I’m not really into the whole “New Year’s Resolution” thing – if you check my archives, you should be able to see that I haven’t made one since 199x (sometime in college), when I decided that I needed to stop air guitaring once and for all. I stuck by that one, which I’m pretty sure everyone I know is glad about. (To clarify, it’s not like I did it a lot, but let’s be honest, it’s almost never a good idea to air guitar.)

2008 was a pretty good year for me, and I’m going to start my planning for 2009 with a summary of my major accomplishments / things I’m proud of / what made me particularly happy, in no particular order:

  • Finally became an official degree-seeking student (post-baccalaureate) at Metro State, which means I can sign up for classes at the very beginning of the registration period, since they transferred in all my credits from Judson.
  • Maintained my 4.0 GPA for all 5 classes I took in 2008 (1 in Spring, 2 in Summer, 2 in Fall).
  • Bought a sewing machine, then bought a lot of fabric, and started sewing.
  • Took a class on beginner quilting, which I think I’ve got down (though the detail work required of me is not really something I’m keen on, so I know I should steer clear of patterns where triangles and star points are a big deal, because it’s never going to match up like it should).
  • Made a twin sized quilt for ‘s second birthday, and a doll quilt for a swap. Still haven’t finished the wall hanging quilt that we made in the quilting class (just need to re-bind and it’s done). Also haven’t finished the quilt in the spare bedroom, though I do have a plan and the means now (just not the time or energy).
  • Taught myself how to embroider (OK, truthfully, the internet taught me). Found I enjoyed it, a lot. Made many crafty projects for Christmas.
  • Celebrated one year wedding anniversary with a DQ cake (not a particularly difficult accomplishment, but since plenty of people don’t successfully make it to their one year, I feel quite proud of it).
  • Did not lose my mind while living in suburbia in a townhouse that I don’t particularly care for. My attitude towards this has, perhaps, not been as positive as it should (I sometimes need to remind myself that 1) I chose to live with my husband, and 2) having a roof over one’s head, that one can afford, is a good thing).
  • Finished many projects with on the house to get it ready for the market (both before and after putting it up for sale), including installing a pantry, painting the garage (with help from friends), so many shelves, and lots of tiny details.
  • Went rustic camping with and had three blissful days of solitude (as well as lots of macro photography, pit toilets, and bug bites – it can’t all be roses).
  • Faced turning 30 bravely and didn’t cry at all. Rather enjoyed it, actually. Totally didn’t freak out and do something stupid.
  • Figured out (for the most part) my skin allergies and what products to avoid to keep my skin happy.
  • Otherwise, stayed relatively healthy (my sick leave has only been used for doctor’s appointments).
  • Made lots of cookies, which I enjoyed greatly.
  • Actually finished all of my Christmas gifts (hand-crafted) before they were due!
  • Discovered swapping.
  • Put away my knitting in the Spring, and it has yet to return (with the exception of a scarf for that should have been finished last winter, and the two baby blankets that sit, in a corner, ignored).
  • Continued tradition of visiting the Orchard with friends.
  • After months of frustration, finally talked to about the phones situation, which she quickly remedied, and I am now much happier at work.
  • I don’t often miss my 6:50 bus, which I consider a personal triumph.
  • I read a lot of books for personal pleasure, which is pretty good when one is reading for classes several hours a day already.

What didn’t I do in 2008 that I would have liked to?

  • More relaxing in hammock over the summer, instead of sitting, highlighter in hand, reading for homework.
  • More finished wardrobe items (I now have a drawer of unfinished or need-to-be-altered clothing) from my sewing adventures
  • More sleep – 6 hours is just not what my body wants, but I can’t really figure out how to squeeze everything into my day and get 8 hours of sleep. I don’t think it’s possible.
  • More walks and experiences with nature.
  • More camping.
  • More trips.
  • More letter writing (beside thank-yous, which I really didn’t do a good job at anyways, no letter writing this year, and I was pretty crap at responding to emails in a timely fashion).
  • More hand-holding.
  • More trips to the gym.
  • Less clothes living in storage because they don’t fit.

All in all, I think 2008 was pretty good, and my “bummer that didn’t happen” list isn’t all that bad. I think 2009 has the potential to be better, though (I think it makes life much more bearable if one can hope that things get better, instead of living in past glories, even if the economy does look like it will totally stay in the crapper until 2010). Here are my broad goals for 2009 (not resolutions, because I don’t do that, but lifestyle changes, hopefully, that are, quite frankly, much easier to start after the holidays are over):

  • Stay looking young. I’ve always looked young (my parents do too), to the point of being mistaken for 6+ years younger than I currently am (including that charming incident with a tow truck driver when I was 25 and he thought I was in high school, or the many times while I was leading a youth group that staff at an organization thought one of the teenagers was in charge), and while I didn’t always feel it was an asset at the time, I knew it would be a strength later on. Well, turns out that 30 is “later on.”  I prefer it if people continued to think I was in my 20s, which means that I have to actively work at that a little more than I used to.
  • More balance, less stuff. I feel like a lot of my time in 2008 was out of balance, mostly because of the crazy amounts of homework I had to do, which kept me away from friends and family, as well as relaxing for my own personal benefit. I also acquired way more “stuff” (read: fabric) than I should have, and though, to be perfectly honest, some of it makes me deliriously happy to own and dream about what I might be able to make with it, it’s absolutely not necessary to my happiness that I own it.
  • Keep my personal health issues under control. This means not just the skin allergies (which may, at some point in the future, require further testing), but depression and PCOS and tendinitis, all of which give me moderate levels of annoyance from time to time.
  • Two words: swimsuit season. It’s 6 months away, which I think gives me a reasonable amount of time to look swimsuit ready. I didn’t put on a bathing suit once in 2008, partly because of opportunity, partly because I don’t like how I look in one.

So, to follow up on those goals, I have some more specific guidelines for myself:

  • Stay looking young. Right now, to me this means drinking more water, staying out of the sun, and starting to use more “age-appropriate” skin care products (as in, they have words on the packaging like “anti-aging” or “wrinkle reducing” or other horrifying terms).
  • More balance, less stuff. I will stop compulsively buying fabric. I will attempt to not buy fabric (but see the specifics below). I have tons of projects I can work on and complete or mostly complete with what I have in my stash, and will probably not have time to work on as many as I’d like to anyways. I can easily be happy with less. I will buy absolutely no yarn whatsoever. There are three bags in storage (maybe more), and a gazillion projects that I could work on. There are some that need to be finished rather quickly (like the scarf I started making for last winter), some that should be started (like a hat for that is his size, since has requested it and he loves his too-small one very much), and some that should probably be frogged (aka ripped out, like the ABC baby blanket that I do not like and will not be sending to no matter how much I think I might finish it despite not having knit a single stitch in, oh, say, 9 months). I will enjoy the books I already own in my collection and continue my years-old restriction on buying books (it’s a soft restriction, not a hard one, so if I really need or want a book, I can buy it, but I am strongly encouraged to not). I will try my hardest to make time for friends when possible, spend time baking cookies if I want to, relax with , make time for fun and not just homework, and stay caught up on email (OK, that last one is a stretch).
  • Personal health issues. I will continue taking my medication (both prescription and OTC) daily at 9am. I will figure out, with my doctor, a better anti-depressant for me (loving the Wellbutrin, but the generic doesn’t do me up right, and I can no longer get the brand name from Canada, so I need a change of some sort). I will continue working at finding a good combination of supplements (fish oil, magnesium, other anti-inflammatories) to help my body deal with tendinitis, which also includes staying away from caffeine. I will not apply random, non-approved lotions, soaps, detergents, etc to my skin. Working out regularly is the number one recommendation for treating PCOS, so I will do that. It is also supposed to help treat depression.
  • Swimsuit season. I would like to lose the spare tire I gained after the wedding (OK, so it’s a small spare tire, but I don’t like it and I want it gone, and it’s making it very difficult to fit into my pants these days). I would also like to keep the extra curves I gained elsewhere, though I doubt that’s possible. I would like toned arms and legs. I do not want to be tan, because booth-tanning would age me (therefore being counter-productive towards goal 1), and I no longer know if sunless tanning would cause me to have a large-scale allergic reaction (tehrefore being counter-productive to goal 3). So, I would like to be fit, trim, toned, and very pale.

Lastly, here’s the action plan (the meat of it all):

  • Work out for 30 minutes every day that I don’t have class (because I’d be setting myself up for failure if I thought I’d make it to the gym on those days). On the off chance that my plans may include some sort of aerobic or cardio-type activity (you know, if we go skiing or sell the house and move or something), that counts as my 30 minutes. “Work out” may be cardio, strength-training, or both.
  • Maximum of 2 visits per week to the hot drink places in the Skyway (the coffee places, the tea place).
  • Drink lots more water. My goal is 70 ounces a day.
  • Eat breakfast every day. McDonald’s is not breakfast. “Something that won’t kill me” is a good guideline. Right now, I’m enjoying Carnation Instant Breakfast, though I may have to switch over to Slim Fast at some point during the year for variety.
  • Since it’s nearly impossible for me to get enough sleep with my current schedule (in order to get 8 hours, I’d have to be asleep by 9:30, which just isn’t happening), I will stop feeling guilty when I fall asleep on the bus (both to and from work), and enjoy the chance, however short it is, to renew myself.
  • Remove my makeup every night before going to bed, without exception, even if I’m feeling really really lazy. I will also remember to floss and use mouthwash [more] regularly.
  • $50/month budget for fabric (notions like zippers, thread, ric rac, rotary cutter blade refills, etc do not count).
  • No yarn buying.
  • Very little, if any, book buying.
  • Very little caffeine.
  • Eat a more balanced, healthy diet, which may include (gasp) restricting calories until I’m a little more in shape to do serious cardio.
  • Make time for friends, fun, , relaxing, baking, etc, so that life is not only homework. I will try very hard to make it to every one of ‘s “fun days” (or whatever she’s calling her once-a-month get together with friends), assuming that she puts it on her Google calendar so I know when they are in advance (or emails me, or whatever) and can plan homework accordingly.
  • Sunscreen in the summer, whenever sun may be an issue.
  • Attempt to have a more positive attitude about things, though this is a very blah goal and unspecific and one I’m not terribly motivated for at the moment.

I also think I will try a “seasonal goals” list, like I’ve seen some other bloggers do. Stay tuned for the “winter” one in the next week or so.

Now, I know that was probably terribly boring for most of you, but it was important for me to get it down into words, in specifics, what my goals were (so that when I fail miserably and refuse to be seen in a swimsuit in public, you can all mock me and I will be shamed into getting back on track), so that I can succeed! Or at least make a valiant effort. I am no good at will power when it comes to food and working out, really. Homework, yes. Cleaning, yes. Food, exercise, and crowded parties are really black holes of will power for me.

And, just in case you’re still reading this… what are some of your goals for your life right now? Maybe not for a whole year, but for the week, or the next couple of months? How are you trying to improve your life? Or maybe you have some encouragement for me to stay on track and be, as Oprah would say, the best me I can.

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