Category Archives: Experiences

Twenty-Seven Birthday Goals

I’ve always admired people with long lists of goals that they blog, crossing them off one-by-one throughout the year.  Since I’m still trying to get back into my life after my unfortunate seven or eight months, I thought it was time to do the same for myself, pushing myself along.

The first list, the first I got stuck after ten, which made me realize that I was being too big, too sweeping with my goals.  After all, the point is to be able to complete them, right?  So I started over focusing on the measurable and manageable; although are a few that are more inspiring than concrete.

  1. Help Gary get an apartment – Gary is the nicest, most-useful friend ever.  He took our wedding pictures, built my website, helps everyone move.  And he needs an apartment and could use some help.
  2. Run Jog a 5k
  3. Visit Miranda in Madison
  4. Make Charlotte’s baby’s quilt – Charlotte’s mom was the most amazing artist and nicest person.  She died of cancer last year, unexpectedly and way too young, and her family gave me her fabric.  She’ll never meet her grandchild, but I can pass a little bit of her on.
  5. Get my reading list to under 450 books – you don’t want to know
  6. Finish my cross-stitch pattern
  7. WORK ON FEELING BETTER – not small or measurable, but important all the less
  8. Make a fruit cake – I’ve been trying to do this for years even though I don’t like fruitcake
  9. Create/update my portfolio
  10. Get someone to hire me for a UX project (paid or unpaid)
  11. Earn $X – where X is a reasonable amount that I have made in a previous freelance year, but am not currently on target to make this year.
  12. Write 52 blog posts (e.g. weekly)
  13. Create wedding album
  14. Scan my mom’s family’s pictures – one of my two suitcases from my family trip was just family photos
  15. Scan my dad’s family’s pictures
  16. Make a list of IMPORTANT birthdays and card/call/celebrate – I’ve tried to do this in the past but included way too many people; this year, I’m focusing small and doable
  17. LEARN
  18. Finish up my back room project
  19. Decorate the living room
  20. Finish going through/clearing out my books
  21. Go on and document twelve (day+) trips – this isn’t as crazy as it sounds, we’re going on two this weekend; I’m look forward to making so much progress on something so quickly.  Route 66, AZ.Apple PickingMadison, WI;
  23. Finish knitting my first sweater
  24. Volunteer at least monthly
  25. Learn how to use some sort of photo software
  26. Get a non-Chilean-economist editing client – please, oh please.  I love my economists but I need a little variety
  27. Get a new market research client – again I love my current clients, but you can learn so much working with different clients; everyone has a different way of doing things.
  28. – 31.  currently unoccupied – for future goals or maybe like the free box in the middle of the bingo board

Introvert Overload: (but you like me, right?)

A week ago I got back from a weeklong visit with my family, a hard, beautiful, busy week packed full of sister/mother/niece/nephew/niece-in-law/cousin/second-cousin/friend who is like a sister/friend who is like a brother/tens of other relatives if only in picture form/driving oh man driving on dirt roads/have I mentioned I didn’t drive for five years before that/wine oh the wine/really more wine then I’ve drunk in the last year and a half/four brewery tours/the most beautiful landscape you’ve ever seen/morning people/night people/amazing hospitality/exhaustion.  I loved every minute of it except that the only alone time I had was with Siri and what felt like the world’s largest non-American sedan.

This was followed by a four-day holiday weekend with my husband.  We went to a state park for a picnic, my second state park in a week and also in the past 18 months.

Today, my in-laws arrive.  I love my husband’s family, for themselves and how different they are from mine, but they are people who believe in traveling and visiting in pack-form and doing things.  I’m hoping to avoid screaming “I love you but please let me sit alone in this dark room for a least an hour” and then spending that hour crying because I’m being a horrible host/daughter-in-law.  They leave Tuesday.

Tomorrow is my birthday.  Last year my birthday heralded a depressive period I’m still trying to pull myself out of. On the (good) advice of my therapist, I’m throwing myself a big house party next weekend. A big party with people.

What I’m really trying to say is that I desperately need an introvert vacation.  Even with people I love, that I’m so lucky and happy to spend time, I really need a couple of days alone.  Alone alone, you know… by myself. Preferably with a cupcake.

Old-y Timey Pictures


(Photo James Estrin/NYT)

I have always regretted that I was born too late for the joys of the automat.  This exhibit at the NY public library would almost make up for it except that NY is not on my travel plans anytime soon (hint, hint work, send me there).  I love that you can actually use the vending bit to get recipies.

Luckily I don’t have to be in NY to have fun playing with these pictures of old NY.  The best part was being able to check out the Google maps image of how things look now.

A bit of morning inspiration

“Everyone takes pictures of that” said the old man soaking up the unexpected March sun when I pulled out my phone.  I understand why – this is just the little unexpected message I needed today.  I get so caught up in trying to be the better me, the perfectly organized me, that I forget to be, well, me.become who you are