the lists: take three

what i liked so much about take two was that things got more specific and i could visualize them better.  since my friends had such a positive experience with it, i decided to do the activity with a couple of my groups.  one group is outpatient chemical dependency treatment for men, the other is inpatient for women.

now it’s been a couple of weeks, so i’m not so much on the details right now, but it was interesting.  it really plays on your sense of hope, and depending on what you’ve been through in life, hope can be a precarious emotion.  though we started by talking about new years resolutions, hopes and dreams, i built on the curriculum over the next couple of weeks with discussions about goal setting and how cognitive distortions (negative, faulty logic) can get in the way.  it made for great discussion.

it was important for me to bring up ideas that have come out of my past experiences with goal setting.  a few short years ago, i was vehemently anti-goals of any kind.  sometimes life takes us places where you find yourself in situations you never thought you would be in, suprising yourself by making decisions you never thought you would make.  i have been there.  i systematically ruined my faith in myself and my integrity to the point where i really didn’t see anything positive about setting goals and making promises that i couldn’t trust myself to keep.

it takes a long time to rebuild trust and integrity.  i don’t disclose a lot of specifics about myself in groups, but if i’ve been through something that to me seems like a no brainer elephant in the room that nobody is bringing up, i’ll do it.

the most striking thing i found in doing the lists activity in my groups was how vague and short-sighted many of the goals were.  but it’s a reminder that dreaming big is a luxury of people who are stable and have their lives together.  i’m thankful to be on this side of it.  but i also really enjoy the part of my job that involves re-igniting the hope that comes from dreaming, even if it’s just for a little while.

the lists: take two

technically this first list is a continuance of take one.  my original list for 2013 written from a place of sadness and fatigue went like this:

  • i want to get crazy vulnerable and deal with my fears and discomfort in a relationship
  • take my boards
  • form an Adler study group for my boards
  • solidy work friends
  • 1 more tattoo
  • do at least 1 community ed class per season
  • take a dance class
  • go to a coffee shop and read the city pages twice a month
  • keep blogging
  • take 2 one-week vacations
  • challenged, creating, collaboration at work
  • finish my presentation on social interest and present it
  • create and present a powerpoint on mixed race identity
  • go to john’s workshops (my favorite professor does quarterly workshops for alumni and students)
  • stop victimizing myself

there’s nothing inherently wrong with this list, it just lacked the hope and joy i was looking for.   the energy was all wrong.

the morning after i made this list, i flew out to philadelphia to spend new years with good friends.  i was telling them about the lists and they were super interested.  they decided they wanted to do the activity themselves.  i thought, hey, why not?  the first try didn’t go as i had hoped so lets try again! 

very close to midnight, we started in on our lists.  they wanted to know all the rules and regulations about it, as if i had them.  no rules.  again, just 2012 in review and hopes and dreams for 2013.  it was interesting because each of us did it a little differently.  aaron somehow uses his telephone calendar really well and was able to go back through the year with major events mostly chronological by month.  i made a much longer list for 2012 review, included a lot more details, big and small milestones.  for some reason i don’t want to display 2012 here so i’m not going to.  but i felt better about it.

we stopped around midnight to cheers with sparkling water and swedish fish (don’t ask because i don’t know why), and decided to play some games.  we eventually went back to trying to continue to finish 2012 and start 2013 lists, but the moment had passed for me, and i was disappointed again that i wasn’t having the experience i wanted.  so we watched some tv and went to bed.

i got up early the next morning and enjoyed a little quiet time and a cup of coffee with chris’s new keurig (i want one really bad but i’m having trouble justifying it!) and decided i felt like finishing my list.  i would be flying home today and was hoping we could compare notes over breakfast later.  morning is my time – i’m full of ideas and inspiration, and my new list poured out, organized, pretty much in one shot:


Healthy Lifestyle

  • add in regular classesd (yoga, weights, step)
  • use my personal training sessions (i’ve had about 12 paid for since 2011)
  • begin to buy organic
  • summer shop at farmers market
  • 5 mins of quiet meditation 3x/wk (or more)
  • journal 30 mins 2x/wk (or more)
  • monthly budget

Trying New Things

  • take one (or more) community ed classes per session
  • take a dance class @ 4 Seasons
  • go to dinner or coffee shop – one new place at least once a month
  • take 3 trips – to oakland, dc, and then something in the summer with friends

Get Outside My Comfort Zone

  • make plans with friends once a month (or more)
  • pursue 2 new friendships (or more)
  • open a craft night group on facebook
  • host or go to one creative event per month


  • finish the soulmate secret (an awesome practical book about making room for love in your life)
  • keep dating brian (or someone just as compatible or better)
  • continue the practice of being open to a relationship


  • blogging weekly
  • taking leadership at work
  • enjoying workouts for endorphins
  • deconstructing my masters project into 3 seperate presentations
  • submit a portion of my masters project for publishing
  • work on a black excellence campaign at work
  • finding myself in relationship with my dad
  • take licensing exam
  • home improvements jar (an idea from natasha – put your projects on slips of paper in a jar, and when you have an afternoon free, pick a job and complete it)

it was an awesome way to start the new year!  i felt refreshed, hopeful, and fulfilled.  being with these friends always lifts my spirits, and we laugh so hard (i wheeze) and just get ridiculous.  everybody needs friends and laughs like that!

i came home ready to conquer my life and the world.