With less than two days remaining in 2010, I recommend a little housekeeping; in other words, taking stock of the past twelve months.  In the reporter’s familiar style of who, what, where, why, when, and how, perhaps compiling a list of questions revolving around what you’ve accomplished—or where you’ve been—will help you map out the next year’s journey.  The following is an example of my inventory.

Who did I meet?
In March, I met various published authors at The Festival of Books in Tucson, Arizona.  Last month I had the privilege of meeting world renowned author and Public Radio International host David Sedaris.  I also met author and ASU professor, Melissa Pritchard, during a reading sponsored by Superstition Review, Arizona State University’s online literary magazine.  Is there someone you absolutely want to meet, someone whom you’ve admired for years?

What did I learn?
During one of my final courses in my degree program, I was required to compile a portfolio to demonstrate that I had mastered the core learning areas required to complete my Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature, Writing & Film.  102 pages later, I was thrilled to confirm my theory that it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks.  What new software or sport have you always wanted to try out, but never made the time for?

Where did I travel?
I made one trip to Tucson to attend The Festival of Books, to Canyon Lake and Tortilla Flat to entertain a visitor, twice to Minnesota to visit friends and family, and twice to Hannagan Meadows Lodge—20 miles south of Alpine—to recharge my creative juices.  What city or museum have you always wanted to visit?

Why reflect?
For me, reflection on the past year provides an opportunity to pat myself on the back for a job well done, and to contemplate what remains unrealized as I make my New Year’s Resolutions and plan for 2011.  How can you know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been?

When did I follow my dreams?
As long as I was attending college, I felt as if I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing.  And each time I write an article, or even post a blog, I am fulfilling a desire.  What activities or endeavors make you feel alive, ones that you know you must incorporate into the next twelve months?

How do I want 2011 to look?
As for the new year, my goals revolve mostly around professional, personal, and relational development.  One of my favorite quotes is by Norman Vincent Peale: “Hold an image of the life you want, and that image will become fact.”  What kind of life do you want in the coming year?

Happy and healthy new year wishes from Always the Write Time. ~ cs