an update on the goals

Remember the 13 in ’13? Good, neither did I. In fact, I wouldn’t even earn a gentlewoman’s C if I were to grade myself. By my generous calculations, I fulfilled 3 out of 13 goals, which for you math geeks is 23%.

But rather than focus on what I didn’t do, I’d like to focus on what I did achieve.

I may not have published the sequel to My Night with George Clooney, but I did start my first novel – and am more than halfway done writing it.

I didn’t get spin certified (thank to the concussion I sustained one day before training was to begin) but I rediscovered yoga, which has been a savior.

I hosted nothing even coming close to a full-fledged dinner party, though I did have people over for a plethora of meals, including Thanksgiving. And I brought food to other people’s houses for their events. In fact, when I look back on the year, I cooked quite a lot. Sometimes just for me.

I didn’t make it to Italy or back to Hawaii, but I did manage New York City, Lake Michigan, Maine, New Hampshire, Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco/Napa. I made lots of treks across the river (and through to woods) to Nancy’s house.

I barely know more about Italian wine than I did a year ago, but I’m no longer reluctant to order it in restaurants. I mean, how am I really going to figure out that region if I don’t experiment and figure out what I like and don’t like.

I didn’t make an iconic fashion purpose, fall in love or refinance my house. But I went on some great dates, started my own company, found good life-work balance with the boys and had some great belly laughs. I tried to be a better friend, listen more, put my devices down when the kids are talking to me, and generally be more attentive.

I haven’t started to think about what challenges to set for myself next year. But in closing out 2013, I don’t look back with regrets, only awe at the way life evolves and my ability to adapt, at times with tears but mostly with grace.

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43 by 43: vintage patience

While some of the goals on my 43 by 43 list are easily crossed off (paint living room, wear red lipstick at least once a week) others are more subjective and harder to judge success. For example, how do I adequately measure goal #26: be more patient.

As I make my way down the list, I’ve been struggling to come up with a form of patience measurement. I almost took it off the list for something more concrete, but that felt like cheating, whereas patience is a virtue, and one I need more of in my life. After much soul searching, I finally decided that one interesting way to exercise patience is to use it as I strive to fulfill one of my other goals. Then I get to kill two birds with one stone. (Not that I’m pro bird killing, unless of course it’s the duck I’m going to roast since that’s a goal too.) In other words, I need to pick one of my goals that requires patience to execute and use that goal to fulfill the patience goal.

Following me?

Well, this weekend an idea came to me.

I’ve often longed to be one of those people who has a knack for vintage shopping. I’m a huge admirer of women who incorporate vintage pieces into their modern day looks, but the few times I ventured into a vintage store, I felt out of place and overwhelmed, coupled by a fear that the effortlessly chic vintage shop owners are looking at me in my completely current day (read: boring) outfit and wondering what I’m doing in their store? (I’m sure this is my own projection of insecurity and not actually happening.) Instead of taking my time to imagine what pieces might work with my current closet, I pass quickly through the racks the way I would at a warehouse sale (another shopping arena where patience eludes me).

Since goal #42 is to push my style envelope more, I’ve decided that by working on goal #26 to fulfill goal #42, I can both practice the art of patience and perhaps score some vintage finds in the process. Who knows, if I take my time, I may find that perfect sexy secretary something that would compliment my army of pencil skirts. I’m thinking a hat, clutch, some funky broaches or even a pair of gloves. Perhaps I won’t find anything my first few trips, but I won’t let it discourage me and I promise myself I will keep trying.

I’m going to be patient as I embrace this fun way to shake up my style while remaining true to me.

The only question now is who’s coming with me?

43 by 43, tiny update

This week, the boys tried (and liked) dragon fruit.

It felt like I had achieved more, but I just counted and can officially cross off ten items from my 43 by 43 list. Now, I keep reminding myself that there are items on the list that are meant to become new practices, such as introduce the boys to something new each week (food, idea, place, etc.) so while I have been maintaining, I can never really cross these goals off.

I can thank Weekend Warriors for knocking off four items: paint the living room, install surround sound, convert the playroom into a functional room, and hang curtains in the new functional room. In addition, I have started composting, went to the dermatologist to have my moles checked, did a juice cleanse, attended a DC fashion event (FNO) and a few goals that are a little too personal to share on the interwebs.

Where do I need to improve? Posting to the blog at least three times a week, going to the dentist, and contributing to the boys’ college fund. This morning I spoke to Colin in a mean voice before calming down and trying to reason with him in a compassionate voice. With some of my goals, I have taken steps toward fulfillment. For example, I’m signed up to take Knife Skills: Poultry at Hill’s Kitchen so that when I roast my duck, I can also carve the damn bird myself. (By the way, it turns out a lot of you want to be at the dinner table for duck, so I will either have to host three duck-themed dinner parties or cook more than one duck for the evening. I’m humbled that so many of you have confidence in my duck preparation abilities.)

I will continue to tick items off the list and periodically update you, but the bottom line, as evidenced by my mean voice use this morning, is that the challenge continues.

day three: manic Monday

I made it. It’s day three of the juice cleanse. I could quit now and have fulfilled my goal.

But I want to go on and complete a five-day regiment.

I’m addicted to my juices. I think about them second only to how much I think about shoes. Well, maybe third to how much I think about shoes and George Clooney.

I expected today to be a challenge because I had to venture outside the comfort zone of my house, where I knew I wouldn’t encounter temptation because the Executive Chef (i.e. me) wasn’t making anything noteworthy. However, while the smell of coffee at the office was divine, it didn’t send me over the edge. I toted three juices to work with me (green, spicy lemonade and a delicious cucumber-grapes-pears-ginger combo). I was strategically out during the lunch hour so I don’t know what my colleagues ate. What I miss most about solid food is definitely the social aspect. It would have been nice to have lunch today with my friend Beth (though she was very understanding and we rescheduled to “snack” next week). I’m without the kids this week and it would be fun to go out to dinner and have a glass (or two) of wine. By Thursday, I can. And I plan to do just that.

I’m a competitive spirit but only recently has this bug afflicted me in a goal-setting sort of way. When I was contemplating whether to hang up my juicer tonight, I thought, “why register for the 10K when there’s a half marathon?” So after work I went to spin, back to the grocery store for more produce and came  home to make two more days worth of juices.

Now, at the end of my day, I’m enjoying my hard-earned cashew milk.

I hardly know who I am!