And with the holidays and family coming soon, I just want to get my thoughts down.
1. Buy a house – completed 6/15/12
Though this is technically not our “first” house, it is the first one we got together, and it’s a single-family detached home. When we moved in, we knew we’d have to replace the roof. I got that taken care of in October just in time for the really cold snap and really wet fall. Since then, I’ve had concerns about the foundation sinking and critters of all kinds throughout the seasons… I guess it’s just part of homeownership. Other than that, though, we couldn’t be happier. It’s got charm and character, and we finally have it filled with all the furniture it could need. Definitely one of the best parts of the year.
2. Get my body in shape
This has been a constant battle all year. At the end of the year my knee is still “tricky”. My leg muscles are not as strong as they need to be, and on top of everything else, my ankle sprain a couple of months ago only threw more things out of whack.
That said, I do have a primary doctor I’m thrilled with and I’m finally seeing an orthopedic specialist, who I’ve had regular monthly visits with. Eventually, I’m sure I’ll get to where I need to be.
The last part of this goal was to get my body more prepared for pregnancy in the event that when my mind is finally ready, I don’t have to feel like my body is behind. And at year’s end this is still only so-so. I’ve gone through spurts when I’ve been really good about vitamins and eating more healthy. And then just a week later, every good habit has fallen apart. Since we are not trying to get pregnant, I’m not mad at my lack of progress. And I’m just trying to carry more awareness of all that I think I should be doing to feel ready for this next step. I’ve definitely made great strides with my emotional health and relationships. And I do know I want my knee to be in the best shape I can get it before we start trying.
3. Get a job – completed 12/20/12
I have a job!!! Amazingly, I have a job!! Although this has been a constant battle all year, the year is ending with me employed, and I’m thrilled. I’m working part-time as a bank teller in a credit union, and it’s more awesome than I could ever imagine. I go in at 10, I leave at 2. I don’t think about it again until the next morning. The credit union is mission-based to serve the underbanked, so the customers who come through are often folks who are on government assistance and mimic many of the clients I have served in my past in the non-profit world. The products and services that the credit union offers are also very cool: “Loans” that aren’t really loans, but ways to demonstrate regular payment and build credit. Accounts for women fleeing domestic violence situations that receive “matching” deposits from the DV shelter. I’m so amazed to be there, and I’m learning a lot. It’s entry-level, but it’s just what I needed to transition back into working.
In addition, I had an interview to be Managing Director of a local non-profit, and I will hear the outcome in mid-January.
This is definitely making the year end on a very high note.
4. Apply to graduate programs for 2013
Midway through this year I was convinced I would be applying by the December 15th deadline to a program focused on higher education administration. And right around Thanksgiving, while dealing with all my old demons questioning me if this was really what I wanted to be doing, I decided to let that go for this year.
I am still going to apply to the other programs I was looking at for the February 1 deadlines: Community Development, Counseling, and I think Social Work.
This goal did get me to take the GRE, which I had been avoiding forever. And it did get me to get in touch with old bosses and professors for references. I’ve been drafting up various statements of purpose, and I really think it’ll be doable to finish apps in January. This is all still in process, but we’ll see what happens.
5. Write four letters a month
This was a great goal for me to have. It got me back in touch with several old friends and writing my family members more. IN particular, my best friend and I were writing faithfully most of the second half of the year. Ending the year, I didn’t write as many letters as I set out to, and we still haven’t sent a Christmas card. But overall, I’m feeling pleased with this goal. And it did enrich my year.
6. Gather creative courage
My goal was to craft more, really utilize my craft room, and make things to enjoy and possibly to sell through Etsy.
While dealing with all my self-doubt throughout the year, it was really hard to get myself feeling creative. And my crafting room is not well insulated, so in the summer it’s really hot, and in the winter it’s really cold. I never found a happy medium that just got me in there…creating…happily.
That said, I took several artsy classes. I learned letterpress before we moved, and that was awesome. I took a bookbinding class at a PaperSource. I took a zipper purse class when we moved. I took some online classes that helped refine my eye for photography and to scrapbook more about my life.
And J gave me a new fancy digital camera as an early Christmas present, and we are excited to be learning photography together.
So, yes, I have gained creative courage this year, but I still have a ways to go with what I was hoping for and expecting…
7. Integrate options into my investing strategy – completed 5/10/12
With my father-in-law’s help, I learned all about options this year, and bought and sold some puts and calls to learn a little bit more tangibly about how they work. I’m glad I did it, but I find it a risky way of investing, and haven’t been interested in doing much more than I did.
Having something that just my father-in-law and I could talk about was really special, and learning something rather random definitely helped to make this my best year yet.
8. Read two books a month
This goal really helped me to open the covers of books and not just collect them on my shelf. Later in the year this goal was less about the amount, and more about just reading everyday.
9. Travel somewhere each month
I was successful getting away throughout 2012 and I enjoyed that this was a specific place I could talk about those travels. I was thrilled I finally got to go to Montreal, and I was happy I could see family as often as I did this year.
10. Learn one song on the guitar
The inspiration to learn guitar came when I saw J’s guitar case just sitting closed up in the corner of our living room. I thought it would be a fun way for J and me to spend time together, especially if he could teach me. What I found was I just wasn’t feeling tremendously motivated once I got it out of the case and in my lap. I don’t know why. There’s still a small part of my brain that thinks it could be fun, and I haven’t fully given up on this. It just stopped being as important, and I’m totally accepting of that.
Was 2012 my best year yet?
Even just a few weeks ago when I still hadn’t applied to graduate school and I didn’t feel close to getting a job and so much of my identity was still wrapped up in the fact that I didn’t feel employable, I was definitely thinking that this did not feel like my best year yet.
But then all of a sudden everything shifted. I was meeting more and more people, I was being more honest about exactly how I was feeling while really opening myself up to possibility, my shallow acquaintances were starting to become true friends, and then I got the job interviews, and now I am truly working.
I am about to host my very first Christmas, with both J’s and my families coming. I have closed the rift I had with my dad, and he will be coming as well. I have healed a lot of those emotional wounds that were honestly haunting me. So I suppose, looking at it that way, 2012 could be my best year yet… 5 months ago