Here it is, the final sum up! I’ve spent the last month assembling pictures and gifs and I still don’t have it quite all together so, whatever, get it done, get it out! That’s what this is all about, yeah?
- Drink more water. This was a big fail for the year. Instead, I drink the statistically improbable quantities of coffee that actually reduce your chances of getting stomach cancer. but don’t worry, this super cliche resolution will be carried over to 2018 because it turns out it actually does matter.
2. Sleep at least 6 hours per night. The year was really up and down, sleep-wise, and wrapped more on the “down” end–too much zoning out in front of the TV, wrapping presents, decorating shit, gluing tiny eyes on toddler projects, and watching cheesy Christmas movies. This is another one I’ll be carrying over to the new year. I do better when I really stay on it–it just never quite successfully becomes a natural habit. I get up too early to stay up so late. I’m doing it again…I’m doing it right now….I’ve been up an hour too late looking for pictures to correspond to each resolution from the last year….goddammit.
3. Aim for 7. NOPE. See above.
Exercise 5 days per week. As reported in October, I haven’t missed a yoga video on a weekday morning since, like, June. That’s a huge step forward from the big fat nothing I’d been doing for the prior two years…but 12-minute-videos that don’t raise my heart rate or cause me to break a sweat aren’t really sufficient. Onward and upward in the new year.
Eat more vegetables. ✓ Yeah! We did well! I now regularly cook things like broccoli and cauliflower from fresh, which seems like a low bar to clear, but I’d literally only ever microwaved frozen florets before. Like, in my life. I don’t know why I thought it was hard. It’s not, they’re delicious, and we *have* made a good pattern of this. Keep it up next year, self! And branch out to try some new things!
Be kinder to my spouse. ✓ I can be a snippish person and I am sure I’m not easy to live with. And in general I need more physical, mental, emotional, and auditory space than is actually available to me. But I’m really working hard at not taking that out on the person who has to spend the most time with me. It helps, too, that we did get out “alone together” more frequently this year than any time since Liddie was born. It’s always lovely to be reminded how much you actually enjoy each other’s company.
7. Be less rigid. This one, and the three following it, were not “SMART” goals, in that they were not specific, measurable, achievable(?), or time-bound. And, as a result, I have no idea if I met them! I do think I made some progress this year in proactively tending to anxiety, which tends to show in all of these. I think I took more chances and leaps of faith, and “spoke my truth” more often. I’m not sure how well or how often that translated into actual flexibility or fun. 8. Have more fun. I will say that age 2 was–overall!–a fun year for me as a parent. One was really hard. And three is shaping up to be….exciting. But two was for the most part, really fun. It felt like we’d hit our stride, for a lot of the year. 9. Roll with the punches. I don’t know if this quite applies, but I’ve noticed this year that I’ve become much less of a perfectionist–in a good way. I’m willing to ask a “dumb” question, to risk misspeaking rather than not speaking at all, to muddle through rather than remaining paralyzed. I’m prouder of this than I would have expected 10 or even 5 years ago.
10. Take the long view. Everything is temporary. Everything can change. Indeed, everything will change, whether I want it to or not. ????
11. Take myself as seriously as I expect other people to take me (like, carry business cards and shit). ✓ You know, I have rounded out the year feeling really good about my professional trajectory. I applied for promotion and in mid-December agreed to step into a new, exciting, and challenging role at our library that will be stretch–but also one that I’m fully convinced I’m prepared for and the right person to take on. I fell short in some ways–I had like three opportunities so publish (or try to publish) research this year and I basically just dropped the ball repeatedly on deadlines, follow-through, straight up doing the work. I am really struggling, there–that will be my focus in the coming year. But on the whole, a really good year, and at least in part because I started to get more serious about what I can really do with the skills and experience I’ve been developing over the last eight years.
12. But also take stuff in general less seriously. I don’t know?? 13. But also do not become complacent/paralyzed/ apathetic re: the world/our nation/social justice. Yeah, I totally did become complacent and apathetic. And now I’m back to feeling paralyzed. I need to find a good handhold to reach in, grab on, and sustainably contribute to pushing the rock back up the hill.
14. Just keep grieving ✓ It’s a process, it’s a process, it’s a process. I’ve found proactive ways to honor and celebrate my dad’s life, and my grief. I made a killer chocolate cake on his birthday. I took the day off on the anniversary of his death. We’ve been through all his belongings. I’ve digitized family films. I’ve got his artwork on my walls; I’ve shared his cameras with other photographers. I swing back and forth between feeling like I’ve betrayed him by never *really* talked about him, to feeling like he’s *all* I talk about (“Hi my name is Becky and my dad is dead.”). Liddie is at a stage right now where she asks me like 50 times a day where my daddy is, so I’m getting a lot of practice talking about it in a brief, matter-of-fact way. It’s with me all the time, even when it doesn’t immediately feel like it is. And I’ve basically become obsessed with end-of-life planning/decisions/care, hospice, palliative care, death, grief, and everyhing related to it. I’m reading everyhing I can find, and making everyone else read everything, too. Trying to channel this in a positive direction is on my list for 2018.
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. YES to the max! This year I coordinated two girlfriend reunions, and hosted multiple weekly get togethers at my house. A lot of people drank a lot of cocktails and ate a lot of ice cream and laughed a LOT and shared their stories and troubles because of me. This was the best, most important thing I did this year.
16. Participate in the weekly Sunday night potluck dinner organized by a former neighbor at least quarterly. Aim for monthly. Goal retired (abandoned) This never happened. [sad trombone]
Cook more real food for dinner at my house. Yes! We’ve settled into a good, solid weekly routine. It could definitely use some shaking up with fresh ideas and recipes, but on the whole we’re doing a lot better than we were 14 months ago.
Eat dinner as a family, at the table Yes. This came in time, as the child grew, started eating better and (vaguely) more like us. The downside is her bedtime is drifting later and later and later to make this possible, which can be hard on us all. If I’m honest I sometimes miss throwing her in bed and eating my dinner in front of the TV with a glass of wine. But it’s a good evolution.
19. Make time to speak with my mom at least weekly, more if possible. Probably most of the time? Our schedules don’t always align, and that’s hard.
20. Make time to speak to my aunt and my grandma at least monthly, more if possible. Did not speak monthly, but saw this branch of the family five times this year, which is UNHEARD of. It is important to maintain contact, and I’ll keep trying, but I’ll also take that facet time as a good thing.
21. Curtail Facebook usage (unless actually writing meaningful messages to the above or others) NOPE. GOAL RETIRED BECAUSE I NO LONGER CARE ABOUT THIS.
22. Blog more. Eh, I keep trying.
23. Write more letters. Nope. Maybe next year.
24. Make a weekend with Kelsey and Robyn happen. ✓ 25. Visit my aunt and grandma in Denver . ✓ TWICE no less–once in February and once in August 26. Get my high school girlfriends to Michigan for a visit. ✓ Well, mostly. Only Lisa and Eve were able to come…and then Lisa had strep and we spent most of the first evening at urgent care / Walgreen’s. But we still had many adventures, such as seeing a real, larger than life Little Caesar’s statue. 27. Take one awesome, adventurous, ambitious family vacation. ✓ ROMA, BABY. It was a dream come true, what I’ve always wanted, but more and better than I could have imagined. Plus also so much toddler drama. But still. I will treasure it always. 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. ✓, but goal modified: We did get a bed (though it took literally months to assemble fully) and we now have two temporary crappy closet solutions. But then we sort of gave up on our room and switched our attention to Liddie’s room–where we’ve actually made a lot of progress, and just moved her into it on Jan. 1. I’ll take it!29. Renovate our kitchen. No, but small steps were taken. While we were away, my brother house-sat for us, and painted our cabinets. This small makeover doesn’t improve the functionality of our dysfunctional kitchen, but it does make it look nicer, which makes me less angry every time I walk into it, which means the renovation can wait. At one point we really did make some significant progress picking out cabinets and counters from IKEA, but then we got bogged down re: trying to schedule a consultation with them and gave up. Put it back on the list for next year. 30. Establish a personal desk/table/corner/space for my crafts/personal projects/special off-limits pens/whatever ✓ Yes and I love it and I don’t allow anyone to sit in my chair or touch my stuff. It’s as close as I’ll get to “a room of one’s own” in this life and it is precious to me and has dramatically improved the quality of my life.
31. When not on vacation/sick/out of the office, respond to email within 48 hours. As if.
Fix our goddamn roof. ✓ This took several rounds of work and ultimately ended in a full roof replacement. Not an expense we had expected this year. But one we were able to swallow without much harm (thanks to the sale of our old house), and it’s definitely a relief to have this properly dealt with and–in theory!–good to go for the next 25+ years. We still have a little clean up/patching/painting/touch-up to do in the hallway where all the leaks were happening. 33. Obtain access to a functional and comfortable bicycle. ✓ Just under the wire! This was my Christmas present to myself, and now it’s in the garage, never to be seen again until the thaw that I assume will come one day.34. Create playroom space in our basement. Nope
35. Swimming lessons for Liddie. Nope–on the list for 2018
36. Take Liddie ice skating. Nope–on the list for 2018
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 ✓ It was a doozy–it took 4 or 5 separate weekend visits–but we did it.
Cruise on my brother’s schooner!!! ✓39. Make regular donations to worthy causes. ✓
40. Visit with Liddie’s birthmother in person at least once. Aim for three times. No luck here. We made contact via text several times, but never managed to meet up. We’ll keep trying.
Do something fun on purpose for my birthday. ✓ An adventure, dinner, and a show with good friends. It was really lovely.
Participate in the neighborhood yard sale. ✓ Made less money than in years past, but got rid of a lot of stuff.
Go to the beach. ✓ Gorgeous Lake Michigan holiday weekend with family44. 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. This remains a work in progress…45. Set up auto-pay or reminders as appropriate to pay all bills on time. In the end I did some remedial work, like, not continuing to accidentally pay the water bill at my old house. Progress. But yeah, the credit card bills…always a disaster. Keep trying, self.
46. Clean house more consistently. Sweep, vacuum and bathrooms weekly, that would be a significant improvement and good enough. NERP
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. ✓ LaLa Land, Beauty and the Beast, Wonder Woman, the Big Sick, Atomic Blonde, Loving Vincent, Star Wars: the Last Jedi–that’s a lot more than 2015 or 2016
See at least one live theater performance. ✓ And now all I want to do is see more musicals all the time.
Have a big-ass Christmas tree. ✓
Did not complete: 19/49
Other things I accomplished this year that I didn’t predict or make a goal for!
- Got a piano
- Replaced our last old, beat up, worn out car
- Found a new doctor who I really like, and who helped me take some really important steps forward.
- Hosted family for Thanksgiving and Christmas
- More work travel than (I think!) any year ever
- And [drumroll] [burying the lede] we are trying to adopt again!