Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Last week of 2010

Here we are, the year about to end. I had intended, by now, to have compiled a list of action items that would make my 2011 goals more attainable, but that didn't happen. Instead, I have spent the better part of the last few weeks working, thinking about work, complaining about work, preparing for the holidays (or deliberately avoiding holiday prep), or just trying to not appear like the mental case I'm pretty sure I am. And I made felt food. This is an exhausting undertaking to say the least. The fact that I have not been institutionalized is a testament to just how strong I am.

But now I must truly get to it - planning for the new year. I've reflected a great deal on how I've gained back much of the weight I lost in October due to some very bad habits. I've also been spending time thinking about the many young people who are no longer with us. I can no longer count on one hand the number of people my age who have lost a parent this year or who have themselves passed away. I don't pretend to know enough about any of them (ok, except one person) to know why they are no longer with us. But I know this much: I am not living as healthy a lifestyle as I could and I am not encouraging my family to live a healthy lifestyle.

I realize that no amount of healthy living can save any one of us from our ultimate fate. I know that if it's our time, it's our time, end of story. But I also know that much of what I do is within my control and I'm wasting time and energy doing things that are in no way good for me. I am letting my child do things that I know are not good for him. I am not encouraging my husband to do better things, rather I'm encouraging him to do things that I want to do, even when I know they are not good for us.

I guess what it all comes down to is that everything I posted previously as my goals for the new year are really just subheadings of my main goals for the rest of my life.

Live healthy. Live simply. Enjoy moments.

Happy New Year to you and thank you for spending time on this journey with me.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Cards

I'm a grinch, a scrooge, a party-pooper. I am no fun. I do not like Christmas cards.

They are expensive. If you want ones that look nice, you have to spend money. And it's quite a bit of money, if you ask me, for something that most of the people on your list are going to throw away. Then you have to put a stamp on each (maybe more than one if you're fancy). Stamps are ridiculously expensive.

They are time consuming. If you write them all out by hand, you're going to kiss at least one evening goodbye. You also have to select what you want and if you include a picture and are anything like me, all those decisions creates more anxiety than I feel is necessary this time of year.

Then there is the environment to consider. The paper, the ink from the printer, the picture-making device at the place printing your photo cards. The electricity to run this crap. The energy used to cart the stupid things all over the universe so they can get where they need to be.

And then there are people's expectations. There are still some people out there who believe that there is something inherently wrong with you if you don't send a card. They are offended that you didn't take the time to write them a message (you printed your labels and didn't even sign them?? How dare you!!). And then there is the notion that if you have a kid you must send out a photo card.

I want to opt out of the whole card thing. If I see you in person, I don't want to hand you a card. If you see pictures of my child regularly (or if you see him!), I don't think I should have to spend a small fortune to mail you one just because it's December.

I know if I was doing my cards instead of typing this, I could have made some progress on the project by now. If I had started them early, I could have them done as well. You would be smiling at my adorable child instead of reading this and shaking a fist in the air about how horrible I am. If I really cared about you at all, I'd send you a card.

But I submit to you that instead of writing out cards, I could be making a memory with someone. Or working on the birthday presents I have planned for Nathan. Instead of spending money on cards, I could buy ingredients to make cookies with my family. Instead of sending a card once per year, I could tell you throughout the year that I care about you.

I appreciate all of the cards people send me, but not if they make them feel badly - if they feel obligated or otherwise inconvenienced, that would make me sad. I'd rather not get one. I know you care, I don't need a card. I especially don't need one if I don't think you care because I don't hear from you all year, but that's another post.

I want to opt out. Maybe next year I just might.