Right before the first of the year, I change over from my appointment book from the old year to a nice, clean new one. I found a model that works for me, years ago, and in it, I put every relevant scrap of paper, appointment, reminder, business card, and as a result, my appointment book is hugely fat and held together with a big, fat, rubber band. My whole life is in that book! And year end is a great time to weed through all the scraps of paper and toss out those that I no longer want. And I just went through that process again, and got rid of lots of stuff….and also found some reminders from the past, notably two letters to myself that shook me a little.
One letter was six years old, and it reminded myself of what I wanted in a relationship at the time, and what was absolutely unacceptable to me. It was a reminder of what kid of relationship NOT to get into and that I didn’t want based on some bad experiences in the past. And what was upsetting about that letter was that I realized that a relationship I got into shortly after I wrote that letter to myself, was exactly the kind of relationship I’d been determined to avoid. Wow! How did that happen? It kind of shook me up to realize how far off the mark I’d been and that I’d fallen into the same traps again. I read that letter carefully again, and tucked it back into my appointment book as a reminder for the future. I’ll try and keep it in mind.
The second letter I found listed all my goals for self improvement and what I wanted for myself. It was headed ‘goals of 2004’. One of them was ‘have more fun. Take more time off to relax and play’, um…uh…oops. I’ve been working harder than ever in recent years, with growing kids with bigger needs, and the economy what it is, and being alone much of the time, all I do is work. ‘Be more adventuresome, travel more’—-all my travelling is between the 2 cities where I live, from one typewriter to the other, and I haven’t been ‘adventuresome’ at all. Get more sleep. Oops. I blew that too. I stay up later than ever, working. Eat better. Uh oh. I blew that too. When I’m alone, which I usually am, I seem to munch on whatever is around. I hate making myself a proper meal when I’m dining alone. ‘See more of my friends’. Nope on that one too. I spend time with my kids when I can and work the rest of the time. The only one I actually managed was ‘set better boundaries with people who try to take advantage of me’. I think I actually have done that, or maybe I’m just getting crankier with age. But I feel like the goals I set for myself for 2004 are still outstanding, and I’m going to have to work on this, hopefully this year.
I think it’s a good thing to set goals from time to time, to remind ourselves of how we want to live and what we want to do, and not do. It looks like I’ve got work to do, and years to catch up on. The goals I set for 2004 are still viable for this year. So I put that letter back in my appointment book too! I have some serious goal-meeting to do! Happy New Year!