January 01, 2008

Be it resolved...

2008. In the coming year, I will lead a career defining project at work. I will see a lot of changes there, as we go from a "wholly owned subsidiary of" to "a division of." In my personal life, I will celebrate one of those "milestone" birthdays. We're going to try to get back to Salt Lake City in the spring. And we're talking about a trans-canal cruise through Panama next fall.

In one paragraph, I can outline what I know (or think I do) about the coming year. That's what I love about New Year's Day -- the wonder of the unknown. There's a whole lot of potential, a whole lot of promise in the days and months ahead. A bunch of "this year's mine... what will I do with it?"

For the same reason I steered clear of pass/fail classes in college and have always preferred essays to true/false exam questions, I'm more of a goal than a resolution person. Maybe it's semantics, but goals give me the opportunity to reflect and refine, to measure my progress along the way and make adjustments as necessary. Goals acknowledge the journey and progress made along the way. Resolutions, in contrast, seem to focus primarily on a score sheet: did I succeed or fail?

I've spent some time reflecting on my goals for 2008, what I'd like to accomplish this year in my "food blogging" life. In the spirit of potential and promise that rules the day, I'm sharing them here with you.

1. I want to develop a healthier relationship with food. I've got some weight to lose, some minor medical conditions that -- if I continue on the same trajectory -- will become major health concerns in the long term. This isn't about finding "the miracle diet" or about losing x number of pounds by xx/yy/zzzz date. It's about finding a way to enjoy the foods I love (perhaps in smaller portions or in different combinations) while meeting my long term health goals. It promises to be an interesting and educational journey...

2. My cookbook shelf is second only to the wine rack in terms of square footage devoted to storage. Magazine Monday has been a wonderful opportunity to put my stack of foodie magazines to good use, but my cookbooks need attention too. So this year I'm going to select a 'focus book' from my collection each month and try 4-6 recipes from that book within the month.

3. We're going to entertain more this year. We love our annual open house (and for those of you who attend no worries... we don't plan to change that) but we're looking for more opportunities to share good food with great friends, perhaps on a smaller scale. Look for a soup and stew focused event later this winter, some barbecue over the summer... who knows what else we'll come up with.

4. I want to develop better skills with food photography this year. Scheduling constraints prevented me from participating in Food Photo 101 at Nika's Culinaria over the holidays, but I've bookmarked it and intend to use the lessons there as a starting point. I'm also looking at a class at the community center this spring.

5. I'm going to write more this year. I have *always* loved to write (and English teachers, journalism professors and kind friends tell me I do it well). Writing about food brings me great joy... but like exercise, it's easy to dismiss when "there's not enough time". This year I'm going to make the time to exercise both my body and my mind. I've joined the group over at Blog 365 and have committed to writing something every day in 2008. This is one where the distinction between resolution and goal is significant...I'm not turning my recreation into something to add to my task list and stress about completing. If I get to December 31 and have missed a day or two or ten, I won't be checking the 'failed' box. I'll focus instead on the journey.

And today the journey begins. For those of you who decide to follow along, fasten your seat belts, keep your hands and arms inside the car at all times, and hang on to your personal belongings... it may get bumpy. But with any luck, we will have fun, we will learn, and we will grow.

Happy 2008!

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Anonymous said...

What is Magazine Mondays? Is it a blogging event? I'd love to know more about it!

Peabody said...

I want to entertain more too!

Deborah said...

I have been thinking about doing Magazine Mondays as well. I do have a monthly cookbook, and it has really helped me to use my cookbooks more!!

Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

I love your goals! They are great ones.

Ann said...

Best of luck with your resolutions and happy New year!