so, two weeks from today i will turn 33. to be honest, i'm kind of excited about the identical double digit thing (although i'm not sure why). in preparation for turning another year older, i have been thinking some thoughts about what i want for myself in my 34th year of life. and with that, i present you with the following list:
1. although i am in grad school and feel like my homework and accompanying reading are always weighing heavily on my mind, i really want to broaden my scope a bit. in the last year, a number of my friends have moved out of town or, for whatever reason, out of the landscape (harder to see one another, busy schedules, etc.) and in some cases, this has been a hard pill to swallow. don't get me wrong. far-away friends are still friends, but it's hard not to be able to grab coffee or sit in the same room for a few hours on a regular basis. i've made one or two local friends at my new job, one of whom has become really important to me - a great thing. but i think it's good to build one's friend and acquaintance base to a comfortable place, and i'm not quite there yet. relationships really ARE key, after all, so it makes sense that this is #1.
2. again, time can be a difficulty, but i really don't want it to limit me from doing some service/volunteer work this year. it's really important to me to get out there and (in whatever way i can) make a difference in the lives of those who don't have the means to do better for themselves. i may have found one or two opportunities that sound promising, and my company even lets us take up to 8 hours of work time to do volunteer work each year. love that!
3. in the last several months, stress has definitely taken a toll on me physically, and i've recently discovered that my skin has become incredibly sensitive to things that never used to bother me before (a very mild lip balm). i'm really trying to limit anything scented from coming near me these days, and i'm staying away from alcohol as much as possible. oh, and then there's sleep. i need more of it. and vegetables? them, too. i'm trying. i really am. cook more. eat out less. get back on a healthier track for myself. it can happen this year. i'm believing for that.
4. anyone who knows me well knows that i love a road trip and being able to explore new places. in 2007, i managed to get myself onto airplanes TWICE and even saw the pacific ocean for the first time (it wasn't nearly as magical as i was hoping it would be somehow. and it smelled quite a bit, but i digress....). LA and chicago were both graced with my presence for a few days, and in the coming year, i hope to visit some other new-to-me locations (other than pittsburgh, of course) and see what kind of adventure i can drum up.
5. i'm paying off non-school debt, slowly but surely. this time next year, i hope to be much closer to that goal than i am now. 'nuff said.
that's about all for now. i know that these are some pretty important areas to focus on, and i think it's good to make time for all of them. in between the work, i hope to live it up, relax, sing more, and savor what there is to savor. and knowing this world and all the people in it, that's a lot.