As another year races toward the finish line, I find I put the aforementioned words to use. A lot.
Part of me thinks it’s the teacher side of me: Everything needs some kind of evaluation, a measuring stick to check progress against stagnation. The other part of me believes it’s a natural progression that might more likely be associated with a birthday or anniversary instead of the end of the past 365 days.
And, since I generally write a list of New Year’s resolutions that I intend to stick to – but in reality, I’ve broken them within two days (oh heck, who am I kidding….more like two hours into January) – the natural progression means it is time to review, evaluate, analyze, scrutinize and revise those resolutions and where I ended up from Point A (2013) and how to get to Point B (next year).
What have I accomplished?
My Facebook 2013 Year in Review automatically selected 20 life moments that represent my past year. According to “the book,” my year centered around Cassie receiving her Master’s Degree in International Business from Doane College, a February rainstorm I drove home through after a speech meet, State Speech qualifiers, our fifth wedding anniversary and weekend getaway, State Journalism qualifiers, a May thunderstorm, Father’s Day, career success in journalism and writing, a trip to view WWII airplanes with the ‘rents, Grandma B’s birthday party, mom’s and dad’s 57th wedding anniversary, fun times at school with fellow teachers and students, my mom’s surgery, One-Act successes, and a photo selection made by Sen. Johanns.
Hmm, it appears I have been more than busy, that family and friends are important, that I – along with my students – have logged multiple successes and this crazy writing career keeps expanding.
The review part for the year is easy; now comes the difficult part: evaluating, analyzing and scrutinizing the past 52 weeks.
Is the highlight reel supplied by my Facebook timeline – which is written by me, based on experiences, moods, attitudes, events and reactions – a true interpretation of what matters? Or, did computer algorithms separate highs and lows and spew out a top 20 list?
Actually, it’s a popularity contest. The list includes 20 of the most popular posts and photos from my timeline. Ugh! I always tell kids that life isn’t about what’s popular, so kudos to you, Facebook, for ruining my pitch.
If I’m brutally honest, I realize it’s been a Dickens-esque kind of year: It’s been the best of times, it’s been the worst of times.
What matters most is how you react to the curveballs life tosses in your direction. I’m goal- and career-driven, a product of success parents who modeled hard work and dedication lead to tangible and intangible rewards. I’m also family-driven. After both parents spent time in the hospital this year, I revised life’s ambitions. I made a conscience effort to slow down and enjoy each moment shared with my family.
As 2014 approaches, I’m contemplating a list of resolutions and revisions. For once, I might sit back and simply enjoy the ride.