A Little Bit of Wonder is where I journal about the somewhat roundabout way that I have been working to establish a career and a strong sense of self--I spend a lot of time thinking and writing about "direction" and "identity." I have a Master's Degree in Literature, but I'm no longer working as an English Professor; I'm starting the next step in my life as I work to establish a career as a writer in the non-profit sector.

At my companion blog, Little Wonder's Recommended Reading, you will find reviews for both books and other blogs that I enjoy. The two blogs are inter-linked, so you can access my reviews and reading challenges from the sidebar on the left.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Taking Stock

There are all kinds of lists floating around this time of year—gift lists, Christmas card lists, naughty and nice lists. Posted on Facebook, I found a list of “Things I Did in 2008,” and I felt somewhat inspired. It’s time to take stock of the year—my deeds, my failures, my ambitions. Much of this particular inventory had to do with dating, falling in love and screwing up at work, though, so it didn't really relate to me too much—I'm already married, and since my husband and I are both in grad school, we don't really have time for dates.

So, I decided to write a couple lists of my own, to take stock of what I did in 2008 and what I would like to do in 2009. After I thought about these things for a while, I was a little depressed by the shortness of both my lists. I should be more forgiving of myself—I am in graduate school, after all, so the list of things I have accomplished in the past year is bound to be somewhat short and focused on academics. I tried to come up with a more well-rounded list of aspirations for the coming year, and I think I’m satisfied with my goals. If nothing else, a list that is focused on several different things will make me feel like a complete human being again, not just a machine that must constantly churn out her graduate coursework. Of course, this list may be a little bit ambitious for the year that I’m going to write my Master’s Thesis and (hopefully) begin a Ph.D. program… but we’ll see. At least I have the goal of emerging a little bit more into the larger world.

Things I Did in 2008
(That I Had Never Done Before):

- went to Little Rock
- tried Palm Wine (which, by the way, is yuck)
- stood up to my superiors (boss, professor)
- wrote a paper in 24 hours (and got an A!)
- got a publishing contract
- became informed about politics
- ate at the Brass Balls Saloon (Ocean City, MD)
- (somewhat) successfully limited my book-buying addiction
- went to Philadelphia (and got delayed on the subway)

Things I Want to do in 2009:

- write poetry and/or stories again (like I did in undergrad)
- get a “Distinction” on my comprehensive exams
- earn my Master’s Degree in Literature
- see my article published in a book
- teach my first college course
- be admitted to a Ph.D. program
- continue to loose the weight I put on while sick
- learn Spanish
- read Ulysses (by James Joyce)
- find a hobby to share with my husband
- finally watch Casablanca, Sunset Boulevard, & other classics
- get to know the bike trails in/around D.C.
- visit the zoo more often
- tour New York City on foot

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