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Goals for the new me December 30, 2007

Posted by phoenixhopes in Goals.
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2007 was a year of transition. I began my transformation from an overwhelmed, chronically exhausted, stuck-in-survival-mode, robot of a woman into an overwhelmed, merely tired instead of exhausted, beginning-to-figure-out-my-new-life, learning how to laugh again woman. I learned that often when I faced the ghosts of my past instead of hiding from them, they lost much of their power. I started to live my life instead of merely moving through it.

I want to keep moving forward in 2008 and this is the direction I think I’m headed. I’m still learning who I want to be so maybe some of these goals will change as I change and grow this year. I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions — every Resolution I’ve ever made was some variation of “Here is one more thing I think I should be doing that I’m not doing now and most like won’t be doing in two weeks.” Instead of Resolutions that are destined to fail, this list of Goals shows where I am on my journey, and where I’m headed next.

In no particular order, meet some of my goals for the new me:

1. Wear lipstick more often – For years and years I never wore makeup at all. Now I usually wear a little foundation and blush. I’d like to add lipstick to the daily routine.

2. Stick with the budget – At least I have one now. For way too long I just muddled through. I’m still learning to follow it.

3. Finish getting out of debt – I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel here and if I focus, I can be debt free by the end of the year (except for maybe one loan).

4. Do something really memorable for my 5oth birthday – I have nine months to figure out what. I would love to visit the ocean but I’m not so sure that a vacation fits with the getting out of debt goal above. Whatever I do, I want it to be a celebration. I’m done with crappy birthdays.

5. Add some more recipes to the family cookbook. Maybe add some pictures even.

6. Hug my kids and tell them I love them every time I see them (or at least once a day for the ones at home)

7. Fix my sewing machine and sew again – I have projects I’d like to do and I’m beginning to have the time and focus to work on them. Plus one of my boys wants to learn to sew and he can’t learn on a broken machine.

8. Clean out and de-junk the garage. Again.- I’ve moved twice since my divorce and each time I got rid of insane amounts of Stuff. The first move was more about purging the Ex, getting rid of his stuff and loosening the hold he had on my life. In the move this past summer I let go of my old life and started to move forward. There’s still a long way to go. I only want to keep what I really want to keep and not be burdened with all the crap.

9. Learn to knit socks – This time next year may my blog be festooned with pictures of feet in my handknit socks

10. Sit down to dinner with my kids more often instead of simply saying “food’s ready, go get some.”

11. Take more pictures – I have rolls of film waiting to be used (and developed! Don’t forget that all-important step!) plus the handy dandy digital camera. And how often do I actually use them? Almost never.

12. Fix my grill and use it often – The bottom burned out around the drip pan right before we moved last summer. It should be a simple fix, I just need to do it.

Christmas Rant December 22, 2007

Posted by phoenixhopes in Christmas, Holidays.
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I don’t much like Christmas. There, I said it, so shoot me. I don’t like the expectations, I don’t like the expense, I don’t like the crowds. I don’t like the mess. Should I go on? (The food however… I do like the food. Christmas food is awesome. Cardamon rolls, butter toffee, cookies, candies, peppermint ice cream, one tiny sip of eggnog. The food I’ll keep.)

At Christmas I fight too many ghosts… those unpleasant memories of not so great Christmases Past. Memories of never doing enough, never being enough. Of trying to make up for a dad who was too drunk to care.

I know, I know, I have a choice. THIS is my life now and I want to live in it and not in the past. I can make Christmas whatever I want it to be. But what if I just want it to be over? I want to wake up and it’s just another day and I can go back to the regularly scheduled struggle of being a single mom. I don’t want to deal with all this extra pressure.

I don’t think there’s any getting out of it though. Christmas will be in three days even if I attempt to wish it away. And, like it or not, I am the mother, the responsible one. It’s up to me to help the kids have good memories of the time we spend together. Although I try to gift them with things they want and need, I really don’t much care if they remember the ‘stuff’ with fondness. I do care that they remember the time.

Maybe I’m just the Memory Facilitator. My job isn’t to infuse their brains with happiness and peace but to help create an atmosphere where cozy family times can incubate and grow. I can set the scene but I can’t make them get along.

My Christmas Wish for my children is that they can look back on the time we spend together without the need to fight the Ghost of Christmas Past. And maybe, when enough time has passed, my own ghosts will fade away.