For the past few years, I've been trying to get more things done in my life by writing out a yearly "To-Do" list in my journal (if you don't have a bound journal, get one - - it worked for Pepys and it works for me, too). The downside of the To-Do list is that, at the end of each year, I have a thorough and accurate record of the things I didn't accomplish.
Top of the Unfinished pile is my Sekrit Space History book. I'm barely 40 pages into an expected 290-page book, and its completion keeps getting moved down the priority list. If I don't finish this epic by the end of 2012, I'm going to miss a lot of 50th anniversary events that tie into the narrative. So that's a key item to focus on for the coming year.
Second missed goal was my emptying of the End of Raiders of the Lost Ark basement. I've dumped a half-dozen crates into trash bags and shredders, but the stack o' stuff still clogging my cellar needs to go. It's at the point now where I don't like going downstairs because I'm reminded about how much stuff needs to be sorted, sold, donated, or trashed. However, 2012 is now my fire sale date for ditching the detritus.
TVDads.com was supposed to be on the Drupal content management system by now, but I've been working so much on paying gigs that my web equivalent of the cobbler's children is still without shoes. Perhaps I can tackle this after my current client gig is up, but before the 2012 Fall Season announcements arrive.
Of low priority but long overdue, my never-ending critique website of Ross Hunter's Airport movie remains stalled at 0:15:00. As with the TVDads upgrade, too many events took priority above its completion. I think I can solve this by devoting a solid weekend to typing and frame-grabbing. The big decision, of course, is to figure the right weekend.
Other than those goals and a few minor missed opportunities, 2011 has been a smashing success. I received my Master's degree, my daughter graduated with honors at the University of Rhode Island, my son ejected from his frustrating job to go to work at a place where they respect, love, and (most importantly) PAY him for his talents and labor. My girlfriend has also left her frustrating job and moved closer to completing her own degree. Our family ends the year generally happy and definitely healthy.
I'm thankful most of all for having so many friends in my life. When days are filled with work and study, it's easy to become isolated from the rest of the world. Fortunately, the people I know and love and who know and love me keep me connected and share their lives with me every day. If the question is "what are you most grateful for in 2011?" the answer, of course, is you.
Have a great 2012. See you there!