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4.23.2014

My 5-Year Plan

I just recently celebrated my 35th birthday, which seems like a bit of a milestone - at least to me.  These past five years have flown by.  I've gone from a newlywed to a mother of two; from a small apartment to two houses later; and from Wisconsin to Arizona.  In some ways I feel so young still, and in others I feel like I should have way more of my shit together.  So, in honor of my birthday I compiled a list (you know I love 'em) of 35 things I'd like to do in the next five years.

1 - Write a Novel.
I've started a number of "stories", but never completed any of them.  I don't care if it never gets published, I just want to finish something I've started.

2 - Learn Hair and Make-up.
I have about three hairstyles and have done my make-up the exact same way for probably 10 years now.  I need to learn some new tricks.

3 - Be Musical.
I brag a lot about knowing how to play a variety of instruments, but the truth is I haven't really "played" music in years.  I love it though, and I want to be able to pick up the violin, guitar, or piano and just play something.  
4 - Save Some Cash.
I have a good job and a nice chunk of change in the 401(k), but I'm not very good at saving money.  I really want to build up the old emergency fund and be done with debt too.

5 - Learn Photography.
I want to learn how to use my camera properly, and how to edit photos.  

6 - Finish Decorating My Bedroom.
There's so much I want to do in the house in the next five years, but I've never had that relaxing and romantic grown up bedroom, so I want to make sure I make our bedroom a priority.

7 - Expand My Vocabulary.
Really, I want to improve my speech in general.  I'm good at writing, but I always get tripped up speaking. I can never think of the right word on the spot, so I figure knowing more words will help with this problem.

8 -  Date My Husband.
I want to make sure this is a priority.  We need more one on one time.  Even if we can't always go out on an actual date our evenings after the kids go to bed should be more about connecting as individuals, and less about parenting and housework.

9 - Read More.
I love reading, but the only time I seem to do it anymore is right before bed.  The days of curling up with a book on the weekend for a couple hours are long gone, but I'm going to reign them back in.

10 - Visit Paris.
I haven't been since I was a senior in high school.  I'd like to go again, preferably alone with Bill.  It is the city of love after all.

11 - Learn Flower Design.
Every time I see an ad for a flower design school I want to sign right up.  I love bouquets, and I think I would actually love making my own.

12 - Join a Club or Charity.
I'd like to make some friends, and I'd also like to help people.  I want to have a cause that I can champion.

13 - Get Back to Nature.
Arizona is such a great place for hiking and being outside.  I would love to start taking family camping trips here and all over the country.  S'mores anyone?

14 - Be Pretty.
I want to make sure I occasionally indulge myself on frivolous girly beauty stuff - manicures, facials, massages or blow-outs. I've had a "put myself last" mentality for too long now.

15 - Bake Madeleines.
I bought some Madeleine baking trays years ago with the intent of making them all the time for my little Madeleine.  It was going to be her signature cookie.  I have never done it once.

16 - Dress Awesome.
I've seriously lost my sense of style over the past five years.  I want to have fun with clothes again.

17 - Be Active.
I was an avid tennis player in my youth, and I like the idea of golf.  I'd like to do more of both of them.  I think I would also enjoy biking (if I had a bike).

18 - Get to Know My Children.
I really want to have a good relationship with my children.  I want to spend one-on-one time with each of them more, and get to know who they really are.  I want to make sure I'm parenting who my child is, not what I think or hope they might be.

19 - Go to Hawaii.
There are so many places I want to visit as a family, but the kids are so small right now - would they even remember?  I figure Hawaii would be a great place to start back our big vacations.  It's slightly exotic, but still part of the US.  It's a big enough vacation to seem grand, but not so big where the kids would be disappointed if they don't remember.

20 - Lose Weight.
So, cliché I know, but the truth is I've gained about 40 pounds in the last 10 years.  I'd like to feel better about the way I look. I'd want to set a good example of a healthy lifestyle for my children.

21 - Learn French.
I've sort of accepted that I probably will never be fluent in French, but I still want to be better at it.  I just love the language so much.

22 - Have Dinner/Cocktail Parties.
I love the idea of entertaining - creating a table-scape and menu, cloth napkins; maybe even dressing up.  It's such a great way to make a random weeknight more special.  I need to make some friends first though.

23 - Keep in Touch.
Now that we're on the other side of the country far from family and most of our friends, I want to make sure I don't neglect the relationships of those people I hold dear.

24 - Establish Routines.
There are a lot of repetitive chores around the house that should be on autopilot, but aren't.  I want to get meal planning, laundry, and cleaning on weekly routines so I know exactly what I'm doing everyday.

25 -  Get My Craft On.
I used to love to cross stitch, and I miss it.  I want to learn how to crochet and sew, and even paint.  I feel like I used to be a creative person, and I'd like to be that way again.

26 - Memorize a Poem.
I love the idea of being able to recite a poem or snippet of literature by heart and on demand. I would love our family dinners to occasionally have a salon type feel.

27 - Learn to Make Sushi
I came late to the sushi bandwagon, but now that I'm on it I'm not getting off.  The more sushi I try, the more I like it.  It seems like it would be a fun dinner to make that gets the whole family involved.  I want to learn how.

28 - Research the Family Tree.
I've always wanted to learn more about my family and Bill's.  It's so fun to look at old photographs and hear stories, but I'd like to make it a little more formal and create a nice genealogy for everyone to enjoy.

29 - Get My Estate in Order.
I've been meaning to put my affairs in order for some time now - who gets the kids, where are all the accounts, passwords, trusts, life insurance, etc.  We've done bits and pieces, but I need to fill in the gaps and make sure it is all readily accessible if anything should happen to one or both of us.

30 - Get Organized and Purge.
I know we just moved, but I'm constantly looking for stuff in the new house.  I want everything to have a place, and know where that place is. I want to love everything in my home, not just collect stuff.

31 - Bring Back a Little Culture.
I love the ballet, symphony (or any live music event), museums, and theater.  It's been far too long since I've gone to any of these.  I want to make them a regular part of my life, as well as my children's.  

32 - Grow Something.
I would love to have a little vegetable garden somewhere on our lot.  I also want to have a citrus or avocado tree.  I have an extreme black thumb, so this one will be a challenge.  Maybe I'll start with a cactus.

33 - Keep Up with Technology.
I love blogging, but I don't know much about the tech side of it.  I'm also heavily dependent on my IT Professional husband at home if anything isn't working.  I don't want technology to pass me by.  I want to know how to work all our electronics as well as learn more about the behind the scenes of blogging.

34 - Give Experiences.
I'd like to give less things and more experiences to Bill and the kids.  We have plenty of stuff.  I'd rather give them memories.

35 - Be Happy.
Having a list is great, but more than anything I just want to love myself, be loved, and enjoy life.

So, there's my list.  Reading it back I'm pretty sure I live in the wrong decade - possibly even the wrong century. I don't care though, it's who I am or at least who I want to be. What do you think?  It actually took me a long time to compile this list. Do you have a 5-year plan? Is it specific, or more broad concept like mine?

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