I took a long break from writing in December. Not for lack of material, but rather it was the first time since I started posting that I was too busy to do so! December was a full month! I hosted a 50s-themed bowling birthday party for myself, went to Las Vegas for the second time in 30 days, and-- of course-- Christmas, Christmas, Christmas! I became obsessed with Costco's spiked egg nog and Target's massive wrapping wonderland. I was thrilled to spend the holidays with almost everyone that matters to me, although absent were my Michiganders and New Yorkers. And even more amazingly, Santa fulfilled every material request on my list! Among the highlights? My long-awaited Burberry trenchcoat and my of-this-decade MacBook Pro, Mr. Smee. I can wholeheartedly say I had a holly-jolly holiday.
And of course, with the holidays comes the close of yet another year. The season dissipated so quickly, though, it was difficult to fully reflect on 2011 until now. I have certainly had years with more concrete accomplishments, but this past year was truly a year of personal achievements. I had the privilege of standing up in two of my very dear friends' weddings, and I took my first adult vacation to Puerto Rico with my cousin Lauren. I took the LSAT, I moved out, I became a bartender. I bought a car! I made great new pals and reconnected with former friends. I fell in love. I stood back up. Many years go by too quickly but 2011 was ready to come to a close. Just like I said the other day as I was sorting out my underwear drawer: "It's been swell, but I have to make room for newer, better things."
Moving forward, I have set out a To-Do List for 2012. I really dislike the notion of "resolutions" because it implies that everything preceding the New Year was inherently wrong or bad. Not the case for my list. You won't find a diet anywhere near my 2012 plan of attack. (Well, unless Carraway and Popov actually plan on getting a cabana at XS Dayclub this Memorial Day. If so, I may be juicing my way through May...) No, I fully love being fit, but I'm not someone who can make it their end-all priority. If I feel like moving, I will move. If I feel like pizza, I will eat. It's worked so far.
Without further adieu, here are my (lofty) goals for the year 2012:
- Travel to a different destination every month.
I have so many friends living all over the country--and globe, for that matter. This year, more so than any other in the past, I have impetus to visit all these fine folks: babies to be birthed, engagements to be celebrated, and states to be explored. I plan on traveling domestically for most of my adventures, but I definitely want to go to Europe this year. I must go, I have to go, I need to go to London and Paris. I already have a some months planned out-- Paso Robles, New York City, Michigan, Texas, L.A.-- but I have yet to decide on where to go the other nine months. No rush though. We'll see where the year takes me, because I figure I may as well take advantage of my job's flexible schedule while I still can.
- Use all my cents.
Every single year since college I have promised myself I would learn more about money and finance. Over the years I've purchased about $150 in personal finance paraphernalia that's been neglected after about three weeks of practice. (I 'm clearly off to a terrific start.) Though I am lucky to not to have heaping pile of debt, mine's instead a manageable mound that's been transferred from year to year. No more! This year I will keep every receipt and understand my spending habits. I will save and thrift in all the right places, and amend my budget to afford not only my life right now but also my future. I will revisit those lonely finance books. I also promise not to have my new mindset affect those around me. Just as some vegetarians can be a pain in the bacon when going out to eat, I will not guilt my frugal-less friends into doing less costly activities. I will simply enjoy what I can enjoy.
- Play a sport.
Yes, friends, it shocked me too. I am not the most--what's the word?-- athletic person. I was never part of a team sport in grade school, and when I competed in tennis I forfeit 90% of my games to get to rehearsal on time. All in all, I evaded sports completely. I bruise like a banana and don't particularly enjoy getting sweaty from running around on a field. I don't even have siblings who played anything. I feel totally out of the loop at the Sports Book and around most guys. Therefore, I would like to introduce a sport into my life. Maybe tennis again, on account of all the adorable clothes you can wear... I will also commit myself to learning the rules and joy of all those other major sports: football, basketball, golf, and soccer. That way, I can go to Superbowl Sunday for reasons other than the bean dip.
These are the three main goals for this year, but not my only things to check off the list. I also have smaller, and larger, personal vistas toward which I'm climbing. I am shocked at how much I grew all throughout 2011. I lost some of my naivete, learned to live in the moment, and became more selfish. Three-quarters into the year I learned that in order for myself to be happy I have to do things that make me happy. It seems like a trick, but I swear it's the best shift I've ever made. Another great change? Being only with people I like and who like me. If I meet all my aforementioned goals I have a great feeling I will be an even happier person than I already am. I mean, I like me so far, but I think 2012 is the year I fall in love with me forever.