Sunday, January 11, 2009

2009: The Year of Good Enough

I've been trying to decide what my inaugural post for 2009 should be about and I decided that I should begin by returning to one of my goals for 2008: my personal reading challenge. When I reviewed my post from last year describing my challenge (to read 10 books in the course of the year from my own library), I saw that the bulk of that post was dedicated to being grateful for the time we have with our loved ones because we will not always have them with us. There seems to be some sad coincidence in that.

I have fallen way behind on reading people's blogs and obviously on writing this blog. So far behind that I only learned yesterday that Mommanator's husband passed suddenly in the interim. Something that struck me was that she stated she was happy to have him 10 years longer than she thought she might. Again, I'm reminded that we need to love each other fully and seek delight in our loved ones as much as possible. We lose more than the person if we don't attempt it. I know I'm not the only one to express it, but just wanted to publicly convey my most heartfelt condolences to her and her family in their time of grief. I definitely keep you and yours in my prayers right now, Mommanator. Many hugs, doll.

Some good news about this new year for me, is that something in me switched when the clock struck midnight on January 1. I've been decidedly angry and emotionally stubborn about some health concerns of mine, lately. Though I'm progressing with more investigation and possible treatment, I'd been furious that this was something I even had to deal with. I was furious at my body for betraying me. Then at the beginning of the year the emotional stubbornness and the fury just dropped. I'm still angry, I still feel betrayed, but I'm not wrapping myself in it like a self-pitying blanket anymore. I have resigned myself to the probable. I'm still not happy about it, but I'm no longer emotionally resistant. I'm actually more accepting of it. Unless something changes: it is what it is.

That shift also freed me to review other things in my life. It's a new year. New choices? Maybe. I don't do "resolutions," but I do set personal goals. Among my goals this year are:
  • Write more, of course. I've got at least one piece lined up. I work best with deadlines, so maybe I should look for more deadline-driven writing opportunities. But in the meantime, I should just keep tapping at the keyboard. I wrote more in 2008 than in 2007, so let's keep up the momentum.
  • Become more craftily self-sufficient. Re-teach myself to sew on the machine that I've been ignoring for years and make something wearable.
  • Make the house look more grown-up. Replace craptastic college-era plastic shelving with real stuff; paint at least 2 rooms in the house this year; buy a few furniture pieces (new sofa-set for basement, maybe?).
  • Put stuff on the walls. Frame photos I like and hang them. Maybe buy some art. That costs money and spending money scares me shitless, but our walls are scandalously bare.
  • Exercise more. Specifically, start running again! I never felt better about my life than when I ran a marathon 6 years ago. I don't know that I want to do a full 26.2 again yet (maybe in a few years), but I can easily do a 5 or 10K. There's no reason I shouldn't. Plus, I should really buy a friggin' bike. It's stupid that I don't have one.
  • See more live theater. There's so much that's good out there and I don't take enough advantage of it. I had the pleasure of seeing some Shakespeare with Darla D and her girls this past week and I really enjoyed it. Why don't I do it more? I dunno. Routine lifestyle, I suppose. Honey and I go on jags every few years. This should be one of them and it should really increase to a regular habit.
  • Re-up my reading challenge of 2008. Same deal. So many books in my collection that I've not gotten around to reading or only half-read. 10 more to read and/or finish for 2009. Just finished Born to Buy (pictured above), which was actually book 9 or 10 from 2008 - that's right, I fell short; sue me. I'm moving on next to God in the Machine: What Robots Can Teach Us About Humanity and God. I think I heard that author on Speaking of Faith a few years ago. Honey began reading it, but said it didn't teach him anything new. But he's a techie-guy. I hope that it'll illuminate something for me.
  • Ditch the high-fructose corn syrup (and hopefully later the partially hydrogenated oils). I've known since sophomore nutrition class (thanks, alma mater, for making that part of our core requisite curriculum) that corn syrup is no good for me, and neither are partially hydrogenated soybean or corn oil. But damn, that stuff is addictive. So far, I've gone a week without the corn syrup. I've managed to gain weight, but that's mostly because I have no sense of portion control and I've not been exercising as much. Still, it's as much about being mindful about what I put into my body as it is about weight loss. Temptations may surround me, but if I can ward off just one of them, then the battle is not yet lost.
  • Spend more time with Honey. Evenings, weekends, whatever.
  • Find a new job, or a new path. Not necessarily outside my field, but just some path that allows me time to enjoy my family and to pursue my outside interests. My recent down-shift to part-time should help.
  • Stop thinking I have to define myself by my career or other "achievments." I'd like to say I'm bigger than that, but I'm not. I'm just a regular achiever living in the land of hyper-acheivers. When I really contemplate it, yes career and title are in there, but the lifelong goals I'm most concerned with are more personal in nature: travel, family, language-learning, re-learning piano, etc, etc. I love my work, but I need to stop measuring myself against the hyper-achieving hyper-tense, hyper-paid peers in this town. I'm me. That's good enough.

Maybe that's what I need to carry into this year. Things don't have to be perfect. They just have to be good enough. I don't have to find the most extraodinary wine bar/buffet for our dining area. I just have to find good enough. I don't have to run a marathon. A 5K will do. I don't have to lose 15 pounds; 6 will be sufficient. I don't have to read all the ancient classics I should've read in college. I'll just read one. I'll do what I can. And that will be good enough.


Virginia Gal said...

All good goals, but where was "Spend more time hanging with and constantly praising Virginia Gal," LOL.

Molly Malone said...

Saving that for 2010!

mommanator said...

kind words, thank you.
Being you is one important, and seems to me (from what I know of you)you ae mastering that, keep up the good work!
writing is important too and you truly have a wonderful sense of that!your writig makes me think!
So many times in the past couple of weeks I have said "it is what it is" That has helped me understand this season of my life!
People look at me blindly when I say this, but when you realy think about it it is exactly that!
Thanks agin, and have one blessed 2009!

JoeinVegas said...

Well, you could start with that 'writing more' one by posting here more often.

Darla D said...

I enjoyed reading your inspiring New Year's musings. When I finish up this semester and have a life again, maybe you and VA Gal and I can meet for our writer's group again! That would be fun. And give that lovely deadline to spur us on. Please keep me in mind for any live theater outings, too - I'll be on the lookout for events.