I don’t think there has ever been a year when I made resolutions and kept them, so I never do it anymore. The last documented attempt was in 1989, where I also noted in a three-ring binder that the #1 song of the year was Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child ‘O Mine.” I have a vague recollection of being grounded for something and not being allowed to go to a party, so I sat in my room all night and listened to Casey Kasem’s top 100 countdown of the year’s best songs. There is also, somewhere, a cassette tape with which I recorded part of this countdown, which may or may not also feature me singing “Eternal Flame” accapella.
Like so many people I know, I am more than ready to kick 2013 to the curb. Last year just SUCKED, man. So in 2014 I’m going to try to do my part to make things better, including:
- Getting Over It: The woe-is-me edition. I was not the only one to go through major personal losses and changes in 2013. It was just a rotten egg all around, and everyone I know has done his/her fair share of bitching about it. That’s all behind us now. The new year will be what we make of it, and I’m tired of being sad and overwhelmed. Onward!
- Getting Over It: The kid-food edition. My mother has reminded me at every opportunity that I was a picky eater. Every mom I know has told countless tales of what her child will not eat, and there are thousands of blogs trying to serve up kid-friendly, can’t-fail recipes. I knew this before Joel and I were seriously dating, I knew this the first time I met Claire, and I knew this when I agreed to move out here. It is not a surprise that she won’t eat things. So I just have to get over it, and keep on keepin’ on. I’ll do my best to find inoffensive foods, and I’ll also just deal with the fact that sometimes we have to eat pasta and meatballs, maybe even twice in the same week.
- Getting Over It: The not-my-kid edition. Sometimes, when Claire is telling stories of the awesome things she does or eats or plays at her mom’s house, I get a gross feeling in the pit of my stomach. It’s not quite anger, and it’s not quite envy, but it’s really annoying. It is a reminder that she’s not my kid, no matter what kind of relationship we have. I potentially have the option to have my own child, and if I so choose to do that in the next couple of years my experiences will be difference. I still get to have this awesome kid in my life, and I love her. So I just gotta take that at face value and enjoy it.
- Get Moving: The exercise edition. Every single person on the planet has a resolution about exercise, so I hate even documenting this. BUT. I’m running a half marathon in LA in March, and I really have to get a move on. My training has been lackluster, and my last long run (seven miles) resulted in swollen knees. Because it’s so frozen outside, I have to get into the gym. This year I want to do two half marathons, the one in the spring and one TBD in the fall. I’d like to do some kid’s fun runs with Claire, and a few 10Ks with Joel. It sure would be nice to get my per-mile pace down around the nine minute mark, but I’m not crazy or anything. (I am running the first half marathon on behalf of Angel City Pitbulls, so if you are so inclined, you can sponsor my run here.)
- Get Moving: The house edition. As I mentioned in a post earlier this week, there is a lot of work to be done on our house. Sometimes it’s frustrating knowing that it’ll take months and months to get it done. There are some things, like new paint, that are well thought out and just need to be executed. Then there is the complete kitchen renovation, for which we only have vague ideas and no sense of budget or timing. Claire asks every week when we’re going to do her room, which is frankly low on our overall priority list but should probably move up to make her feel more part of the process. The goal here is to break the projects up into bite-sized pieces, to stay focused on getting each of them done, and to not hate ourselves when it inevitably takes longer than we want.
- Get Moving: The work edition. 2014 is the year I will become the CEO of a mobile startup, as long as I keep pushing forward and figure out how to make it real. There are all sorts of ways in which this thing can go off the rails, but I want to get it done. Eye on the prize. Blah blah blah. The hardest part will be getting this done along with everything else, without going crazy.
- Remember To Breathe: The living-life edition. I’m so driven to reach my goals – any of them, from running races to getting the kid to eat breakfast – that sometimes I have a total meltdown when things get in my way. This has happened a lot in the last couple of months. I’ve done more crying and raging and hiding in my room than at any time in recent memory. I’d reckon that 97% of these moments were completely unwarranted, and were the result of me feeling like everything was out of my control, simply because it wasn’t living up to some perfect situation in my head. This is no way to live. I have to roll with the punches better, be willing to shift my priorities, be able to put my own stuff aside sometimes when others’ need me to.
When I sat down to write this post, I was sitting in the dining room by myself with a fresh cup of coffee. I have since been joined by Claire, Joel and Huck, with frequent appearances by both cats. Claire interrupted my early typing so we could apply glitter tattoos to each other, then moved on to playing Clumsy Ninja while muttering a constant stream of chatter, and now she has left to go downstairs and practice on the Rock Band drums. Joel is trying to find cordless blinds for our house, and keeps interrupting me to ask which rooms we want to buy for right now, and is also muttering a bit about sizes and such. Huck is restless, and keeps getting up to pace. Kitty is patrolling Toby’s cat hole at the top of the basement stairs, and hisses at him if she finds him. Toby occasionally wanders by and meows like he’s trying to tell me something. And while Cooper isn’t in the room with us, he’s been barking from upstairs, where he is still mostly asleep in our bed.
This scenario perfectly describes the change in my life, from Berkeley Amanda to Minneapolis Amanda. Out there, I was alone with my cup of coffee. Here, I am always surrounded with people who love me. While 2013 was a truly sucktastic year, I’d say I traded up.
- This old (person’s) house (thebefuddledstepmonster.com)