Progress Post: Career and Finances

Offer free tutoring during the summers


Write a grant proposal


Join a committee at work

12/29/2017: I was encouraged by my colleagues to lead the 7th grade team this year. It’s much more involved that I thought I would be with the leadership of my school, but it’s been an incredible opportunity.


Teach summer school again

5/21/2017: It seems pretty likely that I’ll do this in August. My principal approached me and asked me to apply.

12/29/2017: Done! I did a two-week math intensive that was an utter blast. I’ll probably apply again next year!


Help with an LGBTQ+ group at school

5/21/2017: The current adviser is retiring, so I should ask around about this soon.

12/29/2017: I’m co-advisor this year. It was so sweet for an 8th grader to come to me and ask. I am incredibly flattered and happy to support these kiddos.


Publish some of my materials on TeachersPayTeachers


Go to the NW conference for Math Teachers again

5/21/2017: I’m going! It’s in my hometown!


Start an after school math team


Pay off $25,000 of my student loans

12/29/2017: I have paid about $6,000 into student loans. I am on track to pay much more than $25,000 by March 2022.


Save $5,000 toward tiny home construction

12/29/2017: I have a savings account at $1,500, but that’s kind of a general rainy day fund. Once my account is at about $8,000, I think that I would be comfortable making a separate account for tiny home savings.

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Progress Post: Media and Games

Finish Stephen’s Sausage Roll

5/21/2017: I am so stuck. So stuck.

12/29/2017: I’ll try this again… eventually.


Finish Far from the Tree


Reread all of Harry Potter


Go to 10 concerts

5/21/2017: I went to an outdoor funk show on 5/20/2017 with a friend from out of town. It was nice to go to a concert where the point was to just chill. No singing along or anything that I’m used to.

12/29/2017: I went to Jimmy Eat World with a new friend on 9/29/2017. I haven’t gone to any others, save for middle school band and choir concerts.


Read The Lord of the Rings series


Read the OBOB books for one year

5/21/2017: Three of my coworkers want to do this with me this summer 😀

12/29/2017: I read one of the books, I am Princess X.


Reread my favorite children’s book, The Secret Garden

5/21/2017: I’m a few chapters in and kind of meh about this goal. :/


Watch Mad Men


Read through Obama’s recommended authors


Read Leaders Eat Last


Play through Portal


Start a board game meetup in my town

5/21/2017: I happened upon a pretty great board game meetup. I’ve joined in on the hosting cycle. Good enough for now?

12/29/2017: The group is humming along, so I’m going to call this goal good enough. I found people who want to play board games pretty much every week – win!

Progress Post: Mind and Body

Run a half marathon


Lose 50 pounds (that would bring me down to 175)

12/29/2017: Well, I ended up gaining 15 pounds in the last year. In the last few weeks, I’ve lost about 7 of those. It feels like starting over, but I’m trying to develop good habits while I’m off of work. I made a big chocolate-y mistake last night, but I immediately went to the gym this morning. Progress?


Pass the Goethe-Zerifikat B1 level exam for German


Apply to teach English in Austria


Become an APO LEADS presenter

5/21/2017: I just registered for the National Volunteer Conference, where I will receive training for this. It’ll be in July in Texas.

12/29/2017: I am at apprentice level for Achieve! I need to present with other folks for a while, but I haven’t had the funds to fly out to a presentation.


Try blues dancing


Try ballroom dancing again

12/29/2017: I have loose plans to try this soon. My partner prefers swing, but maybe I can convince him to do ballroom with me.


Learn Spanish

5/21/2017: So far I’ve been leaning on Duolingo, which has been surprisingly helpful. For a free program, it’s been really good for vocabulary retention. I’m at “22% fluent” in their program. Once I get to 50% or so, I’ll look into community college classes.

12/29/2017: I need to integrate Duolingo into my daily routine. Maybe with breakfast?


Finish the exercises in my  Modern Algebra book


Take the math GRE


Go fully vegetarian


Do NaNoWriMo

Progress Post: Travelling and Outdoors

Visit the East Cost of the U.S.


Go on a solo road trip for a week

5/21/2017: I’m saving up money for this currently. I’ve got $500 set aside. I might just do a West Coast tour this time. I’m also looking at the Amtrak options – there’s a train to NYC for $282…

12/29/2017: This trip never came to fruition. I’m waiting to see how my finances are after tax season and loan readjustment. Maybe spring break?


Go on a road trip with a friend


Visit Europe


Go hike-in camping


Visit the southern Oregon coast


Go to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival again


Hike at Crater Lake


Learn to swim


Try skiing

Progress Post: Crafting and Creativity

Finish my Settlers of Catan blanket

5/21/2017: I’ve found the pieces. I finished the inner portion (wheat, wood, sheep, brick, ore) over a year ago. I’m thinking about how I want the sea to look. I might make more hexagons or I might just do a strange round. I also have to sew the pieces together and haven’t quite decided on the color and method for that either. I hope to finish it by July.

12/29/2017: I poked at this a little bit over the summer. Maybe I’ll get around to it next week? It’s definitely not a top priority.


Finish my ugly/scrap blanket

5/21/2017: I dug it out of my boxes! It’s now sitting in a bin next to the couch. It’ll be my Netflix binge-buddy until it’s big enough to cover two people. I hope to finish by December.

12/29/2017: It lives in my closet right now, but I’ll pull it out and put it next to the couch. I need to give up phone games anyway (which most often happen while I’m watching TV…)


Do a full-size watercolor (20 inches by 24 inches or something)


Make a t-shirt blanket

5/21/2017: The t-shirts are sitting in a bag. I took a sewing class in January, so I now know how to use my machine. This is on the July to-do list.

12/29/2017: I cut these into squares and the scraps are in my classroom as whiteboard erasers!


Open an Etsy shop

5/21/2017: Woof. I don’t even have anything I could think of being worthy to sell. My current focus is on getting back into practice. My crochet stitches are sloppy.


Sell crafted goods at a local market

5/21/2017: I visited the Saturday market in my new town a week ago. At first glance, it seems bustling and the right venue for me. Like the Etsy shop, I need some time. I don’t have things to sell, so I’ll aim for next Spring or Summer.


Perform something again (dance, uke, etc.)

5/21/2017: I pulled out my clarinet and WOOF. It is a mess. I contacted my local music store to see about repairs. I’ll be taking it in this week or next. I talked to a colleague about community bands, and there’s one that practices right where I work! She said that they take all levels and there’s drop-in summer performances.

12/29/2017: I got my clarinet overhauled this summer. My hope is that I’ll move to a house next summer, so that I’ll have somewhere to practice. My current lease does not allow musical instruments.


Make a dress


Make curtains


Take a pottery class


Take a cooking class


Donate crocheted hats and gloves during the winter

12/29/2017: I have a few that I’ve made. I plan to finish up a couple more and bring them to my school for kids in need.

 

Before 30

I’m in the second half of my 3rd decade. If I’m lucky, I’ll have 8 decades. Maybe 9 or 10 if I have the hardy genes of great-grandmothers on both sides of my family. That’s a huge chunk that’s already over. I do realize, however, that 2 of those decades were largely reliant on my family. If I look at it that way, I’ve had about 5 years that are a result of my own decisions.

In the last 5 years, I have…

  • moved 12 times
  • dated 9 people (3 seriously)
  • had 4 part-time jobs, 1 full-time
  • had 1 small car accident
  • graduated from college 2 times
  • bought 1 car
  • lived in 1 city
  • visited Canada once
  • attended a dozenish conferences
  • traveled to 4 states

This list could be anybody. I couldn’t come up with anything ultimately defining about this time. Looking back in 20 years, I think these are the only things that will come to mind. With this in mind, I’m looking to the next 5 years. Between 20 and 30, many of my friends will have married, had children, and bought mid-sized houses. None of those things sound appealing to me. So what will be defining about my life before 30? I have 56 months left. I’d like to outline here a list of 56 things that I want to do in that time.

Crafting and Creativity (12)

  • Finish my Settlers of Catan blanket
  • Finish my ugly/scrap blanket
  • Do a full-size watercolor (20 inches by 24 inches or something)
  • Make a t-shirt blanket
  • Open an Etsy shop
  • Sell crafted goods at a local market
  • Perform something again (dance, uke, etc.)
  • Make a dress
  • Make curtains
  • Take a pottery class
  • Take a cooking class
  • Donate crocheted hats and gloves during the winter

Travelling and Outdoors (10)

  • Visit the East Cost of the U.S.
  • Go on a solo road trip for a week
  • Go on a road trip with a friend
  • Visit Europe
  • Go hike-in camping
  • Visit the southern Oregon coast
  • Go to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival again
  • Hike at Crater Lake
  • Learn to swim
  • Try skiing

Mind and Body (12)

  • Run a half marathon
  • Lose 50 pounds (that would bring me down to 175)
  • Pass the Goethe-Zerifikat B1 level exam for German
  • Apply to teach English in Austria
  • Become an APO LEADS presenter
  • Try blues dancing
  • Try ballroom dancing again
  • Learn Spanish
  • Finish the exercises in my  Modern Algebra book
  • Take the math GRE
  • Go fully vegetarian
  • Do NaNoWriMo

Media and Games (12)

  • Finish Stephen’s Sausage Roll
  • Finish Far from the Tree
  • Reread all of Harry Potter
  • Go to 10 concerts
  • Read The Lord of the Rings series
  • Read the OBOB books for one year
  • Reread my favorite children’s book, The Secret Garden
  • Watch Mad Men
  • Read through Obama’s recommended authors
  • Read Leaders Eat Last
  • Play through Portal
  • Start a board game meetup in my town

Career and Finances (10)

  • Offer free tutoring during the summers
  • Write a grant proposal
  • Join a committee at work
  • Teach summer school again
  • Help with an LGBTQ+ group at school
  • Publish some of my materials on TeachersPayTeachers
  • Go to the NW conference for Math Teachers again
  • Start an after school math team
  • Pay off $25,000 of my student loans
  • Save $5,000 toward tiny home construction

Some of these things are things I’ve never done before and some are repeats of experiences I enjoyed. Some items are very, very big. A few of these I could tackle this week. The idea is to come back to this list at least once a month and see what I’ve done to make my life align with my goals over the next 5ish years.

If you want to help me with any of these things, even if that’s just being my accountability buddy who checks in on me, please comment!

UPDATE: Progress posts on each of these are live! Look for specific updates by following each section’s link. As I finish things, I’ll cross them out on the main post as well.

 

 

Struggle Bus

Anybody else out there having a hard time?
I used to do this thing with a volunteer group that was really therapeutic for me and I’m missing it now. Here’s the gist: We would go around and say how we were on the “struggle bus” that week. The goal was to realize that no one was perfect, even if they looked it on the outside. Everybody’s got problems and we all are trying to find our way through the muck.
I’d like to do something like that here. Feel free to share stories where you just totally flopped or don’t share at all. It’s up to you what you share. I think the beauty of it is knowing that you’re not alone. I’ll comment first with something related to teaching, because that’s basically all I do right now.