Thursday, December 31, 2009

looking back over 2009

I've made a tradition out of reviewing my goals for the year (posted in early January) and musing on how well I have or haven't met those goals here at the end of the year. So enjoy some photos of my kids from this week (here running the K'nex model they spent the bulk of yesterday building), while I wax nostalgic for a bit. The post where I identified and discussed my goals for 2009 can be found here.

(J helps The Map Man build a set of shelves.)

My first goal was to get healthy. At first when I read that I sort of gagged and prepared myself to bask in my utter failure at achieving any progress with this goal. I'm the exact same weight I was when I wrote that post (which is a good 30 lbs more than I should be), and I sit here with a bad case of bronchitis and a strained muscle in my neck from -- of all things -- opening the garage door. (Seriously, how does someone who participates in so many activities that could result in serious injuries on a daily basis, manage to only ever get hurt doing the most mundane tasks?!?!?!)

However, when I really stopped and thought about it, I realized that I truly am in a better position health-wise this year than I was last year. I had started off the year with a bang, losing 15 pounds over the course of the first couple of months (simply by stopping eating junk -- imagine...), before coming down with some evil, evil flu which robbed me of my dietary motivation (along with several weeks of my life). So, little by little over the course of the rest of the year, the weight came back. But during that same time frame, I managed to get control of (and totally kick) my bought with Psoriasis, and, current neck injury not-withstanding, I've had a stellar year in regards to the health of my back and other joints. I've established some good, healthy eating patterns, and even though I've not quite kicked the junk food habit entirely (ugh, me and coke slushies....), I'm definitely eating better now than I was back then. So, while I don't consider myself a glorious success at this particular goal, I do think I've made some decent progress, which is saying a lot since it's been on my list pretty much every year without my having made much progress at all. So, yeah me!

(Zoo Boy working diligently on a "Pokemon Pop-Quiz" book we gave him for Christmas.)

My second goal for the year was to set my priorities for myself, my family, and our farm. I've given this a lot of thought this year, and while I can't say we definitely have a firm mission statement for our family, I think I'm going to have an easier time setting my goals for this coming year than I did last year. I'll have lots more to say about that when I post about my goals for 2010!

(An example of the vast amounts of handwriting involved with the above pop-quiz book -- I've never seen Zoo Boy so motivated to do so much writing on his own. It was one of those rare genius moments when I picked it out for him, now I know he'll be getting plenty of handwriting practice while we're on our winter break from schooling!)

My third goal for 2009 was, and I quote, to "climb out of our financial abyss". And guess what? We've done it!! It took the entire year (and then some, given that we started the previous fall), but as of this moment, our bills are getting paid on time, and our debt is no longer growing. I can't even begin to tell you what a relief it is! We're still teetering a bit on the financial edge, but we're ON the edge now, now drowning somewhere beneath it. Feels good to breath!

(The Map Man, embracing my "sit by the fire and read" philosophy of handling frigid cold winter days.)

The fourth goal from 2009 was to incorporate a foreign language in our homeschooling program, and I'm very happy to report that I've done smashingly well with this!! Well, for this past year anyway. I enrolled the kids in a Spanish class with other homeschoolers, which I've also been able to sit in on, which approaches the lessons in a way that jives nicely with my educational goals and philosophy. I was feeling pretty proud and excited about this, but just found out that this class is not going to continue (I think due to lack of enrollment, if you can believe that -- how is that even possible?!). So I'm going to have to get creative (and probably run the kids around a bit more, which does not make me happy) in order to find a replacement for this.

(Zoo Boy's Ugly Dolls, apparently also embracing the sit-by-the-fire philosophy....hey, that's MY chair!)

My fifth goal for last year, and the easiest on the list, was to learn more about Adult ADD. I accomplished that one early on, thanks to some books and an endless wealth of information on the internet. I learned a few good coping strategies for myself, discovered why some of the things I've tried in the past haven't worked out so well for me, and most importantly learned to give myself permission to just "go with it" when I start chasing rabbits down rabbit holes, rather than chiding myself for getting so distracted. I've sort of embraced that quirky little distractable manic energy part of me and have taken off the leash to let myself run with it. And you know what? The world has not stopped spinning just because I didn't finish cleaning out a closet due to coming across a book that I felt compelled to sit down and read right then and there. Nobody died due to my spending an hour doing a crossword puzzle when I was supposed to be sweeping the floor. The pile of clothes in the corner of my room has yet to come to life and devour anyone (although several socks had to be sacrificed...). And even though I've been known to leave the house sans showering in a rush to get the kids to classes on time, I've yet to have anyone throw me out of a public venue just because my unwashed hair is crammed up under a baseball cap. It's liberating, I tell you!

So all in all, I'd call 2009 a success! Now to ponder my goals for 2010....but first, another Harry Potter book....oh wait, weren't the kids supposed to have lunch...?

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