Hiya! I'm currently sitting in the dead silent lounge of a local Honda dealer getting our car serviced. It's dark and dismal here, and I've already disrupted my fellow patrons' desperate attempts to escape this purgatory via the internet, books, or knitting by 1) sneezing loudly, and 2) making some loud, weird, involuntary throat noise when I was recovering from the sneeze. Oh, yeah. I'm THAT lady - the weird one in the corner who makes strangely wet bodily noises to the discomfiture of all within earshot. I'm tempted to start laughing loudly at random intervals or grunting and talking to my computer screen in a low, guttural voice just to keep in character. I've got 4 hours to kill here, so it may actually come to that. I'm just planning ahead.
Anyhow, I promised explanations of this month's resolutions, and I always keep my promises [to you]. So here you go.
1. Go to sleep earlier.
If you need explanation of this resolution, then you really are deserving of the pap I churn out on these here interwebs. I have a great habit of starting to go to bed at a reasonable time, and then I either find piddly little tasks to complete before actually sleeping (Last night's task = joining my undergrad alumni society. I got a 0 for yesterday's first resolution), and/or I stay up late reading in bed. Then I wake up to the sound of my gleeful daughter's pounding footsteps and whisper-shouted "MAMA'S STILL SWEEPING! MAMA'S TI-YUHD!" and curse myself for not just having gone to bed at a reasonable hour. It makes me grumpy, slow, and resentful in the morning, and this is no way to begin any day. So, early to bed because, thanks to a certain little blonde beast, I'm guaranteed to be early to rise.
2. Use energy honestly.
This is both a tough one and an easy one to explain. In short, if I need rest, then I should rest. If I need to move and get things done, then I should move and get things done. Perhaps it's a manifestation of my desperate need to control everything, but I have a tendency to try to force my body to do things it's blatantly telling me it doesn't need to do - like stay up late reading when I'm tired or avoid exercise even when I have ants in my pants and need to get the wiggles out. So, I'm going to try to stop doing that. If I need to have some downtime and that's available, then I'm going to take it. If I need to be a woman of action, even during Liv's nap time or after her bed time (usually times of forced solitude on the whole house - a habit leftover from our old, teeny house), then I'm going to do something physical. It makes so much sense that it's embarrassing to have to articulate a resolution to do this, but there it is. Fight crazy with reason, I always say.
3. Exercise Better.
I am a total champ of doing the same old damn thing at the gym 3-5 days a week (elliptical for 45 - 60 min at various resistances and speeds). This works out great for improving sleep and mood, but it's not developing my strength or flexibility, something that this week's 4-day-long tension headache illustrated dramatically. So I'm going to go to the Thursday night yoga class at the gym and incorporate strength training into my usual routine. I'm also going to add "pockets" of exercise during the day. There's no reason I can't do 15 - 20 minutes of strength, flexibility, and balance training into the day when Livy's napping, playing, or watching her stories. Shoot, that biscuit loves it when I do yoga while she's playing and can already do adorable renditions of downward dog and plank, so why not put in a yoga video to do with her? Win-win! Bendy mama, bendy baby! (Somewhat related thought: Is there a Gumby yoga DVD? If not, then there should be. Get on that, would you?)
4. Plug leaks.
No, not my own personal leaks, you perv, but rather energy leaks in my environment and circumstances. Christine Kane calls all of the little, distracting, undone things in your life and environment "leaks", and that imagery has stuck with me over the years. Her Uplevel Your Life program that I completed this year includes a full-on Leak List that I, uh, well, I thought about completing. So, I'm going to finish that list this month, and since we've moved into a new house it's going to be loooooooooong. But plugging those leaks, one at a time, will keep my energy focused rather than dispersed among dozens of tiny distractions. It puts me in mind of a small pile of collected recipes I had meant to put into plastic sleeves and into a binder for about 2 years. When I finally stopped thinking about it every day and putting it on my to-do list over and over and over again, it took about 15 minutes total to complete. The amount of time I spent worrying and thinking about this task so far outstripped the actual amount of time it took to just do the damn thing that it's sadly comical. What a waste of time and energy! Had I just plugged the leak immediately I could have used all of that time for useful things like napping or Googling my own name. Plug the leaks, save the time, live the life. It'd make a great plumbing slogan in addition to a great life plan.
5. Make the effort.
I'm a great one for making excellent plans in my head and then never executing them because one of my common and commonly false heuristics is that "I don't have time for that," whatever "that" is. So I resolve this month to invest energy into making the effort to execute my excellent plans. I did this last week with a bag of fresh blueberries from a friend's garden. In the time it took Livy to watch her usual morning episode of "Yo Gabba Gabba" I was able to whip up fresh blueberry muffins for breakfast instead of poring over Facebook and then pouring cereal. Totally worth the effort. Next, I'm putting this huge new house to good use by hosting 2 Halloween parties for 2 different parents/kids' groups this October. Again, seeing our old friends and their 2-year-olds in costumes will be completely worth the effort. If the first four resolutions are about gaining, nurturing, and amplifying my energy, then the fifth is about spending it generously and wisely.
If you're wondering, yesterday's resolutions were a mixed bag. I was getting over that damned headache, so I had to fudge on the exercise (headache + movement = nausea), and I wound up staying up late as the headache waned in the evening and I was finally able to get some things done. But the others were all successes! I rested when my body told me to, finally joined the alumni association so I could have library privileges (NERD! Also, it's in service of another writing project I'm launching.), and made a healthy dinner even though every fiber of my being was calling out for the speedy delivery of a Hawaiian pizza. Not bad for a beginning. And now onward!