For reasons I have yet to fully understand, it is customary at the end of each year to take stock of our bad habits and resolve to change them as soon as the clock rolls past midnight on December 31st. This works beautifully for many. If you’re one of those folks, my friend Meghan has a fun accountability group just for you. You can sign up for the 3 in 30 group here. If anyone else has a goal-oriented meme starting up on the first (say a weight-loss group?) feel free to leave your link in comments for us!
As I’m sure I’ve said elsewhere on this blog, I don’t work that way. I am a classic underachiever. I assiduously avoid making goals, knowing full well that as soon as I’ve stated my intentions, something (usually my own silly mind games) will cause me to give up. Instead, I prefer to sneak up on success. If I never let it know I’m coming, it can’t run away before I get there, right?
I’m not an underachiever due to laziness (far from it, actually), but because I am a perfectionist. I’ve learned to live with this fault of mine by pretending that I’m not actually trying to accomplish anything. Robbing a goal of its importance relieves all that neurotic anxiety, and frees me to do what I need to do without worrying too much about failure. Have I ever told you guys just how crazy I really am? I think that ought to clue you in. Run.
While everyone else is taking the straightforward, honest approach to self-improvement, I think I’ll just take a few moments to tot up my successes and failures, humble as they are, and perhaps make a little wishlist for next year. Emphasis on wish, not list. That’s how I roll.
What was awesome in 2010:
- Money: I decided a little while back to try to make my blog pay for itself. That was easy. It took two weeks after stating that wish for me to make enough money to cover the cost of hosting, Thesis, and the header and button combo that Honey made for me. I should dream bigger next time.
- Homeschooling: The first half of our school year has been a wonderful success. I don’t honestly have a clue how my son measures up to other first graders in his academic performance, but he’s doing just as well as he can do. I’m pleased with the progress he’s made in learning to sit still and concentrate on the work. He’s particularly good at reading, history, and making jokes so bad I can’t help laughing. Takes after his ma that way.
- Personal: I have grown an immense amount of patience where my children are concerned. I am not a patient person by nature, so the fact that I have learned to explain, reexplain, and then review the same tiny details over and over until the child gets it, and do it without sighing, yelling, or crying is a stunning accomplishment! Our first year was not this easy. It was not the boy’s fault, as it turns out.
- Blogging: My post Just Mommy was linked by The Other McCain. That was a big, important link for a little guy like me. Now Robert Stacy McCain is finding out just how hard it is to get rid of me once you’ve been nice to me. That’ll teach him.
- Family: Had a baby. That was neat. And painful. But mostly neat.
What didn’t work in 2010:
- Reviews and giveaways: I’ll still be doing the occasional review or giveaway, provided the items interest me enough, but I’m really tired of wasting my limited computer time on reviews when I could be writing about things that actually interest me. I’m paring back to only doing reviews and giveaways that are directly related to my interests: cooking, homemaking, and education. Even those will be limited.
- Couponing: I quit couponing. Oh, glory, hallelujah, no more coupons! Couponing does not work for me. Period.
- Money: I am TICKED at us for taking out a loan for a van. I’d sworn never to do that again, but we got the crazy idea that we should do that, rather than strap the infant seat to the roof of our Mazda 5. So now any extra money we find will be put toward paying off that sucker early. Way to go, Dyers! On the bright side, it was a modest loan, and no one would ever guess that the old clunker wasn’t already paid for. That’s a bright side, right?
- Money: Our $4,000 emergency fund dwindled down to $777 (nice number, don’t you think?) after our health insurance deductible went up the week before we had the baby (Our HSA was short $1000. Thanks, Mr. Obama!), our wonderful automatic van door broke ($900 OUCH), bought Jesse a small car for work (not an emergency, but an urgent need: $1,000), I had some unexpected dental work ($700) and something else I can’t remember. On the bright side, our lives were not derailed, there was no stressing about how to pay for all that stuff, and we didn’t have to go into debt to pay for anything.
My 2011 wishlist:
- I want to be brave enough to hit publish even when I know I’m going to step on toes. So far, I’m about 50% there. I want to be bold 100% of the time!
- I want this car paid off as quickly as possible so we can get a house. We need a house. OK. I want a house. Jesse is actually indifferent on this one. We have shelter, and that’s enough for him. If he wanted to be a homeowner, I imagine we’d own a home by now.
- I don’t ever want to buy store bread again. I’ve made my own for the last 2 months, so this ought to be easy to accomplish.
- I want more readers! My subscriber numbers are creeping up very slowly. Faster, please! I want to hit 2,000 by the end of next year. That is insane, as I am at 230-250 right now. I don’t honestly expect that to happen, but as long as I’m dreaming, why not dream big?
- I want more friends. There, I said it out loud. I don’t have enough friends. I lost a good friend a couple of years ago, and haven’t really had the heart to make new ones. Not after that craptastic blowup. Who’d want to cozy up to me after that? Oh, well. Here’s to the future. Also, I’m still sorry. You know who you are.
- Right now, my size 12 jeans are just a little on the loose side. I’d like to be a comfortable 8 by the end of the year. That’s doable, if I don’t get pregnant. Which is a huge if, I admit.
How about you guys? Do you have big plans for the fresh new year or just a few pitiful maybes like me?