This is the year

So, in keeping with my modus operandi, this post was slated to be published on the last day of 2016 and it is now January 1, 2017. To state the obvious, it goes without saying that I failed to achieve my final writing goal of 2016. Procrastination rules supreme, you can take the girl out of lazy but you can’t take lazy out of the girl, and all that. Moving right along (because enough about me being a slug), I am placing a fair amount of pressure on myself to achieve certain goals in 2017. I’m not sure that I would or could call them resolutions, but they are very definitely (hashtag-less) goals. Despite my joking and propensity for self-deprecating humour, I actually did accomplish a fair amount in 2016. As always though, I am left feeling as though I let myself (and everyone else) down.

And no, not because I’m still on intimate terms with the extra 40 (or 50) pounds I’ve been in a complicated relationship with for the past five years. Not because I have STILL not written a novella, novel or even a really great blog post. Not because I remain a low-wage earner. Not even because my house is still in a state of renovation and disarray, with no end in sight. No. I am left, here at the end of 2016, feeling as though I have let myself down because I know better and yet consistently do not do better.

I know that I should exercise (walk, lift, yoga, whatever), and yet I do not. I know that I should give up chocolate, french fries, Diet Pepsi, chips, meat, refined white flour, sugar and sweeteners and yet I do not. I know that I should be going to bed earlier, getting more sleep, rising earlier and getting more done in a day, and yet, I do not. I know that I should be writing every single day  and pursuing other creative and artistic endeavours and yet, I do not. I know that I should be ever patient, calm and serene with my children, and yet, I am not. I know that I should get those paint cans shaken (again) and get to painting rooms where it makes sense to do so, and yet, I do not.

You see? I know better and yet I do mediocre. I make excuses for myself. I’ll tell myself that I have a  lot to do, I have a lot on my plate with running the house, raising the kids, being a wife and mother, with working more and more hours outside of the home. And of course it’s acceptable that I don’t make time for myself or time to pursue what makes my spirit sing, you can’t make what you don’t have. Of course it’s acceptable that I burn the candle at both ends so that nobody, myself included, has a chance of getting the best that I have to offer. Of course it’s acceptable to take on more and more and more and to not acknowledge how overwhelmed or unfulfilled or unhappy I may be as a result. Of course it is.

Not.

So this  year, this year of 2017, will be a kinder, gentler year for me. A more accepting and relaxed year. No, I’m not quitting my family, marriage or work (going from low to no-wage earner is not an option), but I am going to work on actually (rather than just thinking about) making myself more of a priority and giving myself the time, care and attention that I NEED in order to be happy, fulfilled, healthy, and truly able to do better in all areas and give more to all the people in my life. Because the more I deny myself, the more that I am denying the people around me, which is counter-intuitive to my ‘healer and helper’ nature (stop snickering! I am very nurturing when I’m not being pulled in twenty directions at once).

So, instead of a list of resolutions (a.k.a. promises that I have no real intention to keep), this year I’m going to say ‘yes’ more and ‘no’ less. To myself.

How about you? What are your plans for 2017? We all have the same 365 days, what we choose to do with them is what will make the difference between having a year that we enjoy and celebrate and having a year that we merely survive.

~A.

What I learned in October – Life lessons monthly wrap up

I learn a lot life lessons, it seems, all of the time. The problem is, I too quickly forget what I’ve learned and then re-learn it again later and then forget again and then re-learn again. And so on. To combat this useless cycle of learning, unlearning and re-learning, I’ve decided to try to do monthly wrap up posts. That way, I can just do a quick scan and remember what I’ve learned before I go and think I need to learn it all over again. This makes no sense. I know. I think I’m coming down with a cold. Or I’m having a stroke. Either way, this is today’s post.

Lessons from October 2015.

1. You’re never going to look and feel like a million bucks if you only spend $15.00 on a haircut. You’re going to look like maybe ten bucks and feel like a buck twenty-five. Please don’t ask how I learned this particular lesson. The pain is still real. Just trust me on this one, ‘k?

2. I don’t mean to brag, but I really am richer than I think. Just check out this out:

These dots connect themselves, but just in case my fever has taken liberties with my senses, I'll explain: Library book = free (as long as I don't fuck it up and forget to return it on time, in which case all bets are off because I'll be poorer again); Topic of said book = Spending less money which means that I will have more money (getting richer now, right?); Randomly selected bookmark = cold hard cash. Yup, that's right. I'm so flush that I use money as a bookmark. My dream has been realized. I'm a high roller now, baby.

These dots connect themselves, but just in case my fever has taken liberties with my senses, I’ll explain:
Library book = free (as long as I don’t fuck it up and forget to return it on time, in which case all bets are off because I’ll be poorer again);
Topic of said book = Spending less money which means that I will have more money (getting richer now?);
Randomly selected bookmark = cold hard cash. Yup, that’s right. I’m so flush that I use money as a bookmark. My dream has been realized. I’m a high roller now, baby.

3. I am not one of those people who get better looking with age. I’m not a complete saggy, baggy troll yet, but this month I’ve learned that my best looking years are now behind me and at this point it is my job is to attempt to slow down the process of morphing into a troll from a sprint to a leisurely, friendly jog.

4. That I can grow peanuts. From other peanuts. But I can’t grow a lot of them and it takes a really long time, so if you’re planning on coming by to score some, don’t show up hungry, you’ll be disappointed. Or, if you do show up hungry, don’t expect to eat my nuts. I waited for months for these to happen and I need to just sit and stare at them a while longer. And there really aren’t enough for everyone so someone is going to get stuck noshing on an apple or king-sized Toblerone bar. Actually, come to think of it, I’ll trade my nuts for a king-size Toblerone bar. I guess I’m not as attached to them as I thought I was. Huh. Go figure.

I want to say that I have nuts for days, but really, I have fourteen and most of them are tiny. So I maybe have nuts for moments.

I want to say that I have nuts for days, but really, I have fourteen and most of them are kind of tiny. So maybe it’s only fair to say that I have nuts for moments.

5. That some kids are assholes (or AK for short). But also you can be fairly certain that wherever you find an AK, there is more likely than not an adult-sized version of him/her at home. Be aware though that their assholism is probably more polished so not as easily detected to outsiders and non-assholes. So, be kind to the kid, don’t expect anything good, helpful or supportive from the resident adult and try to model the behaviour you want to see instead of reacting to the assholish-behaviour you’re getting from the AK. Ugh- this is probably not making much sense. I think I’ve lost feeling in the left side of my brain. What are the odds that some Tylenol will fix this shit?

Perhaps I have a few too many days feeling like this. Something to work on, I suppose. I'll get to it. Later. #ProcrastinatorsUnite

Perhaps I have a few too many days feeling like this. Something to work on, I suppose.
I’ll get to it. Later. #ProcrastinatorsUnite

6. That when we take the time and make the effort to tune into those around us, the glimpses into what is on their minds and in their hearts can change your day in less time than it takes to stick a straw in a wine bottle. For instance, just when I was positive that I was completely failing at this parenting thing and about to either put myself up for adoption or hide under my bed because they’d all be better off without me, finding this message from Miranda, made my heart so happy. This was her gift to me this month, without realizing she was giving me anything at all.

It doesn't even bother me much that I got bottom of the order. The fact that I was mentioned at all means I win. ;)

It doesn’t even bother me (much) that I’m at the bottom of the order. The fact that I was mentioned at all means I win. 😉