Thursday, December 27, 2007

A great big ball of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff

aka: My End of Year Reflections

I've kept a journal since I was in Jr. High, this is a bit of a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it's interesting to go back and see what my 13, 15, 18, 25, or 30 year old self was thinking and doing at given moments in time... but on the other hand, it's a bit sad to see how often I make the same plans & resolutions over and over again. =/ I did try to switch them up a bit for 2007 though. Let's see how I did.

Well Intended Intentions for 2007:

1. Continue working towards a career change. Find out what I really would enjoy doing & get on the path to doing it.

2. Give up Dr. Pepper or at least reduce consumption drastically.

3. Pay off existing debt (credit cards) and avoid accumulating any additional credit card debt.

4. Work towards healthier eating habits & better meal planning.

5. Create a better bed-time routine, aim for a 9pm bedtime.

6. Continue aligning myself with a friendly universe that has good gifts for me.

So let's see how we did.

1. Career change:
I'm getting there. I have actually kinda sorta discovered what I think I might like to do for a career. I sound really sure, don't I? =P Well, for me, the queen of being in a rut, this represents some pretty dramatic progress. I made a list of all the things I would want in a new job, and one of the top things was that it would allow me to travel, and in some way give back to the world. From this I went in the direction of joining the Peace Corps. After researching it for a while, I decided it might not be quite the right thing for me... but that I might enjoy going abroad to teach English for a year or two. I did some volunteering as an English tutor, and I really think this is a promising career choice for me. I've mailed in my application for a CELTA course (Certification for English Language Teaching to Adults). If I get in, I'll be starting the course in February. So I may actually end up in a new career sometime next year!

Grade: B

2. Give up Dr. Pepper.
Ha ha ha ha ha! There's a 32 oz Dr. Pepper sitting on the table before me. Okay... this one has been on my resolutions list for a while. Seriously, I'm glad I never took up smoking because I'd never be able to quit it! I gave up the Pepper for about a month, then slowly but surely fell off the wagon again. Most recently though I've been drinking a LOT of tea while at work, rather than Dr. Pepper, and over the summer I did go through a couple of Iced Tea phases. But after my Nalgene bottle leaked iced tea all over my work bag, completely soaking a couple of books and a CD, so that plan didn't last all that long.

Grade: C+

3. Pay off Debt.
I've paid off my student loans, my car loan, my credit card debt, and have avoided carrying a balance on my card since paying it off! I'm completely debt free! And not only am I debt free, I have enough money in the bank to pay for the CELTA course I'd like to take, and my IRA is slowly but surely growing. For the very first time in my life I have a positive net-worth and I can't even describe how happy that makes me. And here's a little surprise, now that I have money in the bank that's actually mine, I'm a lot less eager to spend it on frivolous things. Back when I got my first post-college job I thought nothing of going to the mall & dropping $50 at Bath & Body Works or Victoria's Secret, just put it on the card - I'll pay for it eventually. But now that I have money, I don't want to waste it. I mean, I do... I've gone a little crazy at the fabric store a few times... but not to the extent that I used to.

Grade: A+++

4. Healthier Eating
Well, over the summer I went on a veggie soup kick... and that was pretty healthy, but overall I haven't changed my eating habits at all. This one's been on the list for a long time too.

Grade: C

5. Bedtime routine
Another mixed result here...and a bit of a tangent. I've gotten back into the habit of reading before bed, which is a really good thing. I don't know why but around the turn of the century (and I soooo love getting to say that) I'd gotten out of the habit of reading. But I like reading... a lot... I just don't like reading boring books. ;) In 2005 I read 15 books, in 2006 I read 14 books but this year I've read 25 (this includes reading all 7 Harry Potter books for the very first time, and promptly rereading the first 6 & dude - some of them are LONG), and will probably finish another before the end of the year. So, I made a pretty good attempt at creating a new bedtime routine, but it hasn't actually gotten me to sleep any earlier. The 9 o'clock bedtime is a joke, and now it's rare if I turn in before 11pm.

Grade: Books read = A, actually going to sleep on time= F

6. Aligning myself with a friendly universe.
This was a nod to my therapist at the time. This was her catch phrase, always trying to get me to 're-frame' my thoughts and experiences into a more positive light. Personally I hate that expression, but I did appreciate what she was trying to teach me. I have tried to open myself up a bit more to what the universe has to offer, and have tried 'tuning in' more to 'that which pleases' me (more of her catch-phrases), and I think I've been pretty successful at that. I'm doing a bit better of a job of 'flying my freak flag' as it were, letting my geeky side out to play a bit more than I used to. And in doing so I've discovered (much in the same way that Columbus discovered America) Harry Potter & the new Doctor Who series... both of which make me irrationally happy. I'm spending more time on things I like to do and less on putting up with situations that annoy me. I'm making peace with my inner introvert, and I've stopped forcing myself to be outgoing when I just don't feel like it. In general, I think I'm doing a better job of getting in tune with myself if that makes sense. The universe has not been entirely cooperative (what with getting my stereo stolen, and that guy I went out with twice before he told me he was still married)... but it's put some good people in my path this year, for which I'm grateful.

Grade: I'm giving myself an A for effort, but I'm giving the universe a C+ in it's quality of gifts for me.

My final grade for 2007 is a solid B. Not too shabby.

And I guess this would be a good time to come up with some Well Intended Intentions for 2008

1. Study a foreign language (or two, or more), learn enough to handle basic greetings, shopping or travel.

2. Travel outside the United States, for a vacation if not for a new job.

3. Leave my current job for a more satisfying one.

4. Find an enjoyable & non painful form of exercise or physical activity.

5. Finish my Flying Geese quilt

6. Learn a new craft or skill.

Ok - those may seem pretty easy to accomplish but I'm guessing #3 & #4 are going to be the killers for me this year. If I can accomplish one of those, I'll be pretty dang pleased with myself. Wish me luck!


Bezzie said...

Yay for debt free!!

I like the flying the freak flag filosophy (sorry had to go with an f there!). I might have to adopt that one!

Magatha said...

Getting out of debt and staying that way is the best/hardest of all your tasks, and you accomplished it! Yay!

Just quit the Dr. Pepper. Drink water. Cold turkey quit. I quit my Diet Coke with Lime habit and it nearly killed me, but I did it. Just do it. Your list for 2008 looks very realistic.

IrishgirlieKnits said...

Congrats on the debt free!!! That is fabulous!! And sounds like you did pretty well on the rest of your intentions too :)

Here's to an awesome new year!!

Batty said...

Not too shabby at all! Besides, you can try harder if the universe tries harder.

Magatha said...

PS. I lost your comment on my blog. I'm having some trouble with comments over there. I publish the comments and then they disappear. I am so not snubbing you. :-)

Sue, aka seiding said...

Sounds like you did really well with the 2007 resolutions! Wish you all the best in 2008. :)

Michael5000 said...

Now, here's a fun game. Let's see how ~I~ did at ~your~ resolutions:

1. Continue working towards a career change -- Good! Got out of a bad department into a good department, without sacrificing any seniority or bennies (although I too a pay cut). B

2. Give up Dr. Pepper or at least reduce consumption drastically -- Am pretty sure I did not drink any Dr. Pepper in 2007. A+++

(Diet Pepsi: F)

3. Pay off existing debt (credit cards) and avoid accumulating any additional credit card debt -- Eight months from the end of student loan debt! Huzzah!! Let's not talk about the mortgage!!! B+

4. Work towards healthier eating habits & better meal planning -- Have largely given up on this. D

5. Create a better bed-time routine, aim for a 9pm bedtime -- Have realized over the past year that I can stay up past midnight regularly without much in the way of ill effects. F, but happy with it.

6. Continue aligning myself with a friendly universe that has good gifts for me -- Sure, I do that. B.

I guess I could have done better, but it's not bad considering they weren't my goals.

Rebel said...

smart ass! =P If you want I can come up with some new goals for you!!!