Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ready For Next Year

The holidays remind me of all the things I meant to do this year, and the year before, and the year before that.   So too many things go back onto my 'next year' list.   It is time to revise my "61 things to do before I'm 62" list - although I'm not sure I'm up to doing a "62 before 63" list.   I am pleased -- amazed, really -- to say that I accomplished most of the things on last year's list, but the hard ones are coming right back at me.  Again.   Here are some of the things I did not do last year:

1.  I did not invite a new person into my house.    For many of you, this would have been the easiest item on the list, but it is almost impossible for me.    I am pretty much a loner by nature.    Although  I have never believed that I was meant to live alone, I have lived alone for many, many (many) years.   My son and his family come into my house several times in an average month.   My siblings, a couple of times a year.    And that's it.   

I think, perhaps falsely, that I am as nice, as warm, as welcoming as the average person, but I have not had luck finding and staying in a relationship of the sort I always envisioned.   I know that, at 62, neither the need nor the odds are as great as when I was younger.    But I like the idea of a warm body next to me on the couch, sitting shoulder to shoulder, listening if I feel like talking (and if my voice ever comes back!).    Even so, in decades of waiting - and yes, I know that word raises implications as to the reasons -  it simply hasn't happened.

At the very least, I need to plan not to be alone on holidays.  I  am a pretty passive person; it has only recently occurred to me that I could have had a say in how my life unfolded.   So I am inclined to approach things with an "ah, so that's the way it is; I'll adjust," attitude.    And so, after I was divorced a zillion years ago -- 24? -- and I "lost" (in the divorce settlement) my family gatherings on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, I just reconciled myself to spending those holidays alone.   Which is ridiculous, of course, but which is also exactly what I still do.   And yes, these days, on some of my alone times, I could easily walk down to my son's house and they would be happy to have me stop in, but I advise people all the time not to create their whole life around their kids, and I try hard not to do that.   

Now I already do a lot of things to try to meet people, mostly ineffective, which is all well and good.    But the thing is, next year I need to try harder.    Of course, this year I've been sick -- but wait, am I always sick at the holidays?    I wonder.    So next year, I need to make a plan in advance for the Danger Times when I know I will be alone, and when I expect I will not be happy for the alone time.

And yes, since you ask, I DO think about getting a dog.    It's not the warm body I had in mind, but it is a relationship that I am certain I could find, which puts it high on my list of possibilities.   Seriously, if I'm not going to get serious about bringing some new people into my life, maybe it is the year to think about a pet.   I don't want to have to scoop the yard, but no relationship is perfect.  Besides, I could dress it up and roll it around the block in a baby buggy like I did with my poor kitties when I was small. 

2.  Health matters.   Although I did check off all the pesky tests my doctor wanted me to do, I did not increase my exercise or get to a healthy weight.    I need to get more serious about my health.   In fact, my health is good, but the warning signs are there.    My glucose creeps up a bit more than it used to in the morning, my weight moves steadily upward, and my stamina and flexibility are in the toilet.   I am exhausted most of the time, and tired all of the time.  My joints always ache.   I am 62 years old and have no serious health issues, but my warranty has expired and it's time to do a better job taking care of myself.   I think I have the choice to do something about it next year; by the year after that, the choice might be gone.    My plan is to start by trying yoga, once a week.   And back to Weight Watchers, where I am a lifetime member who has run a muck.

3.  I only went fly fishing once last year,  and I did not catch a fish.  This year I need to fish or cut bait, whatever the heck that means in terms of fly fishing.    I don't much care about fish, but I like standing in streams, and casting is meditative.     And I was given a kayak for Christmas, something I didn't want and can't imagine using.  So next year I want to try harder to get out and fish, to find out whether this is a hobby I want to pursue or not.    And if not, I need to pass that kayak on to someone who will love it.    It is not a great time of year to fish right now, but my plan is to sign up for a new fly-tying class in January, and go to a women's-only fly fishing/tying retreat in February, hoping to be inspired.
4.   Straight Shooting.   I did quite a lot of target shooting last year, and I became fairly competent, but my time on the range tapered off after I went back to work.  I don't have a back yard where I can fire a gun, and the nearest range is half an hour away.    Next year I want to set up a schedule and keep to it so that I don't lose my skill.    I can't expect to shoot 3 times a week like I did in the beginning, but perhaps I can commit to twice a month.    Not enough to keep me really good, but hopefully enough to keep me good-ish.

5.   I failed on my ambition to make freezable dinners.   Partly because there is no room in my freezer.  So this year's goal is to buy a small freezer for my basement, and get back to cooking so that my son/daughter(in-law) and I will have emergency vittles.

6.  I did NOT check out any local music or theatre.     Back on The List for 2012.    I want to at least get to World Cafe and the Crow once.    If I hate it, fine, I don't have to go back, but I owe it to myself to see what's around here before I stay home every night and watch network tv.

7.  I want another vacation with my sister next year.    Even thought I checked that one off The List, it goes back on again.

8.  Maybe I will try geocach-ing.    I have a smart phone now, and there are lots of caches hidden within a few miles of me.    What do I have to lose?    Kim at Snug Harbor Bay makes it look like a lot of fun!   It's free, which is a big plus.

9.  I don't care whether or not I ever make a pair of earrings.   It would be fun, but I'm not willing to make the commitment or buy more stuff.     If I see a convenient local class, maybe I'll reconsider.   I am sure, though, that I will do some crafty things.    My bloggy friends come up with great ideas, and then I just copy cat them.  

10.  On the other hand, I also don't much care about my basement, but getting rid of all the junk and getting organized goes back on The List anyway.    Because it's embarrassing.   Next year, I'm planning to get it under control.

11.  Connected to the messy basement, I still want to downsize my stuff.    Way too much stuff.

12.  Also back on The List for next year, the potting table.   I have a big old door just sitting there, so I either need to make it into a table and spare my back, or drag it out for the trash guys.

13.  And I'm definitely going to scan those Rome photos next year, as soon as I remember to ask my son to explain again how to use the scanner.

14.  I went shelling - sort of - with my grandchildren last year.    I want to share other things I love with the this year.  I think this item will be easy to check off, but putting it on The List will keep me thinking about it.    Probably not sharks teeth yet this year, but I'm looking forward to that someday, too!

15. Although it was on last year's list, I'm not really sure I want to take piano lessons.    But I hope I'll remember to consider it next year.   I definitely need to find ways to stretch the creative centers of my brain.

16.  Next year I am putting finances on The List.    I want to spend more mindfully, to stop wasting money on things I don't even need or want, so that I have more for the things - like travel - that I do want.  My biggest weakness is spending money on other people, for things they don't want or need.   Working on it.    (even as I type this, I've ordered two things online.)

17.   Next year I definitely want to snorkel with turtles.   And/or belugas.   And, of course, my sister.    Adding her to this particular list makes me laugh.     And maybe that's what it's all about.

18.  I want to see the Northern Lights.

19.  I want to get to New Orleans to visit my daughter.

20.  And I want to find more sharks' teeth.

I'm ready, Next Year.   Bring it on.


sue in mexico mo said...

Happy New Year!

Rebecca said...

I'd invite you into my home anytime! And, even though I only know you in blog land, I'd go on a road trip with you to see the Northern Lights or to the sea in search of sharks teeth. Even though I am constantly surrounded by warm bodies (four young children, one dog and three cats and a husband who visits us each month), I often feel very alone. I am grateful for the gift of family and friends and furry loves and I am thankful for you. Thank you for sharing your heart and life with us. You are one special lady. Blessings this New Year!

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

One of the things I like the most about blogging is the people and connections I've made because of it - like you! I like your list and appreciate you sharing it. PLEASE go out and try geocaching. I have made such great friends because of it. You can stop by some of the events and meet new people if you like. Plus its great exercise. And who knows, maybe I'll meet you on a beach in Flordia! HUGS and Happy New Year.

Kaybe said...

You're willingness to be vulnerable & share your heart is truly amazing. You are a woman of great personal courage & I am so glad to have met you. I'm with Kim. I think you would love geo-caching. Happy New Year Shell Sistah. xo

Mrs A said...

the bloggy world is full of people connecting with others like ourselves, that we might not meet otherwise, but being alone is not always a bad thing, i must admit i talk to my dog incessantly, i get lots of wags in reply and the odd lick! Dont be too hard on yourself, but do look after your health, i hope 2012 is a good one xx