Read a silly article on cracked.com today, stating a harsh truth of life: we are what we do, and until we do something that benefits another, we are, in effect, of little use. Or, more nicely put: it’s not enough to be a good person, you have to do good such that others notice.

I can’t say I disagree. The author challenged the reader to list five great things about herself, but the things had to be things that had an impact.

So, because it’s that time of year when people get to reflecting and reminiscing, and because I just perused LinkedIn and got all mopey about the fact that my professional life seems to be in some sort of induced coma, and because lofty New Year’s Resolutions pale in comparison to a¬†Year in Review of Actualities, here goes:

1. I started writing, as if I mean it, because I have something to say worth reading, at least 50 percent of the time. The writing–this blog–has been well received, by friends and strangers alike. (Thank you, all y’all out there!)

2. I got back into shape, because I was tired of being weak, and I dreaded another incident involving my back going out or my kneecap dislocating itself. I’m no longer weak, and my husband and children have noticed. I have more energy for them. (Thank you, Jillian Michaels Empire)

3. I learned to ski, even though 90 percent of me wished and knew I should have been somewhere else at the time. For the first time, I learned that the world will not end if you are temporarily selfish. In fact, it can help some dear friends have a really great time. (Thank you, friend who won’t be named)

4. I became a more serious volunteer, and a worthy one, creating new resources for parents and managing the school’s most successful fundraiser to date. And I still know how to say “no.” (Thank you, PTA)

5. I manage our home, with consistency, order, and some silliness. Our kids are happy and healthy and well-mannered. Sure, that’s who they are, but they take many if not the slight majority of their cues from me. (Thank you, Mom)

If am I what I do, I’ve done good this year.

Looking to do better next year.