The Melissa Year

4624_765762613478_7967283_nAhhhh, October is here. The month where it finally starts to get a bit chilly (hello again, my moto boots!). The month where pumpkin stuff is deemed socially acceptable. The month where I celebrate the glorious occasion that was my arrival on this earth. That’s right my friends, October is my birthday month, and I milk it for all it is worth. I’m turning 29 this year, meaning I’ve got one last glorious year of my twenties before I hit the big 3-0.

A Quick Story About This Photograph

The above photo is from my 21st birthday. I had survived the first 2 weeks of my year in Liverpool, and decided I was going to have a 21st birthday bash regardless of the fact that I could already legally drink in England. My friends pooled their money together, and what you see in my hand is a Dirty Pint. Basically, you give the bartender a handful of money, and tell him or her to make the strongest drink possible. My Dirty Pint was half beer, half cider, with 4 shots of liquor, mixed with black currant juice (that’s what made it pink), and topped off with Bailey’s. It was disgusting. To make matters worse, I was taunted with a rousing chorus of “Have You Ever Seen Melissa Down a Drink?” and so I chugged it. After I had had a pint of cider and 2 shots about 15 minutes earlier. What followed was me going from stone-cold sober to ass over head drunk, a UK vs USA drink-off (which I won, MURICA!), an ill-advised Hawaiian pizza, and $200 in international phone calls before blacking out. It was definitely my wildest birthday, and one I recall with happy memories, despite having a raging hangover the next morning. (Disclaimer: I do not in any way, shape, or form recommend this type of drinking. It’s stupid, and I’m very lucky I have good friends who took care of me that evening… and the next day.)

What I’ve Been Up To While On Hiatus

I haven’t updated the blog since July as I’ve been pretty busy. And on the rare day I’m not busy, I sit on my butt and watch Hulu with my cats. My friend from my time in Liverpool, Amy, and her husband Ben visited for a few days in July, and then an evening in August, to bookend their road trip through the south-east US. A friend and I went to see Once: The Musical at KenCen, which was such a beautiful show. Different from the type of musicals I typically enjoy, but it’s good to mix it up every once in a while. My mom came up for a weekend in mid-August and I treated her to the Book of Mormon at the Kennedy Center. I also saw Jim Ross at the DC Improv.  In September the US played in a friendly against Peru, which meant tons of soccer related events and visiting with my friends who flew in from around the country. I also went to Denver for a week for work to attend the conference I planned. I was home from that trip for 12 hours before heading out to Purcellville, VA for a friend’s wedding. And in between all of that, I’ve been petsitting when my schedule allows. It’s exhausting just typing it all out!

The Melissa Year

I want to spend this next year getting my life right.  I’ve attempted this twice before, but was derailed by a stupid boy the first time, and a curb and a broken ankle the second time. I don’t have any expected life changes (big move, job change, etc) in the near future that should derail my plans, and I think the final year of my twenties is the perfect time to make it all about me! Effective October 13, 2015, some of the things I want to work on during The Melissa Year are:

  1. Overhauling my finances. This has been an ongoing theme in my life, and this year I need to get serious about it. Paying off residual debt, saving for The Future, budgeting better, and becoming a more conscious consumer.
  2. Investing in my health. One of the best things about breaking my ankle was that it led to discovering several health issues that were in early stages. This means I was able to immediately start working with specialists and come up with an action plan. That was over 6 months ago. This is the year that I need to start putting it into action, before serious complications arise. Eating healthier, exercising regularly, losing weight, and staying up to date on my various doctor’s visits.
  3. Being Less Busy. When I sat down and reviewed my calendar for the last two months to write the above update, just looking at it was exhausting. And half the things on it weren’t even that important. I’m not a person overly ruled by FOMO, so I’m not really sure why I agreed to certain events. Perhaps I just didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings? This year will definitely be more about doing the things I want to do, and saying no to those that are not important.
  4. Learning a new skill. I haven’t decided what this is yet? Perhaps photography? Cooking? Pottery? Who knows?! But I’d like to invest some time into learning a useful skill that could serve me for years to come.
  5. Just Being More Deliberate. According to my friend Jen, lists should have 5 items. So my 5th item is to just be more deliberate and conscious about what I’m doing with myself. I think this will intertwine with all four previous items. I need to be deliberate about what I’m spending my money on and not just buying random shit. I need to be deliberate in what I choose to eat and not eat, and when to exercise. I need to be deliberate in what I chose to put on my calendar and what invitations I chose to decline so I don’t run myself ragged. And I need to be deliberate about whatever skill I choose to learn, as it needs to be something somewhat useful, and will likely require some sort of financial input.

I’m ready to make 29 my best year yet!

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