We’re just about half way through 2018, which is completely insane. I swear, each year flies by faster than the last. At the beginning of this year I made a bunch of goals that I shared here on the blog. Find the original post of 2018’s goals here. I’m revisiting these goals to hold myself accountable for them, encourage myself to accomplish them, and maybe inspire other to make goals as well so it’s a win/win for everyone!
Six months ‘IN’ is the perfect time to sit down and evaluate how you’re doing on the goals you set. There’s still enough time to set new goals before the year ends, tweak ones that maybe aren’t so relevant anymore, and plot out how to accomplish the others. So, here’s how I’m doing…
• my behind-the-scenes product // I set the intention to work on this new product & actually getting it made to market & sell this year. I’m still trying to find a company to help me manufacture + package it, but I attended the National Stationery Show in May with a printed out, assembled, mock version I toted around to show to potential manufacturers that could help me. Since then, there’s been e-mailing and back and forth to get a feel for how much they would charge me. So, progress, but slow progress, but progress.
Here’s a photo of me assembling the sample on the Saturday morning prior to NSS, before I had to work a waitressing shift that afternoon:
• Crafty Ass Female podcast // Starting the podcast last year was a pretty spontaneous move, which is out of character for me. Kristin + I talked started talking about it a WHOLE YEAR AGO, and built up to a solid launch in December ’17. I’m still in awe – six months in – how well it has been coming together, considering how rough & emotionally tumultuous this year has been for me. We’ve successfully put out a show every Monday. We are successfully into a Season 2, and even started a Patreon page with extra features & a bookclub. (!!!) Go us!
This podcast project has been an unexpected and creative lifeline for me in a way. At a time in my life where all else seems to be falling apart, this is the one thing that’s been coming together nicely. I have Kristin, my accountabili-buddy, to thank…for pulling me along – when I felt like I didn’t have it in me to continue… and one of my proudest creative accomplishments of my life, let alone this year, was wrapping up our interview with Ali Edwards, who I have admired for as long as I’ve embarked on this creative path. I’m confident that Kristin + I are doing our best, and are doing a decent job at it, so onward!
In the second half of the year, we goal to update the website, make some Crafty Ass Female merchandise available, interview MORE amazing women, and conduct our first LIVE episode of the podcast with an audience of all attending Kristin’s Awesome Ladies Live in August. OMG! Stay tuned!
• my ARZ brand – website/blog/newsletter/social media // This goal has been taking a bit of a back seat, but it always does and has in the past when I’m not as clear as to where my direction in life is going. Also, I’ve been mulling around in my brain about how I want to use each social media platform… because I looove blogging, but I haven’t been getting to my blog. I’ve been way more vested in filling my Instagram and newsletter with content, but I don’t think those are the best places to retrieve the content I put out, so I have to come up with a better way. Maybe a quickie website revamp this summer… that’s what I’m thinking… we’ll see.
• Release a set of Planner Strips every month this year. // Since leaving The Happy Planner® team, my Planner Strips have been the way I’ve still felt connected to the planner community that I fostered for so long, and the product whose journey I was on since the beginning. I am happy to report that I am ON TRACK with my goal to having a year’s worth of themed, colorful planner printables as evergreen content on this space ’til the end of time that my fellow #plannerbabes can access if they feel the need for hours+lines or to try something new. It has meant SO MUCH to me when one fo you ladies have used my strips in your planner! So cool and fun and I love you.
• my one little word® 2018: limitless // I talked about ‘limitless’ being my word back in this post, and this year has been TESTING. MY. LIMITS, plain & simple. …but in such an unexpected way, and I look forward to talking about what I’ve learned at the end of this year in regards to this and my word.
• 30 Days of Lists // This fun, creative listing challenge IS A WRAP, and I’m so proud of the little mini book that came out of my participation in March. It was the perfect dose of daily creative output. I loved contributing to the FB page everyday, and seeing how other listers were making their lists. It also taught me what I wanted and didn’t want out of the longer #The100DaysProject that started early in April.
• #The100DayProject // Like the podcast, this project has been a creative lifeline for me. I knew at the start of the year that I was going to be doing 100 haikus, but what it has allowed me to create has been nothing short of a God-sent miracle. So much release. So much low-impact experimentation. I’m learning so much about repetition, and IG content, and physical v.s digital art, and words and phrases that seem to work and ones that don’t and ones I didn’t expect to, but do, and ones I thought would but didn’t. I am learning TONS, and I am honing ME, the artist – and gosh darn it – its been SO needed & appreicated.
• work + money + time // Since my original ‘goals’ post in January, I got myself some health insurance. It isn’t top-notch, but it’s something, and it’s allowed me to see a therapist in my network that’s been good for me + get treated for two bullshit UTIs I got this winter. // Money-wise, I’m doing what I set out to do: living within my means, saving all I can, but it’s been HARD. Right after the holidays, it got sloooowwwwwww in the restaurant I waitress in, and you bes’believe I felt it.
…and TIME? I have revisiting like a mo’fo how I’ve been spending my time. Going back to teaching in September has been on my radar, but then falls off my radar again b/c ick, teaching, but then comes back on my radar again when I think ick, waitressing. This goal is still in progress, and I’m sure if you follow along with me you’ll hear more about it eventually.
• health // Ahhhhhh, health. Health health health health health! I’ve been to SOOOO much therapy these past six months, and have been FULL-ON focusing on my mental health and dealing with my anxiety from all angles (hello, one little word: limitless). The GREAT ANXIETY of 2018 is in FULL EFFECT, and man, it sucks. But in the interim, I’ve still been making beautiful things, and two podcast episodes on mental health came out of it: EP. 22 + EP. 31.
The gym + strength training + tracking my food + exercising have not been in as much FULL-ON focus. In fact, emo-eating #allthecarbs has been more like it, and i think it’s sort of indirectly kind of the direct cause of how UNHEALTHY I’ve been feeling, mentally, physically, emotionally…all of it.
But there’s hope! Summer makes me want to feel fit, and I’m goaling to join an all-girl Bachata team that meets every Thursday starting this week, June 128th – and I think that it will help get me and keep me motivated to eat better. I’m excited to see how that goal pans out!
• the BIG CLEAN of 2018 // Since moving into my apartment, I’ve conducted a ‘BIG CLEAN’ each spring, and wipe/dust/sanitize/reorganize ever square inch of the space. This year, that BIG CLEAN happened earlier than usual: I did it in one day, on Super Bowl Sunday, in the throws of an acute anxiety attack, while waiting for the horrible (yet utterly amazing) episode of This Is Us when it was finally revealed how Jack died! UGH! It was the worst and best at the same time, and I grieved for weeks after. I did reorganize the closets and shelves, spruced up my office space, and found the little guy below: my Mexican worry doll…got back in 2014 during my last big bought of anxiety. I don’t remember ever bringing it from my mom’s to the apartment or even thought I still had it, yet there it was, right when I needed a sign that I was going to be okay.
I believe a second BIG CLEAN of 2018 is in order. I still need to get new bedding, and create a welcoming foyer area, although THIS was a great first step. Also, I’m sensing a fun DIY home project involving these guys happening before this year is out.
• my mom’s 60th birthday // My mom turned 60 y/o in April + my sister achieved our goal to make it a special day for her. She had been saying for years that she wanted nothing for her 60th, but we couldn’t NOT celebrate her. Sis + I threw her a surprise dinner at one of our favorite local Italian restaurants, and all of my mom’s closest family and friends came to celebrate her…even an impromptu visit from my Grandma! It was a magical, amazing week, and I’m so grateful for it.
• my sister will become my next door neighbor // This still hasn’t happened. (Deep sigh). I mentioned this was going down in a FRIDAY 5 post back in October, but we are still waiting for it to be real. She got a one-bedroom foreclosure for a really good price, but that’s what’s been taking so long — she’s had to wait (and wait and wait and wait and friggin’ wait) for the bank to get their shit together. We found out someone lost paper and the lawyer representing her hasn’t been as proactive, but my sister recently gave them an ultimatum, so we’ll see what comes of that in the next month. I hope all this build up hasn’t been in vain. I’m dying to help her with this fresh start and be only a building away from my best friend.
two weddings !!! one wedding // Okay, so two of my cousins are getting married this year, but my sister and I aren’t attending the one in July. We will be attending my cousin’s fiancé’s bridal shower in August, and her wedding to my cousin, Anthony, will be in October, so…October: I’m goaling to be fit + tanned from summer + ready for ya! Dance + drink + slay w/ FAM on that day is a very important goal on my list. 😉
• 1 y/o Raelyn // I’ve already teared up and shared about my little miracle wonder-sprite baby cousin turning 1 y/o HERE + HERE, but writing this down as goal for 2018 means I want to soak her up at this magical age as much as I can! She has already started walking (!!!) and (sort of) talking + I recently posted the fruity photo below to my Instagram with the caption: “thinking on a #summer filled with #freshfruit & quality time with this sweet, #oneyearold kumquat”. Splashing with her in the pool this year is going to be my favorite. Major summer bucket list item!
• go on 3 enthralling daytrips // I am still obsessed with this goal. I’m still not in a position to spend money on airfare or a ‘real’ vacation this year, but the idea that I can plan + adventure out on a local, day-long escape excites the ish outta me.
John & I did The Museum of Natural History back in February, and it got us out -which was good- but I was in the throws of a two-week long acute anxiety attack when we went, so I was a bit distracted to say the least. It was also raining all day, so the commute wasn’t the most pleasurable, but we were together, and it took up our whole day, so it was what it was supposed to be.
On St. Patrick’s Day, we took a road trip to Bear Mountain and hiked. My anxiety was with me there too, but we were out, together, breathing in fresh air, on a little adventure, and that also was what it was supposed to be. The second-half of that ‘enthralling daytrip’ was supposed to be a visit to Pizza Barn Yonkers, but they were closed for renovations. A few weeks later, we made up for missing it, and drove there on a Saturday night to share a super slice. It was a great memory.
I did meet up with Kristin & Jeff in NYC for a day of exploring in April, so I think that could count as the third! …and there you have it!
There have also been some UNEXPECTED news/goals that I didn’t plan for at the start & here are some:
• Grams came // In this past year we got Grams to visit from Florida on three separate occasions: in May 2017 for my cousin’s wedding, in November 2017 for Thanksgiving, and this past April 2018 for Easter + mom’s surprise party! The week she is here always zooms by, but I was happy I captured some key moments: when she surprised mom on Easter + mom bursted out crying, and her hilarious stories during Sunday brunch at the table with my female family. Laughing with Grams is my joy.
• my sweet girl cat Carmen was diagnosed with lymphoma & kidney disease // This was very unwelcomed news, but right now she’s fine…she’s not in pain or showing any clinical symptoms and has been her usual self, but knowing she’s sick makes me sad.
My childhood cat growing up lived to be 18, and based off that, a part of me always thought Carmen & Alejandro would be with me nearly two decades of my life. Yesterday’s diagnosis means there’s a good chance that won’t be true. // My childhood cat’s death made me the saddest I think I’ve ever been, and that sadness threw me off. I didn’t expect it. I was so heartbroken, but living through that has made me cherish every moment with Carmen & her brother, and for that, I will be eternally grateful.
This is truly the hardest part about being a cat mom. These small, furry people become your heart & soul, your BEST friggin FRIENDS, your KIDS for goodness sake! …and their life – no matter how long – is never long enough. She’s got time. I’ve got time with her. …and you better believe I’m going to make it GREAT. It’s going to be filled with snuggles and kisses and raspberries and funny made-up songs and weird conversations where I pretend to be her talking to me and late afternoon naps together and backyard adventures and maybe an extra treat or two.
Baby girl, mama loves ya today, tomorrow, forever, and beyond! New goal for this year is to have SO MUCH FUN TOGETHER!
• a mile a day in May // Jumping back in to this movement challenge was no something I was planning on doing, but as April was drawing to a close, something in me was motivated to move and inspired to modernize the challenge — and create templates to use in your IG story to track your miles and stay accountable.
I didn’t go as far with it as I hoped I would, but seeing a bunch of you ladies really RUN WITH THE CHALLENGE (pun intended) was so inspiring! Thanks for indulging me and my fun little designs! I’m learning so much!
PHEW! That’s a lot to keep track of, but I like the idea of a mid-year re-eval… in fact, Kristin & I checked-in with our goals in the recent EP. 29 of our podcast, if you want to take a listen.
I wonder what I’ll be able to write in the year-end RECAP post, but in truth, I might just put all of these on HOLD until September & just focus on my Summer Bucket List for the next few weeks.
Anyway…thanks for reading, and i’ll catch you soon!