Plan #23 – Stop feeling guilty

I didn’t post on Thursday (Thanksgiving), as I spent the whole day with family and friends and decided to go to bed at a reasonable hour.

I didn’t post on Friday, as I spent the whole day in bed. I swear, I was narcoleptic. I couldn’t even read, as my eyes would just droop shut and I would drop the phone on my face. Instead, I had a sleeping cat on my chest and a sleeping dog on my legs and there we stayed until late in the afternoon. I did get up and get dressed to go to dinner with Mitch and Nicole (at a fantastic but very spendy restaurant called Xico on SE Division). We played a game called Wordigo after dinner, and, again, I decided to sleep after that instead of blogging.

Still… I was frustrated with myself. I’d made a commitment to post every single day in November! I couldn’t just casually miss two days in a row! But I snapped back to rational thought and decided it is better to do what I need to do to take care of myself than to arbitrarily set a goal and pursue it blindly. My whole plan is meant to be motivating, not punishing! I want to end this month excited about blogging, not feeling like I have failed.

Because, honestly, I enjoy this blog a lot more when I post often but without guilt. I’m aware that it is just a rambling monologue about my life, but that’s okay; some people will be interested, some won’t. But if I’m not interested in coming here, we have a problem!

Right now, I’m very interested. Love you all.

happy new year! a resolution revolution

Happy New Year

It’s the start of a new year, the perfect time for making changes. I hereby resolve that this is the year I don’t make resolutions, the year I don’t try to improve, the year I don’t change myself. Does this mean I am declaring 2014 “The Year of Stagnation”? Not at all. I am going to let 2014 be “The Year We See How Everything Turns Out,” and then… well, we will see how everything turns out. You see, I have already failed at making 2014 a year of improvement, a year of change, a year of resolutions.  In no particular order, here are a few of my failures thus far:

  • A better work-life balance? I went in to the office on New Year’s Day and did six hours of work on a holiday… and then had to go back in today to cut some checks I forgot to write yesterday.
  • Never being late again? Overslept for an appointment just this morning… which was a make-up for the appointment I forgot I had last Friday.
  • Exercising every day? Not unless you count walking to the bus stop after work last night or running up a hill to try to make that appointment today.
  • The whole paleo eating plan? That went out with the baguette I shared yesterday, the peanut butter cup I had today, and the complete lack of veggies I’ve eaten.
  • Daily blogging? I got on the computer at 11:30 last night, determined to write a post before midnight, and got distracted by Hudson Taylor videos until 12:03 am. Who knows when I will get this post done!
  • Being a better friend? Well, I’ve neglected to check my voicemail though I have 4 new messages, and I have been confronted with a mountain of still-not-wrapped, still-not-delivered Christmas presents to deal with. (I haven’t finished writing my Christmas letter, either.)

As far as my resolution of improving my attitude… sigh. After my auspicious start, I was stomping around the house this afternoon, cursing myself for being a complete idiot (and worse). David finally got fed up with me being so negative, and said, “Knock it off. You are better than this.” (I did not reply. He said, “Are you mad?” I said no. “Do you wish I would shut up?” I said no. “Are you sure?” I said no.) I am better than this. In fact, I am pretty darn good. What is not good is setting myself up for failure with these all-or-nothing pronouncements and then beating myself up for not meeting them. So I’m not going to have resolutions this year. Instead, I am going to focus on doing the next thing, the next task on my plate, and giving that task my full attention. Let’s see how everything turns out.

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‘Twas the Second Week of Advent…

Second sunday in Advent and two candles are lit

… and – all through the house – you’d hardly know that Advent was here.

The first Sunday of Advent was December 2nd. I was one of the lectors at church that day, proudly proclaiming, “In those days, in that time, I will raise up for David a just shoot ; he shall do what is right and just in the land.” Yet I have to admit that, for me, Advent stayed right there in church. We didn’t light the candles on our Advent wreath, start an Advent calendar, read an Advent devotional – and not because we are not well-stocked in each of those things! Somehow, it just did not translate into our “real lives.”

But this is not about beating myself up; this is about shining a light on things and bringing them out into the open. Only then can I make a plan for how I want to move forward!

Here’s my plan: I’m going to go find the Christmas box that has the Advent wreath in it. I’ll set that up right in the center of the dining room table and – gladly – make the time each night to light a candle and spend some time getting ready to celebrate Christmas, not just at church, but right here at home, in the middle of our real lives.

What kinds of Advent traditions do you have? I’d love to hear from you. Do you put up an Advent wreath? Have any favorite Advent calendars? (We used to love the German ones with the Kindersurprise eggs inside, but sadly they are banned in the U.S. now. So sad!)

xo – Lori

Thanks to Per Ola Wiberg for the photo!