Thursday, January 07, 2010

{W}: The Resolution

I wasn't going to make resolutions this year, having more or less forgotten all about my list of 9 Goals for 2009 when I got pregnant. I actually did pretty well with them, more or less by accident, though. If I'm flexible, I can check off #1 (better eating habits), #2 (regular exercise), #3 (enter a photo in a show), #4 (reduce clutter), and #9 (waste less food), and if redoing the baby's room counts, we also accomplished #6. But then I read a fantastic entry by Jen at Quarter Life Crisis, looking back at the past ten years and writing down some stream-of-consciousness goals for the next ten, and I started to think about my past ten and next ten years.

Ten years ago, I was an 18-year-old college freshman, and that girl feels so far away from the girl I am today, even though the last ten years have gone by in what seems like a flash, looking back. It would be eight more months before I met MB, though about two months after that happened, I was pretty sure I would marry him one day. Four and a half years later I finally graduated from college and we did get married, and about four and half years after that we decided we were ready to have a baby. And nine (ten, actually) months later, here I am. In ten years, I will have a ten-year-old son. Oh my God, how is that even possible? Ten years ago I was barely grown and largely clueless, and ten years from now, I will have a half-grown child of my own. With luck, we'll have another child by then, too, so our boy won't be the only one. So I guess resolution #1 for this decade is to be the best wife I can be to MB, the best thing that ever happened to me. Resolution #2 will be to get a good start on raising one or two happy, healthy, well-adjusted kids.

In the past ten years, I have been fortunate enough to travel to some pretty incredible places. I went on a two-week road trip down to the Gulf of Mexico and then through the West. I visited Yellowstone National Park, South Dakota, Maine, and went to Ontario twice, once for geology and once for Shakespeare. I spent six and a half weeks at a geologic field camp in Montana. I made several trips to beloved Chicago. I saw the Smokies, got my ass kicked by a mountain in North Carolina, traveled to San Francisco and Alaska for work, and spent the best vacation of my life with MB in Washington State. Resolution #2 for my third decade on the planet is to travel whenever possible. Short trips, medium ones, I'll take what I can get. I want us to visit state parks and take hikes, to go to quirky little museums and tourist attractions. I want to finally take MB on his first trip to Chicago. And I want to take at least one big, kickass vacation with MB and the child(ren), Maybe to Maine, maybe back to Tennessee, maybe somewhere long as we go somewhere and make the most of it.

We've had some periods of lean times these past ten years, some leaner than others, and while we're lucky to have our educations and a house of our own, I hope to have most of our lean-times debt solidly behind us by the time the next ten years is up. I would say all, but man...those student loans are killer. We'll probably be paying on those from the afterlife. We've made a lot of progress chipping away at it, especially at the credit card balances, and resolution #3 is to just keep on chipping. We may be like that allegorical sparrow who carries away one sand grain each year from the mountaintop, but we're going to keep going back for more sand grains.

I can't say for sure where I'll be in ten years, career-wise, but resolution #4 is to keep striving for success in the job I have now for as long as I have it, and to always work hard. I hope I'll be fortunate enough to always have a job I love, whether it's the one I have now or one I can't yet foresee.

And resolution #5, short and sweet: keep writing. I may never publish a novel or even a short story, but I want to keep writing, here or elsewhere. I also want to stay committed to writing things for the brachiopod on the baby-book-replacing blog I created when we started trying for a baby last year. I may never create luxurious handcrafted scrapbooks for my kids, but I want to write, for them and for me.

The last ten years have been the best ten years of my life. Here's hoping I'm back here saying the same thing ten years from now.

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