21 for 2021, continued

Invisible/imaginary internet friends, it’s snowing! Will I one day grow out of that flutter of excitement in response to snow? Only time will tell. Even better on this particular morning, though: as this lovely snow silently falls, it is currently 7 a.m. and no one else is up yet, so the house is silent, too. I have a delicious cup of iced coffee by my side, a lovely day ahead of me, and time specifically set aside to journal, and write here. I can’t think of anything that could possibly improve on this situation. Thank you, 2021, for this idyllic start to your third day!

Without further ado… continuing my 21 for 21 list from where I left off yesterday:


Putting these two things together into one category for this year, because the idea of building my new little family and moving into our new house in the second half of the year are really closely linked in my mind at present.

  1. Finalize our kitchen choices! So far, we have designed the kitchen area of the main room in a general sort of way (establishing which plugs and pipes needed to go where had to be done fairly early on), but we still need to select colors and details and that kind of thing. This apparently needs to be done by the end of February-ish so that it can be ordered and arrive in time to be installed so that we are not paying the rent on our current place and the mortgage on our new place at the same time. (Which would not be the end of the world, but also seems kind of wasteful).
  2. Finalize our bathroom choices. Similarly, we already know where all the various elements have to go (because pipes!) and we chose the tiles in December, but we still need to choose a sink/vanity (is that even what it’s called?). The thing with the sink and the mirror over it, anyway. Fun fact: This decision is somewhat fraught because the Italian boyfriend’s sister’s husband is a carpenter and wants to make part of it. Opinions on how the final product should look abound. My opinion: strongly wanting to wait until the floors have been put in to be careful about the color choice of any potential carpentry. (Also: I have followed bathrooms_of_instagram in an effort to educate myself about bathrooms, never having put much thought into them in my life before.)
  3. Acquire at least the bare minimum of bedroom furniture necessary, i.e. a bed. Maybe wardrobes or a dresser? (Observation: Italian dwellings do not tend to have closets built into the walls. I have not yet figured out why this is, but definitely should take it into account if I don’t want to live out of suitcases and boxes for the first few months there.) Related goal: Walk that fine line between financially responsible choices, since this is an expensive year for us, and not buying utter crap just to save money.
  4. Similarly, acquire a couch (a priority for me) and a living room shelving unit (a priority for the boyfriend). Luckily, I already own a rug that can live in the living room area to tie it together for the first few… however long it takes us to regain our financial wherewithal.
  5. Organize the move in a non-frenetic way. I love organizing things. I love packing things. And I love unpacking things and deciding where they go, provided I am not super rushed to do it. For the first time in my life, I can see this move coming long in advance rather than as a flurried last-minute/snuck-up-on-me kind of situation. So it stands to reason that I should (weirdly) kind of enjoy this move. However, it will likely be happening right around when I am attempting to finish and defend my thesis, so while this feels somewhat ambitious… I also foresee packing and unpacking as great podcast-listening brain breaks from academic work. Right? Maybe? I’ll let you know.
  6. Keep a running list of ergonomic observations about our current place that can be implemented in our new place. Okay. Hear me out, because I think this is a particularly brilliant idea that I had just yesterday while doing the laundry. (Uh, brilliant in a really small, inconsequential kind of way, clearly.) So. Do you ever have moments where you wish something was structured slightly differently in your living space? Example: yesterday I was separating out clothes from towels and kitchen linens and stuff to do laundry, and thought how delightful it would be if we had two separate hampers. Not essential (it is obviously total doable to just separate these things out from the same hamper), but just nice. Like, if the option were there in terms of space and everything, I’d definitely say yes. So, now we’re moving into a house (apartment, rather) that is currently being built. We even got to move the inner walls around and everything during the planning stages. So, in theory, we also have a lot of remaining opportunity to set up all those little structural details (like where stuff is in the kitchen, how many and what size hampers we choose to have and where we put them) in the most ergonomically favorable way possible. But… in order to do that, I would need to take careful stock of little annoyances or delights in our current apartment. This seems like one of those things where a modicum of effort will go a long way, but you really do need to put that effort in. I shall report back!
  7. Changing course a little… can I put “get pregnant” on here? Is that jinxing it? Too presumptuous? It feels that way. I shall rephrase: continue attempting to get pregnant. Fingers crossed!
  8. On that note… when six-ish months are up (I’m right at the border between ‘wait a year if you’re under 35’ and ‘wait six months if you’re 35 or over’ guideline), make an appointment with a gynecologist to start getting advice about testing/next steps. 😦 And also just to have an Italian gynecologist, I guess?
  9. Pandemic permitting: take the boyfriend/life partner to the US for the first time, to meet the family and, you know, see America, etc. 2020 has sort of jumbled our meeting the family/planning to get married/work on getting pregnant sequence completely out of whack, but… I’ve made my peace with potentially not having a lovely family wedding before being pregnant, etc., and will just be grateful if we all get through this thing alive and healthy.

Okay, I’m not going to *really* include these on the list, but:

** Pandemic permitting: reschedule one of those trips we had planned for 2020. I feel super selfish even dreaming about this, but they had special meaning because, if things do go as we hope in terms of a future pregnancy in the not-too-distant future, the window for trips just as a couple will be rapidly closing. This year, they’d have even more special meaning because we both have milestone birthdays this year.

** Pandemic permitting: take my mom on a trip to Greece or Egypt. We’ve been planning both in a daydreaming sort of way for several years, but have been thwarted by knee replacements, caring for her elderly mother, and, most lately, the pandemic. My mother also has a milestone birthday this year, and we first went to Greece for her last milestone birthday, so… it would just all be very satisfyingly fitting. (And amazing. Obviously.)

*** Photo: the future kitchen space in our main room. Apparently this type of photo is key because then one day when you want to drill holes in the wall, you can know where all the pipes and stuff are. Seems logical, and I’m flattered that my boyfriend thinks I took it for that reason, but actually… I just thought it looked weirdly fascinating.

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