This post was originally posted at the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales blog Monday, November 28, 2011.
e·val·u·a·tion - an act or instance of evaluating or appraising.
re·e·val·u·a·tion - the evaluation of something a second time (or more)
What the heck was I thinking???
December 2010 I sat down with a writing exercise. I was to make a list of things that could be different in my life. This exploded into a year of changes that have had a profound impact on mine and my family's lives.
The biggest surprise was my family's participation. Honestly, I never expected either Hubby or The Kid to want anything to do with my idea of cutting back. But Hubby was the first to jump in. Funny thing, we'd both been thinking along this same line for years but neither of us voiced our concerns.
Being the over the top kind of people we are, we started out huge and listed our "too big" house for sale. This was the very beginning of our revelation process and turned out to be the biggest obstacle. We've built and remodeled over 14 homes in the 20 years we've been married. Not once did we have a problem selling. But the economy turned what we thought would be a short process into 11 long months. Good news, we are currently in the finally stages of selling the house. What an experience this has been. I'll be blogging about it this coming year on my Live, Love, Write blog. The craziness of this process is way too long to summarize in this one paragraph.
The issue with our nonexistent budge was easily solved, we weren't able to put our attack plan of paying down debt into effect because this crazy process of needing a smaller, cheaper place to live once we sold the "to big" and expensive house. This resulted in TWO mortgages for several months and some sleepless nights. But we were able to make this (the two mortgages) work because we did have a budget plan.
The clutter that had invaded our lives and home was easy to get rid of (for me anyway). The de-cluttering process will also help once we move from the five bedroom home (2,300 sq feet) to the new three bedroom home (900 sq feet). Yikes! There is still a LOT of stuff to go through in the next two weeks (did I mention we have to be moved by December 15th…).
Our diet habits and exercise routines (or lack of) was another big challenge. We still haven't mastered a plan for this, but we do have options and The Kid and I have set up a running schedule for this coming year. He's agreed to run in a couple of 5K races with me. Now, if we can just get Hubby involved…
The whole reevaluation process has enhanced our attempts to reconnect as a family. This step is still a work in progress and always will be. But I do see that the attempt has made us more aware of the issue and has resulted in a slight increase of our together time.
My career and job choices continue to be far larger than I expected. My biggest problem seems to be which direction I want to put more of my efforts into, writing or the business angle I'm already getting paid for…
This plays into my attempt at taking back my time. Each training program takes time. Adding them into my quest for more family time and better health practices takes more time than I actually have to give. This is another area I need to work on for next year.
My search for inner peace is still going strong. I'm finding it's easier to steal bits and pieces of time here and there rather than trying to schedule it. By "stealing" time, I don't have the opportunity to reschedule something "more important." ;)
The review of a decade of life was a real eye opener and resulted in another project I'm working on for 2012. I'm hoping to combine a bunch of the activities above and turn this into another family project that will bring us closer.
Taking a hard look at my relationship with my friends was my most frustrating task. With everything I've got going, even the ideas I committed to in my friends post have been almost impossible to keep. I'm finding that the practice of "stealing time" also applies to the progression of my friendships. A definite work in progress…
Finally, facing fears and living a writer's dream turned out to be the most productive of my 2011 projections. I started writing over a decade ago and in that time I've had other things take priority. I've allowed myself to push my writing life to the back burner more often than not. Self-publishing my short story, Drool Worthy, was the most inspiring writing thing I've done. It has also pushed me harder than anything or anyone else has been able to do these past several years. I honestly see this as a much larger stepping stone for 2012.
Although 2011 is not completely over, November has always been my deadline for this blog series. As I looked back at the past year, I'm actually impressed with everything my family and I were able to accomplish. Yes, we have a LOOONNNNGGGG way to go, but I really feel like we did what this writing exercise set out to do. The exciting thing is that we have only begun to scratch the surface of what we can still accomplish in these areas.
With this success in mind, Hubby, The Kid and I sat down to put together a plan for 2012. We've decided this will be our year of giving up the bad and trying something new. Curious as to what that means? Check back in February with my first post for this new series.
I'd love to hear about your goals. Did you make any New Year's Resolutions and keep them? If so, how is that going for you? If not, why?
Photo credit for all but Drool Worthy book cover and Starbucks card goes to Stock.Xchng.