December 20, 2010

Narrowing in on the New Year

DD and SI under the dining room table
I find that, as a parent, my system for planning ahead has changed somewhat.  I'm always looking a few more steps ahead than I used to.  This time last year, I would probably be focused on Christmas/Channukah, our trip to visit Grandma and Grandpa in Minnesota, and FINALLY getting my holiday cards out.  Not this year!

You may recall my to-do list from a week ago.  Let's revisit that for a moment...
  1. Make/hang curtains over dining room window
  2. Make holiday cards (this involves both studio arts and fun crafts this year, so I'm particularly excited)
  3. Bake holiday cookies (this year's selection: date balls, chocolate crackle-tops, ginger underwear-men, cocoa amarettis, and peppermint dusted candy-canes)
  4. Make myself that skirt I've been so excited about since I saw one similar to it at Anthropologie in September and picked up fabric and buttons for immediately afterward
  5. Set up Christmas tree
  6. Wrap Christmas presents
  7. Stockings, gifts, grublings and friends
My skirt is cut and pinned, but not sewn.  I just plain didn't get to the candy canes this year.  But on top of the list, I also threw a party for about 25 people, crafted Christmas stockings for the girls, and made dinner every night.  I even got my cards addressed and into the mail.  So what am I thinking about now?

New Year's.  Last year I decided that resolutions were meant to be broken, and I would set myself up for success rather than failure if I instead set myself a list of goals, not resolutions for 2010.  I've had some success, some bitter failure, and generally lived a richer life year because of those goals.  So, here is my 2010 list of goals, and a description of how I made it work, or how it all went down in flames.

1. Complete one painting each month all year
I came remarkably close on this one.  While I didn't actually complete one during each calendar month, there were a few months where I beat the goal.  I'm nowhere near where I'd like to be in finishing paintings, but I have to be realistic about how much a human being really can accomplish all at once.  Of course, most of the paintings are wedding portraits.  I love doing wedding portraits, but I would have preferred to have taken the time and actually make the art *I* wanted to make.  Which is to say, return to my quilting theme portrait series.  The one I still haven't made any progress on.  :::sigh:::

2. Complete one class each semester
Well, I failed at that one.  I completely spaced out on the summer semester.  However, I'm still on track to graduate, and that's something I feel fabulous about.  For the record, I aced every class I took in 2010.

3. Read 2 books each month, NOT counting graphic novels by anyone but Alan Moore
I cheated on this one.  I cheated hard.  I counted every trade paperback volume of "The Walking Dead" as a book.  I counted books that I read for class whether or not I enjoyed them, I and I counted such bits of tripe as "The Great Fables Crossover."  I did spend several days reading Anita Blake:Vampire Hunter novels to my girls while they nursed.  I have no regrets about that, and have to face the facts- I'm going to keep counting trade paperbacks of my comics as "books."  I'm so bad at staying cultured.  Two of the books I read were re-reads- "Ender's Game" and "Anna Karenina."  And of course, both were for classes.  See the left side of this entry for a few of my favorite reads of the year.

4. Cook 7 meals each week: acceptable meal=loaf of bread
This is another one I did a fair job with.  I did begin counting sandwiches as meals, and of course there were long stretches where there were no meals cooked at home, followed by a few days in a row of three squares.  This one gets easier all the time as the girls actually eat whatever I cook for them, meals the three of us can share.  I'll make a breakfast of eggs and toast, the three of us will eat happily, and et voila!  I cooked a meal!  Today I made breakfast, I didn't cook lunch, and I imagine I'll be cooking dinner as well.  Tomorrow I hope to take a break from breakfast, though.  We're running through eggs terrifyingly quickly, as the three of us will easily eat eight or nine for breakfast.  And I only get two of them.
Watching SuperMommy cook

5. Exercise three times a week
Again, fail.  During the spring semester I only took one class, so I parked in a garage a mile from the campus and walked two and from the car- that took care of twice a week.  During the summer I was VERY good at getting to the gym.  The fall and winter ruined me.  Thank heavens I can count sex as exercise, or I probably wouldn't be getting any.  In several manners of speaking.

6. Write daily, if only a haiku
Well, I didn't do that either.  However, I did start a new blog, forcing me to write longer, more involved pieces.  I've written plenty of haiku, but despite keeping a journal and a bunch of prompts next to my bed, I still go to bed thinking, "Too tired to write/haiku will wait 'til morning/if I don't shower."  And I do feel that much of the writing I've done as SuperMommy has turned out fairly well.

7. Spend at least 2 hours each day PLAYING with my children
This is another one that got easier as the girls grew.  I was wracked with guilt that I didn't exactly "play" with my kids.  But to be fair, three month old infants sleep and eat a lot.  That meant that most of my interaction with them was as the milk buffet, the diaper wizard, or a very warm cozy place.  When you get down to it, it was a silly goal.  I play with them almost every waking moment we're at home.  Even if I'm eating or writing, there's some sort of toddler game happening and I manage to be an integral part of it.

8. Celebrate every Sabbath spent at home
As my sister likes to remind me, Shabbat is the most important holiday.  It's the only one mandated by the ten commandments, and it's so easy!  Light some candles, break some bread, drink some wine, and recite some prayers I've known since I was too little to remember.  And I LIKE wine!  How hard is that?  Apparently, extremely hard.  50 out of 52 annual Shabbats have passed, and I can count the number that I lit the Sabbath candles on one hand.  I'm determined to be better at this.  My sister's right, it is a commandment, and in addition I do want my girls to grow up with an understanding of what it means to actually observe your religious traditions.  Whether or not they choose to when they're adults.  Or who knows, maybe they'll be like me and make excuses until they have to set an example.

9. Clean the house every other week
Ha!  Like THAT happened!  I have gotten better at keeping up with some housework.  And again, as the girls have gotten older they're better at "helping," or at least at watching and keeping themselves entertained while I do dishes or change sheets or sweep the floor.  Not that the dusting gets done, not that I've swept underneath my own bed once in 2010, not that there aren't always messes lurking SOMEWHERE... but I have stayed fairly on top of a lot of the grossness in my home.  Plus, I don't have small people puking on my stuff so often anymore.

10. Leave the house once a day- the back yard is an acceptable destination
I wish I could tell you that I succeeded here.  I with I could tell you that I stepped out into the fresh air and looked at the sky and took a deep breath and reminded myself that there was a world outside of my own head and home every day.  But I can't tell you that, because it would be a bold faced lie.  I got out of the house most days.  I went to class, last semester four days a week, I went to the grocery store, I went to the DMV, to the post office, to Sam's Club...  but not every day.  There were definitely a few times (especially during school breaks) that I realized I hadn't been outdoors in four or more days.  In the spring I even modified my goal- I decided that the balcony off the living room would suffice.  It didn't make any difference.  I only stepped onto the balcony in order to be outside a handful of times.  I'm optimistic about next year though.  Again, bigger children leave the house more readily than infants when you're outnumbered.  So we'll be enjoying the fresh air a bit more often.  Add the that the challenges of toilet training and having twin toddlers getting into EVERYTHNG... well, I think I'm going to have my hands full.  Again.

...and that was my 2010.  I'll be setting some new goals for 2011, returning to a few of the old, and hopefully some of those goals will eventually come off the list, being habits rather than semi-forced practices.  And at least one is coming off entirely, there's NO hope that I'm actually going to thoroughly clean my house every other week.  Sorry folks.

Happy Holidays to you and yours, and may your New Year be filled with joy, love, and success!

1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to let you know that your blog was one that I chose to pass the 'Honest Scrap' award along to:




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Vote for me!

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!