Thursday, December 30, 2010

Taking a Hint from a Facebook Friend - 2011 Things to Do

It's the end of the year, when all of us begin to think, "What resolutions did I make last year that I fell down on by January 3rd?"  Everyone seems to be making resolutions.  My biggest is no different than most - I want to lose weight.  Not surprising, considering the unwanted 15 pounds I've put on since the hysterectomy and unfortunate switch from my trusted Lyrica to my doctor's preferred Neurontin.  I know that GABA meds make me gain weight.  I can't believe I went along with his urging me to change over, resulting in several severe wardrobe crises and some difficulties in the self-esteem area.

A Facebook friend posted up a 2011 "Bucket List" this morning and I thought, what a great, positive way to bring in the new year.  Think about what you want to accomplish over the next twelve months and then maybe, just maybe, accomplish a few of the things on the list.  So, with that in mind and a thank you to the friend who put the idea in my head, here is my bucket list for 2011:

1.  Lose the 15 pounds and the Neurontin so I can squeeze back into all of those clothes taking up space in my closet right now.  I've already made the med switch, so hopefully with a little will power and exercise, the pounds will go back the way they came.  The four pounds that have come off since Monday are certainly encouragement that it's possible.  I'm resolved to get the weight off because not only do I feel it's unsightly on me, it's actually uncomfortable.  I don't like being at a weight that I have only experienced when on certain medications and while pregnant.  You've got to weigh (haha) the benefits against the side effects and this time, the benefits of a different medication far outweigh the weight gain.

2.  Spend more time with my kids.  This may be easier said than done, since they are in the throes of adolescence, they're boys, and Mom is just not cool right now.  But there have to be things I can do to get to know these offspring of mine.  Although Winchester is not exactly a hoppin' town, I think there should be places to go and things to do that even I can come up with.

3.  Spend more time working with the Cujo I brought into the family in August.  Clearly, the dog is smart.  He just needs a little training and a little discipline.  The unfortunate fact is that I tend to have ideas that I think at the time are the best ideas I've ever come up with, but quickly lose interest once I've gone ahead and done whatever it is I was so wild to do.  The dog would have to fall into the category.  The idea of having a dog has always seemed important, but the actual having of a dog is a lot more work than I ever imagined (not to mention the unbelievable amount of dirt).  Think having a new baby if you're thinking of bringing a puppy home.  They really do require about that much work.  Justin has been a true trooper and taken over the majority of the dog chores.  But it's time for me to step up to the plate.

I should probably set this goal as "become more of a dog person."  I've always understood cats way more than I've understood dogs, but I know the benefits you can get from having a canine that loves you and I want to experience that bond.   Now if I can just get Jack to cooperate.

4.  Get the children's book I've been working on finished up and out to some publishers to see if anyone might show the faintest glimmer of interest in actually buying something I've written.  If I'm going to be a writer, I need to get serious here and do it.  It's way easier to write this blog than it is to come up with new ideas for the fictional stories I've been creating, but I have seen that I have it in me and I want to find the discipline to not only get the one that's almost done out for consideration, but clean up the others I have sitting in my desk drawer and maybe come up with a new idea or two for a couple of new books in 2011.  I wrote five manuscripts for children's books in 2010, which is no small accomplishment, I know.  The publishing world is a tough world to break into, but I have just the right amount of stubbornness and perseverance to think that it's possible.

5.  Okay, we've been in this house since 2005 and, as much of an organizational and neat freak as I know myself to be, our basement is beginning to look suspiciously like an episode of "Hoarding: Buried Alive" on TLC.  Although we wanted to get the space finished, the housing market took a big nosedive and, not to anyone's surprise, the bank cut our line of credit off like the French with a guillotine when Frederick County decided our house was no longer worth anything near what we paid for it.  But...there is still a quite nice space down there with pretty good light and big French doors that just might make a nice place for me to write.  Right now that space is filled, literally, with trash.  I do not have the OCD problem of not being able to let go of my things and am not sentimentally attached to much of anything down there besides my wedding dress and the old photographs.  It's time to get off my butt and donate the boxes of clothes that have been sitting down there in time for a tax write off and haul the trash to the dump.  So add cleaning up the mess that is our basement, along with cleaning out all of the stuffed to the brim cabinets, cupboards, and closets in the rest of the house to my list of things to do next year.  One small drawer...one giant leap for mankind.  The smallest journey begins with one step...so take the step, Chelle, and quit bitching about the mess.

6.  Unfinished projects.  I counted up in my head this morning how many sewing projects I have currently sitting around in various cabinets and cupboards (speaking of full cabinets) and I think I came to the unmanageable number of ten.  Ten projects started and not finished.  One project for charity, two for gifts, and the rest are things I just started and never finished.  So add the first three to the list of things I will finish in the next twelve months and maybe, just maybe, I might try to add a fourth to the list if my hands will cooperate and stop cramping up on me.

7.  Spend some couple time with my husband.  This is a must do.  Every year except this one, we have always taken at least one weekend away from the kids and the responsibilities and the chores to just be together.  This year, things didn't quite work out for "couple time" and we felt a family vacation was much more important than the getaway we had originally planned.  You can never spend too many vacations with your kids.  No, stop laughing, I'm serious.  But, this year we have to get at least 48 hours away to just have some fun.  I don't even care where we go or what we do, but it's got to be just the two of us and not in this house.  No "staycation." 

8.  Finally, become a recluse.  Oh, wait.  Been there, done that and I. Don't. Like It.  The agoraphobia (at least I think that's what you could call it) has gotten severely worse in the months since I lost my job in October and suddenly leaving the house has seemed frightening.  But, every time I force myself out, I realize the freedom of not being cooped up and frozen by the anxiety of crowds, traffic, and the fear of running into some people I really do not want to run into.  It's a small town and suddenly, since October, it's felt stifling.  But, new year, new me, right?  I made a bold move yesterday and ran a couple of errands.  I felt like I'd won the Olympic gold medal in venturing out.  I also actually managed to take the dog for a walk (instead of the dog walking me and thanks so much to whoever invented the harness for that leash) both yesterday and today, prompting Justin to express the vague hope that if I could walk the dog every day at lunchtime, he might actually get to use his gym membership again.  As long as the temperature stays above, oh say, 35 degrees, I might actually be able to do that.  Benefits all the way around, as this tackles not only the agoraphobia issue, but also the canine bonding issue, and the exercise issue. 

My friend's list had quite a few more numbers than mine, but looking at the eight things I've listed above, I think I'm going to need all of 2011 to accomplish them.  So here is my "list" of things I am planning for 2011.  I'll check back this time next year to see how many of them I gave up on by January 3rd.

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