We're about four hours into January 2nd here. I've been up with one of my girls since 2:30. She has finally settled down into peaceful slumber, but I'm now into that age-old mama question of whether it's worth trying to go back to sleep myself when I know the next wake-up is only an hour or so away.
While I've been listening in the dark, I've been doing some thinking of the traditional kind for this time of year, pondering goals (resolutions, if you will) for the coming year. Being a Northern Hemisphere person in a Southern Hemisphere life, Christmas and New Year's seem to sneak up on me and then pass me by without a big impact. I just expect those occasions to be accompanied by cold weather, huddling indoors with warm beverages and cozy surroundings. Those external sensations stimulate the internal thoughts and feelings that make the season for me. Instead, it is summertime with a few days of record-high temperatures, and once again, I've missed the transition from one year to the next.
I don't believe in making New Year's Resolutions. I've never known anyone to keep them past January. Setting goals, however, is always a good idea, and there's no time like the present for evaluating where I am and where I'd like to be. I've been using this listening-in-the-dark time caught between periods of wakefulness to start making a simple, realistic list of goals for this new year of 2011. The overwhelming theme is a need for better, smarter organization and planning in various areas of my life. I remember starting off 2010 in such an organized fashion that I marveled at how easy everything seemed. Then, I fell off the wagon, new (big) challenges were thrown in, and I threw in the towel so that I myself and my family's life at home are currently in a somewhat organic state of entropy.
I know I can do better.
Although I'd like to take on more external goals like Project 365, I need to first address some simple needs that will make for a much more peaceful flow around my home. Some items on my list:
- menu planning. I did this for a long while with great success. It was wonderful to just follow a plan rather than winging it each day, and it really simplified grocery shopping as well as minimizing food waste.
- write up a loose weekly routine. I've seen this advocated in places like Simple Mom, and while it seems a bit anal, it would also help ensure I at least try to fit in activities (like daily story time or art/craft) that our state of entropy doesn't guarantee at all. My girls have no patience for my planning and gathering materials on the fly when they want to start a project. Planning ahead would make it more fun for all of us.
- create a chore chart for all of us with daily chore time we can do together. I used to have them help me clean when they were littler, and now I don't much at all. This makes no sense whatsoever. Time for that to change.
- maintain a list of long term projects with timelines built into my schedule. Last year when my friend and I did our quilting challenge, I realized how very realistic is was to (machine) sew a quilt in six weeks when the task was broken down by week. Imagine what I could achieve if I just set out a plan!
- improve communication. Living on the other side of the planet from most of my friends and family makes communication weak. I hate facebook, I find emails impersonal...but phone calls aren't often realistic with 12+ hour time differences and I don't make time for letter writing. I can change that. I used to be amazing with cards for birthdays and anniversaries, but it's been more hit and miss in the past couple of years; I want to get that back on track. I also need to tend my private blog more.
I'm not quite sure what will happen with this space over the coming year. When I rented the movie Julie & Julia, there was a scene when Julie was fighting with her husband, and he accused her of becoming very egocentric about her blog. She retorted that that was what blogging was, "just me me me all the time!" This resonated with me, and I haven't made peace with it yet. My family's blog (5 years old!) is mostly about the kids and our life abroad, and I used to really enjoy maintaining that until some unpleasant people with too much time on their hands made me decide to password-protect it. I started this blog as a public face, but in protecting my family's privacy, this site has become a bit too much me me me all the time for my comfort or interest. We'll see how this evolves.
Now that the very first light of day is creeping into the sky and the earliest birds are starting to sing, I think I'm going to head back to bed for a short nap before the day begins in earnest. Thank you for stopping by for a visit. I hope to get to know you as time goes on.
Have you made any goals for 2011? Anything that excites you (or not, but seems requisite anyway)? Please share in the comments.
Wishing you a wonderful start to this new year!