Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's February Already?

I feel as though this year has already started off in a headlong rush, so I thought I’d take a breather and get down some of what’s been happening lately. I can’t quite check off any of my goals just yet, but I’ve started several of them. Here are the highlights:

1) Salsa Dancing. Our class is three sessions in, and I’m still loving it! It’s so much fun to meet people and get moving to some great music. I’m feeling more confident, even when I do get the steps wrong. Still haven’t stepped on anyone’s toes, though I came very close!

2) Wine Tasting. My lovely coworkers gave me a wine journal to help me start keeping track of wines as I try them. Tonight I made my first entry for a glass of Gewurtztraminer. I’m still not entirely sure of what I’m doing, but it’s nice to make notes and read up on things like aromas and flavors. Plus I now know how to pronounce the name of the wine – go me!

3) Time with friends. It’s been tough getting out and about lately because of the snow and ice, and I’m sad to say that there have been days when I’ve been too tired to do anything but sit on my couch in my pjs watching television or reading a book. But I have tried to stop that and my calendar for the next few weeks looks nice and busy – book clubs, birthday dinners, and all kinds of mayhem. I’ve also reconnected with an old friend of mine from middle school. What did we do before Facebook? Wait, don’t answer that….

4) Light Rail Buddies. I haven’t really made friends with anyone I commute with just yet, but I have talked to some of them. It usually involved the train not coming as we shivered on the platform with snow drifting down onto our heads. I’ve also run into my friend from college, David, on the train from time to time and that has also been a nice surprise. We didn’t realize that sometimes when I work later, we wind up on the same train.

5) Books. I made a decision to read 10 books outside of the ones I’ve read so far for book club, and to date I have read 2. First was Mark Rotella’s wonderful history of Italian Americans and their culture – Amore: The Story of Italian American Song. I loved it so much, mainly because I grew up with that music. It was not just the story of Italian singers, but of all Americans with Italian heritage. I could see my grandfather in those stories and for those 264 pages, it was like he was here with me again. That’s the power of good writing. The second book was also well-written: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. I really enjoyed this novel of a circus vet that is told in the present (when he’s a 90+ year old man in a nursing home) as well as the past (when he first joined the circus). It’s very touching, especially the present day chapters. I read the whole thing in a week because I was so enthralled. I’m so excited to keep reading, too. I’ve got some of those books I mentioned in my earlier post coming up, as well as two more I got for my birthday: Julie & Julia and Film Club: A True Story of a Father and a Son.

6) And, drumroll please, I am going to a concert! I am so excited, I can hardly sit still. First, I should explain a bit about my music taste. Almost every singer or band I like have either retired, split up or died (most fall into the last group). So when I saw that Glen Campbell was not only out of retirement, but that he was finally touring in the US, I knew I had to see his concert. As fate and luck would have it, he is performing in Indianapolis this summer, and I am going. My friend Vanessa is coming with me, as is our friend Meghan, who lives out near Cincinnati. It’s going to be a great trip and a wonderful reunion! I know most people my age don’t know who Glen Campbell is, but gosh darn it, I’m thrilled and I’m going to enjoy it!

7) Upcoming Plans. I’ve been making a few plans for the near (or far) future too. I’ll probably go ice-skating soon, thanks to some coaxing from my friends. I’m also planning a roadtrip to a winery (that’s right, two goals in one!) and a trip to Ireland later this year. Sometime in February I also plan to have a writing weekend to myself where I just relax and focus on getting back into writing.

Looking through my list again, I realize that many of my goals are not quantifiable, so they cannot really be reached. I mean, how can I check something off my list like “Be Happy in My Work”? Although it’s been a stressful few weeks, I do feel a renewed energy this year towards my job and hope that I continue to stay on top of tasks and get more organized. Maybe at some point in the year I will feel more confident, and therefore happier with myself, in this role. These goals are all really just guidelines for how I want to spent this year and I think the only way I’ll get all 25 checked off the list is to sit back on New Year’s Eve and be able to say without reserve, “that was a very good year.”

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