Thursday, January 5, 2012

Yet Another New Year's Resolution Post

I'm trying to work back to some kind of momentum, not just for blogging (which I have clearly been lacking), but in many aspects of my life. The winter holiday season is something I look forward to every year, yet something that also keeps me in perpetual wonderment of whether I'll be able to keep my head above water with all the rushing, rushing, rushing to create a magical, or even just OK, experience for my family. Christmas is so much more stressful once you have kids!

Christmas this year was great, fun, different, and exhausting. We traveled to Wisconsin, as we do every other year. New this year was that our time in Wisconsin was spent at an indoor water park in the Wisconsin Dells. SO. FUN. The kids had a blast, we had a blast. But oh my god, was it exhausting! Take all the planning and shopping for Christmas, figure out how to transport it to another (far away) state, and then add in countless hours of running around in a bathing suit, whipping down slides, and making sure no one drowns.

Once we got back in to town, we dealt with some of the typical traveling/winter illnesses that are inevitable (Lucy! Puked on the plane! This was a first for us! But we survived! She left the plane without any pants on!), particularly when one spends a great deal of time with hundreds of other people in a very warm, water-filled, indoor area. By the time New Year's was over, it had been nearly two weeks since I'd last been in the office. Needless to say, getting back into the swing of our everyday routine has been tough.

Also tough? Getting back in to the swing of: Exercising. Blogging (obviously). Being a responsible adult. General career motivation. Eating healthy.

Regarding that last one - I realize it's pretty common to derail one's eating habits for a time over the holidays. I certainly don't want to deprive myself of these goodies that only come around once a year or so. So I gave myself leeway. But now? I can't stop. I am eating ALL THE FOOD. Things that I never would have let myself eat a mere three weeks ago, even. Bundt cake on the common table at work? MUST EAT. And there is a fresh new bundt cake every Monday morning. Mini chocolates on the common table at work? Again, MUST EAT. And some evil person fills that damn candy basket, every damn day.

I have no will power.

But I am approximately two weeks away from my one-year anniversary with Weight Watchers. And still 10 (OK, after Xmas, 13) pounds away from my "goal weight." I need to get this shit under control.

So, a few goals. Not resolutions, per se, but goals. I set some last year, and did a so-so job of meeting them. I found some new recipes to add in to our family meal rotation, I ran one long-ish race and one 5K, and we did a few new things in the area with the kids to get out of our shopping all weekend routine. But I didn't really broaden my work horizons (for example, I thought I might try my hand at writing some freelance stuff, even if unpaid), I didn't read my camera manual to try to take better pictures, and we (clearly) didn't move up to New England to be closer to family. Though to be fair, the last goal was really to "start working toward" moving up to New England, which I did do - I applied for a few jobs, and even had a few phone interviews. But nothing that was a great fit, so it's back to square one there.

New year, new (ish) goals:

1) Reach my G-D Weight Watchers goal weight already. Work the plan (it really does work when you properly "work it"), drop the last 13 pounds, and become a lifetime member. I just need to DO THIS already.

2) Run a couple of short races. Find a 10 mile race to enter. Make ample use of my new cold weather running apparel (don't be a wimp!). Only allow myself to watch season 2 episodes of Downton Abbey if I'm on the treadmill (shouldn't be too hard, as M. refuses to watch with me, and the treadmill is the only solo TV watching time I allow myself).

3) Estate planning - make a will, etc. Can't believe we haven't done this yet, and am very ashamed to admit that we haven't. It is utterly ridiculous, of course, and we need to stop putting it off. Anyone have recommendations of a good lawyer in the Montgomery County area who could help with this?

4) Meet with a financial advisor. More boring responsible adult-type stuff that we should already be doing.

5) Read at least 15 books this year. M. got me a Kindle for Christmas, so I'm hoping I'll be motivated to stay on top of my reading. I really LIKE books, I just (ever since Finn was born) tend to zonk out after only 5 minutes of reading each night. Makes it hard to finish anything in less than an eon, by which point I've usually lost enthusiasm for or forgotten the plot.

6) Learn to use my NEW camera. Yes, I was not successful in reading the user manual and learning how to use my camera to its fullest potential last year. But I WAS successful in obtaining a newer, better camera - a Nikon DSLR - an extremely generous Christmas gift from my parents. It is insanely nice and expensive, and I have no idea how to use it. But I've at least bought myself a new camera bag and a book on exposure, and am starting to work my way through the user manual. I have no great desire to take professional grade photographs, but I don't want to look like a bumbling idiot with this fancy thing around my neck, and I'd like some decent pictures of my family and our experiences. This must happen.

7) Continue to work toward moving up to New England. This includes figuring out what the hell I'd like to do with my career (because what I do now is just not easily transferrable to any region of the country), applying for many, many jobs, and getting our house in shape for either selling or renting. The home improvement projects will hopefully include getting hardwood floors on the main level, new countertops in the kitchen, and maybe a few new windows. With any luck and no major unexpected/emergency household expenses.

8) Post here more. I'm happier when I do. It makes me feel more fulfilled than the slug that sits on the couch watching TV at night that I otherwise become.

The last two goals are the most important:

9) Be a more patient, respectful, present parent to Finn and Lucy. I want to lead by example. I know that I already do (we all do), I'm just not happy with the example I'm setting. I yell, so they yell. Because of me, they are learning to treat each other and their parents disrespectfully. I want to be more mindful of my actions, and how they rub off on the kids. I expect this to be hard.

10) Put M. first more. He is a great parent, and a wonderful husband. He, out of guilt and a desire to be selfless, I'm sure, doesn't take any time for himself. But he always encourages me to do so - he wants me to buy things that make me happy, he is very encouraging of my time spent running or at Weight Watchers meetings. He is always willing to let me hang out with a friend or two, sans kids. He lets me put myself first, but yet never puts himself first. I want to spend more time encouraging him, and allowing him to be more selfish.

That's a lot of goals, I know. What can I say? Maybe I'm finally feeling motivated for a fresh start, only 5 days later than everyone else. Wish me luck!

And Happy New Year, from our family to yours!


  1. Great post! A few comments from your sister:
    Still totally jealous of your Christmas present from Mom & Dad and am hoping that commenting here means I'll get one next year :-)
    Are you sure your WW goal is really what you want it at? I struggled with it and originally said 140 and then 135 which is what I stuck with. Perhaps yours is too aggressive?
    In terms of husbands/fathers taking time for themselves. I completely agree and mirror that for my husband. However, I also know it's up to him to carve out time and make plans to do things. I just happen to be better at it and thus get more "me" time (unless you count all the time he gets alone doing house and yard projects).
    Ask your bank (since you like them) for a FA recommendation.
    Pick a estate planning firm out of the virtual yellow pages. Seriously. Do a Google search and figure out which firms are the biggest and thus do the most. You need competency and experience there, not necessarily the cheapest price.

    OK, hopping off my soap box now. Happy New Year!

  2. I love your goal about your husband, I might steal it as my husband has the same problem.

  3. I actually keep talking to Husband about him having some sort of activity - he hasn't traveled in 3 weeks and we are totally getting on each others nerves. He's always willing to let me do stuff without kids and I try to reciprocate with sleeping in or taking the kids on playdates on the weekend without him but I'd love if he could have guy friends to hang out with.

  4. What a wonderful post and set of goals. I can ask my parents (Frederick, MD) who they recently used for estate planning if you like. Look forward to hearing/reading progress reports ;)

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