I’ve seen the memes. I know we all felt as though we were limping to the finish line of 2016, but I’ve gotta say: I’m really feeling it this year…er, last year. In recent years, I have rounded out December feeling depressed, overwhelmed, enraged and even slightly manic. This year, I’m just tired. Dog tired.
It’s hard to say why too. Emotionally, I feel better than I have at any point since Tom died, but it could be that nearly four years of single parenting is wearing me down. Maybe it’s that as the kids get older, we get busier. Undoubtedly, part of it is that my dear aunt went into assisted living this year which has added a whole lot more of everything to my plate.
While I do have a small resolution for 2017, I need to make some bigger changes to avoid burning out completely. So this year, I’m making it all about me.
Yes, me, me, me. If it’s not good for me, then I’m going to try to say no.
That doesn’t mean I’m going to spend the year eating bon bons and watching Netflix. As nice as that sounds, it really wouldn’t be good for me. No, I need to figure out what’s best for me — and the many roles I play — and then determine how to make that work in my current life.
Get ready for some long-winded, unfiltered brainstorming below. Ideally, this is what I’d like to have happen in 2017 in all the various parts of my life.
Fresh flowers – I’ve decided a bouquet on my desk does wonders for my soul.
Weekly me-time – As in, out of the house sans laptop or other work.
Annual retreat – I used to take a yearly silent retreat and am missing that weekend from my life.
Quarterly trips – Traveling makes me a better person. These can be close to home and with or without kids.
Bed by 9:30pm every night – Hello, 5am comes early.
Read daily – Again, this is good for my soul, but I don’t make it enough of a priority.
Outdoors daily – Sadly, this can rarely happen, even in the summer.
Purge, purge, purge – I feel like all the junk in our house is suffocating me.
Weekly meal plans – Otherwise, it’s McDonalds, pizza or hot dogs most nights.
Walk daily – Good for my health and my productivity too.
Fruits/veggies daily – Again, it is sad how many days I go without any type of greenery in my diet.
Beauty routine – Ok, totally doesn’t sound health related, right? But I think if I took more care of how I look on the outside, I might be more inclined to take care of what’s on the inside. Well, it’s worth a shot anyway.
Clothing purge – Same as above. I need to get rid of all the frumpy clothes I hate.
No food after 8pm – Seriously, the kitchen needs to close then.
Friday treat – However, to stick to that, I think I need to allow myself one night to have a late night treat. Friday night seems as good as any.
Eat on a schedule – It would probably help if I ate at certain times rather than grazing all day.
Clear out the backlog – I have a huge stack of old bills and paperwork – much of it my aunt’s – that needs to be addressed ASAP.
Create a workable budget based on steady income – My income fluctuates from month to month, but I have two sources of income that are rock solid right now. I should create a budget based around those and let the rest be gravy.
Reevaluate bills – I’m sure I’m paying for services I don’t need.
Move to a cash/Scrip system – At some point, I stopped tracking my budget and that has gotten me in trouble. I want to move back to a cash system or buy gift cards through Scrip (fundraiser for school tuition) and use that to help limit my spending.
Monthly one-on-ones with the kids – We did this for first year after Tom died; kids keep asking when we’re going to start our dates again.
Put down the phone – Yes, I stare at my phone – for no good reason, no less – when the kids come to talk to me. I need to stop getting distracted and focus on them.
Computer off at 5pm – I have drastically cut back my workload so there is really no good reason to be on the computer in the evenings.
Dinner at table 5x a week – We’ve getting better at this, but there is plenty of room for improvement.
Get my teens driving – This will be a win-win if I can make it happen this year.
Ebook by tax day – I have an ebook idea I started working on last summer. I really want to have it done this year. I am setting April 15th as my deadline.
Bi-annual writing sabbaticals – To get my ebook (or any other major project) done, I think I might need to go away for the weekend so I can work uninterrupted.
Ask for a raise – I have one client I’d like to ask…if I can get up the nerve.
Evaluate where to spend time – Some work I love (like this blog!) but it pays virtually nothing (like this blog!). I need to have an honest discussion with myself about where my time is best spent.
Create a workable daily schedule – I have tried and failed many times. Maybe 2017 will be the year this happens.
My Spiritual Life
Pray daily – Still hampered by this fact unfortunately.
Sacrament of Reconciliation 4x a year – It hasn’t been a priority, and it should be.
Friday penance – We’ve always given up meat on Fridays but gotten away from that recently.
Better evening prayers with kids – We’ve moved up to at least praying each night before bed, but we’re still at the bare minimum right now.
Make every day of obligation a rest day – This might be a relatively easy way to get back in touch with the liturgical calendar.
So many things I want to do! And no way I can do them all. Not when I have to take the kids to school, my mom and aunt to the doctor and put out all the little fires that seem to pop up daily.
What should I do?
Do I focus on the sanity items and hope that gives me the foundation to move on to the others later in the year? Pick one or two from each category? Forget it all and break out the bon bons and Netflix?
I would love to hear your input!