It seems that if one has a blog one is obligated to have a New Year’s post. I slacked off last year, what with forgetting how to post and all, but my very first blog post was a resolutions post so let’s pretend this is a grand tradition in the Living. (full-time) oeuvre. Even thought I’m posting resolutions, I’m not a big New Year’s Resolutions girl. Probably because my mother is so strict about making resolutions. She required us to have ten resolutions every year. TEN! And submit them to her for her approval.
Given my family’s rather fucked up relationship with food, number one on everybody’s list must always be “lose weight.” And if it doesn’t show up on there I’m just “being difficult.” How I look just isn’t the most important thing about me. Frankly, making sure that younger women see how little I care about my appearance is actually high on my list of priorities. I mean, I’m not going to go to work unwashed or anything. I choose clothes that I like and all of that, but you’re not going to see me blogging about my outfits. Or how much I’m loving my 30-day squat challenge (though I do love the 30-day squat challenge and find it a great way to get things back on track when you’ve missed some gym time).
So yeah, resolutions and I have a complicated relationship. Instead of my personal resolution list, I’m sharing a list of things that I think are great resolutions (okay, my personal resolutions are in here too).
Keep a gratitude journal
If you’re reading this blog, you have access to a computer. And the internet. And electricity. You most likely have enough food to eat and a roof over your head. We all have our problems and those problems are real problems. But it’s helpful to remind ourselves of the things we have when we’re worried about the things that we don’t.
Never get a new glass unless I’ve already put away my old glass.
This isn’t a new one, but it’s still one I struggle with. My house is clean except for that damn nightstand. And as my beverages of choice are McDonald’s unsweet tea and Diet A&W, I currently have a surface covered with empty cans and styrofoam cups. I shall be working on that!
If this is your resolution this year, make sure that you’re more specific than just “exercise more.” You need specific goals! Do you want to take a walk every day during your lunch break? That’s your resolution. Do you want to lift weights three times a week? That’s another resolution. This year I really need to focus on flexibility. Four years ago I could do splits in every direction. Then all of a sudden I had two herniated discs and a SI joint dysfunction and now there are days when I can barely touch my toes.
Also, no matter how specific you want to get please don’t include “every day” in your fitness goals. Because you’re going to miss a day. And what happens when we miss a day? We feel like shit, think we’re failures, and quit. Make your goals “do X five days a week.” Five days a week is perfect because working out Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday should feel like an achievement, not a failure.
This has been my #1 resolution every year for about a decade. I don’t want to stop being someone who helps others, but I do want to be someone who is comfortable saying no when she has other priorities. I’m so bad at saying no that I get to work between 5 and 6 AM just so I can have a few hours to get stuff done before other people show up (and start asking me for help).
This resolution is definitely not one that I need to make, but I’m shocked by how little my friends drink! I have friends who’ve had doctors tell them that they are chronically dehydrated but they still don’t drink more than like two cups of liquid a day! I don’t know how you live like that.
Remember to set the Roomba back up after the Christmas tree comes down.
Super-specific, but I turn my Roomba off at Christmas so it doesn’t mess up my tree skirts but then I sometimes forget to turn it back on. As I said before, having the Roomba set to run automatically every day is one of the ways I make myself be less of a slob.
I can’t be the only one who never goes out because “I need to make soap” or “I was planning to shave my sweaters this weekend.” Yes, I have actual work to do (hello, dissertation), but I know I need to get out of the house. It’s not healthy to be constantly working, so I know I’m going to try to take time out to relax.
Learn to sell myself in my career.
One of the reasons I started this blog was to make myself spend a little more time talking myself up. I know that interviews are right around the corner for me, and I’m afraid I’m going to get in there and say “oh, well, you know, anyone with a PhD can do any of the things that I can do.” That’s some downright bullshit. I got skills, y’all!
Keep a physical calendar.
I’m afraid my crankiness this evening as I write this is really coming through. “How can keeping a calendar be a cranky thing?” you may ask. Well, what if I told you that I just wanted to write down in a calendar every day that I flossed. Because I’m sick of dental hygienists who think they can tell with 100% certainty whether someone flosses. I floss once or twice a day and every damn time I go to the dentist I get told that some bitch “can tell” that I don’t floss. I even preface my appointment with a little spiel about a medical condition I happen to have that causes gum swelling and bleeding: oral allergy syndrome. I discuss with the hygienist how because I am allergic to so many foods, I cannot avoid all of my allergens without suffering from malnutrition. So my gums are very sensitive and bleed every night when I floss. I ask for suggestions about any post-flossing rinses that might help cut down on the inflammation and bleeding. And at the end of this, the hygienists sometimes then try to come at me about how “it’s not a food allergy if you don’t need to use your Epipen.” So then there’s a whole new talk I need to give them and they eventually try to act like they get it.
Then five minutes later, bitch tells me I should really be flossing. Anyway, I want to bring in my calendar and show that I’ve been writing down “flossed” every day. Sure, that probably will mean nothing. But damn if I don’t have a strong hatred of dental hygienists for this reason!
Very specific to me: Once something goes in the Goodwill bag, it cannot come back to me.
I’ve mentioned before (I’m sure) that I live one mile away from my parents. It has a lot of positives (free Doggy Day Care, guinea pigs for my new recipes, borrowing from each others’ pantries, etc.). One positive/negative is that my mom always wants to go through my Goodwill bags. It’s a positive in that sometimes she wants an old sweater or knows someone who would, but the major negative of this is that she often starts going through the bag, gets sidetracked doing something else, and then packs everything back into a bag and says “hey, Christine. I have this bag of stuff of yours.” If this returned bag was full of just my Goodwill stuff, I’d instantly recognize that. But often she does have some random stuff I’ve left at her house or that she’s borrowed from mine. If that stuff is in the bag, I still have to go through the bag. And sometimes the same items will travel between our houses four or five times before I can finally say “I’m taking this skirt straight to Goodwill, damnit!”
Continue to use a timer when I’m overwhelmed.
This is another throwback to my first post. Years ago I was helping a hoarder clean out his house during a custody battle. We had a giant, giant task. (Seriously, tremendous amount of junk to dispose of/talk him into disposing of) And we only had a couple months to do it. It was really overwhelming and while I was working on that I started setting the time on my phone for twenty minutes at a time. I’d say “okay, we can definitely stay focused for twenty minutes.” While that didn’t work perfectly in that situation (hoarding is a symptom of far more serious underlying issues so two minutes in he’d wax nostalgic about the takeout container that once held the leftovers from his daughter’s tenth birthday lunch), it did make us more productive.
Now I use my timer all the time at home. Set a timer for ten minutes and the master bath is clean. Thirty minutes and the whole house is picked up. Obviously if you’re house is super-messy it might take longer than that, but I bet you really can clean your house in thirty minutes if you set a timer.
This one sounds pretty bad. We should all apologize when we’re wrong, right? But there are people in our lives who will slap us in the face and then tell us to apologize for crying. I have a few of those in my life, and I’m not apologizing anymore. You shouldn’t either.
So that’s my obligatory New Year’s blog post. Do you have any interesting resolutions? Share in the comments!