December 31, 2008

The "G" Word and 2009

I quit my job on Monday.

It's been a long time coming and I'm rejoicing on the inside (a little on the outside, too) but that's not what this post is about. Now that I'm almost-unemployed and facing an undetermined amount of time as a returning student-slash-homemaker, I'm feeling the urge to personal-goal myself into oblivion. (Funny how much that sounds like "personal foul" ... will I get some dude in a black and white striped shirt blowing a whistle and throwing yellow hankies at me every time I violate the terms of my goal list?) (Hee. Actually, I could learn to love that.)

I hate writing goals. I don't mind making to-do lists - hell, my life works better if I have a good to-do list guiding me - but I loathe "goal-setting". (Yet another in a long line of reasons why Corporate America and I never got along.) And I especially detest the idea that January 1st is the ideal time to figure out what's wrong with your life and draw a line in the sand, beyond which those problems will not be allowed to follow you.

Actually, that's just one thing about New Year's that doesn't work for me.

The whole New Year's celebration thing is not something I've ever been in to. Nothing about the rituals associated with this particular holiday speak to me. I'm a morning person, so staying up until midnight holds little appeal. Not only am I a sleepy drunk, but I'm also a lightweight (so to speak.) Two drinks and I'm curling up with the cats in a quiet corner somewhere. And putting on funny hats and waiting until a specific instant on a specific day to suddenly leap into a frenzy of cheering - followed almost immediately by a group singalong of one of the most maudlin songs ever ... well, I just Don't Get It. Aside from getting a paid day off from work, there's nothing to recommend this holiday to me. But, I digress ...

For the longest time - decades, in fact - I saw no reason for New Year's resolutions. But this year circumstances are such that I feel the need to record some hopes for 2009. (Not goals. I would say plans, but since I firmly believe in the old, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans for the future" bit, I will refrain from using that word, too.) ((Like that will help.))

I've written about "The List" previously here. Getting through it was daunting enough (and actually, of the eight things on it a year ago, I completed one and three-fifths), but now it is only a small part of a bigger list that I can't seem to quit compiling for myself. What's on that list, you ask? Well, at the moment it consists of lots of broad areas and just a few specifics, but I'm happy to share it with you (in no particular order):

  • Quit my job. (Done! I just have to survive my last week.)
  • Carry a full load of Horticulture classes for Spring semester (Granted, I'm technically going half time, but since I'm also doing the Master Gardener program, I think that counts.)
  • Finish my Horticulture degree! (On paper, I only have an internship to complete. In reality, it's a little more complicated than that.)
  • Figure out a way to make everything work on only one paycheck. (Doable, but scary as hell.)
  • Cooking - two people who get bored easily who also need to each more nutritionally suitable meals AND who need to eat them on a budget. (Yikes.)
  • Regular exercise - both of us. (Shoot me now.)
  • Creativity (A not terribly descriptive title for a section of the list that deserves it's own sub-lists. "The List" goes in here somewhere.)
  • Career Change - what the hell am I going to do with the rest of my life, and how am I supposed to fund a 401(k) with it? (I ... um ... oh, God. Mommy!)
  • Family - giving us the time and attention we deserve. (Seriously, do I need to expand on this?)
That's what I'm trading my regular paychecks in for. Yes, it had to be done. Yes, I'm sure it will all work out in the end. Yes, I'm sure I'll have a somewhat spectacular breakdown somewhere in the middle of things. (The Amazing Husbandini is planning on it, in fact.) And yes, I'm planning on going completely wooly-boogers for a few (several?) weeks as I become, in the immortal words of my sweetie, "drunk with freedom". That kind of drunk I can handle.

Happy New Year to you and yours, and may we all be able to move ourselves in more favorable directions!