I really miss Santiago. On February 7th, 2008, it will have been 3 years since I left for that wonderful place. It's so hard to believe that time has gone by so quickly, because I still remember it and think about it often, at least once every couple of days. And lately I'm being reminded of Santiago by things that I SMELL, which is really strange, but whenever I smell cigarette smoke and rain together, it reminds me of Spain...or old stone, tuna, so many random things...but especially the rain. I also see things, hear things, experience things in my life here and now, but they all bring me back to Spain, as if it were yesterday. I long for it.
I know that if I were to return to that rainy, lively city that it wouldn't be the same, because I'm not the same person that lived there and the people who made my trip so special (especially Jelena) wouldn't be there, but still, I'd like to return one day, and walk the ancient streets, stare up at the beautiful Catedral, visit our old hang-outs (Porrons, Tore Toulo, Bonaval, Cafe Terra Nova, Alameda) and visit the place I actually called 'home' for a short period. To experience it once again, and see if I still felt at home there.
Well I know it's over a week into the New Year now, but I wanted to get my Resolutions down so that I can have them somewhere as a reminder for the rest of the year. So here they are, in no particular order. I prefer to call them "Goals" instead of "Resolutions", but whatever:
1. Travel outside of the Maritimes at least twice: This is the one I'm aiming to get done the most, since it's the one that a) will be the most fun, and b) is the most necessary, which may sound odd to some, but not to me. Ever since I went to Spain, my travelling has gone wayyy down. Before that, ever since the age of about 15, I used to take at least one trip out of the Maritimes a year, sometimes 2 or 3, and I did this until I turned about 22, so 7 years almost. I usually went to my visit my aunt in Toronto and that was it, but still, it was a real trip on an airplane and everything...but tragically I haven't left the Maritimes or been on a plane since June 23, 2005, when I got back from my trip!! Thinking about that makes me really depressed, because I LOVE to travel, it's one of the things that makes me truly happy, and to know that I haven't gone anywhere major really reminds me of what I'm missing out on. Of course I've taken lots of little trips with Dan (Mahone Bay for our honeymoon, Bathurst to visit my grandmother/family reunion, Keji Park for our anniversary), but still, it's not the same at all. So this year I am determined to go somewhere, no matter how much it might put me back. I have a few places I'd like to go, but it will all depend on how much money I can get back from my taxes this year...Dan has promised me that I can spend it any way I'd like, since last year our tax money went into buying his mistress, Taylor, and to pay off some credit cards, so this year it's my turn. So I'll know hopefully my March how much I'll be getting and I can plan accordingly. I think that I want to go to Toronto again, since I haven't gone since 2004, and even that was just a one day trip to see a concert, so I want to go there to visit my aunt, and I also have a friend who lives there now, and I miss her dearly, so that will be my 'cheap' trip, since it'll only cost me a plane ticket. After that I'm hoping to go somewhere a little further, like California or possibly Europe. Again, I have places to stay in both of those areas, so it's just a matter of getting a plane ticket and some spending money saved up. If I can manage I'd like to go to Europe again, since that one will be much harder to go in the future (I'm guessing), and Italy is the place I want to visit the most in the world, so if it is at all possible to do that I'm going to. Now ideally I would like for Dan to come on these trips with me, but I'm not sure if we'll be able to afford them for both of us, so he may get left behind, which sounds really selfish of me, but this is something I have got to do for myself before I have kids and am stuck (practically) for who knows how many years. This is it, last chance to travel as a young, childless person without (too much) responsibility. So this is my #1 goal and priority over the next few months.
2. Start Pilates/Running: This one I'm hoping to be able to do, but in the end it's not too bog of a deal. Since last summer I've gained about 10 unwanted pounds that I need to shed as soon as possible, and I've been meaning to try Pilates for a long time now, so I've begun some and so far so good, I like them and can do them without too much trouble or time (I do 4 sets of 10 minutes, so about 40 mins a night). I think that I am going to have to add some cardio to my routine though, since Pilates alone won't get rid of some of this flub, so as soon as the weather gets a bit nicer and it starts getting lighter out, I'm going to start my running again (not really aiming for anything, but later on I might decide to run that 10km again, so I may start training for that again.) So yeah, I hope to try and eat a bit more sensibly too this year, and if I keep this all up I hope to have those 10 pounds off my the summer, and be a bit more in shape to boot.
3. Read more (especially fiction): I am getting way too dumb to not do this one, haha. I am ashamed to admit this, but I can't really think of a single book that I read last year, except for maybe some non-fiction ones, and even those weren't completed. I've read lots of bits of things, started books and quit, read short stories, but I didn't complete reading any books, so this year I am going to make a list of books I would like to read (or even re-read) and try to aim for a book a month or something like that (since I'm not a quick reader, and dont' read much other than on the bus.) This is a matter of focus, and I just need to build it back up again and stop being so ADD all the time, haha.
4. Stop being a Flake and Just Do It: This one might be hard to do, since it's something that I've always been and may very well always end up being, but I want to stop making excuses for not doing the things I want to do in life. I always have these ides and ambitions and activities that I want to try in life, but 9 times out of 10 I flake out, sometimes at the last minute and sometimes immediately after I have the idea. I don't know why, but I want to stop doing it this year. If I want to do something, like go ice skating, or take walks on the weekend, or whatever, I'm going to have to learn to just get out there and do it, and stop being so depressed when they don't get done because I flake out. One of the major things I have to learn in order to acheive this is to learn to do things even if Dan doesn't want to do them. I complain a lot about him not wanting to do anything with me, and in turn that makes it that I don't end up doing anything: I use him as my reason and my excuse for flaking out. I have to learn that Dan won't change, he'll always enjoy doing nothing on the weekends/evenings, he is content with that, so if I'm not I'll have to go it alone. This is going to be hard one, but one I hope I can do.
5. Re-Organize our Finances and Start Saving for a House: This is one I'm really excited about. Starting in June 2008, Dan and I will officially be done with school forever and will (hopefully) be in our careers for the indefinite future. This means that we know what to expect for the next little while (which is a first), and we'll be able to start really planning for the future. Once we figure out where he'll be working, we are going to get our own place and that place will hopefully be the one that we will stay at until we move into a house...that may be a little optimistic but we'll see. Once he starts working as well we're going to try and get our finances figures out too so that we can really start working on paying down some debt and saving for the future. RRSP, consolidating our loans, payment plans, the whole shabang. We've already started a little mergency fund/saving account that we put some money into, but once Dan starts working we can hopefully double that and have some money saved up in case we need it for something important (we've already had to use it for snow tires this year, so I'm really happy we have it.) Anyway, nothing is set yet, but this is something that I really want to start working on as soon as Dan is done school; the great news is that Dan is completely on board with it as well, which is unusual, he's usually opposed to planning things out, but he wants to get this all straightened out as much as possible, so with that attitude we should be good to go.
The current (and very rough) 5-year plan goes something like this: we will both stay here in Halifax and work, living in hopefully the same apartment the entire time. In less than 5 years Dan will be completely done his apprentiship and will be able to start choosing where he wants to work and may even be able to start working on his own. In 5 years we should also be able to have a decent amount saved up for a downpayment on a house, as long as we plan it out right now, and I'll feel comfortable enough to leave this job. Then (and this is a big maybe), we'll move back to Sussex and get a house. Now of course I'd like to have a child within that period, but that all depends on a lot of things, but even if we do have a child, I'll hopefully get Maternity Leave and then go back to work. The idea is to move back home and get a house before our child start school, which would be easy, 'cause even if we had a child this year, they wouldn't start school until 2013. So yeah, that's the plan for now, of course it'll probably change, but Dan sounds like he's on board for it so as long as nothing big comes up, that'll be it.
6. Blog more: I am going to aim to blog about once a week at least. I'd like to try and include some intereting topics, not just talking about me the whole time, and maybe include some more stuff about my scrapbooking/organizing/languages/whatever. Make it more than just an occasional update on how we are doing.
So that's it, those are my goals. Pretty busy, but we'll see how it goes. Not sure what Dan's goals are for this year, they probably include playing more guitar and finishing school, haha, but I dunno, maybe I'll convince him to blog a bit too. Anyway, hope all is well with everyone, and I should be posting again soon!