Thursday, January 3, 2013

13 for 13

Last year I made a "12 for 12" list of goals that I hoped to reach for the year. Making "resolutions" seems like such a one-off; like once you complete that task it is complete and there is nothing more to it. By setting goals for myself I am hoping to create change, to improve in some way, not simply to accomplish something (even though a couple of my goals are, in fact, tasks to accomplish. But it's my list so I can do whatever I want, right?). Last year I did pretty well in achieving many of my goals though, admittedly, I never looked at the list once it was written. Apparently the simple, reflective act of making the list can be enough to plant the seed that will ultimately lead you to grow and change.

Though I realize making this a "thing" that I do every year only means my list will inevitably grow longer, I am pretty sure that as the years go on I will sadly only find more and more aspects of my life that could use a little improvement. Isn't that the way everything goes? And so here it is- my list of 13 goals, changes, undertakings, etc. that I would like to make a priority in these next 362 days good grief, I'm already behind in no particular order.
  1. Figure out to use this expensive camera of mine. I spent far too much money on this dslr to not learn to use it to its fullest potential. Though I don't shoot on auto, at times it seems I may as well. I have an overwhelming fear of missing the moment because I am fiddling with settings. It's time to bite the bullet on this one and start pressing buttons and moving dials. My photos just make me sad and there is no excuse for not doing something about it.
  2. Take a class. I have been making excuses for not taking a letterpress class for a year and a half now. And I'm pretty sure I haven't stepped foot inside a yoga studio since before Anderson was born nearly 4 years ago. I miss being a student. Even if only on-line, I am aching to gain knowledge.
  3. Figure out the basics of Photoshop. After having just spent about 2 hours trying to accomplish something that seems as if it should have been incredibly easy (and ultimately closing out of it in frustration), I am committed to doing some research and figuring this beast out. As confident as I am in Illustrator you would think some of my knowledge would transfer. Nope. Stupid Adobe programs.
  4. Smile, engage, compliment, and just be nice. So simple, right? I am not mean (though surely there are a few around me who would totally challenge me on this statement including a certain almost 4 year old who needs a time-out almost daily), but I am not an overly nice person. You know, the kind that is always nice and positive and superfluous with their compliments? I'm not even close. But the other day I found myself in Target checking out. The cashier greeted me with the standard "How is everything going today" to which I responded "well, thank you" and proceeded with my transaction with no further contact other than to grab my receipt and say thank you once again. As I walked away I heard her greet the next customer in the same robotic way, to which the customer responded, "great, and how about you? How is your day going?". The employee then stated, with a totally different tone, "nobody ever asks me how I am doing, thank you for that! I'm actually doing great". In that moment I was reminded that such simple gestures can make an impact yet I rarely engage in them. My personality is my personality and I have never been a small talker, but surely I can make the effort to be more aware of those moments where just a smile or a compliment can make someone just a little happier.
  5. Don't engage in the nonsense. Sadly there are a lot of people who thrive on drama and pot-stirring. No doubt I have been guilty myself, though this year I have spent a lot more time in the pot than I would have liked. Jeez, half the time I didn't even know there was a pot! I'd be a liar if I didn't admit that I am a sucker for the gossip, but lately I am just exhausted by all of it. If it doesn't concern me I just need not care. Heck, even if it does concern me it's probably not worth my time to engage. My time is too valuable to waste being bitter or bothered.  
  6. Work more, spend less, and stick to a plan. It is no secret that money has been beyond tight in the Palmer house for a couple of years since having babies. I have no regrets about the decisions we have made to spend as much time with our kids as possible, but I am also sick of being broke. Surely I can find a way to bring in some extra money doing something I enjoy; I just need to put a bit of thought into what exactly that may look like.
  7.  Make our master bedroom a place I actually enjoy. This is a repeat from last year, but what good is a list of goals if you are not allowed carry-over? None, I say. So with the paint chosen and  the curtains still in their packaging waiting to be hung, I look forward to accomplishing this goal relatively soon. Like within the next couple of weeks. Or sooner. I cannot stand those stupid faux painted walls much longer. It's like I live in Tuscany,; only it's not Tuscany, it's just my ugly faux Venetian plastered Tuscany wannabe 1990s renovated bedroom which overlooks the street and not a vineyard. Yuck.
  8. Get out of the house. We are actually pretty good at this, but there are definitely days where it is way too easy to hang on the couch with the kids and put on a show. Now that they boys are at easier ages and can enjoy outings I hope to take them on as many "adventures" as possible. And as any parent knows, calling any boring old errand an "adventure" makes it that much more exciting.  
  9. Finish my back-log of sewing projects. I was so inspired this summer and then work started back up and I put the machine away. I owe a couple of gifts to a couple of people and I need to get a move on. I've already missed Christmas, but I am hoping to make them birthday gifts. Or Easter presents. Fourth of July gift, perhaps?
  10. Utilize every drawer and cabinet in my office area. The empty drawers are not for a lack of stuff with which to fill them, but rather a lack of commitment. I swear I have the weirdest thing about putting things in drawers. It's like I can't commit to what function the drawer should have so it just sits empty waiting for me to be inspired to fill it. Shall it hold writing implements? Computer-related odds and ends? Should it be a singular or multi-purpose use drawer? Should I put in organizers or take advantage of the vast amount of space? Seriously, who has ever heard of such a non-problem problem? Meanwhile I can barely see the top of my desk because of all of the crap that should be in the drawers. Maybe what I really need is  a therapist.
  11. Make my marriage my number one priority. I have a good marriage. I do. But it is not what I know it has the potential to be. Between kids and money and work and the day-to-day running of the house I often just don't have the energy to suck it up and put a smile on. This is not a "date night" kind of goal, although those are always welcome, but rather a commitment to improve the quality of the everyday, the ordinary, the mundane.
  12. Improve a skill. I am pretty good at a lot of things. I am not, however, great at any one thing in particular. "Jack of all trades, master of none"? That's me. And, honestly, it has been a really great asset. It's just that I often find myself stuck in a position of envy of those who are masters of their skill. Those who have seemingly perfected their art or craft, the outliers. Though I have no intention of neglecting some talents in order to perfect only one, I would most definitely love to become more skilled in a few. Does that even make sense? Well, it does to me and that's really all that matters anyway.
  13. Blog more regularly, more consistently, and more haphazardly. Too often I find myself not writing because the event is long-passed, the photos are too poor, or I just can't find the right words. But then I look back on the year, at these posts, and I remember why I do it and that none of that matters. What matters is that my family and I have this record of who we are, where we've been, and what we've done along the way. This little blog which has a grand total of no more than 4 readers has become something very special to me. It is my time capsule. I have no one to whom I must answer, I have no standard which must be met. This is my little place and there is no detail too mundane, too boring, or too blurry to remember. it seems there is a pretty obvious thread running through a lot of these goals. Surely it is just a coincidence, but I prefer to think of it as a sign that 2013 is a year for change. That it is time to face some obviously strong desires head-on and put them into action. A year from now I hope to be able to cross more than a handful of items off of the list and to feel like a stronger, more confident, and more knowledgeable woman (who hopefully has a little more money in her wallet and a painted bedroom!).

No comments:

Post a Comment