It's Saturday, folks! Time to just write whatever I want to write and you can't stop me!
Today marks my last official day of summer as I go back to work on Monday. I am trying to think of something super fun and crazy to do today so I can go out with a bang. But nothing is coming. I suppose I'll write a post and go to the gym and fold some laundry and buy a few groceries. You know, normal Saturday stuff. Maybe I'll get real wild and try to sell some books to the used book store, now that's spicy! Greg and I are going out to dinner and a movie tonight so that will be good enough for me. Maybe I'll talk my sister into playing some tennis with me.
End of summer means time to look at the goals I made at the beginning of summer. The original goals posted at the end of April are in black, and then the italic red is my assessment of them. Anything that is crossed out is what I actually did. It may be a bit painful...
READ. Read a book a week. That means 16 books from May to August. On the list are:
2. Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian (Reread. Young Adult- Banned Book club selection for May)
5. Life of Pi (August's blog book club) Currently reading
8. Autobiography of Malcolm X. I've heard it's fascinating.
9. Fast Food Nation (Non fiction.)
10. Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott book on writing) Started, but then had to return it to the library before I finished. Will finish as soon as I get through the line at the library again.
11. Z (Book about Zelda Fitzgerald- wife of The Great Gatsby author. I just finished The Paris Wife about Ernest Hemingway's first wife and absolutely loved it.) Checked out from the library, never got around to reading it. Will read once I get through the library line again.
12. Lolita (Heard it's weird, but feel like I need to read it.)
13. Slaughterhouse Five. (Reread)
14. Something by Hemingway... Possibly The Sun Also Rises.
Assessment: I only completed 5 of the books on the list. I did also read, however Sarah's Quilt, House on Mango Street, The Bean Tree, and Confessions of a Shopaholic, bringing my total of completed books up to nine. I am about halfway through Life of Pi and Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter so I am hoping by the end of August to have finished at least 11 books, possibly 12. Not quite the anticipated 16, but not terribly either.
Assessment: I blogged five to six times this summer, but I didn't exactly put the petal to the metal like I had hoped to. The problem is most people blog less in the summer, not more. Readership was down, post ideas were down, and I just felt in an overall slump. I thought I would be spending four or five hours every day on my blog and the reality was it was often all I could do to get the minimum post up. I didn't pitch to Babble like I had wanted to, but I still plan to do this. I did pitch guest posts about dealing with the loss of a parent to a couple of really big blogs that don't normally accept sponsorships. I heard nothing back. Boo. I did start a Summer link up (Throwback Thursdays) and organized a $1000 giveaway that has helped increase traffic and numbers. Not a complete fail, but not a complete win either.
CAMP. Go on at least one old school camping trip. Tent and all.
Assessment: This one is still on my to do list. Don't know if it will happen as I told Greg I really want to go camping before the weather turns cool and he replied he kinda hates camping in tents. Boo.
Finally! Something I can check off! Sure, we lost $1,100 on the way, but we still enjoyed a great vacation as seen here and here.
GET A TEACHING JOB IN CALIFORNIA or...
I sure didn't find a job in California, but I did comply with the "Accept that God may have other plans for me" part of this deal. Greg I are certainly didn't see ourselves sticking around Utah, but for right now it feels like a perfect fit to us. We're still not totally sure what the future holds for us but we're young and in love and the rest is just details. In the meantime, I found a job at a high school that is closer to us and Greg is working with people with disabilities. We're happy.
SERVE. I used to be more giving of my time. Now I am so selfish with it. So utterly possessive of every minute I have. I would like to start giving more time to others. I used to volunteer with special needs kids for an hour a week, and although it certainly wasn't much, I felt like that one hour kept my life a little more balanced. I need that in my life.
I feel like I totally failed on this one. I did watch my brother's kid (the girl in the pictures at the top) a few days this summer and I gave the guys that fixed my tires some cheesecake bites. Does that count?
This week I finally finally beat Greg in tennis. Given, it was 6-5, but still, I'll take it! I took intermediate lessons in June but had to miss about half of the lessons due to Hawaii and other things that got in the way. I tried to sign up again in both July and August but the classes were cancelled. Boo Orem Rec! I try to play at least twice a week, but it can be hard to find people to play with me.
SAVE. I don't want to work at a crappy restaurant or paint hot apartments all day like I did in summers' past, but I do want to pick up extra money and save for our big move. The fact that I don't have a job secured yet has me a bit stressed about our financial situation. We have saved and been smart with our money, but I am still hoping to pick up some extra work and put extra money away. Anybody got any ideas of enjoyable part time summer work?
This one I can only half check off. Or maybe quarter check off? I did get a job, was totally misled about what it would be, and quit after the first day. With our scam situation we definitely didn't manage to put away as much money as I hoped, but we still saved a bit and are in a pretty comfortable position for the coming year, especially with both of us working and saving money this year.
Boom. Done. Picture to prove it.
This one I can check off a hundred times over. This was the most fun summer I can remember for years. Not having a job allowed me to be completely free with my time. I was able to see lots of friends, go on vacation, play tennis to my heart's content, and even stay on top of stuff like keeping the house clean, blogging, and reading books. I feel like Greg and I got so much closer this summer. We have learned a lot in our 2 1/2 years of marriage, one thing being how to not kill each other when we have lots of time together. Bring on Summer 2014!
And last but not least....
MOVE TO CALIFORNIA. Boom, baby.
How about move to Lehi? That we can do.
It's fun to look back over the goals for summer and see the anticipated summer versus the real summer. It certainly didn't turn out totally like I planned, and God had a few lessons for us to learn along the way, but I love it as it is. This summer will hold sweet memories for me, from tromping the beaches of Hawaii with my beau to playing Ticket to Ride with my mom on Sunday nights to finally learning how to pick out a decent watermelon. It has been one for the books, no doubt. I'm so grateful for the beauty and freedom of summer, but am ready for the next adventure in my life. Ready for a new school, a new home, and who knows what other surprises are in store for us.
Interestingly enough, one of my favorite things this summer has been to be able to come to this space on Saturdays and just write whatever is on my heart. It has felt so liberating and genuine and has made me fall in love again with blogging. It occurred to me that this might not just be good for me, but all bloggers. So I'm turning this into a link up. A day to just write whatever you want. You don't have to do it on Saturdays either, you can do it whenever you want. After I created this button I realized it was a play on words and then I felt like a freaking genius.
So link up! If you'd be so kind to include the button on your post when you link that would be awesome. If not, it's all good.
For your weekend reading:
+ I got in some hot water a year ago for admitting I don't always put my shopping cart back in the corral. Commenters ate me up!
+ I had a reader ask me if I had ever written anything about how to balance a full time job and a blog. Why, yes, I have!
+ Examining why people cheat on their significant others.
+ If you haven't entered this $1000 giveaway yet, DO! Anyone can win and it's so easy to enter. Winner will be announced Wednesday.