On January 3, 2008, I found myself inside a CAT scanner. I thought I was having a stroke and spent the time inside the box imagining headlines along the lines of, “34 year old mother of 2 and Community Leader …” (you get the drift). Thankfully, it turned out to “just” be a migraine headache, but it was one that lasted 6 weeks, overlapping conveniently with a stomach flu that left me bedridden for 7 days (losing just as many pounds) and barely upright in time for my birthday. Just when I started to feel better and ready to work out again, I was hit by a second bout with the stomach flu. The only good news from all of this is that (a) it was only the flu, and (b) I have kept off post of the 7 lbs. I lost.
The best things I did for myself and my family in 2008: Getting an au pair (allowing me more time to work knowing my girls had a loyal and loving honorary member of the family engaging with them and taking care of their needs), finally succumbing to my years of struggling with a self-image issue and getting the nose job I’ve thought about for 20 years, buying a vacation home where wonderful memories are already being built and traditions already being established, incorporating a non-negotiable weekly date night and spending 4 weekends away with my husband. Oh, and I bought some AMAZING shoes this year. Seriously.
The things I could have done better: kept up the great fitness level I worked so hard to attain, spent less time doing mundane tasks I didn’t need to be doing, I probably didn’t need to shop quite so much, I spent too much time complaining to my husband about how busy I am and not recognizing how much pressure he must also feel (although he certainly never admits to it), maintained a bit more diplomacy and bit less personal ego investment in my role as board chair of a non-profit organization, and of course I should have documented more of my younger daughter’s milestones so there’s not such a huge disparity in the number of pages each of my daughters has filled with precious moments.
So, with all of that out in the open, here are my New Year’s Resolutions for 2009:
1. I will do things to make my life easier, including (a) buying a Mac so I’m not fighting PC viruses constantly; (2) hiring my personal assistant for more hours each week; (3) using a virtual assistant to help me with more mundane tasks; and (4) letting go of control and deciding I’m ok with our au pair driving my kids around town so that I can work when I need to work and use my “play” time more wisely.
2. I will Work Less and Make More by: (1) giving myself a raise (I’m worth it!); (2) creating demand sooner and giving incentives for people who sign up to work with me earlier so that my income is more balanced throughout the year; (3) diversify my business and not let the hours I am available determine how quickly my holdings can grow – meaning I will employ others to assist me as I “think bigger”; and (4) evaluating each task and really deciding whether it’s something I have to handle or whether it can be farmed out to someone else.
3. I will Concentrate on Quality of Life by: (1) joining a better gym that motivates me and has the classes I enjoy at more convenient times and at a more convenient location; (2) spending at least one weekend a month in our newly acquired vacation home; (3) trying not to work in the mornings before school – that should be my time to really interact with my daughters; and (4) not complaining about how hard I’m working to my husband, who is also working incredibly hard.
4. I will Use My Time More Wisely by: compartmentalizing my day – instead of checking twitter and facebook whenever I feel like it, calendar this time into my day in 3 or 4 5-10 minute intervals, and same with time to blog and time to return calls – that way I’ll feel fewer interruptions and won’t lose time as I reacquaint myself with whatever task I left halfway done to pick up the phone call.
5. I will Invest in My Friends by: writing handwritten notes, making time for coffee, meeting for walks, calling people just because, and surrounding myself with people who are supportive, understanding, authenic, interesting, helpful and fun.
6. I will Share My Values with My Daughters by : selecting toys, books, and tv shows that reflect my values (Free to Be is the best Book/CD/DVD on the planet, hands down), showing them that when I’m with them they have my complete attention, and that when I can’t be with them I am doing something important for our family and providing a service that helps people through a stressful time in their life and/or motivates them to create a better life for themselves and their families.
I’m sure I’ll think of more, and I’m sure I’ll continue to be introspective as my 35th birthday rapidly approaches, so stay tuned. I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments, and personal resolutions for 2009. I hope it is a happy, healthy year in which we all work to repair the world.