Revisiting our NOT List

In January, we posted a list of things we were not going to do this year. It looked something like this:

We will NOT:
  • Buy a RV and attempt to travel the US.
  • Be a participant in other people’s dramas.
  • Waste money on things we don’t need.
  • Make hasty decisions involving things that cost more than $100 or involve a contract.
  • Go out to eat more than once per week (except on vacation or for family celebrations).
  • React without thinking when we are feeling frustrated.
  • Be cheap when it comes to vacation accommodations (frugal, yes…cheap, no).
  • Waste food.
  • Forget who we are together and what our goals are.

On the upside, we did not buy a RV. Aside from that, we didn’t do so great on the rest of our NOT list. I’m not one who likes to beat myself up but I do like to reflect on things for the purpose of self-improvement. So here’s a second look at that same list with a few notes about our progress (or lack thereof).

We will NOT:
  • Buy a RV and attempt to travel the US.
    • Woohoo! Accomplished this one! In case you’re wondering, we attempted to live in a vintage camper in 2015. Attempted being the operative word. We never actually left the state.
  • Be a participant in other people’s dramas.
    • From crazy neighbors to a grocery store con artist, we had our fair share of drama this year but the award for Best Dramatic Series (in which we were an unwilling participant) goes to my niece and her on again/off again boyfriend. Try mentoring a teen sometime (if you haven’t already raised one of your own). They are the very definition of drama and if you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself caught up in it. This year was our learning curve, having no prior experience with teens. Next year, we resolve to do a much better job of letting them solve their own problems.
  • Waste money on things we don’t need.
  • Make hasty decisions involving things that cost more than $100 or involve a contract.
    • Wasting money went hand in hand with the hasty decision to sign a contract at our local recreation center in March. For the first 3 months we made an effort to go at least twice a week. Then life got in the way and we stopped making that effort. Needless to say, we won’t be renewing our contract next March.
  • Go out to eat more than once per week.
    • On Friday and Saturday nights all the restaurants in this town fill up with people celebrating the end of another work week. Luckily we haven’t become one of those people but we did dine out an average of 1 1/2 times per week in 2016. And one day a few weeks ago we did something I never thought we’d ever do (unless we were on vacation). We ate all 3 meals out in one day! I’m still pretty disturbed about that one.
  • React without thinking when we are feeling frustrated.
    • The above mentioned boyfriend of my niece might like to chime in on this one after I yelled at him for falling asleep one time. In my defense, he was supposed to be somewhere with the baby and when he failed to show or answer his phone, I got worried…and we all know worry can morph into anger sometimes when you finally find out that everything is okay. Neither Angie or I are people who lash out. In fact, my niece told said boyfriend that he was one of only 3 people she’d ever heard me yell at. Regardless though, I did find myself frustrated more this year than usual and that’s something I need to continue to work on.
  • Be cheap when it comes to vacation accommodations.
    • This was an EPIC FAIL! You can read all about how we wasted nearly $300 on a Airbnb that we never even spent the first night in here: Breaking up with Airbnb. This is one of those lessons that I hope we’ve finally learned.
  • Waste food.
    • Though we got off track on meal planning mid-year, I’ll go ahead and put a star of success on this one. We did have to throw out the occasional rotten veggie (into our compost pile, of course) but we did fairly well on not wasting too much this year. In fact, with the exception of some spaghetti sauce that tasted terrible (my apologies to the farmer who canned it) and the leftovers from the meal prior to us getting the stomach flu, I don’t recall tossing out much of anything else.
  • Forget who we are together and what our goals are.
    • This has been one of our most trying years so far. I’m not sure if it’s the adjustment to living somewhere we really don’t want to be or the fact that we can’t seem to do much of anything for ourselves these days. We’ve made a promise to each other though. 2017 is going to be a better year. We’re going to set goals that are meaningful to us and we’re going to tackle them together.

Speaking of goals…on Sunday, we’ll be posting our project for 2017, along with several smaller goals we feel are important to keeping that project on track. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, I’d love to know how you did this year with your own to-do or not-to do list.

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