#Goals

One of my coworkers asked me the other day, “What is the number one thing on your bucket list?”

One coworker said they wanted to swim with sharks. Another said they wanted to buy a house on the beach in South Carolina and retire there. One girl has an extensive bucket list, detailed with when she wants each to be accomplished.

I on the other hand, was stumped. I’ve never really made a bucket list. Sure there are things that I want to do in life, but I’ve never really thought about those things in detail. I love to travel so I want to travel more, but how do you quantify that? I want to visit so many countries before I die? But then that country becomes a number, and you can’t quantify a culture into a number.

Then that got me thinking about my goals in life. One coworker has a folder on her desktop titled “goals” to remind her every day what she is working for. While I don’t necessarily need explicit goals to work hard and always do my best in whatever I do, I was really inspired by that and really started to consider about the things that I wanted to accomplish in my life.

This took me a long time to put all of these things down. Some of these came easy and some took a lot longer for me to write down. I took things off the list and added things, and couldn’t decide whether to keep some things or not. I didn’t want a bucket list; I wanted an attainable list of goals I want to accomplish within my lifetime.

So after a lot of thought, I’ve finally settled on this list of goals:

I want to have a successful career.
I’m not sure exactly what that looks like as I’m pretty wide open right now as to what I think I want to do. To put that in a more quantifiable form that would baby step me towards reaching that goal, I would like to be in a different position or in a promoted position in three years. I like my department and my coworkers, but there isn’t hardly any growth where I am. It’s the perfect opportunity to gain some experience and to get me to the next step.

I want to own a house.
Andrew and I are in a really good position right now financially as we should be able to pay off all or nearly all of my loans in the next year. We have a few more years renting from Andrew’s mom (for really cheap) so that gives us the opportunity, after paying off my loans, to save for a house. I would like to, in the next five years, own a house.

I want to start a family.
Andrew and I are nowhere ready right now to begin that stage of our life, but eventually I do want to have children. Ideally this would be after we’ve bought a house and are a little more financially stable for children. I’m having some health issues right now that leave things a little up in the air regarding children, but I would also love to adopt. Whatever form this may be in, I want to have a family with Andrew.

I want to live debt-free.
I understand that this may not be in this current moment economically feasible, but I want to, for the majority of my life, not have debt hanging over my head. Andrew and I are on track to have all of our loans paid off within the next year (woot!) and that will be a huge relief! Things will change when we get a house, but I never want to live outside of our means. I don’t need fancy things to be happy and I want that to reflect in our lifestyle.

I want to travel.
I know that this is a pretty broad statement that nearly everyone makes, so I thought I would list the top five places I want to visit before I die (that I’ve not already visited). This was really hard for me to narrow down because I want to go everywhere! But obviously that isn’t really attainable. So after much thought, here is my top five:

  • France – perhaps in the countryside or down in the Riviera, I’m not picky!
  • Seattle, Washington, USA
  • New York City, New York, USA
  • New Zealand
  • Prague, Czech Republic

I want to always strive to be more like Christ.
I firmly believe that my purpose in life is to glorify God in all that I do, so it would be silly not to include this on my list. Nobody is perfect, let alone me, but that’s no excuse to just do whatever I please. There are so many women in my life that have such pure hearts that are overflowing with kindness, compassion, and a genuine love for the people that are around them that are so encouraging to me in my faith. I never want to lose sight of what is important and want to strive to be more and more like Christ every day, in my words and actions.

I want to always give more than 10%.
Biblically I am called to give at least 10% of my income to the church, which can be hard sometimes, but I love doing. My church helps so many people in our community, and I love knowing that my money is currently putting a dinner on the table for a family who can’t afford groceries this week, or who can’t afford to pay their electric bill. I also love knowing that my money helps fund children’s programs and keeps the building’s doors open so people can have a place to worship.

I want to live a life where I don’t think twice about giving my money to charities and organizations that help others. People are more important than any amount of stuff that I could collect.

 

So there it is! My fairly simple but written down set of life goals (at least for the moment, haha). Do you guys have a written down list of goals or a bucket list?

October Reading Recap

This month was a pretty good month compared to my last two months where I really started to fall behind with my reading challenge. I read 4 books this month, which puts my total books read this year at 40! I have 12 more books to read by the end of the year to reach my goal of 52 books. I am 2 books behind schedule, but I’m pretty confident I can make that up!

Here are my three favorites for this month:

The Princess Bride by William Goldman – 4/5 stars

The Princess BrideThe Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies. It is one of those classic, timeless movies you can watch over and over again without getting tired of. So I was really excited to read this book and I had pretty high expectations going in. And I wasn’t disappointed!

The Princess Bride is one of the funniest, most satirical and witty books I’ve read in a long time. The plot itself just keeps getting better and better –  I mean we are talking about a story that has the most beautiful woman ever, the best swordsman in the world, a giant, the Dread Pirate Roberts, true love, an Albino zoo keeper, a prince plotting the murder of his wife and abetting the start of a war – it just never ends! Full of adventure and romance and everything in between, this book has it all.

The only reason I didn’t mark this a full five stars is because of the narration. Goldman includes a fictitious abridgment in the novel where he pretends that he is not the original author and is abridging the book based upon a fictitious author. It gets a bit confusing when he then makes up a fictitious father who read this story to him as a son and then a fictitious story about the process of writing the story – it’s all a bit much. This weird narration didn’t add anything to the story for me – in fact it detracted from it because he would interrupt the plot to flesh out his (fictitious) reactions to what was going on when he was a kid and his (fictitious) father’s response. Or he would summarize what the (fictitious) original author wrote. I just ended up skipping most of these abridgments and kept reading the actual story.

 

 Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee – 3/5 stars

Go Set a Watchman (To Kill A Mockingbird #2)I hadn’t heard a lot of positive remarks about Go Set a Watchman, but I wanted to read it all the same because I loved To Kill a Mockingbird.

The plot itself was pretty much nonexistent, and rather hard to believe – not in the way that you watch a movie and the actions are so ridiculous they are unbelievable, but because you know the characters and the decisions and actions that they make don’t make sense. The characters that did return from To Kill a Mockingbird were surprisingly few, surprisingly shallow, and lacked real depth.

The parts that I enjoyed most of Go Set a Watchman were flashbacks that Scout had of her childhood. These little anecdotes were more reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird, but while they were fun and sometimes humorous to read about, they did nothing to build the plot. They were simply wandering thoughts that were completely unrelated to anything that was going on.

The actual climax of the book was so disappointing and read like a bad Fan Fiction; Scout and Atticus have a fight and then they make up and The End. Period. End of Story.

My advice is to read Go Set a Watchman as if it were a standalone novel and not as a sequel to one of the best books written in this century, because if you go in with that notion in your head, you will be vastly disappointed. So I’m being generous with three stars and pretending that no, this is indeed not a sequel, and is just a weird take on the times of the disgruntled South.

 

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – 4/5 stars

NeverwhereYou may remember my reviews of Gaiman’s other books which I’ve really enjoyed, so I was excited for this book. I’m not sure what I was expecting – maybe something lighter and more along the lines of Stardust, but this book had a much darker tone to it. These more sinister novels normally don’t interest me, but Gaiman has such a way of writing that pulls me right in.

Neverwhere tells the story of an average man living in London, who stumbles across an injured girl named Door. The decision to help her sucks him into her world, called the Underground, where those from Above don’t acknowledge or even notice those from Below. Baffled and confused, Richard quickly realizes that his life has been irrevocably changed and seeks out Door to help him return to his old life.

This book was a long read for me, but I still really enjoyed it. This was one of those books that you slowly savor and let the story sink in, piece by little piece. Neverwhere, despite being a darker story, still had its dry humor and a beautiful array of characters. I love a good adventure story and this took an interesting twist to my normal read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Have you read any good books lateley? Happy reading, friends!

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