Annual Review

March 4, 2011

Every year I write up my annual review for work. It’s a stressful process, now that I care about it again, but it makes me think hard about where I’ve just been and where I’d like to go. It helps me see patterns of behavior I need to work on or need to keep, and it reminds me of how much I get done in a year.

I’ve often thought I need to do an annual review of my personal life, too.  Here it is for 2010.

Major Accomplishments:

  1. Surviving bedrest in January. I was in denial about how hard this was, how much it threw me back to those days of bedrest with Teddy when everything seemed to be going wrong. I could have handled it better, asked for more help, opened up instead of closing down, but I survived it.
  2. Gave birth to a strong and healthy baby girl. With the help of N., and also of my good doctor and lots of kind medical staff at the local hospital.
  3. Learned to breastfeed. This was hard and the source of a lot of anxiety. I had a lot of help – the hospital’s lactation consultants, N., my mom, but a lot of it came down to me and Dot, figuring this thing out. We did, and I’m glad we did, but I’m also a lot less arrogant about “breast is best” than I used to be and a lot more understanding of why moms may choose not to breastfeed.
  4. Celebrated Teddy’s birthday by donating to Ronald McDonald House charities and by delivering anonymous chocolates to people at my workplace.
  5. Learned a lot about Work/Life balance, mainly that it’s really hard and that I can no longer play fast and loose with time management, but also that I’m happiest when I can focus on work while I’m at work and on home while I’m at home.
  6. Realized that grief is still affecting all parts of my life, including my work. I don’t know why I thought it wouldn’t be at this point, but just recognizing that I still carry it with me helps me make sense of why some days are more wearisome than I think they should be, which makes it easier to plow through, somehow.
  7. Learned to know my daughter. This isn’t so much an accomplishment as a gift, but it’s my favorite part of 2010.

Notable Challenges and Failures

  1. I refused to ask for help when I needed it, causing a lot of hassle for myself and, in one unhappy instance, for others. I need to get better at this.
  2. I kept thinking I should be “back to normal” now, forgetting that I don’t get to go back to that woman I was before Teddy was born. When I remember this, I’m better able to move through my days, less likely to be hard on myself.
  3. On several occasions, I failed to communicate clearly with N., expecting things from him without telling him of my expectations. We worked on this, and are still working, but if I could do 2010 over and make one change, I’d change this.
  4. I did not accomplish the scholarly publishing I need to do for work. This goes on the personal list because it’s the result of my failure to make myself a priority. Which also means that it’s connected with my inability to work a consistent shower time into our daily schedule. In 2011, I am going to make time for me, for work that doesn’t just benefit my workplace but that furthers my career, and for time to get clean at the end (or beginning, I’m not picky) of every day.

Goals for 2011.

  1. Move myself up on my list of priorities. Specifically, claim a daily shower time and carve out time for research and writing.
  2. Ask for help before disaster hits.
  3. Remember that I’m the mother of two children, and that while only one is alive, the other still needs thought and attention, and that it’s just part of life that I miss him on a daily basis, and that it’s okay if this makes me move a little slower sometimes.
  4. Communicate clearly with my partner, especially about Goals 1 and 2, and about parenting choices.
  5. Remember that consistency is good but that flexibility is necessary for survival. There are worse things than going to bed an hour late.
  6. Cook more, cook better. With a focus on moving away from prepared foods and serving up lots of veggies and proteins.
  7. Say thank you more often.
  8. Get in better shape before my incredibly mobile daughter whoops my ass.
  9. Swear more, swear better.
  10. Do something creative every week – writing, painting, storytelling, something.

Now that you’ve had time to reflect on 2010, how do you think you did? What would you like to do in 2011?



  1. I do this informally every January instead of making resolutions, and, when my birthday rolls around at roughly mid-year, I always find it a good time to check in on how I’m doing.

    I also have communicating my expectations better. I frequently get irritated with Brian for not anticipating my needs or reading my mind. Realizing that that frustration was sometimes miss aimed at K. made me want make this change a priority.

    I also want to figure out how to work. This is personal because it affects my me time and my family time and making my needs a priority. Because I can usually be very flexible with my work schedule, it is hard sometimes to demand the time I need. I want some of my work time to not revolve around nap schedules and bedtime.

    Take care of me. Specifically I want to start running again. I’ve set an April start time (because of weather), but today I decided I’m going to start building that time into my schedule and start walking. I did this after Kathleen was born and it made such a difference for me mentally and physically. I’d like to do yoga again and start writing or do some of the crafty projects on my list. I will work on these, but I’m starting with the running, and I have my plan for it.

    I left it at three this year. I got overly ambitious last year, so I decided to focus and really work on these three.

    • what a list, and what a good idea.

      And, um, it’s 2011 already?

      These kids of ours are like tornadoes. All of them.

  2. Tornadoes. Absolutely! I’d also like more time for me, and to ask for help more often. I also want to make more time for the house. Cooking and cleaning. I know people always say the housework can wait, but I am sick of living in a squalor and always blaming it on the Tornado Toddler. When the house is clean (or at least clean-ish) I tend to feel and operate better and that can only be a good thing, as my mood tends to set the tone for the rest of the household. If I’m grumpy, you can bet my bottom dollar the husband and kid are as well!
    Great post, great list. Bring on 2011 and good luck.

  3. I love your lists. I can tell you are a compulsive list-maker like I am!
    I’ve read to just start with 15-mins a day for each thing you want to achieve… and then ease in and put in more time/energy, etc.
    Good Luck, I hope 2011 ends up fabulous for you!! xo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: