A new year is upon us; January 1, 2019 is just a few days away. My, how time flies. As far as I know, I’m the only one in my family who makes New Year’s resolutions, although I should ask my daughters-in-law and my granddaughter. I can imagine that at least one of them might be part of the club and I just don’t know it. As someone who lives by lists, including daily to-do lists of things that I know I’m going to do but love being able to tick off at the end of the day, I love reviewing my New Year’s resolutions at the end of a year and spending time identifying a few major goals for the year ahead. The end-of-year calm descends briefly with the waning of the frenzy of holiday prep and festivities. Even the news shifts from fast-breaking news to various versions of “the year in review” (well, with a few unpleasant exceptions). This period of calm lends itself to personal reviews of the year just ending, along with personal hopes for the year ahead. Since the year hasn’t quite started yet, we can look upon it as a blank slate, full of promise. We can at least pretend for a few days.
How did I do with last year’s resolutions?
As I announced in my New Year’s post last Dec 31 (A New Year’s tradition: reflections, resolutions, and dreams of fresh starts), I set 4 major goals for myself. I didn’t do so well!
- Running. Run 500 miles in 2018. Hmm. Well, I was sick all of January and most of December, so I’m not going to count that time. I took a tumble during a 10K at the end of September and was nervous about running after that, so I’m going to discount Oct and Nov, too. That still leaves Feb-Sept. If I was aiming for more or less 10 miles per week during that time period, how did I do? Not great, even after giving myself a pass on 4 months. Being the list maker that I am, I did keep track. It was more like an average of 6 miles (10K) per week than 10 miles. I did at least complete 3 10Ks. I’m generously giving myself a B-. What the heck!
- Writing. I committed to writing a new series of stories for small children. I did start it, more than once. I got bogged down because my premise includes a few characters who are children of immigrant families. I wanted to add that dimension of kids with different languages and cultures at home than the ones they learn and live by in school and play. Then the whole issue of cultural appropriation became public in an ugly sort of way while I was working through this, and it made me nervous about continuing. As a “white person”, is it OK for me to be writing about anything but what I have personally experienced? And, if not, how does children’s literature become more diverse, to better reflect our diverse society? I’m not sure I’ve resolved this yet, but I still like my initial idea. I think I have to have the confidence to work through it and let the chips fall where they may. I did write and illustrate a few stories for my youngest grandsons, but that’s not the series I had planned, not by a long shot. I’m giving myself a C.
- Blogging. I committed to writing a blog post more or less once a week. I am happy to say that I succeeded in that one; I even exceeded it. Gosh, I hope I didn’t post too many times and have people saying, “oh, no, not again!” I’m giving myself an A (for quantity, not quality).
- News. I committed to not obsessing over the news. I was an abject failure at this. I’m not going to even try to address this despair-inducing problem in a resolution this year; I know it would be futile. I’m giving myself an F.
What major goals will I set for myself for 2019?
- Running. Instead of distance, I’m going to set some target races for myself. That’s what gets me onto the trails. To do: Feb 10, 4K Frozen Nose and Toes Fun Run. End of May, Fredericton (or somewhere else) 10K. Mid-Sept, Terry Fox Run. End of September, Fredericton Fall Classic 10K (or somewhere else, and no tripping this time).
- Writing. I will continue with, and complete, my idea for a new series of children’s stories.
- Blogging. I will write the equivalent of one blog post per week (again).
- Creative endeavours. 2018 was a year with no quilting whatsoever. I miss every aspect of it, from initial design and choosing the perfect fabrics to tying off the last hem stitch. I will undertake some quilting projects, and perhaps try watercolors again.
- Spending quality time with family and friends. A very long (80 years!) Harvard study that popped up in an online newsfeed I was reading recently reminds us that the one thing that really makes us happy and healthy, over and above everything else, is the quality of our relationships. It’s not about how many friends you have, but the quality of those friendships you do have. One very good friend may be the difference-maker. Close relationships bring joy to our lives. We must not let the demands and stresses of life overtake our ability to nurture the friendships that sustain us in life. I am blessed with family and friends who make my life far richer than it would otherwise be. I know I can count on these special people in my life when I’m in need, and I have to make sure that they know that I am there for them as well, no matter what. I need to make sure they know how important they are to me. I will actively nurture those relationships in 2019. More off-campus meetings, for one thing! 😉
Thank you, blogging world, for indulging me. Making a public pronouncement of one’s aspirations is surprisingly motivating. 🙂
If you are not a list maker or a committed creator of New Year’s resolutions, you may feel free to shake your head – gently, of course, and with good humour. If setting out New Year’s resolutions is an integral part of this time of year for you, welcome to my world. How did you do with last year’s resolutions? Are you shifting to an entirely new set of resolutions this year, or is there some perseverance evident in your resolutions for 2019? It’s all good. It’s a blank slate, after all! Happy New Year, everyone.