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4.28.2017

Checking In On My 5-Year Plan

I recently celebrated my 38th birthday, and was reminded of a few years back on my 35th birthday when I put together a list of 35 things I wanted to do in the next 5 years (see here). I thought it would be fun, since I'm 3 years in now, to check-in and see if I've actually accomplished anything on the list.
Hmmm, now that I think about it, maybe this isn't a great idea. This could get really depressing for me really fast, but let's dive in anyway, shall we?

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.

Update - nothing to report here. I still think about it all the time though.

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.

Update - in the last 6 months, I actually have tried some new make-up techniques and learned one new hairstyle. So, you know, baby steps, I guess.

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.

Update - we now have a keyboard in the house! I had a lot of fun playing Christmas carols over the holidays, but that's been about it. Oh, and Madeleine is taking piano lessons now too, so that's fun.

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.

Update - hmm, better than I was 3 years ago, but I'd like to be further along. Still, progress, I guess. 

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

Update - ugh, I've done nothing.


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.

Update - yeah, nothing here either, although we did buy a headboard.

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.


Update - while I still like the idea of this one; I don't think it has even crossed my mind in the last 3 years. Not really a priority, you know?

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.


Update - I think this has been going well. Of course, Bill and I could always be spending more quality time together, but I don't feel like this is any sort of problem in our relationship. I'll always wish to be with him more though; I love the guy!

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.


Update - oh man, if anything, I think I've been reading less lately! While, I don't think I'll ever be able to say I read enough, I'd like to at least be reading about 2 books a month. If I average all the books I've read the last 3 years, I've actually surpassed, but that's only due to completing that massive reading challenge of 2015 (see here). I've definitely tapered off on reading since then though.

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.

Update - a girl can still dream.

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.

Update - no movement here either. I'd still love to learn, but think I'd be just as happy if I simply tried to have more fresh flowers in the house on a regular basis.

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.

Update -  I've dipped my toe in here, but haven't committed fully to any cause or organization yet. I'm definitely not to the point where I've sacrificed any significant portion of my time or gained any sort of personal fulfillment yet. 

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?

Update - we've hiked quite a few times as a family, but it's not a regular occurrence; and we've still yet to go camping.

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.

Update - I have been getting manicures/pedicures more lately, but that's about it. Plus, those are not on any sort of regular basis yet by any means. I do get my hair colored every 6 weeks like clock-work though.

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.

Update - I did this! Just once (see here), but you know, I still finally did it.

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

Update - I've definitely gotten back into having fun with fashion again. I hope to be sharing lots more fashion posts soon.

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).

Update - While I haven't played tennis or golf yet, I did get a bike (see here). I don't ride it as much as I thought I would yet though. What I have started doing again is running. I try to run a couple of times a week and have worked my way up to 2 mile stretches at a time.

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.

Update - I don't think this is ever something I'll be able to cross off as finished or complete, as it's a process that will grow and change as they do. Have I made a conscious effort to do this though? I hope so, but it never feels like enough.

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.

Update - if we had gone to Hawaii you'd have heard about it; still just a dream.

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.

Update - dude, I totally did this! I've been meaning to talk about it more, but it's still a work in progress yet. I'll just say that I've lost 30 pounds in the last 7 months and still hope to lose more. Maybe when I've moved to the maintaining stage I'll be more ready to talk about it. 

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.


Update - no further along then when I first wrote this one.


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.
Update - while we do occasionally have friends over, I've yet to really entertain on the level I'm imagining. Being fancy is a lot of work!

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.

Update - another ongoing goal that I could definitely be better at. 

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.

Update - um, no. Housework and chores are still the bane of my existence.

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.

Update - other than the occasional cake/cookie decorating project, I've not done much crafting in any way.

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.

Update - yeah, no. Why did I even want to do this again? I mean, I still love the idea of it, but definitely low on my priority list.

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.

Update - I still think this would be fun, but alas, I haven't done it yet.

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.

Update - no progress here.

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.

Update - and no progress here either. This should really be a priority though. I don't want to get caught unprepared.

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.

Update - I definitely have purged (see here and here), but I'm not yet living the sort of streamlined and minimalist life I've dream of.

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.

Update - I'm making progress here. We took the kids to the children's theater once. I've also invested in season tickets to ASU Gammage, so we've been taking in about one Broadway musical every other month or so. Plus, of course, there was Bon Jovi (see here). I've not been to the symphony or ballet in years though.

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.
Update - OMG, I cannot even grow 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.
Update - I'm nowhere near where I'd like to be here either.

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.
Update - I've not done this as much as I had hoped, but I'm always on the lookout for great ideas.

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

Update - I think I'm in a better place emotionally and physically than where I was 3 years ago. I'll probably always be looking for more fulfillment and meaning from life, but all in all, yes, I'm happy.

How about you? Is your life where you thought it would be by the age you are? I think as long as I'm continually attempting to self-improve, I'm pretty content. I'm not gonna lie though, I don't think I'll ever be truly satisfied. There's just too much to see and do in this world for me to ever say, "That's enough. I'm good."

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