Susan’s personal report card, part 1

It’s not quite November, but my brain is already pushing toward the end of the year: Oakland Local’s holiday party and community voices awards (Dec 11, hold the date), fund-raising campaign, launch of two new projects: Oakland Police Beat , funded by Ethics and Excellence Foundation, and Live Work Oakland, in partnership with the Kapor Center for Social Impact. It has been an amazing year, both work-wise and personally.

Workwise, I’ve been working with some amazing people who have collaborated to make marvelous things happen:Hack the Hood, Live Work Oakland, and a growing and healthier Oakland Local. Being a founder can be very lonely and isolating, and having some very dedicated colleagues, partners and volunteers makes a huge difference, both in how it feels to do the work, and in actually getting good work done.  A+ for partnerships and colleagues.

I’ve also valued being part of the Oakland, CA community. I have learned so much about class, race, creativity, arts, innovation, permaculture and food from my friends and colleagues in Oakland. As a student of life, I have to give Oakland an A.

However, I am also experiencing a city going through wild gentrification, burgeoning robbery, vandalism and theft–and a police chief and a Mayor who are struggling to cope, but seem overwhelmed.  For solving those problems, D+/C-

On the personal side, I’d give myself a B in relationships–I have people I care about deeply and really love and value, but I’m definitely a workaholic, and am always struggling to make time to be with my family and friends.  This is a constant struggle, and I’m not advancing as much as I intended with the “Work Less” mantra.

When it comes to love, however, this year has been an A–I have family, sweeties and friends who I am super-close to and adore–and I also have some work colleagues who feel like my work family more and more.

On the weight and exercise front, however, I’d say my efforts have been somewhere around C-.  I feel off the gym/exercise wagon (weight circuit and treadmill, specifically) after a bad ankle sprain a year ago, and just got back into it this month–as 19 days of travel hit my life. So, regular, sweaty, intense exercise–A D.

Walking and hiking, which I love-a C.  Biking–need to do a lot more, ditto swimming. As for weight, I lost weight when I quit/cut down on sugar last March and have kept most of it off–but my low red meat/no fried food/no sweets/low-no dairy diet hasn’t led to a lot of weight loss. Staying off wheat is a struggle (love that pasta and whole grain toast), and traveling is the worst. However, my sweets intake is very low, and I’m happy with the way I am managing inflammation issues, which are not a problem, yeah.

Where I get another D: the dentist & the eye doctor. I did make it to the doctor a couple of times this year and know exactly what my blood sugar, cholesterol, etc are, but I need to get on it and get eyes checked and teeth cleaned.

Life goals: This is the one I struggle with.  I am old enough now that all choices seem like they have an opportunity cost–if I focus on launching a new Oakland project, that means less time to write a book about Google Analytics, something I REALLY want to do. And both kill the fiction writing I would like to do.

I don’t know the answer to that issue, except to embrace it. It means constantly evaluating what I am spending time and attention on, and being really selective in my choices. It also means being determined about carving out time off, vacations, etc.

One of the things I am going to try to do is to end this year on a high note–complete enough of my personal and professional goals that I can give myself an A for effort, and hopefully, at least a B for getting things done.


Image by pjern, used under creative commons,