Sunday, March 4, 2012

500 Days Later (Subtitle: The End)

Hm. Five hundred days come and gone. I made this list back in October of 2010, and now here I am, 500 days later, 35 years old. My executive summary: I didn't do too bad, and the list itself was hugely helpful in general. Here are the details:

1. Have two happy kids. (Done!)

2. Finish my PhD. (Done!)

3. Own a new (bigger) house. (Nope. We've taken a deep look at our budget and finances, priced out what we think we can afford, identified where we want to buy and what we want in a house, and then we looked at the market and ... there is no inventory available. All that stuff you've been reading about a buyer's market and tons of extra inventory and foreclosures flooding the market with houses? Doesn't apply in our area. I'm hoping things pick up in the spring.)

4. Work in a job that I enjoy. (Done!)

5. Bring both kids to visit my parents at least once. (Done!)

6. Bring both kids to visit my in-laws at least once. (Done!)

7. Pay off all debt except the mortgage. (Nope. I still have two small undergrad loans. We have the cash on hand to pay them off right now if we wanted to, but the interest rate on the loans is pretty low and I'd rather keep the cash to use towards an eventual house downpayment. Soon, though. I'm getting rid of these stupid loans very soon.)

8. Lose all pregnancy and fertility treatment weight from both pregnancies. (Nope. At the time when I wrote this, we were talking about 30 pounds. I still have 14 to go. I actually gained a pound in the last 100 days, thanks to the daily latte habit that came with my new job and my total lack of sleep and my lack of time to exercise.)

9. Breast feed Kermit for one year. (Only made it 5 months, two less than with LL. Depressing.)

10. Cook dinner at home 5 days each week. (Done!)

11. Read 10 fiction books. (Nope. I only made it to 3.5. Still, that's 3.5 more fiction books than I had read in the previous 1,000 days, so let's call this one a semi-success.)

12. Learn Objective-C. (I was making progress on this one, working during Kermit's naps. But then I accepted the job offer, and realized how much crap I wanted to do around the house before going back to work, and I started using nap time for all of those things, and then I actually started a job, for which I didn't actually need Objective-C at all, and I totally stalled out.)

13. Learn perl. (Minorly done! Did I learn perl? No. Did I learn two different languages on the job in the last three months? Yes. Which was kind of the point of this one, so I'm declaring success.)

14. Have permanent assigned "homes" for most objects in the house. (Nope. Need that bigger house.)

15. Update work wardrobe. (Done!)

16. Shower every day. (Close enough for now.)

17. Wear makeup every work day. (Done!)

So... out of seventeen goals, ten of them got done. Five were partially done (debt, weight loss, breast feeding, books, Objective-C). Two didn't come close (the new house and the organized house). That's not too bad, really.

Now, for the meta-discussion about the list itself. Five hundred days was a pretty decent amount of time. Long enough to allow me to put some fairly major things one the list, but short enough that I didn't lose focus.

I'd like to do this again. A few of the things from my previous list I plan to carry over (like buying a house and losing weight), a few I should probably carry over just to maintain them (like cooking dinner and wearing makeup), and I have a whole bunch of new goals that I'd like to add to the list. But I need to find an appropriate length of time. Part of why 500 days was cool was that I was counting down to my birthday, but 500 days from now is ... nothing special at all. Maybe I'll wait a month and then make the next period 700 days (slightly less than two years) and count down to my birthday again. But two years seems too long. Thoughts?


  1. Happy Birthday! I'm impressed with how much you were able to accomplish in 500 days!

    Maybe countdown to kindergarten entrance? Since the new house will affect school placement?

  2. I like the idea of kindergarten entrance, if it's a bit shorter than 2 there another big anniversary coming up 500ish days from now?


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