In the home stretch of 2018! Anything that’s going to be attributed to this year needs to happen within the next three months. This sense of impending deadline tends to make me perk up and push a little harder.
How are things going?
Um, not great. I had a major personal loss and my family is going through some Category Five drama. Aside from that, I went down with two colds - that’s six times I’ve been sick this year, if anyone is counting - our building has been under construction almost constantly, the apartment gym is closed, and my husband has been traveling for work basically every week for two months. It’s been really hard to focus or get much done. I’m just... sad. Sad, tired, and unmotivated.
Life goes on, though. No matter how I feel, I have obligations, both to other people and to Future Me. I have to recognize that now that I’m in my forties, I probably won’t go a single year without someone close to me either being hospitalized or dying. That means I have to remember to show up for my loved ones while they’re here, while they can appreciate it. I also have to decide if my life is going to be about more than sadness and processing grief.
So, gratitude. Also in third quarter, our wedding anniversary happened. We managed to fit in a full two days in Las Vegas. This is how it happened: my hubby flew back from a business trip on a Thursday, came home, repacked his suitcase, and we flew out again the same night. We came home on Sunday and he flew out again on another trip the next day. A little crazy but with points and miles we made it work. Even when life is hard, we have each other. We have memories to make.
I added a few things to my usual yearly planning. I made a ‘43 for 43’ list for my birthday, and I’ve done a few things from that. I made another list of things to do during the last 100 days of the year, and so far I’m completely on track, because it’s fun. I also made a fall reading plan. I chose six books for September, and read four of them. In retrospect, I should have chosen the books first and then set a deadline, because, surprise, all of my choices were on hold at all five libraries to which I have access. Or, what, buy them with cash dollars? Part of goal-setting is creating rules that you can follow, setting yourself up for a win.
My personal goal was to explore a martial art. I did my second belt promotion, and now I have two orange belts. Given the way the program is structured, it will probably take me roughly a year between belt promotions now. I’m still feeling out of my depth and extremely challenged at the advanced level, but not to the point of total vapor lock. In other news, my husband recovered from his back injury and joined the school as a beginner in Muay Thai.
My career goal was to launch a podcast. Believe it or not, this is in progress! Even more surprisingly, it’s going to be two, not one, because my hubby and I are doing one together. We’ve had to learn how to use the equipment and the software, but we’re recording some good stuff and making each other laugh.
My physical goals were to do the Shamrock Run back in March and to build a daily stretching routine. I crushed that, and in addition I’m doing my advanced martial arts classes and riding my bike. I was doing a few hours a week on the elliptical trainer, which I’d like to resume when the apartment gym opens again. Now that the weather has cooled, I plan to get back to running. I’m tossing around the idea of training for a half-marathon with my brother next year. Also I lost eight pounds on the Grief Diet.
Our home goal was to lower our rent, which was a success. I’m about at my wits’ end with this apartment complex; the whole place has been under construction much of the year, in addition to all the other issues. Was it worth it? We’ve been pricing out comps and scoping out neighborhoods. I also put in some new closet organizers, which is the kind of thing I do for stress relief.
Our couples goal was to go on an international vacation together. Then we discovered that the best season to travel to the place we want to go would put us in early 2019. We probably won’t be able to count this as a win unless we have tickets in hand by the New Year.
My stop goal was to stop losing focus on incomplete projects. I think I’ve turned the corner on this. I’m reframing how I define a project and retooling how I set up my schedule.
My lifestyle upgrade was to upgrade my laptop. It took half the year, but I finally realized that I don’t want a laptop at all! It’s a combination of the keyboard arrangement, weight, and the questionable wisdom of carrying a fragile, expensive work tool around on mass transit. I’ve started to feel out what I want in a desktop computer.
My Do the Obvious goal was to speak more slowly, with more pauses. I am making considerable progress with this. Recording our podcast conversations and editing them is bringing yet more focus to this.
My quest was to travel to Asia and/or a fifth continent. This probably will not happen until after the New Year.
My wish was to find an amazing pet sitter. Our pet sitter moved, but she still has clients in our building, and we’re working it out.
Mantra: PAUSE AND BREATHE. It occurs to me that having a cold or flu more times than usual is one way to reflect on this. Every time I choose a mantra for the year it winds up having a hidden meaning that makes me wish I’d picked something else.
Personal: Explore a martial art - SUCCESS
Career: Launch a podcast
Physical: Run Shamrock Run 2018, build a daily stretching routine - SUCCESS+
Home: Lower our rent - SUCCESS
Couples: Go on an international vacation together
Stop goal: Stop losing focus on incomplete projects
Lifestyle upgrades: Upgrade laptop
Do the Obvious: Speak more slowly, with more pauses
Quest: Travel in Asia / a fifth continent
Wish: To find an amazing pet sitter - SUCCESS
Mantra: PAUSE AND BREATHE - ha, yeah
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.