Moving to a brand new place where you have no connections is always the perfect opportunity to reinvent yourself, turn over a new leaf, discover your most authentic self, or whatever other cliche you want to use for trying new things (or rekindling old hobbies). I find that when we have no time for additional stuff we want to try, we have this fantasy list of all the things we would do if we had more time. I had several of these lists over the past few years, ones I made when I was slaving away at getting a designation or sitting inside during the winter and dreaming up all the things I would do when the weather got nice again.
So now that I’m here in this new place, I’m working from home (i.e. no commute!), and I’m working fewer hours…am I doing the things I said I would do? Have I become awesome at any random hobby? Have I crossed anything off my bucket list? I think that it’s important to think about the person you want to be, and strive every day (or maybe every week, if that’s more reasonable) to get a little closer to your target.
I have been trying to do more of those things I always wanted to do but “never had time for”, but I’ve also not done a ton of things. So about a week ago I downloaded an app called Todoist that reminds you what you wanted to get done each day. It’s kind of a pain to be reminded that there were 3 things you wanted to get done when you are cozied up on the couch watching your favorite Netflix binge, but that’s the whole point. Because one episode can so easily turn into three, and then before you know it, another week has blown away without you doing the things you really want out of life. We’re in an era where it’s so much easier to be entertained by media at our fingertips than to actually work for our entertainment and towards our personal development.
So in the spirit of accountability and transparency, I thought I would take it one step further and let you know some of the things that are on my list. Maybe it will encourage you to dig up your own list and start working towards your own goals – are you with me?
My Short-Term Bucket List
- Find a new job that I am inspired by
This one is way harder than it sounds (and it sounds pretty darn hard)! I was never that kid who always knew what they wanted to be when they grew up, and guess what? I still don’t have a clue. So I’ve kind of been throwing myself out there in random fields and we’ll see what happens!
- Workout 6 days a week
This doesn’t seem fun. But my real goal here is to just feel super healthy! I’ve always been the one to say “I don’t run” at the drop of a hat. Well, why not? I can start to run! So far my success in this department has been spotty, but I am committed to being active in some capacity most days of the week. Even if it’s just a walk around my neighborhood to look at the pretty flowers.
- Read more nonfiction
For those of you who know me, I love reading novels. But the problem is, I’ll read so many in succession that they start to blur together, and then I can’t even remember the names of the books I’ve read or tell you what a certain book was about. On the other hand, I’m not much a fan of reading nonfiction. I mean, in theory I am, since there are topics I would like to learn more about, but when I actually pick up a nonfiction book and start reading it, I start snoozing shortly thereafter. But I have so many books at home that have just been sitting on my shelves (some of them have moved with me 5 times!!) collecting dust, with the hopes that one day I’ll cross them off my bucket list. So about a week ago, I picked one of them up and just started reading it. It was slow going at first, but eventually I started getting into it, and now I’m almost done! Sometimes you just have to decide that the time has come, and the time is now. Reminds me of a Dr. Seuss book about one Marvin K Mooney…(Hubs never had that book as a child. I pity him deeply.)
- Travel more
Some people have “travel” on their bucket list, but they get hung up on how expensive international trips can be. Yes, of course, I would love to do more international travel (and I likely have some on the docket for this year, yay!), but “travel” doesn’t have to mean a $7,000 trip to visit six different European countries. It can also mean exploring your state and/or the surrounding states, and finding cool things to do on a long weekend. I’m all about finding a quaint B&B in a small town and just slipping away unnoticed for the weekend to be a tourist in your own backyard. Last year, Hubs and I visited Frederick, MD as a graduation gift and had an amazing time. We were so bummed that we found this cool little town right before we were moving away from Maryland!
- Make local friends
This one is a no brainer – it’s no fun to live in a place where you don’t actually know anyone. Especially if you’re working from home! But the real goal I’ve set for myself in this department is to be more of a friend to the people I meet here. I feel like so many of my friendships over the years happened organically because fate threw our lives together. But that gets harder to do as you “grow up” and you don’t share your whole life with other people your age, like in college or boarding school. I’ve been a pretty passive friend in the past, but I’m going to work on that. Which reminds me, I owe my upstairs neighbor a dinner invite…oops.
- Go outside more
This goes along with the working out more and traveling more goals, but I want to make sure that if I have to survive a few New England winters, that when this next one comes around I feel like I really took advantage of the warm months and left no stone unturned. I’m talking yard games, park trails, beach days, outdoor festivals, river tubing, biking, or even just sitting on my porch with some iced tea. Whatever it takes to get my vitamin D before it’s too late!
- Continue to actually blog
Hooray, I’m working towards this goal with every letter I type! I really want to work on my blog more, and post something more often than every two months. Casual writing is an outlet for me, a place where I can express myself and not actually bother anyone who doesn’t want to read what I have to say, but also hopefully inspire a select few people who might be interested. So if you’re actually reading this, thank you! High five for being there with me as I strive after my goals!
- Paint more often, and other casually creative endeavors
When I was seven years old, I was told that I was “really talented, for my age”. Well, now I’m 26. Bummer. There’s no more modifier like “for your age” when you’re officially an adult, just like the majority of the world’s population. So now that I have to compete with 7 billion people instead of just other 7-year-olds, I’m kind of scared I won’t be as good (I know, I’m such a millennial!). But that’s just the thing – who the heck cares?!?! If I want to paint a brown dot on a green background, I’ll do it. And I’ll have fun. And I won’t care what anyone else is painting. Because that’s not the point. You don’t have to be the very best at your hobbies – you just have to enjoy doing them. And if it isn’t fun anymore, just find another hobby.
- Learn a new language
I love languages, even though I’m not very good at catching onto them. I actually recently just found out that I can’t physically roll my “R’s” because I have ankyloglossia, or tongue tie. My dentist just casually dropped this knowledge on me in February, kind of like, “Oh hey, can you open your mouth and touch the roof of your mouth with your tongue for me? No, you can’t? Oh, it’s because you have tongue tie”. Like…really dude? I’ve been seeing you for 5 years (not to mention the other dentists I’ve have for those other 21 years of my life who said nothing)…and you couldn’t figure that out for me before?? Anyways, there’s a super simple procedure I can do to fix it, and I think I will. And then I get to practice rolling my RRR’s in front of a mirror for hours on end, since I have a lot of catching up to do.
- Cook more without recipes
I’m a Pinterest fanatic. I post recipes like nobody’s business. And then I actually make some of them, when I build them into my menu plan. It’s all very structured and a bit sheep-like. I’ve been cooking for 7 years now, and no-one’s ever gone to the ER after eating my food, so I’d say I’m pretty decent at it. I want to get better at having my own “signature dishes” that I can make with my eyes closed. I also want to be able to just look at what I have in my fridge and pantry and come up with a great dish on my own!
So there…I’ve laid myself bare for you. Are you surprised at my list at all? Did you expect to see something that isn’t there? Do you have a list of your own that you want to start working on? If so, today might be that day to get to work!