Before I set out this year's goals, let's see how well I did with last year's.
1. Sleep at night without taking sleeping pills. CHECK.
I do not take my prescription pills any longer, but there are nights when my brain is moving too fast to rest. On these nights--which invariably include the night before school starts after a vacation--I get by with either a margarita or an OTC pill, whichever is handy.
2. Don't drink caffeine.
Let me explain. I get VERY good at not drinking caffeine during the summers. And last January, I did manage to make it through a week or two before falling off the wagon (...into a giant vat of Diet Coke). There's something about the easy availability of caffeinated beverages, combined with my lack of morning energy, combined with my staying at school for rehearsals until all hours of the night, that makes this one so hard to maintain. Maybe decaf is for summers. We'll see.
3. Go to sleep without using the television sleep timer. CHECK.
I haven't done this since ... well, since last January. Success!
Isn't it great looking out on a whole new year, a blank slate, wondering what's going to happen? As many plans as I make, and as many little dreamy scenarios I create, it never pans out quite like I'd thought it would. Still, it is easy to be optimistic at the beginning of the year, and I like that anticipatory feeling.
Here are my goals this year:
1. Start graduate school.
It is not my intention to be in the classroom forever. As much as I like teaching, it's not what I want to do for the rest of my life. And, really, I'm not totally sure WHAT I want to do for the rest of my life, but I can tell you this: when I was seven years old, I was the only little girl in the whole class who didn't want to be a ballerina or equestrian; I wanted to be a librarian.
Total nerd job, right? I DON'T CARE.
So this year, I intend to start my librarian classes, probably during the summer. The U of M's entire program is online, which is going to be SUCH a help to me. Online classes are the BEST.
Anyway, down the line, I want to work in a school library. Personally, I think I'm qualified now--I mean, I've probably read more YA lit than all of the current district librarians put together--but the Board of Ed tends to give preference to people with degrees or whatever.
2. Audition for a play.
I really liked acting in a play this year. It wasn't like, literature, and it's not like I was on Broadway or anything, but ... okay, here's the thing: I liked being around grown-up people. I spend anywhere from six to twelve hours a day with teenagers, and sometimes I just need to not be around people who can identify each of the Jonas Brothers.
Also, I enjoy acting. And seeing how a community theatre put a play together really helped me when I was directing the school play this year. Plus, it was super-fun to just be in charge of my lines and cues, and not to have to worry about props or costumes or sets or whose parents were picking them up when.
3. Introduce meat back into my diet.
I'm not talking about diving in, because I know that can have really awful side effects. But I've noticed a deterioration in my energy level (I've always had really low iron), and I'm just not a healthy vegetarian; there are only so many ways to make beans and rice palatable.
Summer was a good time for me to cut out meat, because I had lots of time to plan menus and cook and look at potassium levels and stuff. But I have next-to-no leisure time, and I choose to use that time sitting on the couch instead of standing over a stove.
Another reason is that I'm taking a vacation this summer, and I'm not sure what kind of vegetarian dishes will be available. I don't want to remember my awesome trip by the number of meals I couldn't eat.
4. Stand up to my administration.
At the beginning of the school year, I was told that I would not only be getting another class to prep for, but I would also be losing half a planning period. I won't lie: I had to go to the bathroom and cry. I am not teaching four-and-a-half classes in six periods. That's a lot to put on a person, especially since there's no real reason for me to be teaching one of those classes in the first place.
I think if I had pitched a fit, they would have changed it. Change could have been easily accommodated, and I really think I did myself no favors; I've already given the message that I'll take whatever is dished to me, and there's a likelihood that I'll get to school next year and find that I'm teaching six single-session classes.
But I intend to put my foot down before we get that far. Mark my words: I WILL NOT TEACH MORE THAN THREE SEPARATE CLASSES. If that means I wind up with six sessions of freshman reading classes, SO BE IT.
5. Blog at least three times a week.
I posted six times in December, and that's pathetic. Regardless of how busy I am, surely I can check in every other day and tell a story or two. My parents like them, if nobody else does.