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Resolved – Part 3
January 23rd, 2012

Maternity leave is officially over.  (Woe is me.)  Friday was my first day back at work so starting today I am back in the blogging saddle.  I realize that discussion of resolutions is so three weeks ago, but back around New Year’s Day I was busy recovering from the holidays and relishing the last few weeks of my time at home with the boys.  So here I am, on January 23rd, documenting my goals for this year.
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Before I launch straight into the laundry list I feel compelled to wax philosophical about resolutions in general.  I’ve documented my resolutions here on this blog for the past two years (2010 is here, and 2011 is here) with wildly differing results.  In 2010 I was a resolution rock star.  I set reasonable goals for myself and lived up to them all.  Last year I was plagued by hubris from 2010′s successes, set pretty aggressive goals, and by April found myself in the face of abject failure.  (I will offer the caveat that pregnancy had a pretty big hand in unraveling my resolutions.)
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Nevertheless, I am back here in this space offering my goals for the new year.  In spite of last year’s disappointment I still contend that goals are worth having, even if they aren’t always met.  I am a work in progress.  I am not complete.  I can be better.  I can do better.  I always have room for improvement.  And so, one year after another, I will sit down and identify the things I’d like to work on.  For if I don’t identify these things to myself (and I am a person who benefits considerably from the accountability of making goals public) then how can I expect for any of them to change.
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With that, in 2012 I plan to:
  1. Be more thoughtful.  This is something that I used to be very good at as a kid and in my teens and early twenties.  Then when I was 27 I took a job that required me to travel three to four days each week.  At the same time I enrolled in an MBA program that was almost exclusively night classes.  My bandwidth was at capacity.  As soon as I finished my MBA I got pregnant with IEP and with motherhood my spare time continued to diminish.  And one of the things that has been negatively impacted by all of these other obligations is my thoughtfulness toward other people.  So, this year I want to do more that falls into this category.  I want to make small but thoughtful gestures that let other people know that I care about them. 
  2. Read more.  I’ve been veryspecific about my reading goals in past years.  In 2010 it was to read more nonfiction and I knocked it out of the park.  Last year it was to read classic works of fiction I’d never read and I struck out majorly, not making it through a single classic.  (Again, I blame pregnancy.  I’d get into bed at 9:30 and facing a choice between sleep and Tolstoy, sleep won every time.)  So this year my goal is to read, period.  I’d like to work some classics into the mix, specifically A Tale of Two Cities. But I’d also like to mix in some modern fiction (perhaps the second and third titles in the Stieg Larsson trilogy), and some nonfiction (Moneyball and Kitchen Confidential are on the docket).  I’d like to average more than a book a month, and am shooting for at least 15 total.
  3. Get out of my workout rut.  I spend way too much time on the elliptical machine.  I usually run about one day a week.  And I do weights three days a week, rotating between arms, legs, and core.  But that’s not enough variety.  I would like to work swimming and rowing into my regular workout routine, as well as shaking up things in my strength training routine.
  4. Learn to use Photoshop.  I got Photoshop Elements for Christmas a year ago.  I can use it for some basic exposure corrections and cropping, but it is capable of much more than I know how to do.  I’d like to learn to create layers and use opacity, to download and run actions, and figure out what other key features I’m overlooking.
  5. Send birthday cards.  This is a repeat from last year.  This is such an easy thing to do, and I’m woefully bad about it.  It dovetails with being more thoughtful, but this is a very specific thing that I want to do a better job of.  This shouldn’t be a difficult one.
  6. Grow an herb garden.  Another 2011 repeat.  I was in the midst of first trimester misery (that’s the last time I play the pregnancy card, I promise) when it should have been planted, and by the time I got my head above water again we were about to leave on vacation and by the time we got home it was really too hot for seedlings to survive.  This year I’m committed.  I will grow parsley, chives, basil, and thyme.

And there we have it.  I’m trying to harken back to 2010′s list a bit by choosing goals that are attainable, but still challenging.  I think this list meets those criteria.  I will be back with bigger thoughts on Wednesday, but wanted to get these resolutions into the archives before any more time passed.  I enjoyed my time off from blogging, but I’m also looking forward to getting back into the swing of thinking Ten Dollar Thoughts.  I hope you’ll join me.

4 Responses to “Resolved – Part 3”

  1. BigLittleWolf Says:

    Lovely to read you and know there’s more ahead. I can only imagine that the demands of 2012 may tinker with a few items on your list, though fundamentals like being kinder are always good objectives to live by.

    Happy New Year – and I hope the transition back to work goes well.

  2. Kathryn at Good Life Road Says:

    Happy to see you back Gale! I look forward to reading more from you this year and hearing how it goes with these resolutions. I’m trying a new tact this year myself and only have four resolutions (there are many more in the lineup but I decided not to take them on this round). The one’s I paired down to are biggies that I think will have a huge impact. So far so good! Rooting for you on yours.

  3. Bridget Says:

    Hey Gale – welcome back to the outside world! Just wanted to give you a little tip pertaining to goal #2 (although you may find it cheating). I had Great Expectations next to my bed for, I’m not kidding, 2 years. Each time I picked it up I would fall asleep before the end of the page. It was better than Ambien, but I wanted to actually read it. In November I had a road trip by myself to a wedding and checked it out of the library on CD. It took the road trip plus another month of commuting to/from work, but I’ve finally “read” Great Expectations. Since then I’ve kept a book on tape going in my car and have had my reading chip recharged. On top of my audio books I have a book in process at home and at my desk. It feels great to be back to enjoying the journey that only a book can take you on. Good luck on your 2012 goals – looks like a good list to me!

  4. Gale Says:

    Bridget – Thanks for the recommendation. I might have to try it. I’ve never been a big audio book person (and I do enjoy NPR on my commute), but it might be fun to shake things up. If I do end up reading A Tale of Two Cities in print, I think it would be wisest not to tackle it until SSP is sleeping through the night, though! Right now I’m reading Tina Fey’s Bossypants and she never puts me to sleep! :)