(In no particular order.)
Reading: Well, I’m not displeased with how I did here, even though I failed in the quantity goal I set myself. My goal was to read 50 books this year, and I know quantity is far from the most important thing when it comes to reading but having a goal like that pushes me to pick up the book instead of the phone a bit more often, and then I respect myself a bit more. But it’s December 31st and I haven’t read 50 books this year. I read 48 whole books, and then I’m about ¾ through a book on sales copy, and ½ through Shel Silverstein book that I’m reading to my baby, and ⅓ through a fiction book that I last read as a teenager. I could finish at least one of those before midnight if I just put my mind to it but I’m not really planning to. But the reason I’m not displeased with how I did here is because the purpose behind the goal was to read more books than I did last, and also to read more fiction again, and I did both of those things.
Writing: Hm. If I compare myself to myself 10 years ago, I did this pathetically this year. But if you’re reading this, I did accomplish the writing goal that I set for myself at the beginning of the year: one blog post per month. It’s the first time I’ve posted consistently here and I’m proud of myself for that. But other than a few paragraphs, I haven’t picked up my story pen again, and I miss being a person who is writing a book. If I die without publishing a book I will be disappointed in myself.
Pregnancy: This one I think I did well. My particular goal, other than birthing a baby at the end, was to have a strong, healthy pregnancy. I started by paying attention to what the women who had the kind of pregnancy I wanted did for their bodies, and then I did many of those things, starting years before I was even trying to get pregnant. And then throughout my pregnancy, I was doggedly consistent with taking the supplements I had seen work for other women, and after my first trimester, I walked daily. A strong healthy pregnancy, for me, meant that I was taking care of myself mentally and emotionally, so that I could still function happily and work, and I was taking care of myself physically, so that my body didn’t turn into something I hated to see. I did that.
Marriage: I think I did this well this year, although there isn’t anything dramatic to point to. But I think we did well because we’re seven years in now and we agree that our relationship keeps getting better, year after year. Not by magic, but because we take care of it. Not perfectly, but persistently. We added a baby to the mix for the first time this year, and not gonna lie I was a little concerned about the effect it would have on our marriage. So far, though, all it’s done is remind me that I married a superior human and he’s the best partner I’ve yet found for any venture.
Body Health: Here’s one that I did not do well. I didn’t do horribly; compared to myself five years ago, I was quite good. But compared to myself last year, I was a bit of a letdown. I didn’t live up to my own goals for this year. Yes, throughout my pregnancy I walked consistently and I took my supplements consistently and I drank my water consistently, and I made the healthy choice more often than the unhealthy choice when it came to eating. I’m proud of that. But I planned to do 75hard again this year, and I started in my first trimester and then I let the exhaustion and nausea persuade me to fail, and to wait. And then I never started again, because I didn’t have the mental grit to do 75hard in Texas’ 100+ degree summer while pregnant. I’m not proud of that. And then, since the child was born, I was careless with my diet and highly inconsistent with my exercise and really did the bare minimum with my water drinking. I was talking about it with my husband and he said something about using one’s child as an excuse and I said, “That’s disrespectful.” Which he initially understood as I thought he was being disrespectful to me but I actually meant that it’s disrespectful for me to do that with her. She deserves better. And so do I.
Soul Health: Okay so generally I would say it is difficult or perhaps impossible to do physical health well (or not well) and not do emotional/mental health the same, because they affect each other so strongly. But contradictorily I would still vote for this being one of the things I did well this year. Pregnancy and new motherhood were far from easy this year, especially mentally and emotionally, but I chose to press into the hard places instead of running and hiding from them as I have often done before. I invested time and money and energy into mentorship around some of these things. Overall, I feel like I’m healthier and stronger emotionally and mentally than I was on January 1st.
Work: In a manner of speaking, I failed with this one because I didn’t hit my income goal. Carson would say it’s because I didn’t break it down into actionable items and do them, and he’s not wrong. But despite that, I also feel like I did well with this one because I learned so much about myself and what I do and don’t want here, and because having a child forced me to learn to delegate more in my bookkeeping business and the more I did that the more it grew. This is because I am not totally built to be an entrepreneur; new things don’t often excite me. But I have some wonderful, trustworthy women working with me, and they’re good for me and my business, and I’m deeply grateful.
Motherhood: Possibly it’s too soon to tell. In some ways I feel like I’m probably not doing that well at all. She’s gotten sick for the second time and there’s so much I don’t know about everything. But in other ways I think maybe I have done well. I wasn’t at all confident that we would bond well, so I was intentional about doing things to help that happen, and I think they worked. I adore her, I don’t feel totally lost all the time about what she needs, and she seems to find me comforting when she’s upset. She’s sleeping on my chest as I write this and it feels both entirely natural and entirely lovely. I’m learning what it feels like to listen to and trust my instincts with her, and the whole thing is better than I expected it to be, which to me always feels like a sign that I’m doing something right.
Friendships: I am surprised to announce that I think I did this well this year. At the beginning of the year I set a goal to do one quality social thing per month, because yes, it was so easy for me to do less. And by the end of the year it’s become easy for me to do that, and by easy I mean I don’t have to keep track and make myself do it, it just happens naturally, usually from me feeling like I want to spend time with someone again and therefore doing it. That’s partly why I think I did well. The other part is because I’ve gained a much clearer understanding of what I do and don’t want from friendships in my life, and I’ve become braver about it. Not by accident, or without effort.