Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mid-Year Checkpoint

At the start of this year, full of hope and clean-slate promise, I made a list of goals for myself.

Here, at the almost-midway checkpoint, I'm revisiting what it was, in an ideal world, that I saw myself doing for 2008 and how I've fared so far, and maybe any lessons learned along the way.

Can't say it's been the most goal-focused year so far, at least not according to these goals I set way back when there was snow on the ground and I was cooped-up in the house writing at my desk overlooking my little street. But in reaching for these goals, I learned a few things along the way...

1. Learning a new recipe every week:
Thanks to the influx of magazines that find their way into our house, we're trying new recipes fairly regularly. Although I far away from my goal of one per week. I did try a Cooking Light recipe for a lemon cake that was truly atrocious, so I'd warn you against that. Mine turned out like two rubbery disks cemented together with a gummy cream cheese/lemon frosting.

Lesson learned? When baking, go for the gusto, make the full-fat cake, eat two generous slices and then work out extra-hard to make up for it. Life's too short for unsatisfying, lowfat cake.

2. Seeing every movie that piques my fancy:
Wow, that seemed so much more important when I was cooped up in the house. But I did manage to see Sex and the City with my sister - she and I watched the last two years of the show together, so it was like old times.

3. Traveling to places that make me feel more awake and alive:
Well, I've incorporated a few of these into my outlook on life, like Number 3. The Gryphon Cafe (amazing chicken salad with capers and artichoke hearts, along with the best coffee) is a bit of a schlep at about 30 minutes away, near other places where I run errands every once in a while. Since my schedule's been crammed full lately, I've not had time to get out there in the past six weeks. But I'm hoping that will change - as early as this weekend.

4. Organizing more outings with friends:
Hm... This has been quasi-successful, but I want to do more. So this stays on the list.

5. Spending more fun time with my niece and nephew, smart creative kids who keep me smiling:
Some of my fondest memories of these kids will always be of the conversations we have. They're both really thoughtful, funny and egg each other on. Each has his or her own intelligent take on things, and I really just enjoy seeing how they think.

6. Adopting a better house-cleaning schedule, focusing on the relaxing sense of order that results:
Housecleaning? Feh. That went nowhere.

7. Reading more books that make me feel like writing:
Well, file this under best-laid plans. For now, at my new job, I'm reading all day long and writing and being incredibly productive. So I'll grace myself the reading-for-inspiration, although I really do enjoy the sense of escape that comes from a good story.

8. Taking a different approach to work by focusing more on learning-innovating-thriving:
A few things are making this difficult at the moment, but this week has been on where I've felt like I've leaped ahead in terms of knowledge and growth. Did you ever literally feel yourself growing? I've had that feeling many times in my life, and that's what this week has been for me.

9. Spotting the art in everyday life:
Bull's eye! With spring and the onset of summer, what's not to love? There are flowers everywhere you turn, leaves on trees in different shapes and sizes, fudgsicles, iconic sunscreen bottles, the sun hitting buildings at crazy angles, brilliant sunsets, still lives anywhere a bowl of fruit can be found. I've just not been so diligent at toting around my camera, unlike some people.

10. Enjoying the good parts of every day:
I sort of knew I was tempting fate by writing about Productivity vs. Drama, because then suddenly a little bit of drama unleashed itself. But paying attention is half the battle. So often we get caught up in the drama of whatever is going on that we neglect to see the good that's hidden around the bend.


Kitty said...

aw, thanks for the link, Spandrel!
yknow I really recommend just toting your camera around in your purse. It makes for a heavier purse, but you get used to it. Plus the picture taking is addictive.

Your list is great and I can see how it puts time in perspective. It's easy to allow time to fritter away without seeing or setting milestones.

I simply cannot believe it's June. What happened?! A coworker friend of mine turned to me and said, 'Where does my life go?'

I said, 'well, it must be hanging out with my life somewhere'.

Look forward to your next 6-month list.

Spandrel Studios said...

But of course, Kitty! Even on the days when I don't can't muster the strength to post to my own blog, I always make sure to check yours - your very diligent daily posting habit has me trained to check out that latest photo you've posted!

Too often, I feel like everyone is rushing through life without stopping to evaluate what is of value to them. Whether it's an activity, a friendship, a movie, what have you... When we move through life without thinking, we miss out on a lot.

Your response to your coworker about where life goes made me laugh out loud! I hope all our lives are having a good time with each other, wherever they are!

In the meantime, looking back on that list made me think about changes I want to make in my life, about how I spend my time, and in what I worry about.