1. Wish everyone a happy New Year. Here it is: Happy New Year! :) I didn't promise to do it eloquently, and with the amount of over-the-counter cold meds coursing through my veins, you probably shouldn't hold your breath for much more. But I do mean it -- I hope 2008 is a great year for everyone. It's a nice, round number. It looks promising.
2. Discuss the old year. Or not.
3. Make some resolutions. Dang, that's a hard one. I'm not good with resolutions. But the New Year is a good time to evaluate your life and plan a course of action to right wrongs, better oneself and start over as a better person, so I'll join the herd and go for it. So, here are the things I need to do this year.
- Take care of myself. I think a lot of other Moms will relate to this one. When you have kids, the needs of others often overshadow the things you need for yourself -- often to the point of serious self-neglect. We seem to think that we need to take care of everything our children need before we take care of ourselves, but there are only 24 hours in the day, so we never really get around to ourselves. As my kids are getting older (and uh... they have a father) I really need to delegate more responsibility to others and make time for trips to the gym, spending time with friends, and of course, my own art. Not to the detriment of my family... but just enough to be good to myself.
- Lose weight. I've had a rollercoaster weight year. I am definitely a stress-eater, and have a sedentary job, for the most part. I need to address that right now before it becomes a really unhealthy lifestyle that is hard to come back from. I work downtown where I love to go for walks, and I have found lots of healthier alternatives to foods I really love. I got a good start in 2007 and need to keep myself motivated to exercise, even during the sleepy, dark winter months when I don't want to do anything but hibernate.
- Pay off all my bills. This is another trend I'm continuing from last year, and I think I can be completely debt free after this next tax return. Of course, our old, overworked washer is threatening to give up the ghost, so we'll most likely have to buy a new one this tax-return season, but if I'm smart, I think I can pull this one off this year.
- Start grad school. I can't get my Master's Degree in one year, but I need to pick up a few continuing education hours to keep my teaching certificate. Might as well take courses toward a Master's, even though the GRE terrifies me. I need to suck it up and just do it, scary test and all.
- Continue to fight depression. Surprise! I have clinical depression. Who knew, right? I'm just a big ray of sunshine and all. But yeah, it's true, and I've found how tricky it can be and just how bad it can screw up a person's life in a very short period of time if left untreated (see first bullet.) 2007 saw the beginning of treatment for that (at the urging of several good friends -- thanks, you guys!) and it's been going well. It's not as easy as just taking meds, though, so I have to continue to make myself get sunlight, exercise, eat right, and control stress in 2008 or it will all be a wasted effort. It's a lot of work, but it hasn't been as difficult to deal with as I thought it would be. If you think you might have depression, I urge you to get yourself checked out and fix it now. It's been the best thing I've ever done for myself and my family, and it really wasn't a big deal to find a course of action.
- Make more art. I seem to do art in spurts. Because I teach it all day, it is sometimes hard for me to get inspired to do it for myself, not just for examples to use in class. Photography has sort of given me an artistic outlet that is portable and easy and different from most of what I teach, but I really need to get out my paints and other art supplies and make a little bit of time each day to work on other things.
- Tell people what I think of them. Often and honestly. Even if they look at me funny. Life is short, you know? I get so much inspiration from my friends and family, and they probably don't know it. You never know, it might make someone's day if I said something like, "you are the strongest, most positive person in the face of such a difficult situation that you're going through right now. Just knowing you gives me inspiration to deal with problems in my own life without losing my love for life." (That's for my friend Julie.)
Okay, that's my list of goals for this year. It looks like a lot, but really, I think this list is pretty conservative and realistic for me. I should be able to do all of this in 2008. 2007, while not the best year ever, laid a pretty decent foundation for these goals to be met.
If you've read this far, you deserve a sticker or something. Or even better, maybe some inspiration to fix what's broken in your own life, home, relationships, etc... May 2008 be your year of positive changes and happy surprises.