Bring it On, 2013

Resolutions.

Bah. And humbug.

Who keeps them anymore? Making them seems like such a waste of time, especially since it takes me about two weeks to fully break them. But writing something down does keep me somewhat accountable so I’ll take the lazy way out and simply copy/paste the same goals I had set for myself last year. Because my goals never really change, the journey does.

Manage my energy levels. Which is really a round-about way of telling you I need to exercise. (I know – wash, repeat – BORING). Now that I’m working full-time, I must, must, MUST maintain my energy levels. My new job (I’m a scheduler for eight neurosurgeons – I know, you’re impressed, stop denying it), is mentally EXHAUSTING. It doesn’t SOUND like it would be exhausting – how hard is it to schedule appointments?? But. BUT. It’s so much more than that. It’s making referrals, it’s pre-certing tests with insurance companies, it’s answering calls from patients, it’s answering flags (requests) from nurses … well, you get the idea.

So, I’m tired. All. The. Freaking. Time. My body is breaking down. Day. By. Day. Since I sit all day, every day, my body has grown stiff and unused. Body parts are creaking, popping and groaning and I know it’s mainly because I’ve been physically inactive. Sure. Some of it is age, but most of it is because I’m not USING it.

Use it or lose it.

The thing is, I LIKE to exercise. I know. That makes me even MORE weird, but there you go – I like to sweat. As long as I’m in a position TO sweat (pre-shower, dirty hair, no where to go, time to get cleaned up), I’m COOL with the whole notion of abusing my body. I like how it makes me feel. I like what it does to my body. My problem is, finding the time to devote to it. Because if I’m going to do this, it has to be done right. If I’m going to exercise, then I want to EXERCISE. I don’t take the half-ass route, I’m in it to get results. Because if I’m going to devote the time to do something, then damn it, it BETTER pay off.

I ordered Zumba Fitness 2 for the Wii last year and used it precisely three times. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it … okay fine, I didn’t like it. I almost feel guilty confessing that to you because Zumba seems to be so popular nowadays (I actually work with a Zumba instructor and her “RAH RAH GO ZUMBA” enthusiasm is well … annoying). And it went beyond the awkward I have no idea what I’m doing phase, I just didn’t feel like I was getting anything out of it. *Braces for the Zumba fan screams* For me, personally, I like the treadmill. I like swinging my arms in the most unattractive way, while holding hand weights, and walking at speeds just beyond my physical capabilities. I like the fast, unforgiving, monotonous pace and the fact that I have to wipe the treadmill down afterward. I also like watching “my shows” on Netflix because it takes my mind off the fact that my heart is in my throat, my lungs are bursting at the vessels and I can’t quite keep up with myself.

And that’s the key to a successful workout program, my friends. KNOWING YOURSELF. Find something that you can enjoy, or at the very least, tolerate. Do you like the water? Then do some aqua therapy. (I’ve heard good things about aqua therapy from our patients). Do you like to dance? Try Zumba. Do you like to walk? Invest in a treadmill and watch your favorite programs while walking.

In other words? Try different things and find out what works for you. THEN? Reward yourself whenever you meet a personal goal. It’ll give you something to work toward. As I tell Dude, ALL THE TIME, humans need goals. They need something to work toward. Otherwise, we get fat and lazy. Both figuratively and literally.

So. Improve energy level. Check.

Write. OH MY GOSH. I haven’t written one word of fiction – save for the occasional 100-word challenge. The problem is? It takes MENTAL ENERGY to write. And MENTAL ENERGY is something I don’t have a lot of right now. (See above point). How do you squeeze more juice from an already dry and withered tomato??

Exactly. You don’t. So I need to find a way of re-hydrating that tomato. I need to find a way to replenish my mental reserves, reach deep down into that reservoir that I KNOW has to be there somewhere and coax those creative juices to the top.

I thought I could get up early and write, but honestly people, I’m not a morning person. It takes me a full thirty minutes to function, let alone form a complete sentence. I honestly sit in front of my computer, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:30, catching up on Facebook, checking my Google Reader and updating school websites. Then it’s time to get into the shower and spend the next hour making myself look presentable for work.

Mornings will not work for me.

So that leaves the weekends. When I have chores and family obligations (and Kevin demands a little attention – spouses are funny like that), so I don’t have a lot of “awake” time to actually get any writing done on the weekends, either. I want to write, I need to write, I just haven’t figured when to write yet.

It’s an ongoing problem, but one I haven’t given up on … yet.

Take more pictures. I really enjoy reading blogs where they take pictures of small, everyday things. Because life is not only about the big things, it’s about the small things, too. I want to start a habit of reaching for my camera at every turn.

And now, in today’s technological age, it’s easier than ever to take pictures anytime and anywhere. There are portable cameras, and phone cameras, and phone video cameras, and all kinds of cool filters to make your crappy pictures look better … there’s really NOT an excuse NOT to take more pictures when the tools are so easily accessible.

I’d love to post a picture a day, and I tried the post-a-picture-a-day challenge a few years back but honestly? I don’t see the beauty in everyday things. I wish I did. I try to see it, but beauty has to slap me upside the head to get my attention sometimes, or it has to be AN EVENT for it to register with me that, “OH. I should take pictures of this.”

But I’m going to try. I’m really going to try to take more pictures of things around me. Now that I’m on Instagram, (I know, I fought Instagram for years and well, here I am conforming to the masses), it’s FUN to take photos and instantly post them. My problem is, my life is so mundane and monotonous that I just don’t see the point of taking pictures of the same things over and over and over again. (There are only so many cattle and Basset Hound pictures a person can take in a week/month/year. And yes, I’m referring to The Pioneer Woman, but don’t yell at me, I ADORE her, I just get so sick of the same stuff over and over and over again …)

And my boys? Are men. And they don’t exactly appreciate my snapping pictures of every little thing they do (which isn’t much since they’re chained to their computers all day) and exposing their private lives to the hundred or so people who read my blog every day.

And work. Well. It’s work. It’s taboo territory. ESPECIALLY since I work in healthcare and privacy issues rule the land.

So my subject matter is severely limited on any given day. But I’ll try. For you. And because if I don’t train myself to stop and enjoy the small stuff, I will wake up old(er) one day and mourn the passing of time.

Travel. Which seems impossible since Kevin and I both work full time. But I earn some pretty awesome time off hours through my job and Kevin is self-employed, which equals flexibility, and I don’t want to grow old and look back on my life and say, “Wow. I really worked way too much and didn’t experience life NEARLY enough.”

You know? I’m sure ya’ll can relate.

And all work and no play is such a BORING way to live one’s life. In my opinion. Traveling gives me a point of reference, it gives me a goal, something to work toward, and look forward to, so that the mindless, stressful, every day stuff all seems … worth it somehow.

And traveling is not really all that expensive for us since we earn frequent flyer miles through American Airlines. We charge all of our bills, pay the balance off every month and collect points, which we cash in and use whenever we go on our trips. So our flight, to wherever, usually only costs us the check-in baggage and taxes.

We can’t forget the taxes. *snort*

And now it’s January. Which is the month that Kevin and I start planning where we want to go for our vacation. We’ll probably go on another cruise, to Alaska, if I get my way. Because we LOVE cruises. It’s not as expensive as you might think, especially when you take all of the “extras” into consideration – ports, food, etc), but I’d also like to take some long weekends, like just me and Kevin. The boys … are getting older and don’t seem as excited about taking vacations with us anymore. I mean, they’re 20 and 17 – would YOU want to hang out with your parents for a solid week at that age??

Exactly.

And taking long weekends to a few places might be more fun than taking a solid week to cruise somewhere. At the very least, it’s different. I’d like to go back to Washington D.C, back to New York, Seattle, the Colorado Rockies (would LOVE to rent a cabin in the mountains and explore the hiking trails), Phoenix, Las Vegas …

At any rate, we’ll end up doing something, I’m just not sure what yet. And I’m excited. Because I look forward to these trips every year. (See? Working toward goal equals a happy human).

And I think I’ll stop there. Because really, isn’t that enough?