It’s a new year, and that means it’s time to set some goals for the upcoming months. I hate to call them “resolutions” because those tend to go ignored, but here are a few goals I have for 2009.

1. Clean the apartment LESS. Yes, I said LESS! I spend hours every week picking up stray socks, putting shoes away, rearranging my craft supplies, scrubbing dishes, doing laundry, cleaning bathroom counters, sweeping, putting away the dog toys, fussing over what mail has piled up on the kitchen table, and you know what? It always looks just as trashed in a couple of days.

Jeremy and I have a lot of stuff. Sometimes I feel guilty about all the stuff we have, but really, when you look at it, it’s not just junk and materialistic purchases for the sake of buying stuff. We have tons of books stacked everywhere, lots of subscriptions (The Big Takeover, Vegetarian Times, GQ, Time, Under the Radar, The Believer, Wholphin (DVD), McSweeny’s, and probably more of Jeremy’s I can’t remember), so we get a lot of mail – and not just that, but mail that takes some time to read, months sometimes. We also both really like books, and we also live pretty close to Mr. K’s, a HUGE and awesome used bookstore. We also tend to accumulate musical instruments, camera equipment – for both film cameras and video cameras – I have a mini darkroom set up in the bathroom, I’ve been painting and selling stuff on etsy, I have tons of knitting stuff, and then Nocci has about 20 toys scattered at any given point in time. There’s also camping gear, bicycles, kayaks, etc. We really just have a lot of stuff, but none of it is crap just taking up space like collections of action figures or cabinets of china or something. Anyway. I’m trying to convince myself to let it go. I read recently that a clean house is a sure sign of a boring life, and when I looked around our apartment it was filled with canvases, paint, banjos, fiddles, mountain bikes, music, and great reading material, and that’s not a bad way to live. I think half the problem is that we need a bigger space to put it all, but then again, I’m sure as soon as we get a bigger space that will just mean we need more things to fill it - probably more musical instruments and a full blown darkroom instead of a mini one.

Anyway, back to my point. I’m going to try to accept the clutter. It’s there and it’s not going anywhere - it never does. As long as there’s nothing moldy, the kitchen is clean, and Jeremy is at least attempting to help, I’m going to try to let it go and not hyperventilate when I’m surrounded by stacks and stacks and piles and piles of stuff and clutter. I know this is the opposite direction that most people go, but I’m at least going to try it out. I’m sick of coming home after work, cleaning the kitchen to cook dinner, cooking dinner, cleaning the kitchen after dinner, doing laundry, then going to bed. That’s not a fun way to live.

(Sorry if you just read that boring list of my possessions - this is more for me than you, though, so pffffft.)

2. I’m going to try to just do more. I’m really bored lately, and I know it’s because I never do anything. I’m used to working full time and juggling a bunch of classes, and right now, that’s not happening. I’m a boring 9-5 office hack and then I come home and stare at the TV. I’m starting fiddle lessons next week, and as soon as I find some money I’m going to sign up for some more lessons of some kind - maybe ceramic, maybe knitting, maybe quilting, I don’t know. I’m going to try to develop more film, figure out my negative scanner so I can upload them and try to do more on my flickr, start some new etsy projects, maybe find a knitting circle, start going to classes at the YMCA on a few nights a week, take Nocci to the dog park more, try more new recipes, etc. It’s REALLY easy to just veg out after work, but I need to stop it.

3. I’m going to try to accept the fact that I hate most of the common ways of socialization. I hate going to crowded bars and clubs. I hate parties. I hate dinner parties where I don’t know people – or even where I do know people in some cases. I’m much better at smaller events - dinner parties where I know people, game nights, etc. Every time I try to force myself to a party or something with the rationalization that I need to meet new friends and get out and not be boring, I just hate it, feel like hyperventilating, want to leave, ruin the time of whoever I’m there with, and make my friends feel like they have to babysit me. I just need to stop going.

4. I was trying to save this one for last, but I’ve got to get in better shape. I was going to the gym for awhile, but then I fell off the wagon and realized that I suck at getting anything done in the gym when I’m not being directed by someone. I would goof off on the elliptical machine for half an hour and barely break a sweat, but the classes were all at really awkward times for me to fit in my schedule, so I stopped going. I’m going to join the YMCA if I can get past the crowds and the smell ( I walked in there once and immediately walked back out without even getting past the lobby), and I’m going to try to go at least to three or four classes a week. I know people that go to the Y, so maybe I can get some kind of thing going with them so I feel more motivated. I will add that I was going to start this as soon as the new year started (like everyone else in the world), but I broke my toe and there’s no way I could do any kind of work out on it for a few nother weeks ( I realize that’s totally incorrect, but I typed it that way because that’s the way I said it in my head and it’s funny, so I left it.)

5. Stop saying “a few nother,” or anything else that interrupts the word “another” and splits it into two words.

6. I want to volunteer more with the Animal Compassion Network, and also maybe start doing some kind of knit for charity thing.

7. Pay off some debt. I’m not in horrible debt like some stories I’ve heard, but I do need to pay off a couple of credit cards. They’re not terribly run up, but I need to buckle down and stick to a budget. And eat out less. Me and Jeremy are really bad about that. The Early Girl is so damn good, though!

8. Travel more! I’m so envious of Kandi for her frequent road trips! I need to just travel more. Maybe I’ll start taking weekend trips while Jeremy is gone. There’s a ton of cities close to here to visit.
9. Buy more music. I have a long list of bands I want to check out, but I never remember to do that until I listen to Last.Fm again and hear a song I love by someone I’m not familiar with. Last.Fm is great because you can favorite songs and it keeps a long list of what you’ve listened to and you can go find it again, but I need to follow up with that.

10. Not get frustrated and actually practice my fiddle. I’ve never fully learned to play an instrument because I have NO patience. At all. I liked the piano class I took in college and did well in it, but I forgot it all immediately. I’m really going to try to learn the fiddle. I may need someone to nag me and keep me from slacking (Jeremy), but I’m really going to try.

11. Watch less TV. We watch too much TV. I think I’m going to try to limit my TV watching to one or two days a week, or maybe an hour a day or something. I’m sure this will be easier in the summer when there’s no new episodes of House and the sun is shining until past 4:30 p.m.

12. Learn to swim. This one has been on the list for four or five years and never been accomplished. I need to just get it out of the way. It's so scary though!

I guess that’s it for now. I’m sure I’ll probably forget half of these, fail miserably at most of them, and maybe kinda do one or two, but isn’t that what new year’s goals are for?

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