As I wrote my 2009 resolutions I did an audit of my 2008 resolutions. Overall, I think I did well. There’s no one resolution that went completely ignored or untouched.
As I review 08 resolutions the thing I find most striking is that achievements in one area contributed to gains in other areas. Ah, the inter-connectedness of it all.
2008 Health Resolution
My resolution for this year is not so much about weight loss as it is about strength gain. I am very close to being able to do a pull-up so I’m going to make doing that pull up my fitness resolution. I hope to have that nailed in the first two months of the year.
Also, I have this crazy idea in the back of my head that I should get certified to be an Aerobics Instructor. There are times when I think that was my calling.
I eat like crap. Seriously, I sneak to the vending machine at work at eat packaged Rice Crispy treats. We're always celebrating something at work and I don't do well with sheet cake. At social events I pick and pick and eat without even realizing it and then I feel yicky. Sometimes I don’t eat during a “mealtime” because I’m just not hungry and I always end up eating later anyway, and it’s usually junk.
I go out to eat way too much. It’s expensive and the food just isn’t going to be as healthy as what can be prepared at home.
I’m trying really hard to plan meals and be more deliberate and aware about what I feed my body.
I’m attempting to cook but I often lack the motivation to do so.
I’m taking care of my body with exercise. Now I need to take care how I feed it.
2008 Health Resolution Audit
With regards to exercise and fitness, I maintained a consistent level of fitness & strength through the course of the year. There were definitely some peaks and valleys but on average my fitness was maintained and given that it’s supposed to decline right about now (my 30’s) I consider no change an improvement.
I did a lot of biking too and I’m pleased to be taking more of my fitness outside.
Eating habits improved, a little. Adam cooks and prepares food much more than I do so that definitely helped. The crap economy also helped in terms of curbing the amount of eating out. I still, however, find myself headed for a snack when I get stressed out and I still tend to eat food when it’s in front of me.
I kept a food journal for a while and that definitely helped me control the volume of food I consumed and also taught my just how junky some of it really is.
2009 Health Resolutions
I want to learn more about fitness and nutrition. I’ve been seeing a trainer for the past two years and while it’s definitely helped me with my fitness I want to use my sessions with my trainer to learn more, rather than have his expertise make me lazy about doing so.
In an effort to learn more I am considering getting certified to become a personal trainer myself. I’m reading a book about how that all works and I’m looking into classes.
I’m also going to join a gym. I have a gym at my building but I’m missing the energy of a gym, the variety in equipment and mostly, classes.
I’m also going to look into Wii Fit for exercise.
I want to get more exercise outside of the gym (read: biking). Ride instead of drive. This helps the environment, this helps my body this helps my wallet. This resolution fits a few categories.
What the hell, I’ll also put down “pull-up” for 2009.
2009 Kinesthetic Intelligence Resolutions
In my efforts to learn how to dance this year I realized that when it comes to kinesthetic intelligence, I’m kind of dumb. I can’t change my DNA or my childhood (many of the people who are great “movers” have been movin’ since they were little) but I’ll do what I can to improve.
I’ll keep dancing, but I think there are other things I can do that are not dancing to improve my dancing. Learning more about fitness will help (I’ll use my academic intelligence to help kinesthetic). I took one Krav Maga (self defense) class last year which reinforced that I don’t really know how to move my body. I might take more Krav Maga classes or do some other activity that teaches me how to move it move it.
2008 Community Resolutions
McKinney provides me with wonderful, wonderful friends. Still, there’s a bit of a yearning for a sense of community. I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to address this one but I hope that at year’s end I feel a deeper sense of connectedness with my place.
I’ve become active in the North Carolina Carleton Club. I have a dentist. I know exactly where to find the things I want at Whole Foods. I see people I know when I go out. I’m learning my way around and finding new surprises, theaters, restaurants, trails and bike rides. I found a place that can fix my Dyson vacuum. That’s all a start.
2009 Community Resolutions
One of my 2008 resolutions was to learn how to dance. There were several unexpected outcomes resulting from that decision – community was definitely one of them (see what I mean about interconnectedness).
In fact, I got to the point where I was socializing more than I was dancing when I was out at dance events. That’s not the best thing for my dancing, but certainly evidence of my social enjoyment.
Even better, some of my “dance friends” are now just my “friends friends” – meaning, I don’t only see them and spend time dancing with them. We do other stuff.
I’ve met some people through Adam. Many of them dance folk, but not all of them, necessarily.
I also took over the North Carolina Carleton Club and enjoy the company and activities associated with the group.
At the end of 2008 I started to play trivia once a week with a mix of dance people and a Carleton folk. Ah, mix and matching communities. I love it. Bringing people together.
Over the summer, I actually threw a party without a single McKinney person present. My McKinney friends are still deeply important to me, but they’re not all I’ve got.
Also, Facebook allowed me to connect with folks from all stages of my life. It’s a bit of a virtual community, but to me, it’s really a reminder of communities past.
2009 Community Resolutions Audit
Given my progress in 2008, not sure if I’ve got a major goal for 2009 in this department. I think I just want to make sure I don’t get in a social rut of only hanging out with one group of people.
2008 Professional Resolutions
Mentors have made a huge difference in my life – professional and otherwise. I’m in a place where I can be that mentor and it makes me happy to know that in some way I’ve affected the people I work with and perhaps provided some wisdom or direction or support that was meaningful. I want to continue to do this.
I want to improve my poise. I get very energetic sometimes which makes me appear nervous (and sometimes I really am nervous and need to learn how to mask it). I want to improve my ability to articulate my thoughts cleanly (sometimes I repeat myself) without interrupting (my interrupting has something to do with my energy. I’m even interrupting my writing with all of my parentheses. I should use footnotes). I think that this, above all, will help me professionally.
But, there are some hard skills I need to continue to acquire.
Ten years ago I kept in touch with friends and family by sending letters and making phone calls (from a land line). I recorded interesting events in a journal. Now, I have a blog. In other words, we’re living in an interactive world and I’m extinct professionally if I don’t continue to learn about this.
Being in a creatively driven environment is still what makes my heart beat. A TV spot that evokes something. I am lucky to have that passion. I need to continue to seek creative outlets outside of work, because there are many ways I can get creative fulfillment.
I want to turn up my career a notch. There are many ways this could happen in 2008. I hope I have the opportunity.
2008 Professional Resolutions Audit
I continued to be a good mentor and fostered growth. I’ve been given opportunities to present and have been well received (with applause, actually). I’ve still got my energy it’s definitely accompanied by a slightly more professional demeanor and that’s good.
I continued to learn about digital, and have found my 2007 learning on a 100% interactive account to be enormously valuable.
I made other professional efforts with various outcomes. In some ways, the changes (improvements) in my life outside of work helped me disconnect from work emotionally in ways that were important. I’ll always have a relationship with work, even when she isn’t my main squeeze, but I feel that I’m in charge of how it affects me instead of the other way around.
2009 Professional Resolutions
I want more creatively but in this economy, I’m damn glad I have a job at the start of 2009.
2008 Dancing Resolutions
I did some East Coast Swing in college and loved it. When I moved to New York City I continued to dance all nights of the week at a club called Swing 46. Then I moved to Minnesota, got out of the habit, and when I returned to New York, Swing 46 was closed and the pals I used to dance with either moved, married, parenting, or busy.
Anytime I hear Swing music or see it on TV I get excited and say to myself “I want to do that!”
I’m off to a good start. I had a few private lessons, I’m taking a Monday night class, and I’m showing up at events here and there as I get more comfortable with my dancing skills and meet more people.
In fact, I’m supposed to be dancing at the Durham Armory tonight but the micro-layer of snow we’re having resulted in a canceled dance, so I’m home.
I had attempted to kick this one off early in December by going to a Dance Camp in Asheville (“One time, at dance camp”…There. I beat you to it). I ended up not feeling well and stayed in town. There’s another Dance Camp in Seattle on Memorial Day Weekend and I hope to attend so I can dance and see my sister.
2008 Dancing Resolutions Audit
I spend 2008 New Year’s Eve at Lindy Focus in Asheville. As the clock struck midnight I thought to myself “I really have to pat myself on the back for delivering on this resolution.”
I took two 101 classes, 6 weeks Charleston, 6 weeks Balboa, a 201 class, a few privates with Sue. Adam and I attempt to do a lesson every Monday night.
I went to Camp Jitterbug in Seattle over Memorial Day and also was a part of Bull City Stompede, the Durham dance event.
I went out dancing, alone, in Denver at the Mercury on a work trip. Took a class. Did some dancing.
I did aerials. I got flipped, thrown and twirled in the air. And flipped a lead myself (Thanks Tobias).
Between Loafers, TSDS and a few visits to Elks, I would say I social dance about once a week.
In the beginning of the year I attended a Triangle Swing Dance Society dance. It didn’t go so well and I wrote a funny story about it. It’s hard to put yourself out there like that when you don’t know the people or the moves. Still, this story is quite funny to me now. Further evidence of improvement in general level of comfort at dances.
I still suck, but you can’t say I’m not trying. And, I’m having fun.
And, got so much more out of dancing than just moves.
2009 Dancing Resolutions
At the end of 2008 I was thinking to myself “I go out dancing fairly often, but I’m not getting any better.” Then I realized as much as I was out dancing, I wasn’t actually dancing, I was socializing. I started to make sure I was dancing at least as much as I was socializing, if not more but I need to keep working on this.
I know why I stay off the floor sometimes. I can’t dance to fast music. Sometimes, if I’ve just had a really clumsy dance I feel too clumsy to try again. I get self conscious. I’ve already asked every one of the leads to dance once and don’t want to subject them to it again.
Still, the best way to get better is just to get out there and dance.
My ten year reunion is this June (shit!). I’ve offered to help plan a swing dance for reunion. Adam is going to join me and the plan is for us to teach the beginner class. I think I can pull it off (it will really be Adam teaching, I’ll just be like the Vana White).
If I attend another camp and there are 5 tracks, I want to try to get placed in Track 2. I do struggle sometimes with finding a place to learn not being a 100% beginner, but also not really being a solid intermediate.
There’s a camp in New Hampshire over Labor Day weekend and given the 13 summers I’ve already spent at NH summer camp, I think this would be fun.
I want to learn how to incorporate aerials into dance moves. Also, I want to do an aerial on the actual dance floor (right now it’s all done at the gymnastics place).
I was very pleased with myself when I went out dancing in Denver. In 2009, I hope to find the braveness to find dancing when I’m out of town and go for it.
I’m dating a damn dance teacher. You would think that gives me every advantage but really, it doesn’t. It’s kind of complicated to negotiate the boyfriend/girlfriend relationship at the same time as the student/teacher, follow/lead thing. Still, I would like to be able to continue to learn from Adam. We do a reasonably good job of this now – some sessions are better than others.
For what it’s worth, I chose to pursue dancing because I knew I wouldn’t be good at it. I figured that challenge would be all the more reason to try.
2008 Travel Resolutions
Speaking of seeing my sister, Teri and I are planning a trek to Mt. Kilimanjaro for October 2008. There are a lot of moving parts but here’s hoping it’s another incredible life experience (In 2007, we went Southeast Asia).
I’ve flirted with the idea of living out of this country. Vacations are great, but I’ve never had the experience of living or studying or working in another country - that’s an experience worth having.
On occasion I think about the American work ethic and my own work ethic and there are times when I’ve felt if you put these two things in the same person (me) well, you end up pretty stressed and do things like checking your Treo under the table at dinner (people make fun of people like that).
I wonder what life would be like in, say, Italy, where nobody works for the whole month of August.
2008 Travel Resolutions Audit
Africa. Done. Still finishing the blog about it. Didn’t summit Kili. Ok with that. Several other fun trips.
2009 Travel Resolutions
I enjoyed Africa, but for my next trip I think I want to visit the first world. It was great to take a big long adventurous trip but I think in 2009 the trips will be less complicated, though perhaps more frequent.
On the docket for 2009 already:
Last week in January – Mexico for Birthdayscape/Ellen’s 40th Birthday BOOKED
February – Florida to visit family.
April – Seder in Chicago
First week in May – Carleton Volunteer Weekend
Sometime in June – 10 year reunion in Minnesota
Labor Day Weekend – Swing Out New Hampshire? Visit parents and sister.
I was just in Asheville for New Year’s and it occurred to me that there are many cool destinations within driving distance of Durham such as Asheville, DC, Charleston, Savannah, and for goodness sake, the Outer Banks (how have I never been to the latter?).
So, in 2009, I should visit at least one of these places.
Also, I get to go to Denver for work every now and then. I need to make a ski trip out of one of those work trips.
I’m toying with other travel ideas, but with the economic uncertainty, not going to resolve to anything.
2008 Stressing Out Resolutions
Speaking of stressing out, I’ve got to stop letting work stress and frustrations follow me out of the office. This is crucial. Sometimes I come home so tired I end up just staying home and then I end up working more. Not good. Need to work just as smart and I do hard.
2008 Stressing Out Resolutions Audit
Work is still stressful. It always will be but I’ve done a much better job controlling this. When I come home from work tired, I don’t give into it. I go to the gym, I go out. When I come home from work grumpy I let it go.
2008 Needing to do things all the time Resolutions
This may sound dumb, but sometimes I get really mired in lists and having to take care of things. I’m very good at getting stuff done but I need to get away from the list otherwise I’ll have to start putting “have fun” on the list. And that's pathetic
Like the shows on my DVR. Because they’re stored I feel like I need to watch them. I really don’t
I've got a sense of whimsy (at 4:00 pm on New Year's even I entertained the idea of driving 3 hours to watch the "pickle drop" in some random NC town).
I think it’s good that I need to be engaged and active. Consider the alternative. But I need to turn it down.
2008 Needing to do things all the time Resolutions Audit
I’m much better at this. In part, it’s because I have put “FUN” on the list.
If I’m not active, I stop feeling like myself so there’s only so much of this I wanted to turn down. I feel good and alive when I’m productive.
2008 Friendships Resolutions
I wrote about this in an end of the summer post but I have met many “Waukeela-like” gal pals down here and my goal in 2008 is to maintain, strengthen and initiate friendships.
2008 Friendships Resolution Audit
I’ve maintained friendships and made some new ones. I’m bummed that Wendy moved away. Boo.
2009 Friendships Resolution
Spend more time with Ellen and Barb. I miss them. I have the type of friendship with them that will endure gaps in communication and socialization but still, they both bring me joy.
2009 Financial Resolutions
I’ve always been financially responsible. I’ve got my rainy day funds, I keep a budget. Having said that, we’re in a recession right now and there are definitely some things I can do to up decrease the spending and up the saving. I actually delight in the challenge of fiscal responsibility. To me, it’s a creative game of maximizing, optimizing and efficiency. That’s the German in me.
I lost a lot of weight in 2007 and spent a lot of money on clothes. In 2008, I started hosting clothing swaps and I get more compliments on those pieces than my over-priced Banana Republic and Anthropologie stuff. In 2009 I’m going to continue to keep clothing spending at a minimum and keep on hosting those swaps.
Cancel Cable. I got cable at the end of 2007. Just in time for the writers strike. I rarely watch TV and when I do, it’s always on DVR. I can use rabbit ears, Hulu.com, Netflix (I’ll likely start that up again on the minimum plan) and the kindness of friends with channels to get just about everything I could get on cable elsewhere.
Rent. I do like my luxury apartment complex. It’s cheaper than what I paid for a studio in NYC but still, this is Durham and I pay way too much given the other options available to me. Also, with travel, work, socializing and time with Adam, I’m not spending as much time there (as evidenced by my heat and A/C bills). Right now, I’m looking into less expensive roommate situations. Roommates can be really fun too. And you save. Makes sense to me.
Fitness. I have a great deal with my trainer. Still, I think I might cut down on sessions. This will force me to learn how to do more on my own. Also, if I actually do start doing my own personal training I could bring in some bucks that way too.
In a different economy, I would say that I should be more aggressive about how I invest my savings, but right now, I have no idea. Stuff it in my mattress? Paper Mache?
2009 Minimalism Resolutions
Clothing swaps enable me to acquire clothes but also enable me to give some away and find a welcome home for my wardrobe widows.
I’ve always prided myself on being a minimalist and being able to fit all of my belongings in my car, then in a truck, then it became a 10 foot Penske truck. I really resisted purchasing some basic household necessities (like a couch) when I first moved to NC but my minimalist tendencies were impeding my connectedness to place sensibilities so now I have a 92 inch couch.
My apartment was a little depressing (friends told me as much). I found that hanging pictures was the best way to warm up the place without crowding it up.
Up until Thanksgiving of 2008 I only had four spoons. I mean, you can only use on at a time but it did get a little annoying, I’ll admit.
Right now, I’m transferring all of my tapes to MP3. In part, this has to do with the fact that virtual space is much smaller than space space.
I’m mindful of what I acquire (except for clothes during the weight loss phase) and I’m also mindful of what and how I dispose. Clothing swaps are awesome. There’s a place on Highway 55 where I can donate clothes and other possessions (and get a tax deduction for it). Nice Price will take my books (though I always try the library first) and Amazon.com and eBay help with the rest (and it’s really great when you can get some cash for something you no longer want). My junk might be your treasure.
My goal for 2009 is to continue to be mindful of the material things I acquire and mindful of how I dispose of what I no longer want or need.
2009 Writing Resolutions
If you read my blog, or heck, if you’re reading this entry, you’ll know that I enjoy both writing, tracking, recording, archiving.
My blog generally tends to be “first draft” meaning I just write and post, write and post with much editing.
I write my blog for your enjoyment as much as I write it for myself. Writing, I think, helps keep my mind nimble (see Academic Atrophy section below). It also keeps me accountable. Why the hell else do you think I’m posting these resolutions and the 2008 audit? It’s amazing how motivating the illusion of an audience can be.
Also, before I blogged, I kept all sorts of photos, keepsakes, scrapbooks and journals. Blogging (and Facebook-ing) has dramatically reduced my desire to hang onto all that. Ah, I love the digital world. It doesn’t take up any space. Living in New York must definitely be part of my mindfulness about space. I kept textbooks in the fridge).
Sometimes I let the pictures do the talking, or I just post the facts. Sometimes I record just for recording sake. I feel more comfort when I have a record. I don’t know why. Narcissism?
It’s better for me to tell a story. And to provide a point of view. I could probably be a little more thoughtful and academic in my selection and analysis of topics, but entertainment for you my reader (and me) is just as important.
I like telling stories. They are funny. You know when people say “You really ought to write that down? Well, that’s exactly what I’m doing.
My goal for 2009 is to continue to write. Cranking out an entry of this length in the early part of the year, I think I’m off to a good start.
2009 Dealing With Academic Atrophy Resolutions
In 2007 and 2008 I visited my college campus for an Alumni Volunteer Weekend. As I sat in the classroom, I remembered the way my brain felt when I was in school. It was always working. I think my brain has atrophied a bit since I graduated. It makes sense that I’m not going to get as much academic stimulation when I’m not in school but still, my mind feels less nimble than it once was.
I discussed this issue with one of my professors and asked for his advice only to realize that he’s never been out of an academic environment.
My job can be stimulating, but it’s just different from that make your brain work feeling of school.
I’m not sure what to do about this one. I’ve been reading more – and try to read more challenging books and articles. I’m in a book club with college alumni folks. I play Trivia (I don’t think that really counts). When I go to museums I read all the little placards. But those things don’t quite add up to the structure and rigor and intellectual challenge of school.
I’m not sure what the resolution is here. Maybe just figuring out a solve is the problem. Some folks might say “Go get an MBA” but I don’t even think it’s that simple.
2009 Going Out on a Limb Resolutions
One of the reasons I decided to try dancing was because it freaked me out a little bit and I didn’t think I would be that good. So, any success I have really makes me feel good.
So, for 2009 I’m going to go out on a limb in another way and take an Improv class at Dirty South Improv. A handful of friends of mine have done this and they all enjoy it and recommend it.
It terrifies me a little bit but I think that’s all the more reason to do it. In fact, as I wrote this resolution I just registered for the class so cool, this one will happen.
2008 Being 30 and Figuring Out Some Stuff Resolutions
It’s funny. When I was in my 20’s everyone said, “Your twenties are all about working hard and you can have fun because you’re young and energetic and then you’ll be in your 30’s and you’ll want different things.”
I do feel like a different person than I was ten years ago. Had I made a list like this at 20 I know I would have checked off some key boxes.
But now, like clockwork, I’m like “Hmmm, I’m 30. How am I living my life? What do I want?” It’s changing.
I’m not in any kind of “need to get married panic” (I should be, based on the number of weddings I’ve attended).
And I’m not even sure if I want children (there are tummies and babies sprouting all over the place around me). I’m not sure you can know until you’ve got the other half.
I am at the point where I’m feeling a need for connectedness as much as I feel a need to be accomplished.
Can a woman have a family and have a kick ass career? To be honest, I’m not sure. Sometimes I joke that I want a stay at home husband. A woman should be able to “have it all” and I struggle with what that looks like and how to achieve it.
I’m in place in my life right now where I have a lot of freedom and flexibility in my choices. At times it’s empowering to know that “I can do whatever the hell I want” but at times the freedom makes me feel lonely.
The best thing I can do for myself is take advantage of the freedom – I have no mortgage, college tuitions to worry about. The only person I have to take care of is me and I oughta do a damn good job of it.
2008 Being 30 and figuring out some stuff Resolutions Audit
I reread what I wrote in 2008 on this topic. Not really sure how you “audit” that. I feel very happy with my life as it is. There are areas for improvement but I’m glad to be at the place where I’m living much more than I am yearning. A little bit of yearning is good and trust me, I’ve still got some of that.
2009 Being 31 and figuring out some stuff Resolutions
I worry about inertia. I’m glad that my life is good, but start to worry if it feels like I’m doing what’s easiest instead of what’s best. I don’t want to make change for changes sake but I don’t want to be complacent either.