Birthdays make me feel a bit numb. I am not old enough to hate them (yet), I do not relish having lots of attention being paid to me in a very concentrated period of time, and they kind of go against something at the very core of my being, which is rather hard to explain but just trust me on this. Also, in good Maritimer tradition I am a chronic "you too!"-er. ("Have a good day!" "You too!" / "See you later!" "You too!" / "Happy birthday!" "You t- auuuughh.") Birthdays are not very big in my family and I've had a hard time explaining to friends that the "no, really, it's okay" line is not modesty, but no, really. It's okay.
Despite all this, I pay a lot of attention to years and what I can accomplish in them and I find it much easier to decide what I want to do in vibrant May (swing dance! change the world!) than dreary January (screw everything! wear sweatpants!) When I was 20 I made a "five year plan" full of concrete goals with steps and deadlines but also random whims I've always had. As I'm turning 24 this week I thought it might be time to revisit some of these things and get the pressure on in the next 12 months but I was pleasantly surprised at how closely my life had mirrored my forgotten list, especially lately.
If I had a lot more time than I do I would love to write a thesis on the gendered aspects of to do lists. (This is not a goal, though.) Whether it's a grocery list on the door of my mother, the list of most detested body parts my friends made (there's a strange, perverse solidarity in realizing all the other 13 year olds hate their stomachs too), or simple five year plan I feel like the Internet is the checklist on crack. Still, here's mine, because I think it's a pretty solid list and maybe this will serve as inspiration to actually complete it for once.
Bolded items are what remain to be accomplished.
Finishing writing my book.
Learn to swing dance.
Buy original art. (Although I love the prints I've purchased, the spirit of this goal was more a painting or sculpture: something difficult to carry and monumental.)
Chair a committee.
Own a cat. Specifically, own a little grey cat who is an offspring of Momma Sunshine, the sweetest cat in Antigonish. Solomon, named for Evan Solomon, who provokes his loudest meows, was in Momma
Sunshine's last litter.
Sunshine's last litter.
Cook a turkey by myself.
Bake a pie by myself.
Go on an American road trip. (Driving from Toronto to Cleveland was wonderful but I'm not going to check it off as motivation to do something lengthier.)
Pay for a vacation entirely by myself.
Take a train. Any train.
Do some sort of feminist tangible project.
Work on a pro-choice campaign. (Okay, two birds on stone.)
Work on a sexual assault campaign. (Interestingly, this was done in the same month as the pro-choice campaign.)
See the Braves.
Be able to afford avocados. Well, this is actually quite emotional because I'll never forget times when I could not afford avocados. This is a real measure of personal finances for me, something I affectionately call 'the avocado index', because even when times are tight now I can usually afford an avocado if I'd like.
Wear lipstick regularly. I don't know, it seemed like a thing grownups do.
On that note, I also scrawled 'actually know how to apply make up.' I don't think I'm there yet.
Get a Marimekko Unikko couch. My grandmother had one because Jackie Kennedy had one. I might substitute this goal because I live with someone who can only handle so many florals.
Wear a swimsuit publicly. I'm not kidding, this was a hard one.
Go a summer without getting sunburnt. This one is actually impossible to do before 25 as I just turned a toasty rose today. Sad trombone.
Not live with roommates.
Paint a room. (We did the entire apartment! Every single room! Goal DONE!)
Make a piece of furniture.
Buy a piece of furniture not from Ikea.
Fix / refinish my grandparents' gorgeous mid century modern furniture. (It's a process.)
Make my closet sweatshop free. (Working on it.)
"Watch the sun rise or set or something cheesy I just don't know how to end this list." is something is actually wrote.
Not much changes in 4 years after all.