I’ve been in a health slump since the start of the new year, something I’m sure you’ve noticed from the lack of posting. It’s nothing new or serious, just something that happens and will continue to happen as part of having a chronic illness. Mostly it’s manifested as deep exhaustion, the kind where you aren’t even able to concentrate or focus, and all of my energy has been dedicated to keeping the home fires burning, just barely, with nothing left over. As I said to my friend Stef, I don’t even have two thoughts to rub together to form words for a post. Today I am so far able to get this far, so let’s hope this luck holds!
It’s a new year and while I don’t put stock in resolutions, I do like to take time to reflect upon the previous year, revise my life list, and think about what I want in life. I have a life list post coming up, but today I wanted to talk about five things I realized I want more of in the year to come. (Obviously, I’d love more good days and to win the lottery, but I’m focusing on the things I have some power over.)
It’s sad how little I read these days. Well, I’m constantly reading, actually, but I’m not counting blog posts, social media, or news articles. I’m not one to say those don’t have value, because I definitely think they do, but I’ve been missing reading books (or ebooks–I don’t hate). I read constantly growing up, and still again when I worked as a school librarian. I loved that Isobel saw me reading. I didn’t even notice it falling away from my life until I sat down and realized it had been a long time since my “to read” pile got any smaller. It can be really hard to read when you have a toddler, but it’s not impossible. I tend to me more of a non-fiction gal, but there are some fiction titles that have really caught my eye. Even thinking about reading makes me excited. The library book sale is this month, too–perfect timing.
Cook vegetarian more often.
Food is such a tricky subject for me, as it is with any Crohn’s patient. What I can eat, how much, and when–all of it is dicey and subject to change. But there certain vegetables that are safe for me, as well as ways I can prepare them that make them easier for me to digest. I want to make the most of that. I used to be a vegetarian for years, and it’s a really fun way to cook. I married and gave birth to two carnivores who could really use some vegetable variation in their diets, too.
Take more photos.
Years ago, when I first got a camera in my hand, I started taking photos almost compulsively, and I haven’t stopped. I still take them all the time. I’m just lazy about getting out the big camera. There are so many times when I’m walking to the car with the kids, or making dinner, or doing laundry when I see something and think, “that would make a great photo!” but more often than not I don’t follow through and actually take the damn photo. I want to take the opportunity to follow that inspiration and see where it leads.
Make time to meditate.
This one is going to be the hardest. I remember one book on meditation encouraged parents of young children to find any moment they had to themselves and use it to meditate–say, for example, all that time you have while in the shower or on the toilet. I don’t remember who that author was, but I can guarantee they didn’t have children. At the risk of being indelicate, I am never alone, not even in the shower or while using the bathroom. Maybe even especially those times. Often the times I have alone, or at least, when I am not being touched in some way by a small person, is when I’m driving. Not exactly the best time to meditate. I’ll probably have to work something out with Anthony for this one.
Make more dates with friends.
I have several friends who live in Modesto, the larger city down the freeway from us, and was going to make this item about seeing them, until I realized I barely have dates with friends who literally live down the road from me. I might talk to them often via text, but getting together is another struggle altogether. My friend Ellen is kind of a super woman, and is really great about making sure a group of us gets together on a somewhat regular basis, so my goal for this year is to simultaneously see her more and also become her. I AM BECOME ELLEN, PLANNER OF LADY DATES.
One of the problems with resolutions is that they frame the issues as if you are somehow inadequate in your life right now. I’m here to tell you that you aren’t. You are great, right now, no matter what the cover of a magazine or our culture might tell us. The challenge isn’t to look at your life and think, “Ugh, this is awful. What do I need to change?” The challenge is, look at your life and think: “This is great. What do I want more of?”