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Evaluation Time: Revisiting 2010 and the Giftolutions

Source: Flickr user bubbo-tubbo

The end of the year is always an excellent time for reflection, isn’t it?  You almost can’t help but think about what you’ve accomplished in the past year and how that measures up to what you hoped to accomplish.  Revisiting those dread New Year’s Resolutions you made 12 months ago and seeing how your life measures up.  *GULP*  To make it worse, when you blog, you find you’ve published your resolutions and so actually have a public record of what you’re supposed to have done in the past 12 months.  Ha.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  OK.  So the time has come to revisit what I said I’d do in 2010 and what I’ve actually done.

Last year, I went with a different resolution format that I stole from another blogger, an idea that rather than force myself to do anything or deprive myself of anything, I was going to frame each resolution in the form of a gift I was giving myself in 2010.  I posted the list on my previous blog, Corrodentia Weekly (see here for the appropriate post).  I liked this format, but I don’t know if I’ll continue it for 2011 or not.  We’ll see – I plan to post my 2011 resolutions tomorrow.  For now, though, let’s revisit those from 2010.  I promised to give myself the following:

  • The gift of a house I feel comfortable living in.  This was supposed to be all about purging and reorganizing.  I didn’t finish all the goals I set out for myself to accomplish, but I did quite a bit, actually!  And I do think that the house feels more comfortable for us.  It’s not perfect by any means, and I’m sure I could shed quite a bit more Stuff that just makes life more difficult, but the house I sit in today is definitely an improvement over the house I sat in a year ago.
  • The gift of smaller jeans.  Oh, boy.  I did really, really well the first half of 2010.  I went to the gym regularly, I ate reasonably well, and I didn’t lose a LOT more weight, but I lost a little bit.  And then we ate our way through Portland in June, and I never got back on track again, not all the rest of the year.  And I gained back some weight.  I’m probably back to about where I was this time last year.  So…quarter-credit maybe, for doing something good for part of the year, but not finishing it and gaining back some weight.
  • The gift of a good night’s sleep.  Mission totally accomplished.  We bought a new mattress, and it’s about a billion times better than our old one.  I sleep MUCH MUCH MUCH better now than I did this time last year.
  • The gift of financial security.  I wouldn’t say we did a lot more this year toward this goal than we have in previous years, but we definitely made progress.  And I’d say that this year presented so many financial challenges that we were able to handle nimbly – and with minimum impact on our savings – that I actually feel better about our financial standing that I did before.  We’ve more than replaced anything we had to take out of savings in the last year.  I’d say mission accomplished.

Now, those are just the giftolutions I thought out and published for the world to see.  What about the other stuff we’ve managed this year that weren’t part of that list?  I think these are the most significant life changes from 2010 other than those listed above:

  • More generous, regular giving to charity.  We made charitable giving a monthly budget item this year, and the only thing hard about it was choosing which charities we wanted to contribute to.
  • Additional canine companionship.  We adopted another dog this year, as you are likely well aware.  And she has added expenses and some aggravations to our lives – but she’s also brought untold happiness.  She’s a snuggle-bug, so just the cuddle-time on the couch has made it all worth it.
  • Additional human companionship.  I feel like we’ve expanded our social circle just a bit this year.  We’ve been to other people’s homes for parties and dinners more often than before, and we’ve had people to our house for dinner a few times.  We still don’t have friends like we used to have, that we could just call up at the drop of a hat and meet for a drink or dinner, but maybe that’s just part of getting older – people have busier lives, and scheduling ahead is just something you have to do.  But having local friends is definitely nice.
  • Sending real birthday cards.  Okay, I didn’t get everyone.  In fact, if you were born in December and you’re a close friend, you may not have even gotten e-greetings (sorry, Josh!!).  But for most of the year, I bought birthday cards for the month at the end of the previous month and mailed them out.  Because I feel like this is a dying practice in our time of e-mail and Facebook and e-cards, and because who doesn’t like to get a card in the mail?  So I’m kind of proud I sent as many as I did.  And I plan to continue next year.
  • Writing a blog.  That’s right.  I started this blog in 2010, and I have posted at least once a week every week since I started it.  I’m pleased with that.  I plan to keep on.  I just hope I have things to say that you guys find interesting to read…

So there you are.  That’s my year in review.  How about you?  Have you done anything that made you particularly proud this year?  Any milestones or accomplishments or noteworthy moments?

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