I’ll admit it. I love evaluations. Our mid-year reviews are coming up at work, and though I’m hoping for positive feedback, I’d also be interested in knowing what I can do better. Though you might be fooled by my air of perfection, I’ll let you in on a secret: it’s mostly a facade. But self improvement could be a hobby right along with crotchet and list making in my book. That being said, it’s time to check in on my efforts with The List

1. perfect a mac and cheese. Well, I’ve made sizeable efforts, but no cigar. I’ve encountered some serious challenges in replacing my beloved Velveeta with a healthier cheddar. My sister has sent me a recipe that I have yet to try, though the cousins reviewed over Memorial day and gave it thumbs up. My BC friends even pitched in and we had a Mac ‘n Cheese fest so we could all preview. JE won, I do believe, with KLR in a close second in my book.

2. follow through. This one is much more difficult to evaluate (it’s not SAM – specific achievable and measurable, thanks Tentmakers!) and a qualitative analysis would probably have to be done via anonymous survey of my friends and family. Perhaps a local 6th grader is in need of a summer science fair project?

3. reflect daily. I would say I’m not 100% on this, but it’s much better. In truth, much of this comes from the blogging. I think a blog is better in story, so I try to think about the happenings of the day and go from there. Since the arrival of MAM I’ve been much more hit & miss, but I’m hoping to regain some ground here soon.

4. read to henry. I’m doing pretty good here! I’ve specifically found time when feeding MAM. Keeps him entertained and feeling included while I’m tied to the chair.

5. kiss JJ. daily. I’ve failed here from time to time, but don’t you worry your pretty little head – JJ is quick to inform me of my shortcomings and demand what is rightfully his. However, I have found I can avert the berating by taking the time to say a true good bye for the day. It’s a refreshing breath before the blustery beginnings of work or play. As a side note, I do acknowledge how lucky I am to have a hubby that wants to kiss me all the time.

6. connect and contribute to st. paul’s. I’d say we’re doing better here, though this evaluation is taking place through the summer streak of bad attendance (thanks to many lake visits). I did help with the youth some, but the bigger contribution has been trying to get a “young adult” SS class off the ground. We’re definately not soaring, but I haven’t given up yet. I just need to get there to really begin to make strides. 

7. develop 1 spiritual habit. um…. yeah. Nope. Not even close. I haven’t even come up an idea yet. Suggestions, all my spiritually minded friends? What has worked for you?

8. learn to knit. Well, what we have here kids is 2 failures in a row. In all fairness, burying myself under a bundle of yarn really is a fall / winter activity.

9. grow another garden. Sweet success!! We’ve got 10+ ‘mater plants in, 3 peppers, a hot pepper, 2 eggplant, a row of green beans and already harvested garlic and onions. A large thank you to DW, the man who knows everything (and holds me accountable to getting it done) and KLR for actually starting to grow at least 50% of my garden.

10. run. Another success! I’ve run at least once a week since I was about 3 or 4 weeks postpartum. Sometimes I can get up to 3 miles in, sometimes only 2. I pee myself only 30% of the time. I’d call that victory on all fronts.

11. go on 5 dates. all with jj. We’re getting there. We’ve had one – dinner, movie and sitter, all for free! It was wonderful. Perhaps I should schedule another.

12. live joyfully and generously. Again with the lack of measurability. However, I do think I’m better than I was when I originally made the list. We’ll keep working on it.

13. have wine with a friend on a regular basis. This definately picked up after the arrival of MAM by about 100% :). I’ve even taken to actually scheduling this in with a friend – (add that to the win column for #1!).

14. remove from vocabulary: i’m tired (i always am), i don’t have time (i must make time), i don’t have the money (i chose to spend it elsewhere) and “after XXXX i will…” (carpe diem). Yes, yes and yes. Every once in a while I’ll throw in a situational tired, as in “I’m too tired to go to the grocery store” but I’ve cut down on my need to let others know my sleep status. The “after XXXX i will” have slimmed and I’m hoping to reduce to zero once we get JJ a job. Whoops, there we go again…..

15. throw a good party. Complete failure. I screwed it up on JJ’s birthday and graduation, logging “being 9 months pregnant” as my excuse. I still have my birthday in October, perhaps I can make it up then?

I’m glad I took the time to revisit. I had actually forgotten about the joyful and generous living, so now I’ll make a much more concerted effort. I’d like to add to the list “pull my shoulder blades back” as my posture is quite poor and I think I’d feel better about how I look if I were to adjust. I’d also like to try to take H & M to some community things – story time, parks events, play dates. We’ll have to use this as a tool for the ’11 list…

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