2009 Goals

And it’s been a long December and there’s reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass

Counting Crows, A Long December

The end of 2008 is nigh, and now is the time to reflect on the year that has past and start looking toward the year that is coming.

I started my 101 in 1001 as an impetus to change.  I needed those clearly-defined goals to define what I wanted and needed out of my life, in the baby steps that made sense in a way to attain those things that I’ve wanted.

Do I think I’ve succeeded?  Sort of.  I like having been able to tick things off of my list; and some of those accomplishments are truly astounding to me.  I, for one, never thought I would make it to Chicago, and do all of the neat things I got to do.  But I did.  I also “knew” I was going to go to graduate school, I just didn’t know when, and I feel a huge sense of accomplishment that I’ll be attending classes in January.

Here are some of the highlights from 2008:
13. Set up an Etsy shop to sell my jewelry. [Link]
17. Buy a DSLR camera. [Link]
43. Open an electronic savings account. [Link]
46. Roll my balance to a lower-interest credit card.
68. Obtain my Life and Health license. [Link]

The financial goals were some of the biggest.  On January 2, I’ll have another huge goal accomplished, and I’ll explain in detail the financial goals.

Below are some of the bigger goals I’m looking to accomplish for 2009:
9. Donate to Planned Parenthood.
12. Create a body of work for my jewelry-making hobby.
33. Go to a blog convention.
35. Get my own domain.
44. Build a 3-month cash reserve.
69. Move out of my parents’ house.
80. Sell something on the internet.
101. Go to Lebowski Fest.

This isn’t all I have on my dance ticket for 2009, but these are the ones that I’m most excited for.  It looks like a lot, but some of them are pretty small, easily-accomplished goals.  They’re also all goals that I’m very passionate about accomplishing, so I don’t see them as a lot of goals.

I’m still very much involved with my 101 tasks, and doing this makes me feel very good about my “New Years Resolutions”.

As of today, December 27, 2008: 22 down, 79 to go.

Day after Christmas Meme

1. What is the best gift you received this year?

I did get things that I asked for and/or needed. But, ironically, the one that makes me smile every time I see it is my State Quarters display frame. I get all geeked out when I see all the quarters I’ve collected so far.

2. What is the best gift you gave this year?

It was either I’m a Lebowski, You’re a Lebowski for The Boy, or the “Obscure Band You’ve Never Heard Of” t-shirt for Radio Edit.

3. When did you do most of your shopping/creating?

The first weekend of December, and I did it all on Amazon.

4. Did you go shopping the day after Thanksgiving?

No, I was too busy having my wisdom teeth pulled out of my head. Which, if you think about it, I chose over going out on Black Friday.

5. What stands out already about Christmas 2008?

– My brother being away for Christmas. I know that it hit my mother really hard in that she didn’t decorate for the holidays. I opened my presents in front of the computer while we were on Skype, so he could watch.

– That I couldn’t really get into the holiday season. I’m taking notes to see how I can improve upon this next year.

– How nice and mellow Christmas day was. No pressure to get a ton of food on the table to feed a thousand cranky relatives, just making dinner with a fancier cut of meat and fancier table linens for the immediate family and The Boy.

I would say that despite me not feeling festive, it was a nice Christmas.

Deck the Halls

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit.  I don’t know that it has gotten any better: my mother’s effort at a Christmas tree is a lit topiary in the foyer.  But I don’t blame her – since my grandmother’s and uncle’s deaths, this has been her most dreaded time of year;  and with my brother away in Japan, it’s hard to be festive when you’re sad.

I talked to The Boy, and he really tries to help me get into the holiday spirit.  He tells me that sometimes, if you fake festive, you feel festive. In an effort for me to fake festive, instead of wrecking another 101 in 1001 goal, I am actually going to do Christmas cards this year.  I picked them up while I was wandering through Sam’s.

I’ll sing Christmas carols while I fill out my cards.  Maybe that will get me out of my Grinchy mood.  That, and the big bottle of Bombay Sapphire that The Boy picked up for me to mix with my favorite drink ever that comes out only at Christmas – Diet Canada Dry Cranberry Ginger Ale.

Actually, the thought of a Cranberry Gin and Ginger does warm the cockles of my heart.  Maybe I can turn my poor Christmas attitude around.

The “I Love Jesus” Effect

Sometimes, I like to indulge in something I have dubbed The “I Love Jesus” Effect, in which, I – a normally non-retaliating person – has no choice but to react in the exact manner requested.

The “I Love Jesus” Effect is so named because of a bumper sticker, “Honk if You Love Jesus”.  One day, when I was still working long hours at the department store, I was about five cars deep at a light at a busy intersection at the busiest time of day.  At that point, I’d been cut off about four times, had three customers give me shit that day and was generally cranky.  Sitting idly at the stop light, I read the bumper sticker ahead of me: “Honk if You Love Jesus.”  I read that bumper sticker, and a wicked Grinch-like grin crossed my lips, and I though, “Hmm, I love Jesus. . . .”

Five-deep in line at a stoplight, I mashed the horn for a few seconds, and wickedly giggled at the thought that the bumper-sticker-lover was going to have to have his car detailed.

I very rarely use the I “Love Jesus” Effect, simply because it’s a douche-y thing to do, but there are just some times where it is completely appropriate.  The Boy used it yesterday on me.

We stopped at Circle K so that he could buy cigarettes and I asked if he would buy me a “Polar Pop”, which is Circle K’s gimmicky drink that you can buy a soft drink up to 32oz for only 59 cents – and stays colder longer because the cups are made out of the most Earth-unfriendly Styrofoam.  The Boy, both humored and annoyed that I’d called it buy it’s stupid name, stood in front of the soda fountain, though to himself, “Well, it is cost effective to buy the biggest one. . . .”

He came out with the biggest friggin’ soda I’ve ever seen.  The base was as big around as a small salad plate.  It wouldn’t even fit in my cup holder, I had to squeeze it in there, and hope that I didn’t produce a stress fracture and explode all over the center console of my car.

The worst part is he grinned like an ass every time I had to wrestle it out of the cup holder to take a sip.

Personal Accountability

The Boy, in preparation for his annual Christmas party, spend the majority of the week decorating the apartment, including setting up the tree.  My last year in Ashland, I bought him and I little snowmen ornaments with our names on them, and every year, they get hung in the tree.  While he was unpacking the ornaments, he called me.

“Oh dammit, now I’m going to have to open an entire box of ornament hooks.”

“Why?”

“Because, I took our snowmen out, and only yours still has its hook.  …My snowman was irresponsible.”