21 for 2021

Happy new year, world! I am full of energy for making plans to take on this new year on this fine, sunny January 2nd. An unexpected but now beloved side benefit of accumulating blogs and podcasts that I follow over the past few years: gaining untold inspiration and motivation from their lists of resolutions/dreams/goals, etc.

I’ve always loved making goals and lists for myself (I’m pretty sure I could find evidence of this dating back to elementary school, if I searched my parents’ house hard enough), but somehow, listening to other people talk about their lists (regardless of whether their life in any way resembles mine or not!) gives me an extra jolt of motivation to refine my lists and start working through them.

So, this morning, I finally sat down and wrote out my List of 100 Dreams (this idea belongs to Laura Vanderkam and I think its a splendid one!). I had actually been meaning to do this for ages, but also found it somehow intimidating. That said! I finally did it. It’s in my journal. Hooray!

Following the inspiration of Sarah from the SHUbox, the Best of Both Worlds podcast that she and Laura do together, and the 21 for 21 idea I heard on the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast (while shamelessly scouring the podcast world for goals/dreams motivation during recent less motivated moments), I decided to cull 21 goals to focus on for this year and then separate them out into different posts following Sarah’s example. (Hopefully linking my sources here makes this okay – the last thing I want is to tread on anyone’s creative toes!)


  1. Finish the rest of the credits I need for my masters’ degree by June 20th. (I have five exams scheduled for the next three months, which would leave me just another five for the rest of the spring semester!) I won’t get into how Italian university is structured right now but basically… I need to get this done by 6/20 if I want to defend my thesis in July of this year.
  2. On that note… come up with a brilliant thesis idea… research it… and write it. In the next four months or so. Seems not really doable but I’m going to make it happen. That’s the spirit, right? (NB: Italian standards for masters’ theses seem… markedly less stringent than in the US? Like, you potentially don’t even have to do original research? Anyway.)
  3. Still related to the above: select and approach a thesis advisor/approver person. (This gets its own number because it is by far the part of this process that I’m going to hate the most. It involves both Italian bureaucracy, and cold-emailing strangers. And those strangers are probably fairly jaded Italian faculty. And the last thing they probably want to do is take on an advisee with a non-Italian name who is not familiar with the Italian thesis/graduation process. Unless I happen to strike gold and find someone who is tickled by the foreigner aspect. You never know.)
  4. Do another round of applications to translation agencies at some point in the next three-four months to get some fresh new clients. (Side benefit: this may lead to room for culling some of my less beneficial clients.)
  5. Investigate medical writing. i.e. what training would that require, and is there any way to leverage 10-ish years of clinical translation experience?

Okay! Hopefully back tomorrow with… family/new house!

** Photo: I’m super delighted with how my list of 100 dreams looks in my new journal. Probably because I am super delighted that I a) have a new journal – it’s blue on the outside! And it feels really pleasant to write in. I like writing in journals in general, but what I mean is that this one is physically pleasant to write on. b) My new pens made it really colorful! I feel exceedingly frivolous saying that, but… look, the pens and journal altogether cost about $30. In the context of my life (by which I mean, I can spend $30 for something that’s just for fun without doing significant damage to my financial life, and I do realize that that’s a significant privilege), the cost/benefit situation of how much enjoyment I’m getting out of those $30 is excellent.

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