Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Close of a Dark Year

I'm not sure why I've taken to doing these "New Year" posts (see 2010, 2009).  Perhaps it's something about that last digit in the year changing that forces me to think about what the coming months will bring.  In reality, I just start feeding off of this "starting over" mentality that seems to take over after that last Christmas gift has been unwrapped.

Back in June, I did a mid-year progress report of my "resolutions."  If you keep any to-do list, you can probably sympathize with the satisfaction of crossing off items, and these resolutions are very similar.  Here is my brief update on all:
  1. PR - The only PR I might be able to BS is for trail half-marathons... 2:05, anyone?  Eff, anyone who reads my blog regularly knows that I am disappointed as heck about my lackluster year, which was probably caused by not running enough races (<-- which was caused by repaying upwards of $15k of student loans)  
  2. Finish dissertation - completed before last update
  3. Start budgeting - I started doing this in September, and while I still "eyeball" a lot of what I spend, I have made a lot of progress.  So, I DID "start" budgeting... to be continued better next year, hopefully.
  4. Pay down debt - I will be doing this before March, and since I already have the money set aside, I will consider this basically done.
  5. Employment - As of this writing, it's close but I can't declare victory yet.  And I have a feeling I won't be getting off that easy.
  6. Retirement (saving for) - No progress since the last update... probably not until #5 is completed.  I guess I'll be working unti I'm 80.
As this post's title suggests, I am pretty much *done* with 2011.  I always thought that odd-numbered years were better for me, but this one was really dumpy.  I spent one chunk of it stressed and working off of two laptops simultaneously while hopping in my desk chair ASAP after long runs.  Another part of it, I was at a low I haven't seen myself in for many years, a time period that made me question everyone and everything.  It hasn't been until these past couple of months that I have felt like a functional human being, in spite of my athletic shortcomings.

(Some highlights that came toward the end of the year that should be noted: the birth of my niece, some aspects of finishing school, moving, and stuff that I will elaborate upon soon.)

I want 2012 to be the antithesis of this year.  I will embrace all the changes that have come along, both in routines and in the way I see myself and other people.  The biggest lesson I have learned from 2011 is to live in the present, and that means assumptions don't work since they are based on the past.

So in terms of "resolutions," I have added a few new ones:
  1. Retirement - save for (recycled)
  2. PR (recycled... you'll be mine!!)
  3. Publish (or attempt to publish) something (academic) -- in progress but needs to be completed
  4. Reach "equilibrium"
  5. Read more, including on spirituality
  6. Get a physical - It has been a few years
  7. Make progress on my guitar-playing


  1. Happy New Year to you, too Julie! Here's to a fresh start in 2012!

  2. Julie, you are one the most awesome, sweetest people I've met in the online world since beginning blogging in July. I know what you mean when you say 2011 was dark. Things have been a little crappy for me since 2009. I'm "ready for the good" again. I hope you get all the blessings, peace and joy that you deserve for 2012!

  3. May 2012 be bright and joyful for all of us! Happy New Year Julie.