Three months down, nine more to go. The first quarter of the year has been a busy one. To be quite honest, as I think back on the last few months, I realize how much of it has been a blur! I can see how it can be easy to lose track of time and put off doing things you intended to do.
Luckily, Brian and I have a handy list to refer to when things get a little crazy. Our 52 Experiences in 52 Weeks keep us in check and on the move in the best kinds of ways. It grounds us when we crave spontaneity, purpose, and growth.
While we tried to keep the busyness at bay these last few months, there was no eliminating it entirely. Sometimes life happens that way. So, what did we get into?
The first quarter brought us halfway around the world to Australia. It was a whirlwind trip to visit friends, attend their wedding, and see the sights. Once we returned, we got back into our daily routines, work schedules, and planning for future travel. We kept ourselves moving, even when we probably needed a little time to rest!
1. Experience Lunar New Year celebrations outside of the USA
While Brian and I missed the traditional Chinese New Year/Lunar New Year celebrations in Melbourne, we celebrated our own way by visiting the Museum of Chinese Australian History on New Year’s Day.
2. Make our own bahn mis
We didn’t have the right baguette AND we waited too long to eat them, which made for a very bready and dry experience. However, we learned how to pickle daikon and carrots and make our own bahn mi sauce. The flavor combination was right, but the bread, sadly, was not! Here’s a snapshot of our char siu bahn mi:
3. Indulge in a buffet
Oh boy, did we ever! Brian and I had a fantastic 5PM dinner at the 100 Sails Restaurant in Honolulu, Hawaii. It was mostly quiet and low-key. The buffet was comprised of flavorful and fresh foods, both hot and cold, a carving station, and SO MUCH raw fish. We loved the ahi poke, sashimi, and tekami (hand-rolled) sushi. We had to keep our plates small so we could try a little of everything. It was a delicious indulgence.
4. Reduce our taxable income
I maxed out my IRA and deducted business expenses. IRA contributions can be made until April 18, 2023 for tax year 2022, while tax year 2023 contributions are permitted from January 1, 2023 until the April 2024 tax deadline.
Additionally, Brian and I are currently exploring other options to further reduce 2023’s taxable income.
5. Pick up the phone more
I’m not much of a phone person. However, since we’ve all become busier with work, families, and life, in general, it takes a little more effort to stay connected. I’m happy and thankful for the weekly conversations and check-ins I’ve been having with friends and family.
6. Spend time with old friends
Brian and I have traveled to two different states to visit with old friends. We had a great time seeing everyone and have plans to visit again.
7. Take walks together
Since January, we’ve started to become more intentional with finishing our days with a little walk. Whether it’s to our mailbox, around our neighborhood, or through whatever city we’re visiting, we’ve enjoyed our walks together.
8. Create a nighttime skincare routine
My nighttime skincare routine helps me feel more relaxed before bed. It essentially tells my body it’s time to rest. I love that! Although, perhaps it’s also a result of quitting coffee a few weeks ago! Nonetheless, I love it. My eye masks and moisturizers are ready for me whenever I am ready for bed.
9. Do a little light exercise after dinner time
Ever since Brian and I eased up on our alcohol intake, we’ve picked up a bit of a sweet tooth. We usually end our meals with a little bit of sweetness. It’s nothing outrageous: a cupcake, a small slice of cake, or a piece of chocolate. Afterwards, we take a little walk or cycle for about an hour.
10. Stick to a consistent vitamin routine
We finally figured out how to stick to a vitamin routine!! Brian and I have been trying (and failing) to take vitamins for years. Maybe it’s the fact that my doc explicitly told me that it’s time for me to take vitamins seriously. Whatever it was that made it click, it did. My vitamins are located by something I have every day: tea! So, after I’ve eaten and before I make myself a cup of tea, I remember to pop a couple of vitamins.
11. Go alcohol-free for one month
Many folks will kick off the year with a Dry January. Brian and I, however, went alcohol-free for February. It’s a nice reset after a busy and fun-filled holiday season. While we imbibed in March, we’ve realized that our interest in drinking has decreased quite a bit.
12. Install a new ceiling fan
We replaced the last sad and droopy fan in our house! It was a relatively painless Saturday project, except for that fact that the original ceiling medallion was a pain to work around.
Despite the craziness of the last three months, we managed to complete 12 out of 52 experiences. I’m glad we took the time to jot this list down in January. These experiences occurred organically without feeling forced, which is pretty special. It’s been a busy quarter, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to explore our goals and connect with those we love.
How have the first few months of 2023 been for you?
Some great ideas in this one as usual. Thanks, Nadja
Much appreciated! We enjoyed this quarter and are looking forward to the next 🙂
Such golden information, really enjoy your concept of breaking your journey into Quarters. I shall adopt!
Thank you, Jacinda! It’s the first year we’ve explored our goals this way and we love it so far.