Thursday, December 31, 2009

Buh-bye, 2009!

So, 2009.  Not the worst year ever.  Not the best year ever either.  There were some highlights to the year.  I went from being a night shift nurse to a day shift nurse.  In doing so, I realized that I didn't have to take multi-day naps when I was able to sleep every night, opening up a ton of free time for myself.  I took a great vacation to Disney World with my parents and sister and had the best time.  It was a reunion of the original four members of our family, and we had so much fun eating our favorite foods and riding our favorite rides and seeing our favorite sites.  I was so lucky that my generous father was willing to take his 28- and 33-year-old daughters along on vacation with him!  I set for myself a goal of reading 75 books, and I made that goal with one day to go, which was a big accomplishment that involved speeding through nine books in December.

However, there were some low points as well.  I made my triumphant return to the dentist and found out that I had eight cavities (which is not totally unexpected when you haven't been to the dentist in ten years).  These were the first cavities that I ever had to have fixed, and I had them done in three visits, two of which were two days apart.  Needless to say, it was miserable.  The actual dental work was not bad, once I got properly numbed (although the smell of a tooth being drilled is something I could do without).  However, the aftereffects are no joke!  Months later, I still have some sensitivity in my teeth, specifically the ones that had the deepest cavities in them.  Biting down on a pickle or a cold tomato brings a shock of pain through my teeth and down my spine.  I never expected this to happen, and if I had my life to do over, I certainly wouldn't skip the dentist for so many years!  I also continue to struggle with some card debt, car payments, student loans.  It's amazing how quickly your paycheck disappears when you plug your expenses into your budget.  I wouldn't say I went any further into debt this year, but I also probably didn't pay off as much debt as I would have liked.  However, at the end of the year, we are safe and warm in our house on the mountain (even if it isn't my ideal home location), and we are really very fortunate.  I try to remember that always.

In 2010, I have some minor goals in mind.  The first, of course, involves health goals.  I realized not long ago that I am a bad veggie-eater.  I like vegetables, but they don't always find their way on to my plate.  I eat a lot of convenience foods, and these are not the healthiest of choices!  Therefore, I am going to challenge myself to eat two veggies and one fruit every day.  I realize this is NOT the Strive for Five goal that we are to aim for, but I also realized that I don't want to set myself up for failure.  I also would like to haul myself back to the gym.  Every month, I make a donation of $50 to the gym that I have not set foot in for many, many months.  If I am paying for the membership, I might as well use it, right?  I also have some monetary goals in mind, and they mostly involve saving money.  I really would like to stop buying myself so many "treats" (I hope Target can survive in!) and pay more attention to where my money is really going.  And I also would like to continue working on paying down my credit card debt, using the Debt Snowball method that Dave Ramsey suggests.

I don't want to set any of those huge, concrete goals, such as "pay off my credit cards" or "lose 50 pounds."  I have set those large goals before, and then I have failed to meet them, and that is a real downer!  I know it will take more than this year to pay off all my debt, so aiming for such a high mark is really a recipe for failure.  Regarding weight loss, I can certainly probably lose 50 pounds in a year.  However, if I set that goal and don't make it, it will be another year of, yes, failure in that area.  I really don't want to lay that on my plate...I would rather set little goals that I can actually achieve than huge ones that I will be kicking myself over in a year's time.

I always hope that each new year can be better than the last, and that is my wish for all of you as well.  Happy New Year!  May you have in 2010 your best year yet!

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