reflections and resolutions

i came across an article yesterday (sorry i’m still looking for the link) about new year’s resolutions. instead of beginning with what you want to accomplish next year, it recommends that you first list all that happened this year, and then mark up your list with highlighters, underlines, etc. to highlight those things that were most important to you. from that visual display, you’ll have a better idea of what really matters to you based on your past actions/inactions. i also thought i’s be a great way to remind myself of all that i have, so as to not focus so much on all that i do not have. so, here’s my list of accomplishments/happenings for 2007:

january:
learned i was pregnant with AR
started my second semester of graduate school
hosted 1st birthday party for WA

february:
discovered serious disease in my son
tended to him in the hospital

march:
found out was accepted to first, second, and third choices for jd/phd programs
visited first choice school by myself
changed master’s thesis topic

april:
visited first choice school with husband and son
realized i was not going to finish my master’s thesis in time for may graduation**
celebrated hubby’s birthday
accepted first choice school offer of admission

may:
attended cherokee festival
began planning for move to west coast
found out sex of baby
sang in “black to school” alumni performance
celebrated 5-year college reunion

june:
began internship with juvenile law firm
requested to be let out of rental lease early (they complied)
purchased plane tickets and arranged for moving van
had going away party
stayed with in-laws for one week

july:
stayed with parents for one week
took 18 month old baby on plane by myself (8 months pregnant)
moved into new apartment
completed directed reading for 5 credits
hosted my mother as she came to visit for two weeks
found daycare for my son
started psychotherapy

august:
got acquainted with new home
gave birth without pain medication to 6lb 5oz baby girl
had an almost breakdown in hospital because my husband wasn’t allowed to stay with me and i had painful gas in my chest in the middle of the night, the baby wouldn’t stop crying and i wanted to breastfeed which mean being up every 1-2 hours with very painful cracked and sore nipples
moved from one apartment to another

september:
began phd program
hosted mother-in-law for four weeks
lobbied (successfully) for more money from school

october:
made new friends
turned in first phd paper (B+/A-)
went out for an evening with my husband
wished mother-in-law goodbye while worrying about who was going to wash the dishes
hosted best-friend in town for a weekend
visited pumpkin patch with another family

november:
celebrated second wedding anniversary
turned in second phd paper (A)
started teaching yoga 1 hour per week

december:
emceed a baby shower
attended a birthday party
turned in third phd paper (A/A-)
finished the semester (S, A, A, S, S, S)
turned in 98% complete thesis draft to adviser**
began exercise for one hour every day
hosted both sets of parents for christmas
spend 5 hours cooking christmas dinner for 8 adults and 2 children

so i’ve underlined those things that really mattered to me. i think there are a few themes of things that are important to me:

  • doing things for my children. they will only be this small for but so long, and their need for me is just so heartwarming.
  • doing well in school. they are paying me to think, read, and write. three things i love to do.
  • taking care of my health – pregnancy made me lazy and added the stress of extra body weight and little physical strength.
  • nurturing old and new relationships – moving to a new place requires strengthening those relationships that are proximate and creating new ones as life goes forward.

so the first two i think i am doing relatively well. so my resolutions will focus on bullets three and four.

resolution #1: renew my focus on my health.

  • exercise at least one hour each day, including a yoga session
  • drink at least 8 glasses of water a day
  • no junk food after 6pm
  • limit my alcohol intake to when we go out to dinner – no alcohol in the house
  • keep writing here – this outlet does amazing things for my mental health – it gets things out of my head

resolution #2: nuture relationships.

  • focus on three new friends here in california – make time to have tea, work out, just chill
  • focus on my husband – more time for just the two of us – no internet or crossword puzzles at least two evenings a week
  • keep better touch with old friends – call or email at least once per week

i think these are doable resolutions that represent what is truly special and meaningful in my life. [i also have money problems, but as much as i want saving to be important in my life, it just isn’t. the resolution there is probably just not to spend my family into destitution.]

i hope you, dear reader, also reflect on the past year and make your resolutions in sync with your real life.

happy new year!!!

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