Thursday, December 31st, 2015 • No Comments on 2015 Resolutions: What I Did (and Didn’t)
Before I can move forward, I need to take one last look back. 2015 was unexpected in many ways, but I went into it with enthusiasm and a long list of goals. What did I accomplish? Where did I fail?
Goals for 2015:
1. Drink more water. I probably drink twice as much water in an average day than I did a year ago, which is good and something I plan to continue. Ironically, I spent nearly a week in the hospital early in the year and one of my numerous issues that required post-hospital follow up for several months was my kidney function– my kidneys had shut down and were slow in coming back to normal. Nothing to reinforce a “drink more water” resolution than kidney failure. Drink more water– check!
2. Read more books. I didn’t read nearly as many books as I planned, but I did read about a dozen fat novels, a half dozen anthologies and shorter books and several books for review. I also read probably twice as many essays and articles in 2015 as research for my own budding non-fiction writing. I’ll call this one a win. Read more– check!
3. Ditch social media. Nope. Not even close. But… I did confine most of my social media to down time (while putting the kids to bed, while waiting in lines, while cooking) and I have to say, Facebook was invaluable to my career this year. I found markets for my writing, I made some friends, I met some editors, I expanded my writing repertoire all through those posts, groups and friend requests. Yes, I still goof off too much on social media, but I think I balanced the goofing with working quite nicely. Ditch social media– nope, but that’s OK!
4. Entertain more. I mentioned in my resolutions that I was inspired last fall by the article Friday Night Meatballs by Sarah Grey to consider hosting a weekly dinner party. It didn’t happen, though we probably had friends over as much as we did any year pre-kids (which is to say, more than we have in the past 6 years). A possible goal for 2016 is to try the weekly dinner party thing again at some point, especially as we’re likely going to move and making new friends will be a top goal. Entertain more– half check!
5. Write stuff I care about. Did it. Still doing it. Will continue doing it. Check, check, check!
6. Ask for help. This is one I’m always going to be working on. I did it, to some extent, but–oh man!– it’s hard. Ask for help– half check!
7. Adopt (or foster) a shelter dog. As we decided earlier this year that we want to move, it seemed best to wait until we’re settled before we bring another dog into the house. But we did entertain the thought for a couple of weeks last month, as a friend was in need for a new home for her dog. Unfortunately, while we were willing to give it a go, our dog wasn’t so keen on this new dog in her house and their relationship seemed a little too confrontational for comfort. And so, the visiting dog went home and we’ve returned to our plan to try to find a good match for Clementine (and the family) once we are settled in our new home. Adopt a dog– nope, but I tried!
8. Slow down, breathe, focus on the moment. Again, that near death experience in the spring kind of hammered this one home. I can say I succeeded at this, though of course I could still use some work. But overall, I feel like I was very present and in the moment for almost all of 2015– and that is a huge accomplishment for someone who is always planning the future. Focus on the moment– check!
9. Spend more time outside. Hmm. I think I succeeded at this one. Clementine and I continued our nightly walks except for the weeks I was sick, we went on family trips to Disney World, Charleston (twice) and Hot Springs, VA, all where we spent quite a bit of time outside. I didn’t do any gardening, but I enjoyed backyard time through the spring and summer. Maybe it wasn’t a planned and organized kind of thing (mostly because I totally forgot it was on my list), but I think I did okay. Outside time– check!
10. Connect with others. Professionally, a huge success. Personally, I was a hermit for much of the year and preferred to be home with my family rather than out with friends (not a bad thing at all, but I need more social interaction!). Something to work on in 2016. Connect with others– half check!
11. Say “yes” to the things that I really care about, that speak to my heart and my intellect, that enrich my life. Oh man, yes, I did this. Again, nothing like being gravely ill to put things in perspective. I said “yes” to things that are important to me and said “no” to (most) things that felt like a time suck. I still have some work to do on not feeling like I have to take care of other people (other than the ones I really supposed to take care of) or write for every deadline that crosses my path, but I feel like 2015 really belonged to me. And that’s a good feeling. Saying “yes” to the right things– check!
2 failures, but each turned out to be a good thing in it’s own way
And now, onward to 2016… Happy New Year!