It did not even occur to me to look at my intentions for 2017 and evaluate any progress I’d made until both Budget and the Beach and Debt Discipline did it. Once I took a look at my Dreams for 2017, I realized that I hit the mark on a few goals, and dropped the ball badly on a few, too. I’ve taken an honest assessment of all of them, right here for your reading pleasure.
1. Heal some old wounds. (In Progress)
I have healed, but am still healing. On a recent trip abroad, I spent some time meditating on healing and the ways that we can heal ourselves emotionally and physically. I walked a labyrinth in Bath, England, not long after wandering around the Roman Baths, and I thought a lot about immersion.
2. Deepen relationships with beloved friends. (A+)
In my attempts to heal some old wounds, I have deepened relationships with beloved friends. Right before my trip abroad, I experienced some intense anxiety from a situation where I stood up for myself. I leaned hard on my friends during that time, sitting for hours on a patio with one dear friend, and calling others, who always picked up, even when they were at work. I am deeply grateful. It was a real lesson in being present when a friend is in need, and I will remember that when they need support.
3. Attend every international festival in my town. (D-)
Hard fail. I’ve been to one. This is a good goal, but best achieved in a year when I’m not traveling outside of the city. I mean, I did travel internationally this year, but I haven’t been able to get to a lot of the local international festivals. You win some, you visit three foreign countries. I can live with this grade.
4. Race to $10,000 in my emergency fund. (C)
I set the goal and reached it within three months. Then, I bought a new bed and that set me back $800. I filled it mostly back up. I’m currently about $200 short. But, I’m going to get LASIK, and that will set me back $3,400. I wanted to keep $10,000 in my savings to level up my game and make me feel more abundant. I can’t seem to keep that much in there, though. And, I worry about hoarding money from a place of scarcity instead of spending it on things that I know will improve my life, like LASIK. I’ll have to focus on filling it up again after the procedure, but I’m proud that I won’t have to go in to debt to get it done.
5. Get LASIK. (A)
I have hesitated because of the cost, but now that my prescription has changed and I face getting new glasses and contacts, I think it is time. I want this to be the last allergy season I go through with contact lenses. I won’t have to keep track of glasses, contacts and solution when I travel. My appointment is on August 3rd. I am terrified, of both the procedure and the expense, but I think it will be worth it. It is a promise to my future self, and it is investment in my abundant future.
6. Just go already. (A)
I got my passport renewed and I went to England, Wales and Scotland. I had to go in order to believe I would go. I left my dogs with my parents and traveled for three weeks. I also presented at an academic conference, which helped with the cost and the motivation to go. When I was thinking of my future, it all felt so far in the future. But I did it. I went. I followed through.
7. Write write write. (B-)
I should have added a “Finish finish finish” to this one. I’m writing, but I’m not always completing things, which is an old habit I wanted to break. Maybe I’m being hard on myself, though, because I’m writing on Instagram and the blog again. I’m taking copious notes. I’m developing content for work and I’m writing a grant for an arts organization that I volunteer for. I’m writing, but I’m not producing, polishing and publishing a lot of writing, and that’s what my intention was. I could say this one is in progress, too, but I want to consider the first six months one course, and the next six a whole new class with a new curriculum.
I think I’ve become comfortable as artistic support, and therefore can’t imagine being celebrated as the artist to be supported. I want to examine that closely. Am I doing all this volunteer work to keep me from working on my own art? I like the sense of comfort and community it provides, but there can be comfort and community in being the artist, too. I want that to be my next evolution.
8. Finish a draft of the farmhouse memoir. (D-)
In the Spring, I took an online memoir course and wrote a few vignettes about the farmhouse. Then, nothing. Nada. Quit cold in my tracks. A couple of other old essays are calling to me at the moment, and I want to listen. I also had a conversation with my bestie, who brought me to the farmhouse in the first place, and it gave me a new way to consider the voice of the project. I don’t have pages, but I’m thinking about it, which is why I didn’t give myself a full, flat F.
9. Tell some stories. (B)
I wanted to stand on stage and tell some stories like they do at The Moth or at the local Speakeasy. In six months, I’ve been in front of four audiences, five if you count my big academic presentation at a storytelling in healthcare conference. I have not submitted the story I wanted to submit to The Moth yet. I have not told a story at the local Speakeasy. But, I did tell some stories, at least five times. I’m getting better. I’m getting braver. This one is in progress, too. I do want to get on stage more often. I also want to go more to storytelling events more often. For now, though, solid B. I could have been going to Speakeasy every month for the last six months, but I didn’t. If I did, I’d give myself an A.
10. Speak up. (B)
I still have a ways to go, but I’m getting stronger. I could do more of this with my writing, but I still operate under the belief that I have to watch what I say because my employability depends on it. I suppose that is always true to some extent, but what I want to say is usually in support of social justice. Anyway, this one is still in progress, as well. I’m not really sure what it is supposed to look like, and maybe that’s the problem.
I’ve got some readjusting to do. I’m going to scrap the international festival goal for now. I can ramp up the writing and get on that Speakeasy stage. And I’ve got to start making more money again if I’m going to make my savings goals stick. Other than those small adjustments, things are kind of incredible. I am immensely grateful for the progress I’ve made toward living my dreams. In January, 2015, I had no idea how I would make the next monster payment toward my student loans. I moved forward, with intention, anyway, and the results have been surprising in all the best ways. I can’t wait to see what the second half of 2017 brings.
Have you made progress on your 2017 goals? How’s it going?