First of all, I started writing this post in preparation for the 2016 New Year. Let that sink in. That is epic procrastination! A lot has changed in a year and yet most of this still applies from 2016.
Rather than focusing on the my new year’s resolutions (a post for another day…or year), I’m going to take the opportunity to talk about what didn’t make the list of resolutions. These are things that I have de-prioritized in order to make room for more essential things like, for example, sanity. It’s more than that though. In choosing what not to classify as a resolution I am making choices about what I consider the real priorities in my life. It’s been a helpful exercise and here is what I came up with. These are the things I won’t do in 2016…er…I mean 2017.
- Blog weekly. For me this blog is equal parts community engagement and therapy through self-expression. However the pressure of writing a weekly blog became overwhelming. So this year I am trying to blog when I can and let myself off the hook the rest of the time.
- Try a new thing every month. Last year this was my resolution. It turned out ok. I tried climbing at an indoor climbing gym, trying new types of cuisine, and I even counted giving birth (by VBAC – another post to come on that experience!). I would say giving birth was the most memorable of them all! Maybe I had the wrong mix of new things to try, but on the whole I didn’t get much out of it. Or maybe I have tried enough new stuff and at this particular point in my life I would rather spend my precious personal time on something I already know that I love (rather than, say, Bud Light Lime. Yegh.).
- Card making. This was a hobby gone wrong. I started in 2013 to cope with the stress of graduate school and having my first son. It was at that point a fun way to work with my hands and be away from computer screens and the baby. I ended up being the go to person any time a greeting card was needed (which is often!) I just last week made another 12 Valentine’s Day cards for my son’s preschool – which took all Sunday afternoon and was a total chore. This year I am going to send my hubby to Hallmark instead! I’ll continue to make cards iff (i.e. If and only if) I feel like it!
- Cook every day. Ugh. This one is so hard. I want to force myself into a resolution to cook dinner daily, but it’s too much. I do not have time for my fantasy of buying market fresh food daily and cooking it. That dream is illogical for my life. Even splitting the cooking with my hubby we just don’t have time to cook every day. So far this year we have taken two positive steps. Instead of ordering food we have subscribed to Blue Apron. It’s a service that sends ingredients and a recipe that takes about 30 minutes to cook. I do 2 dinners a week this way. My husband batch cooks on Sunday which usually covers two more week days. Friday’s we usually order food, although occasionally we eat out (with two kids this frequency has been downgraded to that of planetary alignment!).
- Renovate/remodel the house. I had a wonderfully long and ambitious list for our new house (we moved in last October). We are still on item 1 – a DIY bathroom renovation. I’m officially burning the rest of the list until we a) finish the bathroom, b) can afford to pay someone else to do the other renovation projects or c) accept and enjoy how things are rather than worrying about upgrading (this is rapidly becoming my favorite option!).
- Be more politically active. I had high hopes for myself at the end of 2016. I even managed to march in 2017, and I may again at least one more time this year. But for my mental health I need to compartmentalize political activism. News fatigue is very real and I am starting to feel it. US politics is straining my family relationships and I can’t begin to unpack how this will impact my 4 year old. So I am not going to resolve to be very active politically. I will do what I can (donate, march, make calls on occasion to my representatives) and keep it within reason. I will devote my activism instead toward creating a science research lab where all students can feel welcome and engaged. I’ll also try to instill my values in my sons. That alone feels like a tall order when I can’t even get my oldest to stop picking his nose. Ugh.
So that is my plan…or my un-plan. What will you NOT resolve to do this year?