"New Year's Resolutions" has become a bad word. If you say you're making "resolutions," you're not saying you're resolving to do things in the new year; the modern connotation of the word is that you are making a list of things at which you will FAIL this year, probably within the first week.
It's much trendier to say you're setting "goals" for the new year. So that's what I'm doing. Because I am hip and trendy.
Earlier in 2008, my sister started talking about this Dave Ramsey guy and about making budgets and getting out of debt. She lured my mom and stepdad to the Dark Side and they've gone all gung-ho on this debt-free life; when they were in town to see Freddy's last show, my stepdad was reading Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover, with all these nifty worksheets to get yourself on a budget and pay off your debt. I expressed interest, in that, "Yes, when I cross everything else off my list I'll look into it" way. He left the book with me.
I need to write a post dedicated just to the book, because it does kind of throw your financial belief system into a tizzy. But in a good way. Because our current financial belief system, here in the Grand Ol' US of A, is really screwed up.
But, for now: Goal #1 for 2009: Get out of debt. We can get everything except for student loans and the mortgage paid off probably by summer, of not spring break, and then start saving up and buying things (with cash) and finally having a savings account worthy of being called that. (Freddy is mostly on board with this plan... he hasn't read The Book yet, and I don't know how much he's buying of what I'm relaying to him, but I trust he'll come around. He is a smart guy, after all, and this stuff makes sense.)
On Monday we got a storage shed (just a little one; paid cash for it, thankyou, did not open a Home Depot credit account), for all the crap that's been cluttering up "the office." You see, we have this extra bedroom. This room was supposed to be an office, for all the writing and translating and so on that I should be doing. Instead? The "office" is a black hole for anything and everything I don't want to find a place for right now. My laptop lives in the living room, where we actually have added a desk. Now, the main reason the desk is in the living room is because it was too much hassle for the two of us to try to maneuver that thing into the "office," which is at the end of the twisty hall, but another reason was because there was no room in the "office" to put this desk. The saddest thing? No, I don't even use the desk out in the living room. Because it's cluttered with more crap. I write to you now, dear readers, from the couch. Where I do most of my computer work. (And we wonder why I have back and neck pain issues?)
Goal #2 for 2009: De-clutter the house. This includes taking the bikes out of the "office" and into the storage shed, taking all the masses of boxes and storage tubs other junk out of the "office" and into the shed or out to Goodwill, and finding a place for the junk we actually use. Which is probably going to be a very small percentage of the junk we currently own. There should be another blog post about de-cluttering in general, big and little things, with some tips that hopefully you will find helpful. (Though, really? Not so likely. Because the only person that reads this blog is Marcy, and I got the one big tip I'm super excited about sharing? I got from her. So she already knows it.)
Goal #3 for 2009: Submit my dissertation and claim my Master's degree. It's written, but needs read-throughs and edits. (But, instead of doing that, I'm blogging. Because I'm smart and productive and disciplined like that.)
Goal #4 for 2009: Edit LIFE CHOICES and begin querying agents. Now that the dissertation's not hanging over my head, and I've finished the one big freelance assignment I'd been working on forever, I can work on my fun writing guilt-free. Also, I have written three full novels, two plays, and have one novel that's desperately wanting me to finish it. I really need to start doing something with all those works.
Goal #5 for 2009: Blog more regularly. Both on this blog and my teaching one. I want to say I'll post once a week, but who knows if that'll work. We'll try. (NO! Do or do not -- there is no try!!!)
Goal #6 for 2009: Start a compost pile. When I shared this with Freddy, he got all practical and asked me what I was planning on doing with the compost. My first answer was "keep it out of landfills," but somehow that didn't seem to be a good enough answer. This leads me to Goal #7 for 2009: Plant a vegetable garden. Probably a very small one. But it's a start. Baby steps, people!
Goal #8 for 2009: Figure out the job thing. Do I still want to teach? Do I want to stay where I am, or do I want to move up to college-level? Do I want to move into some sort of admin position? Do I want to be an IT? Could I quit teaching and do the translating/editing this full-time? It's all up in the air right now. I'll keep you posted.
Goal #9 for 2009: Be a better wife. Help out around the house more -- right now Freddy does pretty much all the housework. He works less hours than I do, most of the time, so I rationalize the guilt away with that thought, but still. Spend less time on the computer when I am home; spend more time with him. Do things together (we spend a lot of time just sitting, watching TV. Good TV, but still.) Not let work and other stuff overwhelm me, to the point where I don't have anything left for him.
I know lists usually have 10 items, but I like 9 for 2009. And I can't think of a 10th item that's worthy. So there you are. What are your "goals" for the New Year?
Happeh noo yeer from I Can Has Cheezburger? (In case you need some more ideas.)