Sunday, January 6, 2008

Rise and Shine!

Ah, New Year. How I have anticipated your arrival, and yet, how surprised I feel now that you are here. How does that happen? And how does one break free from the lure of apostrophe?


Back in aught-seven, I set goals for myself: physical, financial, relational, spiritual, intellectual. I set them, and wrote them down, and spent time really looking for cracks or holes where I'd neglected something. And then I promptly went about my (365) days and never once looked at them again. And you know what?


Can you believe that? How's that for some stuff? I could spin in tiny circles on the kitchen floor I'm so pleased. See, I think maybe it was that I didn't resolve anything, but rather, I looked at what I hoped and wrote it down, and spending all that time thinking about what I hoped would be the year when I looked back on it, I guess I figured out what things mattered to me most. Sure, I can't do 50 sit-ups without a break--only 40. (OK, fine, 30--you happy?) Sure, I can't do 30 push-ups without stopping--only 20. (For real, now.) But I CAN do them, and I actually spent time trying to achieve that goal--without ONCE obsessing over it or beating myself up. (It occurs to me that perhaps I set the bar low, but I have determined to be pleased, so I choose not to dwell on that possibility.)

So, for 2008:
I have again set goals, in the same arenas of life. And when Mr. Pretty Jane gets home in a few weeks, we're taking some time off to set goals as a couple, as well. How hot is that? How odd that I get excited at the idea of goal-setting with my spouse? I'm excited, too, at the prospect of a new year, in part I suppose because ALL humans like the idea of the Clean Slate, but also--or maybe causally--I like that it's something finite, like that a calendar year is a way to hem in at each end the days in between, and so we are better able to measure the span of time in which change takes place. We can be totally different people from one moment to the next, a paradigm can shift in an instant, but a YEAR, a year gives us perspective and relativity and scale. So I'm excited to have a new 365 days to explore, and a chance to watch where they go. And to see how I spend them, in all the senses of that verb.

Here, in no particular order (and entirely from memory, as my list is tucked away until next January), are some of the highlights I'm hoping to enjoy when I look back on 2008.

  • return to running 4+ days per week (should be no trouble, with the Major home to "encourage" me)

  • more fairs, shows and street shows with Pretty Jane, and more relationships with people who love what it is I do
  • Happy Hours with girlfriends, once a month
  • date nights with my sweet husband, once a week
  • reading one non-fiction book and one work of fiction per month
  • compiling the sewing book I keep talking about, based on the classes I teach over at Beehive, and submitting to publishers--successfully!
  • a weekly "date" with my older daughter, and navigating Tween Waters gracefully
  • I can totally do 50 sit-ups without stopping, if only I'd TRY harder
  • and what about pull-ups? I can do, what? five? ten? if I just want it badly enough
  • keeping better records and maintaining neater files--being able to put my finger on EXACTLY the piece of paper I want, right when I want it
  • losing that last stubborn five pounds, but accepting an inch less at the waist instead, should I determine that I'm replacing fat with muscle
  • focusing some (much) of my thoughts and prayers on the needs of others, rather than always on myself and my family (this one's harder than it sounds...)
  • increasing the scope of Pretty Jane and focusing on growing the business beyond Beehive (scary thought)
  • feeling proud of the way I interact with my family, immediate and extended
  • sending more letters and gifts--through the actual mail
  • never forgetting a birthday, ALL YEAR

Some good announcements coming in the next few weeks, but since I'd also like to be a more regular blogger (and not only on the single-digit days), I think I'll dole those out as the month goes on. And rather than promise that I'll keep you all updated on my success with the above list, maybe I'll allow y'all to be the judges and let me know whether you think I was a kinder, gentler, more focused and successful Pretty Jane in 2008. I'm sure I can reach into my teacher past and develop a rubric or a scorecard of some kind... hmmmm....

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