I see a lot of reflection posts on the blogs of my friends, and I love reading them. There is something magical in the time leading to a new year – time to reflect, evaluate and plan for the new year. I am definitely doing this here too.
Unlike others, I don’t think in terms of “Daily 10”. I know for a fact that it doesn’t work for me and just adds pressure to my life that is already pretty full. I don’t have several children to care for, but I have a full time job that requires a lot of thinking, decisive action and initiative. I definitely want to further my career and therefore I need energy to be mentally present when I focus on my work tasks. Sometimes I need to work late or travel, or I just simply come home wiped out, and I don’t want to cross any tasks off my “daily 10 list” or feel guilty that I didn’t. So… on to my Top 10 for 2010 :)
1. Exercise at least twice a week – starting at 30 minutes and building up. It’s extremely important to me to get back to the habit of exercising regularly and building flexibility and strength.
2. Try a new recipe once a week. We are pretty good in cooking from scratch, but we are stuck in “recipe rut”. Both German and Russian cuisines are heavily starch-based. We need to find some healthy recipes that would incorporate more vegetables into our diet.
3. Every two weeks try something new – it could be a new game, going to the museum, short trips to new places, etc. It’s always a little exhausting for us to try new things, since we are so nicely comfortable in our house and love to spend time together, but the new experiences are the ones that build new memories – good ones and amusing (“oh my God, I don’t believe it happened to us) ones.
4. Bring more music into our lives. We are going to sign Anna up for a dance class, and play more music at home. My husband used to play guitar more, and we just received a beautiful book with German children songs from Anna’s uncle and aunt. I am hoping that she will also learn more German by learning more German songs.
5. Once a month go out for a date. For starters we could go out after Anna is in bed asking our neighbors to stay in the house, but I would also like to find a reliable sitter in the neighborhood. I love all our dates in, but it would be awesome to spend some time together outside the house too.
6. At least once every month do things with our friends. We have a group of friends who all chose to be child-free for different reasons. These friendships are important to us, and I admit that it hurts sometimes that we cannot be as much a part of their lives as we used to be. But nevertheless we managed to stay close and I am hoping that as Anna gets older, we get to do more things together again.
7. Read at least one new book every month that is not about children. I used to read for pleasure and now all my free time is spent on the Net. This brings me to point #8.
8. Reduce Net surfing and focus on actually implementing/trying some of the ideas I find. I enjoy visiting other blogs and commenting on many wonderful ideas. I will continue to visit some blogs that I really like and correspond to their owners via comments and emails. But I will have to limit my time spent on these activities more decisively that I did in 2009 to leave time for other things that I want to do with my already very limited time.
9. Do two major projects around the house – installing new heating/air conditioning and landscaping part of our backyard. Fortunately, it’s not a matter of money – we were planning for those major expenses. It’s more of a matter of executing – deciding what we want, finding the contractors, dealing with disruptions, etc.
10. Teach my daughter to appreciate small things in life – morning cuddles, good food, time spent together. Sometimes we focus so much on the next big adventure that we forget to value things that we do every day. We love our tradition of sitting together in the evening as a family talking about our favorite moments of the day and why they were important to us. I am hoping that 2010 will be the same in this sense – that we will still have a lot of time for each other and we will share in the wonder of joy of seeing our daughter learn new things every day.