Wednesday, January 3, 2018

New Year, Poor Pitiful Me

We drove home from Kansas City on Monday and I had big plans. My semester starts on Monday, and I have a LOT of work to do before classes begin. Syllabus planning and organizing, mostly. I also planned to do some projects around the house and get Christmas stuff put away.

Instead, I got a cold that has me totally out of commission.

I like New Years. I like the sense of starting fresh with a new semester and a new planner and a clean slate. I like making resolutions and trying new things. 

Last year, my big resolution was to "reach out." And I did that. Maybe not full force at all times, but definitely more than I have in previous years. I made lots of phone calls to my elected officials. I donated to organizations whose work I believe in. And I made a real effort to socialize. In fact, I would even say I made some new friends. As someone who finds making "mom friends" kind of complicated, this is a big deal.

(My other resolution was to complete my writing project which is... still not done. Womp-womp.)

This year, I wanted some more concrete resolutions, focused on making life simpler and happier:

1) Menu planning. We started out strong at the beginning of the school year and faded into a chaotic mess before Christmas. I want to feed my kids good food and I want to not be crabby and scrambling to make dinner for two whiny kids at 5:30pm when David isn't getting home until 6. The truth is that I want David to do all the menu planning and food prep, but that's just not realistic. So we are making a team effort and I think it will be worth it. 

2) Food prep on weekends. We're all pretty hungry by the time we get home, so I don't have time to be whipping up enchiladas from scratch on a Wednesday night. The corollary of menu planning is also having meals ready to warm up from the fridge. So we need to be making enchiladas and meatloaf on the weekends. 

3) Exercise. I've been joking about my "dance injury" (when I hurt my hip flexor dancing at a weird night club in KC), but I have to work at keeping myself strong. I plan to start with Adriene's 30 days of yoga and then I've promised myself I'll go back to barre classes. They are expensive, but so are multiple visits to the chiropractor for my hip. I'd rather invest in preventative medicine. Also, David bought an elliptical off Craigslist, so now I really have no excuses!

4) Do more fun stuff with friends. I've read about how important girlfriends are to one's happiness, and I am fortunate to have some fantastic friends. One of the best things about my job is that I work with people who I genuinely like and admire. But I think I need to do more to cultivate friendships outside of work, especially with local friends. I find myself touching base all the time on Instagram with long-distance friends, but this fall, months went by between seeing some of my best STL friends in person. We're all busy and sometimes it just doesn't work out, but I am going to make more of an effort in the new year. I also want to get more creative about it. My favorite is dinner and endless conversation at a restaurant and lingering over a bottle of wine, but we don't always have three hours to set aside. So I want to try to do more walks through a museum, Saturday morning yoga classes, quick cups of coffee, or family hikes with friends.

5) Do more fun stuff with family. My kids are always up for an adventure, and I need to take them more places. I want to do more one-on-one stuff with each kid and also more fun family Fridays. St. Louis has so many fun and free things to do with kids, and we're good about taking advantage of those things in the summer. But I don't want to let work burn me out so much that I'm exhausted on the weekends. 

I could add to this list--so many areas for self improvement! But I'm leaving it at 5. I don't think I need to set a reading goal this year... I lost count on Goodreads last year, so I'm not sure if I made my goal of 52 books, but I know I hit at least 40. My writing goals that I set last year were missed by a long shot, but I'm giving myself a chance to just see what happens. This summer should not be as busy or crazy as last summer (we're not moving to a new house) so I hope to have more time for writing projects, but I also want to give myself permission to let go if that's what feels right. I don't think it will--right now, I'm itching to finish things more than I'm itching to break free of them--but we'll see.

The bad thing is that even though these five goals seem to me quite reasonable and even fun to accomplish, I'm totally overwhelmed by them at the moment because I've come down with a terrible cold. I'm like a commercial because I have every symptom--headache, body aches, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, and a nose that will not stop drizzling snot. My sinuses hurt from my teeth to my eye sockets and I can hardly find the energy to do anything but sit on the couch and mouth breathe. I didn't start on the first day of yoga with Adrienne yesterday because I went to bed at 6:30pm.

I'm hoping that self-care in the form of letting myself sleep as much as possible will result in this being short-lived. I have SO MUCH work to do before Monday and errands I want to run and I was sure that I'd have my laundry room cabinets organized this weekend, but I'm pretty loopy on cold medicine and mostly feeling completely depleted of energy and willpower, which is a shitty way to start January! Hoping 2018 improves from here, at least in regard to my physical health.

So... any new years resolutions you're really excited about? Any essential oils or homeopathic remedies that will have me cured by tomorrow? Any TV I should pair with elliptical workouts? Let me know. I'll just be sitting here on the couch, wearing my bathrobe and mouth breathing with my eyes half closed, trying to work up the energy to go get another cough drop. Oh, wait just found one in the pocket of my bathrobe. Happy new year, indeed!


  1. I had the same death cold last week. It was really bad for three days, and after that I could at least venture out without fear of public shunning. Hope you recover quickly! I don't have any show recs, but I started "Manhattan Beach" by Jennifer Egan, and I'm loving it.

  2. You too, huh? I started coming down with a cold on Boxing Day, and I still have a pretty full head, 10 days later, although I think I am (finally!) on the upswing. I actually got a semi-decent night's sleep last night. Anything with eucalpytus in it will help you breathe. I've been using a rollerball remedy from this company; they have some stores in the States (mostly California) so you can probably order online, or you probably can find something equivalent locally:

    My tried & trues include warm saltwater gargles for sore throats & a plain (non-addictive) saline spray for nasal congestion. My mother swears by her Neti-Pot for her sinus problems. I've never tried it myself, but I might eventually.

    Those are all great goals! Happy New Year!

    1. I'm totally with your mom on the neti-pot! Used it last night. So gross and satisfying.

  3. Oil of oregano works for me!

    And as for food prep, I have officially jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon. It is literally amazing. I am converted.