It’s been just over 6 months since I made my 23 Things to Do While 23 list. Since I’m halfway to 24, I wanted to share a bit about my progress thus far.
1. Travel Abroad
I spent a week in Paris (taking 2 day trips out of the city to Loire Valley and Giverny) in mid-October and it was wonderful. You can read about my adventures abroad on my travel blog To Ponder and Wander.
2. Write the Sequel to My First Novel
I have started the opening pages of the sequel to my first fully drafted novel, and I have started an additional book series, as well. I’m feeling very good about both!
3. Get One Story Published
I have yet to get one of my fiction stories included in any sort of magazine or anthology, but that’s because I’ve been a bit busy working multiple jobs the last few months. I am happy to say I have been doing a lot of work as a content writer, which is very enjoyable, and so I feel that my strengths and skills as a writer are constantly improving.
4. Continue Learning Spanish
This goal has gone by the wayside. It’s hard enough carving out time to continue practicing my French on a regular basis (which proved helpful in France, but also showed me I have a lot to review/relearn) and continue learning Japanese. Which brings me to the next item…
5. Continue Learning Japanese
I can read both Hiragana and Katakana now! I took a Japanese class this summer, which was provided by the Nashville Japanese consulate. Since the class, I continue using an app that is very useful called Dr. Moku to review Hiragana and Katakana through pictorials. The pictorials have really helped me to remember signs and sounds. I plan to start some vocabulary building soon and take the next level of the class next summer.
6. Brush up on my French
I use Duolingo.com to practice my French at least once a week. It’s a great free tool for those looking to review or even learn a language.
7. Get Back to Singing
I have not told a lot of people this, but I have actually recorded demos for a handful of original songs. I am working with some friends to polish them up. Hopefully I’ll be ready to share the progress on them soon, maybe even some finished pieces by spring.
8. Learn Guitar
Another goal I have neglected thus far. I will try to build it into my schedule as that’s the best way for me to remember to do things regularly.
9. Get Back to Yoga
I have recently enrolled in a local weekly yoga class to get back into the practice. One of the best parts of my week!
10. Travel to New Parts of the U.S.
I went to Minneapolis (saw nothing but the airport en route to Paris and back to Nashville, but I went). I would love to visit the West coast again and take the Amtrak train from San Diego up to some of the national parks.
11. Cook More
I am very conscious of what I eat and am trying to eat more fruits and vegetables, but the cooking has not progressed very far. I have been experimenting with no-sugar added dessert recipes to satisfy my sweet tooth this holiday season.
12. Learn More About Investment
I have actually written several blog posts for a wealth management company. All such assignments involve doing research and fact checking. I’ve found it a great way to try new writing forms and learn more about the topic.
13. Practice Piano
I do this when I feel like it. As music becomes more a part of my life again, I believe I’ll find myself sitting at the piano more often.
14. Watch House of Cards
Hasn’t happened yet. It’s hard to find time between working, socializing, writing books, and watching all the shows I already watch. This is fairly low priority, even though I’m sure it’s a good series.
15. Go to a Dance Club
I’ve been trying to spend time outside while the weather is still fair. Winter will be a good time to retreat indoors and give dancing a shot. Though honestly, clubs are not my scene.
16. Take at least one Dance Lesson
I want to dance as it seems like fun, but I am not good at it. Maybe there’s a Bad Dancers Anonymous meeting I can attend?
17. Do Karaoke
I am singing more lately, but the karaoke night hasn’t happened yet.
18. Attend a Kpop Concert
Big Bang recently came to the U.S. I could not take time off or afford the cost to fly out and see them, but hopefully I’ll be able to see a Kpop concert sometime in the near future. Maybe when I visit my friends in Cali again.
19. Go to Comic Con
I haven’t gone to an official “comic con”, but I did attend Nashville’s Game Media Expo on Halloween. It was first convention. I went with a couple of friends, attended a couple of panels featuring voice actors with local ties, and had a good time. I plan to attend some more conventions in the future.
20. Attend a Writer’s Conference or Retreat
I have not gone to an official conference or retreat, but I am involved in several writers’ groups, so I have regular contact with some great people whom I can learn from as writers.
21. Watch More Classic Films
I’m not ever going to be a film junkie. My limited free time goes towards books and it’s always been that way, but I did take the time during my 10+ hour flight to France and back to watch free films. I’ll talk about them all in another post.
22. Play More Video Games
I haven’t played video games of late, but I did watch all the Halo cut scenes about Master Chief and the Spartan’s origin story, so that counts for something, right?
23. Make time for myself, and don’t stress.
I’m doing better about this. When I need time for me, I cancel what is not essential (such as running errands that can wait). I’m learning that I can make time for myself without letting people down. Everything in balance.