Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 List in Review

It's out of fashion or unoriginal to make resolutions, and it's also a bore to say you don't make them. I like to make lists. They help to keep order to my days, and some sense of a goal for longer stretches of time. Last year I made a list titled 2008 - Goals Ordered by Whim. Here is that list, with a brief commentary on what I achieved, what I didn't, and what fell into a goal purgatory.

1. Less residencies. No teaching in the summer.

Overall, this went pretty well. In 2007 I overextended myself with teaching in schools and community centers. I love the work, but I burnt out and was committed to rest, learn, and work on my own writing.

2. Write more. Daily.

Hm. This was a half-hearted promise to myself I think. I wrote in my journal, but maybe I should have been more specific about what type of writing I wanted to do on a daily basis. I completed a project that was in the works for awhile, so that's a plus.

3. Publish more.

I did send more work out this year than I have in the past, and a few short fiction pieces and poems found homes.

4. Workshops at the studio - programming.

We came up with a great idea for this that we never really set into motion. There were several workshops this year that were successes, and a few that no one showed interest in at all. Setting up programming is exhausting, and more often than not a thankless job, and it takes away time from #2 & #3. This goal defeated what #1 was trying to accomplish.

5. Publish PKP books, develop program for others to print.

Wow. This is quite a list I have going here. Lots of big goals. I kept my promise with this one, and the second half is just starting now, but it a slightly different form than we envisioned. Not bad. Did I mention that the layout, design, editing and correspondence with authors also takes away from my own writing time? It did. However, I love the work.

6. Get married.

Done. We got married in a library.

7. Take more walks in the woods.

What happened here? I raked my mom's yard the other day. I don't think I took one good forest walk this year at all. Maybe? I don't remember, and that is sad. Since I grew up in the woods, I feel very close to nature and miss it here in the coal town burbs. I did buy a bike this year, and loved riding it in the nice weather across town, or to the studio.

8. Fix sidewalk. Finish two rooms in the basement.

Thanks to my husband, the first part of this is done. I have to say, it is nice not shoveling concrete away along with the snow. The second half of this is not complete, and the flames of passion to finish those rooms now are tiny embers. Meh.

9. Travel.

I think we did more traveling last year, but we did make some pretty great and meaningful short trips into the cities this year.

10. Spend less money, and keep track.

Did I really think I was going to keep track? I should be more honest with myself when making these lists. And we got married, fixed a sidewalk and installed a new bathroom sink this year, which means we spent a chunk of money. Did I mention the work on the patio? Yeah. That too. Oh, and the county decided to raise my property taxes.

11. Exercise, but don't be obsessive over it.

I bought the bike and used it in nice weather, and have been going to the gym on a daily basis since late October. I still feel fat.

12. Visit elderly relatives with Mom, Helen and Dan.

This is the most important of all, and I fell short here for sure.

13. Read more, and diversely.

The diversely part could use a little work. We all have our favorites.

14. Take a class instead of organizing or teaching one.

I had one all lined up for myself this summer, and it was cancelled because of low enrollment. This isn't to say I haven't learned anything this year. Instead of taking a class, I spent July/August acting in a play, and learned a whole lot from my fellow performers, the director and the stage crew (Helen did all the props for the show).

15. Give more readings.

No more than usual. This seems to be seasonal - a few in the spring and a few in the fall.

16. Spend quality time with Helen.

The play was a big part of our quality time together this year, I think. We met a lot of wonderfully talented new friends, and we both got a chance to learn something about ourselves. Helen's got some great prop making skills! We're always doing something goofy together, and I can almost always make her laugh.

17. Teach Helen how to drive - then panic when she can.

I don't know if Helen would classify this as quality time spent with Mom or not. Probably not. Apparently I have a tendency to panic. We started driving in Dan's car, which is a standard transmission and a tough go for a first-time driver. Then we switched to my car, which is an automatic, and winter happened. We'll resume in the spring. Both the panic and the lessons.

18. Record dreams, and interpret.

You have to really love someone to listen to the retelling of their dreams. I know who loves me for sure. I've recorded some, and let others disperse with the vapor in the shower.

19. Keep in contact with and visit Dan's family.

Pretty good, not great. The wedding offered an opportunity to visit a tiny bit, but certainly not enough.

20. No more blogging.

Cut back, but ha, ha, ha! My desire to do this has something to do with a public vs. private writing struggle, that I'll write more about tomorrow...on my blog.

21. Finish the novel. Start it.

I like how finishing the novel comes before starting it here. I finished the former, the latter needs work.

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