Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"Write it on your hear that every day is the best day in the year." Emerson

I just went back through the past 7 years of New Year's posts.  Seven years of what I want to change about myself.  I tried, very hard, to treat myself nicely in these posts, and even frame them with "it's all for you" language.  But let's face it, in each post I am saying, "I don't like you, I don't like the person you are, let's outline what's wrong with you and then, next year, when you are the same person, berate you for still being the same person.

No wonder I need therapy.

This year has been interesting.  It hasn't been an easy year, by any stretch.  I'm busier than I've ever been.  Some of my favorite people have moved away, and I miss them so much, it aches.  My kids are both adolescents, and not easy ones, at that.  My house is a mess, I'm still overweight, and we still have debt.

So, why am I not more disappointed with myself?

So, as a change of pace, I'm going to outline some of the good things that have happened this year, and talk about how I am going to keep the good stuff going...

1.  I'm busy because I got a good job, and I think I'm pretty good at it.  Also, my girl is pretty good at sports, so I'm driving her all over the place to do the sports.  This also explains the messy house and disorganization.  I am working on decluttering a little more, which will help with the cleaning and the organization.  Otherwise, I'm working on learning my job better, being a better manager, etc.  It's exciting.
2.  Every year I talk about how much I want to be a better parent.  I don't know that everyone thinks this way, but I don't think I will ever think I am a good enough parent.  I started young, really did not know what to do discipline-wise, and I've never known how to fix it.  I also have a bit of a lazy streak, and I am pretty sure I've shared that with at least one of the kids.  I love them, though.  I'm pretty sure they love me.  I'm hoping that will be enough to make them productive members of society.  I like to have little dreams, though, about what changes I would have made if I had known more - I read a lot of blogs (and if you know me well, you probably laugh at this) - the simplicity, homesteading-type blogs.  And I think about raising my kids out in the woods somewhere, no television, back to the basics, simple living, homeschooling-type parenting.  But in this dream, I'd have to rid myself of the husband, and my computer, and a lot of other things I rather like (the husband because, no matter how much he does not like people, he does like comfort.  And television.  He loves television.)  Anyway, that's a fun little fantasy.
3.  I'm overweight.  Heck, I'm obese.  And I'm working on it.  Hard.  I've talked a lot about that here.  I've found something I love, and I want to keep at it.  It has helped me on every level - physical, mental, emotional.  I have goals and ambitions involved now.
That is the big picture.
I am breaking my goals down and making them achievable and monthly.  I will share them with you, but not in a big, resolution dissertation.  Most involve planning, and I would like to share them weekly.
Did you know, if you type "fierce" into Google images, you get a lot of pictures of tigers?  I have adopted that as my new word, and I have been taking that word, and making it work for me.  I realize, I am late to the party - you all had this word years ago, but, well, if you've been with me for the long haul you know, I haven't been feeling so fierce.  These past few years have been tough, mentally.  It is only these past six months I'm starting to like myself.  I don't feel like I'm weak and foolish anymore.  I'm feeling strong, capable, and fierce.
There is still plenty to be changing.  Nudging.  We are all a work in progress.
But.  But but but...maybe those changes are not so very all encompassing, massive personality changes.  Maybe they are just tweaks to an already pretty okay person.

alrighty.  This ended up being more a "merry wander through the rocky landscape of my mind" than a concise list of resolutions.  Dude, seriously, you are reading a blog called "Heedless Ramblings;" you get what you paid for.

Happy happy New Year, and may our 2015 be even more fantastic!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Darn good

Hello!  Did you all enjoy your December holidays?  We spent the Solstice up in Columbus, visiting family, which was lovely.  One of my cousins has gotten engaged, and we spent some time getting to know his, admittedly, lovely fiance.  I enjoyed an empty office, worked out hard Monday and Tuesday...see where I'm going here?  Yeah, all optimistic and happy, and then, sick.  Ugh.  Haven't had bronchitis since last December, when our Peoria trip was cancelled.  Which I'm rather bummed about, as I haven't seen them in ages, but, nobody there wants to get sick, either.

That said, it was a nice enough day.  I kind of felt awful, sort of like someone threw me off a cliff, and then made me walk home, but I got some very cool presents, gave some pretty cool presents, and made a darn good mac and cheese.  No wine was imbibed (as was evidenced by the distinct lack of Facebook updates.)  I got the necklace I asked for, the 100 Days of Real Food cookbook (very excited to dig into that one,) new pair of weightlifting gloves (ok, I gave myself that one), new running shoes (love them!), and my Girl bought me an owl necklace and bottle of nail polish, packaged in a jar she lovingly painted (unfortunately she did not lovingly clean the jar very well, and everything smells very strongly of dill pickle.)  She also is sitting here telling me to share with you the other gifts she gave me - a scarf (which is gorgeous, by the way) and a very cool coin purse shaped as a sugar skull.  Thank you, Girl.

Went to the doctor yesterday, and then we lounged last night, watching Firefly and then How I Met Your Mother.  Saw one of the New Year's Eve episodes, which made me giggle a little, because I was just thinking about the fact that I don't really like New Year's Eve very much, either.  Let me alter that a bit.  I think I should do more with my New Year's Eve, but my husband is usually asleep by 9, my kids whine that they are bored, and I haven't been to a party in years.  The last NYE party I went to was kind of a drag, so I don't even care.  I hate crowds, people get kind of stupid on NYE, and there is so much pressure to celebrate.  When I was a kid, my brothers and sisters, dad, and stepmom used to go to my grandparents' house.  We'd eat junk and play games, and then we'd all lay out the sleeping bags and sleep over.  It was good fun, and honestly the best way I ever spent New Year's Eve.  One of my friends and I planned to do something similar with our families, but we just never did, and then she went and moved to Indianapolis, so, there you go.  Last year, I think I was in bed by 10, but the year before that, we binge watched Doctor Who while I crocheted something, and then I woke up early on New Year's Day and took a great Zumba class.  Or maybe that was last year.  I don't remember.  Anyway, I should be better by New Year's Day, so I fully plan a workout for that day.

Speaking of New Year's Day, you all know I love my lists of resolutions, and I do not intend to disappoint this year, although this year, I plan to be a little kinder to myself.  Not pound myself with "you're not good enough" instructions, just gentle reminders of little ways I would like to change - for my own mental and physical health.

See!?  See how healthy I am getting?!!!

Ok, now the Girl wants to start a blog of her own from her cat's point of view.  We have a project!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

There's a party going on right here...

I used to send out holiday cards every year.  It started out with handwritten cards, sometimes even with a newsletter of sorts.  Then I discovered the loveliness of the preprinted picture card, and started doing those.  My lists got longer each year, but I enjoyed sending them out, and receiving them in return.  The day after Thanksgiving, the kids and I would make a paper "advent" chain, with different holiday ideas for each chain.  Each day one of the kids was allowed to remove one of the links, and we would do that activity.   I made lists for gift shopping.  We put out carrots for St. Nicholas's reindeer, and he left ornaments and baking supplies on December 6.  Because we don't really subscribe to any specific religious tradition, we started planning small celebrations for each December holiday (admittedly, we really picked and chose the most fun traditions - playing dreidel, eating latkes, lighting candles for Chanukah and the Solstice, making homemade Solstice gifts, telling stories.)  Each year, my mother, sister, and I would have a "baking day."  We made several different kinds of cookies, each of us choosing our favorites, and adding new recipes each year.  Sometimes we invited others, often we added wine, and we always had bins and boxes of cookies when we were done.  New pajamas were wrapped and hidden for Christmas Eve.

As my kids got older, I found myself waiting longer and longer to put out decorations, and each year I put out less.  I get tired of the decorations very quickly, and they are put away as soon as I have time.  Almost all gifts are purchased online.  I haven't made any cookie more complicated than a nighty-night cookie in a few years.  The kids still get ornaments on December 6, and I light candles on the Solstice, but no more elaborate holiday traditions.  I haven't sent out a card in a few years (I do miss this one.)  My kids don't want new pajamas.

Did I get burned out trying to implement so many new traditions?  I don't think so.  I think, honestly, it is just a combination of a few things - my kids have gotten older, and the males in my house don't really enjoy the holiday.  I have significantly less time on my hands.  December of 2013 and 2012 were rough, mental health-wise.  And finally, this year I made an interesting realization about myself - I am not a huge Christmas lover.  I like it well enough - I put up a tree, I wore Christmas earrings this week, I went to a Christmas party.  I love my presents - giving and receiving.  But I only enjoy 3 Christmas movies - "Elf", "Christmas Vacation", and "Charlie Brown Christmas."  I really don't love Christmas music - a little Mannheim Steamroller, the music from Charlie Brown Christmas, and "Christmas in Hollis".
Ooh, I forgot how much I liked that one.

Anyway, so I read Andrea Dekker the other day, who was talking about something similar, and I thought I'd share my own experience with whittling our traditions to a more manageable level.  We have a lot on our plate this year, and celebrating the holidays on a smaller scale is helping me to keep sane.
Of course, those lists were helpful in keeping my holiday spending down.  I really tend to overdo the stockings.  I do love the stockings.

Since it has been a bit since I wrote, I'll give a quick rundown on what's been going on - boot camp and work most days.  The Girl is playing volleyball on a new team, and keeping up with her pitching lessons.  The Boy applied to and was accepted by the University of Kentucky, so there is a small weight off my mind.  Had a nice, wine-soaked Thanksgiving, as many of my Facebook friends know.  Read some books, visited with some friends.

Ooh, here is something holiday-ish to share - we were trying to choose a relatively short holiday book to read for our Classics book club.  I remembered when I was in 5th grade, we made these angels - a very involved, messy craft project - in class.  While we were working on this project, our teacher, Mrs. Santos, played a recording of Truman Capote reading his "A Christmas Memory."  I loved this story.  It is an autobiographical story; the author as a child and his "friend", a child-like adult cousin gather the ingredients to made fruitcakes, which they do every year at this time.  The story is such a lovely little piece, written as a stream-of-consciousness.  I remembered it very fondly, and wanted to see if I still liked it as an adult.  I loved the story, but I think I'm going to have to find that recording again.  It made me smile.

As my husband, children, and everyone who knows me would say, it is way past my bedtime.  If we don't chat before, have a very Merry Christmas, a Blessed Solstice, Happy Chanukah, and anything else you celebrate.