I do, however, want to set some rolling goals. For this year and going forward. I want to have a place where I can actually keep track of what I want to do and have these thoughts not just be on scraps of paper that I lose. I want to see where I (and we) are in the ever-changing structure and goal-setting of personal life. I also enjoy reading other people's life lists and I'd like to take a stab at at thinking about where we are and how we are progressing.
Current goals, very general:
- Get in better shape. Do that through spending at least 4 sessions a week doing a proper cardiovascular activity. Which should be attainable, rather than daunting.
- Decide where we will be next fall. We are moving. The question right now is, exactly where. It's either Munich or not. Now that we have achieved German public health insurance, the world is our oyster, as we will always be able to return to it. A huge, huge relief.
- Make a little more time for our friends and family here in Germany, because we may not always be here. We just had a wonderful time over the holidays. The most relaxing and pleasant time since we got here 4+ years ago. We did it by actually having enough time to spend with them and we planned that time. We fell short of our goals- I had hoped to meet up with another cousin (+family) and aunt/uncle, as well as a blogger with whom I had been chatting (and to whom I owe an apology for not meeting)- but I accept my limitations and I'll try again in the spring. We did spend two nights with a friend and her family (so the girls played merrily), met up for a long afternoon with current friend and former au-pair, had an afternoon and evening with cousin (and family- kids had a blast), a birthday party with sister-in-law (and family, more masses of kids), time just chatting over the table with the in-laws and the sister-in-law and her friend. Good times.
- Make more time for myself (cf #1) but also, note that the time that I have been spending on German classes has left me in a place where I have had not time to enjoy myself here in Berlin. Since taking the last 10 weeks off, the apartment is in better shape, the kids are getting more attention, and I have finally had a manicure: my first in this country. I'd like to continue in the path of spending more of my time making our family life less chaotic and more time enjoying this time when I am not required (and it would actually be deleterious) to work outside the home.
- Get back to the Museums. I made a decent start on that last year, but then class and the kids' activities impinged. Since I will only be taking a 1 day grammar course this semester, I expect to spend much more deliberate time enjoying Berlin. I hope I can find a few folks to share the touristing with, but if not I will do it anyway.
- Try to decrease the paper and book clutter in the house! I am constantly working on this (cf other blog) and this year we added another bookcase and a DVD case, which has helped. In addition, I am working my way through reading a very great many genre books, some of which will be returned to my mom, some which she doesn't want back and others of which I won't want to re-read when they are read: they are being gathered and will be 1. shipped back to Mom, 2. given to friends, 3 offered for sale locally and on Amazon and 4. given to a local library when the former don't pertain. Last year I donated 80+ books, this year I hope to achieve and surpass that level. So far I have 54 assembled, so there's not much chance of missing this goal.
- Make certain that we have at least 1 family vacation and at least one vacation that I enjoy. This past year we had several weekends without the kids, through the joy of hotel points. Those vacations involved culture and walking through cities in other countries. We also had several with them. Of course, their favorites involved Disney, play grounds, pools (they don't need to leave a hotel to be happy- they only need a pool), and playing with other children. We are already starting to plan more for this year.
- Try to stop over-planning. A major source of my stress in the last few years has actually just been about over-scheduling. Since the German is gone the majority of the week, we try to schedule things so we don't just veg. The kids really don't need that- they would be happy to just hang around in their pjs with us. Both my in-laws and my friends mentioned how much more relaxed the German was this last week. I think that was because, although I had scheduled our time (because otherwise we don't do anything), I both scheduled wisely and crossed out several activities (cf. meet blogger friend, meet with cousins and uncles) that, although we would have enjoyed them, would have mean that we were go, go, go non-stop.
- Don't take things as seriously. It's hard to believe that at my age I am still so amazed, and sometimes hurt, at the bad behavior of others. I have made strides in just 1. cutting people who behave badly out of my life and 2. setting limits on how I will allow myself to be treated when not able to cut people who behave badly. This can be as simple as not allowing racist and xenophobic and sexist remarks to pass without open remark and as complex as needing to realize how deep these beliefs and behaviors may be in others' psyches, so deep that they are incapable of recognizing how sexism, patriarchy and racism have informed their understanding of normality.
- And to round up the list, try to be more mindful of how happy my life is right now. It really is. This time with the kids is something that I am grateful for (no matter how stressful and annoying their behavior may sometimes be). It's a gift, they are a gift, my life is a gift, and I should enjoy every minute of it.