I prefer posting my first quarter check-in on any day other than April 1, because it makes everything I say seem like a potential April Fool’s joke, but not this year. I’m only bothering at all because I’m thinking ahead, hoping that I will live another quarter and that one day all of this will be behind us, collectively. Five years from now we’ll be living in a different world, so let’s make it a better one and start planning.
Starting with: what theme song will you play on the first day out of isolation? What outfit will you wear? Where will you go and who is the first person you will see?
I’m going to play “Walking On Sunshine” and walk down to the beach, where I’m going to get a non-dairy strawberry ice cream. Then I’m going to get my phone screen replaced and reschedule all my periodontist appointments, because priorities.
Thinking about all of that right now is distracting me from the biggest thing on my mind, which is that I just found out I was exposed to COVID-19 and now I’m starting to feel ill. I have a phone appointment right around the time this will post, with no idea whether it’s possible to get tested in my area, how long it would take to get results, and whether I infected my husband.
This tends to have a way of putting things into perspective.
I’ve spent the last few years of my life focusing on goals major and minor, trying to transform myself from bookworm to badass. I ran a marathon, ran adventure races, climbed a rope, jumped over open flames, took martial arts and learned knife fighting, worked on my public speaking skills... only to find out that I already had the skills of hiding out in my room, reading all day, and avoiding people that I would actually need to fight the great crisis of my generation.
All that work for nuthin.
What really gets me is the thought of dying of a pandemic when I am a full body donor. Now nobody will want my organs and that is making me feel some kind of way. In the back of my mind I thought giving away my corneas would make up for never having created a legacy that would outlast me. Now it’s feeling like the time for dithering is done. Will I be more than a sad statistic one day?
The truth is, this year was going badly for us already. A month ago I thought I had a lot to complain about. In the past four months, I’ve been in urgent care three times, had an antibiotic-resistant staph infection, had surgery to remove a cyst from my chest and got four stitches, had three grueling periodontal procedures (after two oral surgeries last year), spent the night in the ER when my husband had a severe eye injury... and then we both had the flu for a week, and then we had to put our dog down. Poor Spike. We were definitely feeling like we needed to send 2020 back and ask for a do-over.
Honestly self-isolation has not just put it all in perspective, it’s been almost relaxing... though of course the perspective is changing every day. New Year’s Eve feels like nostalgia and wasn’t it just a minute ago?
In reading through the goals I posted so giddily only three months ago, I realized I had forgotten that I made decade goals as well. *snif*
Personal: This year my goal was “body transformation,” or getting back to the Healthy Weight for My Height. I have succeeded in losing 6 pounds so far this year. Now that we’re all in quarantine and the grocery stores are picked clean I assume that this is a goal that will sort of achieve itself. I’m just going to call my new decadal personal goal: Living to be at least 55.
Career: My career goal for 2020 was to learn how to do webinars and that is basically all I have been doing with my time. We’re partway through having to switch our Toastmasters public speaking competition season to 100% virtual, and guess whose team got to go first and lead the transition planning. I have now spent at least an hour on no fewer than five online meeting platforms, and I know all the tips and tricks.
For 2030, I want to be a published author... and my book is going to look a little different now than what I had in my outline.
Physical: My physical goal for 2020 was to get my weight back to 125. Allow me to be a little more specific on that and say that it appears extra body weight is a risk factor for full-blown COVID-19, it certainly isn’t doing anyone any favors, and while my main motivation is to simply survive, I am doubling down on my commitment to get my body back.
My decade physical goal is to run a 50-mile ultramarathon. If I get through this thing, distance running is one of the only physical activities that is allowed under isolation, and I’m going to be so happy to be able to run the first mile that I might just keep on going.
Home: We decided to start saving to buy a house. Since there is now literally nothing to buy but groceries, our, um, savings goals are right on track?
For 2020, I was working on automating more household chores as part of my book project. I’ve had plenty of time to do this research and I *still* can’t get the stupid hard water buildup off the shower doors.
Couples: Our couples goal was to build an app together. Not sure if this will happen, as he has been working 50+ hours a week.
Over the next decade, we had a shared goal to do more camping, hiking, backpacking, and bicycling adventures together. He had been traveling over half-time and we were missing each other and wishing to spend more time together. We have actually ridden our bikes together with backpacks on because we’ve been terrified to take the bus and we needed groceries. Um, ta da?
Stop goal: My “stop goal” for 2020 was to stop procrastinating about text messages and voicemail. Yep, another success. I’ve been in touch with people I haven’t heard from in years and realizing how much I’ve missed them.
My ten-year goal was to stop procrastinating in general. Now it seems like there’s nothing TO procrastinate and everyone in the world just got a giant reset. I talked to one of my hoarders who has been evicted at least once, and she said she “finally broke through her block” and completely cleaned out her place!
Lifestyle upgrades: Our ten-year lifestyle upgrade goal was to have a garden again. This seems like less of a hobby now and more like a civic duty. We’ve already been talking to a couple of friends and family members about putting in or expanding gardens in their space, so in a way we’re doing this virtually.
For 2020, it was a bummer to think about but my big lifestyle upgrade was “probably” going to be gum surgery. Now my fourth of four scaling and root planing appointments has been rescheduled indefinitely. I actually found myself saying recently, “Thank God I had that root canal last year.” My NEW big lifestyle upgrade for the year will be to walk out our front door.
Do the Obvious: The most obvious thing to do in my life right now was to plan around constant travel. That changed almost immediately to “zero travel for who knows how long.”
I was right about one thing though: No normal weeks.
Ultralearning: This was the first time I tried to set up an ultralearning project. I was going to learn Dutch. Then, suddenly, someone else was in the room with me basically every minute of every day and this sort of got derailed. Will I start again now that I have no excuses? Depends on how sick I get, honestly. It’s lovely to picture open borders and a reason to travel to the Benelux countries and casually speak Dutch with the people I meet.
For 2030 I had planned to learn to write screenplays. Now I’m wondering how to reinvent the entertainment industry to be contact-free.
Quest: My quest was to train for an ultramarathon between now and 2025. Now I will be delighted to LIVE until 2025 and running fifty miles seems like a testament to survival and the fighting human spirit.
My decade quest was to visit Antarctica, and I wish I was already there...
Wish: My wish for 2020 is to get a publishing deal. Our wish for the next decade is to become millionaires!
Why the heck not. Honestly why not wish for anything and everything right now.
Goals, wishes, quests, visions, and dreams are technicalities. They’re a game. You win if you set yourself up to win, such as, I wish to find a penny. Something specific. On technicalities, I’m accidentally crushing several of my goals this year.
Personal: Body transformation - IN PROGRESS
Career: Learn how to do webinars - SUCCESS
Physical: Weight at 125 lbs. - IN PROGRESS
Home: Automation project - IN PROGRESS
Couples: Build an app together
Stop goal: Stop procrastinating on text messages and voicemail - SUCCESS
Lifestyle upgrades: Probably gum surgery - IN PROGRESS
Do the Obvious: Plan around constant travel
Ultralearning: Dutch language
Quest: 50 for 50 ultramarathon! (2025)
Wish: Publishing deal!
2030 - Ten Year Goals and Resolutions
Personal: Silver Fox project
Career: Published author
Physical: 50 for 50 ultramarathon!
Home: Buy a house to live in
Couples: Camping, hiking, backpacking, and bicycling together
Stop goal: Stop procrastinating in general
Lifestyle upgrades: A garden
Do the Obvious: Plan around constant travel
Ultralearning: Write screenplays
Quest: Visit Antarctica
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.
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