Friday, January 2, 2015


Friends, enemies, people I love and people who tolerate me in their lives...2015 is here. And with that comes my annual review of what the heck I've been doing with my life.  I like to use the time between quarters to take stock and decide what works and what doesn't and what needs to go. I think about my health, spiritual life, relationships, career, and life goals. I also like to pay attention to what I do for fun and relaxation. I'm a real type A personality, so it's also helpful for me to think of what I need to just let go of and what I need to give myself a break on. With that in mind, here are a few things I've come up with.

1. I need to practice more emotional self control. Last year, I decided to stop cussing people out when they drove improperly.  I switched instead to reminding myself that not everyone can pay attention all the time and perhaps that text message or phone call is really important. Instead of cussing out loud, I would say "I hope you make better choices!". Of course, nobody can hear you when you're in another car but it was good for me. My next chore to tackle is to pay attention to my attitude when others behave poorly in public.  I know there is a line and that it's easy to cross and hard to know when to speak up.  For example, I felt comfortable speaking up at the Musee D'Orsay in Paris- the signs clearly show that there is no photography of the art, but two people were repeatedly taking photos. It made other people uncomfortable and frankly, it made me mad. I wish I could have taken pictures of some of the most beautiful paintings I have ever seen. So did the other 300 people around us. Apparently the rules didn't apply to these two people so I did plainly say "there is no photography in the museum" loud enough to catch a docent's attention.

However, it was perhaps not nice of me to intentionally step on the back of a man's shoes at the Eiffel Tower. He did shove me out of the way in line, but perhaps that's no reason to let me temper get the better of me. It did feel good though, because those were nice shoes.

Clearly, I have some work to do here. And I need to be more patient in waiting at restaurants.

2. Cutting out junk. I love junk food. Not typical junk food like pizza or candy or soda. Junk food as in I don't eat very many regular meals. I'm a snacker. I think it would be better to eat a meal than to eat the pieces of a meal. I will just eat a few pieces of cheese, then later a tomato. Then later a piece of bread. Shouldn't I just make a sandwich in the first place?

Having said that, I am also cutting out all soda pop. That's an easy one for me. They are really, really bad for you. Soda often has carbonic acid, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame in the diet stuff, and all sorts of shit you just don't need to put into your body. Coke is great for cleaning your toilet, just not your insides. Pretty easy; I don't remember the last time I had a soda (like 6 months ago?) and am much more likely to reach for a Monster energy drink- which I will also stop drinking. I think I had three or four last year.

Then there is sugar and additives. I don't eat much sugar on purpose and I like cooking my own food instead of buying prepared stuff. Processed food just isn't good for me and I don't really like chocolate. Here's the real challenge, and try not to laugh: I like to take my daily multivitamins in gummy form.  Yes, I'm a gummy-aholic. If you want me to take medicine, make it something I like and I'm more likely to take it. I take a multivitamin, vitamin D, and a pro-biotic. That's 6 gummies a day. I'm less likely to take a pill, so if you all have suggestions, I'd love to hear them.  Now, those vitamins are in addition to not in place of eating a diet filled with as many vitamins and minerals as I can get.

My other addiction is cheese. I can't get enough of that stuff.  G and I buy three or four packages at Costco every month.

So, more greens, less cheese. And I think I'm going to try adding in more meat into my diet this year. It's kind of yucky to cook and it doesn't taste really good, but I'm going to try for more lean meats. Here's my problem though: I hate chicken, especially chicken legs and stuff with tendons and ligaments and stuff. Barf. May I'll try chicken breast sometime. I'll keep you posted and let you know if that pans out. My favorite local Mexican food place serves a good carnitas platter, which I get from time to time.

In case you just read that last paragraph and thought "I thought she was a vegetarian?!" Yes, I am. I'm a vegetarian because meat tastes yucky and factory farming is an awful, inhumane practice. Actually, we're pescetarians, though I think we eat fish maybe once a month.  There are two stores here in Ellensburg who sell locally grown, humanely treated animal bits. I'd feel ok trying that. No weird growth hormones, no crazy antibiotics shoved into a cow. Whenever possible, we get eggs from my friend Joy, who has lots of happy chicken-pets.

So that means no fast food, which is not a problem. I haven't ordered at a drive-through in a long, long time. No sodas, no pre-packaged stuff from the grocery.  I don't think I'm going to commit to getting away from buying bread. Seriously, I have to have a life. I'm not baking my own damn bread. I think I can do this.

3. Letting it go. G and I don't often disagree but I do like to keep track of what I can do better to listen in tense situations.  One thing I hear is "you need to let things go more".  Now, I am as tenacious as a bulldog. When I get my teeth into something, academically speaking, I see it through to the end. In this way, that's a character asset. In my personal life, I don't let many people close to me so I don't like secrets and I tend to not stuff slide- I get a little too confrontational at times. I know this; I'm working on it. I did a good job a couple of years ago in learning to cut my significant other some slack in relationships. To be clear, I don't think I'm horrible or a control freak (too much). I just think I could do better than I currently am. In practicing, I also give myself a break sometimes and try not to hold my own feet to the fire so much.

4. Sleep. Funny you should mention sleep. I've got insomnia, which I've developed in the last two years. It's stress related, and coffee related and age related. Right now, I can get to sleep just fine, but wake up about 3-4 hours in. Then I'm awake for 3-4 hours, then I sleep again for a bit if I can. There are a few things I absolutely lose sleep over and I plan to knock both of them out in the next few months. With less stress, hopefully I'll be able to be more productive, more happy, and more able to give it a rest (literally).

5. Miles.  This one is fairly easy for me. I want to make sure I get in 35 miles a week for 2015. That's about 1,800 miles for the year. I think I came in at about 1,400 this year. Two miles per day are just walking to and from work, so the rest is about intentionality. One thing that will help is my other resolution: to get a 10 minute mile at least once every month. I'd like to also get at least a couple 9:30 miles, but that depends a lot on air quality and my poor, failing lungs.  I have seen a huge decline in my lungs since I taught at an inner-city middle school which was remodeling while we were in session. They had posted mold and asbestos and I had bronchitis for 10 straight months. It was "not happy". But I'll do the best I can.

6. Speaking of my physical health, I'm going to find it in me to go to a massage therapist from time to time. I always think of this as a major luxury rather than a necessity. I broke down (metaphorically, not literally though it was close) and went to a chiropractor here in town. After 5 or so visits he said I don't really need him anymore but that I'd benefit from massage. I'm doing yoga twice a week right now and that helps, but maybe a massage a few times this year would be nice.

7. Relationships. I always think I have this dialed in, but relationships take effort and work. I'm hoping to do a little better at visiting friends this year, so if you want me to come visit, please invite me. I'll practice saying yes more than no, even though I'm a total homebody introvert lazy bum. I've done a better job of enforcing boundaries with loved ones and at school, but it's hard for me to say "no" when something is easy to say yes to. So, more authentic connections, less overcommitting, and more awesome conversations with people I care about.

Ok, that's it. Seven is a lucky number. I do welcome input, of course.  What are your goals for this year? Do you even make resolutions? I find them helpful but try not to become too attached. Let me know.....
The author in her natural, confused state

1 comment:

  1. Hey Mindie! I hadn't read your blog in awhile and thought I'd catch up on what's new with you. :-) I also love your goals for the year and you're welcome to visit me anytime here in North Carolina!! - Hayley E.