These are the five questions and my answers:
What would you like to see more of in the new year?
I would like to see even more positive memories created in the new year. As both Sophia and Olivia are getting older, I want to ensure that the time we spend together is memorable and meaningful.
What would you like to see less of in the new year?
I'd like to see less clutter in our home - less things that take up space that no longer are serving a purpose for us. It's not that we're at the hoarder-home level - it's just trying to further streamline what we have and only keep what we need. I think it would make our lives easier and more peaceful to be surrounded only by the things that are useful and/or meaningful.
What do you hope to accomplish in the new year?
During the upcoming year, I would like to accomplish some of the items on the bucket list that I created back in 2012:
- Write a letter (or letters) to Sophia and Olivia telling them what I want them to know about my life and the lessons I've learned.
- Read The Complete Life's Little Instruction Book by H. Jackson Brown Jr. (This book contains the advice that a dad wrote down to give to his son when the son was going away to college. It can be used as inspiration to create an advice list for Sophia and Olivia as well as their children).
- Get out of debt completely (with the exception of the mortgage) so all expenses are paid with cash.
- Build retirement accounts each month.
- Have all of the insurance that is needed (e.g., disability, life, car, home, long-term health care).
- Construct one piece of furniture.
- Try at least one new recipe per week.
- Learn how to make earrings.
- Take a pottery class.
- Make memory quilts (ones that have the girls' clothes when they were babies and toddlers; one that has some of Dad's and Mom's clothes).
- Take an inventory of all the trees that are growing at the farm. Then plant other varieties of trees so that there are at least 25 different types of trees here.
- Have the gardens all "fixed" so they are at a good starting point where I can more easily maintain them.
- Write in my nature journal at least once a month.
- Continue keeping some form of a daily journal.
- Learn to knit.
- Learn more crochet stitches.
- Watch the Spiritual Cinema Circle movies that I have once a week.
- Walk on as many labyrinths as I am old.
- Learn and practice yoga.
- Continue to practice Pilates each week (1-2 times).
- Learn a new word every day, for a year.
- Read for 20 minutes every day for a year.
- Volunteer time at an animal shelter once a month (continuation of what we do now).
- Volunteer at the nursing home once or twice a month).
- Write about food (e.g., a cookbook). Finish up the one I started in 2011.
- Write a memoir.
- See Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills again.
What is your biggest fear for the new year?
My biggest fear is that something tragic will happen to someone I love and/or that something happens to me that I will have to go in a nursing home for the rest of my life. I don't dwell on these type of thoughts because they aren't positive ones.
If you could do anything that you have never done before this year, what would it be?
If I could do anything that I've never done before this year, I would take a driving trip to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming in an RV. I'd stop at places I'd like to see along the way. I'd stay at state parks along the way. I'd take whoever who would want to travel with me - including the dogs.
Not this year, but some year in the future I'd like to do a driving trip to see all 48 states in the continental United States. I've seen all but four of the states (still have Georgia, Delaware, Ohio, and West Virginia left) - so then I could say that I saw them all.