- Being active. Around this time last year I was so wiped out from the semester that I just crashed and went into a mild version of hibernation; it felt good for a few days but ended up making me feel terribly sluggish, which took weeks to shake off. (As did the ten pounds that came with it.) For the rest of the year I managed to exercise more regularly and in ways I really enjoy. The LWI and I play tennis every time the weather permits, and I managed to go the gym at least three times a week even during the busiest weeks in the semester. I could still stand to lose some weight, but at least I'm in good shape, which I enjoy.
- Finances. We're not wealthy by any means, but after years of half-starving my way through graduate school, it feels wonderful finally to have a little savings socked away. (Yes, I've been out of grad school for eight years. It took a while to get caught up.) This last year has been particularly good in that regard. (knock on wood! Please, universe, I am *not* asking for trouble here. Just because we can afford to get a new roof doesn't mean I want any more shingles to blow off.)
- Family. I've grown closer to both ArtSister and Awesome Sister-in-Law over the past year, and in some ways the death of Belle-Mere this summer made me more clearly part of the LWI's family, which I really value. I haven't kept up with StudlyBrother as much as I'd like, though; we used to have excellent end-of-year philosophical discussions, and I miss that.
- Liverpool. The academic highlight of the year was the conference/workshop I went to in Liverpool; it was without question the most productive, friendly, and engaging academic discussion I've ever been part of. Unfortunately the topic was something I've published on but do not plan on continuing to develop, so I can't use those connections as much as I'd like. But it was just nice to have been part of something so exciting, and to see the best side of academia. There were no cliques; there were no jerks; nobody was overly obsessed with his or her own ego. One of the most telling signs of the workshop's success, I think, was that on the nights where we were all free to head out on our own for dinner, the entire group (20-25 people) chose to find somewhere to go together to continue the discussions we'd been having for the previous eight hours!
Things I'm looking forward to in 2008:
- Friendship. I haven't done much to cultivate friendships over the past few years, and it's starting to wear on me. I enjoy time with my husband, but just as Maggie said in her end-of-the-year meme, "being married has made me rather lazy about maintaining my friendships." Yep. I also got a fortune cookie the other day that said "Seek friendship and you will find it," which is a nice reminder that I do have to do a little active seeking; people aren't likely to just show up and knock on my door. There are a couple of people around here I'd like to get to know better, and that seems like a good place to start.
- Spirituality. I used to be a very spiritual person, and this is something else I've let slide lately. Several folks have written beautiful posts about the solstice, and I'm wishing I'd done more to celebrate it. I'm usually too exhausted by this time of the year to really plan anything, but perhaps that's all the more reason. Some kind of spiritual fulfillment is something else I need to seek out.
- Conference. I'm in charge of organizing the annual conference for the (fiarly small) main professional organization in my field this spring, and I'm starting to feel pretty good about it. It works in my favor that last year's conference was a little messy; I think I will look good in comparison. (knocking on wood again)
- Confidence. I have a lot of big projects in line for this year, and although I do regularly suffer moments of panic about each of them, overall I think I'm capable of handling them and that they're all going to go well. Let's hope.
What about you? What's going to be good about next year?