Sunday, January 3, 2010
I’ve never played the New Year’s resolution game, but this year I came to the conclusion that I need that kind of to-do list
I’ve never played the New Year’s resolution game, but this year I came to the conclusion that I need that kind of to-do list. One of the great rewards of retirement—all that unstructured time-- is also one of the great dangers.
My husband I have developed the delightful habit of having 2 hour breakfasts drinking tea, reading newspapers and trying to catching up on the ever-growing pile of unread periodicals. We really like print and resist getting all our info on line.
Much as I enjoy our 2 hour breakfasts, I must manage to get some work done each day. I’ve got to finish my history of second wave feminism in Philadelphia while I have (I think) full possession of my faculties. I’m sitting on a treasure trove of archival material that a graduate student in history would die for. I’ve promised those who gave me this material that I would tell their story.
A friend suggested that I commit to 15 minutes a day. Now at that rate I’ll never finish, but I am going to try for 2 hours a day. I’m keeping track of how much I’ve done each day. On Jan. 2, I managed to do one hour—-but then I was cleaning up after our NY’s party. Without that 2 hour resolution hanging over my head, I’m sure I wouldn’t have done any work on this project.
I decided to apply my friend’s a few minutes a day principle to my other resolutions:
1) Each day I will spend 30 minutes reading books/articles in Spanish. We booked a trip to Peru in early Spring, so I have an incentive to focus on Spanish. On Jan. 2, I actually managed 30 minutes.
2) Each day I will spend at least 20 minutes a day cleaning cabinets and emptying drawers filled with junk, tackling the dumping ground in our attic and the filth in our dungeon like basement. I didn’t manage to do this on Jan. 2 despite the modest 20 minute goal. This is going to be the tough one.
3) Each day I will swim or walk briskly for 30 minutes at least 3 times a week. If we are ever to manage Macchu Picchu, we need to be in better shape. No progress here on Jan 2.
Well, we’ll see if this keeps me more focused on how I’m spending my time.
If anyone has any suggestions, for sticking to one’s New Year’s resolutions, please share.