Thursday, January 23, 2014

Before January's Over

Reflections on a Berlin Canal
Despite my vocal and written proclamations to the contrary, I seem to be making resolutions pretty regularly these last few years. Truth is, I do find it enjoyable to look back, review and reflect, and pat myself on the back or rekindle my desire to reach a goal. I just don't need it to be in a January-January time frame, which I find a bit silly. But steadily working towards something that makes me a happier and healthier person... that I can get behind.

So how am I doing on my goals? Here's what I wrote last year: 

1) Travel to three places just for fun.

Mission accomplished, and I doubt anyone's surprised. Though this may seem like "cheating" to people who only make unenjoyable resolutions, the goal was for me to take advantage of the time and freedom I currently have to explore rather than racking up countries on my list. Where did I go? Copenhagen, Croatia, and Sri Lanka (could also add a new part of the Swiss Alps and Madrid to the list). Copenhagen was a long weekend trip with my best gal Kelly, Croatia was the first time my mom and I have taken a trip just the two of us, and Sri Lanka was my first experience in South Asia with the lovely and adventurous Anna. All fantastic experiences. All, as usual, making me feel like the more I see the more I have yet to see.

Croatia, you beautiful devil, you

2) Follow through on a side project.

Can I get a HELL YEAH on this one?! Kelly and I revealed Collidoscope Berlin back in April and are still going strong with our xenophilic baby. While we post much less often than we did in the beginning (down from 3 a week to 1 every 10 days or so), we've added Facebook (like us!), Twitter (follow us!), events, and more to our side-project docket. While sometimes it's difficult to get ourselves to just sit down and write already, we're always so pleased with the product and the progression the project has taken. As always, we're open to ideas, comments, and connections if y'all have any!

3) Date more.

Oh, dating. When I wrote this one last year I was giggling at the idea that this could even be considered a resolution, but now I can say with certainty it was the most challenging of the lot. I took some RISKS in 2013 that ranged from giving online dating a shot to trying to use Collidoscope to hang out with my cute and ethnically ambiguous dentist. I had some fun, I turned many a boy down for a second date, and I had some disappointments and rejections. But even at the lowest of these moments, it was good to feel like I was putting myself out there. Now I feel I can take a bit of breather and hope that I've laid the groundwork that will catapult something into fruition this year.


4) Work on my German grammar.  

A hard one to measure objectively but I'd say I was pretty successful on this one. While I didn't take a class or crack open any grammar books, I did start paying way more attention and forcing others to correct me. I've finally learned some basics as well as been hit in the head with the realization I've been making some rather ridiculous mistakes for the past 20 years (so it's really "Hälfte" instead of "Helfte" and "inzwischen" instead of "entzwischen" and salt is neutral but pepper is masculine?). But that's what you get for growing up hearing a language but barely ever writing or reading it.

So what's on the proverbial list for this year? 

To be honest, I'm not sure I'm totally feeling the resolution thing this year. I want to continue to make progress in the above categories and have started making some small shifts in other areas of my life that I'll give more attention to in 2014. These include trying to do one. thing. at. a. time. (I increasingly blame the internet for ruining my attention span... I can barely get through an article without being distracted by an email, work task, song, recipe, or god knows what else anymore). I want to learn to cook more vegan meals (In Berlin I eat almost entirely vegetarian but I want to go a step further on occasion). I want, nay, NEED to read a bit more in German (not my favorite activity). I want to travel somewhere on my own, even if it's just a weekend. OH! And writing more on the ol' blog here, because I hope you guys still enjoy it on occasion (anyone out there??), and because I know I will down the line.