my tragic right hip

Busting out bad joints all over the place

January 1st, 2012

New Year’s Revolutions: 2012 Edition

Every year, it’s the same. I call them “revolutions” to really affect change in my own life. I do well by some and completely fail for others. There’s always a list because I think lists are spectacular and they keep me sane (and I’m not even joking). So let me recap what I think my accomplishments were for 2011:

1. I managed to stay alive. I’m not even being flippant. The meds weren’t working for the disease, I kept getting sicker, and all kinds of complications happened after giving birth. I also kept this baby alive. That is no small accomplishment.

2. I discovered that parenthood is deeply complex, deeply rewarding and nothing at all like what I imagined when I first discovered there was a “fig”-sized baby in my womb.

3. I know what it means to appreciate where you work and the people you work for.

4. Reading has saved my sanity for all of the years I have been on his earth and can remember reading. This year was no exception. Writing has taken a backseat but I am okay with that, for now. I read 89 books (finishing off the year was Ian Rankin’s EXCELLENT thriller, The Impossible Dead. It does what so many crime novels fail to do — absolutely stump me until the very end) this year and dozens upon dozens of children’s books. I am not sure what the total would be if I included the RRBB’s books so let’s just leave it at almost 90. That’s a good solid year of reading for me, for anyone.

5. Prednisone + pregnancy equals a LOT of extra pounds that I would very much like to say goodbye to sooner rather than later.

So, to recap, here are many examples of previous New Year’s Revolutions.

And on to this year.

1. Read My Backlist

I have over 300+ odd books on my TBR shelves upstairs in my office. In the months since I first put my books into alphabetical order, I have discovered true gems that I would never have read had I not made sure to put some order to the chaos of the shelves. I worked my way through most of my As, some of my Bs, and now that I’ve removed any of the restrictions (reading challenge piles, country piles), I’m back reading the last of the beginnings. If I can read 90-odd books this year, I can reduce the mess by a third, and that probably includes the stuff I need to read for work. It’s all a lesson, some structure, working in publishing leads us to take books for granted. I have piles of them and, not that they are disposable, I need to commit to actually reading the words that I choose to bring home. These words don’t deserve to collect dust, you know?

2. Find More Time For Myself

The most bittersweet part of becoming a mother for me was losing so much of the person I was before I had the baby. These are monumental changes. Not that I am a completely different person but I am lost, totally, in the waves of work, exhaustion, home, exhaustion, mothering, exhaustion, and illness (and its exhaustion). Over the next few months, I am really hoping to inch myself back from the precipice. Even if it’s blogging more, reading more, walking more, just things that make me feel less scattered, dust in the wind, and can keep a handle on the days. I know how to do it, now I just need to find the time.

3. Cook Dinner

We eat way, way too much takeout.  I’d like to change that this year. Make more meals on the weekend. Put a lot of my ideas about healthy eating into practice. Save some money. You know. This all ties into the pregnancy/prednisone 40 that I need to even make an attempt to start shredding. Whether it’s cleansing or cutting out sugar, I know that if I eat better, I will feel better.

4. Tip The Scales

Last year I decided I wasn’t going to worry about money. Being home, being sick, being a new mom, it was all I could do to keep my head on straight, and I let our finances, well, go. I stopped my spreadsheet, stopped budgeting, and spent A LOT. Now this year is the reckoning. We are slowly crawling out of the whole. My sickness + maternity leave (which meant the RRHB couldn’t work too much because I was too ill to take care of the baby by myself) + a new furnace & a new roof means that we are on the wrong side of the balance sheet yet again.

 5. Walk To And From

Now that I’m back at work, I barely walk anywhere. I miss fresh air. I miss the weather. I miss pushing the stroller. This one’s easy to rectify as long as I take some deep breaths and wear warm boots.

6. Be Where I Am When I Am There

It’s funny, I spend a lot of time worrying about all kinds of things. Is the baby eating enough? Am I a good parent? Will I ever write again? What have I done to deserve the disease? Blah de freaking blah. My aunt keeps telling me to take a deep breath every now and again and commit it to memory. It’s delicious advice, and perfectly relevant to me. When I’m home with the baby, I need to be with the baby, not on the iPad, not worrying about anything other than what I am doing in those particular seconds. Work at work. Write in between. Parent completely. It’s probably far, far easier said than done.

7. Write

I have a draft. It’s okay. It needs to be better. I can make it better. I will make it better. I have started something new. It’s terrible but it has potential. Can I spend 5 years writing it like the last one and not see it published? I don’t know. But my writer’s group is right, every single word that I put down makes me a better wordsmith and that remains a goal in and of itself.

8. Listen To More Music, Buy Art, Visit Artful Places

Again, self-expanatory.

9. Do What I Say I Am Going To Do

It’s the most important thing to me — that people do what they say they are going to do. If it means being honest about saying no, then I need to do that better. If it means saying yes to more things to get over being shy, awkward and socially inept, then that’s something too. If it means blogging more, then I’ll do that to — but it’s important to me that I consistently remind myself that this is how I judge character, good/bad, and that I need to do the same to myself.

10. Use Less, Buy Less, Live With Less

Again, it’s an ongoing goal. Something that I try to do every year. I’m going to double down on my efforts this year, to save our earth, to save our money, to save, well, everything. I’ve been telling my RRHB that I want to cut each of our bills by 10%, but it might not be that easy. I’ve already cut the cable. Now I’ve got to work on the rest, heating, water, groceries, shopping, the lot. We’ll see. It’s a place to start, anyway.

6 Responses to “New Year’s Revolutions: 2012 Edition”

  • Carrie says:

    Excellent list, D. For #3, consider getting/using a slow cooker. A meal gets started in the morning, simmers on low all day, and is ready to eat when you get home. A lot of slow cooker recipe books emphasize meat, but I use mine mostly for beans and vegetable soups. Leftovers are lunch the next day.

    Our family also has a lot of work to do on #4. I might borrow that particular “revolution” and get to work on a spreadsheet …

  • Deanna says:

    I have a slow cooker that I use for soups but not really for meals proper for just that reason. I can’t find a cookbook that doesn’t have a bucketload of meat recipes. I LOVE it for soups though — and then I freeze them for baby lunches and my lunches through the week. Finding new recipes is always a challenge. I think that’s why we fail for making dinners. We need to find things that are easy that we both like to eat and that can serve as baby meals in other iterations. It’s not an easy task.

    Oh, I have an amazing spreadsheet! I am happy to send if you’d like. 🙂

  • kristin sjaarda says:

    wow. I’m a bit intimidated by your accomplishments of last year and your ambition for the next year. now in my 7th year of parenting I’m trying to talk myself into setting some goals for myself but I’m worried they will be slowly forgotten with the busyness of everyday life(see #9). but I think I’ll try on #2,6 and 10. is it in bad taste to steal a resolution?

  • Deanna says:

    Absolutely not! Steal away. We need a resolution support group. HA!

  • Melwyk says:

    You’ve accomplished extraordinary things over the past year. Just look at that photo!!

    I love the idea of “revolutions” as well — a bit of inspiration in the very name. I need to steal some of yours as well.(1,5,7,10…) For #3, I’ve found a pressure cooker a fabulous help. I prefer it over a slow cooker. Once you get the hang of how it works you can adapt most recipes to work in it, and it really does take only 5 minutes to cook some of them! I couldn’t cook without it anymore, and though it’s a little more of a search for vegetarian recipes to start, it’s perfect for a veg diet.

  • theresa says:

    You sound like you’re doing an amazing job already! Soups (slow-cooker…), stews, walks (they always seem to help), reading, loving your child…Best of luck!

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Girl with titanium hip will rock. Girl with titanium hip will write. Girl with titanium hip will read. Girl with titanium hip will battle crazy-ass disease called Wegener's Granulomatosis. Now stuff that in your spelling bee!

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