The failures of 2016

Do you know that I have now been bucket list blogging for five full years? And as of today, I have checked off 84 goals (and I’ll add a couple more by the end of the year). But before I take my standing ovation, I’m going to talk about this year’s failures.

Every January, when I publish my list, a lot of thinking goes into each item. Is it realistically doable? Is it going to be fun enough? Do I have enough time? And while there is a certain level of expected failure, this year had more than usual.

For instance, I never got a swim coach and obviously didn’t meet my swim goal of 1-mile in under 30 minutes. Last year, as my knee was continuing to bug me, I had grandiose plans of becoming a swimmer. When I’m on the spin bike at Nike, I’m overlooking their olympic-size pool, watching the swimmers…but the idea of changing into a suit combined being all wet and cold afterwards was too complicated for me. I love running because you only need a pair of shoes and some headphones – it’s easy, and there are few excuses.

So ok, swimming is OUT.

Let’s talk about fishing. Ooooohhhhhhh lost dreams. I knew that catching a fish with my bare hands was ridiculous, and I’ve not given up on this one, but with ice fishing I’ve had trouble identifying a lake frozen enough in the Pacific Northwest. We are a warm, mild climate and despite our recent snow storms, even the lakes on Mt Hood are not frozen like the ones I see on Youtube in Minnesota. We don’t ice skate or play hockey on our lakes over here. So it’s not to say ice fishing won’t happen, it just hasn’t happened yet.

How about my Friday the 13th tattoo? Did you know that in Portland, where tattoo shops line every corner, you can walk into a shop on any Friday the 13th and get a tattoo for something like $30. This year, I was super excited to get a spontaneously cheap tattoo but it happened to fall on the same day that I returned from a week-long Outdoor School with 30 middle school students. REGARDLESS, I jumped in the shower the minute I got home and started calling shops…but by lunch time their slots for the whole day were already filled up.

Also, after two years, I’ve given up on the piano. I just don’t have the time. Nor do I particularly feel the pull to spend a night on Sauvie’s Island. If someone wants to rent a yurt with me next year, let me know.

As for the “grow a mini-garden”, it sounded all well and good in January when I was expected a summer of leisure, tending to my tomatoes. Then I ended up teaching two classes at the university and couldn’t even remember to water my potted plants. NEXT!

Failure is inevitably part of any goal. If it’s not challenging, or doesn’t have risk of failure, it’s not a good enough goal. I can accept that this year almost 30% of my goals didn’t get crossed off, either because of circumstances or just sheer laziness, but the good news is that there is the other 60% of cool things I did do. Hel-lo, I ran in Barcelona! I took a ferry to a Hawaiian island! I paddle boarded in the Mediterranean! I ran a race with inmates at the state prison! It was a wild year.

These failures are important to reflect on as I’m finalizing my 2017 list…I ask myself, Is it fun enough? Do I have enough time? Is it realistic? And the cycle repeats itself.

So tell me – what else should I try to do? What are your goals?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s