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Taking Stock at Year's End

I love this fallow week between Christmas and New Year's, when the world gets a bit quieter and there's time to assess things a bit, taking stock of this year and planning for next. I don't always remember to do it, but I'm happy when, as is the case this year, I think about it and make a start, at least.

When it comes to writing, I take stock in two different ways:

First is in the creative sense. Did I work on things I wanted to? What did I enjoy? What did I abandon? Is there something in particular I want to pick up again, or start anew?

Second is in the business sense. Did I market my work in the way I wanted to? What (if anything) got published or has been accepted? What worked well? What didn't? What sort of expenses did I incur, and are they worth repeating next year? Are there any manuscripts that seem like they need to be put in the drawer?

When it comes to life, I do the same sorts of analysis for various areas.

Health-wise, where do I stand? What's working, what isn't, what would I like to change in the coming year? I am definitely happier on days that I get out and take a walk, and will be trying to keep that a regular practice, even if the weather turns colder. I am also happier and healthier in lots of ways, including having less pain, on days when I do tai chi and/or meditate. I haven't been consistent with either of those practices, and I really need to be. I'm happier on days when my system works well, which happens if I'm drinking enough water and eating in a mindful, balanced sort of way, so I'm trying to trend that direction more.

House-wise, I've enjoyed the projects we've been working on, and my sweetheart and I are definitely making progress through our three-year plan to get the house how we want it. One of the take-homes for me (and vicariously, for him) from my move was the notion of getting things set how we really want them to be now, while we're here and enjoying the house, rather than putting things off for "someday", which (a) may not happen or (b) may come too late for us to really enjoy them. This includes sticking with my notion of keeping only those things that bring beauty, usefulness, or happiness into our home. It means not cluttering the place up, and taking stock of what's here now and again to be sure we aren't holding onto things we ought to let go.

I still have other areas to assess, and more work to do in the ones I've mentioned, but I figured I'd put this up in case it proved useful to anyone else out there. I don't "do" resolutions, really, but I do try to take stock at this time of year to set my intentions for the coming year, and to make sure I haven't allowed myself to be steered off-track without realizing it.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 1st, 2015 12:34 am (UTC)
I'm so impressed by your progress! I just ordered a new book about decluttering - I'll let you know how it goes. Happy exploring to you!
Dec. 28th, 2014 01:30 am (UTC)
I've been doing some assessing, too. For me, it started while I was grading finals, with the realization that although I had a stack of work to do and far more students than I had a year ago, I was feeling much less frazzled. The difference: no MFA work. As much as I loved it and would in many ways like to still be doing it, the stretch from late November to the January residency was always filled with almost-too-much to do.

Now, though, I have had time to slow down and enjoy time with family and friends and think about the projects I have going and what I need to do with them and when I'll start (after Beloved Daughter leaves). It's been a boon to have this time to rest and rebuild my energies...and play around with a new project.
Jan. 1st, 2015 12:35 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you are having a relaxing holiday season this year. Much luck with your new project!
Laura Purdie Salas
Dec. 29th, 2014 01:04 pm (UTC)
I love doing this, too, Kelly. I set my writing intentions as specific goals. But for other areas of my life, even though I write them down in a list I call goals, they often aren't specific enough to be goals. And I don't hold myself to those in any guilt-inducing way. I think intentions is a good term for what I do, too. Looking at what's working and not, and what direction I want to go in. Simply writing them down helps me focus a little on them and make choices that might support them...Happy analyzing! I'm hoping to spend several hours on this tomorrow and kind of come to a sense of "yes" on what I'm aiming for in 2015.
Jan. 1st, 2015 12:37 am (UTC)
Re: Yes!
I really enjoyed taking stock this year. Found I'd accomplished more than I thought, on basically all fronts, so that was great. Now to set some writing things in motion and hope for the best. Happy 2015 to you!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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