I have spent a fair amount of time thinking about some actionable goals with “well formed outcomes” to work towards in 2015. New year, new you and all of that. I have three in my mind that are still pretty amorphous – 1) write something, 2) earn some amount of money (not necessarily in relation to #1), and 3) something about some kind of life routine. So as you can see, more work is required to develop something where I would have any idea of what success actually looks like. Have I already succeeded with #1 because I am writing this blog? For #2, would returning a christmas present count?
There is one element among these that I was pretty clear on wanting to change in the new year. I decided that, while I was pondering how to develop specific goals, I could at least get started with the routine. Now, don’t imagine that I was ready to start waking up early, eating 3-4 servings of veggies a day, exercising at least monthly (we start there and build to weekly… baby steps). The goal, I think, will incorporate all of these. I need a routine. My family needs for me to have a routine. That routine needs to include getting up early, going to sleep early, exercise in some form or fashion other than dishes, toy pick up, laundry. Raking should count though.
But while I am waiting to develop the perfect goal with 3-5 clear outcomes and daily/weekly action points (or however one goes about structuring a goal the right way to actually develop new habits), I decided I could at least get started with one element. I can wash my face every morning. There are going to be days without showers. And days in yesterday’s clothes. And possibly even days without toothbrushing. But it shouldn’t be too terribly difficult to wash my face each day.
I told myself on New Year’s Eve: you don’t have any clear goals yet for the year, but you can do the face washing thing for now. Just wash your face every morning until it becomes routine, just like you always wash your face at night. Pretty easy win, really. Genius. Ok, January 1 – done. Face washed right after breakfast. January 2, took a shower when I woke up. Check. January 3, remembered around 10 am. That still counts as morning, still safe, 3 for 3. January 4 is the day I decided the goal was to wash my face before noon. As long as it was before noon then I was ok. January 5 I took a shower in the morning – that was a good day. Back to school, all is well, normal routine.
I am writing this on January 7 and the fact that there is a gap in my reporting should alert you to something. Cue ominous music. January 6 arrived, bright – very bright in fact because it was a (duh duh duh) SNOW DAY. Unfortunately for all of us, not the kind of snow day where you all pile back in bed together and cuddle with your precious cherubs for hours while getting extra sleep because there’s nowhere to go. And then all bundle up into your perfectly organized and easy to find snow clothing which fits correctly and is all gender appropriate. Where you play in the snow for hours, building forts and cheeky snowmen with little costumes and then come inside to drink hot chocolate by a gentle fire that no one ties to climb into while daddy makes grilled cheese sandwiches on the panini press (that you sold at a garage sale because you’ve never used it and it weighs 40 pounds) and warms up some of that homemade creamy tomato soup that you made in the summer from those homegrown tomatoes that the squirrels did not first hump and then take one bite out of each one and then use as a stool for their giant scrotums (i have a teency touch of the squirrel rage).
No, yesterday was the kind of snow day where there is a bit of snow accumulated on the ground, it is still snowing, it is predicted to keep snowing and, for some unclear reason, the powers that be decide not to call it a snow day. You feel confused. You don’t have a 4-wheel-drive vehicle and you live on top of a Dr. Suess hill, ridiculously steep by both approaches. But school is on so it must not be as bad as you feel like it looks like it will be. You go about your day as normal. Except you have to find snow clothes for everyone, including yourself. I’m not allowed to make disparaging remarks about my spouse on this blog so will not remark on whether or not he even decided to wear a hat or gloves. Ok, breakfast consumed, lunch prepared, children and parents bundled, or not, few minutes of play outside, car scraped of snow and ice, let the games begin.
The roads were very quiet. This confused me. School is on. Work is not cancelled. Where are all the people? What do they know that I don’t know? Eventually we got Maggie to school. But it took a long time and the car did slip around and we saw a few stuck cars and buses. Hmmm… Then Sam and I, as originally planned, were heading to my sister’s house where he was to spend a few hours with a sitter. Yes, the sitter was still on her way because my sister’s work was also not cancelled. But on the way there I remembered that I had not packed spare diapers or any food. Hmmm… let hungry child squirm in dirty diaper for several hours or risk going back up and down hill?? This (obviously shouldn’t have been but) was a tough call. Went home. Car slipped slightly on the way but not too bad. Get diapers and food, drive to sister’s. Sitter arrives after 2 hours in transit. I decide it is ridiculous to drive back up the hill to go home now and then down the hill to get sam and then back up the hill to bring him home for a nap and then back down the hill to get maggie and then back up the hill to bring her home. So i give up on having my 3 (now 2) precious hours of time alone in my own home. For the record, these were to be the first 3 hours in 20 months that I would have been in my own home alone. I was kind of looking forward to it. So I take sam with me and we drive home. On the way home we are heading up a big curve in the big hill at the same time as another car is driving down. We have to drive too close to the inside and of course we slip all over the place. We are stuck. Eventually i reverse down to level ground and try one more time. It is scary but we are successful and we make it home. But now the car is facing the even steeper hill and there’s no way to turn around. The temperature is in the low 20s, there is no grit, no salt, and our street goes nowhere. It should be the last street plowed or gritted in the whole city.
THEN I get a call that they are closing school early. COME ON GUYS. PLEASE JUST CANCEL SCHOOL INSTEAD OF HAVING ME DRIVE MY KID THERE IN BAD CONDITIONS AND THEN CLOSING EARLY. I guess i’m the dummy and I should have just stayed home with the soup and the grilled cheese (or the toast and cheese curls which is closer to reality).
Called a friend with 4-wheel-drive. She offered to pick Maggie up with her daughter. They came by for lunch. It was delightful. The kids and I all fell asleep after lunch for a late nap and woke up at 4:30 pm. I think I realized around that point that I hadn’t washed my face yet. And that changing the goal to washing my face each day by 5 pm was possibly just a bit of a stretch from th original intent. Turned out to be a pretty good day though. And I don’t think I lost a friend for lack of cleanliness. I should have brushed my teeth though because I do think bad breath can cost you a good relationship. Nobody wants to sit there and gab with someone with terrible breath.
My face is washed today. I’m not giving up because of one snow day. So now I’m 6/7. Still working on developing the other goals. But washing my face (most days) in the meanwhile.