Resolutions-February Check-in

This list is rapidly splitting into stuff that is really happening and that stuff that is clearly wishful thinking and will never happen! Unfortunately it seems to be the most basic self-care items that land on the “never happening” list. Two months down, where do we stand?

  1. Drink more water. BIG FAT NOPE. 
  2. Sleep at least 6 hours per night. This one is a disaster. For the last month or so I’ve been working 3-4 hours after dinner, 3-4 nights a week. My alarm goes off at 5 a.m.I regularly go to bed anywhere between 12 and 1 a.m. I know I shouldn’t do this, but when I don’t I feel like I just get more and more behind each day. It’s catching up with me–or rather, it has caught up with me–and the ongoing fatigue is spilling over into every part of my life.  There’s too much on my plate right now and I’m not handling it well–i.e., by finding a way to delegate, prioritize, etc. It’s a busy/crazy time for *everyone* in our office, is part of the problem, so it doesn’t feel like there’s any alternative/backup/way out. Some of this stuff is temporary and will pass in the next month or three. Sigh. 
  3. Aim for 7. NOPE.
  4. Exercise 5 days per week. ZERO EXERCISE IS HAPPENING IN THIS HOUSE. 
  5. Eat more vegetables. Guys, right now for breakfast I am eating a pile of potatoes, cabbage, sweet potatoes, shallots, and cauliflower, all roasted by me, all leftovers from various meals this week. With a fried egg on top and a drizzle of red pepper sauce, also made by me. I cooked CHARD this month for the first time ever. My vegetable game is still minimal compared to many of my friends, but in terms of growth, it’s about the only area where I feel I’ve made significant improvement. P.S. Roasted red cabbage is delicious
  6. Be kinder to my spouse. We’ve both had the opportunity to be generous to one another this month with colds and sinus infections abounding. Sam’s been down and out for much of this month. With various travel and work obligations we’ve been kind of like ships in the night lately. But we did have a fun Valentine’s Day at the Creature Conservancy. Got to focus on another date night this month. 
  7. Be less rigid. NEVER. YOU BE LESS RIGID.
  8. Have more fun. I feel like I’m doing OK at finding pockets of fun–like book clubs, “lunch dates” with friends, and trips to see my friends. I feel like I’m not doing so well at actually having more fun with life–taking a lighter attitude, being more relaxed in my day-to-day life. Over the last two days I have spent an unreasonable amount of time creating mashups of LaLa Land and the Goofy Movie, which has brought me an extraordinary amount of joy, even though apparently no one else in the universe appreciates this particular cultural juxtaposition.  But doing something completely frivolous, silly, and creative feels really good. Last night when showing Sam one of these videos he said it was the happiest he’d seen me in weeks. That’s probably….not ideal. 
  9. Roll with the punches. All of 6-9 feels difficult/impossible when I’m exhausted and dehydrated and badly nourished and my body is all tightly wound. That’s why I put all that stuff about nutritious food and exercise and water and sleep at the top of the list. Ha. The struggle continues. 
  10. Take the long view. Everything is temporary. Everything can change. Indeed, everything will change, whether I want it to or not. Nothing proves this like potty training! 
  11. Take myself as seriously as I expect other people to take me (like, carry business cards and shit).
  12. But also take stuff in general less seriously.
  13. But also do not become complacent/paralyzed/apathetic re: the world/our nation/social justice. I’ve done effectively NOTHING in February. 
  14. Just keep grieving. We’re closing in on one year since my dad got sick and went into the hospital–that happened at the end of March last year. It was another month later that he died. So we’re not quite at the anniversary yet, but stuff is starting to creep up again. For example, my aunt was recently talking about her granddaughter’s upcoming first birthday. I was trying to remember exactly when she was born and it turned out it was like 36 hours before my dad was hospitalized. My mom admitted she had no memory of any of this. I mean, she remembered that the baby was born. But not at all when her birthday was and how that all went down. We all went into a different zone from late March onward, and a lot of stuff that I’ve set aside a bit (I know, right? You wouldn’t think I’d set anything aside, but apparently I did, cause it’s all coming back now) is re-surfacing. 
  15. Pull my weight re: nurturing friendships; do my fair share of organizing, hosting, prodding, reaching out, reminding, and lowering the overhead as much as possible for busy people to spend good time together. This one I continue to feel really good about as well. I have catalyzed or facilitated a number of social gatherings and a couple of weeks ago leapt at the spontaneous opportunity to haul the two-year-old across the state for an afternoon to spend time with her gramma, great-aunt, and second cousins, and some of our dearest friends. If this and eating vegetables turn out to be the two areas where I’m successful this year, that would be enough. Feeling bummed this week because two lunches with friends have been cancelled due to illness (theirs). I know I should just be grateful for good health. Per usual. But it’s hard not to feel like everyone is flaking out on me. 
  16. Participate in the weekly Sunday night potluck dinner organized by a former neighbor at least quarterly. Aim for monthly. At this point I just don’t see this happening and maybe I should just admit it and take the pressure off. Goal retired? 
  17. Cook more real food for dinner at my house. I would say we properly cooked fewer times in February than we did in January due to illness, travel, eating all of January’s leftovers, and trying to balance evening time challenges. But I still feel good about this one, and I feel like I’m starting to see the cascading benefits of being more in practice with cooking: there are more fresh foods in the fridge on a regular basis, and I am starting to be able to see more and do more successfully with them. Not necessarily anything terribly exciting. But stuff that means it gets eaten, not wasted, and it usually turns out pretty well. This is translating to maybe 2-3 actual cooked from scratch meals per week (plus other, mostly semi-homemade, assembled meals), plus leftovers, plus making interesting breakfasts out of the odds and ends. Again, other people do a lot more than we do, but this represents real progress, a real change in how we engage with food, and we seem to be able to keep it up at this pace, and I am really happy with the direction we’re headed. Dude. We’re *not* eating frozen pizza twice a week. 
  18. Eat dinner as a family, at the table. When we can. This also entails being realistic about the toddler’s abilities. She’s a sleeper, thank the Lord, she always has been, but this means if we’re not starting bath/bedtime stuff by about 7, things go downhill rapidly. We walk in the door at 6, so with walking the dog and cooking it is rarely possible to get dinner on the table by, say 6:30. Last night she ate yogurt and grapes while I cut all the vegetables, and then as soon as I got them in the oven she completely melted down and just went straight to bed. We haven’t figured this out. I think it’s one of those things that will just have to come in its own time–but I do like at least being conscious of trying to do it when possible. 
  19. Make time to speak with my mom at least weekly, more if possible. This is going pretty well, though we’ve been off-cycle the last two weeks or so with conflicting schedules. 
  20. Make time to speak to my aunt and my grandma at least monthly, more if possible. I think I managed this. Also since I saw them in person I’ll give myself a pass. 
  21. Curtail Facebook usage (unless actually writing meaningful messages to the above or others) NOPE.
  22. Blog more. Meh. I guess monthly re-hashes are better than nothing? 
  23. Write more letters. Not yet. 
  24. Make a weekend with Kelsey and Robyn happen. YES, DONE! Woooooo it was the best ever. 
  25. Visit my aunt and grandma in Denver YES, DONE! Next step is to try to get aunt and company here for a visit, but we’ll get there when we get there.
  26. Get my high school girlfriends to Michigan for a visit. Not yet. 
  27. Take one awesome, adventurous, ambitious family vacation. Not yet. 
  28. Make our bedroom a nice, warm, comfortable, functional, attractive, calming, intentional place to be, rather than the garbage pile where we hide everything that we don’t want anyone else to see. Paint. Window treatments. Closet. A bed. Our bed is still unfinished. I got a “portable” canvas closet, so at least my clothes are in the room now and I can expand my wardrobe beyond the same three turtlenecks. I’m not really sure if this counts as a step toward “finishing” the room, though, as it looks worse. Basically, static. 
  29. Renovate our kitchen. NOPE.
  30. Establish a personal desk/table/corner/space for my crafts/personal projects/special off-limits pens/whatever This is slooooooowly coming together. I have cleared and claimed a table and started to collect some stuff on it, but there’s a way to go. So far this table has only been used for working until 1 a.m. and not for letter writing and crafts. BOOOOO. 
  31. When not on vacation/sick/out of the office, respond to email within 48 hour.
  32. Fix our goddamn roof. YES DONE! (Now just to fix/clean up the interior wall/ceiling that got all fucked up from the water)
  33. Obtain access to a functional and comfortable bicycle. NOPE
  34. Create playroom space in our basement. NOPE
  35. Swimming lessons for Liddie. NOPE
  36. Take Liddie ice skating. NOPE
  37. Help my mom move out of our family home. Ease this transition as much as possible with significant practical and emotional support, i.e. a substantial stay with her this spring.  Cry as much as needed. Do not withdraw, do not fail to show up for this. Talked to my mom about this last night and we have some dates on the calendar for a longer visit focused on house clean out. I’m not sure anymore whether this will correspond or even be close to when she actually moves, but it’s something anyway. 
  38. Cruise on my brother’s schooner!!! We’re looking at Labor Day weekend. We might book this as soon as today!
  39. Make regular donations to worthy causes. Ongoing.
  40. Visit with Liddie’s birthmother in person at least once. Aim for three times. Have not yet reached out to her to arrange a visit, but I have started talking to Liddie about her more deliberately. Got a photo magnet made of a picture of her and Liddie together from about a year ago, and stuck it up where she can see it and we have looked at it together and talked about it a few times. 
  41. Do something fun on purpose for my birthday. Trip to Lansing to see Fun Home with friends is booked!
  42. Participate in the neighborhood yard sale. The pile is in my basement. 
  43. Go to the beach. I wish. 
  44. Find a way that also works for spouse to regularly schedule to space and time to myself that does not involve staying up puttering until 1 a.m.: mental health days, Saturday mornings out, whatever. Last weekend I got away for a girls’ weekend, which was awesome, but that’s really a one-time/rare event. The week *before* that, though, I got out for a couple of hours and went shopping. That was glorious. 
  45. Set up auto-pay or reminders as appropriate to pay all bills on time. LOL. Credit card bill late again this month. For the second month in a row. 
  46. Clean house more consistently. Sweep, vacuum and bathrooms weekly, that would be  a significant improvement and good enough. Pretty sure I haven’t cleaned since the LAST monthly check-in. I asked Sam to scrub the toilets once when I had Liddie out of the house for a whole Sunday. Fair’s fair. 
  47. See more movies in the theater. Enough movies that I’m not devastated every time I manage to go and it doesn’t live up to my expectations. I love going to the movies. It brings me joy and it is probably the number one thing that I used to do a lot of and now do practically none of. NOPE. Zero movies. Had plans to go with the girls over the weekend, but we decided instead to have ice cream, makeup shopping, and a nap. I don’t regret the choice. I still want to see Hidden Figures and (since Lala Land destroyed my soul) I now have unreasonably high expectations for Beauty and the Beast. 
  48. See at least one live theater performance. BOOKED!
  49. Have a big-ass Christmas tree. LOOKING FORWARD TO IT!
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