Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A New Year

Jacy's new blog reminded that I had intended to post last night (or rather, this morning) when I got home. However, I fell asleep much more quickly than I imagined I would, and never quite got around to it.

Let me start by saying, since her blog was the impetus for my posting tonight- Congratulations to Jacy and Jacob!

I wish I had written last night, I'm afraid I've lost most of what I had to say. It centered mostly around the new year, of course, and how I'm especially drawn by symbolic beginnings and endings. The odd thing was that while I found myself as sentimental as I always do, I was not nearly as burdened by overwhelming feelings of melancholic nostalgia as I usually am on such occasions.

That seems odd to me considering how much has actually changed in my life in the last 12 months and how disconnected and distant from my close friends and social circles I have felt in the wake of many of those changes. Far less, if anything really, has changed over most of the last 5-10 years. It seems that given the amount of change I encountered in 2007, I should have more about which to be nostalgic. But the feelings of nostalgia, not to mention the melancholic overtone with which I normally contend, where almost completely absent. The feelings I felt at midnight, and in the time I had to reflect in between the chaos and revelry of the party we were at were not in any way as dichotomous as they normally are. I was simply happy and enjoying myself and grateful for what I have.

I suppose that should just be a reflection on how the changes in my life (as I referenced in a post a few months ago) have been the catalyst of good things. That should give me hope that the coming year will continue on a trajectory that will afford me the benefit of continued overwhelming contentment and happiness.

I'm saying overwhelming a lot, aren't I?

Being into symbolism as I am, I feel somewhat compelled to hash over my goals for the year, resolutions if you will, I suppose. I normally have them, and I normally share them with the people in my life, this blog just now gives me a new outlet for doing so.

I'm actually, finally, going to graduate this year. That's exciting, but kind of scary also. It means I have to figure out how to operate in the real world again, at least for a little while. That seems odd since I've long considered myself part of the workforce more than a student...and only started spending more time being a student than working in March. But I've quickly adapted to the lifestyle.

So, in large part my goals for the year center around life after college. I want to be sure to find a good job, that makes me happy but also gives me the chance to learn and grow...and hopefully affords me the sort of experience that will help me get into graduate school. Ideally, it will be anthropologically related...but I won't shirk at going back into health care or even substitute teaching, like so many other people I know have done.

But, I also don't want to forget that a major goal for my year off from school is to save money, pay down my debt, get myself in a financially stable position (maybe even with some sort of real savings) and to travel before moving on to grad school. As such....I think I should plan on taking a second, probably less fulfilling job, for a portion of that time so as to allow for what are probably some fairly lofty goals when combined with one another. (Paying down debt, saving for life and saving for travel.)

Travis talking to his dad earlier also made me realize that I should start paying attention to my retirement accounts again. I really don't have any idea how long it has been since I've made a contribution to them...let alone made any changes or taken any risks beyond my very modest mutual fund.

So what else did I have? Oh, right. I made a "solstice resolution" or something like that this summer. I was feeling pretty lonely and realized that I'm generally not a very good friend. In that I don't mean that I'm disloyal, I just mean I'm lazy. I consider myself a really social person, but have realized that there aren't enough people that I'm really interested in being good friends with and for those with whom I am already good friends, I put out so little effort. I have talked a lot of talk about changing that in the last six months, but I haven't put in the effort I should have. I'd like to change that. I'd like to not only see my friends more and to put in more effort for those encounters and relationships, but I'd also like to see myself working toward being a more earnest person socially in terms of establishing and keeping new friendships.

I need to stop relying on the man I'm with to be my sole source of social contentment/entertainment and I need to stop letting my contentment at simply being with someone interfere with my other friendships. Don't get me wrong, the one I've got now makes me incredibly happy...and I'm more than simply contented to be with someone...(at the risk of sounding overly sentimental and girlie) my life actually feels pretty whole, and I'm constantly enthused to be in the company and conversation of said person, and just generally feel better about where I am and the person I'm there with than I can ever remember being, ever... but being with someone makes me even lazier in terms of my other friends. I don't like that.

I guess, finally, would be the obligatory health/fitness related resolution. It's not really that I'd simply like to get back into better shape...but I'd actually like to complete at least one of the fitness goals I keep setting for myself. That means I'd like to not only do the Clean Air Challenge, but also to complete either a half marathon or the Gold Nugget Triathlon. Maybe both. I'm also going to take hockey again in the fall and then see about getting onto a women's rec team.

OK. For myself, can I just want to sum that up into a list.
1. Graduate, get a good job
2. Save money for: school, travel, life
3. Pay down debt, work on investments
4. Travel
5. Apply to grad schools
6. Be a better friend
7. Half marathon or triathlon + hockey.

On a lighter, less self-reflective note. The party we went to last night was very fun! I hadn't been to a good party, let alone a New Year's Party, in a really long time.

I felt a little awkward at first, really only knowing one person. But that happens, and most people feel shy in those of course I do too. After a little mingling and a few drinks everyone starts opening up. I ended up having several really good conversations with people...both friends of Travis' and some random people I don't think he knew. I even learned that one of them was in Costa Rica last New Years, staying in the same hostel in the same town and the same time as I was! And there were of course the nonsensical and sometimes over sentimental or just plain out there conversations that can be had only by drunk people celebrating the new year.

The party had a tropical island theme, most people were dressed accordingly to some degree which was fun. And the host (Kevin Fleming, who in a twist of one of those small world moments, is the brother of Erin Fleming, who I know from Alaska, long before I knew Travis.) Anyway, he did a fantastic job decorating and made his bar look like beach bar, palapa covered and all. Dan did a good job of bartending, I had more than enough to drink and I got an awesome bruise!

Trav and I were sparring, I got off balance at just the right moment and got knocked into this shelf thing. I bounced right back up, and got a few good shots in before noticing the my left arm had swollen quite dramatically. This morning a solid 10 inches of it was bruised. It's pretty cool, if not very sore, I'll have to take pictures.

I guess that's it really. I feel like writing, but at this point it's probably bound to become mostly non-nonsensical rambling.

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