Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 Personal Evaluation

About this time last year, I declared 2008 to be the Year of Me. Sounds selfish, I know. You have to see it in context. My life had gotten to a crisis point. That sounds a little dramatic---we've invested the word with a thick layer of cultural adornment.

Here's the first definition of the word, according to the Dictionary...

a stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, esp. for better or for worse, is determined; turning point.

And that's where I was standing at this time last year. It was a stage where the future would be determined and I knew it. So, I declared it the year of me. Not to be self-centered, but to recognize that I was at the end of the runway--a stage where regardless of whether I decided to take action, my life was going to change. And you know what is interesting about coming to the end of the runway. The only choices are to speed up or crash.

So, I decided to speed up. I decided to invest more time in things that made me happy...little things, like getting the video feed from MLB so I could watch more baseball. And, I took a special effort to recommit myself to reading--an engaged pursuit that cannot co-exist with pointless idling.

You know, the funny part is, I hit the end of the runway a lot sooner than I thought I would. But somehow, I had the fortune to have already gained some momentum, and when the time came, I was able to get the plane off the ground...and, later in the year (not to torture the metaphor) I was able to bring it in for a landing.

So, on those accounts, the year was a success. Many people have stared at what I did last year, and emerged less healthy and less secure. I know I have already given my thanks for this, because much of it was good fortune. While 2009 is setting up to be a challenging year, I am taking the same approach...speed or velocity.

So, for record-keeping if nothing else....

2008 goals

More Reading---25 books

I read 23 books. While not quite to goal, this is an excellent accomplishment.

More baseball-mlb online

I did this, and got good benefit. Watched lots of games online, and enjoyed a renaissance of my pleasure-affair with the game of baseball.

str8 Fantasy league

I did this. Didn't work very well, but I did it.


Reestablish financial system

Manage finances through divorce

This was also successful. The initial financial transition has been effective. I am still in a serious financial hole, but I am holding my own for now. 2008 has to be considered a success on this measure.


Establish foundation of hope

Tame the fear of the future

This was perhaps my biggest accomplishment of the year. My 2008 epiphany came when I was asked what my dreams were...and I realized I didn't have any. My dreams were to get through that day. So, I put together my vision of hope, and shared it with many people. I believe that might have been the healthiest thing I ever did, and was the moment I achieved the lift-off I needed.

Bring it in for a landing.....

I did this, too. I managed all the aspects, legal, emotional, and logistical, with care and organization. There was no need for fire trucks on the runway. Just worked my punch-list and got through it all.

Attend Str8s, Keep reaching out internally and externally

I did this. It meant a tremendous amount to me over the course of the year, and these people remained a significant emotional bulkwark. I am glad I reached out to them and it was good to have as a goal, because you have to go and get the support.

Maintain Harry through divorce

This went better than I could have expected. This is probably 80% the time and effort of being a good parent before this year, and 20% what we did this year. Still, through whatever combination of hard work and character, this has been a blessing. My greatest fear was that he would end up scarred, angry or sullen, and that has not happened. Of course, as with everything involved with parenting, you are only as good as the last day.

Avoid being reliant on others for feeling good

This was better. It wasn't great, but it was better. I found my inclination to let other people determine my feelings. The reflex is still there, loitering around my mind. But, at least I recognized it, and fought it.


Start diet August 10--nutrition, exercise, veggies

This is a pass, but a low pass. I did improve my nutrition a lot, and I did lose 13 pounds, and I am cooking good food for myself. Exercise, though, has fallen off the radar. I was doing OK at first walking, but in the winter, once I get home I can't force myself to get out. This is important for your physical, mental, and emotional health.


Make and meet outreach goal

This must not have been much of a goal, because I don't have the faintest idea what I meant anymore.

Resolution list

85% for year

I did do this for 10 months or so. It was based on the Happiness Project version of Benjamin Franklin's resolutions. I ended up losing steam and stopping. It isn't a bad thing, and it did help me get organized the night before work with coffee and lunch, but in general, I don't think I got the benefit out of it. My goals were either so global as to be unmeasurable or so specific as to be mundane.


100 pages of copy

Well, I didn't make this one. But, progress was made and the project has not died.

Whew. I'm exhausted. Seriously. What a year to survive. I wish I thought 2009 would be easier, but I fear it might be harder. But, it is a good exercise, to look back and see what happened in a year. I couldn't have imagined it going any better. I have to dig just as deep to make it go as well this year.

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