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Looking Ahead

Posted Dec 30 2012 3:55pm

I’m not much of a new year’s resolution person.  Instead, I tend to make goals throughout the year because I forget my resolutions if I just make them at the start of the new year.  Priorities change too – so much can happen in just six months, let alone a year.

The weight loss/get in shape goal, which is almost a punchline these days because everyone seems to vow to do this, is always there.  I mean, I will always, always strive to lose weight and get in better shape.  I always vow to eat less and move more.  As someone who dealt with an eating disorder in the past and who still has body image issues, it’s almost impossible for me to not think about this (often to an unhealthy degree).  So I have those goals, yes, because I want to be healthier but more importantly, I try to be kinder to myself.  I try to remember that if I slip up diet-wise or get off the exercise bandwagon, I am not a horrible, disgusting person – I just need to do better the next time.  It is very hard for me to love the body I have right now and not spend my days thinking that when I’m thinner, that’s when I’ll wear shorts again or go swimming in public or perhaps be happy seeing myself in photographs.  I have to remind myself that even when I was bulimic and under 100 pounds, I still thought I was fat and my thighs were too big, and I still compared myself to every female in the room (and usually felt like I was the fattest one there).

I had a goal last year to eat less (which I often didn’t achieve, because now I like food too darn much).  But little things were successful:  we bought smaller plates and took smaller serving sizes.  I figured, if I’m going to be eating this food, at least let it be healthy.  So we added more vegetables, less meat, experimented with new ingredients and cooking methods.  This was a big success and one I’ll definitely continue.  This year I’m probably going to include a couple vegetarian meals each week, as well as at least one meal with lean meat and vegetables but no potatoes or pasta.  It’s been hard to get away from the idea that I need a potato or starch with a meat/veggie meal.  Instead of going full force and doing away completely with an ingredient, I do better if I replace one meal with something healthier…and then another meal.  I don’t completely cut out certain foods, so I don’t do “diets” – I know I can’t go the rest of my life never eating pasta again, or bread, or dairy, or sugar, so instead I go for moderation.

Money – well, that all hinges on what happens with the house this year.  If we sell it, how much we sell it for, when we sell it … it’s a very stressful thing for me to even think about because I have a bad habit of imagining a doom-filled future with us homeless and the cats dropped off at the pound.  So my goal, and I’m doing much better at this, is to deal with things one day at a time.  Today, I can pay these bills and buy this food and I still have a roof over my head.  I’ll deal with tomorrow when it comes.

I had a goal to write more and I have to say, I failed miserably at this until I decided to participate in Holidailies.  I am so very glad I decided to do this, because now I’m not afraid to sit there in front of an empty Word document and just start filling the page with words.  I’ve gotten over my fear of thinking I have nothing to say.  In 2013 I hope to be here much more often than I was throughout 2012.  You can’t be a writer if you don’t write!

Looking back, 2012 was not as bad a year as it seemed.  I think the main stressor for us (or me, since I’m the one who deals with the bills) was money because we cut back so much on the candle business.  (Luckily, this is secondary income…but it used to enable us to have some extras and pay off bills, which was nice.)  There were some months the business didn’t even bring in $100, and in the Good Old Days we had sales between $3,000 and $4000 a month.  But we adjusted, and we live very frugally now which can be a little exhilarating at times now that it’s not so terrifying.  None of us had terrible illnesses to deal with, Eric ended the year in a blaze of glory with his newfound independence, Paige is on her first tentative path to independence as well (fingers crossed for second semester at NIU!) and Dave and I have a marriage that seems to just get better by the day.  I can’t imagine spending 24 hours a day with anyone else and being as content as I am with him, so it’s really a joy to get this time with him; I make sure to be thankful every day.  We had heartbreaking losses when our guinea pig Cruiser and our dog Toby crossed the rainbow bridge earlier this year, but our four kitties are doing well and Spike the hedgehog is as feisty as ever.

I’m trying to look forward to 2013, because it has the potential to be an amazing year with lots of changes for us if we can sell this house and move to Michigan.  My goal is to see the possible good in the future instead of imagining every bad scenario that could come about.  I will try to live more fearlessly in 2013.

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