... deep in the folds of my brain is a long philosophical post about the highs & lows of 2008, and how I like to memorialize all I accomplished in the past year, rather than establishing unattainable & stress-inducing goals for the next one. However, instead of getting to finally writing that this weekend, I worked on our finances instead. Probably more personally productive, but you don't get much of a window on my brain that way. So, I'll just give you a primer.

The highlights of 2008 are basically as follows:

- decided to switch to Ph.D. track, a decision fraught with much emotion, hair pulling, long talks with husband, introspection of biological clock alarms & big deep breaths and pep talks that I won't blow this opportunity.

- brief, yet meaningful, obsession with 43 folders that helped me get a grip & reevaluate my list-making. the key element: I am allowed to keep my grand "Projects" list, but I am not allowed to look at it every day. Instead, every day (or so) I must create a list of things that can actually be accomplished in a day/hour/fifteen minutes. "Create presentation for conference" cannot be done in one hour. "Outline presentation" can. Viola. I'm crossing things off lists like it's my job (well, not presently, but I will get back on the horse soon).

- mind blowing realization that I associate productivity with being stressed. As in, if I am crossing things of lists like it's my job, but I am not walking along the cliff of an anxiety attack, then I must not be working hard enough / be obsessed enough with work. Do you see the paradox in this? I did not, until one day this fall when I was being particularly productive and stress-free (for like, all of five minutes, but still) but I had this nagging feeling that I realized was the phantom limb of stress. This is crazy making, this obsession with stress. I got so caught up with it that I began to think of it as my baseline condition. I am working hard to beat back this tendency.

- it is hard to admit this to oneself, but in 2008 I had to face the cold, hard reality that sometimes I am a big brat. Mostly to my husband. It is something I am working on. It is humbling.

- accepted that I don't just bike for the smug sense of superiority it gives me. No, I am actually happiest while on a bike. Therefore I need to be on my bike more often.

So, what of 2009 you ask? I'll save that one for tomorrow.

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