So much of my energy in 2008 was spent getting used to completely new places, roles, and expectations, particularly in the last half of the year that most of my goals stayed focused on the academic not the personal. My hopes for 2009 are more about things I want to do and learn personally and professionally. A friend and colleague, S, (and many other bloggers, etc. ) frames her goals with a word with which she lives for the year. I think it's a good way to focus energy and when I think about looking forward to this year there is one word that sums up my goals:
I want 2009 to be full of things that make my life more rich. I want to learn more and do more but only if it adds something to my life. I am tired of wasting energy on things that ultimately don't create possibilities or potential. After all of the upheaval of 2008, success and challenges, I feel compelled to begin enriching my life where I am right now, in this moment.
I want to deepen my relationships and concentrate on creating small, appreciative moments with friends and family. While the word 'enrich' helps me on the meta-level, it also lends itself to specific, everyday, typical goals such as the following:
I want to cook more. I want to bake pies (like pecan and apple) and make soups and learn the kinds of tacit things in the kitchen my grandmother knows.
I want to read more. I want to unpack my office boxes, get my library organized and figure out which books need reading, re-reading or donating. And I want to discover a new author, a new style of writing I enjoy, get outside my comfort zone of non-fiction books and read something odd or heartbreaking or soaring. (Suggestions welcome!)
I'd like to travel, visit Chicago again, perhaps take in the upcoming Harry Potter exhibit. And I'd also like to do more around town, especially when it warms up. I'd like to go to the apple orchard and pick apples from the tree and bake them into a crisp or a pie.
Do something completely unlikely, something that surprises me.
Write more frequently.
Professionally, my goals seem more material:
-finish webtext for publication
-observe others' teaching for strategies that might work in my classroom
-meet one-on-one with students more often
-create better evaluative methods for design classes (yeah, I think big)
-complete IRB for research project that's brewing
I think enrich is a great word to remind me of the why of my goals and not just the what, particularly when it comes to teaching and of course, to food.