Before last night’s Urban Zen photo post, it has been a while since I checked in on The Accidental Optimist. And so the end of 2012 is here and it’s time to take inventory on the goals I set for this year. I’ll be up front. I have not met all of my them. However, I have been living an optimistic life and has been anything BUT accidental. I have been taking active steps towards achieving my happiness.
Sometimes, in the course of living life and working towards goals, I need to be reminded to check in with myself and–with that– this blog. So I guess that is my one biggest takeaway for the year. If I had checked in periodically, I might have been able to get back on track or reevaluate my goals for 2012.
And even though I’m dubbing this post “Report Card 2012,” this is not a pass/fail test. It’s all about the journey. At the beginning of the year I issued myself a series goals for 2012. This will be a long post as I plan to go through all of them…
1. Live an energized and balanced life of work, play, and rest
I have found some success in this by exploring the things that make me happy and prioritizing this in how I spend my time. It also helped that during the months of July and August I spent my vacation time by taking Mondays off and working a four day work week.
To continue to find this balance I need to commit more to work efficiently at my job so I won’t feel behind in my weekly “to do” list. When I return to the office in January, I will review our departmental plan for the year with the objective of staying focused at work and keeping on track.
2. Begin a regular and weekly meditative and mindful practice such as Tai Chi or restorative Yoga
Last spring I enrolled in an 8 week Tai Chi class. I enjoyed this moving meditation and I plan to enroll again this spring and continue the practice. In the meantime, I will try to commit to a meditation schedule of at least three times a week and I have found great love for the mediation of Metta Loving Kindness.
3. Take a pottery class at MFA School (and apply towards #10 on the Bucket List)
I did not get to this. So I will keep it on my list for next year.
4. Make new friends and build community with Wuggs
I’ve covered the first part if this by making new friends through improv. In the course of completing my improv goals I found a community as a few of us formed an independent improv team. I have since stepped down from the team because my work and travel schedule forced me to miss too many rehearsals. But I love supporting them and connecting outside of shows.
Wuggs and I made a couple new acquaintances through introductions and shared events so now it is time to cultivate these into friendships. Plus, an old friend moved back in town and I will reach out to her and get some time on both of our calendars.
5. Enjoy one green smoothy a day (or the equivalent of raw green veggies)
Uh oh. Goal dropped. I started 2012 off so well. So well, in fact, that I grew tired of my green smoothies too fast. But I realize that I don’t necessarily have to have a green smoothy as my vitamix is also good for making healthy soups and other recipes. The soups may be steaming–but I think they still fall into a “raw diet.”
6. Enroll in an intermediate swim class
Success! I completed a swim class through Harvard Athletics. It was tough work to get myself out of bed early on a Saturday for 8 weeks and dedicate an hour and a half to swimming laps and improving my freestyle stroke but it paid off. I learned that this is possibly the most rewarding physical activity for me. It is an aerobic exercise that works my entire body and burns so many calories. Furthermore, the workout buzz I get from swimming make me swim in feel good endorphins for the entire day.
7. Minimum of one camping trip in the spring or summer with Randi-pants
Done! In August I went with Randi to Brownfield, ME and camped on the Sacco River.
Success. I participated in the Danskin Sprint Triathlon in Webster, MA in July. It was an amazing experience! And like all good physical challenges that take months of training and preparation, I learned so much about myself. For one, I learned that doing a sprint triathlon is enough for me. At one time I had wanted to participate in an Olympic sized triathlon. However, I have since adjusted this bucket list item and I am content with having completed just the sprint. It is important to recognize one’s physical limitations. It was such an adrenaline rush, though, and I plan to participate in at least one sprint triathlon per year.
9. Complete all improv comedy class levels at ImprovBoston and perform in a minimum of 3 improv shows.
I am now, officially, an alumna of the Improv Boston Improv classes. After a group of us formed a team last spring, we performed in several shows. I am very grateful to Wuggs and all my family and friends who came to support me!
10. Complete my strategic plan for life (I’ve been promising myself this one since 2008!)
Talk about the final sprint… I just completed this today. This blog, in essence, is the recorded operation of it. Though I don’t include everything for the world to see, I take stock before most posts.
11. Begin exploring massage schools & requirements for certification.
I did explore this very briefly. But I also realized after a bit of investigation that I just wasn’t ready to commit to this particular goal–at least not in 2012. I may come back to it in time.
12. Return to Key West with Wuggs to celebrate our five-year wedding anniversary (#96 on the Bucket List).
I met up with Wuggs in Key West on December 19th and spent the week there. We watched the Mayan Calendar end from a beach and state park near the Southern Most Point in the U.S. and spent Christmas Day on a boat where we explored the Gulf of Mexico where it meets the Atlantic Ocean through snorkeling and kayaking around mangrove islands. All the while, I was on a Media Fast wherein I restricted myself from: e-mail, all social media and internet, movies, TV, newspapers and magazines. It was a very much needed R&R and important time to catch up with my wife and lady love.
2012: You’ve been a good year. 9 for 12 success is not so bad. I hope that the goals I set for 2013 are even better matched so that I can enjoy 100% success.