Page 56: I Don’t Do Resolutions, But…

This is the part where I tell you, like everyone else does, that I’m not really into resolutions, but…

Here’s the thing—I don’t need to make any resolutions. Did you read my last post?? Enough is going to change in 2016 on its own. Other years, resolutions have been important. This year though, the concept is utterly unnecessary for me.

That being said, however, I love a list of goals. I love a good bucket list. So instead of resolutions, I’m going to write a to-do list. And I want to encourage you to do the same! This is a list that only includes one-and-done items. There’s nothing (well, not much, anyway) about this list that encourages a habit. I think that’s the important distinction between a list of resolutions and a to-do-list.



So here we go with my list of 25 things that I want to do in 2016:

  1. Have a pot-luck style brunch party with my friends.
  2. Take a long road trip with my husband.
  3. Really, really figure out how Evernote works.
  4. Monetize this blog.
  5. Bring a new plant into the house.
  6. Drink a Sazerac in New Orleans
  7. Send out gift cards randomly to people.
  8. Do a 30 Days of Yoga Challenge
  9. Have a BBQ.
  10. Interview my friends.
  11. Go to an Indian Restaurant for the first time ever in life.
  12. Meet Jamie for lunch ½ way between where we both live.
  13. Walk all the way from Wall Park to Lakeside Park on the walking trail (it’s not hard, it’s just something that I’ve always wanted to do and never done).
  14. Find a perfect lipstick.
  15. Donate a bunch of clothes.
  16. Explore cool things in Kansas.
  17. Explore cool things in Kansas (I want to do it at least twice).
  18. Put away all of the laundry in the bedroom (it has literally never all been put away before).
  19. Have my nephew, Owen, stay the night.
  20. Pay off my dental bill (this one might actually not be very reasonable).
  21. Paint—this time with watercolors, maybe.
  22. Finish a book (I didn’t finish many books last year and I mean to change that).
  23. Bake something with a kid.
  24. Make a really good homemade pizza.
  25. Make choux pastry.

Full disclosure: there are a few other things that I am going to do this year that I’m just not going to tell you about but they will happen and when they do you’re going to be so pumped! Probably. If I know you like I think I do, and I think I do.

What do you think? Are there any one-and-done things that you want to make sure that you try this year? Anywhere you want to visit? Any food you’ve been dying to try?

I really do hope that all of your most reasonable (and a few of your wildest) dreams come true this year.

Page 55: “Who Do You Think You Are?”

I’ve made my bed and this is what sleeping in it looks like.

It looks like me sitting at my dining room table with a notebook to my right and a coffee to my left, a batch of dishes soaking in the kitchen and my hair up in a towel. And I’m at work.
Not pictured: my anxiety asking me, “Just who in the hell do you think you are?”

Last week I had my last day at my full-time job. My husband came by and spent the last hour with me and then he took me out to lunch where we ordered strong cocktails in celebration.
And on the way home from lunch, he grabbed my hand and told me that he was proud of me and reminded me (like I’ve been asking him to do every day for the past three weeks) that everything is going to be okay. And suddenly I was struck with this silent flash of the reality of this situation. I felt something deep inside of me come out and say the words, “I can’t… believe… I quit… my job.”
Well, I quit my job so that I could be a writer like I’ve always wanted to do. I was in college for five years (that first Freshman year was just a very expensive trial-run) and the whole time people would ask me, “What are you going to do with your English degree? Teach?” And I would recoil and say, “Ugh, no! I’m going to be a writer.” I said that for five years. Until I got my first, post-grad, to-pay-the-bills job and then I completely forgot about it. People would ask me about my writing and I’d wave it off saying that I had a hobby blog but that was it because I’m an adult now and people can’t live on words alone. And maybe they can, maybe they can’t, I can’t say whether or not it’s possible for me yet. But I have kind of learned that you can’t live very well by denying what your spirit needs either.
So here we are. We aren’t rich but it’s now or 30 years from now and I can’t wait that long. Our life is changing big because of this decision. But I don’t know if I can keep myself healthy and keep denying my creativity any longer.

One thing I know for sure is that I couldn’t do it without Ryan. I didn’t know how crucial it is to have a supportive partner until we started tossing around this idea. I want to take a little space here to publicly tell the world that I don’t know if there’s a better person in this world than this man who married me and loves to build me up.
I pray that one day I’ll be able to hold back the curtain so that he can explore his dreams, too. Thank you so much for loving me in this deep and tangible way.

Here are a list of my doubts, just so that I can get them out there and come face to face with them. I might not conquer them all right now but here they are:

1. Is this something that people are really allowed to do? How am I allowed to do this?
2. Is this horribly irresponsible? Aren’t we supposed to work hard and save all the money that we possibly can when we’re young so that we can make all of our dreams come true when we’re old?
3. What if I’m not even successful at it? And what does success even look like to me right now?
4. Other people aren’t allowed to do this so why me? Why do I get to be the one?

I don’t have answers for all of those questions but I don’t really need them. If you can put words to your anxiety you’ll quickly see that it’s pretty unreasonable and only serves as a distraction.

One thing that I know for sure is that when doubt looks at you and says, “Just who the hell do you think you are?” make sure you answer that question.

Thank you for coming on this journey with me. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for sharing my words. Thank you for your input. Keep it coming. You’re a crucial part of this, too.


Page Ten: Summer Bucket List

Bucket. (Just say it out loud–‘s fun)

I don’t make winter or autumn bucket lists but summer bucket lists are a non-negotiable. For whatever reason. They’re totally unimportant and made up and no one has to have one. But it’d make the comment more section more fun if you had one. There are three whole items on mine. Here they are:

1. Make (and share) a batch of super good sangria. Preferably on a patio in the evening times. Kellory knows what I’m talking about. 

2. Random little tattoo without a lot of forethought. I’m talking, walk into a studio on an afternoon and pick some flash off the wall. 

3. Go sleeveless a few times. This is something that, swimming pool not included, has happened in public exactly one time. No one cares. It’s hot. Get comfy. 

What do you want to get did this summer?