Beginning 35

My first day of year 35

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions.  I set goals in August when my birthday is.  These are my goals for year 35 of life.

Goal 1 – Determine if the Ph.D. program is for me.

Last week, I was crazy enough to begin a Ph.D. program.  This was not a goal I ever had for myself.  I have a few mentors that have pushed me in many other areas including encouraging me to apply to the IUPUI Urban Education Ph.D. program.  After about four years of encouragement, I finally applied during the last school year.  My thought was I won’t get accepted and because I felt like I bombed the interview portion of the application, I was certain I wasn’t going to make the cut.  Fortunately or unfortunately (I haven’t decided which) I got accepted.  I enrolled in classes a couple of weeks before the program started.  I know I have the capability of doing the work.  I just don’t know if I want to devote the time. I don’t know if I really have a novel idea to research to add to the body of research that is already out there.  I’m not a person who quits stuff, but I have been thinking about quitting every single day since the first class.  We will see if I stay the course.

Goal 2 – Learn how to swim.

my glasses

If you saw my tweet the other day about climbing a fence to escape a mouse, you know I fear those rodents.  I also fear large bodies of water.  I cannot swim.  On my high school transcript, I have one bad grade, a D in swim class.  My fear was real, but the teacher didn’t believe me.  My eyesight is horrible; I’m severely near-sighted.  My right eye prescription is -10.50 and my left eye is -11.25. I also have astigmatism in one eye too. My glasses cost around $500.00.  I have to get extra stuff done to my glasses so it doesn’t look like I am wearing two coke bottles on my face.  My eyes are so bad that I don’t qualify for Lasik.  I don’t even qualify for permanent contacts.  I didn’t even know that was a thing.  Even if I did qualify for that, I wouldn’t do it.  After eliminating those options, my optometrist suggested I order prescription swim goggles so I could learn how to swim.  Since my prescription is not the same in both eyes, I had to get them custom made.  They arrived in the mail two days ago.  My fear of large bodies of water is really tied to me not being able to see well.

my new swim goggles

When I was in college, I was a chaperone for a summer church trip to Kentucky Kingdom.  I rode a few water rides with my glasses on, but on the last water ride, I got kicked by a kid who chose to go down the slide too soon after I had gone. My whole body hit the side of the slide and I lost my glasses.  I freaked out and had a whole meltdown after I hit the water at the bottom of the slide.  They had to stop the ride to calm me down.  They did find my glasses.  Once I got my glasses back, I got out of the little pool and this group of kids I was responsible for keeping an eye on were just staring at me.  I said, “I think it is time to go eat some food.”  No one challenged me since I was pretending that my meltdown didn’t happen.  After that incident, I pretty much decided for the most part to stay out of the pool and large bodies of water.  My sons are still learning how to swim.  My husband can already swim.  I really want to conquer this fear; I don’t want to be the only person in my family that can’t swim.

Goal 3 – Work on my platform.

I technically started this a couple months ago.  People are listening to what I have to say when I write, when I do videos, and when I have been a guest on podcasts and several people have suggested that I focus on building my own platform.  It has been pointed out that I have been giving my all and helping move other people’s platforms forward. A few of my mentors even feel like some people are just using me.  I haven’t come to any definitive conclusions on that yet. If I feel that people are not allowing me to have input, but my work is helping you move your work forward then maybe I will have to reevaluate where I am contributing my intellect, time, and resources.  Regardless, of how I work, where I devote my time, I am carving out some time to develop my platform.  I have someone who is helping me brand myself and I also have a coach who is helping me focus my vision for this work.  I don’t know what all will be involved, but I am excited about the journey to work this out.

Goal 4 – Continue eliminating debt.

My husband and I adopted the dfree lifestyle in 2012.  By following those principles we have eliminated over $100,000 of debt since 2012.  It’s not because we are rich; it is because we are focused, have a plan, and are willing to make sacrifices. The only debt we have left at the moment is my SUV (you know the vehicle I had to buy after the idiot hit and totaled my paid off car last December) and the mortgage on our house.  Our long-term goal is to be debt free by 50 and our aggressive goal is to be debt free by 40.  I have already paid off 1/3 of my SUV and I’ve only had it for eight months.  If you want to learn more about our dfree lifestyle, listen to us on the dfree free podcast, “In the Black” on September 17 at 5 p.m.

Those are my goals for 35.  I will leave you with this closing thought.  If you don’t set goals for your life, how will you know if you have ever really accomplished what you wanted in life?

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