Sunday, January 02, 2011

Goals for the new year, part two.

Yesterday's post will fill you in on some of my previous goals and how I've accomplished them. They were much more transformative goals than I'm setting for myself this year. This year's goals are a bit like a to-do list. So, um...oh well. That's where I am in my life right now, you know? Not in a place to take on big changes in my person-hood. But ready for a to-do list. The good news is that, like other goals I've been successful in acheiving, I have both the motivation and the information to help move me along on these.

I've recently realized that I'm capable of doing a lot more around our house than I used to think was possible. I know how to solder pipes, I can clean out drains and reconnect PVC pipes without leaks. I can paint, I can tile, I can use every tool in our garage. I once moved six tons of gravel and sand from our driveway to our side yard. Alone. Although, Scott was with me in spirit (which wasn't all that helpful). I've learned to build furniture and figured out how to lay and finish a hardwood floor. If I can lay a hardwood floor, I kinda feel like I can do just about anything, which has really broadened my idea of what I can do around here (although, I still can't get the lawn mower started). So I'm feeling a bit like I'm ready to tackle some big projects.

Our basement is a horrible mess. Ever since we left for Mexico, when we stored all our crap down there for the year that we were gone, it's been a mess. The kids shriek when I try to give away their old toys, but at this point, the toys have been in the basement since we got home in June so I don't think they'll be missed if I haul them off to Goodwill. Then there are all of our old books. And furniture that doesn't fit the style nor the shape of our house. It's time for that stuff to go. And the old carpet. And the frustrating lack of purpose in the basement. It's a small space, but it could be a useful space. It could even be a pleasing space. Right now it's just awful. So, there's goal number one. De-clutter, de-carpet, and renovate the basement. While the long term goal is to add a bathroom down there and turn it into a guest suite (it's quiet, private, warm in the winter and cool in the summer), I'd be happy with half that in the next year. I'd be happy just to clean the place out, take down the wallpaper that has been there since before we moved in, knock down the popcorn ceiling, paint, add some tall cabinets in the hallway (thank God Ikea is coming to Denver this fall!), and plan for the eventual major overhaul. That's goal #1. Deal with the basement.

Here is goal #2: deal with the girls' bathroom.When I say this, Scott rolls his eyes, and I'm still not sure why! The girls are only getting older and they're only spending MORE time in there. You wouldn't believe the amount of time Brynn spends admiring herself in the mirror (I guess I might too if I looked like she does). She makes faces at herself and checks out her hair from every imaginable angle. The bathroom is dated and has almost no storage. When we have guests, they have to share that tiny bathroom with the girls and there is virtually nowhere for them to put their toothbrushes, etc. while they stay with us. Plus, the floor is rotting dangerously close to the bathtub. I'm just waiting for the bathtub to fall into my bedroom and squish the dog some night while we're all sound asleep. So, yeah, the bathroom needs to change, and the sooner (and cheaper) the better. Goal #2: deal with the upstairs bathroom.

Goal #3: Get Scott a TV. The problem with buying a new TV is that a new TV requires a wall full of new furniture. I don't really care if we get a newer, better TV, but Scott does and so I should care too. And he's never had a new cutting-edge TV and he doesn't abuse technology. But the TV is going to be pricey. This goal requires a strict budget combined with some creative solutions to furnish the giant wall where the TV will go. Fitting the TV and furniture into the budget will require some major sacrifices -- like maybe skipping all of the traveling we've been hoping to plan in the near future. Global traveling. Traveling that we think our kids are finally old enough to enjoy. Going back to Mexico, going to Europe, going to Asia. I've got to decide what is more important -- the place where we spend 350 days a year, or the other 15 days that we'd like to spend somewhere else? So, there's that. And it makes the new TV and furniture look less attractive, not to mention the bathroom project which I assume will come in around $2000. Ahhh...decisions. Still, goal #3: Get Scott a TV.

And then there's #4, sort of inspired by goal #3 and all its challenges: grow my business. I teach interpersonal and intercultural communication at UCCS, but my real love is editing and proofreading. It comes naturally, I'm good at it, and I can do it on my schedule (usually at 1:30am in my pajamas). I've been proofreading professionally for about five years now, but it's a very small endeavor and I've done more work for free than for pay (because I can't turn down a good cause). I really don't know how to go about growing my business (they don't teach entrepreneurship in the Department of Communication, and on a daily basis I'm much more interested in planning my next room re-do or vacation than figuring out how to drum up business. So, this may be more of a dream than a goal, but at least it's on my mind.

So, there you go. They're not earth-shattering goals, but at least now you know what to look for here at Our Little Family in the next year. I think I'll start taking photos of that hideous basement tomorrow. That should provide some major motivation, and I've already got the brains and brawn to get the project moving.


Annalea said...

Great goals. :o)

Have you ever read the Young House Love blog? John & Sherry are remodeling-on-a-budget pros, and they've done some amazing things on a shoestring. Designer-quality amazing things.

And best of luck on the TV decision . . . does a cutting-edge TV really cost as much as a lot of travel? We don't own a TV, so I wouldn't know . . .

Hillary said...

Yep, I do read YHL and really enjoy them! I need to add them to the blogroll here, actually.

The TV (a giant web-enabled LED model) plus the furniture is going to end up over $4000, if we buy the furniture that we want (Restoration Hardware's library collection)...which is why we'll probably end up building it ourselves.

For the four of us to spend two weeks in Mexico would be around two grand (we've got a free place to stay). Two weeks in Southern Spain/Morocco (Marie...we're thinking about coming to visit) would start at around $3200 in flights and then up from there. Hong Kong, we're talking $6000 in flights (OUCH). So, yeah the TV and furniture is a serious amount of cash, especially when compared to the traveling we could do instead!

We also have two leaky skylights, an inefficient washer/dryer pair, old windows on the back of our house, two decks that need to be ripped out, siding that needs to be replaced or stuccoed over...oh, so depressing!

Deep breaths. Whew.

Fulton said...

love the goals! im excited for you! can't wait to see the pictures and the progress!

Court said...

Popcorn removal is no fun! It was actually our first home improvement that we outsourced and so happy we did. Super messy. But if I didn't have about 30 min. of uninterrupted time to to work on projects I might be able to do it. I am envious you can actually get things to Goodwill! It would take me a entire day to get one load!