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December 29, 2006

Aught-Seven: The To-Dos and To-Don'ts

For days I have been thinking about my Big List for 2007. Before I make my resolutions for a new year, I like to look back over last year's list and see what things I managed to accomplish or what goals changed as the year aged. Then I start my new list.

Ah, listing. If only it burned calories.

My 2006 List was surprisingly on track with the basic theme of my year: Get Better. All my years sort of have a theme, or at least I like to think they do. I want to feel as if my year, my time on this earth, is making me more of who I want to be as time goes by. Also, themes! Almost as fun as lists!

The entire span of 2005 was focused on putting myself back together, or merely keeping myself in one piece, ergo the theme was Just Don't Cry At Meetings (anymore). Also, coincidentally, that was pretty much my only resolution in 2005! The theme of 2006 was more optimistic, Be Better. And also, while you're at it, Figure Out Who You Are. My list for 2006 was long and I accomplished some good stuff! I actually went on a date. More than one, in fact. I saw more of my grandma, got new tires on my Jeep, tried as often as possible to live forward, not backward.

This year's list is a little more, uh, wordy than usual. It's a wee bit on the heavy side. But this is an important year, my 36th! A lot of things will be changing this year. There is a huge amount of uncertainty, but there's also possibility. I'm certain 2007 will be the good year, the new year, the best year. Fingers crossed!

Aught-Seven: The To-Dos and To-Don'ts

Practical Stuff First:
• Really re-focus on saving money and spending less. From January 1- March 31, try to eliminate ALL unneccessary spending. Instead, when the urge to buy strikes, write the item down on a "buy later" list. Also, shoes do NOT count as essentials.

• Get a handle on my health. (read: Lose weight already). I mean really. It was fine when I needed to feel insulated from the world, but this is taking things a bit far.

• Go to the dentist and the eye doctor.

• Get brakes checked on Jeep.

• Stop shopping at 7-11.

• Figure out my email problems.

• Send mail promptly (which would be a nice change from not sending it AT ALL.)

• Change credit companies for a rewards program.

• Get free yearly credit report.

• Clean and organize the office.

• Have another yard sale.

• Make appointment to see tax guy. Get taxes completed before deadline.

• Clean the back patio.

• Get sewing machine out of garage.

• Go to snb more often.

Everyday Things:
This year, I'm trying something new. I want to do little things each day, some will (hopefully) make my life run more smoothly. Some will make me healthier, and some are just ... because.

• Walk on the treadmill each day, even if it's just for 10 minutes!

• Spend 15 minutes each evening picking up and tidying the house.

• Take one photo a day. Haven't decided yet what to do with them.

• Take a multivitamin.

• Drink a lot of water.

• Choose not to act out of fear, or insecurity.

• Floss.

• Leave five minutes earlier.
* When I first sat down to write 2007, the only thing that popped into my mind was: Leave five minutes earlier to drive to the bus stop. While this doesn't sound profound, it's actually at the very root of my theme for 2007: Stop wishing reality were different, and start living the best you can with what you've got. You see, each morning I leave my house and drive to the park 'n ride, a trip which used to take me 15 minutes. But traffic has gotten really bad, so now it takes longer, but instead of accepting this fact I just insist on leaving at the same time and COMPLAINING nonstop about traffic, "Why is traffic so bad? It shouldn't be this bad! It should not take this long to go just four miles!" But it does. That is life. Leave earlier and relax, stop making yourself crazy and giving yourself a case of road-rage hives.

The Main Event:

In 2007, I will turn 36 years old. In Chinese Astrology that makes me a Pig (OK THE IRONY IS NOT LOST UPON ME THANKS A LOT UNIVERSE! LOVE YOU!) and me and the fine people of China happen to think this will be an exhilirating and crazy year. I know things will be changing for me in a lot of ways, and I want to try to handle that with as much dignity and grace as I can muster. You know, as a Pig and all.

• Expect and want good things and don't feel guilty about it.

• Resist the urge to minimize successes.

• (private)

• Understand that all change, even good and happy change, comes with stress.

• Make every effort to be happy. Choose to work hard, live well, and love someone. It's all a choice. I could just as easily choose to hole up, wonder why things are the way they are, and complain. But I don't want to! I want the baseline to always feel safe, but in between I'd rather choose risk over fear, temptation over empty, something (even just the hope of something) instead of the safety of nothingness.

• Don't take the easy way out.

• Appreciate.

• Move. At some point this year, God willing, I will pay off my outstanding financial obligations from the lawyer and the married debt and that whole piece of work. It's taken me a LONG time to do it, but I feel it's now so close! When this happens, I need to move. The little house in the valley has been good for me and perfect for my transitional life, and now I need to find a safe and happy and hopefully less maintenance-intensive place for me and the felines to spend some time. Plus, mentally it's time to move past the "I'm Divorcing" house and into the "I'm Living My Life" house. Also, it would be nice if it had stairs because Bob needs the exercise.

• Set the bar high and keep it there. It might make it harder (especially when dating) but it's worth it. And nothing is worth sacrificing your personal dignity.

• Don't sacrifice personal dignity.

• (private)

• Get a good night's sleep.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

So, that's my list for 2007. It was only when making this list that I realized the most important goal of 2006 had actually already been accomplished. I'm happy. I'm not happy all the time, I still get sad and lonely and scared and right now I have a blemish on my forehead that rivals the North Star. NOT happy about that!

But deep down inside me, I am okay. I set out to accomplish something this year and I did it. Sure, I do get terribly lonely sometimes and I miss hugging on someone, I want things. I have fear. But I'm basically happy, pleased with the way things are going and excited about where it all may go.

This time last year I wasn't sure the story would have a happy or even interesting ending. The year before that, I thought the ending had already happened. Honestly, I'm still not sure what my life will look like at the end of all this or what road I will be walking down next ... but I know I'm ready to find out. And I will even leave my house five minutes early, just so I don't get road rage along the way.

Happy 2007. Go make your list!

Posted by laurie at December 29, 2006 2:43 PM