To refresh your memory, the Spring Fever Challenge is all about setting goals in an effort to improve one's own mood and to inspire others to do the same. I'm tackling this challenge with a twist: I've set goals related to being a newlywed!
What have you done this week to help you achieve your goals?
1. Create a realistic plan to buy a house within the next year. When we last left off, my husband and I had purchased Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace course. We received our at-home kit and have been diligent about working through it, and we've really stuck with our plan to save whenever possible. We've both made sacrifices, and it's really nice to see the results of our efforts showing up in our savings account. To be honest though, I'm not really digging the course as much as I thought I would. I find the fifth grade reading level insulting, and occasionally Mr. Ramsey makes comments like "Barbara Bush was the greatest first lady we've ever had," which isn't even true. If we're going to go Republican here, at least Mrs. Reagan taught us to say no to drugs. But I digress. The point is that even though it's not as enjoyable as I thought it would be, we're still giving it the college try. I'm proud of our dedication.
2. Maintain a minimal level of clutter. We vacuumed, bathed the dog, and we've been really good about keeping our beautiful new dishes clean. However, I really want to make some more progress with the clutter in our closets, office, etc. Maybe this goal needs a little more work next week...
3. Act like newlyweds in order to feel like newlyweds. One thing I really like about this one is that we've been a lot better about eating together sans TV. We have a horrible habit of eating dinner on the couch in front of the TV, which leads to catching up on endless hours of DVR. Evening productivity gets sucked away, and we have too much background noise to have any quality time together. We've been turning the TV off during most dinners, and just enjoying each other's conversation.
4. Make more good meals. This requires a little extra creativity this week, since it's Passover! I'm not the strictest Jew in the world, but I do try to observe the whole hametz thing (avoiding leavened food) every year. Dave and I made brinner (breakfast for dinner) this evening. We had fresh hashbrowns mixed with scrambled eggs, salsa, and reduced-fat cheddar. It was high in protein, low in fat, and filling! Added bonus: eggs and potatoes are wicked cheap.
5. Remember why you're building your family's roots in Atlanta. Before sundown yesterday (when I could still eat noodles), Dave and I tried a new restaurant, Pho 24. Dave had never had Vietnamese food before, and I hadn't had pho in ages. It was a delicious hole in the wall off of Buford Highway, Atlanta's greatest nook for ethnic food. Plus, we had a Scoutmob coupon for 50% off, so the two of us ate a ton and still ended up with leftovers for a grand total of $12.
What did you do this past week to make you feel good about yourself?
There are few things that make me happier than making new friends. I'm an extrovert and I thrive by feeding off of others' energy. I love meeting new people, I love finding things in common, and I love having memorable conversations. This past weekend, Dave and I traveled to New Orleans to meet up with about 25 of my fellow Weddingbee writers. I had only met a handful of them previously. It was good to see some of the girls again, and wonderful to meet new people whom I had spoken to online for months. Did we spend some money that we could have put towards the house? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely. New Orleans-themed blog posts coming soon!
Are your SFC goals your ultimate goals or steps to your ultimate goals? Do you find it easier to set big goals or do you like making mini-goals?
They're kind of both? I really like my goals, and I think they're good things to keep in the back of my mind forever. Saving money and working on a relationship are life-long necessities. Still, I think they're just part of my ultimate goals: owning a home and starting a family. We're working towards that first one, and we're definitely not ready for the second one yet! I think I like making goals this way: having a larger goal and having smaller partial goals that feed into it. Mini-goals help you see progress, but big goals give you something to work towards.
What are some of your ultimate goals, things on your bucket list?
A lot of the things on my bucket list are just that...things. Owning a home that has a library with a sliding ladder, seeing SNL live. Many of the items involve travel, though, which is definitely a priority of mine. Still, my ultimate goals have more to do with where I am as a person (individually, romantically, and professionally), rather than what I have.
If you could achieve only one more thing in your life, what would it be?
The ultimate achievement would be raising a child. I've always wanted a family, and I chose a career that would accommodate that. I know I'm not ready yet, but I hope I will be soon.
Finally, the positive picture of the week!
When we were in New Orleans, we volunteered with the Lower 9th Ward Village. This community center is located in an area that unfortunately received a lot of Hurricane Katrina's wrath. There will be a post soon with more details, but in the meantime, please enjoy the optimism and beauty in this graffiti.
On that note, in what unlikely places have you found beauty and optimism?