2009 has been an... interesting year. On a scale of 1 to 10 I'd give it an 8 (10's will be reserved for when I win the lottery.) 2008 I'd give a 1.2. Lots changed that year. Lots changed this year too, but it's been less obvious. My resolution post from last year was forced in tone, like someone trying to survive, and pretty much reflected the tone of the whole year. This year has been one of recovery. The tempest has died down enough for me to see the damage and begin to repair it, and I've begun to hope again.
It's hard for me to describe the depth of change without going into a long (too long) story, but feel free to ask me and I'll share it. So what have I learned this year? What can I take with me to the next? And where do I want to be by the end of it?
So here's how I did with my resolutions last year:
1. "Get better." When I am, I will know, and I will be persistent in doing what I have to to get there. <-- Not quite there yet, but still being persistent.
2. Enroll in and begin grad school. <-- Done, JHU
3. Sponsor a child, cause my life has been too much about me lately. <--Done, her name is Rosmery
4. Publish in the Science Teacher NSTA magazine. <--Close, but no cigar. Looks good for this year though.
5. Author and publish a book. <-- Will be done in January :)
6. Be disciplined in saving money. <-- Done
7. Cultivate old friendships. <-- Tried, long story.
8. Travel more. <--Done, and even more planned for 2010
9. Reliably climb 5.10 <-- On most days :)
10. Try ice climbing once. <-- Done
11. Learn how to work with chocolate. <-- Forgot this one. :)
12. What the heck... sky dive. <-- Not yet, but it's been a resolution every year since I was 12...
I did pretty well actually :) I learned lots about what it means to persevere, how to treat others, I've learned how selfish I can be and how much I don't want to be like that. I've learned lots about love and lots about hope, and how important they are to the spirit. I've had moments that felt like my soul's thirst was finally being quenched and I was breathing for the first time...
So what shall we do this year?
I, Aleya Littleton, do hearby resolve to:
1. Continue to "Get better"
2. Publish in the NSTA magazine.
3. Blog consistently to work on my writing skills.
4. Climb a mountain.
5. Travel outside the country (Peru, and learn Spanish...)
6. Conquer my fear of falling
7. Lead lots of sport, and one pitch of trad :)
8. Continue to be good with my money.
9. Take up running, cause it's good for me.
10. Support HERA, Compassion, and Big City Mountaineers.
11. Volunteer with Honor Flight.
12. Bring my mom on a "vacation" to DC.
13. Speak positive words. Less complaining, more encouraging.
14. Actually start grad school.
15. Learn to play harmonica.
16. Cook, lots, in the kitchen, with an apron. :)
No sky diving. I think I'll give it a rest this year.
One thing that's been on my resolution list for the last three years or so is climbing. Either to start doing it (which I did year before year before last year) or to do it more (which I did year before last) or to do it better (which I did this year.) Climbing hasn't solved my problems this past year, but as a friend said, it helped speed things along. It's been my comfort and my curse, helping me grow and revealing weaknesses. It's also brought me to so many incredible people, it's hard to feel discouraged with so many strong individuals surrounding you.
I work part time at my local gym too. I can't imagine what I'd do without that place. The people, the escape, the random support I know I can count on. I'll be forever grateful for getting that job, even though belaying tiny kids all Saturday can get old.
I'm also grateful for my job. My boss can be trying sometimes, but I give her credit for "saving" me as well, and providing the mechanism to get me to the life I have now. I do full time now what I used to do in my spare time while I was teaching. I love science, NASA, and being in the position to support the amazing teachers in my area.
Mostly this year I've come to realize the control and responsibility that I have over my life. No one can change my mood but me, no one can choose my direction but me, and no one can take away my hope, but me - and this I refuse to do.