Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Best Year Yet?

I don't know why, but I just have this feeling that 2008 is going to be a great year. Of course, I don't want to jinx myself in saying this...but I just feel so hopeful and good about things right now.

Of course, there is always room for improvement, so I'm making my annual New Year's Resolutions. They are as follows.

1. Take care of ME. One thing I learned--the hard way--in 2007 is that I have to put myself first. I can't put my job before my own well-being. And I can't let myself care what the kids or the parents think of me.

With this in mind, I am resolving to make time for myself. Time to work out, time to cook healthy meals (no more of that Mac and Cheese crap) and time to see my friends--even if it means driving to San Francisco, Napa, or Folsom. If I feel like seeing Mom and Dad and the Kindergatos, I will make time to drive up to Lincoln.

2. Enjoy California. I am finally okay with this whole "I'm a California Girl" thing. It's not the most perfect place to live, but it's what I know, and there is comfort in that. Now, I want to enjoy the state I live in. Face it, there's not many places as geographically and culturally diverse as California. Our economy is larger than most countries in the world (it's in the top ten, anyway). There is a lot to see and do, so I am resolving to take as many day trips as I can this year. Of course I'll go to the city (San Francisco) because it's so close, but I'd also like to see Tahoe, Fort Bragg (a bit farther away, so maybe that's an overnighter) and maybe even Yosemite.

3. Be more fiscally responsible. I've made a lot of improvements in this area in the last couple of years, but I still, from time to time, find myself in financial dire straights--like last summer, when I was going without paychecks for a couple of months and had to live out of my savings. I am making the goal to save more money (and, fortunately, this year I'm on my district's summer fund plan--I'll get a nice, large check at the end of June which will pay my rent and bills for the summer).

4. Find where I want to be. I am enjoying my job more this year, but I'm still not sure it's what I want to do in the long term. Therefore, this year, especially in the earlier half, will be about exploring my options for the next school year and figuring out which direction I want to move in. There are a lot of factors to consider--location, proximity to family and friends, job security and satisfaction, and financial considerations (for example, a single teacher will never be able to afford an apartment in San Francisco...and I don't want roommates).

5. Wear my diamonds...with jeans. I got a beautiful diamond journey pendant from Dad for Christmas (he really does enjoy spoiling Mom and I). I don't want to tuck it away for "special occasions" but rather enjoy it as much as possible, wearing it with jeans to work, or with a pretty outfit when going out.

Really, this is just a metaphor for a larger concept this year. As you all are aware, I will be turning 30 in August. I will officially leave those fickle years of the 20s behind and become, finally, a "real" adult.

My goal for this milestone is not to approach it with anything even resembling grace and dignity, but rather sliding in sideways, with margarita in one hand and a very load noisemaker in the other, shouting, "Wasn't that FUN?!?"

If New Year's Eve is any indication, I'm well on my way to making that resolution happen.

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