Monday, January 1, 2024

The 2024 List


Ringing in NYE in sweats and with water. This is 2024.

I searched high and low for my 2023 goals list before I realized it was still sitting in my unpublished posts. Unpublished, but very much accomplished. As 2023 drew to a close, I could not for the life of me remember what my specific goals were. When I came across my list, I patted myself on my back. I read 20+ books, we splatter painted, we skipped lumberjack games for a hiking trip to the North Shore, gardens were planted and grew, so much purging as daycare came to a close, a lot more cooking happened (I can't promise a new recipe was tried every month, but we ate out less and cooked at home more), and I submitted a piece of writing each the form of grants, forms, and stories for the Des Moines Children's Museum. Selfie World and that hot air balloon ride never happened, but for the good reasons of other plans and life changes took precedence.

More important than completing this list was knowing what we needed to concentrate on last year and we threw ourselves into it. As a result, a big life transition went as seamlessly as they come. Honestly, I kinda impressed myself with it, but it absolutely wouldn't be so if it weren't for the amazing support system we surround ourselves with.

Before I could move forward with my 2024 list, I had to take a look back. I reflect, I identify where I'd like to better myself, and why. This helps me set new goals every single year. I thought long and hard. As sad as it makes me, we're past our day trips and long road trips phase. The minis each have their own lives they're forming and have activities, dances, projects, classes, jobs, and friends they need and want to be around for. It's been rather hard to leave the era of hoping in the car on a whim on the weekends and heading to a state park, festival, or another state for a getaway, but it has been one of the greatest gifts to watch my minis come into their own. As I made this year's list, I kept all of that in mind. I did have to really think about it, what would make me happy, what my children wanted to accomplish and how that fit in with my own goals.

1.) Get back into community events. Sure, I go to a lot of events with my job, but I want to go to and enjoy community events in my free time. I still feel as though we're coming out of our Covid era cocoon, so I want to be mindful of being involved again. 

2.) See the Northern Lights. This one keeps making the list year after year. There are no trips to Alaska or anywhere else, but I'm extremely hopeful we/I can make a quick trip up north whenever they're predicted. I imagine it to be a grand adventure.

3.) Hike more. Hiking took a back seat last year and I miss it. My mind and body are better when they're active. I'm focusing more on quick, local hikes or bike trails rather than hiking trips, much to my dismay. I'm not giving a number to the amount of hikes I'd like to do, but enough to make myself feel good and clear my mind.

4.) Concentrate on friendships. Let's be real, when you have young kids, maintaining friendships is a lot of work. Luckily, I have some very patient and lifelong friends in my corner. As my kids grow and focus on their own relationships, I have much more time for my own again. I want to socialize more, go out again, and catch up with every single on of them.

5.) Finish that book. That book that has been written for over a year, that's still waiting for the colors on all of the pages, before I self publish again. I thought hard about putting 'writing query letters' as one of my goals, but I do a lot of writing already in my day job that I don't want to burn myself out.

6.) Show my backyard some love. Lots and lots of love. For the past 6 years, our backyard has been a playground. It's beloved and well used. It needs A LOT of love and care, landscaping, weeding, seeding, and everything in between. I hope to come up with a good plan to set in motion in the spring.

7.) Say I love you more. This needs no more explanation other than telling those around me that I love them and why. 

8.) Be gracious. I want to be better about showing gratitude to those who make my daily life better and easier. I often forget to show my gratitude in the moment, whether I'm too busy or sometimes I'm overwhelmed with things. 

9.) Help my kids achieve their goals. They all have their own goals now rather than a combined list as we have in the past. They have good, solid goals, some they need help achieving, others are a little silly. But I want them to accomplish them, so one of my goals is to be present as they achieve their own throughout the year.

10.) Reduce the number of streaming services/monthly extras. We are a family that currently subscribes to...well, a lot. Too many and we can easily get rid of some. I'm hopeful this will set aside extra money for a vacation/weekend home in the coming years.