New Year, New Goals
I don’t think that the only time you are allowed to create resolutions – or goals, if you would prefer – is at the beginning of a new year. There are other meaningful times: the start of a new job, the birth of a new child, the beginning of a marriage, a birthday, etc; however, the start of a new calendar is often the time we pick. I like it that way. The pages are still blank, waiting to be filled with parties and appointments, outings and playdates, birthdays and anniversaries. And now it is time to look at my life and come up with a list of things that could make it better.*
This year, because I like make lists and then dividing into subcategories (nerd alert!), I have five areas that I want to work on. (Do I sound like a boring business presentation or what?)
The last few years have not been so great for me health-wise, mentally or physically. Because I’m a stay-at-home mom, because I don’t have family close by, because I don’t have another choice, when I get sick I still have to work. A small cold that what be gone in a few days for most people, lingers with me for weeks because I can’t rest and (because of the whole pregnancy thing) I can’t medicate. My natural state these days seems to be “I don’t feel well,” and that’s not normal and not something that can go on. So this year, I want to focus on the following things:
- See a therapist: For anyone that knows me or has been hanging around my little corner of the internet for long enough, this is really obvious. I have depression. I have anxiety. There are days when they really inhibit my ability to function and to be the kind of wife and mother (and person) I want to be. I have tried therapy before and was not impressed. Unfortunately, I can’t continue to pretend like I can not be on medication and not see a therapist. It isn’t working. Right now, I have the phone number of a counselor that my OB recommends languishing in the depths of my purse and it’s high time I pulled it out, sucked it up and made the call.
- Eat “real” food: I flirted with a gluten-free/grain-free diet a couple years ago and I honestly felt better when I was eating that way. I would like to go back to that, but I know that with a toddler and a newborn, I’m not going to be able to devote the kind of time to cooking that I would like. I would, however, like to eat less processed junk and focus on whole foods and whole grains (real whole grains, not the “made with whole grains” crap). If I have to do the majority of my cooking and baking on the weekends when Brian is home and then put it in the freezer, then that is what I’m going to have to do.
- Exercise: This is kind of on the back burner until after baby girl number two arrives – although I did get prenatal yoga classes as one of my Christmas gifts which I’m pretty excited about – but I need to do something that gets me moving at least three days a week. We have a small fitness center at our apartment complex and I’m hoping (again this will be after I’ve had time to recover post-partum) that I can sneak away after the kids are in bed for a few minutes on the elliptical or lifting weights.
- Greener and Cleaner: I recently made my own laundry detergent. Why I never did this before, I honestly don’t know. Because it has worked so well – even Brian is impressed with how clean our clothes get – it has made me realize that there is no reason not to replace all those expensive cleaning supplies full of who knows what with things like baking soda and vinegar and (gasp!) water that won’t destroy the environment and are better for our health. See, all my goals tie together. A few things I want to make/try/do: liquid hand soap, wool dryer balls, replacing paper towels and swiffer sheets with rags and old t-shirts.
- Organize, organize, organize: On a good day, the apartment can look pretty clean. As long as you don’t open any closet doors or look inside the desk, that is. Because we will soon be a family of four living in a less than 1000 square foot space, it is time to de-clutter and streamline. It’s going to take too long to list all the things I want to accomplish this year, but number one priority is turning the linen closet/dumping ground for random crap into a cleaning supplies and overstock (think things that you buy in large quantities like toilet paper) closet. Priority number two: getting rid of the enormous desk and building something simple with some nice shelves on the wall above it. Stay tuned.
- Decorate: Put some damn pictures on the wall already. Put some curtains up in the living room since the kid keeps breaking slats in the blinds. Get rid of some of the too big furniture in the living room and get another chair so that when people come over they don’t have to sit on the floor.
- Date Nights: What are those? The last time we went out alone was our anniversary. In October. Once a month. Again, this is one of those things that might have to be put on hold immediately post-baby, but we need to make an effort. Even if someone just comes over for a couple hours and we go sit in a coffee shop or wander around Target, we need to be out alone together.
- Weekend Family Time: So often, we play catch up on the weekends. With housework, with errands, with work-work (ahem, Brian). That’s all fine, but I want to go out as a family and do something every weekend. We could go to the zoo or the botanical gardens or to the playground. Or we can stay home and do something as long as it was together as a family. I’m thinking crafts. And yes, I am turning into a crazy craft lady.
- Mommy and Daughter(s) Time: We have fallen into a bit of a rut around here, Lorelei and I. We do have the occasional playdate or storytime to attend, but you will most often find us holed up at home with me slowly losing my mind. I want to make sure that I sign up for (and actually attend) one playdate a week. On the days when there is nothing planned, have a few at-home activities that we can do together that don’t involve plopping down in front of a movie. Sign Lorelei up for a class at a time when Brian will be home to watch the other daughter so we can have time alone together and she won’t feel ignored.
- Write More: This falls into two sub-sub-categories. Write more in this space. You may have noticed that I’ve posted three times this week. It was on purpose. I’ve neglected this little blog of mine because I felt lost in the sea of blogs and felt like no one was out there reading what I wrote. I’ve decided (again, for the thousandth time) that I don’t really care. However, I do want to post regularly. Ideally, everyday but because I know that is just not going to be possible, I’m aiming for three posts during the weekdays and one little post on weekends. The other half is I want to write more for myself. As in, I want to dust off those ambitions of writing fiction and poetry and actually put some work into them.
- Take a Photography Class: Okay, I probably won’t be able to afford an actual class, but I do want to spend some more time this year learning how to really use my camera because there are lots of things I want to work on. Like taking a decent interior shot, for example.
- Get Dressed. Put on real clothes everyday. Exceptions made for: immediately post-partum (duh) and days when I’m planning on doing a lot of cleaning/chores and will not be seen by the general public. Get my hair cut more than once every nine months. Pluck my eyebrows. Put on lip gloss more than once in a blue moon. Get a pedicure at least once this year (because my feet, they are gross). When I think I look better, I feel better. I know it seems horribly superficial but that’s the way it is for me.
- Get my craft on: I’ve been neglecting my knitting. That needs to stop. There are a few other things I want to try my hand at this year, as well.
- Read: I was pretty successful with my goal of reading two books a month this last year, I’m aiming for the same in 2012. Reading a new book is another thing I miss when I don’t do it.
*Despite what I say to the contrary, my life is pretty good; however, there is always room for improvement.
**Also, WordPress did something wonky to my formatting. I don’t know how and I just wrote 1700 words and I don’t feel like trying to find the problem. Ugh.