Thursday, January 12, 2012

A New Year

This year started a little strangely because of my Dad's stroke.  I think my whole family feels like we are in limbo emotionally.  One of my sons summed it up when he said, "I keep wondering if I'm going to come home from school one day and I'll find out that Grandpa died."  So there we are--needing to go about our daily routine, but feeling preoccupied with our worry for my Dad.

He's been transferred to a skilled nursing facility closer to my parents' home (but farther away from me).  They are hoping that being somewhere a little more low-key will allow him to rest and get more energy so he will have the strength to do more aggressive physical therapy and get some mobility back on his left side.  We are all hoping he can get stronger so he can get better.  He's made a little bit of encouraging progress this week, so I hope he can continue on that upward path.

I've realized that I do need to go about my normal life as much as possible just to keep myself emotionally healthy for my kids (and for myself).  For me, that includes making some goals and resolutions and plans for the new year.

I usually am not a person who likes to tell other people about my plans and goals.  I guess it's mostly because I prefer to have my failures be private affairs :).  But I think it is useful to list a few things I'm planning this year in different dimensions of my life.  A little accountability might be good for me.  So here goes:

Physical
  • Be more conscious of what and how much I'm eating.  I need to treat my body better, and overeating/eating junk makes me feel tired and cranky.  Food cannot solve my problems (except maybe chocolate...;) ).  I'm using a great iphone app called My Fitness Pal to track my food/water intake.  LOVE it.
  • Do 30 minutes of heart healthy exercise a day--either take the kids on a brisk walk to the park or do some cardio with DVDs or the Wii.
  • Do as many sit-ups and push-ups as I can in a row before getting into the shower.  My husband did that all year last year, and it is amazing how that couple of minutes really does make a difference in terms of muscle tone.  I know it is not a perfectly balanced strength plan, all you awesome exercisers out there, but doing something is much better than doing nothing.  Ah hem.  "Nothing" being where I am right now in terms of strength training.
Spiritual
  • Continue reading the scriptures and praying daily.  I just feel better and live better when I do.  In the immortal words of M.C. Hammer, "You've got to pray just to make it today."  Storytime: One of my friends gave another friend that quote in vinyl lettering on a cute wooden block as a joke birthday present.  It was HI-larious.  The thought is true, of course :).
Organizational
  • Organize one area in my home at a time, starting with the most problematic area first and working methodically.  I've already posted about my chicken-with-its-head cut off approach to doing lots of things, and it's not really working organizationally.  At all.  I'm starting with my laundry room.  It was clean for about 2 days in October, but it is pretty much back to this again.


    Ugh.  Kind of overwhelming, but one step at a time, right?  I'm babystepping, I'm babystepping as I sort through my clutter...

     Household

    • Decorate one area at a time.  I am starting with my living room, since that's the one I notice when I walk in and the one I've been working on, anyway.  Starting on a project that is already half-way done is always a shot in the arm. Incidentally, why is a shot in the arm a good thing, anyway? Ouch...  

    Here's a sneek peek of a few things I've been doing in there already:



    Parenting

    • Brainstorm with my husband about what is most important for each child right now and work on doing that thing.  For example, one of my kids is feeling kind of insecure about his/her abilities despite the fact that he/she is a great kid and very talented.  We need to concentrate on helping this child feel good about him/herself--giving him/her opportunities to shine, give lots of positive feedback about his/her abilities and talents right now.  Look for the good things and compliment him/her.  Anyway, you get the idea.  Each of our kids has unique needs and this will help us focus on meeting those needs.
    • Figure out a reasonable system that encourages our kids to be more responsible and self-motivated with their chores, homework, etc.  I've considered the Eyres' approach (in a nutshell, after the age of 8 kids "earn" money toward essential things--if they don't fulfill their responsibilities, they don't get money for clothes, activities, eating out, etc.), but I'm still torn about whether kids should be paid to do work for the family.  Hmmmmm. 

    Social

    • Start a book group.  I had the very best book group in Utah with some dear friends, and I miss them (and it) so much.  However, long-distance book groups don't work that well, and I know that having a focus for my reading and people to discuss it with makes me happy and will help me make and strengthen friendships.
    • Put a little more thought and effort into date night.  We do go out every weekend (one of the joys of having kids with such a large spread of ages is that we have built-in babysitters), but sometimes the only thing I know for sure is that I want to go somewhere away from my house, without my kids

    Well, I think those are enough to start with, don't you?  I'm excited to be working towards some positive outcomes for myself and our family.

    What about you guys?  Have you set any resolutions you feel like sharing?  Or are you like I normally am and keeping your resolutions close to the vest?

    4 comments:

    1. realhousewifeofidahoJanuary 13, 2012 at 8:27 AM

      I am so sorry about your Dad. I will keep him and your family in my prayers. My dad had a mini-stroke in which he lost hearing in one of his ears right before I had Bryce.

      My laundry room is always a mess. I clean it up and then the next day things pile up in there again. It's bad when you can't walk to the garage! I love your wall collage. I'm in organization mode there with you. I am getting some Ikea Expedits so things have a place. :)

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    2. So sorry to hear about your dad. I hope he continues to get stronger and makes strides everyday.

      I am with you on the date night part. We get out one night each weekend, but lately it is the same: Drive to Bellevue, figure out dinner and a movie in the "Bellevue Collection" area, go home. We need to add some culture to date night!

      Lots of love to you and your siblings!
      Kim

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    3. Thanks so much, Kerstin. Yeah, I don't think I am going to get a show-home worthy laundry room anytime soon. I'm not even sure that would be very functional when we have so much laundry to do. There does get to be a point when it gets so cluttered that it isn't functional anymore though (like when you can't walk through it into your garage :) ). Have a great day!

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    4. Hi Kim. Thanks for the sweet message. I know--we are praying for him to progress and improve if it is Heavenly Father's will. Let me know if you think of anything awesome for date night--it sounds like we are in the same general neck of the woods!

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    Please feel free to comment. I love to read what other people think!