Goals Explained, Part 1

Surprisingly, or perhaps not surprisingly, I’ve found that the more matter-of-fact I am about my habits, the more readily people accept them - and me.
— Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before

Inspired by one of Gretchen Rubin's "Happier" podcasts, I made my list of "18 for 2018," which I shared in a recent post. I promised to explain my goals more thoroughly, so here I present the Minute Particulars of the first six goals on my list. Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3. 

1. Fill in new birthday calendar.
I have kept a perpetual birthday calendar for years. It hangs in the pantry for easy viewing and is filled with the names of family members and friends, both old and new, written on the dates of their birthdays and sometimes anniversaries and only a few (thank the Lord) deaths. I have desired for a while to start a new calendar so that the birthdays noted are those of my current circle of relationships. For comparison, think Instagram instead of Facebook to keep the circle smaller. My friend Michelle gave me the beautiful new birthday calendar pictured below (hmmm....when? a year ago?) and it has been waiting on me ever since to take time to fill it out. Some birthdays will be forgotten and others added, but this is the circle, the cycle, the old and new of life waiting to remembered and celebrated. 

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2. Buy new commonplace book.
I always called them "Blank Books" until I was enlightened through the classical education of my children that what I have been doing all these years is keeping a commonplace book. I copy quotes I love from writers I love and reference the quotes regularly. There is not much in life that brings me as much joy as knowing I have a quote for what I'm feeling right now and then being able to page through my commonplace books and find it. I will soon be out of room in my current book and need to buy a new one asap. When I find what I'm looking for, hopefully a product from the Savannah College of Art and Design as I have now, I plan to buy a few. 

3. Get jewelry cleaned at Jared.
This means go to "Jared The Galleria Of Jewely" and get my rings, earrings, and diamond necklace inspected and cleaned. I am supposed to be doing this every six months, or so they say, and though I don't forget most things, I forgot this for about two years. My paperwork indicates I haven't been since December of 2015. Until today.


4. Finalize will with TJ.
If you only knew how many times TJ and I had "almost" gotten our will finalized, how many late-night conversations about the topic that peter out before we make decisions with finality. There always seems to be one more thing to decide or think about. The thing is, I don't want to die. I don't want my kids to be raised by someone else. I don't want to leave Greenville or Village Church. I don't want to leave the stack of books I plan to read this year, and I especially don't want to say goodbye to my commonplace books. But I know we need to be wise, and we will in 2018.

5. Kids - chickenpox. 
You may or may not know, and may or may not agree, that TJ and I have chosen, based on research and personal experience, not to vaccinate our children. One part of this decision means we bear the responsibility for being sure they have exposure to chickenpox as children, so that they won't bear the brunt later. Years ago, I took Bauer and Cash to the home of a friend of a friend so that I could do the thing I have not ever done, before or since: share germs on purpose. Both boys got the pox, Bauer a bad case, Cash a mild one. Ideally I think Cash needs reexposure, and the girls need initial exposure. We have talked to our pediatrician about options and the jury is still out on whether the vaccine or sharing suckers will win the day this time. 

6. Clean kitchen sink drain monthly.
TJ thinks I shouldn't worry about this one, that who cares if every two years we have to hire a plumber to come unclog the drain? I like to proactively approach a problem, probably because it gives me a sense of control. A few months ago, the kitchen drain clogged for the second time since moving here (so yes, once every couple years), and the plumber told me about a solution you can buy to pour in your drain every month that eats away at bacteria buildup. We looked into that, but then I read online that you can accomplish the same goal with boiling water, baking soda, and vinegar poured into the drain in a specific order. It seems that I want to see how much trouble it seems. 

You don’t put things down on paper to produce masterpieces, but to gain some clarity.
— Etty Hillesum, An Interrupted Life