 1988)
* write a novel during National Novel Writing Month in November
* go rowing (guess I have to find someplace to row that actually has rivers)
* get on the slopes just once
* read Thomas Hardy’s collected works
* 20 mass “winning streak” at church. Yup, gotta attend church 20 weeks in a row. If the Oakland A’s can do it, so can I.
* find the art house theater in town and see 5 indie movies before I give up on movies for good
* remember that everything realistic is possible

And don’t worry, next month I’ve got another simple homemaking post to put together and I won’t wax philosophical for awhile. Gotta wrangle this all back to living micro in a practical way because that’s what I’m here for!

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