Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The 2013 Version of Me

Let me be blunt. 2012 didn't live up to my expectations. A lot of people I care about lost close loved ones, including a mother and a child, we lost our beloved Murdock, and there were a lot of changes at work. The country is in the midst of a financial crisis, OSU went 12-0 but couldn't go to a bowl game because of a post-season ban they should have taken last season, and I started having anxiety attacks for some reason. But through all of that, at least the world didn't end in December as some people expected, so we keep on living as long as we are blessed to do so, and we look forward to 2013 with high hopes for a better year.

You may recall my resolution post from last year. Admittedly, I didn't accomplish ALL of my resolutions. So some of them are on the 2013 list as well, in addition to some new resolutions. But let's review.

1. Lose the baby weight. We're talking ALL the baby weight, going back to my pregnancy with Rachel. This didn't happen. It wasn't for lack of trying, believe me. Once again, I gave it my all. I worked out 4-5 days a week, running 3-5 miles 2-3 days a week for almost 10 months and doing 1-2 days of strength training from March through November. I also restricted my calories to 1500 or less, 6 days a week. Through all of that, I lost about 7 total pounds (4 from my Gavin pregnancy, and 3 of the pounds from the Rachel pregnancy). So I am still hovering 6-7 pounds from my goal weight. I got within 3 pounds of my goal after a week with the stomach flu, but most of that came back with the holidays. And when I stopped running in mid-October because I had no time for much of anything due to extra freelance work, I started losing some of the leg muscle I built up. So I am still working at losing the extra weight. Everyone tries to give me their tips and tricks, and believe me, I have tried a lot of different methods. I even had my thyroid tested because my doctor couldn't explain it either. I eat more reasonably than most people my age (I am very experienced with dieting and nutrition). I exercise the recommended amount. So I just have to see what this year brings. Perhaps my body was holding on to the weight through the breastfeeding. Maybe the hormones of pregnancy were clinging to me. We'll see. 

2. Run a 5K. Now initially, this was "Run a half-Marathon" but I thought that might be a bit lofty for a goal. DONE! Ran my first 5K in May, but I had been running 3.2 miles in my 2-3 days every week for about a month or so prior to that. It was such an uplifting experience. I managed to run the entire way straight-through, with no walking, and I finished with a decent time, given the crowd. And I go to run it with my sister, which made it even more fun. We started training for a half-marathon in October, but we waited a little too long to sign up for that. This worked out for me, because I had trouble getting my longer runs in during the hotter months. So our new goal is a half-marathon this May, which means I have to start running now. I will have to use the treadmill more than I did before, because the snow keeps coming around here, but I will make it work. I am determined. And this goal links up closely to #1 anyway, and it makes it feel less like exercising to lose weight than exercising to feel good about myself.

3. Spend more time with the family. I was successful with this through 7-8 months. Then my freelance picked up like crazy, Duane and I bought a bowling alley that took him away from the home 5 extra evenings a week, and like just got crazier. So I am leaving this on the agenda for 2013. I have been off work since December 21st and I don't have to go back until January 7th, so I have had a chance to really spend some good time with the kids. I have loved watching them play with one another, the dog, and Duane and me. It makes me wish I could afford to stay home with them, but I am lucky enough to get an extra week of vacation this year, so I plan to use that to spend with them. I will take a full week off for a trip to the lake again this year, and I am saving my money for a trip to Disney in the Fall, which I am SO excited to share with the kids--especially Rachel. That leaves 2 weeks of unplanned time, one that I will probably save for the holidays and the other I can use for special days here and there.

4. Pay off as much debt as possible. Still a work in progress, but we have a better sense of what we can do now. The purchase of the bowling alley has definitely helped, even though we aren't paying ourselves just yet. It isn't going to happen overnight, but Duane and I are working hard to do whatever we can, and we have a savings built up for emergencies now, which makes me feel better.
5. Be a better mom. FAIL. I'm sure my kids love and appreciate me, but I lose my patience far too quickly to consider myself a good mom. I get so stressed out that I lose a sense of calm that I have always prided myself on. I even started having anxiety attacks that caused heart palpitations. I took some pills to help with this, but they knocked me out too much and I began feeling like a zombie at night and in the morning, so I stopped taking them. The anxiety is a little more manageable now, but I still need to count to 10 sometimes and remember that the goal is to have fun with the kids -- I don't have to be supermom. I love my kids and I do the best I can. But it stays on the list.
6. Be less judgmental. Yeah...probably not great. Not a complete failure, because I have been able to step back and try to put myself in others' shoes more, but there are a few people out there who just push my buttons. So we leave this one on the list. I do feel like some of the tragedies of 2012 have helped me be a little more understanding of people around me though. It has provided some perspective on what is important and what isn't.
7. Figure out what I want to do when I grow up. Well, I got a new boss... Other than that, I haven't changed much. I haven't done anything about schooling because I know I don't have time, and I still am not convinced about what I want to do. So I may need to keep working on this. I have some opportunities coming up that may help diversify my skills, but I wish I could just have a year off work (paid) to really invest in what I want to do, because I think I would really enjoy going to nursing school or medical assistant school. I just can't afford to do it at this point.    *8. Blog more frequently.  One of the big reasons I have kept up on this blog for years is because it documents my kids' lives better than a photo book or scrapbook ever could. One day they can look back and see their lives documented. And I lost track of August through December this year. I need to get on here and document more of what they are doing, because they are growing up so fast! Gavin started walking in August (really walking, not just a step here or there) and I wasn't on at all before he started actually running. He is a professional walker now. Rachel has become so grown up that she has logical arguments with me. She is independent and wonderful and I didn't capture much of that either. So I need to be better about posting quick recaps as often as I can.   *9. Be a more appreciative wife.  I have a pretty great husband. He works his butt off, 60-80 hours EVERY week between 2 jobs. Then he has to come home and do the things I can't do here, because there are just some things I can't do around the house. And he isn't sentimental or mushy. He is a guy's guy. But he does all of this because he wants to provide a better life for us in the future, and I appreciate that about him. I have lost sight of that at times over the years. Like in any marriage, you get so focused on some of the things that bother you that maybe you lose sight of all the great things still there. But I need to focus on everything he IS doing and make sure he knows that I see all his hard work and I appreciate everything he does.   *10. Spend less time online.  I don't regret being on Facebook and blogging, in general, because it is a pretty awesome way to keep up with your friends. Think about 15 years ago when you wanted to contact a friend who had moved away. Generally you would have to call or write letters. Now, you can see what they are doing and stay closer than you used to be able to, because it is right there at your fingertips. And I LOVE my smartphone. I can look up almost anything within seconds. But...I go overboard a lot of times, and I need to set some limits for myself. I need to make sure I am living life offline more than I am spending life online.   
And with that...I am off to live 2013 to the fullest! Happy New Year!!   

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