Thoughts on the New Year

Friday, January 9, 2009 by Audrey
I've never been a huge fan of New Year's Resolutions. It has always seemed a little silly to me to make a resolution to do something when you know you will probably never accomplish it. I think the problem with most New Year's Resolutions is that people resolve to make huge changes in their lives that don't really fit easily into what they are already doing--I know that's what I do when I try to make broad sweeping resolutions. So I never make actual New Year's Resolutions.

However, the spirit of the season, and reading about the resolutions everyone else makes, has inspired me to think a lot about where I would like to be in the next few years. What are my career goals? Where do I want to live? I would like to be married in the next five years or so, but that isn't something I feel like I have a lot of control over, beyond feeling more confident with myself, so that isn't a real consideration. So, here are the goals for myself for 2009 and beyond and how I'd like to reach them.

1. Volunteer regularly in the community.

When I was at BYU I volunteered at a soup kitchen on fall. I stopped during the winter for various reasons, including a serious breakup-related depression, but I loved the way volunteering helped me look outside myself and focus more on other people's needs. In November 1974, Ezra Taft Benson said that "To lose yourself in righteous service to others can lift your sights and get your mind off personal problems, or at least put them in proper focus." It's as true now as it was then. I've been feeling a little blue for a long time now, and I need to get outside myself and get rid of it. A friend invited me to join him at the Food Bank for a couple of hours next week, and I'm also going to start volunteering at the library next week. I want to keep it up throughout the year.

2. Run a 10K.

I have never been in good shape, but ever since I graduated college and moved back home the situation is the worst it's ever been. I don't walk the way I had to do when I was in Provo without a car (and even then, I did everything I could to avoid having to walk anywhere!). I've been gaining some weight, but worse than the weight is the unhealthy, out of shape feeling. I went to a gym fairly regularly last year and lost about 15 pounds, but I'm cancelling my gym membership because I haven't been using it much and it isn't worth the money to me. I've started running instead. I'm not fast and I can't run far at this point, but my dad was an award-winning runner in high school in the 80s and I want to remember and honor him by doing something he loved to do. He died when he was my age, but I'd like to think he'd be proud of me. So, I'm going to train for a 10K sometime this year. Obviously I'd like to actually run the 10K, but the training is really the point, not finishing the race.

3. Get experience working in a library.

I'm currently working on my MLIS degree at San Jose State, but since I'm only doing school part-time while I work full-time, it has been a little difficult to keep my interest and desire for becoming a librarian while I'm doing a lot of reading and theoretical work without any experience of what the job is actually like. I also want to be able to find a library job once I finally get my masters, and that's really difficult with no relevant experience under your belt--there are way more applicants than there are jobs at this point, what with hiring freezes and slashed library budgets throughout the country. So as I was checking out other volunteer opportunities in San Diego, I came across a few postings for help needed at one of the San Diego Public Library branches. I emailed the branch director and she immediately responded to say that she really needs help because the branch is seriously understaffed. I'm going to be volunteering there about 8 hours a week doing whatever needs to be done: processing new books, handling book donations, working with patrons at the circulation desk, whatever she needs. I'm excited. It's going to be hard to keep up those hours once my classes start up in a few weeks, but I'm determined to make it work because I really need the experience. I'm really looking forward to it!

4. Keep track of the books I read.

I am a voracious reader. Most people don't understand exactly what I mean by that. I can read a YA book in 2 hours, if the book is around 250 pages. I read "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" (1500 pages) one summer because I felt like it. I have already read seven books this year, I'm in the middle of three more that I started reading after January 1, and I started reading another two and put them down for various reasons. That's not counting the various religious books I've been in the middle of for years, because I only read them on Sundays. I keep track of books that I've read on Goodreads, but the interface isn't perfect and I mainly use it to keep track of the books I want to read but haven't gotten around to yet. I read a blogger who keeps track of all the books he reads and writes a blog post every five books with a short summary and review of what he has read (example here). I'm going to do the same thing. It's a great way to keep track of what I thought about the books I've read, more than just that I read them. I wish I had some way to remember everything I've read in my life, because there are so many good books I've read that I've forgotten.

What are some of your resolutions for 2009?
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1 comment:

The Boob Nazi said...

I'm also a voracious reader! People are like, I read 41 books last year! I'm like, I read 41 books in the month I was home in December alone! haha
My goals are on my blog.... If you want to read them.