New Year’s Follow-up

Why hello, neglected blog.  I had no idea that I had been absent for an entire month!

I suppose I’ve been doing my best to be action-oriented as I discussed in this post in early January.  I’ve never been great at keeping New Year’s resolutions which is why I rarely make them, but I’m really trying this year so I’d like to commit to monthly updates.  Forgive me if these sound a bit self-absorbed.  Here you go…

Resolution #1 — To be more action-oriented, particularly with my house

Here’s what I’ve accomplished so far:

  • The basement is LOADS better.  Gil has made at least three big trips to the dump/Goodwill/Habitat ReStore, and we have parted with a lot of stuff.  I can actually walk into our basement without a strong, negative, visceral reaction.   This is progress, folks.  I no longer want to strangle my spouse because of his big pile of junk.
  • I’ve hired someone to deep-clean our house twice since the beginning of the year.  This is good, but I need to make sure this happens regularly — ideally every other week.  It feels luxurious and expensive and because I am not working full-time and barely part-time, I shoulder a lot of guilt that I should be cleaning it.  I have ridiculous conversations in my head, and I’ve concluded that we can afford it; no one expects me to be the sole cleaner; we (as in our entire family) are pretty much artsy, live-in-the-moment people who would really rather be doing anything other than deep-cleaning; boys pee on things, and as the only family member who goes sitting down, I resent wiping up smelly urine.  I do better work when I’m not stressing about keeping a clean house, and we’re all in a better mood.  Additionally, having someone come in twice a month forces us all to pick up our stuff.  Therefore, clutter is automatically reduced. 
  • Yard work.  I’ve been raking and tidying our backyard.  This is something that I actually enjoy, but it’s usually neglected because I feel like I should be inside cleaning.  Since I’ve been able to let go of the things I detest (scrubbing toilets and wiping up pee), I’ve had more time and energy to focus on the yards.  We’ve had decent weather the past week, so I’ve enjoyed getting outside while the boys play.  We even had some friends over this past Friday and I wasn’t doing my typical crazy-lady dance trying to company-fy my back yard.

Resolution #2 — Exercise regularly, yoga and cardio — I was striving for 5xs a week (yoga and cardio — something daily, both would be a plus)

  • I’ve exercised, but nowhere near 5 days a week — lofty I suppose.  I considered my start-date Sunday, January 6.  Week 1 = 5 days of exercise total.  I did 3 sessions on the elliptical machine and 3 sessions of yoga.  Since consistency is my goal, and if you’re familiar with this blog you might remember that I’ve struggled with an eating disorder and exercise addiction, so while I want consistency, I’m also striving for balance.  Regular exercise, nothing too crazy.  Week 2 = 4 days — two of these days were hiking and snow tubing.  Week 3 = 3 days — I know, not great.  Week 4 = 1 day — I KNOW!!!  Week 5 = 5 days, but I raked some serious leaves one day, so I think that should count — I’m calling it 6 days.  Just reading back through this I can’t tell you how much my justifications take me back to the days when I worked as a nutritional counselor.  I sound like some of my exercise-hating clients who used to work on my nerves,  “I walked from my car to the store;  I consider that exercise!”  Puleeeeez… 
  • So from January 5 through February 11 here are some totals.  Days on elliptical machine = 10.  Total days practicing yoga = 8.  Additionally I hiked a relatively easy 5 mile trail in North Carolina and spent a day snow tubing.  I also had a couple of days where I raked leaves.  Call me crazy, but I consider this exercise.  Argue all you want but my back and shoulders were sore the next day — more so than when I do power yoga.  It’s not CrossFit, and I’m not running marathons, but I’m gonna pat myself on the back.  I’m hardly a lounger in my daily life, so this is good for structured exercise outside of my typically active day-to-day.  And when I do work out, I go at it hard.  I’m still striving for 5 days of exercise a week.  Consistency!!  It helps my mood tremendously.

Resolution #3 — Kissing for 10 seconds minimum daily

  • Biggest FAIL of the year.  So big in fact that it requires it’s own post — stay tuned.  For now I’ll just leave it at this:  I SUCK at being nice when I’m mad.  Unfortunately when I was all gung-ho back in January, I had forgotten this not-so-lovely flaw of mine.  I was talking to Mamala on the phone yesterday and she felt compelled to tell me that maybe it’s best for people like me to not be married.  “Really, Honey, you’re not very good at it.”   EXCUSE ME, MOTHER!!!!!  I’m trying to let her shitty little comment go.  I wasn’t aware that people were either good or bad at marriage.  In fact, I’m more of the belief that relationships take work.  Sometimes they take more work than other times.  Here’s the take-away:  Kissing is a good thing when it happens, and now that I’m in a place where I can rest assured that I will not bite Gil’s tongue off in anger, I’m willing to try again.  Ten seconds a day — I can manage that, right? 

Resolution #4 — Writing

  • This is going well.  I took a break from the morning pages with the hopes that I could use my writing time more effectively.  I discovered that I need the brain drain that comes from writing morning pages — either that or I’ll have to go back to therapy, then there goes my housekeeping fund.  Apparently I’m one of those people who needs to get stuff out.  Otherwise I’m a dreadfully cranky spaz.  I started back on the morning pages the beginning of February.  Blogging hasn’t been happening, but I’m hoping to get in a few posts this week.  I’m also working on my book (slow and steady) and helping out a friend with her editing business.

 

What about you?  Did you make New Year’s resolutions?  Are you sticking with them?  Tell me, please.  We can commiserate and possibly support each other.

 

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7 thoughts on “New Year’s Follow-up

  1. Pingback: Sunday Morning Crashing Down | Grief Happens

  2. You know, it’s interesting that you said that about feeling more stressed lately and wanting to return to the morning pages. I found that when I stopped for a few weeks my anxiety skyrocketed and I began feeing stressed all the time. Granted there were some other contributing factors, but I am recognizing that writing and writing in a way that forces me to empty my brain is helpful in managing my stress. I seem to overthink less, a frequent struggle of mine. Before I was trying to establish some structure to my writing and then morning pages seemed to be all I could do consistently, so I didn’t try the other activities — not because I didn’t want to, more that I didn’t think I had time. I’m doing the activities now and like you said, my mind seems to have opened. I haven’t really felt like a “blocked artist” — I have more trouble harnessing ideas and seeing them to completion. I’ve also struggled more lately with confidence, which is frustrating because good things are happening with my writing that should actually inspire confidence. In other words — more success has made me more aware of my potential for failure. UGH!! I hate even typing that — makes me feel like a wretched screw-up. Luckily in week one of the Artist’s Way, she encourages affirmations. Hopefully that will help.

    Well, I’m glad I’ve inspired you! You’re a fantastic writer. You really see things and are able to articulate what you see very well. Keep me posted, and hopefully we can encourage each other.

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  3. As the mom of a 7-year-old boy, I can say with ABSOLUTE SINCERITY that having somebody come in to help with the ickier cleaning stuff is nothing to feel bad about!!!!! I can manage with my son…but let me tell you, it’s sometimes quite a challenge. And if I had two?? Even my daughter isn’t totally neat (kids that age just get so distracted, even when “doing their business,” I think) – but (luckily for me) it’s just physically harder for girls to be messy to the same level as boys. I totally sympathize with you!

    Coincidentally, I’ve also been toying with starting up a morning pages routine again myself – and reading what you said here just motivated me to do it for real. (So thanks!) I went through The Artist’s Way last fall – not with any sort of structure. I just read it through and did the exercises. But it was enormously helpful to me anyway. I didn’t even feel like a “blocked artist” at the time; I just picked it up at the library once out of curiosity. But it helped me so much – and I think especially the morning pages, or maybe the morning pages in conjunction with some of the exercises…I don’t know. Whatever it was, it really opened up my mind – and it was such an unexpectedly satisfying stress relief to do those free-write morning pages! I don’t even know why I stopped. I just got out of the habit, I guess. But I’ve been a bit stressed lately, and it’s been inhibiting my motivation to write (and my confidence in what I DO write.) I think starting my day with morning pages writing might be a way through that.

    Anyway, thanks again for the inspiration!!

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  4. I do not make resolutions but I thought it would be rude to simply “like” the post without replying to your question :).

    Biting words from Mamala but I’ve often wondered if that is true of myself. Now that I am divorced I get hives just thinking about ever getting hitched again. Not really, but I certainly get the eebie-jeebies. Gawd I love not having to take into account someone else’s preferences & moods. And I don’t feel selfish admitting that one bit ;). So if there are such people as Mamala has classified, I would be one.

    I’m going to shut-up now 😛

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    • I ALWAYS appreciate your insight, and I really get where you’re coming from. I think the reason my mom’s comment got under my skin so severely is because I know there’s some truth to it. It’s enough work staying in touch with my own moods and rhythms. Sometimes feeling like I have to do that with my spouse is WAY more work than I have the energy for these days. Truth be told, my mom is the same way. We don’t like our love interests all up under us all the time. I think it’s fabulous that you don’t feel selfish admitting that you’re in a good place. You KNOW what works for you because you truly know yourself. That’s the greatest gift ever. I venture to say that the world would be a better place if more women could figure out what makes them happy BEFORE jumping into relationships. No need to shut up — I love hearing your thoughts. 🙂

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  5. I didn’t make any resolutions this year, possibly because I’ve been feeling like I expect too much of myself in general. I guess my resolution is to focus on fewer things and do them better. I cut out pretty much everything in my life, even marriage and family (temporarily), to focus on learning Java and preparing for a new career. When my program is over, I’m not going to put so much back into my life. It’s pretty much going to be marriage, family, and career. Everything else can wait.

    I admire your commitment and your progress seems to be really coming along. It’s great that you can have someone come in to clean! I’m horribly jealous! My house looks like a frat house right now since my husband is in charge while I’m gone.

    We also cleaned out our basement and took several truckloads of stuff to donate. Great feeling!

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    • Good for you! I have been so inspired by what you’re doing. That is AWESOME, and I wish you the very best.

      I completely get what you’re saying about expecting too much of yourself. I’m the same way, and honestly I feel like the last few years I’ve been surviving and existing. I am really trying to look at what’s important to me and my well-being and that’s what I took into account when I made these resolutions. I’m better in every way when my space isn’t cluttered; I’m kinder when I’m getting regular exercise, plus it’s good for my overall health; my marriage has been on the back burner the past few years and needs some attention; and then there’s the writing — I love it, but I have to nurture it, create habits, and give it the attention it deserves. Focusing on all of the above makes me a better mother, partner, friend, person. I guess what I’m saying is that I was getting lost and everyone and everything else seemed to be taking priority, so I was feeling pretty resentful. I’m trying to get things back in balance, and so far it seems to be working.

      The cleaning is nice, but honestly, the lady came last Thursday, so it hasn’t even been a week and it’s a complete disaster again, so that’s frustrating but a lot of that is just having kids and I wouldn’t trade them for a spotless house. We’re making progress, and it is a good feeling. Thanks for stopping by!

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