Summer came and went..

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..and all I wanted to achieve before Saturday the 23rd of September was to fly a kite.

It was part of my summer goals, and although I made a recap of how I didn’t achieve all of them and how that was okay, I did hold onto this one.

Turns out we just didn’t get enough wind this summer time, more specifically, we didn’t get enough wind when I was free to fly a kite. The 21st of September was the chosen day and low and behold, it was so windy! All I can say is that I assume someone is watching over me and just didn’t want me to fly it. Would I have gotten blown away or struck by lightening? Possibly. On the 21st we were 5 minutes from flying the kite, then a series of unfortunate events happened and it wasn’t meant to be.

So yesterday I had to fly it.

Well, tried.

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I really tried. And really failed. The wind was all over the place but just not strong enough. Beautiful day though. We’ve had a lovely summer actually.

But that’s gone now, summer is over and I’m so mentally prepared for autumn – even though I got really sad just then thinking of wearing boots rather than sandals. James promised me an autumn visit to the beach to fly a kite again, and properly, so I suppose I’ll pop that onto my autumn goals list.

Goodbye summer, you’ve been the best.

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Summer is nearly at an end, so let’s chat goals

I write this on the 30th of August – so to anyone who went to an English school, the end of the summer holidays. The end of the summer essentially.

I had summer goals that I wrote down to make them final and legit and also to experiment whether you get more satisfaction physically ticking something off a list, compared to living your life carefree and goalless.

So this experiment is almost a failure..

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..my original post already had things ticked off, and other than plans that didn’t work out (like buying the kite but there never being wind), my list stayed unticked and staring at me from my cork board – telling me I’m a failure. You’re a failure, Emily, you failed.

BUT WAIT!

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I mean, other than my life not being about counting my failures and successes – who has time for that?! – I have done more things this summer than I think I have any other summer. I mentioned in a few blog posts ago that it was never a goal to go to so many beaches – it was a goal to go to a beach – and if it were my goal I doubt it would have happened.

We went to 9.

It was also a goal to ‘plant those seeds’ (meaning seeds I had and always forgot about when it’s the right time of year to plant them). I deemed it a success, worth ticking off, because I didn’t know if they’d grow and I planted them well too late – I think July some time. But low and behold I have plants. Probably won’t produce any vegetables. But I can’t untick my list now. And the fact I did this all by myself feels amazing (other than my little brother helping to repot).

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I explained the flying the kite one, ‘do extreme sports’ and ‘watch the sun rise’ – well, I just hadn’t had time. Sure I’ve had leisure time, but when you do you want to sit and eat chocolate, not really go white water rafting and stay up for 24 hours. But this leads me on to the question – when does the summer really end?! Officially. Well, Google says (I quickly Google):

Friday the 22nd of September. 

Hooray! Still have nearly a whole month.

Doesn’t mean I’ll get everything ticked off, I don’t like pressure. The kite one though! I have nearly a month to fly a kite and tick it off my list, before the list just goes into the bin anyway.

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Now lets talk about what I proposed in my original post about goals, whether you get more satisfaction from a list compared to just doing stuff. To compare this I had to just do stuff, and later on work out of the things I did which was worth comparing to crossing off goals.

Obviously, didn’t really reach any summer goals, but all summer I still had to-do lists that I was ticking off daily, and oh my God, that was satisfying. I think when you’ve done so much stuff that you’re confused on whether you’ve done anything, then get to tick it all off and see what progress you’ve made.. that’s the money shot right there. That’s the high five to your ego, it made me feel good. (Things like ‘Google this idea’ ‘paint this’ ‘put this on ebay’).

As my summer goals were so vague (they didn’t say ‘book an extreme sport’ ‘do the extreme sport’ etc) there was less satisfaction. I don’t think there was any actually. It’s more just a reminder. It wasn’t a to do list. Just a reminder to play or do things I haven’t before. It was like subliminal messaging.

I got excited when we planned to go fly our kites, it’s the build up, it’s the planning. It’s like a ‘everything in our lives has led up to this moment’ kind of feeling. Whereas if it was spontaneous like other activities we did, there’s no build up. Then again when you spontaneously do things you get such a thrill and adrenaline rush, and people always say the days you don’t plan are always the best ones. I think because you haven’t preconceived anything, anything can happen. And, if you’re like me, when you plan a day you imagine what conversations you might have (social anxiety) or what it might feel like doing that activity etc, then sometimes when it doesn’t go that way it’s disappointing. Say we decided to fly a kite on a whim, would we be more or less disappointed if it didn’t work out?!

Days we didn’t plan, like The Cuckoos Trail or going to Bewl water, were satisfying is a completely different way. In a ‘look how good life is!’ way. I believe that’s where a ‘good summer’ comes from. I also realise now that I can’t plan things, so my friends plan events well in advance but tell me about it last minute because I’m more likely to go – I panic about long term, dunno why. I wonder if it’s also because I know I get a better feeling this way too, and I’m all about feelings unfortunately.

This all being said, I think having goals in general are wicked. It naturally puts you in a mindset to do more. Keeps you present. With out meaning to sound dramatic, it’s like giving you reasons to live, even if you don’t keep to them. It’s a reminder than life can be an adventure.

For me, not so vague goals feel good to tick off simply because they’re easier to tick off, and then inspires me to keep going. Big goals I can’t keep to rigidly because that turns into pressure and I just want to run away, but having them there is enough to push me into the right direction anyway.

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Some summer goals

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If any other English summer is to go by – our summer will probably end by July. It seemed like it was at an end when we came out of the heat wave in June but the weather is hopeful again and at my little brothers sports day yesterday I roasted my round face red. The dooming greyness won’t get me down, I still have goals to achieve. Now, I sound like the kind of person who is super organised and plans her life, I’m sorry to break your heart but I’ve tried and failed at being that human. My hair will always be knotty and I will always ‘forget’ to brush it. These goals are literally conversations I’ve had with people that I’ve miraculously managed to remember and a list has built up in my mind. Let’s start with number one because that’s the first one… that was dumb. I meant lets start with this one because I can already tick it off.

Go to the beach with James. 

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I’m happy to tick this off because I have done exactly that. Gone to the beach. With James. A few times. And wore the same clothes every time, for some reason. I would like to spend a whole, hot day on a beach with him, but is that going to happen? I’m satisfied with this.

Fly a kite.

I don’t have any memory of ever doing this. Maybe I did at some point.

Do extreme sports. 

What’s extreme? I’m not constantly active and sporty, so maybe any sport is extreme for me. I did badminton last night, is that extreme? Dude, that rush when you hit that shuttlecock, nothing like it! No? We have rock climbing coming up this week, I really, really want to do whitewater rafting and also stand up paddleboarding. The rock climbing will hopefully become a frequent hobby but the other two are probably a one time thing. James and I also lack balance. Good luck to us. Also kayaking, nearly forgot that one. We’re fucked.

Actually plant those seeds! 

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This one is on the way. I have to tick it off now, I can’t wait for the end product because what if they don’t grow? What if I fuck it up? I definitely planted them too late. I’m doing my best. I love a plant though, as you’d know because of this weird post. Very weird.

Stay up and watch the sun set then rise

Don’t really need an explanation for this one do I? It’s challenging only because of James’s and I work schedules. I actually wake up for work before the sun has risen – the photo below was from last week. You know what they say ‘red sky in the morning, shepherds warning.’ It was a crap day nonetheless. At least I got to see this.

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I am very sure that I have said other things I’d like to do, so maybe if I think of any I’ll do an update post but my memory is a bag of shit. Remembering these five things is good for me.

I wonder if you get more satisfaction if you have a list of goals. Like a bucket list. Not just having the list, obviously, but ticking off the list, actually achieving the goals. I know a few people who are ticking away at their bucket lists. I don’t have one, I just know general things that I want to do. But with the satisfaction of completing a race or even like picking your spots (ew), I wonder if you get an added bonus feeling when you are physically ticking things off. Completing it. But I question why are you (not necessarily you) waiting so late to do these things, why are you waiting to have a list before you do it and you generally only make a list as an adult when you start freaking out you haven’t done these things. Though, I still get it, I recon I’ll get a tattoo at 40. I’m trying to convince my Mum to get matching ones with me currently, because I know I won’t regret that, but seeing as I’m failing in convincing her I recon I’ll get to 40 and be like why the fuck haven’t I got one before?!

I tell you what, let’s do an experiment. I’ll have to rely on my bad memory for it unfortunately. I’ll compare the feelings I get when I complete something on my goals list to just any other activity I’ve done. The reason I’ll have to rely on my memory of past things I’ve done is because the whole point is doing it without purpose. I can’t purposefully do something without purpose. It’s hard to deem what I can compare them to though, when they weren’t ‘events’. Do I include drinking in a park? Or scooting at midnight? We’ll see. I’ll work it out. Let me write these goals down right this second to make it physical and go from there.

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