Welcome, 2018: Let’s Talk Goals

Considering that yesterday, on New Year’s  Day, Sona and I ditched our plans to go to the gym and eat healthfully to instead laze on the couch, take naps, and order takeout, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that we don’t take New Year ‘s resolutions very seriously around here.

Still, with all the craziness of the holidays, I think January provides a good time to reset, re-norm, and reevaluate our plans for the coming year.

(Writing this prompted me to look back through previous blog posts to see whether or not I’d blogged resolutions before. And, to my surprise, I had! Here is my post from 2016. Looking back through it now, it feels good to know that many of those goals were realized. And yet, there are many that we’re still trying to make happen.)

So, while I’ll stop short of calling these “resolutions,” when I take stock of what is to come in 2018, here are some goals–some more lofty than others–that I’d like to be mindful of in the coming months.

    • Yes, workout more. Yes, make healthier choices. Yes, this is cliche. But still, Sona and I have done a really, really bad job committing to any kind of fitness routine since having Finn. As I’ve written about a gazillion times, most days, we’re just trying to keep our heads above water. I’ve struggled with my weight been heavy most of my life. (For what it’s worth, even though that phrasing came to mind first, I don’t really identify with the word “struggle.” I have not, in any way, let my weight be life-defining, but that’s for another post.) So, for me, it’s really about trying to establish a realistic and maintainable routine that makes me feel better, gives me more energy, and helps keep my health in check. For Sona, it’s really more about feeling strong mentally, as she does when she is running routinely.
    • Get Finn out of the crib and onto a potty. Okay, those are actually two steps. But with his turning 3 at the end of this summer, I really hope that before we ring in 2019, he’s  in a “big boy bed” and out of diapers.
    • Be smarter with managing our money. In the past couple of years, we’ve bought a house and enrolled a toddler in a Chicago-priced daycare. Just those two things alone have increased our monthly expenses by about 40%. This year, we also had a lot of  fertility-related expenses, some unexpected home repairs that were necessary, and a bathroom reno. All of that means that we were under a bit more financial stress than typical, and we had to make some sacrifices as a result. We need to get it together, this year.
    • Adventure more. The biggest sacrifice we’ve had to make since buying our home is that we’ve been able to travel much less than we did before. We still managed to get in a few trips in 2017–Washington D.C., California, Tennessee, Italy, Grand Cayman–but Sona and I have a dream for our family’s future that involves a lot of adventuring. I know that, with a new baby on the way and the majority of Sona’s time off eaten up by maternity leave, we likely won’t be able to travel very much in 2018, but I hope we find ways to squeeze in little adventures where and when we can. My soul needs it.
    • Continue to prioritize our marriage. Oy vey. I’ve said a lot about this before, too. Keeping a marriage alive is hard work. Keeping a marriage alive while parenting little ones and maintain two full-time careers is really hard work. Sona and I are really good about developing marriage-maintenance game plans, but we are really awful at sticking to them. I hope we can take more tangible steps to put one another–and our relationship–first: more date nights, more meaningful conversations, less time spent on our (my) iPhone and more time giving attention to one another–more time paying attention.
    • Pay more attention to who and what I love. We recently saw the movie Lady Bird, which is FANTASTIC, and I highly recommend it. There’s a moment in the movie–and I can say this without spoiling anything for you–where the lead character is talking to one of the nuns at her Catholic school.  The lead, Lady Bird, says something like “I don’t know if I love it. I just pay attention.” And the nun replies, “Don’t you think they are the same thing?” That hit me hard. I’m not always the best at paying attention to the right things. That is,  when I feel the most bogged down by life, it’s usually because I’m paying attention to the wrong things. I did a lot of that this year. I paid attention to the little annoyances more than I should have, and in 2018, I want to work on turning my attention towards the people and things that bring me joy. Showing them my love. Focusing on what matters more. Giving 100% of my attention to the areas of my life that I want to nurture.
    • Meet–and really fully enjoy–what will very likely be our last baby. Having a baby that is due towards the last third of the year inevitably means that everything that precedes that due date will just go down in history as “the time spent waiting on the new baby.” Because let’s get real: every single memory from 2015 shrinks under the shadow of our having Finn, and I know that–down the road–2018 will also be remembered, almost entirely, as the year when we grew to a family of four. The first 6 months of Finn’s life were some of the best months of my own. Sure, we were exhausted and stressed and had no idea what we were doing, but I had taken a full semester off of work, and I threw my entire being into mothering that little boy. For those 6 months, I thought of virtually nothing else other than Finn, and it was glorious. Sona remembers that time differently. It was harder on her–harder on her body, at first, and much harder on her emotionally. She looks back on the photos of Finn as a newborn and frequently bemoans how little she remembers of–or let herself enjoy–that time. This time, we want to do it differently. She’s going to take more time off, and we are really hoping that–as hard as we know it will be (and we’re a little scared of that, too)–we can be completely present, focusing on nothing but our little family and slowing down time for as long as we possibly can. We want to pay attention.




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