God, I love a list. I love making them, reading them, scratching entries off them, reading other people’s!
I mentioned Gretchen Rubin in my previous post and I’m going to again here. On the Happier podcast, she and Elizabeth talked about having a “Eighteen for 2018” list. A list of eighteen things to do in 2018 to make their lives happier.
As someone who thoroughly enjoyed a “Thirty before 30” list, I jumped on this with all my might.
This year has a lot going on. I’m going to plan a wedding, quit my job, move to mainland Europe, get a new job, make new friends, travel to see old friends, meet new babies. Squeezing in more than 18 things amongst this would be a bit tricky.
I split my list into sections wedding, food, skills, projects and Munich.
* Pick date for wedding
* Pick venue for wedding
* Try on dresses in London/Brighton
- I am generally terrified of having a wedding. Not of being married or having a marriage, but of planning and executing a wedding. Money and I are not great friends. I don’t spend large sums of money well, I freak out about them. I’ve heard that weddings can be expensive and my rudimentary googling has not reassured me that this is not the case. YES, you can obviously have a wedding on a small budget and have it be lovely, but as a rule for life things cost TIME, MONEY or EFFORT and money is often easiest. Also, I have some money. I’ve been saving for a wedding for a while now. I feel the challenge will be spending those savings carefully and properly, rather than frittering them away on silly not-right things.
- I am also coming to realise that I am somewhat phobic of commitments. Not entirely sure where this came from, because I am a person who loves to make plans. What’s interesting is that I am then crazy resentful of those plans and how my future has been taken away from me. By me. That being said, I am not a spontaneous person either! So life must be planned. Weddings must be planned.
- And so, the things that will make me happier are picking a date and a venue and trying to find a dress in 2018. The date and the venue will mean we can plan the other elements – the ones I am more excited about (anything paper or cake related).
* Make bourbon & Oreo truffles
* Peanut Butter Brownies
* Find a milk substitute
* Rhubarb & Strawberry pie
- I keep wanting to make truffles and not bothering. I don’t like truffles dusted with cocoa powder or nuts or desiccated coconut, so that put me off. I hate using a food processor (so loud! So messy if you don’t have a dishwasher! So space-consuming!), so I never bothered. My intern made amazing Oreo truffles without a food processor and without bitter dusty nonsense on the outside, so I am taking her lead. I would like to know that I could make these. People enjoy them. I would like to be able to serve up little after-dinner coffee treats.
- For years I have wanted to perfect peanut butter brownies and yet have never really tried. I had some amazing ones in 2017, so I know it is possible. My research and development begins now.
- In Canada I discovered I truly love rhubarb and strawberry pie. This is the year I make that happen in my own home. We’re heading into rhubarb season, so I’d best get cracking.
- The end of 2017 was when I realised I just can’t drink milk. It makes me feel so ill. Which is really unfortunate because I love a hot chocolate and I love a mocha to kickstart a bad day. This is the year I will work out how to continually drink my body weight in chocolate-y goodness before 10
- am and not feel grim by 10.05 am.
New Skills Related:
* Learn Dropbox
* BACK UP COMPUTER
* Learn to meditate
- I have some of my computer backed up on an external hard-drive. I did not do this. A friend of my ex-boyfriend did that for me when he took about my laptop when it crashed. That was a good five years ago. I do not know how to “back up” and I do not know where The Cloud is. I desperately do not want to be Carrie Bradshaw yelling at people in an Apple Store. 2018 is the year I sort out my technological shit. If I can get into podcasts, I can protect my photos, for goodness sakes.
- see also Dropbox. That might be the same as the cloud. I don’t really know.
- I find meditation stunningly difficult. For a long time, I found it excruciating and I cannot explain why. Friends of mine set up our university yoga society and I chipped in the odd time, schlepping mats and bricks to class and having a go. The bending and the stretching were grand. The eagle pose I positively enjoyed. Lying quietly at the end and focusing on the breath nearly ended me. I would be in a tight ball of tears and fury. I had to stop. Years have passed. That hasn’t changed, but it’s clearly Not A Good Thing. It would be one thing if I found meditation boring or not worth it, but to have such a visceral reaction is meaningful. Something in me is stopping myself from being quiet and still. That needs to end now.
* Print book – me
* Print book – dad
* 20 blog posts
- This is mainly to do with finishing things. I am very good at starting things and being enthusiastic and then, ever so slowly and ever so surely, letting things slide. I don’t like that about myself. Last year I sent the 200 pages of quotes I had off to the printer. I have another 200 pages of quotes. They need to be edited and sent off to the printer. That isn’t going to happen on its own. I also have a document of all the correspondence between myself and my dad. He passed away four years ago this year. It’s time to put that to print before I lose the document or my computer dies. Again, not hard, but I need a push to complete it.
- The other thing I am keen to do is carry on blogging. Not many people read this and that’s fine. I don’t want to spend a lot of time or emotion asking people to read it. What I do want to spend time on is actually writing the posts. I’m about to go into a vague period of my life where I am not gainfully employed and I would like very much to maintain a work ethic. I hope that this will help keep me in that mindset. I’ll also have a lot of new experiences and the blog would be a good place to look at these objectively (or, as objectively as I can) and try to see the bigger picture. 20 blog posts is easy. Right?
* 10 things on London list
* Have a leaving party
* Acquire a Munich library card
* Go to the packaging-free store
* Explore Munich with Fritz
- In June I will be a resident of Germany. This is both exciting and terrifying. Terror atrophies my muscles and prevents me from action. Fear freezes my brain and allows me to panic. I am genuinely afraid of moving to Germany and being so nervous that I lose myself and become Fritz’s shadow. This cannot happen. To that end, I am focusing on ending and beginning. I don’t like parties, but I am going to organise a Leaving Party. I am also going to nail the “things I always meant to do in London” list so I can move with no niggling regrets.
- When I arrive in Munich I need to throw myself into living there. I am notoriously not a jumper. I am a one-inch-at-a-time-while-wincing person. I will never hurl myself into a pool or “just duck my shoulders under.” So my one inch at a time approach will involve daily walks and targets. One of these targets is to acquire a library card. Books are important. Munich must have a library. I will endeavour to acquire access. The other task is to go to the store I am too nervous to go into. It is a grocery store of sorts where you bring your own containers and they fill them up for you. I have avoided this store because it is small and they will speak to me (and I hate that in the UK) and I don’t really know how it works. I don’t want to be embarrassed. I’m about to be plenty embarrassed plenty often, so I should start immunising myself against that. The least I can do is try to buy something there. I know I can spend money. That I can do!
- I also want to make a list of places for a drink or a meal or a coffee in Munich and go there with Fritz once a week. He can show me places he knows and I have to try and find my own places. I could easily go to Starbucks and McDonalds, but that’s not really the point. I don’t have a favourite cocktail bar. He does. I want to know enough places to have favourites. I want to know the city I will live in and not as slowly as I came to learn London.
Eighteen things. Shouldn’t be so hard. Should be eminently manageable. I do enjoy Gold Stars and accountability, so this should work.
Do you have any goals for 2018?