Sunday, December 31, 2017

Resolutions - Resolved! (mostly)

It’s that time of year again! I’m looking ba k today to see how well I did on all my New Year’s Resolutions from 2017. If you don’t remember I made this list back in January/February.
  • Be a better communicator - Write to family on their birthdays, send actual letters, respond quicker to invites... All that good stuff Yes! This one has been a great opportunity to connect more with friends and family - I definitely want to keep it up again next year.
  • Know the Hatch Act, live the Hatch Act.  I plan this year to be a more reponsible (read: active) participant in our great democracy. I plan to do something to support causes I believe in at least once a week. Yes, for the most part. I was a bit more active at the beginning of the year, but I’ve been writing and calling my senators, signing petitions and supporting causes I believe in on a fairly regular basis even this late in the year.
  • Finish three or four more books in Italian - I already have Jhumpa Lahiri's In Altre Parole mostly finished and I also intend to finish the last three by Elena Ferrante (I read the first already this year) Barely, but yes. This goal ended up being a bit too ambitious, especially since I insisted on reading the quite tough Elena Ferrante series rather than something easier. But it was a rich experience and I did finish three books before I switched to Portuguese and went cold turkey on the Italian.
  • Cook seafood. I've always been intimidated by seafood but no more! Spaghetti con vongole (clams) and calamari are on the menu. Yes! I made frito misto (awesome,  but not as leftovers), salmon steaks, and spaghetti alle vongole as promised. All    delicious!
  • Also on the cooking front - learn to can food Kind of. I canned tomatoes with my mom. Will need to try it on my own someday to really count it but the lesson was definitely a first step.
  • Go sailing (bonus points if I manage to take a course) Yes, but just once. I joined the sailing club near my parents’ house while back on home leave but only made it to the lake for one lesson. Kind of disappointing but it does still count.
  • Travel - two new countries, two new states, two new Italian cities Yes, no, yes. I visited Spain, Sweden and San Marino and within Italy saw Capri, Ancona, Montepulciano and Bologna. But I didn’t make the road trip I had planned during home leave. In fact it was a conscious decision to save money since, ironically, it is cheaper to visit a new European country than a new US state - at least if the States left on your list are kind of far from home. But two out of three isn’t so bad.
  • Finally go to Tuba Christmas in DC Yes! It was fun but probably no need to go again.
  • Have friends over for dinner more often More often is kind of relative, and I haven’t done this at all since I got to DC but I did host several friends for dinner, coffee, and one mega-brunch this year and I call that a win.
  • Find a solid volunteering gig in DC and stick with it Yes, although ironically I think I might switch to a location that really needs my help, I have been going to a homeless shelter for a couple of months now. 
  • Learn how to make a really kick-ass cappucino before leaving Italy Yes! Wish my frother and French press had made it into the UAB but I guess I’ll see them all in São Paulo! 
  • Be able to play level 4 (will have to explain this later) songs on the piano and actually sight read The difficulty level was confusing, but basically I can now play four songs - Fur Elise, Pachebel’s Canon in D, Bourrée and the one whose name I can never remember. It’s something bland like Minuet... and I can very, painfully, slowly sight read. I’ve really been enjoying it - and even bought a second keyboard so I can practice while I’m back in the States too. Win! 

1 comment:

  1. Hi! Love the blog. I volunteer with Playtime Project which is a night playtime group for children experiencing homelessness. They have locations all over DC. When you get back after your next posting, I highly recommend the organization. It's well organized for an almost entirely volunteer-run project and I really enjoy it. Anyway, thank you for sharing your adventures! It keeps me motivated for someday joining the Foreign Service myself.