Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

Posts tagged “Resolutions

Christmas Recap And A Plan For The Future

The last post I wrote was all about how I wasn’t feeling Christmas this year. I said how I wanted to just fast forward through to 2013. I must admit that feeling hasn’t gone away. But I have found the need to get some more balance in my life. Blogging is one of the ways I manage to feel balanced, and so I’m back to try not to depress the hell out of everyone in the last couple days of 2012. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas in spite of lack of money, a bit too many national tragedies, and a fiscal cliff threatening to pull all the news stations in with it.

On to not depressing you. My Christmas was lovely. We spent Christmas Eve night at the husband’s parents’ house just hanging. We spent Christmas Day early at my parents’ house for brunch. Then we all went up to Evanston for a Christmas dinner at the house of one of the husband’s aunts. Well, not all of us. One of the gifts my parents received for Christmas was Bulls tickets, so they went to the game instead of dinner with the rest of us.

I was so full from their Christmas brunch though, I barely had room for dinner. I mostly just ate the pot roast the husband’s mother made. It’s so good. I ate so much of it at Thanksgiving, my stomach was going through withdrawal. So I had my pot roast fix and my stomach is currently devising ways to get her to make more even though we’re past all the major cooking holidays for now.

If you read my last post, you’re probably wondering if I ended up getting potpourri drawer things for all the women in my world. The answer would be no, I did not. The husband and I ultimately decided to get house gifts for everyone. We got a house gift for my parents, his parents, one of his older sisters, and my grandmother.

We got actual gifts for three of our nieces and our one great-niece. Our lives were made easier because most of the adult siblings etc. still live at home for various reasons (read, not because they are going nowhere in life but because life’s circumstances are kicking them), so they got lumped in with the house gifts.

We still went over budget, which sucks, but we got gifts we really felt everyone could really use and love. My two favorite purchases were the area rug for the husband’s parents and the electric carving knife for my parents. No more big open floor space, though I will miss seeing the great expanse of gorgeous hardwood floors. And for my parents, no more questionably carved… everything. I must admit one of daddy’s strong suits isn’t slicing or carving any meat. Hopefully, that will change now.

Even though I wasn’t feeling Christmas, I still had the Christmas I wanted. I forced my Christmas playlist on myself and really found myself enjoying the tunes in the days leading up to Christmas. How many times can you say Christmas in one paragraph? Anyway, I had good food and good company, which was all I wanted. And neither set of parents had any trees or lights up, so I felt right at home. Maybe we’ll all do better next year.

So about this balance I’ve been saying I needed to find. It’s related to work.  Since I got my promotion at work, it’s just been work. Work. WORK. The job requirements are more than any human can accomplish in a work week. There are things I’m expected to do outside of the hours I’m at the building. Donation is a 24 hour business after all. That being sad, I hate being less than adequate at anything, so I was all about work. Then I realized I was getting no sleep, eating no food, having no sex. It’s a real problem. I have since recommitted myself to finding more of a balance.

In my head, I’ll be blogging more frequently, trying to re-focus my blog on the things I think my readers will actually find interesting. I think my life as a newly married woman in Chicago is pretty interesting. I’ve discovered some great places in this city through hunting for good food and music with the husband. I also really love my job and what I do, though I try not to talk too much about work, but maybe I can find something to share that doesn’t violate HIPAA.

Of course, I’d like to get back on the exercise bandwagon. I’m not a fan of my profile and I shudder to think how difficult it will be to get back in shape after kids if I’m out of shape before we even start. And no, that was not a sideways reveal of a plan to start having kids. It was more of a reveal of the true depth of my vanity. I’ve been so busy with work, I haven’t even contemplated doing anything else but sitting on the couch and re-charging after work. But no more! My life will  be more than spreadsheets, and one on one meetings, and auditing phone calls. It will include baking, and exercising, and blogging.The husband has been really patient with this transition. I think I owe it to both of us to turn back into a real person.

I don’t know if I can just wake up tomorrow and be this whole new person, but I’m sure as hell going to try. I know what I need to do, so it’s just a matter of doing it. I’ve tried making new year’s resolutions. I’ve tried scheduling everything in. I’ve tried self-determination. None of that works long-term, so perhaps now I’ll try a combination of them all. I’ve learned I need to gear up slowly.

Have you ever tried to jump in with both feet into something new? Some people can do it, but not me. When I do it, I go strong for a bit, but eventually I fatigue. Whoever said three weeks was enough time to train people to new activity and habit was a liar and a fraud. It takes waaay longer. All I know is I need decompression time if I’m going to sustain an activity that sucks all my energy.

So what’s first up in my plan to re-gain balance? Well, duh, it was blogging. That’s why you’re reading this post. Once I’ve got blogging consistently back in my life, then I’ll add something else. My work out DVDs are calling, but I don’t know if they’ll be it. We’ll see. But you’ll get no new year’s resolution list from me, so stop asking. Oh, well, since you twisted my arm, I’ll at least let you know how I did on my 2012 New Year’s Resolutions.

Just over a year ago, I wrote my new year’s resolutions post. It was full of wonderful things I wanted to focus on for 2012.

1) Cook dinner for the fiancé at least once a week. This is one I came pretty close to accomplishing. On average, I definitely did accomplish this one. Some weeks, I didn’t cook at all. Others, I cooked several times. I’d say this was a mission accomplished.

2) Go to some sort of production/media thingee once a month. This can be as extravagant as the opera, or as simple as a movie theater. Fail. I think I’ve seen three or four movies this year. I’ve been to no plays, no musicals, no orchestra performances, no ballets. It seems now the only live performance I see is when the husband has a gig. Thank God his music is good.

3) Exercise an average of 3 times a week. This can be going jogging or yoga. Fail again. And to think I thought I’d still have time for yoga, or a desire for jogging. I hate running! I did find Tracy Anderson though. She’d be good to me if I ever popped her DVD into the player. But it’s on my to-do list for 2013. I will get back on track.

4) Improve my diet to a point where I’m only eating fried foods once a week. This one is in between. I rarely eat fried foods. I’ve even managed to get more vegetables on the table at big family dinners. But my intake of potato chips and things like that undermines my lessened consumption of fries, fried fish, and fried chicken.

5) Finish unpacking my apartment by April. Major Fail. I just really want to get out of Hyde Park, and I think not unpacking is a symptom of that. Some part of me never wanted this place to feel too home-y because then we’d never fucking leave. I realize that’s irrational now (though we are still here when we should reside in New York by now…), and I plan to ge it done. I have to actually unpack, so I can re-pack whenever we move the hell away from here.

6) Get another cat. This one I actually did! Jazz is a crazy cat, but she fits in perfectly with our family.

7) Use one of my bridal shower gifts at least once a week. Giggity. Eh, except for when I got my promotion, I guess we sort of made this work. There are still a couple of things I haven’t used yet. But I just can’t imagine the cleaning afterward if I put on the candy underwear. I’m not ready for it yet.

So, I didn’t do so hot on my list. I did better than I thought I did though. I’ve learned setting firm deadlines means nothing if you don’t have the time or motivation to make it happen. Maybe I’ll look up motivation techniques to do things you hate the idea of. I’m not referring to exercise, I’m referring to unpacking this apartment. I just really don’t want to do it. This is the only place I’ve ever lived that never felt like home to me. Perhaps we’ll get it right next time, and we’ll live in a place I can’t wait to make home.

How was your Christmas?Any great plans for self-improvement in the new year?


New Year’s Resolutions: June and July

I’ve been trying to keep track of my new year’s resolutions, with varying success. If you make resolutions at all, you know how easy it is to lose track of them only a few weeks into the new year. I have an entire tab at the top of my blog dedicated to keeping track of my failure efforts to stay on track.

Here are my 2012 resolutions along with how I did:

1) Cook dinner for the fiancé husband at least once a week.

Yeah… this one comes and goes. It really depends on what our schedule looks like. I’d say on average I cook for him a couple of times a week. That’s an AVERAGE though. Sometimes it is several times, sometimes it’s none.

2) Go to some sort of production/media thingee once a month. This can be as extravagant as the opera, or as simple as a movie theater.

We’ve seen a movie at least once a month. Most recently we saw Ted. I found the movie not nearly as funny as anyone else until the teddy bear died and I was the only one laughing. The man behind me in the theater called me a monster. It was a teddy bear! Whatever. We had plans to go see a play last month, but I accidentally ruined those plans.

3) Exercise an average of 3 times a week. This can be going jogging or yoga.

Nope nope nope nope. But I’ve got a plan to finally do better. I’ve been biking about once a week, and with my new exercise plan, I will really step it up. Fingers crossed!

4) Improve my diet to a point where I’m only eating fried foods once a week.

I keep forgetting about this one. If I ignore the food I eat while at work, I stick to this resolution very well.

5) Finish unpacking my apartment by April October.

So… I intend to make the goal of October. I have a plan to buy more shelves and that should go a long way for organization.

6) Get another cat.

We did it! There’s an upcoming post about Jazz.

7) Use one of my bridal shower gifts at least once a week. Giggity.

Yeah, haven’t cracked open an unused gift yet, but I do get great repeat use from some gifts. Who has time? I should check if that edible stuff people bought us has an expiration date.


New Year’s Resolutions: April and May

I stopped doing the weekly updates of my New Year’s Resolutions because it was the same thing week after week. But now that we’re nearing the end of May, I figured I’d do an update on how I’d done since my last post on April Fool’s Day.

1) Cook dinner for the fiancé husband at least once a week.

I’ve done an amazing job of this. On a bad week I’m cooking only once. That’s when our schedules don’t match up and I don’t see him for three days. On a good week, it’s up to three times.

2) Go to some sort of production/media thingee once a month. This can be as extravagant as the opera, or as simple as a movie theater.

We’ve seen a movie at least once a month. Most recently we saw both Think Like a Man and The Avengers on the same day in the theater. Both great movies! We really need to expand out to more cultural events. I want to go to a concert or musical.

3) Exercise an average of 3 times a week. This can be going jogging or yoga.

Don’t even get me started. I’m lucky if I squeeze in some sit-ups and push-ups once a week. At least the husband and I play the Wii more so I get some aerobic exercise in once a week.

4) Improve my diet to a point where I’m only eating fried foods once a week.

Yeah, I’d forgotten all about this goal. If you count the multiple fried foods all in one meal, then I’m sort of only doing it once a week. I can improve this one easily though.

5) Finish unpacking my apartment by April October.

April has come and gone and our bedrooms are still a mess. That’s why I’ve changed the finish date to October. For Project UnPack, we’ve got the bathroom, hallway, living room, closets, and kitchen done. Now it’s just the two bedrooms.

6) Get another cat.

We did it! There’s an upcoming post about Jazz.

7) Use one of my bridal shower gifts at least once a week. Giggity.

It’s not always the lingerie, but I honestly do use one of those gifts once a week. Mostly kitchenware. Eventually though, we will move to the goodie drawer. Giggity.


Resolutions, Week 13

So here are my resolutions:

1) Cook dinner for the husband at least once a week.   

2) Go to some sort of production/media thingee once a month. This can be as extravagant as the opera, or as simple as a movie theater.   

3) Exercise an average of 3 times a week. This can be going jogging or yoga.   

4) Improve my diet to a point where I’m only eating fried foods once a week.   

5) Finish unpacking my apartment by April.   

6) Get another cat.   

7) Use one of my bridal shower gifts at least once a week. Giggity.

Here’s how I did:

1) I definitely have been accomplishing this one the last few weeks. I’ve cooked dinner, and made breakfast, lunch, and dessert too. I’ve got a well-fed husband at home

2) I saw Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds and The Hunger Games in March. I expect the new American Pie movie (that does come out in April right?) will take care of me this month.

3) At the doctor, I was close the heaviest I’ve ever been. So no, no exercising.

4) I haven’t been eating a lot of fried foods. I should amend that for saucy foods. Pasta, pizza, smothered everything is not the best alternative to fried.

5) Well, not by the beginning of April. Maybe by the end. Cross your fingers.

6) Working on it.

7) Made cookies, used lingerie, and used other kitchen items. I used it an average of once a week, though not really once a week. Close enough?