I have begun a one-person campaign to bring back the art of letter writing. I have found that the more I immerse myself in social media, the less I actually feel connected to people, so I’m trying something new. This week I have written letters to my grandma, my sister-in-law, and one of the ladies with whom I went to Israel. I’m going to try to come up with more people and addresses in the coming weeks, and I’m hoping eventually people will start writing back. My goal is to write a letter to someone new every week (or maybe a rotation of people when I start to run out of recipients) plus respond to any letters I receive.
It makes me feel so important to receive a hand-written letter. It takes that added bit of effort to write something by hand, as opposed to tapping out an email. And even putting it in an envelope and finding a stamp adds a layer of intentionality. Few people write a real letter on a whim…so when I go to my mailbox and discover a letter, I feel happy because someone felt that I am important enough to warrant their attention long enough to draft and send a note. I’m hoping that when my friends and family get my letters, they’ll realize that I think they’re important, too.
Plus, maybe I’ll feel more connected to people.
I might need to change my blog title, because J and I are seriously talking about moving across the state. In my opinion, though, “Sophie in Spokane” doesn’t sound as nice as “Sophie in Seattle.” It does still have alliteration, though, so I guess it’ll do. Most likely, the big move won’t happen for a few years. We own a condo, and we’re profoundly underwater. My hope is that the market will pick up and that our home value will rise enough for us to break even.
Why do we want to move? Two reasons: family and finances. (More alliteration!)
The only family members we have in the Seattle area are…difficult. I mentioned J’s “cousin-in-law” in a previous post – I think I mentioned that she unfriended me on Facebook and has ignored all my overtures of friendship. And then there’s J’s aunt who is a piece of work. She is by far the most judgmental and grudge-holding woman I’ve ever met. The men in the family are all right, but I wish they’d take a stand and get their women in line. (…that might be sexist of me… My feminist friends would disown me if they knew… Which is why this is a secret blog. If someone I knew read this, then I probably wouldn’t be nearly this authentic about the controversial things.) Anyway, so since the dynamic of family we do have here is so strained, it would probably be more healthy to pursue the family that does want us around. Thus, the move to Spokane.
In our little suburb of Seattle, we bought our townhouse for $203,000. It’s now worth half of that, but that’s beside the point. In Spokane, we could buy a NICE house for that. …and, even better, it looks like J would be able to keep his Seattle pay rate and work from home in Spokane. We’d live like kings….or more accurately, we’d live extremely comfortably. We might even be able to afford to have kids. (Assuming, of course, we could get the sex drama figured out.)
…So… That’s the hope anyway. …now we just need to be able to sell our townhouse…
J and I both love to read, and sometimes we’ll discuss the books we’re discovering. Not long ago, J read a book called 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam. Truth be told, I haven’t read it and I’m not sure if I’ll ever get around to it, but one thing J mentioned to me while he was reading it was that the author recommended writing a list of 100 dreams or goals. I thought it was a great idea, so I decided to make my own list.
And now, for your reading pleasure, my dreams (in no particular order):
- Take a picture of myself every day (for age progression purposes).
- Attend at least 2 roller derby bouts every season.
- Go someplace new once every other month.
- Feel confident in a bathing suit.
- Have a wardrobe I love.
- Read 5 nonfiction and 10 fiction books every year.
- Give a million dollars to charity during my lifetime.
- Become an activist who fights against human trafficking.
- See the pyramids.
- Buy lingerie in Paris.
Tithe a full 10% to the general fund at church in addition to the other various good causes I support. 2013 and ongoing
- Do a humanitarian trip at least once a decade.
- Learn to sew beautiful clothing and crafts.
- Send anonymous gifts to people twice a year.
- Visit my ancestral roots in Germany.
- Learn to make my own cleaning/beauty products (for the sake of reducing my carbon footprint and household chemical consumption).
- Visit all 50 states.
- Pray at the Wailing Wall at least one more time. Bring J.
- Call Sister and Oma once a week.
See college friend G again before I turn 35. 2014
- Take college friend M out to dinner before the end of 2013.
- Take a Caribbean cruise.
- Find my place in ministry.
- Create a comfortable and beautiful home that is neat, organized, and decorated.
- Become “mostly vegetarian.” Seafood excluded.
- Invest in T’s life. Become her confidante and outside support system.
- Become a prayer warrior.
- Buy roller skates and skate once a month.
- Learn to believe in true love again.
See Oma at least one more time before she dies. 2014
- Write R & R (sponsored children) once every other month.
- Find a best friend in my region.
Volunteer once a month. 2014 and ongoing
- Eat more pizza and sushi.
- See Eddie Izzard, Jim Gaffigan,
and Brian Regan (again)  live.
- Have $0 of debt.
- Win employee of the year.
- See a live theater production once a year.
- Keep a dream journal.
- Take a vacation with Sister.
- At least once in my life, leave a $100 bill for my restaurant meal at Christmas time.
- Get my picture taken with Johnny Depp.
- Watch a documentary once a month.
- Take belly dancing lessons.
- See Petra – the buildings carved into stone.
- Ride a camel.
- Choose and wear a signature scent.
- Take J on a surprise vacation.
- Save enough to retire comfortably at the age of 60.
- Own something from Tiffany’s.
- Take a ceramics and/or stained glass course.
- Learn Sign Language.
- Keep a daily “I’m Thankful For” journal.
- Win a trophy that I get to keep indefinitely (not the Iron Skee Ball trophy).
- Beat J at least once more time at one of our annual Iron Skee Ball competitions.
- Do the “27 Days of J” for J’s birthday one year.
- Finish a half-marathon.
- Learn to swing dance, stunts included. Or salsa dancing.
- Stay up late and watch shooting stars in a cemetery (again).
- Watch the sunrise from somewhere where an ocean is to the east.
- See Ground Zero.
- Kiss J on the top of the Empire State Building.
- Look out the window from the top of the Columbia Tower.
- See the view from the top of the Smith Tower.
- Start celebrating “Treat Yourself” day annually.
- Every presidential election, take off from work the day after the election so that I can stay up late to hear the results as they happen. Have a celebratory or commiseration beverage when the results are announced.
- Take off from work and celebrate Cinco de July-o annually.
- Perform my civic duty and serve as a juror.
- Feed a giraffe.
- Hold a baby hedgehog.
- Decorate my house with 1000 white candles for a special date night.
- Stay at the Albuquerque Holiday Inn.
- Visit New Orleans.
- Get a dog.
- Make and use fabric napkins so that we don’t have to use paper towels.
- Figure out a convenient way to compost.
- Send a care package to a solder (again).
- Make a rag quilt.
- Attend a masquerade.
- Cuddle and play with the little ones at the “Hogar San Francisco de Asis” Center for Destitute and Sick Children in Lima, Peru.
- Accomplish or be part of something truly great.
- Help at a homeless soup kitchen.
- Buy a decent car entirely with $20 bills from my savings account – no financing.
- See the Northern (or Southern) lights one more time.
- See a phosphorescent red tide at night (again).
- Take a long-exposure photograph of the twirling night sky.
Get a mattress that doesn’t give me back/headaches. 2013
- Save the equivalent of three month’s income in case of emergency.
- Acquire enough emergency supplies in my home to survive one week without outside help.
Grow my hair long enough to donate (again). 2014
- Shake hands with a current or former American president.
- Get to know my brother better.
- Pet a penguin.
- Have a vow-renewal ceremony with friends for my 25th wedding anniversary.
- Look sexy in the Wonder Woman t-shirt in my closet.
- Go on a helicopter tour of a pretty place.
- Ride in a limousine.
- Go on a safari.
- Develop my vocabulary to include uncommon words (not to impress anyone, but rather simply for the sake of my love for the English language).
I know it’s unreasonable to expect that I’ll accomplish all of these, but I’ll do as many as I can!
If you’d like, shoot me a comment with some of your life goals. I’d love to hear them.