Progress I’m Celebrating This Year!

I’ve been looking back at 2019 a lot this week. At the beginning of the year, I had eight things I wanted to work on that I had uncovered in my goal planner:

  1. Cultivate a joy-filled home + office
  2. Advocate honestly
  3. Practice healthy habits
  4. Express love + gratitude through quality time
  5. Invest in creative skills
  6. Practice smarter saving + spending
  7. Travel more
  8. Shine at work

Now, those might sound super broad, but they are all deeply meaningful goals to me. Combined with my word of the year, “Courage,” I started making my way towards the things that mattered most to me.

In no particular order, here’s all of the ways I made progress on those goals in 2019:

  • Went back to therapy! This is a big one. I went to therapy on and off in college but hadn’t been able to make it fit into my life financially until this year.
  • Bought a new car. After my first car died (RIP Humphrey), I had to take a serious look at my finances and reevaluate in order to get a new one that I love.
  • Tried swing dancing for the first time. As part of my Christmas gift, Evan took me to a nearby community center that has swing dancing lessons and then a dance party with a live band. It was incredibly fun and I’m dying to do it again!
  • Collected, organized, and helped distribute clothing donations for trans youth. I reached out to some local LGBTQIA+ organizations after I had the idea to collect and donate clothes to trans youth in my community and was able to get connected with an incredible group of parents who organize a whole weekend of events for their families.
  • Led my department through a transition period. Our small department lost two members in January, and I was able to handle day-to-day needs until we got a new department head in March.
  • Hiked private trails in the winter. Historically, I haven’t been a big fan of being outside in the cold but in February, I rented this AirBnB that has access to private hiking trails and it was easily one of my favorite moments of the year.

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  • Organized Pride Week Events at work. In the height of our summer season, it was incredibly rewarding to get together with other folks and celebrate all things Pride.
  • Painted a chalkboard wall in our office. Huge shoutout to my friend and previous apprentice, Rebekah, for mounting what became a much more involved project than I had originally envisioned. It’s a great tool and a fun decor feature now!
  • Practiced yoga regularly. I’ve been practicing yoga since elementary school, but never with any sort of routine. Violet and I started going to a Friday night community yoga class at our local studio and it was such a good way to unwind after a stressful work week.
  • Saw more live theater. This year, I saw Oklahoma!; Kiss Me, Kate; What the Constitution Means to Me; Fefu and Her Friends; and a ton of new stuff at work. I’m really lucky to have the connections I do to the theater world and watching people perform always teaches me something.
  • Created Affirmations for Arts Admins. Be the Twitter account you wish to see in this world.

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  • Memorized + performed a four-minute poem at Bright Music FestivalI’ve performed a poem at this local mental health awareness/suicide prevention event for several years but this was by far the longest poem I’ve ever done and I, frankly, nailed it.
  • Got tickets into the hands of people who needed them. I did a ton of direct outreach this summer to get partners at social service organizations to take advantage of our free ticket initiative. We ended up giving more than 60 tickets to community members!
  • Dressed in a way that brought me joy. I got a lot of use out of my petticoat and my Rent the Runway Pro membership this year.
  • Sang at an Open Mic Night. Open Mics at the O’Neill are serious business; it’s the creme de la creme of up-and-coming Cabaret artists and established performers. It’s intimidating! This year, I made it a personal goal to lean into courage and sing. Violet and I performed “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (got about half of the words wrong) and had a great time!
  • Completed the Merm Creativity Challenge. My friend Leya (who just got back to the States from a multi-month journey across India, Bali, and Thailand) is a kickass creativity coach! She created a creativity challenge on insta that I loved participating in.

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  • Celebrated my birthday well. My birthday celebration had everything: a surprise salt float with Violet; then a cozy outdoor movie night with friends and breakfast food (my favorite kind of food); and a trip to my autumnal happy place, Clyde’s Cider Mill.
  • Made new friendships and strengthened older ones. This happened mostly through Dungeons & Dragons, tbh.
  • Got my side hustle on. This fall, I started working a few hours a week at my mom’s flower shop. It’s been a really fun way to spend my Saturdays!
  • Went to the gym regularly. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I get up at 5:30 am and get my butt to the gym before work. 2018 Darcy could never.
  • Took better care of my stuff. From getting my oil changed in my car to actually handwashing my delicate clothes, I made a commitment to treat the items I use with care.

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  • Explored new places stress-free. Pre-2019 Darcy cared a lot about spending every single moment of a trip well. Current Darcy learned to stop and enjoy the journey (with some planned activities as well).
  • Worried less about the perfect party. Similarly, every event had to be absolutely perfect before 2019. (When folks were late to a housewarming party in 2018, I anxiously adjusted every snack, floral arrangement, and decoration about 6 times.) Now, I focus on making people feel warm and welcome and less on the exact position of the lights.
  • Set and maintained boundaries. I’m a people-pleasing, confrontation-averse Libra so this has been a HUGE step forward in keeping my mental peace.
  • Raised over $800,000 for the creation of new theater. Not to toot my own horn but… toot toot.
  • Scheduled more quality time with friends + family. Adult life is not like college where the only thing separating me and my best friends was a wall. This left me feeling lonely post-grad, but now I’ve learned that I have to put time on my calendar to be with people. And this year I did! One-on-one dinners, concerts, plays, day trips, even just Netflix binges with snacks all brought me closer to the people I love in 2019.
  • Celebrated those wins! I’ve done a lot this year worth celebrating, but it’s not always easy for me to take pride in my progress. Via mini dance parties and vigorous cowbell ringing, I’ve started to make moments to encourage myself.

Whew! Truthfully, I’m ready to just rest and enjoy the rest of 2019. I would totally recommend the PowerSheets goal planner to anyone looking to make some meaningful moves in 2020; if you have any questions about them, feel free to drop them in the comments or shoot me a message!

What’s something you made progress on in 2019?

All my love,

Darcy

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