Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sixteen in '16

Let me set the scene for you: 

Early morning light streams in through the windows and floods the hard wood floors with a bright blinding glaze.  The floor is peppered with abandoned socks, underwear, and t-shirts from the night before.  A blanket lays haphazardly tossed on a chair, next to an end table with last night's empty wine glass.  In the middle of all this, Mickey Mouse lies face down amidst red and black and green poker chips, as if he has just had one helluva night.  No, it's not the scene from some Disneyland Friday night Bizarro World, it's just my living room at the moment.  And since I don't remember the poker chips, playing with Mickey Mouse or rooting through the nicely folded laundry, I'm going to blame it on my absolutely adorable fifteen month old daughter, who is taking the rare morning nap at this exact moment.  And so, I find myself capitalizing on this rare moment by curling up with my computer and thinking about the upcoming year.  

 I love new things: New tubes of toothpaste, new crayons and markers, new sweatshirts, new jars of peanut butter, (I'll spare you the rest of the list).   But I also love the New Year.  It's fresh and crisp and seems like it holds so much potential.  And usually I feel quite goal oriented and hopeful and find myself making a mental list of things I want to accomplish this year.  (Perhaps blogging on a regular basis should be on this list.  But it's not.  As much as I love making lists of goals and hopes, I'm not fond of setting myself up for failure and I'm pretty sure that's exactly what I would be doing.)  This year is no different, and thoughts of what 2016 holds have been bouncing around my brain for a few weeks now.  Finally, I've narrowed these ideas down to sixteen goals I'd like to accomplish this year.   
So go refill your coffee or tea or hot water with lemon (my current favorite), grab a cozy blanket and some fuzzy socks, and soak up my list of sixteen in '16.  And then weigh in-- do you make resolutions? Lists? Goals? What are they? I'm so curious! 

1.  Just DO things.  I am the world's best procrastinator.  I justify this (I'm also the world's best justifier) by explaining that I work best under a deadline.  But I often procrastinate on stupid stuff that really just needs to be done.  Wipe down Anna's high chair?  In a little while.  Throw in a load of laundry? Tonight.  Clean the bathroom?  After Anna wakes up.  Get online and print that exchange form? Later.  Look through Charlie's bookorder and write the check? It's not due 'till Friday.  You get the picture.  I think if I just DID all-the-things I would feel much better.  We'll see. 

2.  Find my creative self again.  This has been emerging, slowly but surely in the past few months.  I credit Elizabeth Gilbert's "Big Magic" book for some of this but I need to keep going.  A lot of times, I'll want to do something but don't get vertical long enough do it-- so it turns into the whole 'just do it' thing again.  Here are a few specifics:  
      1. Make stockings for Charlie, Mason, myself
      2. Skinnify old jeans, experiment with altering t-shirts and button down shirts. 
      3. Make a t-shirt rug
      4. Learn how to macrame or weave. 

3. And adding to the creativity goals.... learn how to use Grandpa Bernie's scroll saw. It has been sitting in our garage for two years just doing nothing but looking sad.  Mason will be able to teach me but we don't exactly have many (or any) opportunities to hang out in the garage without little ones needing to be supervised.  Maybe we'll need to pay a babysitter to come over for a few hours while we tackle this.  

4. Meditate.  More specifically, make meditating a part of my day.  Shortly after experiencing my 2nd miscarriage, meditation helped me in so many ways.  The constant anxiety, the waves of emotion, the never-ending barrage of internal thoughts-- all of these things were put to bay and I honestly attribute it to meditation. 

5.  Speaking of meditation.....Participate in Buddhist Path at least once.  This group meets at our church once a week and has quite a large following.  It's open to anyone and involves meditation, conversations about Buddhism, and sometimes additional activities like walking meditation or walking labrynths.  

6.  And now, speaking of labyrinths, I would like to walk a labyrinth this year.  I've talked to many people who love this practice and a quick google search will reveal that this ancient tradition has many health benefits like lowering blood pressure, reducing anxiety, and eliminating insomnia.  We have an outdoor labyrinth right here in Cedar Falls-- but many are found on church grounds or in public parks.  There are actually several located in Iowa and if you're interested in finding one near you, check out this link: http://labyrinthlocator.com/

7.  Get a new tattoo!!  I love my "OM" tattoo so much and have gotten such positive feedback about it.  Looking at it makes me feel happy and quite frankly, I just want more!!  I have some ideas in mind (three more to be exact) and I'm pretty sure this will happen sooner rather than later.   

8.  Date my husband.  We are terrible about setting time aside for us and honestly, neither one of us really gets worked up about that.  Yes, it would be nice to hang out with Mason more and be able to go get a drink from time to time, but we're pretty okay with relaxing on the couch together too.  We've tried having "date night!" but honestly, it's just more stress and a really expensive way to leave the house for two hours.  But, we've committed to playing pickle ball together and last week we started watching "Orange is the New Black".  This feels like enough and I'm okay with that.    

9.  Make myself a priority.  Sounds crazy selfish (Liz, are you dying laughing now?) but I want to do something just for myself this year.  I try to take time out for myself here and there (the occasional scrapbook night, walks by myself in the summertime, a weekend here or there with some girlfriends, monthly meetings with my church ladies) but I haven't done anything really BIG.  (Not that anything has to be huge to be significant)  But I've had a few items on my bucket list for a long time and I'm finally going to do one of the biggies.  And I've gotta tell you, it's really scary and a little pricey and a lot out of my comfort zone, all of which go against my deeply ingrained Dutch heritage...but flights are booked and plans have been made.  I promise I'll spill the beans and details soon. :)  

10. Write more.  Journal, novels, blogs, letters, ideas, ..... just doing it and not being afraid that it isn't perfect (of course it's not perfect!) or needs to ever become a final version, or shared with anyone, or published in any way.  

11.  Become a puppy mama again.  I think some of us are ready.  Ultimately, I'd love to get a puppy with the hopes of having him or her come with me to school.  However, that's a really lofty goal and depends on a lot of people with way more school power than me.  So for now, I'll just stick to getting the pup.  Oh, one problem though: Mason is NOT on board.  Well, shit. (I'm laughing because he's the one who picks up that too...) 

12.  Take the final two courses in Yoga Calm and continue to use it in the schools. (If I start talking about this now I'll never shut up-- so I'll just leave it at that)

13.  Tidy our house.  As in, go through everything in our house, category by category and save/ donate/ toss.  The goal is to have this done by June.  And the backup plan is to have it done by December.  And the backup to the backup is to have this completed by the time the kids leave for college.  Setting up for success, remember.  

14.  Learn more about Reiki and sign up for a session.  (If you live in this area, there is a Reiki Center on Main Street in Cedar Falls.  The store itself is great-- and has tons of woo-woo things that I would love to have (like sage-burning sticks, salt glow lights, and large OM wall hangings, among other things).  But aside from their products, they offer free 10 minute Reiki sessions on Monday nights and guest speakers about a variety of topics.    

15. Read more.  This working almost-full-time-thing is really cutting into my reading time and it feels weird to have not read much over the past few months.  

16. Move my body.  I know it's more commonly known as "exercise" or "working out" but I just loathe those words (for reasons I won't go into right now...).  I'd much rather just try to walk more, or swim more this summer, or get out on my paddle board and perhaps buy a small kayak when the weather turns nice.  The truth is, I'm not really crazy about exercising, but I love moving. I love the feeling I get when I'm moving, I love bike riding, I love walking around, I love gardening.  I love crawling through the play tunnel with my kiddies.  And when I'm doing these things, I find myself having fun.  So, reminding myself to just get up and move (and not necessarily 'exercise') is something that I hope to work on.  And I think this might be my year to get back into the triathlon scene.... I'm kinda feeling the itch.  Who's in with me?

Disclaimer:  Perhaps all or perhaps none of these things will happen.  Most likely, some of them will be crossed off by the end of the year, which is just fine with me.  I love setting goals but I am also going to try to remain present and authentic this year.  For example, if at some moment during the year I find myself suddenly hating books (hahahaha), I'm not going to stress out because I challenged myself to read more.  I'm just going to pause, re-evaluate, and go from there. Breathing in, breathing out, moving on.... celebrating the good, enduring the bad, relishing the normal...all year long.  


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