Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Word of the Year 2016: Finish

I love the week leading up and the month following a new year. It's a dreamer's paradise. SO many I'm-going-tos with zero harsh realities busting bubbles. That's for February.  I also love the best-of lists that recap the previous year. I've read about the best books, best movies, best pictures, biggest highlights, most important news stories. I adore every second of it. 

I went back and looked at my own 2015 and realized that I really lived the life last year. For the most part, it was a constant party (especially during the months of September and October, when I was literally celebrated for huge chunks of time) and I spent a lot of time doing exactly what I wanted to do. I traveled alone. I devoted hours and hours to myself and my hobbies. The amount of pleasurable adult time I was granted kind of blows my mind- I can't believe I was able to pull that off with a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old. I was selfish. It was good.

But it's not sustainable for a life. I'm considering 2015 The Year I Celebrated Adulting (turning 30) By Acting Like A Teenager. As a result of that, 2016 has become The Year I Buckle Down.

Naming this year turns my stomach,

I don't want to buckle down. I have had a taste of a life that I should have been pursuing much earlier, and I am frankly hooked. I got married young and started my career young and did not spend enough time reading until dawn, drinking on the beach, writing stories for the fun of it, and going to themed events as I should have. I spent a lot of 2015 turning to Ben and saying, "What the hell did I do with my hours of free time before I had kids?!" The honest answer is I ate a lot of junk food, smoked cigarettes on our crappy back porch, and struggled with depression. So I'm glad I'm finally hitting my stride, even if it's a little late.

Despite my whining, I'm ready to Adult a little harder this year, because there is work to be done. I used a lot of logic to pick my word of the year, but honestly what got me started was realizing that two of the TV shows I obsessed over this year are languishing, unfinished, in my Netflix queue (I have one season left of Buffy and two seasons left of Doctor Who). I have stopped SO many important conversations with my friends because they don't want to spoil the Slayer's final battle. I will finish the shows I start.

Other things need to be finished, too. Ben and I just spent some time with a realtor friend and we are going to put our house on the market. (Another sentence that turns my stomach. Teeth clench emoji goes here) We've tried this before, but things are looking more hopeful this time. Also, my kids have grown out of their crib-sized mattresses and new beds don't fit in their room, so we don't really have a choice! Our biggest job in getting the house market ready is to GET RID OF STUFF, and my biggest challenge is sorting through things without spending 3 hours rereading my college notes from Child Psychology. I have inexplicably saved them, and about 1000 other stacks of paper/old greeting cards/ticket stubs. I'm going to have to be focused to get through this process, and focus is not my forte. I will finish getting this house ready to sell, and fast.

Lastly, I have some medical issues that need to be addressed. Blood work that hasn't been done since the last time I really focused on my health (when it was a goal for 2013), an issue with my foot that I keep ignoring (which I know is the worst possible reaction), decisions about my birth control which actually become much larger family planning decisions which bring us back to the whole house issue.

I buried my head in the sand about all of this for all of 2015. It was more fun to follow authors on Twitter and put nips in my iced coffee.

In 2016, I will finish. I will be more decisive and focused, even if it means talking to a doctor about the bigger reasons behind why I can't seem to focus. I will pour a little more of myself into my family, and let myself get into deeper conversations about where and how we will live without hiding behind my phone. I will honor my children and husband by talking frankly about my health with a doctor. I will finally finish Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

What are you tackling this year? (If you like pop culture at all, the predictions/resolutions episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour was particularly satisfying to me.) Happy 2016, lovelies. 

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