>> 8.17.2010

I am chasing away the desire for more with a list of summerish things to accomplish. I love my work, and I love the fulfillment it brings, but I also don't want to wake up one morning and find myself drained empty because I didn't take time to do things I LOVE doing, simply for the sheer pleasure of doing them.

Things to accomplish before we leave:

1) Explore Wicker Park: I've always wanted to go here, and many weekends we've talked about doing it, but we can never seem to get up the effort. So I am making a statement--we're going out there!

2) Take more pictures (and refresh myself on "what makes a good photo"): Photography class was such an outlet for me, but it got buried under piles of other homework and stress. Now that I'm out of school, I want to be able to photograph for enjoyment, and not critique myself too harshly, but also work on improving my style and skill.

3) Teach myself how to dance: This comes from watching my sister dance and finding out that she watched YouTube videos to learn how. I've got about ten of them loading right now, so just wait. I'll break it down soon enough.

4) Hit the touristy things of Chicago that I missed while in school: These include

-The Sears Tower
-Examining the Loop Architecture
-The Lincoln Park Zoo
-The Garfield Park Conservatory
-The Field Museum
-The Planetarium
-The Shedd Aquarium
-The Museum of Contemporary Art

and probably a few more that I'm missing.

5) Keep my tan up at the beach: Where I'm going, the beach is far, far away, and it rains too often to get a decent tan anyway. I've got to soak up the skin cancer while it's still in my reach.

6) Read all the books I check out of the library: Seriously, I always check out more than I can handle. I've got to get some sort of system for figuring out how to tackle them all before the late fees hit.

7) Go for another "just because" bike ride: I want to explore this place, the ins and outs, the parts that you only see when you look for them. I want to smell the sun, and whisper with the wind in my ears, and smile because I am flying for just a few moments.

8) Do something every day just for the sake of feeling pretty: Be it giving myself a mani/pedi, doing my hair differently, putting on more makeup than just mascara, taking extra time picking out my outfit, or accessorizing really well, I just need to make sure that there is something I can call on when my self-doubt hits. Something I can hold up and say, "You may feel fat/tired/unstylish/poor but you did ----- today, and that makes you beautiful."

9) Cook a good, difficult recipe every so often: My husband bought pork chops one night, and I was forced to find a recipe that would be worthy of them. This led into a foray of gourmet cooking that left me shocked at my abilities and a desire to do it more often. So, I'll talk him into buying stuff for a really nice meal, and I'll find something phenomenal to do with it, and we'll eat like kings on the cheap.

10) Remember that I often see memories through rose-colored glasses, and my happiness is right here: I am a ponderer, a brooder, and a wishful thinker. I remember things and they are tinged with the emotions I want to feel when I think of them. This often leaves me unhappy and discontent, and I don't want to be that way anymore. I'm going to remember things as they were, and remind myself that we all had to make mistakes to get to where we are today. They are integral to our makeup, and it is not the mistake that changes us, but our response to it. So what will I choose to do with the consequences?

Don't forget to smile when you can, laugh as often as possible, and take a moment to feel nothing but the sun on your face.

That is satisfaction.

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