Friday, December 31, 2010

My hit list

The first big challenge of any to-do list is just sitting down and making the list.  Lucky for you, I'm an expert, here goes...below is the list of all of the things that I want to do in my life right now.  Some of them are big, some of them are small...heck, some of them are just a little silly.  But, they are all tied to my soul in some random little way.  This list will grow I'm sure, and as it grows, hopefully it will shrink at the same time.  These things are more about "today" and less about "someday," but there are a few "someday" moments thrown in there too - a girl has to dream, right?

My hit list (in no particular order):
  • Reupholster a piece of furniture
  • Go to Ireland
  • Run another 5k
  • Take actual yoga classes (doing this in January!)
  • Get a reiki massage
  • Join a small group from church
  • Volunteer at the ARL
  • Take an adult/ballroom dance class (anyone want to place bets on if the hubs can be convinced to join??)
  • Have fresh flowers in my house consistently
  • Own a classic dress from a nice store
  • Buy a real painting from a real artist
  • Read more poetry 
  • Volunteer to read to kids (anyone have a line on where I could that?)
  • Be able to truly forgive (a person who shall remain nameless here)
  • Knit something - a hat, a scarf, a christmas stocking...something
  • DIY an entire room in my house
  • Have a true girls weekend (or even a night)
  • Have consistent dates, by myself 
  • Begin journaling again
  • Have consistent dates, with my husband
  • Read a book on modern etiquette - and act on it (who buys hostess gifts anymore, anyway?)
  • Pay off our credit cards
  • Eat a vegetable every night with dinner
  • Not eat fast food for an entire month (this one starts in January!)
  • Read the new testament of the Bible
  • Connect with the family we have in Des Moines more often
  • Read books considered "classics"
  • Stop swearing (I've been working on this one...much harder than I imagined)
  • Visit Australia
  • See New York City in December (I love Christmas lights)
  • See the Nutcracker
  • Go to a ballet
  • Go horseback riding
  • Read alllllll day at a bookstore
  • Volunteer somewhere locally
  • Take an art class and learn how to do something
  • Find ways to include random acts of kindness into my daily life
I will keep referring back to this list, and actually have a plan to start checking some of them off starting in January.  Some of these are a process and some of them are a one-time deal so I'll try to pick a few to work on at once to keep things interesting.  Given where the current economy has landed our family, we're working on one income, which means some of these goals will be easier to accomplish than others.  More to come...but in the mean time, let me know if there are any you are interested to hear about or if you have a line on how I could accomplish one of these goals - let me know! 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Have yourself a merry little Christmas....

I'm still in shock that Christmas is a mere four days away - three and a half if you really count it out! Yes, I'm finished with my shopping, no, I'm nowhere near finished with my wrapping and we're making the trek all over the metro and South East Iowa to get to all the fam. 

This is the first Christmas in quite a few years that I've really been in to it.  To the music, the lights, the's all been a lot more fun.  I didn't really realize why until just a few days ago - I finally understand the real reason for the season.  ( isn't the gifts or my mom's peanut butter rice krispy bars - though punches are usually thrown when the pan gets close to empty)  The music actually means something and the festivities are for more than just another way to get us all to spend more dough.  

Do those kind of thoughts ever sneak up on you?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rush, rush, rush

I started the blog.  I made the list. And then I wanted to check everything off at once - setting myself up for automatic failure.  It actually took A LOT to force myself to slow down, to reality check myself into realizing that tackling these things too fast was only going to end up sending me in a downward spiral.

That said, I did actually end up seizing a few opportunities.  First, I signed up for a small group class at my church called "Intro to Prayer".

Some of you know that I was recently baptized, and I began my first real spiritual journey a few months ago.  It's been a very interesting process for someone who has really no religious upbringing to speak of, and hasn't ever felt much longing to have one.  As life got harder these past two years, I found myself realizing that there was something missing.  I didn't really know what it was until I signed up for a basic religious education course.  Now, I'm finding myself not only interested, but enveloped by religion and all the ways it is changing me and my outlook on life.  No, I haven't become a bible-thumper, but I have become someone who wants more from this life.

Second, I also signed up for a real yoga class.

I've been practicing on and off at home, through online streamed classes, but have always wanted to go to a real class that could truly teach me the poses, the breathing and give me the ambiance that I want while practicing.  I also hope that this class spurs the want to work out more in general.  It was $100, which my husband graciously agreed to let me spend, and I think it's going to be amazing.  The Family Tree is a fantastic local studio that offers Nia, yoga and massage.  I've had a few sessions with the owner (Sandi), both Nia and a reiki massage, and she is one of those people you can't help but be happy around.

The only downside to these two classes is that they are both after work and take place over the same 8 weeks.  So, each Tuesday and Wednesday night for the next two months is booked.  I'm not sure how I'm going to feel about it, but considering they both should be positively impacting both my mind and soul, I think it will be ok! I just hope that my work travel is light the next two months and that I'm not forced to miss many classes.

I've also been investigating volunteer opportunities.  I have been looking into the ARL and JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes) and am still scouting for more great places to give some time.  I think I'm going to focus these next two months on improving myself, and then hopefully begin giving to others.

I've got big plans in the making though - so stay tuned!  Given this is my first foray into blogging, if there are things you want to see or hear me talk about - let me know.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ohhhhh the choices

Last night, after giddily (that's a word, right?) posting my first-ever blog post, I decided to start making my "bucket list" of things I wanted to do.  I came up with a grand list.  I was very proud of myself.

BUT, then, this morning as I was getting ready for work it hit me out of nowhere - my little inner voice shouted at me, "Your list is mostly SELFISH!"  Though this list needs to be somewhat selfish - I am trying to accomplish some of the goals I pushed to the side in my life - it also should be about becoming a better person.  Life is only fun when you're having fun with other people living it, so, I have decided to revamp my list before you even got to see it to include more random acts of kindness, volunteer opportunities and overall "don't be a schmuck" activities. 

Who knows, you might get lucky if you're behind me in line at Starbucks some day :)

If you know of any great volunteer organizations (that won't scare the beeswax out of me) please share!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I've joined the revolution...

I watched Julie and Julia last night and it got me thinking, why not start a blog? I sat on the couch and told myself, "You can write, you're always looking for motivation and having an outlet to share your thoughts sounds like fun."

As I sat staring at the blog sign-up, trying to come up with a clever title, I realized that what I am really trying to do right now is make the most of my life.  So, why not just get straight to the point, right? Hence, "Making the most of it" was born.  I have no idea how often I will update this blog and what I might decide to share along the way, but hopefully I will prove to be somewhat entertaining, perhaps thought-provoking at times, and always as honest as possible.

I am 28 years old and in the last two years I have learned a life lesson that no one ever really prepares you for - your life will not turn out the way you thought it would.  Not that it might not, it will not.  Now, this is not necessarily a bad a thing - yet another thing a have learned along the way.  Sometimes, it is actually a miraculous thing.

But, as I sit here, contemplating every word that I type, I realize that a few of those things that I don't like about my life are actually things I can control.  Maybe I'm too lazy (working out...), maybe I don't think it's worth it (finding a hobby) or maybe I just don't believe enough in myself to give it a shot (writing...oh wait, I'm writing the blog!).  So, I think that is what this blog is going to be about - it's going to be me against the world.  Me trying on new hats, finding new adventures, and forcing my life down paths I didn't think I could go on.

I hope you'll hang on for the ride, and that I stick with this enough to make it worth your while! I'm going to take a day or two to determine my first adventure and will report back.