The 18 Month Countdown: Life and List Updates!

Happy Labor Day, everyone! I hope you’re all having a nice day! I am VERY much enjoying my long weekend. I spent time with my family, cleaned my house, painted three canvases for my office at work, fixed the drain stopper in my sink, and have been experimenting with some new recipes. Today, I’m going to do some crafts, make some scones for the week, watch lots of “Parks and Rec,” and hopefully go for a walk, since it’s the first day in over a week that it’s not stupid hot. I can’t wait. Yay!


Artwork…by me! I’ve never painted a canvas before, but obviously, I’m pretty damn good at it.

So, this month marks the year and a half countdown to my 30th birthday. Yes, I’m counting down. Partially because I am planning a “Wizarding World” 30th birthday extravaganza that’s going to be the best birthday on the planet…and partially because I need to get crackin’ on my list. Like, yesterday. So, before I show this list who’s boss, I thought I’d do a quick recap of what I’ve been working on, and what’s still left to do. And also, how life is going. I think I’ll start with that.


If I think back to a year ago and where I was, what I was doing, and what I was worried about, compared to where I am now…it’s like I’m living a completely different life. I remember asking one of my friends if she ever felt like she was living in a rut, where nothing ever changed and things weren’t moving forward. She said she’d never felt that way, and that’s when I knew I needed to make some changes for myself. My biggest change? Actively trying to put myself and my happiness first. I say “trying” because, if you know me and know me well, you know that I generally put everyone else’s needs in front of my own. But I’m working on that.


Happy things


So, I think I’ve mentioned a few times that I set some goals for myself for 2015. Nothing earth shattering, but things I really did need to work on. I based them off of my life wheel that I had made with my friend and life coach extraordinaire, Aubree: one goal for each section of the wheel. Most of the goals have evolved over the course of the last 8 months, but I truly think I’m heading in the right direction on all of them. I’m working on my physical, mental, and emotional health. I’m working on the relationships in my life and giving them priority. I’m working to minimize my debt, one step at a time. I’m taking care of myself in a whole new way now. I’m happy. Really, truly, genuinely happy.


Taking care of myself= impromptu family vacations


I’ve officially been in my new position for 3 months, and am finally, FINALLY getting the hang of it. Granted, I still ask a million questions a day, still feel like an idiot most of the time, and am still exhausted when I leave at 5:00, but I am really enjoying what I’m doing. A job where I get to build relationships, and encourage people to be their best, and teach people how to be successful while playing and having fun? Amazing. For a long time, I didn’t feel like myself at work, and now I do. That, and not being in constant physical pain are probably the best gifts I could have asked for in this transition. All the dancers and preschoolers come back tomorrow, so I know it’s probably going to be a hard week, or few weeks, for me. But, I’m so excited that I’ll still get to see them and be a part of their lives. I love the way the preschoolers’ faces light up when they see me, and how the dance girls have stopped in off and on this summer to check in with me and how I’M doing. Another great gift. 🙂

Me and Other Stuff

Being a homeowner is hard. Seriously. And being a single homeowner in a 100+ year old house is harder. But I love all the learning opportunities that come with it. Yesterday, with the help of YouTube, I fixed the drain stopper in my bathroom sink. By myself. A few weeks before that, I assembled a new TV cabinet. I’m making landscaping plans for my yard for next spring. I’m picking out new paint colors to freshen up my house. I’m doing all that I can to make this house my home.


Just bought this amazing chair for my house! Woot!

I’m exercising again! I’ve been walking A LOT! I’ve been spending lots of time with Stella and Charlee, drinking lots of coffee, and enjoying having my nights to myself for the first time since…elementary school? Although…that’s not going to last for too long. I’m really excited to announce that I’m going to be directing a show this fall/winter! I will be directing “Charlotte’s Web” at Davenport North. I just cast the show this past Tuesday, and rehearsals will be 3 nights a week, starting in late October, with the show going up in December. I am so excited that I finally have the time to do something I’ve been wanting to do for years. Yay for putting myself first!


Look at all that happiness! (Also, look at the crazy huge contacts I’m wearing. Eep!)

The List

Ok, so at last count, I have 6 out of 30 things done, but I also have been doing 5 things that are ongoing. Long story short, I need to get moving! Here are a few quick updates on things you haven’t heard about…and some that you have.

#3, 23, 32- (Learn how to pack for a 2 week trip in a carry-on, go on a mission trip to another country, and go to Australia)

No, I don’t have anything on my calendar yet, but I am working on these in the sense that I am working to have more money for them. One of my 2015 goals was/is to pay off my student loans completely. Now, with any goal, some unexpected things have come up (buying an interview suit, purchasing a new wardrobe for work) so I think it’s more likely that my loan will be paid off by my 29th birthday, but it’s still significant progress compared to the last few years. Also, I have 18 months left of car payments, so I’m hoping to pay that off faster once my loans are gone. And then…VACATION MONEY!

#8- Figure out your 30 minute jump start routine

This one has actually been unintentional. For a bit last year, I was timing my routine. That was fine, but I wasn’t really making progress. Apparently, getting up at 6:40 every morning was what I needed, because I have been shaving time off of my morning routine daily. (Starbucks has been a good motivator.) I am guessing I’m down to a 35 minute routine, so I need to start timing again. I’m hoping to knock this one out by the end of the month.

#10- Grow a plant you can feed off of for a year

It’s been three years in the making, but the DeLacy Garden Extreme will be coming to my yard in Spring 2016. I’m waiting for the weather to get cooler so I can rip out all the weeds/plants/weeds growing in the plot, till the soil, and then start a plan of what I want to grow. I am unbelievably excited!

#15- Do something that scares you physically

I had the best plan, and it’s already been foiled. See, I’m afraid of heights, so I thought that would be a good fear to tackle. A few years ago, my boss participated in a Special Olympics fundraiser where she rappelled down the side of the Hotel Blackhawk in downtown Davenport. I decided that was what I wanted to do, and my boss, Kim, agreed to do it with me…except, they’re not holding it in Davenport this year. It’s being held in Des Moines…next week. In the middle of the work week…sigh. Oh well. I guess I’m heading back to the drawing board on this one.

#17- Figure out your karaoke song

I’m still trying to figure out how to get out of this one…

#20- Meditate once a week, for 6 months

I’m almost at the 4 month mark, and I cannot tell you the difference this has made! I fall asleep faster, I’m more relaxed afterwards, and it’s been an interesting way to track my mindset and feelings. I fully plan to keep this going after my 6 month mark.

#34- Foster a dog

When I saw this on the list, I told Ria, “I won’t foster a dog…I’m going to adopt one.” That is still my plan, hopefully next summer. I was planning on this summer, but S and C have been a little naughty since…April…and I figured bringing a new family member into that wasn’t the best idea.

So, that’s where I’m at. Lots to do, and the clock is running! But, with the decision to put myself first, I also made the decision to make this list and my blog a priority. I love blogging, and sharing my story with you, and I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes with crossing things off my list. My goal is to get back to blogging once a week. I’ll need you all to hold me accountable on that, but also, to keep encouraging me to work hard on all of these things! I know I can do it…it’s just nice to know I have support too.

Well, I think it’s time to go for that walk. I hope you all have a wonderful day. You WILL be hearing from me soon!

Until next time,