Daylight savings and the vernal equinox are triggering in me another New Year feeling. And apparently I am in need of another do-over. So here I am.
I have been sitting at a sort of crossroads, looking at where I am and where I want to be, and trying to figure out how to bridge that gap. I’ve set goals, laid out plans and progress trackers, and failed. Miserably. Spectacularly. I think I’m even further behind now than I was in January.
So a goal overhaul is in order.
Work. Yeah, I want a paycheck. A good paycheck. Something I can live on. Who doesn’t? But it won’t make me happy, that paycheck. I know because I’ve had it before, and I wasn’t happy. I was full, sure. I slept okay at night. But I was dissatisfied with my lot.
I don’t want a paycheck. I want a calling. I want something I can feel proud of. The other day, I was looking through my old work PDFs, trying to put together some work samples for a potential client, and I realized that I’m still excited about some of that stuff. Five years later! And some of it I’m ashamed of, but still. The fact that I was learning and growing and passionate about some of that work still shows, even after all this time. That’s what I want to do. That’s what I want my work to make me feel.
I’d also like it to pay me a good paycheck. That should go without saying, but I’m sayin’ it anyway.
Health. This one’s rough. It’s a two-parter: A) The stuff that’s out of my hands, and B) The stuff I can do something about.
A) My health insurance sucks. Sure, it covers basic health care, but it doesn’t cover the doctors I want to see. None of the plans I can afford do. And for various reasons, I really want to go to my doctors for things like pelvic exams and mammograms. I’ve been seeing the same doctors for mammograms and breast ultrasounds since I was 19. They have all my records. They are intimately acquainted with my lumpybumps. I’m just not sure I would trust another doctor, given my history. But without a job, and with the shambles our health care system is in, all I can really do is ride it out and hope for the best.
B) Otherwise, I’m in pretty great health. I eat right (most of the time) and exercise (most days) and don’t smoke, drink, or do anything else that could damage my health. (Except for stress…and I’m getting better about that.) There’s always room for improvement, so I will work on improving during these uncertain times.
The thing is, what I’ve been trying to do just isn’t possible at this stage in my life. Exercise for half an hour to an hour five days a week? I’ve had sick kids nearly nonstop since last July. Plank every day during the month of March? I’m still in the throes of sinus hell. But I want to do something. Make some progress. I just need to figure out what I can realistically do right now.
Social. Oh, I suck at this. It’s not entirely my fault; I live in the House of Crud, and that’s not the stuff play dates are made of. But I can’t say I’ve put myself out there, either. I need to do that.
Organization. Every time I think I have a handle on things again, the kids grow. Or we have a gift-giving occasion. Or I just go nuts at the grocery store. But I feel as though I am moving in the right direction. I’m happy with my spice rack, anyway.
Trust. I’m renaming this to “Involvement.” In my kid’s school. In my community. In the area, the state, the country, the world. I won’t feel good about any of it until I take a more active role.
Energy/ Diet. I’m rolling this into health. Because the things that would improve my energy levels are the things that would improve my health.
Creativity. I bought some paint brushes the other day. I am still writing (in my head, thus far) my book, but lately I am inspired to create physical art. Haven’t done much more than look and dream, but even that’s a move in the right direction. Even — no, especially — if I am not going to use my creativity in my career, I need to make space in my life for it.
Self-care. After this past Monday, I took a day off and did fun things. I’m beginning to see how important it is for me to take care of myself, and that includes giving myself a breather when I need one. Self-care isn’t just about diet and exercise and sleep. It’s about having pie with my mom, shopping for things I want instead of need, and letting R take care of the house and kids for a day. I am still struggling with this concept, because it goes against everything I’ve ever thought and practiced. But I keep at it, because I have two little people who need a sane mother.
Fun. Because Anya is increasingly interested in the passage of time, I am creating monthly calendars for her. And each month, I try to make sure there is something fun on there. I’d like to get to the point where there’s something to look forward to each week, but…I’m just not there yet.
I also want to set fun goals for myself, because so much of what I aspire to do is drudgery and diligence. What kind of life is that?