He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. —Psalm 113:9

December 31, 2010

In with the new, and hopefully less troublesome, year

So how do you follow up a year bookended by job loss and a miscarriage? Apparently, by bookending the next year with a second miscarriage and the death of a parent(-in-law).

Yeah, we've had a rough couple of years there. 2010 wasn't without its high points -- I finally fulfilled my dream of having a pet box turtlewe got to take our first vacation since our honeymoon, and I won NaNoWriMo for the second time ever -- but mostly it was some really deep valleys and a lot of middling ground.

Last year, I made the mistake of hoping for a better year instead of planning for one. This year, I'm not going to tempt fate to show me how 2011 could be even worse by offering up vague hopes for better times. Instead I'm going to set specific, attainable goals that should ensure a pretty decent year over all, no matter what else life throws our way.

Goal #1: Make my business more profitable. I've already laid some good ground work for this, and was on my way to making it happen when Mom's death derailed me. But I still learned a lot that will help me in this goal, and have started to get over some hang-ups that have been holding me back in this arena, so I have a good feeling that this will be a profitable year. I sure hope so, because a lot of these other goals pretty much depend on this one being a win. Such as...

Goal #2a: Get health insurance, which ties into...

Goal #2b: Get checked out for PCOS and see if that's what caused the miscarriages, so we can feel a little more confident about trying again toward the end of the year.

Goal #3: Write at least 6 days a week. This has fallen by the wayside in light of recent events, but as soon as things settle back down I need to get back on that writing horse.

Goal #4: Get a decent-quality digital camera and take some photography classes with Matt. We've been talking about this for a while now, and of course it depends on having the funds, but he's always had an interest in photography, and I'd like to be able to take decent pictures for my various web projects. And it just sounds like it would be a fun thing to do together. So it's on the list.

Goal #5: Be able to run a 5K by the end of summer. I flirted a little with running last summer, but as soon as the weather turned colder I wussed out and quit doing outdoor workouts, and undid all of my progress. But I figure having a specific goal like "run a 5K" is more likely to actually get me in shape than a vague goal like "get in shape." And I definitely want to be in good shape by the time we're ready for that "trying again" thing, so my weight won't be a risk factor going in.

Goal #6: Practice my bass on a regular basis. Matt got me Bass Guitar for Dummies for Christmas, so I have no excuses not to do this one. I don't have rock star aspirations or anything, but it would be nice to be able to jam with my husband and keep up with him and his guitar.

Goal #7: Learn a new language. Because I've been saying I want to for years, and if that whole "trying again" thing works out, then this might be the last year I don't have children to prevent me having any time for frivolous self-enrichment. The question is, which language? And do scripting languages count? Because I need to buckle down and learn Javascript either way.

Goal #8: Learn a new yarn craft. Because same reason as Goal #7, and also because I'm a little bored with knitting these days. Of course, maybe that's just because I haven't had any room in the budget lately for new yarn and have been relegated to knitting from my stash; but I'd still like to pick up a new skill. I might give crochet another try, since I already own some crochet needles; but if funds allow for it, then I might try my hand at spinning my own yarn.

Goal #9: Get my house in order. I lost my job not long after we moved in here, so we've never really had room in the budget for decorating or updating our furniture. Even worse, the lack of decor has made us fairly apathetic about how things look, so it's devolved into a cluttered, chaotic mess, and it was like that even BEFORE we added my late mom-in-law's things to the fray. So this year we're going to restore some order around here and finally start adding all of the little touches that will really make this house feel like home.

Goal #10: Speaking of getting things in order, we're going to make out our wills and take out life insurance. Although this is the last goal on the list, it's a pretty high priority for us, especially after having to deal with Matt's mom passing away without a will or insurance. We don't want to inflict that kind of torture on anybody.

If nothing else, all of that should keep me busy enough all year to keep me from dwelling too much on the sad things. You can provide further distraction from the sadness by sharing your own goals for 2011 (!), or linking me to them, in the comments.

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