Friday, December 28, 2012
My mini-challenges will last no longer than a week, meaning I am not obligated to hold onto them longer than that, though I am certainly welcome to. I've been considering some things I want to change about myself, new things I want to learn, and also habits that could lead to changes for my entire household.
First up in January is going to be a soda-free weekend. I gave up soda a few years ago and lost weight and felt so much healthier. Then the stress of divorce caused me to give in and I am, once again, addicted. My hope is that a weekend without soda will lead to a week without soda, which may lead to a month without it.
I'm also looking forward to a three-day period when I leave my mobile devices (phones, my old Droid I still use for Facebook and Twitter) out of sight and focus my time on my spouse. No Facebooking from the sofa, no chat, no texting, only answering the phone for emergencies.
Also under consideration are a vegetarian challenge, a fast from cursing, and a three-day period where I have no screen time during daylight hours.
I'll amend this post and add more challenges (and details as I complete them) as the new year progresses. What are some short-term, tangible challenges you'd like to complete yourself? Try to think beyond the grand sweep of things like "losing weight" and "getting closer to God" and "being nicer." What can you do in three-day chunks that could spur larger changes in your life?
On March 8, I got married. The wedding didn't happen as we had planned it but it was still special and wonderful. Our parents and a few of our close friends came to the courthouse with us (we looked pretty damn good) and then we had lunch at the Bright Star. I can't come up with eloquent words to describe what that day means to me. Our love and partnership leaves me dumbstruck and it's wonderful.
On August 20, my dad died. That was the worst day of my life. I'm sure that down the road there will be worse days, but I don't want to think about what those might be like. My last grandparent died just a few weeks after this.
In November, we had to put my almost-fourteen-year old Weimaraner to sleep. She was sick and had lived a mostly joyful life despite her dietary choices (leather, foam, candy corn).
I choose to let the beautiful and joyous and fun things color my memory of 2012. I'm thinking up ways to make 2013 interesting and want to share them with you.
What were your favorite things about the past year?
Monday, December 17, 2012
As the year draws near its end, I think about all the changes 2012 brought and the things I would like to change in 2013. A few years ago, I made some major changes that were positive but eventually faded out. I gave up drinking soda for more than a year, I was exercising regularly and liked it, and I changed the influencers in my life.
Jen over at Jen West Quest does some cool short-term goals on her blog, and Wade Kwon at Wade on Birmingham is also into blogging his projects (like his current weight gain project). Those are two people I admire personally and professionally. I would like to follow their lead on this and try some short-term goals in 2013.
I know some things I have in mind for myself, but what would you suggest? Some ideas I have are giving up soda, eliminating certain foods, no screen time while the sun is up, and reading specific books. But I would love to hear your ideas. If you were making your own short-term goals, what would they be? What would you suggest for me? Comment, comment, comment please!
Sunday, December 9, 2012
I can't help but imagine my own parents shopping together for gifts for their six grandchildren. (They loved shopping. When I was growing up, money was tight, so financial freedom later in life let them really enjoy giving fun gifts.) And imagining my mom telling my dad that she had a piece of jewelry on hold and he could go get it as her gift. And then I imagine our Worley Christmas, which is never on Christmas day any more, and remember all my childhood Christmases (when I was 10, the age of my middle child, I got Madonna's True Blue, Huey Lewis & the News' Fore, and Don Johnsons's solo album, all courtesy of Dad).
He won't be there this year. My mom's shopping partners this year have been my sister-in-law, nieces, and nephew. I don't know what to expect at our Worley Christmas. Probably it will be sad. My children are keenly aware of their grandfather's absence. We will do our best to hold it together but I wonder why we try to hold it together. It seems like we did so much crying in August that we shouldn't cry now.
It's okay to cry at Christmas. Other days I have felt like I just needed to suck it up and move on, but for this season, I'm fine with crying. I feel angry that my mom is being forced into having a Christmas without my dad. And that my children and nieces and nephew have a grandmother who is so profoundly sad when she wasn't before.
That said, I don't want every Christmas to be marked by tears. This first one, though, is gonna be hard.
Merry Christmas. (Click below for a great example of a somber Christmas song, Joni Mitchell's "River.")