Last year I was like, “I’m really not into resolutions” and then I went and wrote a whole blog post full of resolutions. Still, out of habit, I almost started this post by trying to be all cool about how I don’t like to reset at the beginning of each year because it’s such a non-starter, but I have to be honest. It’s nice to have goals, and you gotta commit to them sometime.
Last’s years goals were pretty specific, and I managed to work toward all but one of them. (My work-related goal ended up falling through, which isn’t a story to tell here.)
I wanted to be less woe-is-me about how hard it is to start a new life in a new city, and I mostly succeeded, even if sometimes I do wonder if I’ll ever be in the middle of a huge group of friends like the days of yore in California. I vowed to stop worrying so much about Claire liking my cooking, and I…didn’t really do that, but I did alternate between being annoyed and pretending not to care when she picked at the food I cooked. I wanted to stop being weird about being a stepmom and not a mom-mom, which is sometimes way better and sometimes way worse, but I think it just goes with the territory. I wanted to train better for my half marathon in LA, and we all know how that turned out (followed by a foot injury that has sidelined running for six months).
I made a vague mention of wanting to whip the house into shape, and I am happy to say it is 80% complete! We had the rest of the interior – except the guest room – painted before Thanksgiving, and now we just have some minor tweaks to make in a few rooms. We’ve finally hung art all over the house and it feels like ours, which is a huge, huge relief. One of these days we’ll get around to taking pictures of the finished result.
My final not-resolution from last year was about learning how to not sweat the small stuff, how to not completely lose it whenever something doesn’t go my way. There were times when I totally rocked that, but I’m woman enough to admit I’m still pretty tightly wound. My guess is that I’ll spend a lifetime trying to figure that out.
Joel took this picture of me about the time my holly-jolly-holiday sinus infection was clearing up. I hated it at the time, but it’s sort of growing on me, and is actually a pretty good encapsulation of two of my hopes for 2015.
I’m wearing pigtails, which are ridiculous on a woman my age, and also a J. Crew sweater with llamas and rhinestones, the latter of which once shined so bright in the sunlight coming through an airplane window that the flight attendant asked me to lower my shade lest she be blinded by the light. I’m going to turn 40 this year, but I don’t feel a day over 30 (most of the time), and I’d like to keep it that way. If wearing pigtails and silly novelty sweaters/bright colors and listening to Taylor Swift helps keep me young, I’m going to keep it up.
In this picture my holiday gel manicure is on it’s last legs, and since it was taken I’ve peeled off a couple more nails worth. (I know, you’re not supposed to peel the gels off, but they always get loose and start flaking, and I just can’t help myself.) In 2015 I want to spend a little more time on self-care. I’m pretty good about mani-pedis, but that’s about it. In two hours I’m going to meet a friend for a massage, and I need to do that way, way more often. I haven’t had a massage since I moved here! I’ve never been one for facials, but I vow to do it at least once this year when winter ends to slough off the old skin.
I also took a bit of my year-end bonus check and signed up for laser hair removal on my chin, which is something I promised myself I would do as soon as I started getting whiskery, which is happening right about now. The ladies in my family can achieve some pretty impressive hair growth, but I’m not going to stand for it. I know some people will think it’s silly to spend money on something so vain, but I’m sorry. I can afford it and it will make me feel better about myself, and that’s all there is to it.
There is always room for improvement on food and exercise. (In that picture up there I’m eating a wrap that would be way healthier if I put some veggies in it.) I’ve been regularly attending a Sunday morning barre class, but I pay for an unlimited monthly membership and I need to add at least one more class a week to make it worthwhile. We all got ice skates for Christmas, and I intend to make sure we put them to good use. Santa brought Joel a book of hiking trails in the Twin Cities so we can get out more. And this is the year I’ll learn to cross-country ski, even if it kills me! Hopefully we can get Claire out there, too, and being outside will be the thing we do as a family instead of going to movies or going out to eat – both good things to do, but not our only option.
Joel has gradually been adding gluten back with minimal trouble, but we’re going to try to make more of our own breads with whole wheats and grain blends, which make everyone feel better than the processed stuff. (Also, I spent $$$ on a bread machine that is currently sitting in the basement, and if I don’t use it I need to get rid of it.) I’ve added at least one fruit a day into my diet for months, most days, but I need to add a lot more. Less meat, more fruits and veggies, la, la, la I’m just like everyone else in America.
When my best friend was here, she taught me to knit, which was super satisfying. I have needles and yarn and need to find an easy pattern to really get started. We often sit down in the evening as a family to watch a little TV, and I’d like to use that time for some kitting, too. I have my grandma’s sewing machine in the basement waiting for attention, so I need to find a class for that. I think I said this last year at some point, but at the very least I need to be able to mend my vintage.
And, finally, I’m starting to network a bit in Minneapolis and have the opportunity to work on fun things outside of my day job, like this community website. It’s not easy to balance work-work and family and health and side projects, but I need it badly. My job is quite excellent, but as with anything, it can get repetitive and I get bored after a while. Having other things that allow me to learn new skills or use my brain in new ways will keep me from getting antsy.
There’s nothing too crazy in here, nothing that’s unique to me. That’s why resolutions feel so lame. We all do them. Some of us to pretend not to. Basically, we all want to do more good things more often. We want to be better versions of ourselves. Nothing wrong with that, I guess, but maybe we should put some sort of check-in or vow renewal date on the calendar now. Say, July 1, to make sure we’re still on track instead of waiting for another year.