The weather is beautiful today. I’m sitting outside watching a tiny chipmunk smaller than the size of my palm dash back and forth between his shield of a pine branch and the edge of the grass. Past that, the sidewalk. People. Danger.
He’s testing his boundaries, trying to face his fears and (I presume, since he hasn’t been talkative) trying to become a better chipmunk. I feel like this a lot lately. There’s so many things I’m trying to improve about myself, so many things I’m trying to make better. I’m testing boundaries. Facing fears. Trying to become a better guy.
Four months gone, we’re a third through the year. I think it’s time to revisit my goals intimately and maybe make a few smaller ones for the summer months. With any luck, both me and my chipmunk buddy will reach our goals this year. He’s a brave little fella (just dashed onto the sidewalk and ran halfway past the building before darting into a pile of pine needles) and I think I can be, too.
Goal #1: Become a Better Friend
Progress report: I was doing alright. In January. In February I thought I was keeping up. By March, it’d all fallen apart. My semester killed me (see second-to-last post, please). I wanted to reply to my friends, I thought about it every time I signed into my email, but the pressure was on…and my trying hard enough seemed to turn off. The fall should be slightly easier with the classes I’ve got to take. My summer should be peaceful. I’d like to bring them back into my life and keep them there safely.
The next step: After I write this, my goal for today will be to plow through my email (I’ve accumulate a couple hundred, though hopefully most of them I can clear through quickly) and then reply to two of my best friends. The others I’ll need to poke on Facebook or prod over IM, but it will happen. I miss them too much to let this one fall too easily.
Now only if my mother doesn’t spring any surprise cleaning on me today…
Goal #2: Continue to Do My Best in School
Progress report: I kept my 4.0, but it certainly wasn’t as relaxing as I’d hoped it would be. I mean, on the one hand, I kept busy (and appropriately stressed) the whole semester, but I think I felt slightly calmer about my classes this time around. I felt at ease before most of my tests, even my finals. That’s got to mean I did something right. Though let’s be honest, I was busy for lots of reasons, and not all of them academic. Perhaps that balance (even if it was itself stressful) gave me some of the rest I needed. And I never stayed up past two or so the whole semester, and that’s definitely an improvement!
The next step: I’m not taking any classes this summer, but I am devoting time to researching colleges that I can transfer to after I graduate next spring. Already I’ve done a bit of research, and I can see now I still have a lot ahead of me.
Goal #3: Learn to Drive
Progress report: None so far….
The next step: Put the pedal to the metal. Figuratively speaking. Like I said, I’m not in any classes this summer, so the time to learn is… now.
Goal #4: Actively Stay in Shape
Progress report: I’m been mostly good about drinking more water. Maybe a third of all days I drink a full bottle’s worth of water, which is an improvement. I made it a point to get a drink from the fountain before most of my classes. I keep a better check on it when I’m thirsty. And now that my boyfriend’s bugging me about drinking more (on my request, actually), it shouldn’t be too hard to do.
As far as exercising goes, I’ve been lax–but for good reason. Toward the end of December my lower back began hurting, and by the end of January, it was almost crippling. It was painful to exercise, even to do yoga. Thankfully around mid-April it was feeling much better, and with the assistance of a couple workout DVD’s I bought with twenty-minute workouts, I was able to do one or two every other week or so. Now that it’s the summer, this is one habit I want to ingrain in myself so much more. I’ve also been eating better (for the most part), so although I’m not yet where I want to be, I’m confident I’ll get there.
Goal #5: Make More Time to Do What I Love Most
Progress report: So let’s be honest. I was doing well at the start of the year…then got thrown off around the time my #1 fell apart. And trust me, I’ve not liked it one bit. At all. Though if I am being honest, I have put a lot of car-time into playing Pokemon, and when my mind was dead from everything else, playing a bit on the Wii, and since I do love video games, that sort of counts towards doing what I love most… doesn’t it?
The next step: Get back on the bandwagon. Return to posting at least weekly. I’d like to revive my Sunday stories, and already I’ve restarted my look at the Pirkei Avot. Hopefully, given a bit of time, I’ll be able get back into it all more fully. I think I’m getting there. And if I’m not, at least relaxing is something I love, too.
Now that I’ve read through my grand goals for the year, and I’ve made a decision as to what my next steps should be, I’d like to make three additional goals I’d like to work on over the summer.
Summer Goal I: Complete My College Search
I alluded to this in #2, but to show how important it is, I’m including it again here. I’ve looked at few schools already, and I know there’s a lot more to look at, and I’m making progress steadily, if somewhat slowly. By the time the summer ends, I’d like to have narrowed down my search to five or ten schools that I can start working on applying for. I know each of them will have their own deadlines and writing requirements, so I’ll need to be well-organized, and since many schools have application fees, I’ll need to know exactly where I want to be before I apply anywhere.
After all, this is the rest of my life I’m talking about. I’ve got to plan adequately, consider delicately, and choose wisely if I want it all to work out for the best in the end. Which I already know it will. So there.
Summer Goal II: Clean My Room
My room’s not messy. But there’s about half a dozen spots in my room that are. Mostly they’re piles of papers and such, but I need to go through them all and clean them accordingly. If my boyfriend’s visiting in August, I want my room immaculate, and I know it can be.
I also want my closet back, so I’d like to pull out some of the boxes I’ve got in there and go through everything, keeping only what I truly want to keep and donating the rest. If I’m moving away to college next year, I want to make sure this part’s done as soon as possible, too. I don’t want to leave it all for when I’m about to get married and have my own place, you know, right?
Summer Goal III: Have a Good Time
Summer should be joyful. I shouldn’t spend it all cleaning and researching, should I? Not that either would be bad, but I’d like a little more from my summer if I can muster it. I want to write on my blog, read as many books as I can, master my small pile of still-to-be-played video games, exercise and drink more water, and just all out enjoy myself. I’m still a kid. I need to cherish it while I still can.
So there’s my plan, and since my chipmunk buddy hasn’t come back, I must assume he’s well on his way to reaching his goals. Give me a few days, a few weeks, and I know I’ll be well on the way to reaching mine, too.