Not sure how this happened, but we’re halfway through 2020. It truly feels like the longest AND shortest year of all time! Here’s where we stand as of June 21, 2020:
We’re still in quarantine, going on month 4. The military hasn’t officially lifted its travel ban, so Ben and I are seeing a LOT of our apartment and local area! We’ve taken a few day trips to Maine, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire and eaten on a few socially-distanced patios, but most things still aren’t open in Massachusetts. It’s probably for the best.
June is a fun month for us though. I pinned on a new military rank on June 2 (yay!) – we didn’t do a whole lot in the way of ceremony, but it’s always cool to promote! I’ll even get to wear the updated uniform starting this week, because the base legal office is opening back up. It’s Father’s Day, of course, and my mom’s birthday is next week (I wish I could celebrate with them, but they’ll be moving my brother into pilot training in Texas. Also, can’t leave the Northeast). I have lots of friends with birthdays in June, actually – and June 23 is Ben and my third wedding anniversary! Time really does fly when
you don’t live together for most of it you’re having fun.
Anyway. Speaking of time flying, my first blog post of the year (found here if you, like me, need a refresher! https://rileyv.com/index.php/2020/01/06/2020-vision/) laid out ten goals I had for 2020. In the spirit of making sure they happened/happen, I’m going to do a little review! Let’s see how badly I’ve done on my New Year’s resolutions:
1. Crush the Vet’s Impact Initiative ❌
Right out of the gate, I’m blaming things on corona. But seriously – this service project was scheduled for Cambridge in late April, so it didn’t happen. I’m sure we’ll do it next year so I’ll get another shot!
2. Save more $$ ✅
Okay, this is definitely going well BECAUSE of corona. First of all, I spent more money on the “occasional” coffee and snacks while around campus than I realized – the difference with coffee shops closed is pretty astounding. Same thing for travel (although I’m ready to start spending in THAT arena again). And finally, clothes! I don’t need anything except sweats right now, and I’ve sold a bunch of unused stuff on Poshmark for a little extra cash. Good deal.
2.5 Put some of that $$ aside for the holidays ✅
See above. I’m all set for Christmas 2020.
3. Print wedding photos ❌
Yea, I have some work to do here. Haven’t printed a single one. But I HAVE hung up a few my sponsor mom printed for me, and put the rest in a photo album! That’s half a win, right?
4. Mentor more ✅
YES! Especially since everything moved online, I’ve spoken to a lot of people via email, Zoom, or phone about both HLS and the Air Force FLEP. It’s encouraging to speak with future HLS students because they won’t get to see campus before committing, so exposure to authentic student experiences is key! I recently spoke with an AF officer recently who is part of a whole STUDY GROUP of women applying for the Funded Legal Education Program. That made me so, so happy – and also a little jealous. I want to be in a study group of badasses!
5. Explore the Northeast ✅
Another check, although we still have plenty to explore. We’ve taken day trips to Providence, Rhode Island, Portland, Maine; and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. There are no masks in these pictures but I PROMISE we wear them around people!
6. Use the yoga membership ❌
Oof…nope. As soon as the yoga studios closed, I stopped doing yoga. How’s THAT for a lack of commitment?
But really, I tried a few online classes and found it just wasn’t the same without the heat. I really need the sweat factor in my workouts! As soon as things are safe and I can start going back to my regular studio, I plan to re-up the membership. Plus, I haven’t gone from yoga-to-nothing. It’s just been an lot more Instagram workouts, running/walking the neighborhood, and Jazzercize during the Q(uarantine).
7. Expand the blog ❌✅
This one hasn’t happened as much as I would like, but I DID share it with my 1L classmates (which I never expected to do!) I’ve made my peace with blog followership, and I’ll be happy as long as a) people keep enjoying it and b) I enjoy writing it.
8. Join “something” ✅
Mission accomplished! I’m leading the Harvard Law chapter of the Armed Forces Association next year, and have decided to do a Veteran’s Law clinic in the spring. The clinic will give me exposure to the laws governing veterans benefits and actual experience arguing in front of a judge! I’m pretty pumped about both (and with any luck, we’ll be back on campus by the spring).
9. Keep reading ✅
There’s never been a BETTER time to read, but I have to admit that I haven’t stuck to my self-assigned reading list (except So You Want To Talk About Race? and Just Mercy, which is my current read). But I have been reading a variety and would recommend both of those, as well as Educated by Tara Westover and Tribe by Sebastian Junger. Next up after Just Mercy? How to Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi. I’ve heard it’s incredibly impactful.
10. Call my mom more ✅
NAILING IT! Like the $$ one, this is a DIRECT consequence of the quarantine. We talk on the phone at least once a week, keep the family group chat popping, and try to Zoom often. Same thing with my friends – not seeing them is difficult, so my Facetiming has increased. It’s better than nothing, but no substitute for the real thing.
Okay, I’m not too sad about these results!! Especially since half of these six months was consumed by pandemic. Moving forward, I’m going to adjust the content of my reading list a bit; keep forcing Ben to see cool places with me; and PRINT THOSE DANG PICTURES.
…I’ll let you know in December.