I did NOT realize that the last post I wrote was in summer! I suppose it’s fitting, then, that we had the first white Christmas that I remember since moving here to the United States in the late 1970s. Today I’m enjoying a quiet day at home with the “kids” (i.e., my four dogs, including two very active one-year-old puppies — Lab mixes of some kind and the two most beautiful dogs ever), cleaning up, doing lots of reading, and just thinking about how 2012 was and how I can make 2013 even better.
In a word: 2012 sucked. My business was a complete roller-coaster, and a partnership that I thought would propel it into the stratosphere fizzled into a painful, drawn-out demise that left me a few thousand dollars fewer than what I started the year out with. My health went into a nosedive as well, and I’m still struggling to deal with the aftermath of a particularly bad condition that opened up more chronic issues for me. (I was never one of those who believed that going to the doctor only makes a condition worse…until this year.)
Oh, and I started out in more debt than when I actually launched my darn business. I can’t completely blame the business, though. Rescuing dogs can be an expensive business, and adopting two more (as we did this year, when we adopted two of the puppies we fostered late last year, both of whom were part of a litter of 8 we rescued — along with their mom — from the Dallas shelter) only added to the bills. I keep telling myself that doing good could never be really that bad, right? I have to remind myself that every time I open my Care Credit bill, though.
Sigh. So there you go. 2012 is closing without fanfare, but I’m grateful that it’s over. I’m not grateful to be getting older — is it really true that I can’t claim to be “late thirties” anymore? When did that happen? — but I’m grateful to have the year almost behind me.
I’m still working on what I want to accomplish in 2013. One of the things that I hated — absolutely despised to the point of wanting to rip my ears out of my head in frustration — about the past year is just how much my to-do lists have ballooned. I mean, I have more than one. More than five, in fact. And each of them has at least twenty-five items on it. Twenty-five! What the hell? As I write this I have about 200 items to be done. Today.
I lament to B. the days when I used to have a little pocket calendar — the kind that were neatly stacked by the register at the office supply store or Hallmark — and that was enough. That carried my whole life, from my schedule to birthdays and anniversaries to all the contact information I could possibly want or need.
Now, I have a smartphone and a little notebook in my purse, plus the Sticky Notes on Windows 7, 37Signals’ Basecamp for work-related lists, and yes, Remember the Milk for everything else. I have work lists, project lists, grocery lists (broken down into lists for different stores, e.g., Target, Grocery, Office Supply Store, etc.), books-to-read lists, etc. And on top of all of that, my little notebook is where I scribble any on-the-fly items I need to remember. Naturally, half the time I don’t remember to go through that notebook on a more regular basis than once a year, thus relegating the on-the-fly items to the dustbin of my memories.
And you know the real irony? I still don’t feel all that organized.
I’m downscaling my company considerably, have no children other than my furry “kids,” and haven’t been very good about staying in touch with my friends, so I sit here and wonder how my life has become so complicated that I actually need digital “assistants” to juggle it all.
So there you go. My #1 goal in 2013 is to pare things down as simply as possible so that I don’t spend half my life just keeping up with my many lists. I’d love to be able to just have one to-do- list (other than my different shopping lists — I haven’t figured out how to merge all of my different shopping lists into one and yet still be efficient), where all of the disparate elements of my life reside and which I can carry around with me without feeling this awful, heavy feeling in my stomach that I still don’t have everything on it that I should.
I’d love to know how you all keep up with the many obligations we women tend to take on. How do you organize your life? Do you use a smartphone? Paper planner? Notebook? Your mind? (Someone on Twitter suggested that I rely more on my mind, but that would just make me go out of my mind.)
Photo credit: Jeff Hester on Flickr.