The Mareli List and Not Exactly Resolutions

What is the Mareli List, Anyway?

My husband has this mental list he calls his Mareli List. It is named after his maternal grandmother and is from her custom of how she looked back on a specific year. To the end of her life, she always looked back trying to find things she had never done before. They could be big or small, but she made a specific effort to do new things. She had just turned 90 when she passed away, so this means that she lived a pretty rich and varied life.

2015 has been a good year for me in terms of my Mareli list. In no particular order, I:

  1. Learned to do a flip turn.
  2. Swam in 50-degree water.
  3. Swam 2 miles in open water
  4. Swam 2.5 miles in a pool
  5. Swam across Boston Harbor
  6. Rode a Segway.
  7. Visited Bermuda
  8. Visited Cape Liberty and saw the Teardrop Memorial.
  9. Took a salsa dancing class
  10. Took a class in how to make cupcakes.
  11. Saw the Statue of Liberty in person.
  12. Learned a new method of knowledge management (Knowledge Centered Support, or KCS)
  13. Konmaried the house.
  14. Negotiated with an airline for a better flight.
  15. Visited Mt. Vernon
  16. Visited Ferry Farm. (I mean, I grew up on the land, but I’d never visited the historic site)
  17. Tried Glendronach Scotch.

With these things in mind, and feeling like I had a decent year, I’m looking on to the next year and what I want to do with it.

Not Exactly Resolutions for 2016

marelilist-1I know some people don’t like the idea of New Year’s Resolutions, and ya know, I get the point. Often it’s some self-improvement thing that people approach as something they oughta do, but without any real serious plan or genuine purpose. Lose weight, get their finances in order, or whatever – it’s not something that’s really got a plan behind it.

My resolutions are more goals than any real attempt at habit change. I’m sure good habits will happen during this process, but this year, I have more specific things I want to do or accomplish. In no particular order, I want to:

  1. Implement KCS at my office.
  2. Write the first draft of a novel starring three middle-aged ladies.
  3. Swim 6 miles in Lake Mephremagog.
  4. Knit myself one or two sweaters.
  5. Travel cross-country by train.
  6. Swim from Alcatraz island to Aquatic Park without a wetsuit.

This is a good mix, I think. I have professional goals, I have physical goals, and I have enjoyment goals. One of the habits I am going to have to develop better along the way is the habit of consistent over heroic effort. Some of this stuff will require something in the way of heroic effort, but that won’t sustain what I want to do in the long run. It’s going to be the dailyness of plugging away at it that will get me there.

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