So, this is a little out of order and I probably should have reflected and reviewed on 2013 before I posted about goals for 2014 but it’s too late for that! :p
Last year I gave a detailed post about my goals for the new year and today I decided to go back and look at that post to see how I’d done…
1. Get my blood sugar back under control: Well, this is probably my toughest ongoing challenge. I’ll never be rid of the need to follow a certain lifestyle in order to keep my diabetes in check. Unfortunately this need is in direct contrast with some of the things I need to keep my eating disorders in check. It’s a difficult balance and I struggle with it daily. And to be honest, it’s been a while since I checked my blood sugar. The test strips are expensive and I know when I’m doing the right things- I don’t need the numbers to tell me that I haven’t been taking good care of myself lately. I can feel it in my aching joints and muscles. I can feel it with the headache I wake up with. I can feel it with my lethargy. I can even feel it with the mild depression that sets in when I just don’t feel my best. I’m continuing to strive toward this one.
2. Live within our budget, happily and with ease: Oh man, this one was tough. I lost my job in June due to state wide budget cuts and our household budget changed in ways I just couldn’t foresee when I made this goal. The budget took another hit when lots of things broke down within weeks of my job loss (truck, wood splitter, TV, satellite receivers, refrigerator… just to name a few). We did live within our budget but sometimes it was really difficult and involved making hard choices and sacrifices. From the outside looking in that may not have been evident. We had a vacation planned that was already largely paid for (and non-refundable) and it was a priority to make it happen. Partially because we didn’t want to lose the money we’d already spent but also because we were so looking forward to it. It was tough but we managed to make it happen. And though we missed out on some other things along the way it was, ultimately, worth it. So, we lived within our budget. We were (usually) happy with our financial situation even though it required sacrifice. But it was not very easy at times. However, as the year progressed and we adjusted to my new jobs (with lower income than before) it got easier and we are in a comfortable place now. So, I’m counting this one as accomplished. 🙂
3. Practice how and when it’s okay for the kids to feel disappointed: Ummm… wow. I completely forgot this was a goal. I’m still struggling with it. I’ve been reflecting on my self-imposed responsibility as the Keeper of Happiness in our family and it’s not really good for anyone. Recently I got frustrated and grumpy when my kids wanted a DVD that I decided not to buy because I was trying to stick to the budget. They didn’t beg or throw a fit but they were disappointed and I took it personally. In my mind I was MAD because I’d done so much for them that day (movie theater, some special Christmas clearance decor, Pokemon) and it felt unappreciated because they still wanted MORE. But when I talked to them later J pointed out that they never said they weren’t grateful for the other stuff they got, just disappointed at this one thing. And aren’t they allowed to feel disappointed without me taking it personally? Aren’t I sometimes disappointed even though I have a lot of other things to be grateful for? Wow, kid, how’d you get so insightful?
I also got testy in a pizza place just last week because we were rushed to order and I didn’t feel like everyone got what they wanted since pizza is shared food and requires compromise. It’s important to me that everyone’s needs and wants are respected but it shouldn’t be so important that I become angry at myself (and turn that anger into snarking at the people around me) when it doesn’t happen all the time. It happens most of the time and I need to learn to let go of the moments out of my control (or better yet realize that I don’t need to control everything). So, this one is still a work in progress. I think I’m improving but I’m not quite there yet.
4: Continue with home updates: This one we knocked out of the park! This year we finished a bedroom in the basement for J, added a sink to the basement bathroom, defined some (still rough) space in the basement for the kids to hang out with friends, landscaped our sparse flower beds in the front of the house, emptied the kid/school stuff from what was the play/classroom so it can become the dining room, and acquired an oak table for that dining room (although it does still need some love and attention before we can use it). We have even more plans for the coming year because this is one goal that is intentionally ongoing. I’m very pleased with what we accomplished last year and look forward to doing more in the year ahead!
When I reflect on 2013 I feel good about it. We accomplished a lot in spite of some struggles and I feel fortunate and proud of this life and family. I’ll leave you with the status I shared with my Facebook friends on New Year’s Eve…
2013 was fantastic and awful. It was difficult and easy. It was frustrating and fulfilling. It was joyous and depressing. If was exciting and boring. Sometimes these things happened side by side because 2013, like all of life, is not one thing. Our family is lucky enough to have good days (or even moments when we can’t manage an entire good day). We are even luckier to have each other during the not so good days and moments. This year was The Year That I Lost My Job and Then Everything Broke. And The Year That Boredom From No Job and No Money to Do Anything Nearly Crushed Me. But it was also The Year We Went to Hogwarts. The Year We Finally Finished Our Flower Gardens. And most importantly, The Year We Welcomed Hazel Fern (my new niece). 2014 is sure to bring it’s own challenges and blessings. With my family and friends by my side, I’m ready for both.