RLA’s 2016 “Resolutions”

3 Jan

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When I pulled up the blog to add this post just now, I was shocked at how much time had passed since our last post. It’s been a busy — but mostly amazing — holiday season in the Teibloom household, with lots of decorating* and party-having** and shopping for and opening presents. We tried to get together a post on our rankings of the best holiday movies, but we just didn’t hatch the plan early enough and decided to save it for next year when we can make it more all-encompassing.

*Menorrahs and a Christmas tree and stockings and dreidels and more Christmas lights and ornaments than ever.

**Our annual pumpkin carving party got rained out, but we rocked the Chanukah party again.

Last year, we rung in the new year by reflecting on the one gone by. This year, we considered a best-of roundup or a commentary on how we spent our New Year’s Eve and Day — but honestly, 2015 was so monumental in so many ways (WE GOT MARRIED!) and we covered it so thoroughly already, I think it’s best that we look to the future. Plus, our NYE turned super tame because I caught a horrific stomach bug (my first in almost 10 years*) that kept me up all night Tuesday into Wednesday morning, emptying my body of anything I’d ever consumed, apparently, and I’m honestly still getting back to where I can eat regularly** or start doing physical activities again. With all of that, we decided the best thing to do was live in the moment with an eye to the future. Instead of typical New Year’s resolutions, we are going to share our 30 before 30 and 32 before 32 lists***, because 2016 is the year I turn 29, and with as much as I want to accomplish, I am going to use the extra 2 1/2 months I have to get an early jump-start on these goals and dreams.

*Caitlin had a Seinfeld-ian vomit-free streak that sadly came to an end.

**Her diet of rice, saltines, Sprite and popsicles were not the NYE feast we were planning on.

***We’ll get through Caitlin’s 30 in this post and post mine separately later this week.

CAITLIN’S 30 BEFORE 30

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1. Save up for a trip to Disney World (done right!) for your 30th birthday. This was the dream that kicked off my desire to complete a 30 before 30. I thought to myself, what would be the most fun way to ring in my 30th year on this earth? And becoming a child again was the first and best thing I could imagine. Zack and I have plans to hit up Disneyland in less than a week* when we kick off a 10 day trip in L.A., but the weather looks like it might be terrible** so if that’s the case, Disney World will be my first Disney theme park experience since my 16th birthday. 

*I have a feeling this Disney visit will only fan the flames of Caitlin’s Disney desires.

**Forecast has already improved since we last looked!

2. Train for and run a half marathon. I’ve really started to enjoy running a lot recently. I used to run a decent amount — 4 miles every other day —  and then I broke my ankle and never fully recovered back to that strength. But I feel reinvigorated, and I want to carry on the Wittlif running tradition that my dad started for us. She’s improving at running all the time. A lot of my goals center around being healthy enough to run again this year as well.

3. Take a weekend trip by myself. I LOVE to travel. I love to go for long drives, listening to my favorite tunes, and then go exploring. I did this recently to a degree when I drove to Houston alone for a baby shower, but that’s very different from when I was studying abroad in Germany and just picked up and went to Cologne/Berlin/London on my own. It was exhilarating, luxurious, and helped me clear my head. I don’t have to go all the way to Europe, but I’d like to get away and have an adventure on my own. I could see a NYC trip without me while I go back for more Vegas.

4. Find a career I love. I feel like I may be taking a step closer to this with an upcoming rotation I just earned at work, but if I try that out and it still doesn’t turn out to be something that fulfills me, I just want to figure out where to go next. The possibilities excite me, but I want to start laying the groundwork for finding work that makes me excited to get out of bed every day. I think Caitlin will really enjoy being a project manager and hope it opens a lot of doors for her.

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5. Learn how to play the drums. This has been a forever-dream, and it’s time to just suck it up and find someone who gives lessons. I know this is going to be tougher without owning a kit, but I do have a drum pad and sticks, so I could practice at least some basics whenever I wasn’t in a lesson. I want to save up my money and make this a reality! Between guitar and drums, get this girl a looping pedal and she’ll have her own band.

6. Learn how to sew!! Take a class, make some clothes/quilts. This has been another forever-dream. Right around the time I first read Rob Sheffield’s Love is a Mixtape, I dreamt of sewing my own clothes. I’ll need to invest in a sewing machine, but I think this is something I can do and would enjoy doing.

7. Practice German and increase fluency. Knowing a second language is such an incredibly valuable life skill, and I think this could open some doors for me career-wise as well. Ausgezeichnet.

8. Scrapbook my wedding goodies. This just needs to happen and I want to knock it out sooner rather than later! Caitlin framed our wedding guestbook for me as a Christmas gift. On our way!

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9. Visit Iceland. If we end up going to Disneyland in L.A., and that somehow satisfies my desire for a Disney vacation, then Iceland would be my 30th birthday backup plan. If post-Disneyland I still want to make Disney World a thing, then Iceland needs to happen ASAP. I dream of the landscapes and the culture and the peacefulness and just everything about it. If Sigur Ros is playing, all the better.

10. Write a book. This is another “someday” dream that I want to make moves on. I have tons of ideas for fictional pieces — it’s time to jump in. Can’t wait to read it!

11. Go offline for a whole month. For a while, I had built out my own Happiness Project goals and going offline one night each week was a part of that. It was hard to do, but when I was able to do it I felt like I had SO much more time. The internet is just such a time suck!! So I’d love to pick one month this year where, after work, I just do not go back online for the entire month. Particularly while I’m on this rotation and shouldn’t need to check team emails (I think/hope), it might be the perfect time to give this a shot and see what happens. I loved when you did it in the past. More free time to talk and disconnect. 

12. Complete a month-long photo challenge. I am terrible about taking photos of life events, and I really like having those memories to look back on. If I see an Instagram-or-other-social-media challenge to take photos of particular subjects, I’m climbing aboard. I did a vinyl one of these once. It was fun!

13. Write once a day for at least 15 minutes. This will help me immensely in my pursuit of book-writing, not to mention I think it will help me clear my head. More writing!

14. Go to a music festival I’ve never attended before. LCD Soundsystem is reuniting (picture me saying that loudly with eyes as wide as saucers) and one of their stops is Bonnaroo… Ah, so this is why you texted me late last night suggesting Bonnaroo over Coachella. It’s definitely an experience and it sure helps to be under 30 when you do it. Definitely an option…

15. Be debt free. This may be one of the most important goals of my entire list. I’ve been working to pay off my student loans for so many years now, and this year it’s going to happen! The only problem is, I’ve been left with a *significant* amount of wedding debt, too, so once I get those student loans paid off, it’ll just be time to double down on that debt. Still, I definitely think zeroing my debt by 30 is doable, and it will allow me to start setting aside some serious savings! Amen to this! We’re chopping away at that wedding debt. Hopefully we’ll be there sooner than later this year so we can start saving for a house.

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16. Watch my “30 before 30” watch list of Criterion Collection films. I built out a list from Criterion films of the 30 movies I think I need to see before I turn 30. You can see those here. I’m down to watch a bunch of these! 

17. Attend a “radical self love” boot camp of some kind. I read about one of these on a blog I follow, and I’d really like to try something like this. This was one of the courses I found, but I want to do more research to make sure this is the best option. This sounds really cool.

18. Kickstart a new personal blog. I’m hoping that all of my writing goals lead me to write more with Zack here at RLA, but I also have been itching to have a personal outlet for a while now, too, and I’d really like to rebrand one of my old websites that are now just internet ghosts so that I can give myself that outlet again. It’s always nice to have an outlet with no focus other than what you care about at that particular moment. 

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19. Try out a few boxing lessons. Call it the “Creed” syndrome, call it whatever you want, but I found an all-women’s boxing club here in Austin and damned if I’m not going to go to a few classes and see what happens! (Hums Rocky theme.)

20. Personal goal. This one’s too personal to share, but it’s also one of the most important, so just know that it’s something I want to take my time with and make better. Whatever it is, enjoy!

21. Get 8 hours of sleep a night. UGH, this is so important. SO important. I can tell so much how my body breaks down when I don’t get enough sleep!! Same with Zack, so I think this is one we’re committed to reaching together. This is second highest on my list. 

22. Complete a GoodReads book challenge. I set up a challenge for myself to read 12 books this year — let’s see what I can do! The more books the better. Hopefully getting off the internet will help.

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23. See LCD Soundsystem with Zack. Zack and I made a bet that LCD Soundsystem either would (in his case) or wouldn’t (in mine) reunite within 5 years since their final gig, which was April 2, 2011. The band’s rumored reunion would kick off at Coachella on April 15/16/17, 2016. This would mean I barely win the bet, but Zack and I have already agreed we’ll forego our original bid where I pay to see LCD anywhere they reunite/he pays for us to see a concert wherever I want, and instead we’ll split the ticket to California. Now let’s just keep our fingers crossed that this shit is for real! We never got to see the band that wrote “our song” together live, so this would be one for the books. We have to go. Coachella might not be our favorite scene, but we had a lot of fun when we went in 2012 and we just have to be there for that first LCD show back.

24. Get published somewhere (Rookie, Rolling Stone, BuzzFeed, wherever). I haven’t had work published in quite some time, and it’s gnawing at me. I’d particularly love to get a piece on Rookie, if I can! All this will take is sending out some pitches and getting a good editor to open it. Caitlin’s been great at getting freelance work, but I know she’d love to get writing published in a publication she loves.

25. Write a song. It can be 100% silly or goofy or just for me or whatever, but I just want to get back to my musical upbringing (I played violin for 8 years! Guitar for 5+! I haven’t touched either in ages!!) Do it! I miss hearing you play guitar and singing.

26. Do one nice thing for someone else each day. This can be as simple as a compliment or as big as volunteering somewhere for an afternoon or donating some serious dough to a good cause. I just want to be sending out as many good vibes into the universe while I can. I love this.

27. Dance more. This can be in the form of a hip-hop cardio class at work or dancing in my underwear around the apartment — it just needs to happen way, way more. One more vote for underwear dancing.

28. Let go of perfectionism – embrace mistakes. This one is probably the least tangible goal, but even in writing this list, I wanted it to be “perfect,” with only the goals “truest” to me and “best” for me — what does that even mean?! Even if it means something specific today, that could change tomorrow. Thus, eff that noise — I am going to celebrate my mistakes because it’ll mean I tried something new. I’ll try to share more of those kinds of things on my personal blog when I get that set up. This is a brave one. 

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29. Add more makeup looks to my arsenal. I’ve never been good at makeup. Ever. I still have trouble getting mascara on without smearing it all over my eyelids and having to do cleanup with a Q-tip. That is time consuming and BORING, so I really want to practice whatever tips and tricks there are out there in the world to give myself a few standard looks — something I can do quickly for work, something for going out, something for high glam. But again, with an eye to goal #28, I want to experiment and have fun! Get it girl!

30. Eat one meal a week with Zack AWAY from the television set. While it is certainly very relaxing to watch Beachfront Bargain Hunt while we nom down on some orzo and kale chips, I think it’s going to set a good standard if Zack and I spend at least one meal a week at the kitchen table, or out at a new restaurant but away from the television set. I think it’ll help us use our evenings more productively, get to bed on time, and just spend time bonding! This one pairs nicely with the no Internet at night.

What a fun, thoughtful list! I hope mine comes together as well. Cheers to going after what you want.

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