(Double chin portrait by the talented AF Tyler Feder of Roaring Softly)

I only had one actual New Years resolution for 2018: To own one of those old-fashioned cast iron apple coring devices that you clamped onto your counter and then cranked.

Kinda like this one, but an older model more reminiscent of "my childhood" so I could bring back the precious memories of turning the wooden handle until my arms felt like they were on fire which really only mattered until the applesauce was ready. Once you took that first bite? The work was always worth it, even to a seven-year-old.

As Lady Luck would have it, I just found one while in Globe, Arizona (population 7000) at a thrift store for $3 and seeing as today is only January 10th? Well, I'd say it's been a ridiculously successful year already.

The following items aren't really resolutions... I think. They're more like "I got really drunk while playing Gin Rummy and thought of all kinds of things I really want to do so I wrote them down and now I can't stop adding to the list" goals.

I don't really know what the difference is between the two since I AM making a literal list of things I want to do and it's the beginning of the year... but I'm sticking with my definition of "goals." They are all hella fun and stoked about checking them off over the next twelve-ish months.

I get really inspired while drinking and playing cards, by the way. It's when some of my greatest ideas come... BUT only if I'm winning. If I'm losing? Well, I've been put in many unproductive time-outs before but that's another topic for another post. Onto my 2018 goals!

This year I will:

  1. Read three novels: I read 20-30 books a year but can't remember the last fictional book I've actually finished. Time to put the non-fiction down (but only for a quick moment!) and make a change, bitches.
  2. Karaoke "I've Been Everywhere" well enough to not make Johnny Cash cry: This is karaoke GOALS for me. I'm also gonna need some (read: a LOT of) practice. Plus, everyone has GOT to be tired of hearing me belt out"What's Up?" by 4 Non Blondes by now. It's a classic, sure, but even classics need a rest.
  3. Finance a book tour. My publishing company isn't funding tours anymore... but meeting all of you is my favorite thing in this world. This means I'm gonna need to work some serious magic on my end, boss up and give it one hell of a try!
  4. Learn enough Spanish to hold a conversation: I can understand some while listening + reading, but speaking it? That's a whole other story. This goal is a long time coming and I'm here for it.
  5. Finish a legit art project: I've been semi-working on two completely different pieces. I realize that "legit" is subjective but I'm going to be SO HAPPY when I finish one. This ex-art major has a lot of catching up to do.
  6. Overhaul my bedroom: I think everyone has a room in their living space where all the unorganized shit just "wanders into" and then stays forever. Mine? My bedroom. This means that it's basically just storage for endless piles of clothing and other random objects that I'm always looking for but now? Now I'm determined to make it a lovely place to be. Wish me luck and also see #15.
  7. Launch a "merch" lineMy most intimidating goal ever. *Note: I'm calling the Landwhale pins "merch" because they were hard AF to produce/distribute and in my world that means it counts!
  8. Learn the cello or ukulele: Random fact #1: I played the violin (classical violin and then fiddle which is basically the same instrument but way more fun) for a decade. I was kinda good- like, first chair good. Random fact #2: I always wished I played the cello instead. Maybe I was just meant to do it in my 30's?!? The ukulele is a second (and easier) option because I already own a handpainted one and it only has four strings. Either will make me happy. #StringMusicians4Life
  9. DisneyboundI'm obsessed with the concept of Disneybounding and as a kid who grew up in LA, I'm feeling a reaaaallly strong pull back to the theme park. The only question is WHO SHOULD I DISNEYBOUND AS?!?! Suggestions welcome.
  10. Make #DesertBounding a thing: Disneybounding is all about creating an homage to a Disney Character by evoking their aesthetic using only street clothes. I want to create an homage to part of the world I live in by using street clothes that mirror my favorite Sonoran Desert images. Everyone I've mentioned this to has laughed at me but I AM NOT DETERRED.
  11. Learn Lightroom: Picmonkey (side note- R.I.P. Picnik) has been my BFF for years. I feel a little guilty about betraying this website but I think it's time to actually be able to fix the lighting in my photos. I quiver when I think about all the work it will take to unlock Lightroom's magnificent powers but I'm not going to let that get in my way.
  12. Snorkel in a new location: I'm obsessed and unashamed. Belize and Jamaica were just the beginning!
  13. NOT title this blog post "The Year of Jes": It was SO tempting, but done and DONE. Shonda, it's all you, friend.
  14. Viciously purge my closet: I'm talkin' about sorting everything with reckless abandon and leaving all my co-dependant clothing emotions outside my bedroom door.
  15. Make acupuncture a regular practiceAcupuncture has healed me in more ways than one. It needs to be a consistent part of my life and with Tucson Community Acupuncture's sliding scale, it's totally do-able. P.S. Tucsonans: GO THERE.
  16. Visit a new countryAny country. (Update: CANADA WINS!)
  17. Make eclairs at home from scratch: So many steps. So worth it.
  18. Learn Quickbooks: It's about time I became a grown-ass adult and got my shit together.
  19. Host a friend get together at my home: I have a circle of incredible people that I get to call friends. I also have a backyard. With a fire pit. And I like wine. It's gonna happen.
  20. Produce or co-produce a body liberation event: The last one I hosted was this rad spoken word event called "Hello My Name Is _____" with some of the coolest humans in Tucson. What's next? I mayyyyy have some ideas...
  21. NOT adopt another cat: Every part of my soul feels like I need a fourth cat and that it's the only way to make my heart whole. The problem is that every time my partner and I have a logical discussion about this, he reminds me that three cats and a dog is more than enough for two people. I mean, I agree but...
  22. Bake a damn loaf of chocolate Babka: I've been talking about how much I want to do this, how great this recipe is, how babka can save the world, yada yada yada for over a year now. I need to suck it up, make the time and bake a damn loaf already.
  23. Keep a houseplant alive for longer than 6 monthsThis is a herculean feat for me.
  24. Learn how to make my own essential oils: I am so excited to master the art of making my house smell like "desert rain" year round thanks to my diffuser and (soon to be learned) killer DIY skills.

These goals will live on my sidebar all year and as I check them off, I'll be sure to link them (thanks for the inspiration Sarah!) as I finish each one.

I also reserve the right to add more goals when I feel that it's needed... we're playing cards again tonight, after all.

I'd love to hear from you: what are some things you want to do this year? Hit me with two, five or twenty... I just want to hear some of what you have planned for 2018!

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