The 2014 Short List

If you follow my tweets and statuses religiously, which I expect you do with bated breath, you'll recall that I rang in the New Year in Vietnam (on Cat Ba island which is technically not in the gorgeous Halong Bay but kind of is).

Now that I'm back Stateside, I suppose it's time to formally kick off the new year on the blog. I should let you know, however, that I am relatively anti-resolutions. Not your resolutions, mind you; kudos to you for making plans and the like. I personally never have the wherewithal to stick to these sorts of things for more than five minutes. And there's this perverse part of me that bucks as soon as I feel like I have to do anything, so establishing resolutions is merely setting myself up for failure.

In fact, let's look at the picked-up and put-right-back-down five-minute activities from this past year:

1. Ukulele

At one point I knew three chords. Presently I couldn't even tell you the string names.

2. Cross-stitch

That was an adorable albeit bloody month.

3. Dragon Boating

I'm on the winning boat, at least.

4. Pie-ing

I'm going to try keeping up with this one. In fact, I need to recreate this Triple Berry Pie tomorrow for Grandma's birthday...

I want to be realistic and not over-commit in 2014, and I'm 3 times less likely to do something if I feel bound by obligation, so in lieu of a set of resolutions (ew), I have put together

My 2014 Bucket List
Doesn't that sound more fun?

1. Go to Jordan and visit Petra (maybe tour Iran as well).

Or tour Italy. Doesn't Cinque De Terre look so dreamy? 

2.  Start learning a new language...Chinese maybe? Or Korean? I feel like Mandarin would be more helpful as I grow my professional network (<<< dweeby)...but I think Korean might be easier on my linguistically-challenged brain. Do any of you-alls have resource recommendations?

3. Learn to speed read.

4. Actually sit down and watch these psychology lectures from Yale.

5. Learn how to properly contour and highlight my pasty, acne-studded face. I've tried looking up tutorials and the like but as soon as some girl pulls out 12 different makeup brushes and 17 different types of concealer and foundations, I freak out and go through this five-minute self-affirmation process about how beauty is what's on the inside or something.

6. Learn how to cook a few southeast asian dishes. I really do need to stop spending all my bitcoins on Thai food. 
JK. Don't own bitcoins. 
7. And on that note, try cooking some healthy dishes. Maybe one a month. Again, not trying to get carried away here on the self-improvement train...

8. Move out of North Carolina. Thinking Boston? Also thinking I need to buy a real coat.

9. Spend less money on books, not because I want to get fewer books but because I need to find better alternatives to spending too much percent of my paycheck on them. Fortunately I'm starting to use paperbackswap.com. Obviously I'm really excited about it, given that I've told everyone I know about this website approximately 10 times. I've already mailed out a few books and I've requested another.

UGH Is there anything better than getting books in the mail?? No of course there isn't, duh.

10. Maybe post pictures of Vietnam. Maybe.

I was going to add train for a half marathon to this list, but this morning I was unceremoniously chased down by a pitbull while soft-j-jogging, so bRob's gonna hold off on that....maybe "Get pepper spray" should be added to this list instead.

What are your goals/aspirations/bucket lists for 2014? And, if you're trying to learn something new, such as coding or a language or taking an online course, how do you manage that on top of your regularly-scheduled workload? I thought about trying to devote one hour each evening to learning one of the aforementioned topics, but I can already tell that's gonna be a bust...

Happy Belated New Year, kiddos.
- bRob

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