Friday, January 16, 2015

Goals for 2015

My friend Heidi, who has a real blog that is so awesome that people actually pay her to write it, just made a list of her goals for 2015.   You can check out her blog at  It's a lovely production, by a genuinely nice human being, who happens to have the best business cards I've ever seen.  

But, by all means, if your interest is at all piqued by my murkily-lit pictures of dusty electrical wiring captioned with incomplete sentences that are copy-pasted from emails to my mother - read on!  

Anyway, I enjoyed reading her goals.  I realized I rarely ask other people what their goals are, I should though, because it's wonderful to check in and hear about the process as well as the end result.   I like the idea of people knowing what my goals are for the year: success or failure, it's motivating.

 2014 was a hard year for me.  We did a lot of great things: not least of which was finally saving up some money to travel, but this year I had such a hard time balancing full-time construction with full-time work.  We'd work 9-5 and then come home and do construction til 10 pm.  Occasionally, if we had deadlines, I'd be cutting drywall at midnight.  Also, the only time we actually enjoy the work is on the weekends, so we tend to isolate ourselves then and work straight through them.  Many times on Mondays I'd be more tired than before the weekend.  Because 2014 was such an intense year of exhausting busyness, I've let things slip, and so I definitely have some things to work towards.

From one of my all-time-favorites, A Field Journal

Also, I haven't yet compiled a list of 2015 goals, which is out-of-character for me.  I blame it on the pink champagne.

1. Be more social. 
We've been bad friends, which is inexcusable.  I suppose I've always loved entertaining at home, we love to cook and make cocktails, and I like controllable noise levels that are conducive to conversation.  I've got just 2 more projects that I think are important to transition completely out of "construction zone" - the foyer thresholds, and that darn dining room ceiling hole.  Once those things are over, I want to start entertaining at home again, regardless of how self-conscious I am of unfinished projects.  But, even if those things hit a hiccup, we need to start planning ahead again with a calendar, for dinners out or picnics in nice weather or concerts.  We'll get there, it's my #1 goal, scouts' honor.

2. Garden. Take two. 
We grew a garden last year, and we did get quite a bit out of it, but we did a couple things wrong.  First, we were learning how the light in our backyard works, and I'm thinking we'll just have to buy tomatoes or find a more shade-resistant variety.  Second, we just flat-out wasted or gave away a bunch of stuff, because we just had a grill and no kitchen for most of summer.  What do you do with swiss chard on a grill?  Should've frozen it though, because I wish I had it now!  Side note: Our gardening lives were 100% improved when we bought starts for $2 or $3 a plant at a nice organic garden supply store in Naperville.  So much easier and more fun than watching seeds molder.  The heartiest starts are the widest, not the tallest.  We still grow radishes, peas, carrots, lettuce, and greens from seed, but we get starts for herbs, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, strawberries.

3. Canning.  Can something, anything.
I really want to can something.  I feel like this would be a wonderful and useful hobby, but I just need to get started already.  I always end up just making preserved lemons, which don't require cooking or sealing, so I'm not really canning and I need to just do it already.  Does anyone else want to learn to can?  Or hang out and help me and we can share the proceeds? I have a big kitchen now.... I have no excuses.  I even have boxes of mason jars.  This was one of my 2013 and 2014 goals too, so I have especially failed at getting this off the ground.

4. Houseplants
I want houseplants - whether this means reading up more about houseplants or buying new ones every 6 months after I kill them, I'm going to figure this out.  I do not have a natural gardening ability, but perhaps this is learnable.  After all, I read that if leaves are brown, you are probably over-watering your plant, not under-watering it.  Definitely did not know that.

5. Clean and organize the storage areas of the house.
Ohhh, this is a scary project.  We moved everything around so many times to accommodate construction that I don't even know what's in there anymore.  The boxes are coated with dust.  Everything needs to be cleaned before it is put away again.  Awful project.  Will start pantry now (after I finish painting) and the rest of it in the spring.

6. Early riser.
We need to get our act together on rainy days and cold days, and still wake early.  We're so good in the summer, with time to take the dog and have breakfast on the beach.  Need to find motivating things to wake up to in the morning, and give ourselves time to enjoy them and get ready on time.

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