Thursday, December 31, 2009

Let's See How We Did...

December 31, 2009

As the remaining hours of 2009 are waning, I'd like to look back and review some of the goals I set for myself as 2009 was just dawning. Some of these things I absolutely accomplished, some of them I just made progress toward. Regardless, I am not one to beat myself up over Resolutions-Not-Accomplished. For me, it's all about the journey, and any progress I've made down the path I consider a success. Like all goals, though, they really mean nothing unless you re-evaluate every now and again, and this seems as good a time as any. So here's what I set out for myself last January, and how I fared by the end of this year:

New Year's Week Blog--January 5, 2009

Like many people, I am mindful of New Year's Resolutions this time of year. The goals that I have are really about improving the overall quality of the life I have tried to develop for my family and for myself. Here are a few things I'd like to focus on for the upcoming year.

1. I want to really focus on being present with my kids whenever I'm with them. I love spending time with them, and being a part of whatever their current interests are, but I believe there's always room to improve the quality of the time I spend with my kids. Sometimes the deadlines and other obligations move in and steal a part of me, even when I'm trying to relax and just be a part of their world for a time. They are only going to be this age right now, and I don't want to miss any of it because I'm not letting myself be in the moment with them.

So right off the bat we start off with a qualitative, rather than quantitative goal. So did I make it? I certainly like to think so. Could I be better still? Without a doubt. The times I've spent with my kids this year, in their activities, in our car, at Family Dinner Nights, curling up on the couch with them--these are some of the most precious times of the past year. I hope when my kids look back on this time in their lives, they remember Mom being there beside them, cheering them on, unconditionally loving them. Nope, I can't quantifiably say this is true, but life isn't all about the quantifiable. There's a lot about life that you just have to trust your instincts on, you know?

2. I also want to be more consistent with the chores and expectations I have for the kids. Not that they'll be thrilled with this one, but they'll deal with it. It'll be good for them and good for me if I'm not the only one running around constantly trying to tame the relentless laundry beast.

I actually did pretty well on this one. I set a consistent weekly schedule, and the kids (although they grumbled), did a pretty good job of following through. It makes for a cleaner house and a less grumpy mama.

3. I want to travel a little this summer. Doug and I need to take a road trip or two, and gas prices made that a little prohibitive this last summer. I'm crossing my fingers that by the time this summer rolls around again, the cost will still be hovering close to what it is now.

We did manage to squeeze in one weekend road trip up to see Carrie and David in the fall. It's not quite as much as we'd like to travel (we'd like to take some family and couples trips), but it was a great time. Fortunately for us, Lisa did a lot of traveling this way this year, so even though we weren't on the road so much, we still got lots of visiting time with her and her girls.

4. I plan to watch at least 10 classic movies that I haven't seen, and read at least 5 classic novels I haven't gotten under my belt yet. I'll see other movies, and read other books, but I want to catch some of those that have stood the test of time, but somehow I missed.

I watched about ninety movies this year, and I don't know how many books I read. I do know, however, that although I didn't quite reach my 10 classic movies and 5 new classic novels, I did make a concerted effort to include these in my stacks. I have, in fact, read more and seen more classics than I had by this time last year. It's a start.

5. I plan to undertake the immense project of scanning all of my old photos into digital form. Since I am a picture-taking fiend, this will be a massive undertaking. I'll be able to do some during the school year, but I imagine the bulk of it will take place during the summer time, when I have no essays to grade.

I made a dent in my scanned photo project, but this one was much bigger than I had anticipated. I am, after all, a picture-takin' fool who was a little late into the digital game. This will be an on-going project in the coming year.

6. Like most everyone else I know, I'm going to try to eat better, exercise more, focus a little bit more on my writing, and be more organized. These are nebulous goals, and I'm not inclined to quantify them and set myself up for failure. The point is, I'm a work in progress, and I'll continue to focus on these areas in my life. These are less about a number, and more about a general improvement in quality of life. I doubt seriously that these goals in particular will ever be fully attained; they are on-going. As long as I make strides, I'm happy.

As I said in the goal itself, I did not try to set a number or figure on these goals. However, I'm pretty sure that although I did not eat worse, I didn't eat much better, either. I also did not exercise nearly as much as I should have or could have. I'm in serious need of a partner: like-minded, and at a similar level. Also, one who is a night owl, who doesn't feel the need to get up at five in the morning to exercise. Doesn't anybody else exercise at eleven at night?? On a good note, though, I said I'd try to focus more on my writing, and to that end, I started a blog at the beginning of January. My original goal was to put symbolic pen to symbolic paper once a week, and I find that I am ending my year averaging a little more than an entry three times per week. Now it's not literature, I know, and more often than not it's just the inane day-to-day routine of our lives that I write about, but the process is something that speaks to me and gives a forum for the voice in my head. Even if only two people ever read anything I write, at least I am leaving a record for myself and for my kids of who I am, where I am, at this moment in time, in this year in the life. It's one thing that I do for me that I thoroughly enjoy and from which I derive some real gratification.

So there it is--that's how I did. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the journey. As long as I don't stop moving forward, I'm in no danger of falling backward. You've gotta look backward sometimes, though, in order to keep looking forward. Get it? See the title of my blog? Yup. That's me, Looking Forward and Back. Next stop, 2010.


  1. I get it - and I hope to do a lot more looking forward this year. So happy to have found you!

  2. It sounds like a very productive year to me. I'm very impressed with #2 and good luck with all those photos.

  3. You did well in 2009!

    Happy New Year!