Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summer Vacation, Day #1: More Goals

Today was the first *official* day of my summer vacation and, in true Sunny Jim fashion, I spent it lounging around in the air conditioning, halfheartedly working on one of two papers that I have due at the weekend, and watching the last episode of Twin Peaks (seriously, can anyone explain the whole Black Lodge thing to me?-- would it have made sense were there a third season of the show).  So, by my own very low standards, I have actually accomplished something.

Despite this veritable torrent of activity (ho, ho, ho), I decided that my previous set of ten summer goals may not be as ambitious as someone like me needs.  As such, I have devised some alterations and addendum to the original list:

  1. Read at Least 6 books: Read at least 4 books: I often find myself having to read to prepare for work or having to read for the extended education classes I take; it would be lovely to read books that I have selected myself for myself.  I want to read selfishly!  I am going to read at least one book per week of vacation that doesn't relate to any of the courses that I take.  I had previously decided to read four books that had nothing to do with work (where I need to read and re-read perpetually, but I know that that would be both ridiculous and shortsighted.  For the most part, I read things for work that are of my choosing and that I find to be personally compelling and of literary merit; so, the line between professional and pleasurable reading is blurry at best.   Also, let me be honest, I am a voracious reader; one book a week will be a cake-walk for me.

  2. Try a new activity: Now, I don’t mean that I want to do something dangerous or something that is grossly out of character (I’m not skydiving—ever); I simply want to try an activity that I’ve either never had the chance to do in the past or, at the very least, something novel.  Who knows, I may take up cricket or join a fight club.

  3. Eat more consciously: I am sure that many people, me included, have a bad habit of eating mindlessly while at their desk at work.  It’s easy to mindlessly eat an entire bag of Fritos without realizing the quantity that you are eating or where that added corn chip weight may end up; I want to be really conscious of what I eat, how much, and when this summer, especially since I have the time to make more informed choices.

  4. Get a tan—an even one: I’m of Dutch and Irish ancestry, so I am not going to be a bronzed goddess anytime soon; nonetheless, it would be nice to have a little color for the season . . . even if that means I have to even myself out with a nice spray tan.  Hey, I’m down for it.  It’s summer.

  5. Go on a road trip: I’ve not had enough of these in my lifetime.  Since I live in California, it only makes sense that my family and I would do a little driving and go and see some of the cool attractions that our little corner of the world has to offer.  Now: to get the Xanex I’ll need to put up with mom’s menopausal road rage . . .

  6. Get out more: I’m going to be honest with you, readers: unless my dog needs to go to the bathroom, I’m not keen on going outside unless it’s to board the bus to the mall.  Getting out (perhaps while working on goal #2) could only been a positive thing for someone like me.  I almost think that being an only child and having developed the ability to amuse myself is a bad thing is so much as it has curtailed my need to seek the society of others.  Others—who needs them?

  7. Update wardrobe: I’d like to add some more classic pieces to my wardrobe, both my professional and my casual wardrobe: shirts, sweaters, blazers, et al. I’m almost thirty; I think it’s high time that I dressed a bit more grown up.

  8. Watch ten movies: I love film; it only makes sense that I would make a point of watching ten movies (either at the cinema or on DVD) that I haven’t seen before.

  9. Complete summer classes: So . . . I take extended education courses year round (I’m an intellectual masochist, I know).  I’d just like to complete the classes that I am currently working on and to complete them on a high note.  I don’t want to feel hurried while finishing the classes; I want to feel positive about what I have done.

  10. Complete a grand multi-disc miniseries or television show: I have watched entire series on DVD before (Britcoms, Twin Peaks, et al.); I’d like to do that again.  Preferably, I’d like to make my way through one of those stiff collar miniseries things that they have on PBS all the time.  That seems like something sophisticated people do. Addendum: I'm not going to count the Twin Peaks Series that I completed today; I started that foray into the surreal months ago, it wouldn't be genuine to claim that has a summer victory, would it?

  11. Get my driver's permit: Unlike most people, I never got my driver's license.  I have an appointment to take my permit test  on August 1 so that I can practice on the road before taking my final street-level test later this year.  I've also started to take some online practice tests and will be picking up the driver's handbook from the DMV tomorrow morning.

  12. Reward myself for my accomplishments: After a trying period, I surmounted two professional hurdles and I would like to reward myself for weathering those storms in classic Sunny Jim fashion-- I want to buy myself some awesome and/or luxurious stuff.  I have been thinking about getting a few pairs of Hunter boots for the winter, or buying a more upmarket professional bag, or even getting some J. Crew bips and bobs for myself.  I just want something nice for having done well.  I am sure that speaks poorly for my socialist ethos, but whatever.


Again, I don't think my goals are particularly ambitious-- I haven't vowed to clean anything, mind you-- but they are encouraging me to step outside of my bubble and to take stock of my life as it is and as I would like it to be.  I don't think pushing yourself or rewarding yourself are but virtues.

So.  Do you have any plans for the test of your summer?

j.

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