Goals for 31: Spirit

It’s February. January both flew by much too quickly and dragged on for far too long all at the same time. I kind of treated January like the first pancake, goals-wise, in that I didn’t make any. I didn’t really even have time, since I ended up moving suddenly! That’s a whole other story though. Back to goals for 31…

First off, I’ll start with my word for the year. Though picking a word for the year has become quite trendy recently, I was inspired by my friend Rachael, who’s been doing this for years, and chooses her word on her birthday, for the start of her year. I loved that so much, so I started doing it, too. This year’s word is: spirit.

I wanted a word that emanated energy, positivity, and health, and decided on spirit because it has so many definitions. Some of my Merriam-Webster favorites are:

  • the immaterial intelligent or sentient part of a person
  • the activating or essential principle influencing a person
  • an inclination, impulse, or tendency of a specified kind
  • a special attitude or frame of mind
  • the feeling, quality, or disposition characterizing something

With that in mind, here are my goals for 31.

  1. Take guitar lessons. I’ve been trying to learn guitar for over ten years now, and the only reason I even know some chords is because of a class I took in community college one summer semester. With all the resources I have at my disposal, it’s time to stop making excuses.
  2. Go to the gym at least once a week. I finally joined a gym again a few months ago, but my regular attendance only occurred for a couple weeks. Obviously I should be exercising more than once a week, but I’m purposely starting out small.
  3. Develop a skin care routine. Last year, my cousin Lily and I stood in the makeup aisle at Target, as unfamiliar (to me) goops and goos and tools loomed in front of us. “What is this?” I’d asked her, as I picked up an oddly shaped brush. A lady in the aisle near us gave me side-eye and smirked. “It’s like I’m an alien and you’re teaching me how to be a human girl!” I (more subtly) remarked. The point of sharing this dialogue was to demonstrate that I know next to nothing about skin and beauty, and now that I’m 31, I’ve been noticing other fellow 30-somethings commenting on how they wished they’d picked up better habits earlier. Too late for that, but I guess there’s no time like the present.
  4. Stick to my vitamins routine. In my quest to head down the path of better health, I discovered my new daily multi-vitamin solution. Ritual sends you your month’s supply of vitamins in the best millennial-catered packaging. I’ve been taking these for almost a month now, and I’m determined to keep it up.
  5. Get up earlier to better utilize my mornings. Most anyone who knows me knows that I am not a morning person. And many also know that I’ve been attempting to become a morning person for many years now, and my efforts have all mostly fallen short. The few times I do get up early are so enjoyable, though. I drink coffee, I read or write or pray or journal, and enjoy the quiet and calm of the morning time. So, here we go again. This year, I want to start waking up earlier to take advantage of the time that I’ve instead used to half-sleep whilst snoozing my many alarms.

Here’s to 31.


Happy New Year! 2018 was a great year. I moved into my own place, got a dog, met my boyfriend, learned more about myself, and started getting plugged into a new church. And, I finished the year out pretty strong, goals-wise. I ended up reading 12 books (though I never did finish reading The Secret Life of Lobsters, haha), joined a gym, took lots of pictures, and, for the most part, went to bed at a reasonable time.

I’m turning 31 tomorrow, so I’ll have a new word and set of goals for this new year ahead. Today I’m spending the day at Disneyland with my sister. Because even 30 year olds want to be at Disney.

Goals for 30 Refresh

Hello World. The Rachel Things is back. This year has just flow by. This week has flown by, too.

I’ve let life get busy, which has gotten in the way of some things I planned to make space for this year. That’s why I’m revisiting my goals for 30, because I have 79 days to go before I turn 31, so there’s still time!

1. Read ten books this year.
I definitely have not read ten books this year. I’ve barely even finished one, honestly. But part of this refresh means getting back into reading, so I recently picked up The Female Brain, and I’m very into it and having been reading a little everyday.

2. Become a certified foster care sitter.
Turns out this isn’t a thing in California. It’s a thing in Massachusetts, which is where this idea first sprouted, but not here. So my next plan of action was to find a way to be more involved with the foster care system here in Orange County, but then Stella happened, and my time was given elsewhere. This is still something I’d like to be involved in at some point, but I’ll be pushing this one to another point in time.

3. Stick to a budget.
This has been horrible lately. My solution is to currently be on a spending freeze, where I’m only purchasing gas, groceries, and trying to not eat out as much. This will be tough once we get closer to the holidays, but if all else fails, maybe I’ll get a second job? Ha.

4. Go to sleep earlier at night.
Not too bad on this front. I still find it difficult to get out of the bed in the morning, and it doesn’t help that it’s darker in the mornings now, but for the most part I haven’t been going to sleep too late.

5. Run more.
Since making these goals, I have gone running maybe three times. How shameful. I have plenty of Stella-related excuses for this one, but the true reason is that I’m just a lazy girl. But I have a run scheduled for tomorrow after work. Someone keep me accountable.

6. Blog monthly.
Haha. I’m bringing the blog back and making up for my lack of blogging throughout the year. Coming down the pipeline is more on my cross-country road trip, a Life With Stella update, and other various trips I’ve taken.

7. Master the C chord on guitar.
I’m giving up on this for now. Tabling to another time.

8. Expand my Dutch vocabulary.
Also giving up on this one. Despite my obsession and fascination with the Dutch, it’s just not practical to utilize brain power on this right now. I don’t know when I’ll be visiting the Netherlands again, and I don’t have anyone to practice with nearby, so I’ll revisit this at some point as well.

9. Adopt a dog.

10. Take more pictures of people (myself included).
I’ve been pretty good at this one.

Thank you for reading about my goals. Hope your goal progress is going well, and if it isn’t, I hope this spurs you on to get back to them!

#crosscountryrachel – Massachusetts to Ohio

I’m in Boston these next few days to attend a wedding, so I figured, what better time than to write about when I officially left. I’ve been putting off writing this, because something about posting it will make it feel real, like I really did drive away and I no longer live here. Obviously, whether I post this or not, it is all real. I really did drive away and I no longer live here. But, there’s just something about putting it out there into the world.

As my plane landed yesterday morning, I had this sense like I was just coming home; as if this whole time, I’ve just been on one, really long, California vacation, and now it’s back to reality. I’m already an emotional person in a normal state, but the fact that I flew in on a red eye and got four hours of sleep means that the emotions were heightened, and Keytar Bear waved at me yesterday morning when I was downtown and I wanted to cry. But that’s not what this post is about. There is crying involved, of course, but it’s about my departure from Boston, not my return. So here we go…2017-05-30 09.13.22On May 30, I packed up my entire life into The Yaris. Amy came over, and Joey and Katie got up to see me off, as well. The weather matched my emotions perfectly. The air was crisp and the sun was bright, and I felt light and happy and ready for this new journey. I drove through Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio that day. Halfway through the drive, it started getting super foggy, and then it started to down pour. This all happened right around the time that I was asking myself if I had made a mistake. Did I leave too soon? Was it the right time? What was I thinking? Rain and tears fell together. It was very therapeutic, really. 13Almost ten hours later, I arrived in Cleveland. Cleveland is so cool. Granted, my judgment of the city may be a bit blemished due to all the emotions and excitement surrounding my big move, but I loved it. I stayed in The Cleveland Hostel, which is in a hip neighborhood, with a coffee shop on the first floor, the hostel in the middle, and a roof deck with a great view on the top. I had my own private room and bathroom, so it really felt more like a hotel than a hostel, save for the traveling European teens I met in the common room. I freshened up and walked over to Great Lakes Brewing Company for dinner, and of course, beers. I felt so empowered asking for a table for one. Though I wasn’t completely alone; some birds came and joined me, so that was a magical Snow White moment if there ever was one.2017-05-30 20.10.03I had what I was ready to dub my new favorite beer, and was quite tempted to buy a six pack of it, but I refrained since this was only the very first stop on my trip, and I knew there would be plenty more beers to taste. That, and I didn’t think I could possibly fit anything else into The Yaris. Both were valid points. I ended the night with some Mitchell’s Ice Cream, and went to bed. That night, I kept waking up, so I did what any good millennial does, and looked at Twitter. I found that #covfefe was going viral, and I quickly learned why. 56.pngThe replies and memes provided some entertainment, and I was so glad that I had woken up to witness this monumental moment in our history. Ha.

The next day, I walked around the West Side Market, then took a Lyft to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. After spending a good amount of time there, I walked around the iconic Arcade, ate pizza and drank beer at Masthead Brewing Co, and visited the Cleveland Botanical Garden. I ended the day with another solo dinner at Bakersfield, because #racheleatstacos.

Up next, Ohio to Wisconsin…

Thoughts From When I Can’t Sleep

  • I wish I knew all the words to the song “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”
  • Julie Andrews is so great.
  • what is the name of that one guy’s girlfriend again? I can never remember her name. and I’m usually good with names. she reminds me of Mary Poppins.
  • I love that sidewalk chalk scene. it’s like they’re stepping into a carnival.
  • who invented that carnival popcorn machine thing?
  • carnival weather is great. I should buy sunblock in preparation.
  • I probably should start moisturizing my face more. I need a moisturizing routine.
  • I hate the word moist, but moisturizing is OK.
  • speaking of words, how did the phrase “cat caught your tongue” originate?
  • are cats known for silencing people, or something?
  • cats like to eat birds… does this mean they also enjoy eating eggs?
  • should I freeze my eggs?
  • am I even sleepy?
  • if I fall asleep now, I’ll get six hours of sleep. like Chandler in that episode of Friends.
  • one time when Chandler can’t sleep, he decides to try heating up warm milk to drink. does that really work?
  • I forgot to buy milk.
  • did I turn off the stove?
  • yes, I did, because when do I ever cook?
  • what about the coffee pot?
  • it’d be nice to have a coffee butler.
  • I guess that’s basically what the brew timer feature is for.
  • but it’d be nice if someone else prepared it for me.
  • *Googles the words to the song “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”*
  • I like the color of Mary Poppins’ scarf.
  • I own too many scarves.
  • like, I live in Orange County. I don’t need scarves.
  • I should clean my closet out tomorrow…
  • get rid of some of those scarves.
  • should I just clean it now?
  • probably not, because then I’ll only get five hours of sleep.
  • Lindsay! her name is Lindsay!
  • I should paint my nails the color of Mary Poppins’ scarf.
  • fingernails are so weird. why do they exist? why not just have phalanges of finger skin?
  • “phalanges” is a weird word, and I’m a little impressed with myself for knowing it.
  • “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious, if you say it loud enough you’ll always sound precocious, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!…”