My to-do lists from summer's past show a striking pattern: most of the items still have a blank check box to the left of them. I've encountered the same problem most New Years Resolutionists do. This year, I've tried to pinpoint why I experience this failure year after year in order to put an end to this bothersome tradition of incompleteness. For one, they're much too long. Secondly, they're far too general. And most of all, they're just not practical. While my efforts were admirable, I strive to achieve a more realistic, condensed, and more than anything completed list this summer. So far, here's what's in store:
1. Memorize ten Bible verses. If I can memorize over a thousand song lyrics, surely I can manage this. We're already a tenth of the way there with number one being Hebrews 4:16--"Let us approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
2. Take a trip to the creole city and the birthplace of jazz--New Orleans. It's a shame that I have yet to visit this nearby neighbor of mine, and I plan to change that with a road trip to Louisiana in the month of June.
3. Make a bread product from scratch. In high school, there was a boy in my grade whose mother would bake fresh loaves of bread and sell it to kids at school. With the way those loaves smelled and tasted, they became a hotter commodity than copies of last year's physics tests. Now that's saying something. I'm still deciding whether I'll experiment with popover rolls, biscuits, or just a simple loaf.
4. Keep with my tradition of one television addiction per summer. This item is already well underway with The Vampire Diaries season one complete as of tonight. Perhaps we'll have to make time for two this summer, and with practically my whole family being hooked on Downton Abbey, that is likely next in line.
5. Learn at least two new ways to use my SLR camera. I've become embarrassingly dependent upon the auto settings. With all the free online guides available, I'm determined to learn a few tricks of the trade before the season's up.
My first week of vacation has been spent crossing off the various necessities like haircuts, doctor's and dentist's appointments, and giving my closet a well-deserved cleanse from all the goods that rarely see the light of day anymore. I intend on updating you all on my progress on this list, making it your job to keep me accountable and not let this summer end with yet another half-way accomplished list.