August 2013 Goals

August 2013 GoalsI get so excited about making monthly goals. It’s just a really great opportunity to ask myself, every thirty days or so, “Am I doing what I want to be doing with my time? Am I having fun? What do I want to devote my playtime to for the next 30 days or so?” These questions make a month feel like the vista from the top of the Grand Canyon: deep and wide and long and beautiful. Here’s what I’m planning to do in August.

This isn’t the first time I’ve recycled monthly goals, but I’ve probably never had better reason to. I wanted to go to the beach in July, but the real summer heat hasn’t hit us yet (um, not that I’m complaining!) It’s a good bit cooler out on the coast, so I’m waiting for some of those good old 106-degree days to come my way before packing up my beach bag. Tonight Eric and I went for a walk before dinner, and it must have been 65 degrees. Eric actually wore a jacket. What?! I’ll take this balmy weather as long as it wants to stick around, and then: beach time!

I’m also recycling my zipper goal because I spent most of July quilting my laptop case. Now that I’ve had some more practice at sewing in straight lines, I’m even more ready to tackle this project.

I also want to spend some time learning at least a little bit of Greek before we go on our trip in September. I thought I’d be in the fast lane on this, since 75% of the Russian alphabet is actually Greek letters, but I was not accounting for those lower-case versions of things. I’ve got my little chart and a few apps on my phone (there’s an app for everything!), and I have a beginner’s book waiting for me at the library. If I knew how to say let’s roll in Greek…I would say it now!

Another project I’ve really been wanting to start is map-making. I love maps with all my heart, and I found this amazing book on Personal Geographies at the library; it basically shows you some techniques for making maps of your own life and experience. I am planning to make maps of the cove where I grew up, my neighborhood in Oakland, and the routes I traced over Oberlin’s campus in the good old days. And that’s just for starters. I’ve got my watercolor paper, my paints, and some good sharp pencils. I’m so excited to get started on these.

We have been traveling so much this year, and that feels like an extraordinary gift. I’m sure it won’t always be so easy for us to get up and go, and it seems like almost every month has held some fun foray into the wider world. But this one is special, if only in its improbability. On Monday I was thinking about how much I miss my parents, and I became possessed of the idea of going home for a week to help my mom organize her sewing room and have craft camp. I was thrilled to find cheap flights to Memphis in August, so I called home to check dates with my parents. It turns out that they are going to be in Seattle during the week when I wanted to come. I was super bummed…until I had the idea of meeting them there! They were equally enthused, so it’s up north for me in a few weeks. I have only driven through Seattle before on a roadtrip with my brother from Berkeley to Vancouver, and I don’t think we spent more than a few hours there. So I am super pumped to do some more exploring and to see it all with my mom and dad!

One million pictures will be taken, I am quite sure. What are you up to this month? If you have monthly goals, I would love to see them! Feel free to leave a link in the comments. Also, if all this goal-setting stuff seems weird, I totally recommend Elise Blaha’s “I Choose” online course. So much awesome, so few dollars. Happy August! (July goals updated here).

Update, September 2013: Well, August, you were a fun month! Did I learn some Greek? I learned to say thank you. But I still have two weeks and some long plane rides for cramming! I did sew in some zippers! I made pretty little lace pouches, BUT I am kind of a cheater because I did it without using my zipper foot. I know, I’m a rebel. But there is still time for reform. We went to the beach on September 1, so I am counting this one as done! We were just waiting for some hot enough weather, and it finally came our way. We went to Malibu with Hillary and her family, and there are not even words to describe how much fun we had. Post on that coming soon. I did make some maps, and I greatly impressed myself with my ability to draw dragons and coastlines and pirate ships. I also enjoyed marking lands and seas with antique lettering. I made them in collaboration with Hillary’s girls, and never have I had more fun imagining an eight-towered castle for squirrels. *Happiness.* As has been fully documented, I had an absolutely fantastic time in Seattle with my parents! And Picasa tells me that I took 759 photos in August, so I’m calling that “take lots of photos” one a win too.

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