Resolutions, schmesolutions. I work better off a to-do list. Give me a scrap of paper and some actions items, and I can get something done. With two kids, a husband that works nonstop, a career, a dog, lots of siblings and parents and volunteer obligations in the mix, I like to take time at the beginning of each year to work up a plan. With my to-do list in hand, I don't get off-track by February.
So here is my official to-do list for 2010:
Let 'Er Rip
If 2009 was The Year of Hunkering Down (financially, personally, professionally), then 2010 is going to be The Year of Let 'Er Rip. After 12 months of careful maneuvers, now I am ready to take a few risks. Perhaps there is an ill-conceived reality show in my future. Or, perhaps not. But this year, I'm not ruling anything out. Time to put myself out there and let 'er rip.
Yes, I put this on my to-do list every year. And every year, I get a little more patient, so my strategy is working. I've relaxed my perspective on such long-term items as my children's spotty academic achievement, my teenager's ability to put his socks in the laundry and the likelihood that my husband will arrive home for dinner. Now, I need to work on the day-to-day stuff. Goal for 2010: No eye rolling in the checkout line or futile screaming in carpool traffic. Wish me luck.
Learn Something Old
Why go to all the stress of learning something new when I have completely forgotten how to do so many former skills? I used to speak French. What happened to my past-perfect tense? I used to make mix tapes for all my friends. I should do more of that digitally! And a new tennis racket for Christmas reminded me that I used to be pretty good at that sport. I'm gonna get my tennis game back in 2010! Or should I say, 20-tennis?
Equal Parts Friending and Phoning
I enjoy social media. I love reconnecting with third-grade classmates, my funny cousins, that woman from my yoga class who overheard me talking about Twitter. Yes, let's stay in touch in 2010. But nothing can replace a good old-fashioned phone call with good old-fashioned friend, like a college roommate or an old bridesmaid. So, this year, it's phoning and friending to stay connected.
In The Year of Hunkering Down, sometimes I forgot that the best things in life are free. Love, laughter, joy, kindness—there's no reason to cut back on those things. As Part of The Year of Let 'Er Rip, I'd like to reclaim a generosity of spirit. I'll start here: You look wonderful. Have a happy New Year and best wishes for 2010.