1.10.2014

2014 Goals

2014 Goals

Yup, this a goals post (no pun intended). I wasn't going to do one this year because last year was so damn sucky that I felt like this year could hold nothing but better things even in the absence of goals. For that same reason, though, I realized that I needed goals this year more than ever. On Monday, Nole from Oh So Beautiful Paper posted this quote from Zora Neale Hurston: "There are years that ask questions, and years that answer." God, right to my heart. I sure hope that's right.

I know I've harped on this over and over, but 2013 was the worst. I lost my mom, and then her father followed shortly after. But I think something that I haven't talked much about was just how freakin' hard moving from DC to Nashville was. When I moved to DC over eight years ago, I knew I'd return home. The longer I was in DC, the harder that I knew the transition would be, but it was also something that I thought held a lot of hope. I'm so happy to be closer to my dad, but only now, four months in, am I starting to feel the hope part. Obviously, part of the difficulty was that never did I imagine that I would return to a home that didn't have my mom in it. On top of that, I've always been career-oriented and goal-driven. My old "Congressional staffer/Washington bureaucrat by day" tagline was something that I was proud of. I moved to DC to get a Master's degree in public policy and to use it in public policy. I guess I wasn't really thinking about the long game, because all that great experience I had in DC didn't make me as marketable here in Nashville as I had hoped. Suddenly, I went from feeling successful in my career to just hoping and wishing that someone would offer me a freakin' job. Out of nowhere, I felt like I had no drive, no goals, no vision for where my life was headed. That, my friends, is a scary feeling for a person like me. Not to mention all the wonderful friends that I made during my time in DC. Not a day passes that I don't think about and miss them. So, now, I have to look forward and make some goals for this year to get me out of this rut and make for damn sure that 2014 is better than 2013. So, with that, here we go.

1. Get some career goals. Can getting goals be a goal? This year, it can. I have a clearer vision of what my "public policy" career might look like. It's definitely a little tamer and more subdued that its DC version, but I'm okay with that because this version of my career allows room for pursing a more creative one that can live alongside it.

2. Take some risks towards building a creative career. I'm excited to say that I already have some plans in the works that are much riskier than anything I've ever done before, but I'm so incredibly and blindly optimistic about its success. Even if it's an utter flop, being able to feel more excitement than anxiety about a risky move is a step in the right direction for me.

3. Chill out. I am so high strung, and I'm always busy doing something. It seems like with my mom passing away, if I sit still for even a second, my mind wanders and the tears start to flow. Distraction is really the only remedy, but it's also kind of made me a terrible wife. Ask Michael. He'll verify. I need to figure out how to just relax and spend some time with my husband this year.

4. Organize my time. I've heard a lot of bloggers say this, but working from home has somehow managed to takeover my whole life. What I mean is that when you work in the same space that you're also supposed to relax in, you forget when to shut it off. I find myself working more than ever even though my professional hours are shorter than they've ever been. Again, this makes me a terrible wife. Don't get me wrong. I love the flexibility, but I need to get more organized about planning out my day to ensure that I step away from the office at some point.

These four goals alone are big, and they're not going to be easy. So, I'm just going to stop there. Do you have any goals? Any years you just want to tell to eff-off? How about any big life transitions?
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8 comments:

  1. Mandy, you've been through lots of rough times, and I think you're doing a good job. None of those things heal quickly, but I hear a lot of hope in this post. I'm with you on some career and creative risks/different steps. I know you'll do great, even if there are some hurdles along the way.

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  2. Wow Mandy. I hear lots of hope too. I cannot begin to fathom what your journey of grief is like, so I won't offer you any words other than hang in there, and cry if you want to. I really resonate with what you wrote about moving. We moved too and I am thrilled, but it was a huge change, the hubs has a new job he has settled in to, and I work on my dissertation all alone. I haven't gotten into teaching anywhere yet, which is a drag because I love it, but it really has helped me focus. But self-motivated focus is hard. I admire you, friend. Best.

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  3. oh Mandy, I'm so very sorry you had to go thru what you did in 2013. It was a shit show of a year for you. The year is over. It doesn't make it easier, but it's over, and we're all rooting for you to have the best in 2014. You're so good at what you do, crafting and being professional pants, and even though we're all just internet buds, we are here for you. I don't even know if I can relate, but my dad is going thru his second bout of cancer right now, and we found out today that his latest surgery, they didn't get all the tissue, and he needs to have another (more invasive) surgery. I don't know why things happen the way that they do, but hope and optimism is only best medicine right now. And crafting, as you said, that definitely helps :) Anyway, you're amazing and I've adored getting to know you in 2013. Hats off to a new year and some exciting things ahead :)

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  4. Yes. I hear you. My 2013 was hard in a totally different way than yours, but I understand many of the emotions your talking about. Moving back to Tennessee has been far harder than I could have guessed. I'm hoping 2014 holds lots of good things for us both!

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  5. Girl, you're gonna kick 2014's ass. I think you've got some great goals, and can't wait to hear more about your journey. And don't worry about DC... for many of those who live here, we're holding down the fort, but I think a lot feel deep down that this place is hardly forever.

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  6. Hi Mandy-the only thing you can saw about really bad years is...it can only get better! I just did a post on getting beyond "resolutions" and about making goals actually happen-I shared my 2014 goals there too. In case you are interested-http://dailyinkling.com/2014/01/09/why-new-years-resolutions-are-useless-and-the-four-steps-instead-to-achieving-your-goals/

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  7. Ugh yes. This year was the worst and the best for me. Ready to close it, but not ready because you know how that is? Don't you hate saying "last year?" I'm glad you're getting settled though. And after working from home for 2 months (albeit with kids), I'm not sure I could do it long term! Good job!

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  8. girl, this year is going to be your year :) I am so freaking proud of you for making all of these changes. Not easy, but as you work through all of it I have not doubt that you'll find your answers ;) Big hugs! xxxx

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