November 5 was my birthday. That’s right. On my birthday people shout “Remember, remember the fifth of November!” and in the UK they set off fireworks. I thought I would share this picture of me approximately 21 years ago with a crown and a mustache in honor of Movember. Last year on my birthday I shared 22 things I wanted to do before I turned 23. Let’s see how I did!
1. Write a 150 page thesis minimum about Roberto Bolaño’s 2666. Oops, that didn’t happen, for lots of very dramatic reasons, but there’s another thesis in the works. I just have a completely different topic.
2. Travel to a part of the USA I have never visited before. Check! This year I went to various cities in North Carolina I’d never seen before and Auburn and Skeneateles, NY.
3. Keep reading amazing books. What? I had to give myself a few easy ones.
4. Embrace changes in my life instead of being stressed out by them. This will be a lifelong goal, I can feel it. But I think, in a lot of ways, I did much better with this than most years.
5. Move to a new city. Check! Twice!
6. Write more. I refuse to give myself points for this one. I wrote some more, but not really more.
7. Keep maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I got derailed for a little while, but I’m certainly back on track now at 20lbs and one dress size lost.
8. Cook more! Z & I have been cooking a lot! We still eat out a couple times a week and I need to do better about breakfast, but so far so good.
9. Read more of the books on my shelves. Yes! I have been doing this. I’ve only moved some of my books with me, so I don’t have as wide a selection as I’d like, but I’m trying, slowly, to pare down my book collection. Intake has been minimal as well. I’m collecting books that I want to own forever, especially graphic novels. Everything else is given away or bought for my ereader.
10. Clean more. I’m trying, okay? Trying.
11. Refinish this old dining room chair I have in my room. Um… my step-dad threw this away, so this was a fail.
12. Learn how to sew, better. Nope, not this year. But I’m reinstating this goal for next year. I just bought the BurdaStyle Guide, so I’m hoping that will help me.
13. Finish my granny square blanket. Okay, I’m actually kind of sad that I didn’t finish this one. I was really satisfied with the squares and how they were turning out, but once I started to connect them I was really disappointed with the look. I still have all the squares and might attempt to finish it in the future.
14. Enjoy every minute of my life. I feel like it’s hard to calculate whether this one was a success or not, but I am definitely trying hard to enjoy the little things.
15. Keep up Regular Rumination. Like every year, there are a few slips and slides with the blog, but for the most part, I have maintained it as well as I could and I hope to do an even better job next year!
16. Start a food blog. I threw this idea out the window pretty early on in my 22nd year. And I’m perfectly okay with that. Sometimes the ideas we have on a whim aren’t always the best ones. While I admire a lot of food blogs and I would love to start one, I think I have a perfectly happy home in the book blog world.
17. Make a photo light box. Nope! Maybe this year, but I don’t think I’ll put it on my list. My apartment is tiny.
18. Save some money. I caught up with this one at the tail end of my 22nd year. I’m saving a little bit as I go now and hopefully will be able to do something really nice with it.
19. Start learning another language. Maybe one year, but not this year!
20. Never take my loved ones for granted. I think I accomplished this, but you’ll have to ask my loved ones to be sure!
21. Start collecting furniture. Z & I combined our furniture and we have a nice little collection now. Unfortunately, our apartment is as full as it can be, so the best we can hope to do is start updating our furniture as the years go on, unless we move. For now, we are happy with what we have. I call this a success.
22. Don’t be afraid. Another one for the lifetime achievement goals, but doing better every day.
Tomorrow, I’m going to post my new list for the 24th year. But in the mean time, as a thank you for being such an awesome community of bloggers, I’d like to offer you a present on my birthday. If you’d like one of these books, all you have to do is ask. List the title of the book you’d like in the comments. I’ll draw winning names for these books next week!
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier