Today’s post is my contribution to the DIY Design Your Life series over at Make-Under My Life. Jess, the brains behind MML, invites her readers to take part, listing 5-7 intentions for designing their own lives “with intention.” As previously stated, now seems a particularly apt time for it. I’ve been calling these “The Years of Not Knowing.” (I only meant for it to be one, but it has since moved into the plural stage… )
This is not meant to be a list of resolutions, not a formal anything really… just a time to take stock out of what I want my life to be right now, and how I intend to go about getting there.
P.S. I didn’t start out picking a goal for very specific areas… it just sort of came out that way. Family, Career, Emotional Health, Physical Heath, & Home Environment.
Family: Take it easy on my family (myself included)
It’s close quarters with the three of us in our little apartment (which seems to lose square footage by the day, some days). As both parents and husband and wife, in these conditions, it’s incredibly, surprisingly easy for one or both of us to get bossy, defensive, protective, angry, and hurt. I will…
Figure in extra time and patience for meals and bedtime, to just let Little Bird BE a baby… messy, loud, unscheduled, and all.
Give my husband credit and treat him like the friend he is. He’s working as hard as I am, and if I remember he is my most important friend and ally, I have a sneaky feeling I will be lot kinder, more patient, and willing to let him work through things without jumping to criticism or anxious-fixitnow-mode.
Home: Make babyproofing an opportunity to declutter and re-organize… and see it as a positive.
Do we have more stuff than we did before the baby? Absolutely. Did we already have a lot of stuff to start with? Absolutely. Do we need it all? Heck no. Do we need a major re-organization of the stuff we do need? Lord, save us from the piles. Do we need to keep LittleBird out of said piles? ….. sorry… am to busy pulling LB from wires, toppling books, breakables, etc to answer….
All this is to say, I really want to get his little apartment in order. Most of the clutter is mine, and I know it… from clothes to costumes, to knick knacks that have graced my shelves since my shared room at my parents’ place. I want a home that is inviting and open, somewhere I’m not embarrassed to have our friends drop by without at least an hours notice for a rush straightening job. I want to find a way to relax when I want to relax, and work when I need to. And I want to do my best to avoid the inevitable stress and crabbiness that will only make me procrastinate even longer. I will…
Go one area at a time. I’ll start with my closet… or maybe one half of my closet. Then do the laundry area. Then the nursery closet. Small, manageable chunks.
Put it on the calendar. I think setting aside the time for organization/cleaning tasks will make it more of a fun project to look forward to than a “crap I have to do this chore” situation.
“Design” each area, and not just go it halfway. Without creating one more way to procrastinate, I will spend time to assess the area and what I need, look around the house for what I have that will fit the bill, and allow myself the (well thought out) funds to make small organizational purchases. New bins that are prettier than blah clear plastic, for instance.
Career: Figure out what I want my career to look like… at least for now.
I’ve been unemployed for over a year now. On the one hand, I’m trying very hard to find a good full- or near full-time job working for a company I admire and doing work that matters. On the other hand, I’m looking a for any job with a decent (not even great… sigh) salary and benefits. On the third hand, I’m starting to sneak back in with freelance writing, and I begin to wonder whether self-employment is a viable option for us. It may not be, but I want to take the time to consider my options, and think about which of these three directions I should really be focusing on. I will…
Schedule 1 hour, 3 mornings a week for “My business” to research, write, work on my website, and do what needs to be done.
Finish the content for my professional website and publish it by July 1.
Until and unless self-employment becomes a viable, long-term (like a year or more) thing, apply for 1 full-time job a week. Still applies when I am employed short-term for contract writing.
Wellness/Emotional: Reduce life stress directly resulting from snap decisions.
I think perhaps I’m just not good at managing my resources, be it time or money. I say yes to too many projects. I don’t research products and associated costs well enough. I often end up with buyer’s remorse, or with the martyred irritation of the chronically over committed. I’m realizing this all comes down to a certain degree of carelessness in making decisions. I say yes or no, or “oh, hell, I can’t think about it so, just go with this one” far too often. And then the stress washes over me, and ripples out to everyone around me. I will…
Not immediately respond to emails or phone calls requiring a decision. I’ll give it an hour or a day or a week, depending on the situation.
For large or long-term purchases, spend 1 hour (no more, no less) researching a product’s consumer rating, sales, etc before committing or dismissing.
Wellness/Health: Have fun losing the baby weight! (get back to the me I was loving)
I’ve struggled with weight and body image since I was 9 years old. Without rehashing all the typical woes, moments of seemingly-swanlike transformation, backslides, and stupid teenage/college diets and awful eating habits, I will say that I finally felt happy, healthy, and comfortable in my body at 24, when I gave up gluten and started walking to and from work every day.
It’s so generic to say this, but I was at my “personal best” (and by best, I mean doctor approved, height/weight/BMI-proportionate) weight/dress-size on my wedding day in 2008. The last time I was at that weight, I had mono in high school and spent 4 days in the hospital getting rehydrated via IVs. I looked much healthier this time around.
(For the 2 months leading up to the wedding, I had a role dancing in the Transylvanian chorus of The Rocky Horror Show… lemmetellya, 4 days a week, dancing for roughly 2 hours every night is an awesome pre-wedding workout, and I didn’t even know it! I just thought my costume was stretching out from all the weird contortions.)
That said, there has been 3 years of a desk job, less walking to work, and now baby weight to contend with. I want to feel as comfortable, as strong, as happy to pull that vintage zipper all the way up as I did on my wedding day….or at least close to it! I will…
Try a new healthy–EASY– recipe once a week. Seriously, that’s all I can commit to right now.
Take back the walk. Throughout my pregnancy, I logged hundreds of miles, strolling around my beautiful neighborhood and local parks, trails, and beach fronts. I miss the energy, the light sweat, the sense of either calm or purpose, depending on the walk. I miss the time to talk with a friend or just tune out to music. I will walk 3 days a week, come hell or high water.
DANCE! This is my favorite way to exercise and to relax or blow off steam. I don’t know why I forget that as often as I do. I will dance around the apartment like I used to back in my “bachelorette pad” days…. with baby, by myself, in the mornings, after work, to music, to my own singing, to zumba, aerobics, and dance tutorials online.
I will just dance as much as I want…. now that’s a goal I will love keeping.