Today is my birthday! I am approximately 21 years older than this picture. This is a weird birthday. I haven’t been at work in a week because of Hurricane Sandy (our offices were without power) and I’m going back today.
I like birthdays. I like other people’s birthdays, I like my birthday. Cupcakes are fun! But I also like markers to see where the year has taken me. I do this every chance I get! The change of the seasons, the new year, the beginning of a school year (even though I’m not in school anymore.)
It’s interesting looking back at the person I was a year ago. I think I’m different now. Of course I’m different now. For the past few years now, though, I’ve made a list of 20-odd things to do before my 20-odd year. I don’t even want to go through the list from last year – I haven’t accomplished most of those things, not even the easy ones! Why keep making the lists you say? Because! I like to fail things.
Just kidding. Because I like to have some kind of guide, some kind of reminder of what was important to me on this date in 2012. Last year I went with “vague.” This year, I think I’ll go with specific. Also, I know that the title doesn’t exactly make sense because this is my 25th year, so it should be 25 for 25, but let’s just say 24 for my 24th birthday and be okay with it.
1. Start a collection of Madeleine L’Engle books. I want to own them all, so that my kids will grow up with them the same way I did.
2. Keep up with “books in, books out.” So far, so good. I realized, though, that there’s not any kind of built in punishment. I decided that as long as I am in the negative, like right now, I just absolutely can’t bring anything in. Fortunately I’m only one book in the red, so as soon as I’m done with the book I’m reading I will be back at even.
3. Lose 10 more pounds. This is something that I don’t really talk about that often on this blog, but over the past year and a half, I’ve lost 25 pounds and a dress size. Which, yes, is abysmally slow, but I feel good about doing it slow. It feels like it’s staying off, which matters more to me than losing it quickly.
4. Don’t fall into your yearly gym-slump from November-March. Every year, from November to March, going to the gym and working out feel like pure torture and I barely do it. This year feels different!
5. I don’t know how many times I have to tell myself to write more, but damn, I need to write more.
6. Write one poem a week.
7. Build up savings. This has been hard. I’m trying to pay off my student loans quickly, so I don’t have a lot of extra cash to save, but I know that I can do it.
8. Take a class in something. This was on my list last year and I didn’t do it. Shame on me, because I’d really like to do it!
9. Travel to a city or state I have never been before! Last year I went to Columbus, OH for work and Chicago to visit a friend of mine and had a blast. Things I’d really like to see in the US: California, the Grand Canyon, Texas, New Orleans, the Twin Cities, Boston, and Maine. I don’t think I’ll get to all of those this year, but the list has started.
10. See a few shows. Mostly cheap off Broadway ones, but splurge on at least one Broadway show.
11. Do one thing that terrifies me.
12. Crochet through my yarn stash!
13. Submit writing to writing contests, magazines, websites.
14. Check out one cookbook a week from the library, cook from it, and review it on Weekend Cooking. This is so ambitious. Let’s just admit now that I’ll probably only do this twice.
15. Spend less money. Bring your breakfast to work! Don’t be quite so lazy. Figure out easy ways to pack breakfast. Use the library!
16. Classics Club – Get started on that!
17. Keep up with the Poetry Project.
18. Use my sewing machine. I did lug it all the way from Virginia to New York. I should really try and use it.
19. Read more comics.
20. Travel outside the US. Switzerland! I’m comin’ for ya.
21. Make a real donation to the library, instead of getting a huge fine. Yeah, I need to work on that.
22. Volunteer at the library.
23. Visit all the museums in the city! Another ambitious one, but I’m determined to do this one.
24. Write letters to authors about how much their books mean to me. On a recent reread of A Wrinkle in Time, there’s a moment in the afterward when Madeline L’Engle’s granddaughter mentioned how much all her fan letters meant to her. I feel like I should be writing letters to the authors whose books mean so much to me. If just to say thank you for writing such a lovely book.