As you’ve probably noticed, I’m a big fan of making commitments at the beginning of the year. I build an aggressive reading list and bucket list to chart out what I want to accomplish in the year to come. I have a lot of friends who are staunchly opposed to making resolutions because they find it artificial, arbitrary, or too focused on negative qualities. I get that.
But, for me, the tiny life pause that comes at the end of the year is a perfect time to focus on – and sometimes even more importantly organize – the personal goals I have for myself. They’re usually not focused on changing things that I don’t like or think I should do less of (eat healthier, lose weight, stop killing your plants, etc.) but more on the positive things that I want to introduce to my routine.
Fast forward to the end of February and life has started to get in the way. The life pause feels further away. My intentions for the year are in the back of my mind, but the detail is foggy. So, I’m using this Sunday to recommit, to take a look at those goals, to see how they might have changed for me over the past few months, and to see how I’ve done so far.
Let’s take a look at my reading list first. So far, so good, thanks to the ladies from Prose and Hos(e). I’m trying to read 40 books this year, and I’m on my 4th. I have a little bit of catching up to do, but The Luminaries was a BEAST of a book, so I’m thinking I can pick up the pace.
Me Before You by JoJo Moyes (An easy, poignant read – check out Taryn’s review)
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (An 800+ page tome. Slowed down my progress but it was worth it. Catton is a masterful storyteller, but you need to be ready to commit. An openness to the supernatural helps.)
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg (I fell in love with Aziz on Parks & Rec and loved the mixed style of vingette and social science, but this book could have been half its length and just as effective. Most interesting, I bet, for folks who are navigating the world of online dating.)
- This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper (in progress!)
- The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
- The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
- Empire Falls by Richard Russo
- Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett
- Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
- All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
- On the Road by Jack Kerouac
- The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
- The Power Broker by Robert Caro
- On Looking: 11 Walks with Expert Eyes by Alexandra Horowitz
- Unfinished Business by Anne-Marie Slaughter
- The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
- The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks
- The Power of Unreasonable People by John Elkington, Pamela Hartigan
- Susan Sontag The Complete Rolling Stone Interview by Jonathan Cot
On to my 2016 bucket list. I’ve been a little bit of a homebody, concentrating my success on the reading and writing items on my list. I am excited by the fact that I’ve made regular writing a habit for work and play, writing about 4 short form pieces a week for various forums. That was a longtime goal of mine, and it’s now a regular practice that I love for all the reasons I thought it would.
Big accomplishment, for sure. But, most of the items on this list have gone untouched. Most of my time out and about in the city has been consumed by the standard drinks, dinner, coffee with friends and family. Time to shake it up if I’m hoping to accomplish the rest of this list. Excuses about the NYC winter be damned.
- MOMA PS1
- US Open
- Met Opera
- 9/11 Memorial
- Mission Chinese
- Bike all five boroughs
- Walk across the Manhattan bridge (with earplugs)
- Take a Soulcycle class (What IS all the hype about?!)
- Run a 10K
- Stay in crow pose for more than 2 seconds
- Take an Indian cooking class
- Read 24 fiction books (on my way with 4 down)
Write twice a week
- Make homemade Gnocci
- Make Tamales
- Make Tagine
- Make Beignets
Build a Gingerbread house (Kind of – do gingerbread men count?)
- Grow tomatoes (take that Brooklyn!)
- Learn to sew (don’t judge me for not knowing…)
- Learn to crochet
- Buy a lifetime supply of cloth napkins and ban paper towels
Well, that felt useful for me. Not sure how useful it was for you, dear reader. But I’m feeling one part proud of what I’ve accomplished, one part recommitted to what I haven’t, and one part super hungry for tamales at 8am on a Sunday.
P.S. Who here wants to teach me how to sew?