I don’t have the energy to go throught last year’s Uberlist bit by bit and create a new one. Actually, I suppose it’s more correct to say that my energies are focused elsewhere, currently. Suffice it to say that some of the things I accomplished, others I did not for good reasons or less than good reasons, but I do feel it was a goodly productive year over all.
Historically for me, January has been a time of cleansing and new chances. Not because of traditional New Year’s Resolutions, I think it has more to do with the time of rest after busy holidays (and possibly a lot to do with an innate desire to cleanse my body after all the dang sweets of December). However, for the last few years, I have not felt that – at least not to the degree that I actually make changes. This year it seems to be back, and I have already begun rethinking and retraining certain habits. I am making a big effort to eat at home – the amount of money we have spent recently on eating out makes me sick to my stomach. I got some new cookbooks for Christmas and I’m picking them apart and inspiring myself to want to cook again. And, of course, eating at home with be better for my body as well. I daren’t say it, but I am hoping to maybe get back down to a lower weight (again). It hurts to say I’d kill to be 200 pounds again, but it’s true. In that vein I’ve bought myself a new-to-me jogging stroller. Despite the current financial crisis, I felt it was important to spend the money on it while I am so inspired, in the hopes that I can create a habit that will hang around when inspiration takes a vacay. I’ve been researching walking trails in my town and near other places we hang out, and it feels good to be out in the sun, moving my body. I hope to get to the point where I can walk 3 miles daily (well, technically, I could do that, it’s a certain whiny six-year-old, I am trying to prepare). But there I go saying goals out loud – typically, I fail when I do so. Perhaps this time will be different.
In a different area of my life, I am working on opening my home. Having children (and watching important period TV programs about teenagers such as Freaks and Geeks and My So Called Life) has taught me that I NEED to have my home open to my kids’ friends and the neighborhood. I need to do this to support my kids, to know their friends, to open my kids’ hearts. But it’s hard. When I was growing up, our home was so private – because if anyone were to see inside, I would have been taken away from my mom (this does not, of course, explain why the few people who knew about it did nothing to help, but that is another story). When anyone knocked on the door, we had to be quiet and pretend we weren’t home. My heart would race as I hid in the dank dark, and waited to hear footsteps leaving. This physical response lasted well into my adulthood. Even if I had invited someone over, their knock would send me into a silent panic and I had to put on a mask so no one would guess. Of course, I was largely unaware of this on a consious level. In the last few years it has lessened, but I still feel intensely private about my home and for this reason I rarely invite anyone over – it’s too damn much emotional work!
It is also, of course, a large part of the reason I tend to get obsessive about my house being clean. Because if it’s not spotless when people are over, they might see into my soul, I guess. They might know the pain I lived with as a child. The pain I still live with. If they noticed the dust in the corners, they’d see the five-year-old pile of dirty dishes in the sink of my teen years. If they saw the breadcrumbs, dust and grease in the cracks between the counters, they’d know about the cat shit on the floor when I was a kid. They would KNOW about how disgusting I really am. And I could not bear that. And, because I’m so damn functional, I tend to avoid those areas that frighten me the most – the corners and cracks.
So I’m working hard on these two things. Maybe my home doesn’t have to be spotless – it certainly isn’t unsanitary! Maybe it’s OK to let a corner go undusted – it doesn’t make me less of a person (but why can’t I believe that?). And maybe I can let the neighbor kids come over even if there is sweeping to be done. I am trying to learn that it is more important to open my home for my children than to keep it spotless. And, after all, I am BUSY. I don’t always have time for the corners and cracks, even if I did have the desire. Maybe it’s OK to let those things go because other areas of my life are more important.
All emotional work aside, when I win the lottery I am hiring a maid, dammit.
And so those are the big things I’m working on in my life this year. If I had to make goals they would be simply: continue working on being healthy, inside and out. But then, I suppose that is the meaning of life anyway.