Saturday, January 01, 2011

Things I Am Thinking About as the New Year Begins

Photo by c r i s via Flickr

I usually write resolutions.  I start the year with big plans. When I look back, I am not sure that my resolutions help me meet goals.  This year, I am not making resolutions but I am thinking about things I'd like to do better.

1.  I've been working a ton this year. Between my regular job, the travel that I do with consulting, writing and coursework I've taken for my library certification, it feels like working is the only thing I've done in 2010. I have learned a ton and I love the work and the people I've worked with in 2010, but I am hoping to have a more balanced year.  I have done better at scheduling travel, completed my library coursework for the school year and been more organized about school and home work lately. So, I am hoping to still work lots but to leave more time to for other things. I am never a person who is balanced on a daily basis. But I hope to be balanced over time--making time for more than just work.

2. Because of the work thing, I feel like I've had an unhealthy year. Not exercising, eating poorly, just not being balanced in general.  So I joined The FIT42 Challenge started by Twitter friend TEACH42 as part of that plan. I'd love to lose lots of weight, but more importantly, I really want to put healthy habits back into my lifestyle.  I can already tell that this community will be a good one.  I want to make more time to grocery shop and cook healthier meals. (Actually, Scott cooks almost every meal so I'd like to help a bit more with that too:-)  I'd also like to get an exercise routine going. I love to exercise when I am in shape but it is so hard to get back to any type of "in shape" that I hate the beginnings. After a year of weight gain and almost no exercise, I am pretty sure this will be no fun for a while. I've tried to organize piles, work, and home to really focus on building exercise into my routine 5-6 days a week in January. I am hoping that by March, I enjoy it a little bit again:-)

3.  I want to read more. Because of my coursework and writing, I don't feel like I've read as much as I like. One of the things I've learned about being a K-5 librarian is that it is nearly impossible to keep up with reading. When I was in the classroom, I found myself reading for those 25 kids--reading and sharing books with kids or read aloud or something in mind. Now, I feel like I have to read every book that might work for one of the 420 kids or 50 teachers at our school. Thanks to Twitter friends @donalynbooks, @ProfessorNana and @PaulWHankins, I feel like I am reading more. Listening in on their conversations, hearing about great books, and joining in #bookaday has helped me jump back to reading lots and I now love my TBR pile (for a while, it seemed like a chore.) Attending ALAN helped me remember how much I love YA. I don't have a huge amount of time to read YA, but after reading BEFORE I FALL and MATCHED, I intend to make a bit more time for YA this year.

I've always been amazed at how much people read. (Mary Lee and I have talked about this for years since I have always been amazed by how much time she makes for reading.)  I am not sure these people sleep. And now, after hearing that @MrSchuReads read 1700 books, I am inspired to not only read more, but to do a better job of tracking my reading.  I have not been good about logging my reading lately and I've never kept track of picture books, etc. but I am going to work to figure out a way to do that.

4.Every year, I organize my book room. I used to call it my office, but I don't often work in there. I store books, look for books, find books, etc.  During vacation, as I do every year, I pulled it back together a bit.  It is still packed and books are still taking over my life, but I passed some boxes of books along. I get lots of review books and many that don't match the age group I read for. So, thanks to Donalyn Miller who inspired me, I sent along books I couldn't use--sent them to people who could use them. I hate to part with great books, But to send them along to those who could use them was a great way to make room for new books. Hopefully, I'll do this more than once a year from now on.

5. Near the end of the NCTE Convention this year, someone asked me for a pen. I had a hard time finding one.  It wasn't until that point of convention that I realized how paperless I had gone at convention this year. I bought a new purse that perfectly fit my iPad and used EVERNOTE and my iPad iPhone for any recording I needed. I still needed the paper program (not sure I could do without that!) but I came home inspired to go a bit more paperless in life. I get about 10 magazines each month. Some months I read them, some months I don't.  So I decided not to reorder and to try to do more of my reading on the iPad. Although I'll always read children's novels in print form so I can share them with kids, I downloaded the Kindle App to my ipad so I can read more that way. (I also have a Kindle).  I just started using FLIPBOARD and am loving it as a reading tool. It makes my Google Reader and my Twitter links so much easier to read and navigate. So, I am going to change my reading habits just a bit and try to keep track of what I read beyond books in some way. Go a little more paperless here and there without spending much time looking for new tools and apps that I love.  Just really using the ones I know well.

6. Lotion.  I need to do a better job with lotion and vitamins  things that I seem to need more of as I get older.  Habits I am not so good at. I usually am so tired by the time I go up to sleep, that I don't have good, healthy routines--don't make time for taking care of myself.  This all goes back to working too hard --no, not too hard, too much. I work on something until I can hardly keep my eyes open. I am going to try to wind down a bit this year to give myself some time between work and sleep.

So, the big thing I am thinking is this--I am amazed at how other people do all of this. I read blogs and follow people on Twitter who read a bazillion books, do great things at their job, write regularly, go on fun excursions with their families and somehow have time to share their daily 10 mile run via RunKeeper or some other tool.  I would love to know how it is that people get all of these things done. Maybe they do not need sleep, I'm not sure.  In the ideal world of 2011, I'd love to have balance. I love my life and everything that is part of it but it doesn't often feel balanced. I don't always make time for enough of the things I should make time for.  So, I am going to try that.  To do more of the things above and spend just a little less time working.  My problem has always been that I love my work and it is far more fun than exercising or putting on lotion or cooking healthy meals. But I am going to try to do more of that this year. ( I know that one way to do this is to play less Bejeweled Blitz but I don't think I can do that.  It is my daily fun and I hate to give that up so I'm hoping I can do some of this without giving that up completely!)

So, although these are not resolutions, this is my thinking as I go into 2011.  Spending some time and energy to get back to living a healthier, more balanced life. Not big changes, but a few little shifts here and there to build healthier routines.

Happy New Year!


  1. Here's to the more balanced life idea! It looks as though you have another busy year ahead...

  2. Balance is so huge and something that I think about a lot as well! Best of luck to you as you work on these items. They are all great!

  3. I am all about balance too! It sounds like you have a good plan. I'm going to look into the Twitter group. Maybe that will help me stay focused! Thanks for the great post!!

  4. All the best to you and your family as you continue to seek balance in your life. Health and happiness to all in 2011.

  5. I'm sure many of us see you as one of those people who manage to do everything! It's easy for us to only see the things people accomplish without seeing the whole of their lives. That said, good luck with balance this year.

  6. That balance thing. Are there people who really do it? I'm thinking about joining the Fit42 thing too. I could certainly use it!

  7. It sounds like you've found your One Little Word for the year, balance. Check out this link from Ali Edwards, I know you will enjoy her thinking.

  8. Hi there--I'm catching up on reading your blog posts from the past couple of weeks!

    Have you checked out the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin? If you haven't, I really rec. you read the Introduction and the first chapter (at least!)--I really like how Rubin lays out her "resoultions", "goals", whatever you want to label them. I am re-reading her book this year, and putting a more concrete plan into action. You might find her project helpful, too--and she has a blog that is a good resource, as well.

    Best wishes to you in 2011!

  9. My resolution this year is to focus on learning 1-2 things each month. I have a tendency to skim the surface of stuff I am interested in and never really spend the time learning how to use it well.

    In January, I am working on using the Sony Readers with students and our state Career system.


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