32 by 33 In Review

Spent my weekend settling into 33 and thinking of new goals for the next year, but before I commit to those, here’s a wrap up of how I did with 32by33:

1. Pay off one source of outstanding debt 

SUCCESS! I was really proud of completing this one! I still have a ways to go (and an ambitious goal of being debt-free by 35), but I paid off my student loans in May. My experience with getting into loads of credit card debt because I was saddled with student loans and a low-paying job after college is sadly not unique to me. I think the economy could definitely be stimulated by changing the grace period to a year versus six months after graduation.

2. Coordinate one outing a month in a different San Francisco or Oakland neighborhood.

GOOD EFFORT. When I decided to commit to this I did well, but unfortunately my time and energy often went other places. I did explore the following neighborhoods in earnest with outings in Divisadero Corridor, The Tenderloin, Chinatown, Downtown Oakland, The Fillmore, The Mission, The Excelsior, Dogpatch, Hayes Valley, Midmarket, FiDi…and of course Lower and Upper Haight always get in there too. I guess it wasn’t too bad of a year!

3. Visit one of my five remaining states (Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Alaska)

SUCCESS! Traveled to Wiggins, Mississippi with good friends for great rock n’ roll and delicious food.

4.  Read one book per month. 

SUCCESS!  Read (*highly recommend):

  • Vicky Swanky is a Beauty by Diane Williams
  • Tomatoland by Barry Estabrook
  • Fun House by Alison Bedchel
  • Hinduism: A Beginner’s Guide (for my India trip)
  • Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts (because of my India trip)*
  • Bossypants by Tina Fey*
  • Hot Pink by Adam Levin
  • The Peerless Prodigies of P.T. Barnum by Jillian Lerner
  • Magic Hours by Tom Bissell*
  • Season of the Witch by David Talbot
  • Hologram for a King by Dave Eggers*
  • The Middle Stories by Sheila Heti
  • Into the Wild by Jon Krakaeuer
  • Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
  • The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach*
  • Emmaus by Alessandro Baricco
  • A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L’Engle (reread)*
  • Shine, Shine, Shine by Lydia Netzer*

5. Curate and share one playlist per month on Spotify. 

SUCCESS! Keeping a “monthly best tracks” list helped me with my year-end curation. I also managed to create a few “theme” lists throughout the year as well.

6. Write one min. 1,000 word creative piece per month (essay or fiction). 

FAIL! As I mentioned last month, this is going to have to be revisited in a digestible form next year. Someone suggested setting aside “writing time” each week. May have to try that.

7. Interact with a stranger every day.

NULL. Unless I’d planned to be extra ambitious, this was an untrackable daily goal.

8. Discover and share something new every week. 

NULL. Like #7, unless I’d planned to be extra ambitious, this too was pretty untrackable. I like to think I’m always sharing though.

9. Attend one concert per month. 

SUCCESS! I’d suggest looking back at my monthly posts for the complete rundown (way more than 12 shows), but here are my top 10 shows.

10. Do yoga once a week. 

SUCCESS! My dedication to my practice at Yoga Garden became very apparent on my birthday itself when I finally got into plow pose. Loved keeping on track with yoga this year.

11. Cook something once a week. 

GOOD EFFORT. Finding my schedule to be tricky to do this, which is unfortunate. I did at least cook once a month, often much more, and I took two series of cooking classes through 18 Reasons.

12. Go out to a bar/restaurant by myself once per month. 

SUCCESS. This was a bit of a strange goal. I can see where 31/32 year old me would’ve wanted to do this, but I think this year is going to be a bit different.

13. Try a new beer once per week (resurrect Beer Broads). 

GOOD EFFORT. I didn’t resurrect the blog, but I did try lots of beers and make some new “beer friends.” I also finally joined Untappd. But I did have to take a beerfast in December to jumpstart my weight loss. I need to find a good balance with my love of beer and my love of healthy living.

14. Use my road bike once per month. 

GOOD EFFORT. While my Trek only hit the road a couple of times, I took advantage of having a new, lighter commuter bike (I heart my Jamis Coda Sport). I also made great attempts to cycle on my travels, riding in Sonoma, Berlin, Croatia and Vietnam. PLUS I sent my old bike up to Portland with my parents and now have the joy of riding on my visits home!

15. Try a new hike once per month. 

SUCCESS! Like yoga, I feel like this is a goal that pushed me in a really positive direction this year. I not only got to discover fabulous spots around the Bay Area, but learned to see places I traveled to in a new way. Previously I would’ve never sought to seek out a hiking trail in rural Mississippi, a country walk outside of London or insisted on hiking through the jungle in Vietnam. I’ve found hiking enjoyable to do solo, as well as a wonderful way to peacefully connect with friends without the distractions of modern life (yay no cell service).

16. Spend the night in six other California cities/towns. 

GOOD EFFORT. With five of six in a year with so much international travel, it’s tempting to call this a success. Plus I’m going to LA next weekend. SO close! Still, a great effort. Stayed in Geyersville, Sacramento, Big Sur, Petaluma and Sea Ranch.

17. Achieve something major professionally. 

SUCCESS! So proud of being part of the team to launch the first TYPO San Francisco.

18. Go to an 18 reasons event once per month. 

SUCCESS! Another unexpected “self-defining” goal from this past year. I love being part of this community. I’ve made great friends, tried (and learned about) so many foods and even field tripped to farms & ranches. Will carry this into 33!

19. Have a new Totally Not For Mom story once a month.

SUCCESS. Like going out by myself (and sometimes related), this is a goal I can see why I had last year, but hope not to have this year. I’m guessing the reason for these goals existing in the first place was because I made last year’s freshly dumped and still recovering from a smashed heart prior to that.

20. Make a new San Francisco/Bay Area friend a month. 

SUCCESS! I’m so beyond grateful for the friendships I’ve made and cultivated in the past year. This really hit home on Friday night at my birthday party when I had high school best friends chatting with people I’ve met in the last couple months. I love all these wonderful human beings in my life and look forward to continuing these relationships!

21. Volunteer for something new each month. 

SUCCESS! This was an exhausting one, but I did it. I also managed to make some good friends through this goal as well. Found myself doing lots with the San Francisco Film Society and other film fests, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Walk San Francisco, Team Challenge, and of course the Marquette Alumni Club. Look forward to continuing into another year of service.

22. Use my digital camera at least once a week. 

GOOD EFFORT. I did it enough to make a cool calendar for my family for the holidays, but definitely not once a week. Going to revise this to once a month for the future.

23. Go to an art event, film screening or lecture at least once per month. 

SUCCESS! This was another great way to explore San Francisco culture and keep my eyes out for interesting opportunities. The craziest art event I think I went to was Balloonacy, an art installation of thousands of LED-filled balloons. This goal also lead me to becoming a member of the Roxie Theater, a great investment!

24. Go out for a “foodie” meal at least once a month. 

SUCCESS! Delicious success. I’m so grateful for the delicious things I’ve tasted over the past year. Glad to have gotten into State Bird Provisions before you needed a three-month advanced register, happy to have tried some crazy eats in Vietnam and Croatia, thrilled to have experienced some curated meals, and delighted to have capped it off with the ultimate foodie New Year’s Eve with dear friends at Commonwealth (thanks to some poor soul’s last minute cancellation and our OpenTable lucky timing).

25. Kiss a South American. (This has been an unofficial goal for several years, as it’s my last remaining inhabited continent. I figure by making it official maybe I’ll be more motivated.)

FAIL. And I’m okay with it, though 31/32 Meghan may have considered it a bad effort. Wouldn’t trade the way my year ended for this.

26. Be the kind of person you don’t meet everyday, every day.  

NULL. Unless I’d planned to be extra ambitious and sort of arrogant, this was another untrackable daily goal.

27. Walk down a new street in SF each month.  

GOOD EFFORT. I definitely tried to walk down the “street less traveled” when picking between two, but didn’t do a good job noting when I truly made an effort. My favorite stroll was all the way up Larkin though. Amazing to watch it change from Civic Center to the Tenderloin to Russian Hill.

28. Learn who each of the San Francisco supervisors are and who/where they represent. 

FAIL. Despite trying to wrap my mind around the ultimately disappointing (and a bit horrifying overall) District 5 supervisory race, I didn’t do a good job with this. I am absolutely going to try and tackle this in 2013, perhaps with a better gameplan in place.

29. Pamper myself with a massage, facial or mani/pedi once a month.  

SUCCESS. Lovely success. So glad my cousin Jodi recommended this one. With the combo of increased exercise and getting older, massages aren’t as much a luxury as a necessity. Probably going to buy a membership at Yoga Garden to automatically do them monthly, as I’ve discovered that when making such decadence a habit finding a regular masseuse is as critical as having a regular hair stylist and aesthetician.

30. Befriend someone over 60.  

SUCCESS. Didn’t make any lifelong friends over 60 (though continued relationships from pre-2012 with some kickass seniors). In making new friends over 60 I discovered that it’s just like making new friends in their 20s, 30s or 40s…those friendships don’t always last, and that’s okay.

31. Buy something for a stranger once a quarter. 

SUCCESS. This was really fun to do and while I don’t think I’ll repeat it as a formal goal (mainly because I feel sort of weird trakcing my random acts of kindness), I think it’s just something I’ll integrate into my regular routine. I especially recommend doing it when you’re feeling down on yourself or the world. Even just buying a coffee for the person in line behind you can make magic and rainbows happen.

32. Send a letter or card to a different person once a week. 

GOOD EFFORT. Started off really strong, but this got a little unsustainable. Will probably revise to monthly this year, as I do think it’s important (and I love receiving mail back!).

All in all, not too shabby of a year!


About Meghan A.

creative & professional creative professional | communications, content & community | nasty woman | adventurer & inspiration seeker | bicyclist & feminist | walk san francisco board | current: Adobe Typekit Product Marketing Manager, former: TYPO SF magic maker
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