Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reflections

It's the end of the year, and it seems as though it has passed me by entirely too quickly. When I'm in the middle of it, there are times I wish it would go quicker, but at the end of the year I reflect on just how fast it seems to go, and wonder what it is that I've accomplished in the last years' time. Last year I made a list of things I hoped to accomplish in 2010.

Goal #1 2010: I had acquired a large number of bicycles during 2009 (I had 4 at the start of 2010), and my goal was to ride each bicycle as much as possible, not favoring one over another.

Goal Accomplishment #1: I didn't exactly accomplish this. I actually didn't have any of the four bikes very long into 2010. I realized the ridiculousness of having so many bicycles and started to pare them down quite a bit. By mid-year I had only the Pashley Princess, and here at the end of the year (and for the last several months) I have two completely different bicycles: the Sam Hillborne and the vintage Raleigh Lady Sports (though this will quickly change again here in the near future). On the up side, it's much easier to ride two bicycles than four.


Goal #2 2010: Have a better attitude about classes and school in general, and find ways to work around or deal with instructors who aren't the best.

Goal Accomplishment #2: Well, I'd give myself a "C" as far as this one goes, since I cannot say that I completely did or didn't follow through with this. While things could've been far worse for me mentally, I think that I did try to deal with the good and the bad, and managed to make it through relatively unscathed. I realized that not everything is for me, and that's okay.
*Image from zazzle: www.zazzle.com/im_okay_youre_okay_but_in_small_doses_tshirt-235335972449120777
Goal #3 2010: Read at least three books during the year, as free time seemed (and still seems) quite difficult to come by. Normally, I'd get through a few books in a matter of weeks, but because of the time my projects and school have taken up, reading seems to have fallen off completely.

Goal Accomplishment #3: Let's see, I read Bicycle Diaries, by David Byrne; I read Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Ormond; and I read Gertrude Stein's 3 Lives (okay, I'm almost done with it... I didn't exactly finish reading it quite yet); I also started reading, though haven't finished The Cyclist's Manifesto by Robert Hurst. So, I guess I have to say that I didn't quite accomplish this goal either.



Goal #4 2010: I wanted to know by the end of this year what I would be doing theme-wise for my BFA thesis to avoid last minute panic.

Accomplishment of Goal #4: I almost have to laugh at this one. I wonder why I thought I would be prepared to make such a decision? While I've had many ideas and possibilities come about, I really don't believe I am any closer to a decision on this matter. I seem to go in entirely separate directions depending on my mood, and I can't even decide what general area I'd like to be in. Everything from people to abstraction to buildings... so we'll have to see where this lead me in 2011.




Goal #5 2010: I was smart enough to not make lofty goals of weight loss, but I did intend to continue my vegetarian diet and attempt to eat as healthy as possible.

Accomplishment of Goal #5: While most meals I eat are in fact meat-free, this isn't the case every day. Because money is not something that is flowing very well for us with me in school, I find it difficult to get the nutrition I need from the foods we can afford to purchase. There have been some meals that included poultry, simply because I felt as though my body needed it. I fairly well revised my stance saying that I would just do what I needed to do for me, and if that included some chicken, so be it. While my preference would be not to eat meat, for now, there are still some meals that do include it.
*Image from PETA
It seems as though I really didn't accomplish anything I set out to do, and that seems to be the way resolutions go for me. I think it's important to keep goals in mind, but I also don't think it should be the end of the world if things don't exactly work out. We really cannot predict what a given day, month, or year will bring, so it would be unrealistic to think there would be no snags in the process.

So, what did I accomplish or learn in 2010? I think one of the biggest things I learned is, as tempting as it can be, don't drink the cool-aid. This has been an ongoing theme in life for me. While I do believe I am a strong enough person to stand by my convictions, I also know that I am a person who likes to take in all suggestions and see if they make sense for me. Sometimes in this stage of processing information, I seem to "drink the cool-aid" so to speak, and I find myself buying into a lot of things that perhaps I should not. This can be true for me in nearly all facets of life.
In school, I start to think the only way I will be successful is to follow their established rules. I've never been a rule follower, but I also don't want to disappoint people, so at times I find myself just going along with whatever suggestions come my way, rather than making decisions for myself. This isn't healthy and certainly isn't the best solution for my well-being.

With bicycles, I read so much about them and see so many different kinds, types and brands, that I find myself wondering if I have what I should to suit my biking needs, or if perhaps there is something better out there. I have realized that I just cannot allow others to influence my decisions about bikes. While I can appreciate and certainly enjoy reading about so many individuals' choices, it doesn't mean that I will find the same bicycle to be appropriate for me. Nor does it mean that what I have isn't working.

As for life in general, I enjoy asking people their opinions about whatever situations are happening in life, and again, while I kind of need this process in order for me to make good decisions, I have to remember that it is ultimately my decision, and only I know what will work best for me.

I'm looking forward to making a new list of goals for 2011, and taking the lessons of 2010 along with me. Though we still have a few days left in 2010, I am looking forward to a positive 2011.

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