So here are my Sarantees for 2014:
- I will declutter. My husband will laugh at this, if only because this seems like the impossible dream (cue Man of La Mancha). Here's the thing, I have a paper problem. I joke that the only thing that could get my husband to divorce me might be my paper problem. I make piles in my house, I make piles in my classroom, and everywhere I go those piles spill over into other areas of my life. Important documents get lost and sometimes bills even get missed because, surprise, they are in a pile somewhere. The clutter also spills over into my packrat tendencies. I am far from a hoarder but there are things I have a hard time getting rid of. During one of the many snow days I had this last week I cleaned our bedroom. I don't know how many times I thought "What is this thing and will we ever need it?" Another part of my decluttering will be going through clothes and toys and trying to sell them online. Extra cash and less clutter = win for the whole family. I don't want my kids to take on a habit that I learned from my own parents (sorry Mom and Dad). This will take a lot of work.
- I will work on my spiritual life. This should be a goal at all times but this is something I really need to work on. I need to work on my devotional life and living it so that my children see it as well. I know I'm not the only churchworker who has struggled with this. In my 10+ years working in Lutheran education I've too often found myself focusing so much on pointing my students to Christ that I haven't taken the time to work on my own relationship with Christ. Instead of finding a weekly Bible study, I was too busy directing, planning, or grading to do so. It was time to change that a long time ago, but it's really time to change that now.
- I will submit for publishing. This is the professional goal. Last year I submitted an article to English Journal. It was a good article. I was and am proud of the work I did on the article. But it got rejected with some very helpful feedback. I will go back to reworking it at some point. I will also work on new article ideas that I have. Finally, I have six days to work on my proposal for NCTE National Conference 2014. You can't get published if you don't try and try and try again. And that is what I plan to do.
- Finish back hallway project. We have other projects we want to start and finish but we are on a budget now so I have to stick to it. We will finish that back hallway first and hopefully I will have a blog post about that within the year.
- Stick with doing our budget. We started this in October when we took a Financial Peace University class. We will continue to work on this budget and not give it up. We've come a long way in three months and I don't intend to ever go back. Now that it's in writing it will be harder to do so...
- I will write an average of one blog a week. There, how's that for being more realistic? And I would say that last year I nearly met that with all the writing I did over the summer. I have to give up the teaching blog I optimistically started at the beginning of the school year, but that's ok. I want to write. I need to write. But I also need to be more realistic about life happening and being good at my jobs as wife, mother, and teacher. Blogging isn't my job, it's my outlet, and committing to writing 52 blogs during 2014 will help me remain committed to my jobs and my favorite hobby.
- I will read 12 books that I am not currently teaching and blog about them when I am finished reading them. This may not seem like a significant number of books for an English teacher, but believe me, it is. I have struggled with pleasure reading for years, not because I don't like to do it but because I reread everything I teach and between undergrad, teaching, and graduate school I have given myself very little time for reading for just me. I also am going to commit to getting back into the classics. For 2014 that means, GULP, Charles Dickens. I have not read Dickens since high school. I didn't like him in high school and the thought of picking A Tale of Two Cities back up again is slightly terrifying, but I will do it and I will let you all know when I finally finish.