On my eight-dimensional “wheel”, Intellect was broken into two segments — one for organization and one for learning. While “organization” may not be my highest priority within the wheel, it seemed like a good place to start. As part of my “org” segment, I included four elements from earlier lists:
- Being organized — this includes things like maintaining my todo list, updating my goals annually, reviewing progress regularly etc. … in short, doing what I’m doing with this blog entry;
- House — this used to be merged with the “family” segment under relationships, but it isn’t really about relationships, it is more about having things in decent maintenance mode within the home, whether it be the house itself or the yard, and that strikes me now as more about being organized than anything else;
- Finances — Andrea and I have good jobs with decent incomes, but we haven’t been doing a whole lot in recent years in terms of planning, strategic budgeting, etc., but we’ve been wanting to do it for some time; and,
- Computers — outside of the “creativity” mode, where I use my computer for a lot of things, there is an infrastructure in behind that really isn’t about creativity at all, it is just plain “getting my crap together” literally and figuratively.
Moving into planning for 2011 isn’t without some momentum from previous years:
- Started my new tracking system in 2005, with improvements in 2007 and 2009;
- Bought a house (2007);
- Replaced roof (2009) and walkways (2010);
- Installed clothesline for Andrea (2010);
- Set up the baby’s room (2009);
- Established RESP for Jacob (2010);
- Consolidated shared finance options (2006-2010);
- Made RRSP contributions (2005-2010);
- Set up photos website (2006);
- Bought a netbook for writing (2008); and,
- Tested a server option with Linux (2008), some CMS options for the website (2007-2009).
Those aren’t the only accomplishments, but rather a glimpse of some highlights for the category. And, through prior planning exercises, I added five things in this category to my bucket list:
- Own a house — Purchased (2007);
- Finish my website — I’ve recently completed my web design, and although I have lots of features still planned to be added, it is essentially complete (2011);
- Make a garden — I don’t know why this one appeals to me exactly…I’m interested in the idea of growing something, growing food for our table. Oddly enough, I’ve never had the opportunity to actually do that before. Sure, I’ve picked stuff for the table, but not planted, watered, nurtured, nibbled. Even a planter with some veggies would suffice, doesn’t have to be huge.
- Design a house — This is not to be confused with building a house…I don’t want to build it, I just want to play with the parameters of designing one. I have some basic software that will do it, but heck, I’d be happy to do a real design even if the model is just made out of legos;
- Have a cottage — I can’t decide if this one should stay on the bucket list or not. With all the other things that Andrea and I put on our financial plan recently, the odds of owning a cottage are pretty slim. Growing up, my parents had a trailer out at Chemong Lake, and most of my family got to experience the enjoyment of it as kids, separation from it as young adults, and then the return to enjoy it with their families. But, for me, the lake was long gone before I got to “return” to it. No fishing in the aluminum boat, putting worms on harnesses and trolling for pickerel. No snowmobiling in the winter. No skiing up through the woods or on the lake. No shovelling the lake to make a rink. No swimming across the bay with rafts and dinghies. And it isn’t about the activities, not really. It is more that it was “our space”. A home away from home, somewhere to get away and relax. No telephone, no worries about what is happening in the city. No friends that you have to visit that weekend. And, now that I have a son, I realize that I really wanted to share that type of experience with him because it is a core part of my upbringing, a core part of who I am and why I regularly choose informal over formal. A little bit of “hick” in my “slick”, to paraphrase a friend. Something that keeps me from feeling like a complete nerd most of the time, tied to his computer. Without the cottage, I’ll have to work harder to create those times and experiences for Jacob, both the activities themselves and the natural feeling of the informal atmosphere. Because I really want him to have them.
But what do I focus on in 2011? It is unlikely that I’ll make a garden, design the house, or own a cottage this year. Fortunately, I have a LONG list of other items that I’m tracking in this category.
- First and foremost is organizing myself around the new eight-dimensional visual.
- On the “house” front, I really need to figure out a new office option for me. Awhile back, Andrea and I merged our offices in the house, and while it was good for conserving space, it isn’t really functional for me. I like being on the first floor, but I just plain need more space for my stuff around the computer. Which means I’m back to figuring out a revised office solution for the basement (new desk, organizing filing, sorting books, storing supplies, and weeding out some computer components). This also will hopefully lead nicely into a re-org of our storage areas, gearing up to shed some stuff from our lives by the fall (some to Peterborough, some for a garage sale).
- Some interior work needs to be done on the house if we decide to stay in it longer-term. For example, we hate our front hall closet. We’ll likely tweak it rather than replace it entirely, but make it more functional and accessible. We have had a longstanding “to do” item to have our ducts cleaned, and we’ll make that happen this year, plus deal with a humidifier attachment. Finally, our kitchen island is a bit less stable than we would like it, particularly as Jacob gets taller and more active. It would just be safer if it was fixed.
- We also have some exterior work to take care of this year. Some are simple like the assembly of a porch swing we got as a wedding gift (sigh, really, we want to use it) or setting up a basketball hoop that we bought on sale about the same time. Other items are a bit more complicated — probably resurfacing garage and driveway.
- On the financial front, things are starting to come together … no, we didn’t win the lottery, but we are seeing a financial planner and getting some of our financial shhhhhhhtufff together in a decent plan for retirement. It isn’t a straightjacket, but it isn’t as uncoordinated as what we have been doing. And we’ll feel a lot more confident once some other pieces fall into place in the next couple of months.
- Now that my design is basically complete, it is time to start populating the website — photos, book reviews, movie reviews and a couple of past writing samples are at the top of my list for 2011.
Let’s see how much gets done this year! After I set goals for the other seven categories…stay tuned!