Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Resolved

So I originally wrote this post on January 4, 2016. I stalled out on #4 and then never finished it. I had planned to revisit at some point, but I was sucking too much on goal #3, so I never did. And now here we are on December 31, 2016 so I'll just revisit, update, and redo all at the same time!

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Except LOLNO. This is why I have 100+ unpublished drafts on blogger. It's NOW January 10th, 2018 (I've had to change that date three times because I've been in a blogging funk and just can't get my act together) and we're going to do this thing (eventually). I'm curious to see what I was hoping to do 2 years ago, I want to memorialize my unwritten goals of 2017, and actually write something for the year ahead. So here goes.

Original 2016 Goals 1-4:

1. Get back into yoga. I used to go at least once a week and do 2-4 short sessions at home in the mornings and it was so good for me. I've apparently lost all will to exercise at home, but I would really like to get myself into a studio once a week. Twice would be better. I went back to Bikram hot yoga this morning and WHOAH, talk about humbling. There's nothing quite like taking a year long break from something to remind you that ability fades way quicker than memories of that ability. But it still felt good and I'm determined to get back into my Sunday morning habit.

2017 Update: I totally aced this one, though not how I planned. I discovered CorePower yoga and fell hard for the athletic, dynamic, constantly changing, music-filled, heated (but not TOO heated) C2 classes. The showers and locker room and location close to my office made it even easier. I generally go 3x a week and the results have been incredible. I can do crow and headstands and handstands and nearly all inversions. I freaking love it and have found it very centering and empowering. That it's toned my arms and strengthened my core even more has been a side benefit, along with increased flexibility and a perfect counterbalance to my other new love - Orangetheory. I will continue this into 2017 for sure. My goal now is less about going to yoga and more about buying fewer of their amazing leggings when I'm in there.

2018 Updated Update: Still obsessed with yoga. I went 4 of the first 5 days of the year. I was thinking in my last class that yoga is the most rewarding non-humanoid thing in my life right now. It's what barre was for me 4 years ago. I still love barre, and I love teaching it, but yoga is where I grow. It's grounding and energizing and mastering-new-things exciting. I didn't go as much the second half of last year when I got on class pass and was enjoying doing all sorts of different workouts all over town, but I'm pausing Class Pass and signing back up for the unlimited package at CorePower and hoping to go 3-4x/week again.

2. Go to barre. Even when I'm not teaching. I've gotten TERRIBLE about going to barre when I'm not the teacher. In part because it isn't as fun once you've been the one yelling and counting at the front of the room, but it's also not as hard and that makes it easy for me to justify not taking the 80 minutes to go do it. But one of my fave teachers is at my studio on Wednesday nights at 8 pm and there's no reason I can't go every week. I used to go to barre 3 nights a week; once isn't going to kill me.

2017 Update: I did not get better about going to barre, but to be fair, our studio schedule changed and the evening class doesn't work as well for me now, though I do love keeping it in reserve if I skip my lunch yoga. I did, on the other hand, join Orangetheory fitness in February and I LOVE IT. I go 2x a week, every week, and class is always different, fun, and challenging as hell. It's also made me a better, faster, and happier runner which is a miracle even without also making me row (boo) and do all sorts of crazy weights exercises. I'm still loving it and will continue my membership through 2017 for sure.

I still love barre; it's an incredible workout and it gave me a deep sense of pride and power in my body in the weeks and months after having Cora. It was my first grown-up fitness love- it brought me to the yoga and OTF I do now (and the Lululemon I wear) and I still LOVE teaching and bringing barre to others, but for now, I'm enjoying my blend of fitness classes and plan to continue the same 1x barre, 2x OTF, and 3x yoga into the new year.

2018 Updated Update. Ha, I basically just typed this above (late 2016-me and early 2018-me are the same here), but yes, I still love teaching barre, but those classes aren't where I grow right now so I'd say this isn't a resolution anymore. I have enjoyed popping in to some classes around town thanks to Class Pass, but Orangetheory + lots of yoga + teaching barre is a very happy place for me right now.

3. Keep my phone in my purse from 5-8 p.m. I am terrible about this. It starts with looking up a recipe, then maybe jumping over to whatever book I'm reading while I wait for something to simmer or boil, then I'm perusing facebook, and then going back to my book. Part of the problem is that the kids are older and don't need me (not hands-on need me), so they're playing in the play room or reading or coloring at the table and it's so terribly easy to just dive into a book instead of actively engaging them. And then they go to bed at 8 and I turn to my book and think, dammit, I just wasted an hour with them- and hour I have now to myself if I just could have waited. And so. I need to just keep my phone put away in my purse. Or in my room charging. I'm trying to think of it flipped- if they had cell phones (ughhhh, I dread the day) and they were constantly checking them when we were doing something I'd totally make them go put it in another room, so now I have to make myself do the same.

2017 Update: I've gotten better, but still get a fail on this one. It goes on the top of the list for 2017. I've put a charger on my desk that sits in the play room that opens to the living room and kitchen, so I can still hear it ring (and the magical text when James says he's left the pool) but I won't just pick it up because I'm walking by. The kids are growing up way too fast, and I'm staring at a screen for part of it. Plus, someday we will have to get them phones or ipads or whatever and I'd like to model good habits now. We never allow our phones at the table or in restaurants (I mean, the kids have never brought any electronic device to a restaurant ever, but James and I have made it a point this year to never bring our phones out at the table either; meals are for engaging and eating and playing tic-tac-toe on paper kids' menus) and I want to get much more deliberate about how we use them at home. And since it's so much easier to see excess phone use in your partner than yourself, we've both agreed not to bite each other's heads off when we remind the other of this goal.

2018 Updated Update. I actually got MUCH better at this in 2017, though it remains on the list. I stick my laptop on the counter to get my recipes and try very hard not to read my book before the kids are in bed. I've realized it's more of a reading addiction than a phone addiction. I just always want to jump back into my kindle app. I tried deleting that on my phone and lasted about 2 hours. But we've not had any trouble staying firm on "phones on the counter/in purses during dinner" plan. James even hands me his phone to toss in my purse at restaurants so it's not buzzing in his pocket. No phones. I could still read less before 8 p.m. Maybe that should be my new resolution.

4. Get over baby #4. We can't have another baby and I didn't realize I wanted another so badly until the time I found out we couldn't. This was nearly 3 years ago and I still struggle with it. That said, it's reality and so we're done and I need to get over it.

2017 Update. Yeah, no. No progress here.

2018 Updated Update. Actually this grew less sharp this year. I still wish we had a 4th, but it doesn't hurt to know that other people are pregnant or to see other large families. While I think I would always be thrilled if I were to find out I was pregnant (an impossibility), I'm not constantly sad that I'm not. Cora is 4. I like our 10 - 7 - 4 aged crew. We're a fun, functioning mobile family unit. This is good. Do I wish I had a 2 year old running around? Absolutely. But I don't actively feel the loss of it. It's more "that would have been great, I will always think that, but this is great too." I don't think I'll move forward any more from that, so I'm taking this one off the list.

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And apparently that's all I had back in 2016! So now I can write about what my un-written goals were for 2017 and what I want to do in 2018:

5. Explore local volunteer opportunities. Last year, post-depressing election of a mentally deficient, morally bankrupt, racist, misogynist twitter tantrum-throwing man-child, James and I made the goal of revamping our charitable giving. We put a lot of time and budgeting and thought into it, greatly increasing our total and ultimately settling on five charities that did work we believed it, at both a national and local level where it seemed needed most. I continue to feel good about those decisions and we've kept the monthly auto-deduct on all of them. But, in addition to my time on our school's PTA Board, I would like to find a local charity here to give actual, hands-on volunteer hours to. I'm still figuring out what I want this to be and how I want to do it, but in the first quarter of this year I am going to start actively researching and finding my place.

6. Make a Yoga Certification Timeline. I want to be certified to be a yoga teacher. It doesn't make any sense. It's super expensive (several thousand dollars), and I wouldn't be able to teach more than 1 class a week, if even that, because I wouldn't be able to get my workout in while teaching like I do to justify my time teaching barre. But I want it. I want it very much. I want to study and learn and immerse myself in it. It would be version of going back to school (another pipe dream I can't justify; I just really like school you guys, I've never been as good at anything as I was at that). Maybe put away money each month for the next 2 years and make it happen then? Cora would be in school, James might have a totally different schedule, maybe I could fit in the instruction somehow? I just... I want it. I've wanted it for 2 years. I want to figure out how to make it possible.

7. Be Deliberate in my Personal Purchases. I am not going to pretend I won't buy new things for myself this year. I like pretty things and I've always been careful about budgets and clutter, but I would like to be very deliberate about what I purchase. I started this last year and felt pretty good about the results. I unsubscribed from most store emails, I stop in a Marshalls or TJ Maxx only a few times a year (basically when my mom visits), I do yoga instead of shopping at lunch... I would like to continue. Buy things to replace what is worn out or to fulfill a new need. (This does not apply to keeping Cora in tutus and exuberant t-shirts. I have only a few years of that left.)

8. Drink more water. Ughhhh, this is such a cliche, but I've really worked hard on (and have generally conquered! so much cooking, so much tea, so little eating out, so few prepared foods) my nutrition-related resolutions over the last decade, but my one remaining fail is water. I don't love it and I'm really never thirsty. I hate (haaaaaate) La Croix and any other sparkling water (yes all of them, even the one you like, I don't know why and I'm sorry but they all taste like pennies in my mouth and they're terrible), I don't like the fake flavor things you can squirt into water, and I can easily go days without drinking a glass. I do drink a ton of tea, but I work out every day. I'm probably dehydrated most of the time, I just never think of it. My last sip today was from the water fountain at yoga at 1:00. Maybe I'm a desert-animal? Anyway, while I will continue to ignore all the health articles telling me to eat breakfast, I do feel like maybe I should listen to the ones telling me to drink water. A glass a day once I'm home from work. I can do this.

9. Extend More Grace and Patience to those I love. I could fill reams of paper on my goals in this area (or whatever the proper digital publishing analogy would be; I'm sure my children have no idea what a "ream" is), but it's really the only goal that matters and the one I've been spending the most time thinking about. I've improved enormously in modeling grace and patience in my interactions with Landon when he's in high-tween mode and I have seen the results. I have... not improved enormously in modeling those things in certain other relationships and have seen the results of that. I can and do give a lot of time, energy, planning, emotion, care, and work. I am also exacting, obsessive, demanding, and unforgiving. I'm working on that second category.

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Last year I did also successfully begin and maintain a skin care regime I love and that has definitely seen results. We have decreased our eating out to generally 2-3x/month and my cooking repertoire has continued to expand to ingredients I didn't know existed way back when I started this in 2016. I'm pleased with these things, and not just because they were the rare resolution I could fully check off, but because they are now such a part of my life I no longer consider them a task or accomplishment. They're just, what I do to my face and how I plan and cook dinner.

Outside the personal I have some home projects I want to get done, another triple set of photo books to finish, a revamp of my barre set lists to do and new barre playlists to create, and a total photo drawer mess that slaps me in the face any time I open it. But those are projects, and I'm good at projects. I'd like to blow dry my hair and look like a professional more often, but not enough to actually do it so there's no point in pretending or writing a resolution I'll fail. Same goes for getting more sleep. I do want to get massages more often and feel like that's as attainable as long as the balance in our health FSA account supports it. In the short term I want to write a post on books because I've read a ton lately and really need some new ones, I need to finish my post on Disney details, and write something to capture Cora in her increasing big-girl-of-the-world age of 4. We also took another road trip last weekend and I haven't done anything with that. I just generally want to write more because when I get in a funk and writing feels impossible it also always feels so good if I do it anyway.

I hope very much that your 2018's are off to a good start, or at least a resolved one, and I raise the glass of water James just brought me in your general directions.

26 comments:

  1. Coming out of lurking to say that I also hate drinking water! I just...never think about it or feel like I need it. I also rarely ever feel thirsty and my sister is the exact same way. I wonder if some people just need less hydration? My husband thinks it’s crazy! I will say that LaCroix is the only sparkling water I will tolerate, but I won’t be a water pusher :)

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    1. "water pusher" made me laugh. I stock La Croix in the beverage fridge for my friends, and I really really wish I liked it, but despite my best efforts I can't ever make it past the 3rd sip. Just takes like bubbly metallic water and metal is just not a flavor I enjoy. I wonder if it's like cilantro - some people just can't like it because it reacts with their taste buds?

      I also think some people just need less hydration. It is deeply stressful to James that I don't drink water all the time and any time I'm sick the first thing he declares is that I "need to start drinking more water." But if I'm never thirsty maybe that's not true?

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    2. I'm wondering if you just lose less water than others. Are you someone who doesn't sweat much? If you're not thirsty, feel fine and urine is light you probably drink enough water for you. I sweat a lot and need to drink a lot of fluids to stay hydrated (as evidenced by thirst, dark urine etc). Given that I feel better when I hydrate, I'm more motivated to drink water. If I felt no difference I'm not sure I'd make it a priority.

      Also, this may be personal but we're expecting #3 later this month and I'm wondering how you guys handled that transition for Claire. Our #2 is 2 years old and I want to make sure she gets enough attention during the transition and doesn't feel forgotten as the middle child. I'm not sure if it's something you've already written about but would love any tips. BTW, love your blog and how you write about your family and work in such a positive way. Thanks!

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  2. I know this is really personal, but would you ever write about how you came to terms with being a family of five? I had always imagined having four kids, but given that my first two (and a hopeful third, should we be so lucky) had to be born by C-section, it is unlikely that it would be safe for me to have a fourth. We only have two now, but I know that everything with number three will be magnified in importance because it will be The Last Time we get to experience it.

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    1. Honestly, I'm not sure it's much more than what I wrote above. It sucked and it hurt for a long while. Then we got to the point where the hurt would just pop up intermittently and then less often and now rarely. For me, it was never having anything to do with Cora as our last (like the "last time" thoughts) - she was just Cora living her Cora life and I rarely thought "oh this is the last time I'll do this" probably because I was too busy doing it. For me the trigger was other people being pregnant, particularly with a #4 that would shock me in how much it felt like I'd been punched in the stomach. The biggest thing now is that with Cora being 4, the gap between her and a potential #4 is big enough that I'm more okay with facing forward with our increasingly big kids instead of looking backward and wishing there was another toddling behind her. But it's hard. I wish you peace with wherever you end up.

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  3. water-I got an app, it’s free (drink more water but there are a ton of them and every 15 minutes it buzzes on my phone (and watch but the watch is not a necessity), and I just take a gulp from the bottle I have on my desk all day. By the end of the day I’ve drunk the whole bottle. Also, I have a bottle with an insert I can cut up and put real fruit in it. Strawberries are delicious, but lemons and limes work well too. Blueberries also. I love sparkling water, but if you don’t, you don’t.

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    1. OF COURSE there's an app! I can't believe I didn't think of that. I do also love fruit in water, I just so rarely think to slice it before work and/or by the end of the day it's bitter and squishy and we don't have an office kitchen. Maybe it would help me on weekends though.

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    2. If you get the water bottle with the insert, it doesn't get squishy. Try this-

      https://www.target.com/p/primula-sentinel-tritan-infuser-water-bottle-22oz/-/A-51971580

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  4. Water ideas : mint leaves? Cucumber slices? Also I do like la croix but even more prefer Spindrift which is also sparkling but flavors used are from the actual fruit. (Still zero calories or some might say 1 (!) and unsweetened.)

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    1. I do love mint and cucumber. Another plus for my weekend guzzling (I struggle naturally flavoring my water at work - though it's the only kind of water alteration I like and it definitely does make me drink more - because we don't have a kitchen and I find my flavorings get sad and squishy and bitter by the afternoon and then I just have a dirty water cup and no more water). But I need to get fancier on my weekends.

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  5. Also I am overall very impressed at your resolution follow through! And inspired to someday get back to more yoga.

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  6. I made a water bottle with times on it and my rule following brain seemed to like it. Then I lost it :)

    This goes against #7 but have you tried the Athleta Powervita fabric leggings? I love them even more than my lululemon aligns.

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    1. Oooooh no. I always forget about Athleta because their tops don't ever fit me and their pants don't have "tall" lengths in my size, but I did used to like their leggings. Do they have fun patterns? I'm a sucker for a pattern. Goldsheep is where all my legging $$ goes these days...

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  7. I love your blog, thank you for writing. I truly appreciated reading your thoughts on the state of the country and particular issues post-Trump. Thank you for being authentic.

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    1. Thank you Susannah!! I have hours where I just want to brain dump on how depressed I get about what a human piece of garbage our president is, but then I think I should devote that time to positive things other people are doing, and then I get overwhelmed (in a good way!) about that, and then I just post recipes. But I appreciate your appreciation, it's always a little vulnerable to share more than just "we did this and ate that this weekend" because you know someone's not going to like it and I have a deep fear of being yelled at.

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    2. I'm 35 and still have a deep fear of being yelled at, apparently it can stay with a person! Totally get the vulnerability of posting honest thoughts. Thank you VERY much for the photobooking details. I think I'm going to try that approach for us--hadn't thought of doing individual first pages. Thank you for the idea!

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  8. Also, ignore if you have already posted on this, but I am so impressed by your photobooking and wanted to ask, as I have 3 kids as well--do you just make one big one per year and include lots of personal things about each child, or do you make one individual one for each child that focuses on them?

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    1. My approach has evolved - I used to make separate books for each kid. Starting with one, and then using that one as a base for the next, subbing out pictures that featured the new one and changing out pages that related to one v. the other (i.e., a page of Cora's dance recital subbed in for a page on Claire's soccer) and adding in my letters to each. That worked for a while (especially while one was a toddler or baby - their "years" are just so different and I liked being able to tailor each book to focus more on milestones, stats, etc.), but then it got unwieldy and I realized when going through my parent's old photo albums that at least half the fun was seeing my parents and siblings with me at young ages. Pictures of myself were fun, but pictures of my 30-something mother decked out for a big NYE party? Even better. So now I make a book that is our family book for the school year - EVERYONE'S stuff goes in there: Landon in the spelling bee, Claire in the talent show, Cora doing her ballet, James and I dressed up for a fancy party - everything. Then I make personalized covers and first pages for each book, trying to sum up what I thought was particularly special about each kid in that year. So we end up with 4 books: L, C, Cora, and our family volume. They're still a ton of work, but this approach is at least doable and I do really love that our whole lives are in there - that's how we live them anyway, all meshed up and intertwined :).

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  9. I was like that with water for years. Once I just MADE MYSELF drink I started wanting it. it took months of having a reminder on my phone to drink. I also make myself take 10 sips whenever I pick up water or go to the fountain. That way I get done much more quickly than just a sip at a time.

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  10. Also, I am trying to do #3 (yes, its the books that get me sucked in) 4 (except its #3 for us), 5, and 9. We have a lot of behavioral challenges with our boys (hence why we are sticking to 2 kids) and managing my own emotions is like 99% of the whole thing.

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  11. i read drinking water for health is a myth. your body tells you what you need. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/25/upshot/no-you-do-not-have-to-drink-8-glasses-of-water-a-day.html?_r=0

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  12. Veggie broth. It's tasty, nutritious and very easy to make.

    Celery & carrots unpeeled and cut into 1 inch chunks, quartered unpeeled onion, a whole garlic clove or 2 (unpeeled but squashed), salt, pepper, thyme or whatever other spice you want to put in.

    Takes me under 10 minutes to stick everything in the pot. Then after an hour pour thru a strainer. I like to squish the ingredients in the strainer to kind of wring out as much flavor as possible.

    Of course, you can add any other veggies you like too. I keep a scraps container in the freezer to save veggie scraps rather than letting stuff go bad in the fridge.

    Some things I like are potato peels, fresh parsley, a few shakes of soy sauce or coconut aminos, etc.

    I'd love to hear updates on what works for you with becoming less exacting, obsessive, demanding and unforgiving. I think there are a lot of people including me in that boat, especially when I'm stressed.

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  13. Anonymous, I don’t know your medical history, so this may be moot. But, I had three c-sections (all medically necessary) and I always assumed a 4th would be unsafe as well. However, during my third (unrelated: it was a family-Centered c-section....if you don’t know what it is, research, it’s AMAZING! I held my baby seconds after his birth) annnnywaaaay....it was during this c-section that my OB said “wow! You have no scarred tissue at all! This is like doing a first c-section. You could have three more of these.” (scarred tissue after repeated surgeries is primarily what makes them higher risk because of the risk of excessive bleeding).

    So, fast forward three years and I am currently pregnant with my 4th and will be having a 4th c-section. So, if you have that third baby, ask your OB about your risks. They may not be that high. And a 4th could be a possibility. No matter what, best of luck to you, no matter what size your family ends up being!

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  14. "I'd love to hear updates on what works for you with becoming 'less exacting, obsessive, demanding and unforgiving.' I think there are a lot of people including me in that boat, especially when I'm stressed. " ME TOO. I know this serves as a scrapbook for your happy memories, and I totally respect that you try to keep it as positive as possible. I, too, have been reading since 2007, and I will always be out here rooting for you and your family. I know in that time things have not been perfect, but I always love when we get a little peek into the parts of your life that are less than ideal. I don't love when those tough times happen to you, but there are times when I read here and I really envy your body, your ability to wear supercute clothes bought very thriftily (Can you tell body image is my big struggle? And Ross and TJ Maxx seldom have lovely, affordable options for plus-sized girls like me? This is my baggage, not yours), so rock on with your bad self, your Container Store-perfect garage, your ability to balance work and family, your ability to eat French fries and indulgent things and then get back in the gym before everything goes to hell in the weight department. For real. I'm happy for you. But I also love hearing stories that make you seem human and awesomely imperfect. It makes me root for you even more, actually. :::::shakes pom-poms::::: "go, LL! Go, LL! Go, go, go LL!" :::::executes complicated jump:::::

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  15. I read something recently saying that most people actually get all the hydration they need through eating, especially if you eat lots of produce. So if you don't like water and feel dehydrated, you can eat a bigger salad.

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  16. My kids now remind me to mindfully breathe when I become demanding exactingobsessive and unforgiving. Nothing like a scared 5 year old to remind you to chill.

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