Resolved

December 31, 2008 at 10:53 am | Posted in gastronomy, running, wine, yoga | 4 Comments

new-years-poster

Poster by Sarah Gardner, blatantly lifted from Elements of Style.

I love New Year’s Resolutions. The list-lover in me just loooooves seeing (in my minuscule handwriting) the rows and columns of things I am going to self-improve each year. These resolutions (which I truly, and rather dorkily, write down) energize me, as well as get me through the first few weeks of inevitable post-holiday, Northeastern winter depression.  Most of the time my resolutions revolve around the same theme: do more yoga, meditate, spend less, be kind. Sometimes they are vague sentiments along the lines of “be healthy”; other times they are more draconian: no caffeine, dairy, alcohol; run four times a week; keep a little notebook in my bag and record how much I spend every day, etc. You can guess how long those latter ones last — but as I said, it’s inspiring for at least a little while to try to achieve a personal goal. And for a type-A personality like me, the more precise, and the more difficult, the better. (It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in my tendency to go overboard with resolutions — one of my favorite bloggers, Erin, has a similar post today.)

At the risk of revealing my neuroses to the world, but in the hopes that by divulging them I’ll hold myself somewhat accountable, here are my challenges/goals for 2009:

1. MUCH Less Drinking in January. Tim and I are in this one together. According to him, the Irish always go dry in January. The holidays push them over the edge, and they take January off before plunging back for the rest of the year. We’re focused on the big picture here, which is cutting back and/or eliminating the nightly glass/bottle of wine (especially after Dr. French Fry informed us — picking up her hefty pathology or hemotology or something book for intellectual backup — that one’s liver regenerates after a few weeks of clean living) than total abstention. (NB: if we win the lottery or sell the Milton place, we can drink as much as we want.)

2. No New Shoes in 2009. Don’t laugh! I spend way too much money on shoes. By this point, I should have enough pairs of three-figure shoes to get me through one year. Exception: running shoes. I’ve found that in general, extremes — e.g., a flat-out “No” to anything — don’t really work for me, but this is one place where I do think a total ban is warranted!

3. Run. Specifically, to inaugurate the Saturday-morning running club with Ellen and Nell, our goal being to run the Great Bay Half Marathon again the first week in April.

4. Cook More (a/k/a Eat Out Less). This is a challenging but necessary one. Not only do I like cooking (although am sorely out of practice), but the $35 or so we regularly spend on mediocre take-out from Charley’s or pizza (albeit delicious pizza from Bostone on Newbury, but ultimately way too pricey and unhealthy for a weeknight staple) seems like something we can easily cut out of our budget. Along these lines, I’d like to start having people over for dinners more on weekends. The quality of conversation and fun is just as good and, most of the time, even better at someone’s home (plus, you’re not shelling out another $100 on top of dinner for a sitter). To all my friends: bring some wine (even your kids if you have them!) and I shall feed you all year long.

5. Eat Healthy — a big, catch-all category. I feel better when I eat less/no meat. It is difficult to cook two meals a night (one for your meat-loving husband, and one for yourself), but I’m going to try to get back to my vegetarian diet. Along those lines, I also feel better when I don’t have dairy,either, but because I find the mere thought of a lunch or dinner without cheese to be truly depressing, instead of banning dairy entirely, I’ll have to compromise by at least trying to think about how to cut back without feeling deprived (and sad).

6. Be Neater (a/k/a Pick Up After Myself). I’m clean — you will not see a speck of dirt in my home — but I am not “neat.” I throw my coat over the dining room chair when I get home, kick my shoes off in the middle of the hall, toss my clothes (unfolded) on the end of the bed, leave the kitchen cabinet doors open. It drives Tim absolutely crazy. And then every once in awhile, I’ll get neurotic and go on a cleaning binge (my college roommates will tell you it happened more often than not after a particularly long night out…). Again in the spirit of moderation, I’d like to keep an even keel: less daily mess, fewer cleaning frenzies. I happened upon a quirky website run by someone called The Fly Lady about keeping one’s home neat and tidy. It is aimed at women who don’t work out side the home (do you love how p.c. that phrase is?) and encourages you to set aside days of the week for different chores: Monday is ironing day; Tuesday is bathroom cleaning day, etc. (kind of like “Little House on the Prairie”). However, there is one trick I think I can manage: setting a timer for 15 minutes (the Fly Lady’s mantra is “You can do anything for 15 minutes!”) and just clearing out certain areas of the house each night, e.g., the entry way, the bathroom, the kitchen. Spending 15 minutes cleaning when I get home from work is of course the last thing I want to do, but for the sake of my husband’s sanity, I will attempt to keep my belongings from straying all over the house.

7. YOGA. This is the most important and the most difficult — I’m not sure how I’ll accomplish this, but even going once a week regularly would be a good start. (To that end, I hauled myself out of bed and went to Prana at 6:15 this morning. It was a miserable class — I felt so stiff and out of shape I quite literally felt the tears coming to my eyes — but little steps, little steps…)

The perfectionist in me really yearns to frame all this dramatically for a hit of instant gratification — something along the lines of: “I will lose 15 pounds by running four times a week to train for the half marathon; lifting three times a week; doing yoga three times a week; eating a vegan macrobiotic diet; not spending any money; and having an immaculate house.” Honestly, I truly, truly wish I could be so disciplined. At the same time, I long to live life more clearly, cleanly, lightly in the sense that these little things don’t really matter. (Lindsey describes this inner longing much more articulately, here.) However, the older, wiser me will also attempt, in 2009, to start caring about myself a bit more, accepting my love of wine and cheese and shoes and impulsive behavior not so much as flaws but as actions that I may (or may not) want to moderate a bit. Feel free to check in.

ICP

Scorpion pose. (Also blatantly lifted from Erin’s site — but what a fabulous bit of inspiration!)

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4 Comments »

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  1. Seriously, this could be my EXACT expanded list. Really. I too want to go vegetarian, spend less, be more neat and eat more healthy, non processed foods. I could never cut out caffeine or wine entirely (I have my limits) but cutting back on both would be good!

  2. I try to give up caffeine about once a month, so in the spirit of being realistic, I figured it didn’t even merit a mention!

  3. I support you in all of these endeavours! Specifically, I’ll be there for Saturday morning runs and will then arrive 8 or 10 hours later with a single bottle of wine for your home-cooked meal.

  4. I was listening to a new audio book last night trying to chill myself out and there was a section on how your house/space is a reflection of your state of being. The author said that order is really important for keeping yourself balanced and sane. She recommended writing the following on note cards and posting one in every room of your house. I think that sounds like more clutter – but I like the thought.
    If you take it out, put it back.
    If you open it, close it.
    If you throw it down, pick it up.
    If you take it off, hang it up.


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