I’m a list maker. I make lists regularly and religiously. Shopping lists, to do lists, just about any kind of list. It helps me remember what I need to do for the short term and long term. Often times just writing it down is all I need to do, but I love the feeling of crossing things off my list and the satisfaction of having accomplished something.
So recently as I’ve been reading different blogs and seeing people’s “101 things in 1001 days” lists I figured that sounded like the perfect thing for me. I started the other day, jotting down a few things I wanted to do, and the more I thought about it the more things I started to add.
Then two things happened.
Number 1 – I realized that my list seemed pretty familiar to me. I took a look at the long-term to do list I have and realized why – the two were almost exactly the same. The only thing different was that my long-term goals list does not have a deadline.
Number 2 – I had a conversation with one of my bosses at work. She’s an amazing woman and has been incredibly supportive of me since I started at the museum. She values my skills highly and is very honest and frank with me, something I appreciate deeply. In our conversation she asked me point blank what I want to do and then started poking holes in my response – holes that I already knew were there but was ignoring for various reasons. She didn’t leave it at that, however, as she had an alternate idea, a different path to lead to where I had said I want to go. Her suggestion was one I had long dismissed, but the more we talked about it and the more I thought about it the more sense it made. It is much more likely to lead me to where I want to be, is just as interesting and challenging and rewarding – if not more. It really should have occurred to me sooner, but it didn’t and her suggesting it – and more importantly my realization/reaction to it completely and utterly threw me for a loop. I felt like I had been walking down a path in an underground tunnel, with my eyes ahead on what appeared to be the goal when suddenly a light came on out of nowhere and there was another tunnel that I hadn’t realized was there, but was less damp and narrow and dark…
I’m still only just wrapping my head around the new idea and what that would mean for the next few years of my life, but it made me realize that planning two plus years ahead isn’t necessarily something that makes sense for me right now. Since I already have a long-term to do list I don’t see why giving myself the pressure of a limited (if long) time frame to complete it in. Instead I’m going to regularly reevaluate my long term goals, making sure that I am chipping away at them while also adding or subtracting things as seems fit.
After all I am very very happy with where I am right now, but I couldn’t have imagined it 4 years ago as I was putting together the paperwork for my scholarship application, or 5 years ago as my year in India was ending!
Oh, and as for another list – here’s a few things I’m loving this Thursday:
- U – okay okay okay, so that’s a given I suppose, but he’s been amazing recently. He listened to my (likely rather incoherent) recounting of my conversation with my boss, and was immediately supportive of the idea, just as he had been of the idea it had replaced. He was quick to point out the benefits he saw and allay the fears that I had. He is incredibly supportive of me and my dreams, pushing me even more than I do myself.
- uneventful commuting – I am SO going to jinx myself with this, but after accidents/weather delays/etc screwed up my commute multiple days every week for a few weeks, and I wrote a post complaining about it, I’ve had a good couple of weeks of problem-free commutes. Sure, I still have to get pretty friendly with the other commuters, but I have have had room to breath and no elbows digging into me – all very good things!
- summer food – last week a co-worker and I went for hiyashi chuka (chilled Chinese noodles – chilled yellow ramen noodles topped with julienned omelet, cucumber, mushroom, pork, and a few other toppings with either a soy sauce or sesame based dressing poured over top. While I’m not really a big ramen fan, I’ve surprised myself with my love of hiyashi chuka (I think its all the “stuff” on top) and it is a great summer meal! I’ve also made myself a few salads for dinner recently and love playing around with ingredients – cheese and Caesar dressing or dried cranberries and cashews with balsamic vinaigrette or calamari with a spicy dressing or tofu and sesame dressing or caramelized purple onions and pine nuts or... By mixing up the dressings and toppings I can stick with the same leaves (leaf lettuce or romaine or spinach or…) and basic veggies for a couple nights and finish them up without feeling that I’ve eaten the same thing three nights in a row!