Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's Review

Prior to Buddy's birth, I was always wondering, to borrow the title of Po Bronson's book, "What Should I Do With My Life?" (I even posted study questions from that book earlier this year.)

It’s a question that just doesn’t seem that important to me right now. The urgency around it has left. And I am so grateful. I have spent more than enough time in my life agonizing over it.

I’d heard it said that having a child focuses you, puts things into perspective. Leaving aside the whole mess of how one's life and priorities change with having a child in the first place, it also becomes a lot easier to answer the question “What is most important to me?” when my resources outside of child-rearing become more limited, and I have to scrounge for every available bit of time/space/money/energy. "What is most important to me" is whatever I feel I have to do to feel most wholly myself (and thereby also most available to my chosen commitments of child, mate, and work).

Who knows why this seemed so impossible for me to figure out in the past? I could speculate for pages but would only end up boring myself and any others foolish enough to stick along.

In any case, this year I was granted a respite from the grinding questions of WHY is this important HOW is this meaningful WHAT will this mean for my life, and could, in little morsels of space for myself, just do, and be, as I most wanted.

(I think also my sheer animal pleasure in Buddy helped open that space for me. I am happiest in a kinesthetic rather than analytic mode anyway, but it’s very easy to let monkey mind take over in everyday life. Having Buddy around moves me more easily into my body.)

And at the end of the year, what turned out to be most important to me outside of Buddy? Spending time with The Dude. Spending some time every day in purposeful movement. Connecting and reconnecting with friends. Making things with my hands again. Being of help at work.

I realize that the two questions I bring up, “What should I do with my life?” and “What is most important to me?”, are not the same. There is an urgency, a pressure, to the first one, that to me relates to other questions about vocation, about having a sense of calling or mission, about ambition and feelings of self-worth… I think what I am grateful for at the end of 2009 is that this question is no longer, or not currently at least, the one I feel I need to answer.

With all this in mind, here are my resolutions for 2010.

  • Get seven hours of sleep each night.
  • Lose another 15 lbs.
  • Get current with doctor visits, in particular the dentist.
  • Get my hair cut four times.
  • Wear only clothing I like.

  • Stay more current with Facebook.
  • Continue with this blog, email, and handmade cards.
  • Kiss The Dude more, and go out on more than just two dates.

  • Go through my art materials and find a good/safe way to access them and know what I have.
  • Make my own quilt (or a least get a good start on it).
  • Continue making occasion cards.
  • Reorganize my scrapbook materials and complete the one I started from my single years.
  • Make at least some of my Christmas presents, and earlier in the year.

  • Train for Wrigley Early Start 10K, Soldier Field 10M, and the Chicago Marathon.
  • Continue with a regular schedule of yoga and swimming.
  • Train seriously - but only to the extent that it enhances my life, and does not become its own stress.

Happy New Year Everyone!


  1. I'd really love to hear more about your running training, b/c it's something I plan on focusing on too. I've never taken any running classes and am gonna look into CARA and start aiming for more than 5Ks this summer and beyond. I'd love to hear more about how you train!

  2. And I'd love to talk to you about it! Though mostly it is a combination of the Runner's World online training plans with my own observations about what seems to work well for me. But I LO-O-OVE talking running so am happy to do so anytime.