The other day, I talked about what I’m doing to put us in a financial position conducive to moving to Tucumcari in a few years.
Money isn’t the only thing we’ll need for a cross-country move, of course. I’ve organized two of them, and it’s a stressful proposition. Most of the stress comes from uncertainty: How long will it take us to find jobs? How long will it take to sell our old house? Will all our stuff fit in the U-Haul? Where will we buy necessities in our new town? There are a lot of moving parts, and the more I can take care of in advance, the better.
To that end, I have a list of projects I want to complete between now and 2021. It’s a pretty long list, so I’m breaking it down into six shorter lists, each of which can be completed within a year. They aren’t exactly New Year’s resolutions, but here are my goals for 2016:
1. Shop only at stores with locations (or equivalents) in Tucumcari. Tucumcari is considerably smaller than Cape Girardeau, with considerably fewer shopping options. If that’s going to be a problem, I’d like to know before I move so I can plan workarounds.
2. Repair all the cracked drywall joints in this house. The previous owners made several “improvements” that were anything but. The drywall is the worst of the lot.
3. Replace the kitchen floor. The shoddy tile job is another of those “improvements.”
4. Steam the carpets. I have a feeling “replace the carpets” will be on the list for 2017, but a good cleaning should buy me some time.
5. Replace the water heater. It’s 26 years old and showing its age.
6. Dump AT&T. Our contract is up in April. Changing to Cricket will save us about $1,500 a year.
7. Apply for a New Mexico teaching certificate. The amount of bureaucracy involved could be massive, so I need to get a head start on it.
8. Learn Spanish. This will increase my odds of landing a teaching job, and it also will come in handy in a newsroom.
9. Scan all my old 35mm photos and ditch the prints that are taking up closet space.
10. Run a marathon. This doesn’t directly affect my Tucumcari plans, but regular exercise seems to help normalize my sleep patterns, and a marathon training program is a highly structured way to get plenty of exercise. A normalized sleep schedule would free up some morning hours, which I could use to advance my other goals.
11. Go vegetarian. This should free up another $500 a year or so (grains and legumes are way cheaper than meat) and fuel my marathon training nicely.
We’ll see how this goes. What are your goals this year?