In 2017 I took new approach to New Year’s Resolutions: rather than selecting 1-3 big things to focus on, I made a giant list of everything that passed through my head that I wanted to do, accomplish, or change in 2017. To my surprise, this approach actually worked pretty well. I didn’t get everything done, but I didn’t really expect to. And I did do a lot more than I expected–including some things I’d been wanting to do for years and had never gotten around to. I did the same thing in 2018 but I never got around to posting it. However, I’ve had the full list of resolutions in draft form for the full year, so what the heck: I’ll run through ’em and see what we did.
- Drink more water Hit or miss on this one. It comes and goes in phases. But…mostly no.
Establish a regular exercise regimen for cardio and strengthI did GREAT on this from January – Memorial Day. I was swimming at least twice a week and as the weather got warmer started biking as well. Then (surprise!) a new baby arrived and everything went off the rails. In the fall I started ice skating a couple of times a week and I’m trying to re-establish good habits from here. I’ll call it a success, with the challenge that I have to kind of start all over again in 2019. Vacation to ChicagoFor the last two years, my visits to the homeland have been dominated by need and obligation: health crises, helping with packing and moving, specific commitments like parties, weddings, or showers. This year I want to spend some proper vacation time with my mom at home; take time to see my old friends and their children; and take Liddie to see and enjoy some of the glory that is Chicago in the summertime. She’s almost three and she’s literally never been downtown–not OK. Maybe we’ll even take the train from Ann Arbor! We did it! A week in late June/early July.
- Get Kelsey and Robyn to visit me in Michigan Nope–no luck this year, despite repeated attempts. Looking to 2019….
- Don’t drink alcohol or eat desserts while sitting around at home on weekday evenings. I did really well on this from, like….March-June. Ha.
- Bring healthy snacks to work. I got a bento-style lunch box that I really like and it (sometimes) helps. A good effort was made. Could be more consistent in 2019.
Lose 15 poundsHere was my rationale last January: Ugh, I’m so mixed on this one. I hate putting, like, a pound goal on here. I’d rather focus on nutritional things like eating a more plant-based diet, or exercise things, like, um, exercising. And I do have variations of those things on my list. As I did (and even accomplished) last year. But the fact of the matter is I just keep gaining weight, especially in the last half of 2018, after holding steady for a couple of years. It just keeps going up, like, almost weekly. This may be a side effect of medication, as well as age, sedentariness, winter, etc. I don’t want to obsess about this, but I also can’t healthily stay on this trajectory. I want to get back to a more balanced place, where my clothes fit, I feel better, I don’t get winded on the stairs, my joints don’t complain. I know where that point is, and I might as well just lay it out there so I can aim for it. In conclusion: I continued to gain weight through the end of March, hitting a new lifetime high. I then embarked on a pretty focused calorie-counting program, and lost almost 15 pounds in a couple of months (the first half of that fell off fast, just extra bloat/bulk I was carrying around). However, because of how much I’d actually gained in the last year, I really would have liked to lose another 10-15 to even get back to the high end of healthy for me. But, baby life de-reailed that plan. I’m holding steady-ish and OK with it. Having halted the scary steady gain, in 2019 I really just want to focus on intuitive eating and adequate sleep, exercise, and water intake. Cut back on Noosa.Go back to plain Greek yogurt. In service of the above. Yeah, we consume an absurd amount of this high-sugar, high-fat dessert yogurt in our house. It’s not unlike just eating ice cream all the time. Time to rein it in. Yeah, pretty much. L isn’t that into it anymore either (I guess our days of #lemonyogurt are over?) and it’s probably for the best.
- Sleep. Like water, this is hit or miss and lately, more miss. Keep trying!
See more movies either at the theater, or rented from iTunes.Yes! So many great movies this year. Plenty in the theater but also plenty of new/recent movies rented at home. I feel pretty up to speed on things, and I really, really enjoyed a lot of what I saw this year! Mary Poppins Returns, The Favourite, BlackkKlansman, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Skyscraper, Eighth Grade, The Spy Who Dumped Me, Crazy Rich Asians, Sorry to Bother You, Blindspotting, Black Panther, The Post, The Greatest Showman, A Quiet Place, Can You Ever Forgive Me, Oceans 8, Blockers, Solo…probably even more? It was a great year for movies.
- Keep up contact with family. This is still hard. Always crossing wires/time with relatives and I just don’t do a very good job of holding up my end. Continuing challenge.
Send more cards and letters.Well, I mean, this is the first year that I was consistently communicating with more than one person in prison/detention so as a result of that, I sent more regular letters/cards than I have in years. Not the best way to have that play out. In 2019 I’d like to send more, um, positive correspondence. Publish something.This is a specific career-related goal that’s really a holdover from last year. I had a number of opportunities in 2017 to publish work that I’d done, and never managed to follow through on the basic requirements of just. getting. it. done. So! This year I challenge myself to DO IT. OK, in 2018 nothing got ultimately published, something is in the woks and well on its way. It was exhausting and draining and a lot of work and I hated it and I did it (almost did it–still some final work to do). Wahoo!
- Relaxing beach vacation. I’m just gonna leave this on the list forever. Especially because it did not happen in 2018 😦
Do up my mom’s 60th birthday right.Yes! Brother and I took my mom to Amsterdam for a few days for her birthday. It was wonderful!
- Pay more attention to my dog. Mmmm, sort of. We got better at this in the last few months of the year. Let’s keep it up!
- Make a real go of biking to work Did not accomplish because life was upended (in a good way) in May. Interested in putting it on the list for 2019!
Replace broken, shitty, or inappropriate things as neededWe got A/C and replaced our fridge! Does that count?
- Figure out *something* re: cleaning We had a good habit getting formed in the spring and then baby threw everything off track. On the list again for 2019. So far if this past weekend is any indication, we’re off to a decent start.
Add to our family?YES! Amazing, miraculous surprise Simona. I don’t remember anything from before she arrived on May 24. Get our finances back in order so that we’re contributing regularly to our savings account.We were…then the holidays happened and 2 kids in daycare happened. Need to revisit and figure out WTH is going on. But I’ll count it because you know what, we did get there, for awhile in the middle of the year, and it counts. We just have to, like, do it again this year.
- Get estate planning, wills and living wills, etc., fully under control. Ugh, close but no cigar. We signed up for the legal plan at work, I requested a case number, contacted a local attorney and….went no further. We do have named guardians but–again–none of this is legally enshrined. This is so, so, so important and needs to get done. Making this a Q1 goal for 2019 especially since (see below) this has become a bit of a hobby horse for me.
Find a way to volunteer with hospice or similarI reached out but then unfortunately people in my family kept, um, dying. Hospice has a (good, reasonable) rule that you need to wait 12 months after the death of someone close to you before you volunteer. So, you know, fingers crossed…maybe later this year. I am still deeply interested in death and dying and want to find ways to engage with people here. Throughout the year I continued to read and educate myself. I’ll give myself credit for doing as much as was possible in 2018.
- Fix up our bedroom Made some small improvements to storage. It still feels far from done. As we make progress on other areas of the house (kitchen is on the calendar for Q1 2019!) hopefully we’ll finally get to our own space.
Celebrate my dad’s birthday with loveLol. On my dad’s birthday I made an emergency redeye flight to Denver to be with my grandmother (his mother) who was horrendously sick and seemed to be dying (she lived another 5 months). It was awful but….I guess there was, indeed, love? Not exactly how I’d wanted to mark the occasion, but I was with (his) family so. I guess. I did what I had to do. Get out quarterly with spouseYeah! And in the second half the year we even made it monthly. Good commitment, keep it up. Pre-booking the babysitter months ahead of time is the secret here. Reduce the number of things (projects, people, commitments) in my life that I dreadHm, yeah, actually, I think kind of. Feeling good about the trajectory anyway.
- Get re-engaged with my community Not really and in fact I’m not even sure what this means right now and I’ve kind of (unfortunately) totally lost interest. Shrug.
- Skin care Apparently earlier in the year I thought this was a yes? Shrug.
- Flossing Lol nope.
- More vegetables again Yeah, pretty good. Here I am most satisfied with the meal prep and planning I’ve been doing since September. We’re cooking for real, even with the two kiddos and working full time. It’s an accomplishment and I’m proud of it.
Active nurturing of friendships–especially, hostingSome! Coordinated our SI reunion visit in March, coordinated a birthday movie get together, and hosted a small handful of “book club” / snacks, wine, and venting evenings. We didn’t succeed with our weekly drinks nights like we did in 2017 but we did what we could our own ways. It’s important to me that our home feel like a warm and welcoming place so we’ll keep on this. See more of Sam’s friendsNot really? But…kind of? Jon and Jill came to visit us in February and we saw them again in Chicago in July. We also saw Molly and Andrew in the summer. So…sure, yes, I’ll take it. More than the last few years, anyway, I guess?
- Celebrate our anniversary properly I literally do not remember what we did for our anniversary. I have actually no idea. But we’ve already started planning something special for next year, which will be our ten year, so there’s that!
- Make regular time for professional/scholarly reading. Mmm not really. I struggle with this so much.
- Give blood Nope
- Get our chimney/fireplace inspected and fixed Nope
Attend least one professional (or very high-quality) theater performanceYes! In the Heights, West Side Story, Waitress, A Little Night Music, and a local performance of The Nutcracker. Good year for theater and lots of good stuff on the horizon for 2019! I’m really excited about making this a regular part of our lives.
- Get our garage cleaned and sorted Nope.
Improve storage in our basementYES! Now…can we maintain it? That’s the question…..
- Continue to process/make a dent in our overstock of books. Maybe? Time to Marie Kondo this thing.
19/41. Not fantastic, but pretty good considering one of the things outweighed all the others in terms of awesomeness, as well as consumption of all time, energy, and spare resources.
Also, a few holdovers from 2017:
Swimming lessons for Liddie--yes! Did in first quarter of 2018 Ice skating with Liddie–Yes! Technically was January 1, 2019 but I think it counts. Renovate our kitchen–we met with a contractor, got estimates, made plans, and the work will actually happen in 2019.
On to 2019!