I figure if I put it in writing, I'll take it more seriously, especially if you all know about it!
"It" is the self-assessment I take time to do at the beginning of the new year. I've skipped a few years but it's been an important discipline for me most of the time. This year I scoured my daybook for significant events, listed them, grouped them in categories, summed each category up, and made a "To Do" entry (not a resolution but an idea, an unformed plan, a pre-resolution step).
The categories I've chosen are as follows: music's importance to me; my physicality and health; my personal life; my ministry at my congregation; and my ministry in the larger community. These are the areas of my life that stand out most clearly as I look at the ways I've spent my time in 2009. The categories are not listed in order of preference but in order of how they appeared in my daybook---the first item of significance in January was a Bayview Sound rehearsal.
1. Music's importance to me: I love to perform; it jazzes me up every time, especially when I feel in good form. I enjoy spending time with my musical companions and when we are rehearsing I feel frustrated if we spend too much time chit-chatting rather than actually singing. The Pete Seeger concert last May was a huge pleasure to organize and participate in; I felt we were doing something important for our community. It was scary to have a health issue interfere with my musical life two or three times duirng the year, but I was grateful to my musical companions for their help---with filling in for me, with transportation, with moral support and concern.
So: music is my number 1 personal outlet, source of fun and source of friends.
To Do: continue to do all the music I can, seek out more chances to hear good music and to participate in creating music, perhaps take voice lessons to keep my voice in good tune.
2. Physicality and health: during the year, I had a few health setbacks (temporary loss of voice, a detached retina and vision damage, and recurrent back pain) which reminded me that I'm aging and need to adapt my life to the changes of age. I grew out my hair to almost shoulder-length and have changed some of the styles of clothing I wear, in an effort to remain attractive as I age. I'm concerned that I have less interest in exercise and more interest in food indulgences. I'm also aware that I have spent less time outdoors, taking walks, because I've been aware of my vision deficits and afraid of falling.
So: what does it mean that I am aging and that in a mere 2 1/2 years I will be 70 years old? what will happen to my health as I age? what more am I willing to do to safeguard my health? what will I do if I contract some deadly affliction?
To Do: go outdoors more for walks and relaxation, at least monthly, to test the reality of my vision; be more attentive to my garden and yard; rent an RV and go camping this summer, especially to the Olympic Peninsula, my favorite spot.
3. Personal life: I am loving time with old friends and the chance to make new ones, through music, Mensa, and professional contacts. Family visits and connections continue to be very important to me. I've realized that I've "outgrown" a few old friendships yet I cherish the people even as I continue to grow away from them. Paying off my student loans has given me more financial security. I feel a yearning for an ongoing love relationship with a man who is musical, eligible, and affectionate and am wondering how to make this happen with someone. I've been making efforts to connect with a particular friend and am wondering if I'm going about it in the right ways.
So: maintaining connections with longtime friends, making new connections, adapting to the changes in connections---these are important to me, as is seeking a love relationship.
To Do: continue to be present in relationships with friends and family and find ways to grow a friendship with a man into something deeper.
This is what you're gonna get today. Next installment will deal with ministry, both local and in the larger community. I've also realized that there is a category that doesn't appear in a daybook, and that's my spiritual life and what it means to me, so I'll add that at some point.