Monday, April 03, 2006

Personal Development Plan - Part 2

I already made note of my accomplishments, such as they are, for the past year. Now on to my plans for the next year. The following things are in no particular order, but I have identified 5 major areas that I'd like to improve this year, some more serious than others.

Exercise. I'd like to work on a better exercise routine. I've been doing ok with a few exercise videos and time squeezed in between Charlotte's bedtime and everything else I have to do. I'd like to expand that a bit. I have a bicycle that I can ride, and have considered signing up for a gym membership or aerobics classes at the local community center, or at least expanding my workout video library so that I have more variety. Or maybe a combination of the three. But, I'd settle for at least doing one of them. I'd also like to bump things up to 4 30+ minute workouts a week--I'm averaging 2-3, and some of those are pretty short (15 minute segment of a yoga tape for example).

Garden. My garden was horribly neglected last year. This year, i'd like to actually grow a handful of veggies in my little bed--lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and maybe some peppers and/or onions. I don't have much room so we're talking 1-2 each of the bigger plants probably. I also want to actually lift out the spring flower bulbs after the blooms die out this year and divide some of them. We have some major re-work to do in the yard, and it would be nice to retain the flowers that are managing to hang on.

Finances My husband and I have talked about different ways to arrange our finances so that we have more time for Charlotte and any future siblings. For me to stop paid work and be a stay-at-home mom is a rather drastic step, since I make nearly 50% of our household income (we both work in the same field). It's not impossible, as M. makes a pretty good salary, but would require some rather drastic changes, likely including selling our house and moving to a less expensive one (smaller or farther out in the 'burbs). We're not ready to make that kind of a move, so we're instead talking about having me go part-time. I work for a large company that would probably let me go part time. I would take a salary cut, but only proportional to my current salary (i.e. 20hrs a week = 50% of my current salary). My benefits would cost more, but health insurance is darnright cheap (free actually), right now, so I think we could absorb that. We still need to pay off a couple of things (cars, home loan we built a deck with..), but we should be able to make great strides over the next year.

Organization. We need some serious work in organizing parts of our house. BC (Before Charlotte), M. and I each had a bedroom for an "office" (mine was more of a sewing room), but one of them has become a nursery, so we crowded all our stuff into the other. The result is a mess that collects additional mess, and that I don't like working in for very long (part of the reason I haven't done much sewing over the last year). I need to clean out my fabric stash (a chest of drawers full of fabric scraps and projects I never got around to), and find a place to store things other than the top of my sewing table (a fancy name for a pair of half-broken folding tables with no drawers for storage). There are other areas of the house that need help, but those fall under joint responsibility, while my sewing stuff is all my own job(fault).

Knitting skills. I have learned the basics of knitting, and have managed to in-expertly knit ribbing sleeve cuffs and bottom band for a crocheted sweater for Charlotte. I'd like to create some sort of project that is mostly knitted. I'm thinking either a sweater with more advanced construction, or something simpler like a poncho but with a fancier stitch pattern. Luckily Charlotte isn't old enough to object to home-made things, and is small enough that projects are cheaper and faster than adult-sized ones. FWIW, I'm not trying to knit to the exclusion of my other hobbies, and hope to work on several sewing projects too, but the knitting is a new skill that I'd like to master.

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