Today is January 1, 2011. Last night, as I sat at home watching Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffith ring in the new year with my injured leg wrapped snugly in its boot propped up on my recliner while my "boyfriend" (more on that later) snored in another chair I thought to myself, wow, what a sucky end to a sucky year. I was bummed that I had even be at home at all, as I was hoping to spend the weekend in DC with my mom and sister but the aforementioned leg injury combined with the ineptitude of the aforementioned "boyfriend" with whom I was reluctant to leave our 14 month old left me sitting on the recliner instead.
So in an attempt to make my night even more exciting (read: pathetic), I logged onto Facebook. I was reading about everyone's resolutions and well wishes for the New Year. Everyone seemed very happy. I was not happy. I haven't been happy for awhile. I won't bore you with the details of why... those will become pretty obvious if you continue reading my blog and hopefully reading about it will make you laugh instead of depress you, which seems like a lot more fun, right? Anyway... I decided I'm not making any resolutions. Not really, anyway. Instead of making a resolution I decided to make a serious change. It's something I had talked about with my mom quite a bit and thought about quite a bit but haven't followed through with it yet. So for 2011, I decided it's time to follow through. Instead of resolving to lose weight or get more organized or be a better mom or become more financially responsible I resolved to do all of those things and more. In 2011 I am going to do something every day of the year in an attempt to Live My Best Life. And I'm going to blog about it. Every single day. I'm going to log on to tell anyone who is interested what I did that day to achieve this goal. And I vow to try and make you laugh while I'm doing it, because whenever this hot mess of a life gets me down, it very rarely gets me down to the point of tears. Instead I talk to one of my confidants who know what I'm going through (usually my mom, sometimes one of my best friends, or sometimes my younger sister) I tell them in a way that generally leaves us all in stitches, and I always feel better afterwards, because I get to vent about it and laugh about it at the same time and I really do find this cathartic. So I will try and do this for all of my future loyal readers as well! But first let me give a little bit of background...
Sometime last year I read an article in a magazine (I honestly can't remember which magazine, but I would say it would be safe to say it was "O") about Oprah's movement to "Live Your Best Life." The article really spoke to me. I think I was at work while I was reading it and I remember crying to myself, because I was so far from living my best life. I remember talking about it to my mom that night and crying again and saying, this is not my best life, this is not the best it can be for me. She of course was totally in agreement and encouraged me to do something about it and we talked about it for a bit but like I said before, I hadn't followed through with it.
There are a lot of reasons that I would classify my life as a hot mess right now. All of the resolutions I mentioned earlier that I wasn't going to make? All of those qualify! And more! So these are the areas in which I'm going to attempt to improve in order to Live My Best Life this year:
The "boyfriend" is honestly a big reason for my unhappiness right now, and it's time for me to figure out what to do about it. We have been together for 4 years and we have a 1 year old son. If not for this son, this wonderful, amazing, hilarious, gorgeous little surprise in my life that has been such a gift, it is safe to say we would not still be together. It's also safe to say that it's for this little boy's sake, and also for the sake of my two older daughters (with my ex-husband) that we're (on my part anyway... I can't speak for him) still together at all. So some serious work needs to be done there. I'll keep you posted.
My two daughters are just as amazing as my son, but they are almost 5 and 6 1/2 so there is a lot more work to be done in the "relationship" area with them. Being a mom is easily one of my favorite things in the world... but I know I can be better at it.
My ex-husband and I have had a pretty tumultuous relationship over the 4 1/2 years that we've been split up. I hate to jinx things to say that things have actually been going pretty smoothly with him for the past few months because often his M.O. is to be agreeable for a time, and then turn things right back to full-on drama for an even longer time. He has a very nice girlfriend now though, who loves my girls a lot, so I'm hoping that she is doing wonders for him. I keep him on this list though because it is a constant struggle and sometimes battle with him, and some of the biggest drama-filled moments of my life and problems in my life have been a result of this relationship.
My parents are just about the 2 most amazing people I know. They are divorced, and my mom lives about a mile from me and my dad and step-mom live about 20 miles from me. These 2 (really 3, because my step-mom does quite a bit as well, and seems to be infinitely patient with all that my dad does) spend a lot of their time, money, and sanity on trying to help me and my kiddos out. Without them and their love and support and help I don't know where I would be in life right now, but I can definitely say my life would be that much harder. They do so much for me and my kids, and I know that they love us and while they don't necessarily LIKE having to do so much for us I know that they would never leave us without their support and for that I am so lucky. But I also know that it is a drain and a strain on them. On top of everything, my mom is my biggest sounding board for all of the problems I'm having and I know that is very hard on her. So there is a LOT to do in my relationship with these people, and it mainly involves me getting better at Living My Best Life without so much of their help so they can get on with their lives a little more at the same time.
Whoo! This is a biggie. I need to make more money, continue to try and clean up my credit, pay off some debts, and just become solvent. I need to have the money available for when something else inevitably goes wrong with my van, or even better, have enough money to get a new van. I need to be able to pay every bill, every month, on time. I need to find a home that my kids and I all fit comfortably in, and that fits us and our lifestyle. I don't need to be rich. I don't need to have a lot of extra money, I just want to work to have enough money to make our lives more fulfilling and relieve some of my stress.
Of course, I need to lose weight. A lot! The problems with the boyfriend, then the baby, and then the problems and stress since have NOT done me any favors in that area. You know those people who say that when they get upset or stressed they just can't eat? Yeah, I'm not one of them. I'm on the other side of that coin. I had actually started this quest around Labor Day 2010 and was doing a pretty decent job. I had at least finally lost all the baby weight and was slowly working on more, when the leg injury happened and kind of sidelined things for me. I had started to get into a workout routine every night which I obviously haven't been able to do for the past couple of weeks since this happened, and unfortunately I've been spending a lot of my recuperating time eating junk. So back to the healthy eating quest I was on before the injury starting today! And I can't do the same workouts I was doing before, but I need to figure something else out that I can do in the meantime and as soon as my leg is up to snuff get back to those as well. I don't just want to lose weight, I need to get myself in better shape and make daily workouts a new way of life.
There are a lot of other things I'd like to do to work on my appearance, and I'll keep you up to date on those as well. Another downfall of the problems I've been having with the boyfriend is that I really haven't wanted to do much to myself to keep myself attractive, and the extra weight has weighed on me in that area as well. (Ba, dum, dum.) But this is the year to Live My Best Life, and I am a girl who likes to look pretty (or try, anyway!) I like to wear makeup, do my hair, wear jewelry, get my nails done, get my eyebrows waxed, and wear pretty clothes. These are all on the list to get back into the habit of, and even improve on, in 2011.
So this is another biggie. My mom and younger sister are sure I'm going to end up on Hoarders some day. It's true that I do definitely have a problem throwing things away, and that I buy too many things, and that I am not the best at storing or organizing these things once I have them. And I forget things. And I lose things. And I have trouble keeping up with my housework. And on and on and on... All of these things I think are direct results of my body's natural ADD (self-diagnosed!) complete and total lack of organizational skills. I know that if I can work to get rid of a lot of my "stuff" and organize the "stuff" that I'm keeping, more of this will start to fall into place... so that's all on the agenda too. This category is really kind of all-encompassing so for now I will just leave it at that and let you know how things progress.
These aren't the only things I will be working on in 2011, but they're definitely the list-toppers. I don't know if it will be easy or hard to do something each day toward this goal, but either way, I'm committed to doing it. And the first step to that, on this first day of the year (which as I look at the clock looks like it will actually be posted on the 2nd day of the year, so I'm a day behind already! lol), is to blog about it. Setting up a public blog is not only going to be a nice little way of keeping me on track, but it is also a step toward Living My Best Life. The upside of it is that it also gets me writing, which is something that I really really enjoy, and people have encouraged me to do for the enjoyment (hopefully!) of others, not just myself, for some time. I don't know if I'm good enough, or funny enough to keep you reeled in, but I hope so. But even if I'm not, I'm doing something great for myself by committing to writing for others on this first day of 2011.
OK Oprah, so here goes. You are my inspiration. I know that you came from much less and had it much harder that me, and yet, look at what you've been able to do for yourself. Talk about Living Your Best Life! So I don't have any false hopes that I will ever become the next most influential woman in the world, but I do have hopes to make myself proud of doing what you've influenced me to do, and I can't wait to see where I am in 365 days.
Make that 364. As I typed that last sentence I heard the church bells across the street from my house chime 12 times so I am officially late in posting my first day's blog. Don't hold it against me, readers! You know that organization section that I said was kind of all-encompassing? It also includes better time management! :) Here's to working on that too!