We’re coming up on December. Which means next year is approaching us like the bright light of a train in the middle of a tunnel. Soon we’ll be seeing posts of “my resolution, I promise, I’m going to, I want to” for the new year. Sad to say, I’m among those people.
Starting in December, I start looking into how I can make myself a better person. I start researching the Pinterest boards for monthly, weekly, and daily challenges. This goes into that whole thing about planning out my journals.
And I’ve got plenty that I want to do. I want to lose weight. I want to write more books. I want to sell more books. I want to get a corgi. I want to buy a house. I want to work on my YouTube channel.
On top of that I still have to get my son ready for kindergarten. I have to stay on top of my girls to make sure they’re staying up on top of their learning. I would like to be able to take my family to Disney World this year. I want to head to Philly to see my parents.
You can see I’ve got a laundry list of things I would like to accomplish this coming year. The fact is I’m not very good at sticking with things. I start a lot of things. Not just in the beginning of the year when everyone else does, but throughout the year. My life is a series of “I’ll start on Monday.” And I do. And I do start on Monday; I’m usually done by Wednesday. It doesn’t take much to throw me off of whatever routine I’m trying to establish. The only thing I have actually stuck through basis has been writing.
Sometimes I wonder if it’s actually possible for me to finish something. Well, something that isnt a meal or a book. But, I would love to stick with a cleaning routine. Then I wouldn’t have to sit out all these get well cards and make people think that I’ve been sick the last week.
I’d love to have a savings account. I would love to be able to save up money for a house. That’s why we’ve been trying to sell the property here, for down payment. Like I said before, right now we’re living paycheck to thirteen days before the next paycheck.
The matter is more of self-discipline at this point. You know, the thing that tells you you can’t have chocolate cake for breakfast. Which I don’t understand that. Bill Cosby was right – milk, flour, eggs. It’s practically a pancake.
But self discipline sometimes is not enough. You have to actually want to change. You have to groom yourself to want to change. You have to be laser focused and to want the end goal. You have to be hungry for the end desire bad enough to do whatever is necessary for that change to become part of you.
That may why I’ve only really stuck with things like nanowrimo. It means something to me. It’s a competition, even if it is just with myself. The prize isn’t money, a t shirt, or even a participation trophy. It’s prize is having a finished manuscript. That is more important to me than having a clean house. It’s more important to me than having a down payment for a new house. Those things are important as well, but those are things that I can get help with, as opposed to writing a book which is all me. The story is all me. Writing the words is all my responsibility. The book will not get written if I do not write it. No one else can help me write it. It’s not just going to write itself. The writing of that story rests solely on my shoulders. Whereas I have two teenage girls, a five year old son, and a husband who can help me clean the house. My husband can help me save for a down payment on a new house. Those things don’t just rely on me to do them. That’s not to say I don’t value them as much or put as much pressure on myself for those things. I just don’t feel the amount of responsibility to get those things done on my own as I do with writing, I suppose.
So if I were to look at my year in the way that I typically do, I would ask, “What do I want to work on this year?” I have to say my first task would be working on my motivation. I need to start being more excited at the changes that I want in my life. Again, I need to groom myself for these things. You might be asking why I keep using the word “groom.” The theme for today was supposed to be “get grooming.” The problem with that is we’ve already discussed that I’m a fairly low maintenance gal. I’m jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers. My hair is done when I roll out of bed. And makeup just makes me look like a drag queen who just got done a three night set in Vegas. I get showers on a regular basis. Which is more regular now that I have a job outside of the home instead of being a stay-at-home mom. I couldn’t tell you how many days had gone I between showers, teeth brushing, or hair washing. My mom yoga pants had formed to my body I wore them for so long.
Grooming it isn’t just a physical thing. You have to groom yourself mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. There’s a lot of pretty people walking around out there who have some some dirt going on inside. I may look like a train wreck on the outside but I’d like the inside to be a little less train wrecky.
So I think the first thing I’m going to start doing is working on my motivation. I know a lot of people do these challenges. They make these resolutions, these promises, and they expect everything to be fixed within the first month. I’m pretty sure these are the same people who show up to the gym January second and by January seventh are upset because they haven’t lost any weight. Then, they stop going. The thing is, you can’t expect years of behavior patterns to just be corrected overnight. It’s not something that you can just wave a magic wand and poof, it’s fixed.
I think it all depends on your mindset and how willing you are make the changes that are necessary. I want to stop biting my nails. That means I have to say to myself, “If you want to stop biting your nails, then when you get bored, stop putting your hands towards your face. Find a different outlet for the anxiety.” I want to buy a house. To do that I have to put money away when I get paid. And I have to leave it alone. I want my house to stop looking like a Toys R Us crack den exploded, theb get your family to chip in. Or just throw everything out and start over. I think I’m in that second category at this point.
I’m looking towards next year. There are lots of things that I want to do with myself. I would love to be able to stick with a routine for more than two weeks. My track record does not speak well for me. I admit to that. We’re in the process of getting my daughter tested for ADD. From what I’ve heard there might be a genetic component to it. Some of the symptoms are being disorganized, not being able to stick with a routine, and not being able to focus. If ever there were a list of symptoms that had my name written all over it it would be that. My picture would be included.
I love anything that gives me hope of being put together and organized. I make lists. I have apps. I have alarms. I even spent money on a binder that had all the paperwork printed out already for what routines I needed to set. I bought little plastic sheets and dry erase markers to be able to use to cross off my chores on my to do list for morning, afternoon, evening, and before bed. I use that purple binder as a lap desk now.
So I got to think that maybe motivation and strengthening my will power should be the first things I work on. Because I think if I get all of that in check first, then the rest might actually fall into place a little easier.
I know I’ve talked about the Flylady and her system of routines before but, I’m going to keep talking about her because I do love her. I love this one saying she has. She says, “You are not behind. Jump in wherever you are.” If you can’t figure out what that means, I’ll help you out. That means start from the beginning for you. You don’t have to be where everyone else is. She has these thirty one baby steps. Whether your house just needs a dusting or you could star in your own episode of “Hoarders,” everyone always starts at number one. Number one is go shine your sink. So, everyone starts off in the same place. No matter whether you’re starting in January, June or October.
So, January is going to be working on my motivation and will power. Getting my will power stronger. Getting a stronger base for myself I feel will help me succeed better at the sticking with a cleaning routine, creating and utilizing a savings account.
There are other things on my road to be the best me I can be that aren’t really routine based. They would happen on a regular basis but aren’t actual routines. A big thing I do know that we need to work on around here are the relationships. We need to groom a little bit of better connections around here. My husband and I haven’t had a night alone in over fivr years. We haven’t had a date night. Hell, we haven’t even had a honeymoon yet and we’ve been married for five years. Maybe this should be the year that changes. I want to be a better wife for him.
I want to work on the relationship between me and my daughter. I feel like we need to have more conversations and less, “How’s it going?” I want to help her get prepared for what it’s going to be like after high school. I know it’s normal to have that pulling away, I think it’s called the cleaving, that teenagers do with their parents. But I do want to try to make memories with her as I possibly can over the course of the next three and a half years that we have left. I want to give her something of a role model to look up to when she is out on her own.
So maybe a monthly date night with my husband without any children can get added on to the list. And a monthly date night with my daughter. Just my daughter. So we can reconnect. I miss the little girl she used to be. But I really love the young woman she is growing into.
So I will search for ways I can improve myself. I will look into monthly classes for writing. I will ask my husband and daughter for date night suggestions. I will look up exercise routines for overweight moms in their forties. And I will look into being stronger willed and more motivated for the changes I want for me and my family.
Today, I will get grooming.