Setting Goals for 2016

happy new year

I’ll be linking these up on Thursday at Mama Kat’s as New Year’s Resolutions, but after four years of college during which nursing diagnoses and care plans were drilled into my head I am completely incapable of making something so vague as a “resolution”. I set long-term and short-term measurable goals with specific time limitations and lists of actions to assist me in achieving them. Then I evaluate my progress along the way and adjust my goals and actions accordingly. Yes, that’s how nurses think. But we have the best stories, so hang out with us anyway 😉 Oh, and we also compartmentalized our lives as if they were different organ systems, all working independently but potentially spreading dysfunction from one to another. So my spiritual goals will be separate from my financial or relationship goals, but I know it’s all going to end up in the same bucket . . . so to speak.

 ~~~1 ~~~

Officially join the parish church I’ve been attending for years. If Michael doesn’t want to I will join on my own. I’m fairly sure John doesn’t want to, since he currently considers himself a Pastafarian. I’ve been putting it off because tithing in our current financial situation would mean giving up electricity or water, and I just can’t see that happening. But another of my goals may help in that area.

 ~~~2 ~~~

I want to keep losing weight and eating healthy. I’ve felt so much better in general after my gastric band surgery and my postop diet changes, and I’ve lost about sixty pounds so far even without aerobic exercise.

 ~~~3 ~~~

I would like to improve my flexibility, though, so I’m going to do daily stretches and very short walks when my neck and back pain allow. If our transportation situation (one-car family) and financial situation improve I’d love to go back to water aerobics. It’s the only aerobic exercise I can do without rapidly escalating pain, and I really have missed it.

 ~~~4 ~~~

I’m going to share EHT with new people every single day. Some days it just might be a telemarketer or the drive-thru pharmacy tech, but it’s a life-changing product. Go see Concussion with Will Smith and then tell me you don’t want something to activate the tau proteins in your brain!

 ~~~5 ~~~

I want to write daily, even if it’s only for fifteen minutes. My goal is to publish a novel in 2016, and I have a few that are partially finished, so that may not be an unreasonable goal!

 ~~~6 ~~~

John will be a Senior in High School in the Fall of 2016, so I need to help him prepare for college. He’s taking EHT to help him focus, so hopefully he can bring up his GPA and do well on the ACT. Then we need to start narrowing down the in-state schools that offer what he wants and scheduling visits. At least I’m not brand-new to this one. Wish me luck!

2015 in the Rear-view Mirror

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— 1 —

I can’t believe I’m writing this as 2015 ends. It’s been an educational year, and I feel I’ve grown a lot as a person. I’ve always been so concrete and goal-oriented that change (unless I initiated it) was negative. Now I embrace change, because I’ve finally realized that the whole “if you don’t change you stagnate” idea is true! There are a lot of things I’ll do differently in 2016. Some will be my idea and some won’t, but I have a feeling that most of the changes will be good. This from a life-long realist (my husband says pessimist)!

— 2 —

We’re ending this year with one of three cars running, which is an improvement over the zero of three we had a few days ago, when my husband broke down a hundred miles from home. We’re blessed with some wonderful friends and family, though. His brother, Patrick, went and brought him home, and his friend John fixed the brakes on Sarah, our minivan, so Michael could go to work. Our youngest son, John, spent a very long day riding with his dad at work today (he’s a courier), and the stranded car still wouldn’t start. But my step-dad, Greg, offered to drive from eighty miles further away than us and help load up the car and bring it home tomorrow!

— 3 —

Another wonderful blessing I’m currently enjoying is a clean house! My dad and step-mom gave us a house cleaning for Christmas, and it was wonderful! I have to admit, the first woman they sent didn’t do a very good job, but I emailed the company with pictures of the issues I had and they were quick to apologize and send someone else over to clean what had been missed. If you need a thorough housecleaning (or want to give a wonderful gift) call MaidPro. If you’re in the Louisville area ask for Alisa – she knows what questions to ask to give you the results you’re looking for! Now it’s so much easier for me to keep everything tidy. I still can’t clean, but if I keep things tidy then perhaps the guys will be able to clean more easily!

— 4 —

My randomly chosen Saint for 2016 is St. Ivo of Kermartin, patron saint of lawyers and the poor. Here’s hoping that means I will be blessed with a quick approval of my current application for SSI disability. I haven’t been able to work since 2011, so the paperwork stack is nearly as tall as I am (seriously), and one would think that three doctors of different specialties agreeing that I have a “failed spine” and that my disease has no further treatment options and will continue to deteriorate would lead a judge to believe that since I can’t work now I won’t be able to work next week, or next month, or next year. But we’ll see.

— 5 —

2016 is the year John graduates high school. My baby. I was a total basket case when Aaron, my eldest, graduated and went off to college two hours away. John hasn’t even visited colleges yet, but it’s time for us to start making lists. He’s planning on a Computer Science major with a minor in Japanese, and possibly being part of a non-competitive marching band. And in-state is essential financially. Suggestions for Kentucky schools are welcome! Heck, even out-of-state schools – who knows what sort of financial aid we can get at this point? Probably lots.

— 6 —

My Netflix binge-watching lately? Charmed. Yeah. The older and less clever version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But it’s good for distracting me when I have to lie down because the pain is bad. The plots are as simplistic as a board book, so it works for me. The really interesting part was when Norman Reedus (Darryl on The Walking Dead) showed up around Season five as someone’s boyfriend (can’t remember whose). Such a cutie-pie!

— 7 —

Speaking of Norman Reedus, drop by for my New Years Resolutions post. One is inspired by him!

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!

End Your Bitterness!

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One of Mama Kat’s writing prompts this week was to write a post inspired by the word “bitter”. I wanted to do the one about the past year’s resolutions, but I know I need to do this one. 2015 has been a tumultuous year, and I’ve learned a lot of life lessons. One of them is about bitterness.

SARK talks about grudges in The Bodacious Book of Succulence (I love her books!) and says, “My friend Bridgette used to just quietly say the word bitter when she would hear me or someone else being it.” Like so many tidbits from her books, that one has stuck with me for years. I tend to hold onto bitterness and grudges much longer than I want to. I remember hurtful words said to me decades ago as though it happened just this morning. And it’s not that I don’t forgive the people who said the words or the people who took the actions. I do, and I realize that even at the time these people probably did not intend to be hurtful. I just can’t forget all the situations, and it sometimes makes me cynical, judgemental, and – yes – bitter.

It was a huge transition when I went from being a full-time professional nurse, wife, and mother of two who was adept at keeping all the balls in the air to a practically house-bound chronic pain sufferer who can’t even load her own dishwasher, let alone work. I found out who my true friends were. I’ve let go of the bitterness I felt for those who were only my friends when it was convenient for them or when I could do something for them. I’ve grown much closer to those who really care about me, and who understand my limitations. I’m blessed with some fabulous friends and family members.

In the coming year I want to release all my bitterness, but keep what I’ve learned from it to guide my future interactions. That may be one of my most important resolutions this year!

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