1) Blog 5x monthly in 2015
2) Find a spiritual community
3) Truly attempt snowboarding (ie lessons)
4) SERVICE TRIP TO AFRICA
5) Pass massage licensure process & secure secondary employment
6) Reduce (&maintain) credit card balance by 75%
7) Reduce car loan to less than $4000
8) Maintain health & work on regaining balance
9) ENJOY & EMBRACE who & what I already have
10) Continue renting rooms to others
11) Take 2 other people on new outdoor adventures
12) Try hot yoga
13) Take dogs on 2 backpacking trips
14) If possible, road trip to Matt & Haley's wedding
Well the 2015 Goal list has been on the blog for about a month now and there are thoughts for the 2015-2017 goal window also. I decided to focus on some realistic things this year while streamlining back in other areas. My key things for this year are Africa and finances and in this first week of the year there have already been lots of steps taken toward goal achievement.
The finances will start to come together as I pass massage boards and then secure additional employment. The nice thing about the massage piece is that even if for some reason I don't get a job in a clinic or a desired environment right away, there are a handful of people who have already asked to receive regular massages once I'm licensed. Thus there is a way to make a little extra regardless of secured employment. Today, I registered to take my written licensing exam late next week and then mailed in my application for the practical exam I have to take. I'm hoping to take the practical the first week of February. If I pass both on the first go (which I desperately need to study!!), then I hope to be licensed and seeking employment by the middle of February.
This term I'm also "overloading" by teaching five courses instead of my usual four (I'm only allowed to do this once an academic year) so I have a slightly higher paycheck Jan-March. I'm set to teach my four regular courses in spring, so let's hope they all fill and are a go. Hopefully by continuing to rent out both rooms in the house (new potential short term housemate is set to arrive on the 19th of this month and stay until May 1st & long term housemate plans to stay through the summer) I might enter the summer hiatus doing okay financially. Hoping!
I have a follow-up meeting regarding Africa programming in a week. In that meeting I should find out more details regarding expectations and costs. From there I can start to fundraise to help foot the bill of going and I can also begin to make other potential contacts to add on an additional one to two week direct service component in a different way. Today I also mailed in my passport update app in order to have my name legally changed on it.
The snowboarding lessons were purchased with an amazing deal before Christmas. Mt Hood Meadows was offering a package of three days of rentals, lift tickets (for the easier lifts), and lessons for a total of $99. It would cost that much or more for just one rental and lift ticket, so to get three days of everything at that price was pretty amazing overall. I feel like three days will be enough to make me decide what I really think of it and be enough for this winter anyway. I also had two friends decide to buy the deal also, so the three of us will be making the treks up to the mtn together.
Physically I'm working on slowing down some actually. I've been super tired lately and so I've been trying to spend more time in bed and just resting in general. I have made several physical jaunts out, but I've kept the runs and hikes short (seriously....2.5 mile max on runs and 4 miles on the hikes). It's important to me to keep in shape this year still and be healthy, but to also be serious about being kinder to my body. Goal number 11 is technically already met though....so maybe instead I should see just how many people I can get out on new adventures?! ;) I also was originally intending to try to maintain higher mileage until I ran in the Shamrock 15k again, but when I went to register I realized that I'm already registered for a new kayaking tour on that day....so I'm trying to figure out which one is calling me the most....probably kayaking.
With my primary focus being on Africa, I know that lots will have to fall into place. I need to secure dog sitters, someone to live in the house & manage it the month I'm gone, pre-pay all the utilities, fundraise funds to cover the flight and program costs, lots of prayer, and I'm hoping that I'll still be able to teach one class when I return in August. Since I'd be gone in the middle of summer, I also know that means that I won't be able to do the type of food preserving or gardening I did last summer and that other summer outdoor adventures will be a minimum. I'm more than open and willing to trading those things in, in order to finally get the opportunity to go to Africa and assist in some way. I'm still also focusing on being open to how all this might evolve for the summer though, while trusting that it will all come together as it should.
Finding spiritual community might take a while, as I need to be willing to branch out to different venues or truly invest in the church where I have been going on occasion. Perhaps I also need to be open to a different idea of what this could look like?
Honestly beyond finding a spiritual community, I think one of the most challenging goals to follow through with is going to be to actually stick to blogging 5x a month. Since I fall off the rocker so to speak (even though I always have so much I want to write about), it's a good goal to have however in order to keep me documenting. Even if all I end up doing is documenting various outdoor excursions, at least I'll have a running record of all sorts of outdoor fun :)
The wedding of my buddy and his fiance is in Alberta, Canada in August. I've been wanting to visit them for years and a road trip up there would have the opportunity for tons of outdoor options, but if I do end up teaching in August then it might not be feasible. I'm also unsure what my financial situation will be when I get back at the end of July. This is something that probably will end up off the table but I'm trying to be open/flexible to what could present. (My other buddy is also getting married in Antigua in April...as beautiful and inviting as a destination wedding to a tropical island sounds...it's just unfortunately not in the financial cards at all this year :()
The one thing that IS readily accessible though is to EMBRACE & ENJOY who & what I already have....because man, if there's one thing that 2013 and 2014 taught me...it's that I have so much. Even when I was as close as I ever hope to be to rock bottom, I had the greatest gifts of all in my life...the people that surrounded me. I have some of the most amazing individuals in my life that remained supportive and lifted me up (sometimes repeatedly and patiently) until I eventually regained some sort of solid ground...including many of you who have read here. As cheesy as it sounds my dogs have also been amazing sources of love & joy while also forcing me to carry on and to sweat life out via running and outdoor pursuits. I'm still so grateful for a functioning vehicle, an education, a job that makes me feel fulfilled, a home with clean water & heat, & the freedoms that do exist in this nation.....but if all that was taken from me....the relationships would continue to matter the most. Thus this year is about continuing to embrace the people and what I do have...and trusting that the big picture will sort itself out in the long run....I've already got the best gifts.