19 for 2019: Recap

The cool duck that I am above the surface of the water did not make a big enough deal about the journey I undertook this year inspired by Gretchen Rubin. My furiously paddling duck feet below the surface, however, worked through many, though not all of these items and I’m holding myself accountable to at least report out on how it went, especially before I make public my 20 for 2020; yep, I’m going to keep it rolling.

Really, there was only the first item, community service on MLK Day, that I truly completed and reported on, and I made a valiant attempt to initiate the second item, cleaning the garage, so I’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do. Though I do love a wordy post, I’ll not cram updates on the other 18 all into one post–I’ll practice the fine art of brevity and break them up into stand-alone pieces and give each the reflection they deserve. Today seemed like a good day to start, rather than the last 19 days of the year, when I’ll be traveling and reveling. Overall, I’m happy with the experience and looking forward to crafting my list for next year. I went overboard on a few things and didn’t even start a few others, and that’s ok. The satisfaction of being able to look at the list and know I’d accomplished or more than accomplished an item was both fulfilling and motivating, and seeing other items not quite getting enough love was a good opportunity to exercise self-compassion and perhaps embrace the idea that unconsciously, I was prioritizing what would most make me happy and that perhaps, some of these things were not as much of a priority as I might have thought–and that is also a valuable thing to know.

To review, here’s the list of 19 items I set out to do in 2019:

1. Volunteer for MLK in San Leandro.

2. Clean the garage.

3. Identify small projects related to passion project, e.g. “Learn to roast coffee”.

4. Do at least one thing from item number three list.

5. Meditate more.

6. Hang decor & pictures.

7. Learn silks/lyra/pole.

8. Explore that bright idea you had on the bus the other day.

9. Knit something.

10. Resurrect some language skills.

11. Fold some origami.

12. Read more.

13. Reclaim your personal email account.

14. Purge clothes, jackets, scarves, etc.

15. Manas ait.

16. Actively seek joy.

17. Adventures every non-working weekend (i.e. Leave your house).

18. Pay off your student loan debt.

19. Side hustle.

I would also add here that I created a theme for 2019, as well: Get Local, Get Personal. Beyond getting to know a few more local businesses and wandering a few new neighborhoods, I can’t say I’ve gotten radically local. On the other hand, it has definitely been a year of getting personal; setting boundaries around my time, energy, and resources, and prioritizing personal projects. None of this is measurable, and I did that with some intent, and here are some highlights I encountered in getting local:I finally paid a visit to Zocalo, a great little community cafe that is just slightly off my beaten path. I had a delicious orange mocha, and you can order light cafe fare. They’ve got a play area for kiddos, and lots of books you can peruse. Definitely the kind of place I’d have haunted as a college student, or even as a blogger, if I lived a little closer. After leaving Zocalo, my husband and I stumbled upon the As Kneaded Bakery, closed at the time, and appeared to be a community space that sells delicious baked goods. Being in the default setting of identifying businesses and major landmarks for me when we’re exploring new neighborhoods, as we continued our journey home that afternoon, my husband happened to spot a little, local hardware store, Dutton Hardware, and since I had an odd work-related need for a hardware store, we stopped. The gentleman who helped me find what I was looking for was quick, knowledgeable, and helpful in locating an item that fit my vague description, and he seemed as glad as I was to be shopping locally for my needs, rather than over at the big orange square. Another afternoon, over in the same part of San Leandro, we finally sampled the delicious wares of Noodles Pho Me, a tasty Laotian noodle shop that will serve you a sampler platter of their three soul-nourishing broths if you’re a newbie and not sure which one to try; service was warm and friendly. Checking out the San Francisco International Coffee Festival recently, we came across Proyecto Diaz, a roastary that lives upstairs from Drake’s Barrel House, also a local San Leandro treasure. When I told the enthusiastic roaster, who roasts beans from his grandfather’s coffee farm in Oaxaca, Mexico, I also lived in San Leandro and that I thought I remembered them from last year’s coffee festival, and weren’t they the ones upstairs from Drake’s, I found I was right, and they quickly gave a glowing endorsement for As Kneaded Bakery, for whom I believe they are providing coffee.

So that’s it, and that’s satisfactory for me–getting better acquainted with the vibrant little food scene here in San Leandro and getting to know some of the people driving it. On the personal front, well, that’s really wrapped up in my 19 for 2019, so join me over the next 18 days for some reflection and sharing of all the highs and lows that made my list this year. Next installment: cleaning the garage.

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