‘Tis the season for obligatory social media posts and articles that offer up MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS of 2019 and LIFE-CHANGING RESOLUTIONS of 2020. Be honest—how many have you come across so far? Too many? Have you reached “list” overload? Can you stomach one more? I promise, mine is different. Mine is about celebrating the little things, those tiny victories and everyday goals that matter in the smallest but no less fulfilling of ways. Why? Well, think of them as the grout that holds the big, flashy tiles of ACHIEVEMENT in place. No one really notices or cares about the grout. It’s perfunctory and boring, but the tiles don’t work without its support. The little stuff matters, if only to you and in ways that only you understand, so that you can achieve the larger, more grandiose goals in life.
With that, here are a few minor victories of 2019 that are inconsequential in the grand scheme of things but still meaningful to me:
- Repaired my broken wind chimes.
They’d been in disrepair on our workbench since 2016. Our new neighbor complained about the noise shortly after we moved in, and then the strings broke when I took them down, so I never bothered to fix them. But every once in a while, I’d hear the relaxing sounds of chimes from somewhere else in the neighborhood, and I’d miss my set. I finally said to hell with it this past summer, repainted and restrung them, and hung them back on our back deck.
- Cut and KEPT my bangs. I like the look of bangs, but I can never convince myself to keep them after the initial cut. I wear them for a few weeks, decide I don’t have the patience for them, and immediately grow them out. This past year, however, I made a long-term commitment to bangs. I’ve been rocking them since March, and I expect to keep them around for a while longer.
- Trashed my old tax returns. I’m not a hoarder by nature, but I’ll hang on to financial and legal paperwork forever. I’ve been hesitant to throw out tax returns dating back twenty years, even though the IRS itself says you can toss most returns after three years. Last spring, I finally bit the bullet and shredded everything older than five years. (Yes, I still feel a bit nervous about it, thank you very much, but it’s progress…)
- Refilled my reusable pens.
I own four refillable pens that have sentimental value, but they’ve been languishing in my desk drawer for years…dried out, unused, and sad. Adding insult to injury: my husband has a habit of picking up cheap plastic promo pens everywhere he goes. Given that I hate clutter and unnecessary plastic waste, I finally made a trip to Staples. Now, my refillables are in perfect working order, and I’ve forbidden the introduction of any extraneous, non-refillable pens into the house.
The thing about tiny achievements is that they’re often too insignificant to have made a resolution around them. They’re born of finally fixing a minor nuisance or seeking out a simple convenience. However, I’ve come up with a few baby “to-do’s” that fall perfectly into the Little Goals list for 2020:
- Refinish our chopsticks. We have two sets of black- and red-painted chopsticks that come in handy not only for Chinese meals but also (mostly) for stirring our coffee. The problem is that the paint is peeling. I suspect most of it flecks off in the coffee, and a tiny voice inside my head whispers of the possibility of lead paint. I could toss them and just use regular utensils, but I’m too thrifty for that. I’d like to strip and refinish them with food-grade-safe products.
- Embrace my gray.
Yes, I mean in my hair. No, you cannot ask how old I am. The thing is, I honestly don’t mind the gray that’s coming in, but I’ve never cared for the mousy brown color of my true hue. I’ve colored my hair on and off through the years, but I’d like to get off that cycle and just allow the fine silver and white strands to do their work and highlight my tresses like early winter frost. That means nixing the bottle for 2020 and enduring some growing pains.
- Shore up my interview tracking list. Two months ago, I created a spreadsheet to help keep track of interview subjects for my Luna Station Quarterly column. I have several entries in various places, but I have yet to consolidate them or develop the sheet to peak efficiency. That’s all just a fancy way of saying I’m not really using it. But as a Virgo, I need order and lists. I’m starting to lose track of who I’ve already reached out to and who I plan to contact but haven’t yet, so this is one of the first things I need to tackle in 2020.
- Re-grout my bathroom tile. So yes, I meant it literally when I said minor goals can be like grout. The grout in our bathroom floor is cracking and disappearing in places, and we need to fix it before water gets in and causes issues with the subflooring. It’s not a huge bathroom, and this is the only things that absolutely needs to be fixed, so I classify this as a small goal. However, I might be able to parlay this into a larger project, as I’ve been wanting to redo the bathroom since we moved in.
There you have it. A short and sweet list of my minor 2019 accomplishments (at least those that I can remember) and my no-so-important 2020 resolutions (the ones I can think of, anyway…) Tell me about your minor victories for 2019 in the comments below—I want to celebrate with you!