Here we go 2012:
- Marriage: Again, keep date nights as a focus for Jerry and I. I'd like to continue to aim for 1 date night a month.
- Parenthood: Try to live in the moment and lighten up. I do my best to appreciate this time with the kids while they're young, but like any parent, I have plenty of moments of frustration, anxiety, and even anger. Sometimes, I feel I am too quick with these emotions, and I'd like to try and focus on fostering greater patience and learning what battles are worth fighting.
- Friendship: Make time for friends. In the past few years, with kids, it's become easy to push friendships to the back burner, but in the last few months of 2011, I made the time to keep up with some lunches with girlfriends, and we enjoyed an evening out with our friends (without kids) and it reminded me of how valuable it is to keep up with friends -- both past and present.
- Save: The past few years have been devoted to paying off our debt; now, it's time to build the savings. Ideally, I'd like to create an emergency fund that would consist of 4 months worth of Jerry's salary (net).
- Invest: Research, decide upon, and contribute to the kids' college savings plans. They each have savings accounts, but those earn, like, 1% interest. I want to invest in some accounts that would more realistically build adequate amounts for each child's college fund.
- Save again: We need a new car, but if possible, I'd like to actually save up to buy one in full, not finance anything. This is a lofty goal, but after paying off our debt, I'm not eager to finance another vehicle.
- Grading: Learn to create an electronic gradebook. I'm completely inept with Excel, but it's the 21st century. Time to learn.
- Technology: I have the bare minimum knowledge with how to teach classes online, and while I don't want to teach online, I see that the future of teaching will at least demand a knowledge of blending online components with a tradition bricks-and-mortar approach. Time to take some of the tech classes. Blergh.
- Spending: I have some money to burn that was part of my POY award last year and I've been waffling for months about what to do with it. Time to decide.
- Miles: Track my mileage. 2011 was a complete bust in terms of keeping track of my mileage, and I really feel more accountable when I do it. Time to return to record keeping.
- Time: Never go more than 2 days between runs. My motto, since high school, has always been to not go more than 3 days between workouts, but in the past few months, I've lagged enough that I have -- at times -- allowed as much as 4 days to come between me and some sort of committed physical activity. When I do that, I feel like shark farts. So, new rule: 2 days is the maximum spacing between runs!
- Training: Return to HM shape. I feel like I'm at my running best when I'm in HM shape (running about 20-30 miles a week). And with that middle distance training, speed usually returns hand in hand. I hope for that to be a nice side effect.