Non-Goals For 2012

Wellington Street

seen while walking home on Wellington Street

I actually had a New Year’s Resolution for 2011, just one: to go on a date. My first thought was that I blew it, I don’t remember any dates, but after some thought I would say it was open to interpretation. My second thought is that if I am not aware that it’s a date, then it’s not a date

Moving right along…

On my way to Montreal for New Year’s, I started digitally jotting down a bunch of notes for a Year in Review for 2011, which got me to thinking about things I’ve been doing in 2011 that I want to continue into 2012… which I promptly forgot about until the other day when I read the same over at Chookooloonks, and there Karen links to Erin doing the same. I’m sure there are others.

There are goals and then there are things you want to maintain, the non-goals, but still rather important — after all, they were once goals, and if you drop them, then they end up in the goals list again. We’ve all said it before, with a pang: “I used to do such-and-such…”

Anyway. I resolve to continue in 2012:

  1. Walking home at least four days per week. I adhered to that average from June 29 until mid-November when I went to England and it became inconsistent due to travel and then a compromised immune system in mid-December and then more travel. Since last week, I’m back to my walking routine. My newest route is 7kms.
  2. Reserving the word ‘awesome’ for when it truly is, which is not every other sentence.
  3. Not owning a TV, microwave, coffee pot, or dishwasher. Why not? Because it means I cook instead of nuke, drink less coffee, take a time-out to hand-wash dishes and listen to the news instead of reading it, and if I owned a TV I would watch it mindlessly. It’s also the same reason my futon couch is never in a couch position. My apartment only has beds. I’m much more productive this way.
  4. Keeping up the trip average. (At least one overnight stay is the criteria of a trip.) Until last year I maintained an annual trip average of 12-14, and in 2011 I dipped slightly below with 11 trips. (I just counted 15 trips in 2010, so maybe I should adjust that average.) The hardest part was working every single day from September 6 to November 15 without a break and feeling like I was losing my mind, reaching nearly the end of the year with only seven trips, but then I caught up by going on four in six weeks. I know some people think this trip average is crazy, but it was never a conscious goal. These numbers became the average over the course of years and knowing what keeps me happy and motivated and inspired. Travel (the process, not just the destination) plays a huge role in my worldview and perspective on life. I would never give that up completely, not even for a photography business. There are currently 79 photo albums in my travel collection on Flickr.
  5. Meeting new folk in new places. Travelling solo means I make conversation with the ordinary citizen on the street, on the bus, waiting in line somewhere, and it’s no big deal. It opens up a cultural exchange, without an agenda.
  6. Meeting new folk in my own city. I’ve done pretty well last year to maintain a social life, considering I have two jobs. Still, I meet new people all the time at weddings, events, through volunteering, circles of friends, shooting assistants, other photographers, scouting locations, with clients, patients, musicians, you name it. Sometimes it all becomes a blur, so I review my Toronto collection in Flickr (currently 101 photo sets), to remind myself that yes, I didn’t just work!
  7. Keeping my cat healthy and happy. I’m down to one pet now, after a horrible 2011 of losing Beano and having both cats go through the discomfort of veterinary treatments. We were at the clinic far too much last year. Don’t ask me how much I spent. Now that Xena’s on daily heart meds and only has five teeth left, hopefully she (we) will sail through 2012 without seeing the vet.
  8. Driving cancer patients for the Canadian Cancer Society. Even though I don’t like waking up early, I’ll do it for patients. They are always very grateful.
  9. Keeping up my four websites. Most people don’t have a website, but I have four under my name (actually, there’s a fifth but it’s kind of a portal to the others and I don’t count the Tumblr), and even with major time constraints I have somehow managed to keep them all updated, although one is rather static and informational (, and two are photoblogs ( and ImageNation). But will be 10 years old this year, of which I am most proud because I never thought I would be able to maintain it this long!
    I’m also webmaster for another two websites, one for income and the other for charity. The capitalism and socialism balance each other out nicely, ha. I would link to the former but I have to revamp the site (I just found out today there’s new management). Believe me, even *I* don’t know how I manage to maintain SIX WEBSITES.
  10. Maintaining my sanity. It was a bit touch-and-go at times but I managed not to lose it in 2011, let’s keep it that way for 2012.
Gail at Large
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Gail at Large

Canadian freelance photographer on 4th expat adventure. Previously: USA, Scotland, and Australia. Portugal became home in late 2013.

Blogging daily for nearly 14 years. With 5,600+ posts across 97 categories, there is something here for everyone, especially travel photography.

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Gail at Large
Also here

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2 thoughts on “Non-Goals For 2012

    • If there is one thing I do NOT want to continue from last year is the lack of sleep. What can I say, it can only get better in 2012 because it sure couldn’t get any worse. I often went to the office on an hour and a half of sleep, and that’s not good.

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