This last year was crazy, even for me. I cancelled a wedding, attended two weddings, ended a relationship, got embroiled in a non-relationship. I went to Australia, went to the mountains, had a nervous breakdown over sheep, survived the nervous breakdown, and spent two weeks blissed out in a city that smelled like flowers (then the relationship juggernaut happened). I graduated from vet school, went to classes, drew spirals, went to the city of flowers again, spent a week writing essays every waking minute, and went to classes again. I made some new friends, went through post-break-up hell, played piano, cleaned obsessively, discovered new music, and applied for prestigious fellowships that I did not get.
Crammed in at the end was internship hunting, yet another trip to the city of flowers, and, oh yeah, surgery. All finished off with an epic snowstorm, skis and tea, and a trip to the meadows, where the glitz was cut with huge red rocks.
What have I learned?
I like to travel. I still need to write or I don't feel like myself. I love to bake, I like to clean, I get impassioned and highly unrealistic about public health. I like running by the lake, I like exploring cities.
I don't know how to be on time. I lose hours to thrift stores. Emotional upheaval can lead to lots of writing or none at all.
1. Sleep schedule: Go to bed earlier (10 pm) and wake up earlier (6-7 am).
2. Be healthy: lots of physical activity, and a decent diet with lots of soups and fresh bread.
3. Finish strong: A's in classes, with the requisite hours put in at the library and with study groups.
4. Essay marathons, not sprints: Schedule essays so I can take them to the writing center and revise long before deadline.
5. Treasure deadlines: be on time to lectures, meetings, and for handing in assignments.
6. Stick with it: Seriously, the field experience is all up to turning it into a part-time job this semester.
7. Explore new social circles: Meetup is my friend. Drawing at the zoo, outdoor adventures, speaking spanish, business, and travel.
8. Things I want to do every day: play piano, write, draw or paint, cook a meal, read.
9. Things I want to do once a week: Clean the apartment, spend a day at the farm (walk fence lines, garden, cows, paint, fix things), watch a movie or a tv show while baking.
10. Things I want to stop doing: Going to thrift stores, procrastinating, feeling purposeless.
- Sleep schedule: Plan ahead: dinner before 9 pm, no new projects after 9 pm, power down computer at 9:30, have a bookmark for any book being read. If at home or out with friends, announce intention to go at 9:45, and leave at 10 pm.
- Be healthy: Yoga when I wake up, go outside just before or after breakfast, walk/take stairs when possible, plan a run, hike, or bike ride (depending on weather) at least once a week. Pick a morning for baking bread, and pick out a new recipe for dinner each week.
- Finish strong: Have a specific bus and time to leave for campus (coordinate with food preparation to be on time), read up on lectures a day in advance, take an interest (and notes) on fellow students.
- Essay marathons: Put syllabi in planner as soon as available, take an extra hour to do this. Start an outline for each essay in the spring scrivener project.
- Treasure deadlines: Overcome the fear of arriving early! Plan for 15 minutes ahead of schedule (5 minutes for bus) for the months of January/February.
- Stick with it: Take readings to NWHC to work on there. And post-it notes. E-mail preceptor once weekly with update, communications lady once every other week, and bring in fresh baked goods once a month.
- Explore new social circles: Make drawing at the zoo a weekly event. Attend one other meet-up every other week. For fun, e-mail a new person after each event. Set up a flickr account for photos.
- Things for every day: Piano fits in at the end of the day during wind-down time. Do not start play after 9:55 pm.
- Draw a daily challenge.
- Write one line in journal daily. Write 500 words daily (morning), can use dream transcription, headline inspiration, or other prompt. Double points of done at cafe. Triple points if followed up with at least 32 minutes of studying. Even-numbered days can be factoid-rich blog posts.
- Read a book a week/month. Pace yourself: take number of pages, divide by days given for reading, and follow as close as possible. The goal is to read fantasy without the mad rush at the end (that usually takes a 4 hour chunk out of sleeping time) and to finish literature/non-fiction in a timely fashion.
- Cleaning: Pick a day that can survive the absence of 3 hours between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. (Sunday or Monday night) Pick up detritus, dust surfaces, and vacuum. Wash and dry laundry, clean toilet, clean surfaces in bathroom. Clean surfaces in kitchen, clean kitchen floor, wipe down windows and mirrors. Finish up by taking out garbage and recycling. First week of month, use wood polish on tables, stools, cabinets, and piano. Last week of month, polish shoes and repaint table legs.
- Day at farm: go out Saturday evening, come back Sunday evening. Go to bed in a timely fashion. Feed dogs some in morning, go to woods. Taco Bell option. Haul brush, etc. Interested in machine maintenance, oiling bridles, sweeping out shed rooms, constructing shelves (or steps for granary). Cow records. Alt: learn to airbrush, plein aire watercolors.
Things I'm curious in or foresee coming up but not quite here yet:
- Shiatsu massage
- Reviewing much veterinary medicine
- Applying to more fellowships
- Networking extravaganzas
- Playing around with recording some for librivox or doing podcasts
- Volunteering at a spay-day
- Community garden: planning a garden to hand off to friends, grow produce for food pantry.
And not this year, but some day:
- Travel back to Australia, visit New Zealand
- Travel to South America (not too picky at the moment)
- Backpack in Europe
- Spend a year traveling around the States, doing paintings of all the landscapes.