In 2013 I’m breaking a bad habit. I’m not making any resolutions. Instead, I’m going to change my focus, very similar to the advice Xe gave. There are three areas that need my attention. I have more of a plan in some areas than in others, but there’s no need to have everything figured out immediately. If I had everything figured out already, I wouldn’t have the need to write this post.
Tanya and I got to talking last year about life and about what it takes to be happy. We both agreed that sitting around and waiting for the world to make us happy is unrealistic and counterproductive. We cannot change others or, in many cases, outside circumstances. We can change ourselves. Tanya took the bull by the horns last year and made some outstanding changes. I guess I wasn’t ready to let go of what was holding me down at the time. No matter. I’ve taken the past few weeks to give that conversation more thought. Operation MyFutureSelf is now officially underway.
I’m focusing on three areas of my life this year: Body, Mind, and Dwelling.
I have needed to get into shape for quite some time now. I am an emotional eater. When I am upset, bored, happy, stressed, anxious, or thrilled, I eat. I need to break that cycle and get into shape. MyFutureSelf will thank me for it. This will not be the first time I’ve attempted to get into shape. Unlike in previous attempts, I am not going to focus on the big picture. It’s too overwhelming. Instead, I am going to decide upon different goals along the way.
My first goal is to wear the dress in this picture (it’s much brighter and pretty in person). I bought it for a job interview six or seven years ago that never took place. It is two sizes smaller than I am right now. When and where do I want to wear this dress? That is actually what prompted me to come up with my goal. My sister Meridith recently remarried. The ceremony itself was small. Just the couple and Meridith’s children. That isn’t going to be it, though. Meridith and Christian are throwing a party over Memorial Day Weekend. When I found out about the party, that dress came to mind and my goal was created.
I’ve given the question of how to achieve this some thought. I’ve had success on Weight Watchers before. In fact, I lost about 120 pounds after Emma’s adoption. The first 25 came with being too busy to eat with a newborn in the house. The rest came through following the Weight Watchers program. It’s a good program and much better than the time I lost a lot of weight in my early 20s through crash dieting. The problem I have now with Weight Watchers are all the times I’ve gone back after Allison was born. I don’t fault the plan. It’s just not me right now. My life has changed. Instead, I’ve decided to use by MyFitnessPal and Fitbit. MyFitnessPal is a free web-based calorie counting program that allows you to configure your meal plans. Fitbit is an activity tracker. I bought the coordinating scale as well. Fitbit encourages increased activity and it syncs up to MyFitnessPal, creating a full program. There is a social aspect to this as well for encouragement along the way.
I’ve hit a slight snag right at the beginning. I took the girls bowling on New Year’s Eve for two hours. It was at least 30 minutes too long for my poor knee. Even though it was hurting, I hit the ground running when my Fitbit arrived, making my knee much, much worse. I am taking this weekend to rest it up and I’m hoping it feels better on Monday so I can get back to reaching 10,000 steps each day. I’m not going to let this little road bump get in my way. I know that the ultimate way to care for my knees is to take the weight off. I’m on it!
Of the three areas I want to work on, this is the one least sketched out for me. I see this primarily focusing on reading and blogging.
Reading: I read more books last year than any other as an adult. While I’m quite pleased, that’s not a sustainable pace for me down the road. Trying to keep that up would only cause unnecessary stress and anxiety. I do want to change up what I’m reading a bit. For the past several years I’ve read and reviewed primarily new releases. I’ll still do that, but I’m going to cut back some this year because I’ve been thinking more along the lines of what I’d like to accomplish as a reader over the course of my life. For example, reading an author’s entire catalog, selecting especially challenging books, engaging more with other readers through challenges, etc… I certainly don’t want to confine my reading life in any way. My focus will be on figuring out what will sustain and fulfill me as a reader one year at a time.
Blogging: On the 17th I will celebrate six years of book blogging. Where did the time go? It doesn’t necessarily feel that long. At the same time, I’ve been having more and more frequent internal blogging crises. Crisis hopping certainly is no fun. If I want to continue, I need to work on redefining who I am in this space. I enjoyed the work I put into Baby, It’s Cold Outside in December, but it left me burnt out as well. While I ponder MyFutureBloggingSelf, I’ll pick back up on my reviews and hopefully I’ll be able to change things up in just the right way to make year 6 of Literate Housewife a year of blogging renewal.
I am going to continue to give this area more thought and I’ll post something more specific in the coming weeks. The Mind has consistently been my lowest priority thus far.
There are those who immediately take over their spaces immediately upon occupancy. There are others who can move into a house in December of 2002 and put almost no personal stamp on the place outside of the furniture and one’s own unique clutter. I fall into the latter category. I’m not an interior decorator by nature. Two of my sisters are, but they live too far away to help me out. I have often daydreamed about a Trading Spaces type of scenario coming along to help me make my house my home. As with happiness, it just isn’t going to happen on its own.
While I was in NYC for BEA in June, Random House hosted a Power Reader breakfast. One of the speakers was Nate Berkus. I had never heard of him before the breakfast, but what he had to say made an impact on me. I coveted his then upcoming book, The Things That Matter and bought a copy for myself for Christmas. The focus of the book is on sharing yourself and your story through design. That is very appealing to me.
My plan of action for the Dwelling portion of MyFutureSelf is to start by reading Nate’s book. I’ve already paged through the entire book several times and know that my story and the things that matter to me are much different. That’s not important, though. It’s about thinking about my house and my life on a new level. Once I’ve finished reading the book, the first room I’m planning on tackling is my living room, but I’m open to whatever inspiration dictates.
So these are the things I’ve chosen to focus on in 2013. Not everything is going to be accomplished at one time, but I don’t think anything I’ve chosen is insurmountable either. I’ve created a journal of sorts about each of these things to help me organize my thoughts. I plan on sharing my progress and thoughts once a month, be that by area or altogether. I’m excited to see what 2013 brings.