Every month, I report the progress of my yearly goals in order to monitor progress (or the lack thereof) and hold myself accountable.
April came and went in a flash, didn’t it? If I didn’t take notes throughout the month, I wouldn’t be able to tell you what transpired. Whew! With four months down, here is my progress thus far. Past updates can be found here: January, February, and March.
New Year’s Resolutions: 2021 – April Update
Health & Wellness
- Don’t die. If you’re reading this, I’m still here. My immunologist is currently testing me for specific antibody deficiency (SAD) with impaired polysaccharide responsiveness, as well as mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS). Initial testing shows no pneumococcal antibodies and a normal tryptophase. Next steps: get the pneumococcal vaccine and then retest for antibodies, and retest tryptophase during an acute allergic episode. Due to a polyethylene glycol (PEG) allergy and presumed immunodeficiency, my immunologist has advised I delay covid vaccination until I get results back.
- Move my body daily. I went on a 2-mile walk each day in April, and went twice on several occasions. It’s getting very hot, so we may need to shorten the walks or start before sunrise or after sunset. I would tell Phoenix to go to hell… but we’re already here.
- Prioritize sleep. I’m fortunate to be able to work from home and to have a flexible work schedule, so I go to bed at 9pm each night and wake up between 5am and 7am, depending on my body’s needs. Sleep remains my top priority.
- Continue to eat healthfully. Done. We get 90% of our produce from a local farm and most of our ethically-raised meats from a local butcher, and consume almost no processed foods. I follow a strict low-histamine, low-glycemic, paleo diet/lifestyle plan and supplement for identified deficiencies. My allergy symptoms have been flaring up, I’m anxious to get a diagnoses and figure out the right treatment
Personal & Professional Development
- Read (or re-read) at least 24 books. 4) Whale Day and Other Poems by Billy Collins, 5) Basic Black: 26 Edgy Essentials for the Modern Wardrobe by Sato Watanabe, 6) The Colette Sewing Handbook by Sarai Mitnick, 7) The Year’s Best Science Fiction Vol. 1 by Jonathan Strahan, 8) Exhalation: Stories by Ted Chiang, 9) Twenty-one Truths About Love: A Novel by Matthew Dicks. I did so much reading in April and I love it, especially Chiang’s short stories.
- Do Homework for Life. Homework for Life is a practice I’ve done on-and-off for at least three years now, but I just completed my first 120 consecutive days with the conclusion of April. It involves capturing the most storyworthy moment of each, and it’s brought joy into the most mundane of days.
- Continued learning. 2) As a carryover from March, I’ve been learning a lot about blockchain technologies and it’s all so fascinating and my boyfriend was even invited to join the development team of a project he has been following. 3) I’ve been refreshing my mind on how to write short stories as I have one (maybe two) idea I would like to bring to life
- Select two behaviors that I am opposed to and adopt them for one week, then write about my experiences on the blog. I’ve still reading critical race theory literature–it’s so deeply revolting that, like a train wreck, I can’t stop trying to discern solutions to shut it down. Wokeness is a Neo-Marxist wolf, destroying society wearing the guise of sheep bearing salvation and equity. I hopped down this rabbit hole hoping to better understand and appreciate the anti-racist movement, but it’s simply appalling.
- Complete Yoga Teacher Training. No progress.
- Receive a promotion and boost my salary by +10% in 2021. No progress. This would theoretically happen in March or October at the biannual review cycle.
- Work on identifying my purpose of ideal career path. No progress. I have exercised general curiously, though nothing too noteworthy.
- Achieve net worth of $200,000 by the end of 2021. As of April 30th 2021, my net worth sits at $153,300, up 10.5% from $138,700 in March (and up 27.3% from $120,400 at the start of the year). We are continuing to be extremely frugal and are selling lots of old collectibles (apparently people still like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails… a lot). At the start of the year, I converted languishing bonds to volatile bitcoin and have no regrets. In March, I put my tax return into several young blockchain projects, which are stress-inducing but overall trending steeply upwards (some went to $0). I logged into an old cryptocurrency exchange and my “forgotten change” had grown to $1,000! That’s all great, but the biggest factor is–drumroll please–fourteen years of consistent, compounding contributions to retirement accounts. It’s not glamorous or exciting, but sure is effective! The speculation is fun, but it’s like gambling–strategic fun with money you can afford to lose.
- Save 45% of my net income. April had a savings rate of 71%, thanks to a three paycheck month and aggressive budgeting. The savings were split between general savings and dollar-cost-averaging into a 401K, Roth IRA, and bitcoin. We’re trying to save for me to work with a doctor and treatment plan not covered by insurance.
- Remain debt-free. This should remain true unless something crazy happens.
- Start down payment savings account. Our home is paid off and we’re probably staying put for at least four to five years, so I pulled out from bonds and high-yield savings. We’re leaving $15,000 in not-so-high-yield savings and allocating the rest into cryptocurrencies in hopes of growing the funds over the next several years.
- Writing. I added 10 new posts to this blog. Crowd favorites included Yes, Library Porn… Again and It’s 2059, And The Rich Kids are Still Winning. My personal favorite was Which Adventure Did Your Choose? Reader Feedback. Thanks for the feedback!
- Sewing. No progress.
- Fermentation. No progress.
- Try at least 12 new recipes.13) Best Cabbage Soup from Downshiftology
- Canning. No progress.
- Gardening. We have an infestation of ground squirrels, so the garden and the contents of our gardening closet have been devoured by the evil little rodents. I have spent the weekends helping my mom with her garden, and she currently has an array of beautiful flowers and fresh vegetables.
- Post my progress in terms of these resolutions on this blog on the first day of every month. April is now complete.
Family, Friends & Strangers
- Write 50 letters in 2021. As of the end of April, 13 have been written (no change over the last three months). Oops.
- Call a family member or friend at least once per week. I honestly have not kept track of this, though I talk to my parents once or twice per week.
- Surprise my boyfriend at least six times in 2021. No progress. I’m realizing that while I love the idea of surprises, I don’t like being surprised and I’m terrible at coming up with ways to surprise others.
- Celebrate eight years with my best friend. Counting down to October.
- Invent a new word. No progress.
- Take more photos and start an album. This does not come naturally and I did not take many photos at all this month.
- Read to my niece at least six times. One of six completed. She’s six months old and I haven’t seen her in awhile. I’m hoping to visit again this month, as I made her a soft book.
- Reconnect with friends I’ve lost touch with while ill. No progress. To be honest, I’m feeling especially reclusive lately and don’t have much desire to connect with others. This last year has been weird.
- Meet new people. After the January update, a reader mentioned that I’m technically meeting people here, and she’s right. So thank you all, simply for showing up and offering me the opportunity to connect. I’m so happy you are here! I basically haven’t left the house in a year, so I’m really looking forward to going to a restaurant, grocery store, or even the boring hardware store… anywhere other than our home will be so refreshing!
- Practice kindness. I basically only interact with my boyfriend. I try to be kind and supportive, but I’m beginning to miss being around people and finding small opportunities to practice kindness. Hopefully soon we’ll be able to go out again.
Home & Household
- Mold remediation. Scheduled for May. Yay!!
- Hang up all the artwork we have lying around. No progress. This is really driving me nuts, but I’m so indecisive. That, and one piece is over 6ft tall and our ceilings are 8ft tall, so it’s been tricky to figure out where to place it.
- Have the custom sketch on the back of Rainbow Sunset professionally scanned and printed. No progress.
- Buy a fireproof safe for sentimental items. Accomplished in January.
- Reassess our emergency preparedness. We currently have 80 gallons of water and two waterBOBs, six months of nonperishable foods and household toiletries, two huge boxes of medical supplies, and loaded “go bags,” camping stoves, and solar lights. If Phoenix is hit by an apocalyptic snowstorm or drought, we should be all set.
- Clean out my closet and get rid of anything I don’t love. No progress. However, I sorted stuff to get rid of and will start selling soon. Prior to the pandemic, the local thrift store was a goldmine for brand new designer clothing–brands that I was only aware of after receiving perfectly-fitting hand-me-downs from my aunt. With the return to office permanently optionally, I’ll likely sell the high-quality items I won’t be wearing anytime soon.
- Save money for a down payment. After many years of fence-sitting, we’re reallocating funds because it doesn’t make sense to have tens of thousands in bonds and savings accounts right now, earning minimal 0.5% interest. My boyfriend has been following bitcoin since 2009 and he has finally sold me on the idea. Worse case scenario, if the market is poor when we want to move, we can sell the home (rather than renting it out) or take a reverse mortgage against our paid-off home. The real estate market is freaking ridiculous in our area and the ongoing gentrification projects in our neighborhood means the home will likely maintain or raise in value. Four months in, bitcoin and altcoins look to have been a very smart decision.
- Prepare to start a family. The plan entails getting my health in order, getting private generic testing (samples, results, personal data destroyed if company is sold), and optimizing nutrition to ensure a child’s health. If we were to have kids, it would be four years out, putting me in my mid-30s and my partner in his early-40s, so we want to what we can to minimize the risks that come with childbearing a little later in life. If I do, in fact have autoimmune disease and certain immunodeficiencie, it will be interesting to see if I can have children, if there are potential complications, and if there would be risks to the child. Hopefully, CRISPR will help alleviate some of those complications in the next decade or two.
- Think about the overall vision for my life. No progress. However, I think blogging gives me an outlet to explore my various interests and dabble in whatever writing format strikes my fancy on a given day. It is said that action trumps words, so perhaps just showing up here is a form of thinking about the overall vision of my life and steering myself in the right direction.