The “Road to Hell” edition.
You know what they say about the road to Hell being paved with good intentions, right? Well, Kizz inspired me, by posting her list of goals yesterday, to make a “Ten Things for ’10” list of things I plan on accomplishing over the course of this year. Ready?
1. READ MORE! Last year was a total loss for my reading practice (it was a total loss for a lot of things, really, but it’s the lack of reading that I most regret). My plan for this year is to read AT LEAST a novel a month, and to keep track of – and maybe even review – those novels here. So far, I’ve finished The Zookeeper’s Wife, and I’m a good way into my second reading of The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Check back in a day or so; I’ll probably start a new page (check out the tabs at the header) for keeping track of my reading.
2. Get organized professionally. I feel like I’ve got a pretty good handle on things personally, but my desk at school is a mess. I think I’ll be able to make a huge amount of progress on this when we move into our new space and I get my own room; right now, I’m sort of camping out in someone else’s room and, as such, I’m prevented from really settling in. I’m starting to get a handle on course planning and syllabus creation, so the theoretical stuff is getting lined up, but the books, the handouts, the materials, and the movies are still in a big, only slightly organized pile, and that’s what I want to change. My goal is to be able to go to a drawer (or a book shelf) and put my hands right on what I want. Right now, I have to dig and shift to find stuff, and that’s what I want to change.
3. Simplify. I’m actually getting pretty good at this, in fact; I’m being a lot more ruthless about the things that I/we need to have around the house, and what could be sent out into the world to do good elsewhere. I just delivered unto the Wayfarer clan seven bags of clothes, toys, books, and plastic cups that my girls no longer use. I’m thinking long and hard before I bring new stuff into my house, and I’m making sure that the things that are already there are things that serve a purpose, whether it’s because I love them or because they are practically useful. I’m not going around purging everything, but I will, for example, send out things that I encounter in my travels around the house that I haven’t wanted, needed, or even looked at for a significant amount of time. Life is too short to get bogged down with unneeded, unloved stuff.
4. Eat in more. While I love going out to eat, I’m pretty sure that we spend way more in restaurants than is strictly prudent. I am a really great cook (and no, I’m not being vain), and I like having my family around the table, so putting meals together at home makes a lot of sense. I am also looking to expand my repertoire of staples; there are certain things that I can throw together on a moment’s notice, but I’m getting a little tired of them. Of course, that will mean I’ll have to do some dinner planning (which is something that’s perpetually on my New Year’s to-do list)…
5. Get out more. I know this sounds incongruous given what I just said, but follow me for a minute; last year, I spent most of my time involved in a single thing, and that single thing didn’t allow much room (well… any, really) for outside activities. I really want to see the friends I let fall by the wayside last year. I really want to get on the train this spring and spend a weekend in NYC with Kizz. I really want to spend time with the people I love who took care of me while I was taking care of my mother.
6. Get more professionally involved. There are a ton of different organizations and projects that I can wiggle my way into that will help me become a more effective teacher. I’m going to take as many of the professional development courses offered by Local U. (because most of them are free!). I’m working on putting together an application for a fellowship to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum this summer. I’ve joined one professional association and am looking into a couple of others. I’m also going to keep track of all that stuff so that, when my license comes up for renewal, I’ll have it all put together and organized.
7. Date my husband. You know, I really LIKE this guy, and I don’t feel like we get nearly enough ‘us’ time. I’ve come to understand that the only way that’s going to happen, though, is if we actually schedule it. I’m going to see if I can get in the habit of putting together a just-us, out-of-the-house night once a month.
8. Deepen my practice. Right now, I’m only doing yoga regularly once a week. I am in conversation with one of the directors of the yoga studio in which I took my 200 hour certification (which happens to be in the same building as CHS) about picking up a class or two, and Bowyer’s hooking me up with an after-school enrichment program in his district that, I think, is going to start in March. I need the yoga for a lot of reasons, but not the least of them is to keep my body moving (the arthritis will catch up with me if I don’t) and to keep me emotionally balanced. My meditation practice has gone straight to hell, and I need to get it back.
9. Get my literal house in order. Not only am I working on consolidating and purging and keeping only what’s loved and/or needed in the house, but I also want to get some big things done, like getting the back deck put on, the upstairs bathroom finished, the house re-sided and, if we’ve got the means, getting the driveway redone and having some work done in the yard.
10. Close out my mother’s estate. Really, the last thing I have to do as executor is file taxes for the estate. I’m not sure how to go about doing that; I’ve not received any tax-related documents from anyone – bank, Medicare, anything – and I’m not sure how, or whether, someone who was unemployed for several years even files taxes, but I do know that the taxes will be my last responsibility to my mother. I’m not going to lie when I tell you that I’ll be happy to be done with it.