There’s nothing like a sister to keep you in line.
While making delicious Sugar Cookies together I asked my sister Becca “What kind of New Years Resolutions will you be making next year?” and she said “My life is so awesome I don’t need to make it any better.”
But, I have already turned to thinking about my next years resolutions, and have decided it’s time to end this year’s, a few short weeks shy of the end of 2012.
Remember – This is what I wanted to do –
1. Lose 15 Pounds.
2. Be a good friend.
3. Read 10 Important Books
4. Family First
5. Practice Better Blogging
6. Be An Active part of my Communities
7. Improve my Sustainable Living
8. Grow Spiritually
I declare absolute success in three of them (1,5, and 8), failure in one (3) and shades of gray in all the rest.
I made fairly vague resolutions this year (other than the weight and the books), and that could (and did) turn into a little bit of unfocused trouble around summer time. I focused on the theory behind life, rather than acquiring skills or achieving milestones. It also forced me to consider the meaning behind what type of life I want, and person I am (becoming). I needed to think hard about the direction I see my life heading in for the next 3-5 years, especially as I embarked on the process of changing career direction – but that wasn’t really the goal, was it? So, it was nice to consider the overarching nature of life and sort through elements that kept recurring over and over.
Here’s a few things that really stuck out to me this year.
I contemplated the nature of being a good friend, and decided that any life that was too busy to involve a couple phone calls each week wasn’t a good life. I thought about how having a group goal is a great way to cement friendships (like writing a blog.) I even made a new friend (or two.) I also realized my view of friendships has changed a lot since high school and college. I’m unsure if it’s possible to have the types of friendships I valued back then as an adult with a family. I’m concluding with a bit of truism – it’s hard to be a good friend, and it takes a lot of work.
Once you start looking for ways to be involved in your community, you’ll see dozens. But, this can lead to decision paralysis on how to actually participate. At the beginning of the year I thought I saw about five or six ways I could have stepped up to take leadership in different areas of my life – school, church, work, mom groups. As the year is ending, I’m seeing, really, about two things that I want to continue investing in over and over and coming back to next year.
Something about book clubs and 2012 did not work for me (or my husband.) We each separately tried to start one, and the one I joined at the beginning of the year fizzled out. We could barely even commit to reading the same book together! We love reading… but apparently books clubs weren’t in the pages for us this year. Perhaps in the future.
I didn’t make any goals about being a more organized person this year, but more than anything I’d say that that has been what has shaped the second half of my year. I think this was mainly a function of the fact that the more I committed to – the more I needed to balance work, play, and rest.
Now, perhaps you’ve noticed the decreasing frequency of posts over the last several weeks. Part of the implications of becoming more involved in my communities has been more time spent doing things, and less time spent writing about them.
In fact, I’m only expecting an increase in involvement over the upcoming months. I love writing this blog, but I love participating and writing at Connect Shore, studying for my classes, learning about environmental psychology, and being involved in Salem. I also love activities that don’t involve being on the computer – crafting, running, and who knows, maybe learning to take better picture with my camera. There’s a tension there I don’t want to resolve by sacrificing sleep, so I’ll be blogging a lot less.
Also, as my friend Marta wrote in response to my latest Secret of Adulthood – “I love how your example of adulthood off the rails is… eating too many muffins.”
Maybe I don’t need to blog quite to frequently about how I’m becoming an adult… because, if eating too many muffins is the most serious thing I can come up with (and I’m dispensing advice about time management) then I’ve definitely reaching adulthood.
I’ve got a great idea for a series of posts going forward in December (particularly after classes end in two weeks) and into January. And I might talk about New Years Resolutions 2013… But for the most part, I’m planning on existing outside this space more in the future, especially after spring semester starts the third week of January and I throw myself into three classes and a graduate assistantship. (Yikes.)
As always, you can catch me over at Connect Shore, and I’ll update here whenever I feel the need to really get up on my soapbox.