Wrapping Up 2019

Brat to me about a thing you did in 2019 that you're proud of.
Saw this on Facebook…

Somebody I know posted the above graphic on Facebook a couple of weeks ago. “Please brag to me about a thing you did in 2019 that you’re proud of.” And I looked at that… and looked at that… and couldn’t think of anything. Not a single damn thing that I’m proud of or happy about from 2019.

Now, my kid is awesome, but I can’t take all the credit for her awesomeness. I made her, but she’s also her own human being and she’s a pretty rad human being. I wanted to think of something that made me feel like I had accomplished something as an individual aside from parenting and there wasn’t anything.

This was my lowest mileage running year ever… even the year I was pregnant and gave birth I ran more than this year. I didn’t run any races. I frequently use my lunch hour to workout, and this year I’ve been busy with work and haven’t had as many “lunch hours.”

I didn’t have any goals this year. That’s probably part of the reason I don’t feel like I accomplished anything. But it’s also hard to have goals when you feel like your life is constantly in upheaval and out of your control.

Maybe I need to stop looking at a “big picture” since I don’t know where my life is going to take me, even over the next few months everything is a big gray question mark. Perhaps I should make a goal or “intention” each morning. A goal like 30 minute of exercise every day isn’t a given, you never know if you’ll end up with illness or injury or have unexpected life situations that derail your schedule.

I feel like I used to dream big and have goals. Still deep down I’d like to do an ultramarathon. I’d like to visit Machu Picchu. I’d like to summit Mt Charleston. One of those should be totally doable this year, provided I don’t end up moving. (My husband looking for a job, it’s a whole thing…)

Somewhere along the way I’ve lost all sense of myself. I’m not even sure what I like anymore. Someone was asking me the other day if I had eaten at any good restaurants recently, I realized then the only restaurants I ever visit are ones that I know my child will eat something at. I used to love trying new restaurants. It was fun to try new food and since I telecommute, it’s a chance to escape the house sometimes. But now we are saving money, so we don’t eat out much anyway. And when we do, it should serve a quesadilla for my kid.

I used to like looking up recipes, but I’m not even sure if that is because I truly liked making them or if it just had to do with the fact that I was starving myself with an eating disorder. (Read: Minnesota Starvation Experiment) All I know is right now I hate cooking and meal planning. My kid won’t try anything new and I just don’t want to listen to someone say they are scared to try it and have another person (husband) silently eat the food and then walk away from the table. It’s discouraging.

I used to love blogging. Now I’m not so sure. I don’t mind reviewing stuff that is sent to me, but I also feel like people expect me to turnaround and review it within days (I have a full-time job!) and it also doesn’t feel like anyone reads blogs now. At least, my readership has dropped a lot. And for a long time I didn’t care how many people read my blog, but right now it feels empty. And I don’t think I can ever want to be an “influencer” with my posting, I do it all out of fun. I can’t fathom taking a photo of myself cradling some product and gushing, “You guys! These garbage bags have LITERALLY changed my life!” But the thought of blowing this site up makes me sad. I have blogged since 2001 and my first blog is still floating around out there in the internet ether… if you know what it was called you can probably still find it, even if I lapsed on the domain.

I still love reading, but I don’t get much uninterrupted time to sit down with a book and read. I did read quite a few books this year, but a lot of those were audiobooks. If you listen to those while you run and every time you have to commute for work, which was a lot this year, you get a lot of time to listen.

I used to love learning new web technologies. Now the field changes so fast and I feel like my role in a supervisory position demands more time than I can expend to keeping up like I wish I could. And then there’s the constant onslaught of home demands. I could take time to learn stuff if I give up sleep?

Speaking of sleep… I used to love waking up at 4am to run. Seriously, it was the best part of the day. I loved seeing the sun come up, I loved knowing I’d accomplished something good for me so early in the day, I loved feeling alive! And I did it on about 5 hours of sleep consistently. Well… I can’t do that now. It caught up with me and it now feels hard to wake up at 6am these days. The fact that my child calls out for me in the night, sometimes multiple times in the night, probably doesn’t help. Moving to a new house last year seems to have broken my child who previously could sleep through the night on her own.

Go to bed earlier? Well, I usually get about an hour each night to watch a TV show with my husband. I wouldn’t say it is quality time (I mean, we watch The Masked Singer, so…), but it’s definitely a check mark in the quantity time column. Going to bed earlier would make me miss out on that.

So, this meandering post is basically to say, I don’t know who I am now. I guess I need to figure that out. It’s a new decade, I can do that. Right?

3 comments

  1. Yeah, after the holidays, I always feel a little blah. I’ve tried to pinpoint why, and I think it’s because it’s the time to evaluate the fact that my life is super boring. I mean, I have things like travel that make my life seem not boring, but those last like a week or two or sometimes only a weekend. The reality is that my life is otherwise pretty darn mundane. I think that’s the reality of life. It’s generally routine and boring. Even my hobbies regularly become tired and boring. I have come to the conclusion that I have to actually find joy, peace, and happiness in the mundane. Like, I make little goals about the mundane.

    I guess we’re all really in this mundane life together, trying eke out life. I have some suggestions of what I’ve tried or what you could try, but really, who am I to know what you should do in your life? I am up for a brainstorm on this topic, though, because I had a bit of a life panic yesterday at the new year where I was like having an existential crisis or something, but it was brief, and I think I’m good now. Anyway, let me know if you would like me to brainstorm on this blog some more?

    • I’d be down for some brainstorming? But maybe you’re right, we need to find peace and comfort in the mundane. I always feel kind of sheepish when people ask about my weekends or holidays and I realize I didn’t do anything “special” and it makes me feel like nobody else does the mundane!

      • I totally do the mundane all the time. I pretty much stayed home and cleaned for two nights in a row this week with no social contact at all. Interestingly enough, I sat by someone at a lunch meeting the other day who said that he is so busy and that when he is so busy, it becomes even more important to actually make the time and schedule in what he really wants to do. So on that note, my brainstorming that I will use for you and me:

        1. Pick a day each week where you limit your work on your job, so this means making sure you quit working after 8 hours. It’s easy to get carried away unless you limit it. If you have a work calendar, put it on your calendar so coworkers know to not expect to contact you at that time.
        2. Let the husband take a meal each week on a day (probably the one where you quit working for sure at 8 hours). You may have to suck it up and eat a can of chili or something on those days because that’s what he cooks, but it’s only one day a week. I have no idea if he is a good cook or not. (Have back up fruit available, just in case you really can’t eat it.)
        3. Go running on the day that you are only working 8 hours and your husband is cooking/meal prepping. That’s your running day/time, so everyone knows to plan on it. (One day is better than zero)
        4. Set achievable goals. So eating at a restaurant without your kid doesn’t seem achievable, but maybe it is, if you make the goal less frequent. Maybe plan on going to a restaurant and finding a sitter/neighbor/friend for the kid to hang with once a QUARTER. If that’s the achievable amount, then do it. Something is better than nothing. Also, it won’t kill the kid to eat someplace that doesn’t have a quesadilla once a quarter, if you really want the kid to join you.
        5. Just book a flight. Once you have it booked, there’s no going back. You have it planned, and you will end up making it happen. (Machu Picchu was very cool. Let me know if you need tips once you book your flight to Cusco.)
        6. Google tips for having your child sleep better through the night. Like, is the bed by the window and the window is scary? Move the bed. Etc. There is probably some reason for it. Keep trying different stuff until it works. Warm milk before bed?
        7. Google crockpot freezer meals and see if any appeal to you. Let’s say you think chicken fajitas sound good. Get twice the ingredients and then cut up half and put it in a freezer bag so that you can dump it in the crock pot one day a month in the future for a non-time-consuming dinner. (This honestly saves me, but you have to be choosy about which meals because not all are very tasty in a crockpot.)
        8. My sister made every dish in a cookbook once. It kept the cooking aspect a bit more interesting because she ended up making stuff she never would have otherwise, and she accomplished the goal.
        9. Move your furniture around or buy a new bedspread or towels or something. I swear that small changes can help reset you.
        10. Make a goal to try a new fruit or vegetable. I know it sounds dumb, but new stuff is cool and interesting.
        11. Listen to a totally different music channel than you normally would or go back and listen to some retro stuff from earlier in your life.
        12. Play Bingo with random life stuff for the week. Write down or just vocalize some stuff you know you’ll probably see/do each week and then also sprinkle in some stuff that may or may not happen. For example, last time in Vegas we put the regular stuff: Elvis impersonator, wedding party, someone walking the strip in stilettos, etc., but then we also put stuff we weren’t sure we’d see, like someone wearing a cowboy hat or whatever. Yours could be stuff like, seeing a garbage truck or seeing sidewalk colored on with chalk or something you might see in the neighborhood or in the store.

        I don’t know. I’m a nerd, but seriously, this stuff keeps me going during the busy times.

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