I hope that everybody is having a nice new year. And if you’re not, well, it’s the beginning so it can only get better (or so we should always hope).
I spent NYE at a former coworker’s house, at a fondue party she hosted. I very much appreciated the invitation and actually, my excoworker and her life is a great segue into me setting some of my 2015 goals.
So I recently moved up to San Francisco and most of the last few months of 2014 were a whirlwind. Being new to the city, there were lots of people to meet up with and when it wasn’t daylight savings, I used to love getting home early and taking a run through Golden Gate Park. (I still love doing that, actually, but now I reserve my runs for the weekends.) When it started getting cold, my enthusiasm waned or I’d exhausted my “omg I haven’t seen you in forever!” plans-making and I started hermiting more than I should have. I passed up a few invitations to things, sometimes due to feeling unwell. But basically, I was not being as social as I should have been. My friend confirmed this last night– that I was finding excuses not to go out on certain occasions.
On to my excoworker. Honestly, she’s just a great person. You know how sometimes you meet people and you can’t believe that this person exists in current society? They are just kind and good people without an ounce of negativity? I’m not that type of person so when I meet people like this, I think it’s just so interesting and it’s a way of living and being in this world that I think is refreshing and something to aspire to.
Ok, enough about that. So my excoworker has the exact opposite lifestyle to me. Where I am an introvert who likes spending time on my own at home, she is super scheduled. I would say overscheduled. She has a lot of activities on her plate and is often out and busy. Whereas I don’t want to have things on my calendar every night, I do think that I need more regimented activities on my calendar. I had a conversation with another excoworker about this and he mentioned that he also wanted to have a more compartmentalized life– certain days where he did exercise, certain days where he did social things.
When I looked at the gestalt of my life, therefore, I decided that my theme for 2015 would be “living outside of the box.” So whereas in 2014 I focused on simplifying and removing extraneous parts of my life, my goals in 2015 will be on living outside of my comfort zone and pushing myself to do new things and go outside of my natural tendency to hermit. So here is a list of things that I am thinking about and that I will work on in this new year.
1) Find a group exercise “thing” and stick with it.
I run a fair amount but this is a solitary activity (that admittedly is sometimes necessary) but in 2015, I need to find a group activity that I can do on a regular basis. I used to take ballet classes when I lived in the South Bay and I felt a little eh about them. Truthfully, my favorite ballet class was in graduate school. There is something wonderfully mindless about doing barre. At any rate, I live, I kid you not, a block away from a ballet studio that offers night classes for adults. I always found a reason not to go. So that is something I need to give a go.
But if I am to be really honest, I have always tinkered with the idea of taking a martial arts class. It seems like a good thing to do and learn while also getting exercise. My fear, as an adult, is the possibility of getting hurt and just the embarrassment of looking like a fool and not knowing what you’re doing. But if I am really to live outside my comfort zone, this something I should look into and start doing. So stay tuned on that.
Ack, the dreaded d-word. So my single friends and I — we KNOW we need to date. It’s just so incredibly painful. But despite the protests and all the excuses we make, we know that we have to do it and now that I’m more settled geographically, it’s something I have to attend to. I don’t know that I want to set an exact target like one of my friends (she does something like 2 dates a week though her success rate hasn’t been stellar) but again, it’s something I need to really focus on in 2015. I have noodled over the kitschy concept of starting a group with my single friends where we get together and report on the progress of our dating efforts– but I don’t know if that’s ridiculous.
3) General exploration
I went out to dinner with a couple of grad school classmates and when we were all preparing to leave for home, one friend shouted, “Yay, new SF friends!” It made me think about conversations with a lot of my friends. There is a lot to do in SF, old friends to connect with, especially if you have collected them from the many academic and professional phases of your life. But in truth, I think everyone would agree that you could always make new friends, meet new people, and try new things. I tend to fall into ruts– hanging out with friends over and over because it’s comfortable and not vulnerable. But I think I need to try some new things. To this aim, I am going to look into doing volunteer things and maybe joining a hiking group or something to that effect. I am going to try to put together events more than I have in the past.
So these are the buckets of things I plan to tackle in 2015. Like 2014, I also want to keep living in an engaged way. I read 28 books in 2014 and I plan to keep my reading up by again setting a target of reading 20 books in 2015. I also would like to keep saving money. I actually don’t know if my 20% of savings in 2014 was terribly accurate (it’s between 15 and 20% for sure). So I’m keeping better records and still aiming to put at least 15% in savings. And I want to take a big trip sometime in 2015.
Here, incidentally, is the list of books I read in 2014:
1) Status Update by Alice Warwick
2) Some Nerve by Patty Chang Anker
3) Secrets of Simplicity by Mary Carlomagno
4) Reinventing the Bazaar by John McMillan
5) The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America by Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld
6) Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
7) The Circle by Dave Eggers
8) The New Geography of Jobs by Enrico Moretti
9) Give and Take by Adam Grant
10) The Art of Social Media by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick
11) Quiet by Susan Cain
12) Seeing What Others Don’t by Gary Klein
13) How to Be a Hepburn in a Hilton World, The Art of Living with Style, Class and Grace by Jordan Christy
14) Mastering the Art of French Eating, Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris by Amy Mah
15) I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum
16) The Longest Date, Life as a Wife by Cindy Chupack
17) Joie de Vivre, Secrest of Wining, Dining and Romancing Like the French by Harriet Wetty Rochefort
18) Man and Wife by Tony Parsons
19) Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
20) Denial by Richard S. Tedlow
21) Think Like a Freak by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
22) The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
23) It’s Jut a F***ing Date by Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola
24) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
25) The Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
26) 20 Something Manifesto by Christine Hassler
27) Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
28) Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong by Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow