Wednesday, January 9, 2019

2019 Goals

2019 is here and while last year I felt clearly defined goals, this year was harder for me to put my finger on what I want to accomplish.  This is partially due to the uncertainly of starting a new job, working a weird schedule and not being sure when I will be awake, or how awake I will be when I am up.  And then there's school.  This big blob sucking up time.  I'm not sure how much I'll be able to siphon back from it.  By the time fall semester rolls around in September of this year, I'll probably be driving nearly an hour one way several times a week for school.  This is going to put work and lots of other things in a big question mark.

But, I do know what I want to look and be like at the end of 2019.  I want to be lighter- physically and mentally and I guess emotionally.  I need to lose weight and if I don't get after it now, it's only going to get harder once school starts and I'm spending so much time in the car.  I don't want to graduate nursing school even heavier than I am now.  So, I want to get my weight down to 150, which is going to be a challenge, but it HAS to be done.  My feet heart, I have heartburn, and I know it's not good carrying all this extra weight around. 

I also want to be less cynical.  I am the Queen of Sarcasm.  Sarcasm doesn't translate very well in blogging media, but if we hang out in person, you'd find out quickly that I am sarcastic and cynical and part of this is working in a broken healthcare system, but I've realized part of this is fear of looking stupid.  Like, I don't want to give someone the benefit of the doubt and then be proven wrong.  It's easier to be cynical and then you never get let down.  But, life is full of let downs, and standing at the sidelines saying "I told you so." is no way to be living.  So, I want to get past that and start to be encouraging of people.  Giving chances, and not worrying about getting hurt.

I also want less stuff in my house.  I don't want to have to be responsible for so many things.  Things that I don't even want or rarely use.  So, I've decided to go on a spending freeze for 2019.  Besides food, and things like toiletries, cleaning supplies, household projects like fresh paint, trees, or flowers, etc, I intend to limit myself to only buying three new things each month,  That means a severe shutdown on the amount of books, clothes, notepaper, dishes, craft supplies, bags, etc that I bring into the house.  I need to use what I have and be more picky about what I bring in to my house and life.  This may seem extreme but I'm tired of stuff and I have plenty of it, so this seems like  a good way to control it.

Financially, I have a couple goals.  One is to finally pay off the last of my old student loans from when I was attending University of Wisconsin online, one is to pay off a signature loan we got to pay for some remodeling on my rental and to consolidate some other bills, and one is to sell my rental before I start school full time in the fall.  These are all really feasible.  It's just going to take some time and being strict about  my spending freeze for the loans to get paid off. 

Creatively, I only intend to read 24 books this year, but I also want to write a short story.  Not for or about anything in particular, just for me.  I also want to have a quiet time when I get up to set the tone for my day.   And, maybe not creatively, but for my mental health I want to get outside and hike at least once a month, regardless of the month or weather.

So to recap in bullet point:
  • Get weight down to 150 pounds.
  • Be less cynical (not sure how to measure this one, but just working on it daily).
  • Spending freeze for anything besides food, toiletries, etc,  Only three new items a month.
  • Pay off old student loans.
  • Pay off signature loan.
  • Sell rental house,
  • Read 24 books.
  • Write a short story,
  • Hike monthly.
And that's wear "Do hard things" comes in.  I don't usually choose a motto for the year, but this year, I wanted to remind myself that it's not going to be easy, and it's going to be hard, but I can do it, if I refuse to take the easy route and push myself.

Monday, January 7, 2019

My 2019 Bookshelf

So last year I loaded up my little bookshelf with books I wanted to read.   I didn't get through all of them, and I didn't read only those books, but I did get a lot of those books read.  I decided to do it again for 2019, so here are the books I loaded up for this year.

I have so many books that it can get overwhelming to pick something to read after finishing a book can get a little overwhelming.  By having a shelf set aside of books to read, it does make it a little easier, although there were books I read that I got during the year or that weren't on the shelf.  But, a good starting point none the less.

Usually I set a goal of 48 books a year, which I never seem to reach, but this year I'm lowering my goal to only 24.  With school eating up a lot of my time, and wanting to get outside more, I just don't think I'll get anywhere close to 48.  So, two a month seems much more doable.

Books to read

Here's a listing of what's on the shelf.   An * indicates a book that was on my shelf in 2018.

You're Already Amazing by Holley Gerth*
You Area Free by Rebekah Lyons
Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Eliot
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis*
Literary Converts by Joseph Pearce*
The Power of Prayer in a Believer's Life by Charles Haddon Spurgeon*
A Circle of Quiet by Madeline L'Engle
Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie Macdonald*
The Fox was Ever the Hunter by Herta Muller*
South of Superior by Ellen Airgood*
The Last Bookaner by Matthew Pearl
When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro
Fiver Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris*
American Gods by Neil Gaiman*
The Terror by Dan Simmons*
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Severance by Ling Ma
Remembered Death by Agatha Christie
Halloween Party by Agatha Christie
The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo
Finding Water by Julia Cameron*
On Writing by Stephen King
Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose*
The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis*
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis*
The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis*
Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis*
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis*
The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis*
The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis*
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
The Complete Stories by Flannery O'Connor
Selected Stories of O. Henry by O. Henry*
Emma by Jane Austen*
Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
The Warden by Anthony Trollope
Dead Mountain by Donnie Eicher
In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson*
We Took to the Woods by Louise Dickinson Rich*
Cooked by Michael Pollan*
How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan

What are you looking forward to reading this year?

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

That Part Where Life Happens Unaware

I figured I should probably give an update on what's gone on the past year or so to give some context with where I'm headed.  So here's some of the highlights.

I was working at a nursing home here in town as a health unit coordinator and I did that for about a year and a half, but after crazy hours, stress, and just worn out feeling, I decided to go back to the hospital where I had worked prior.  It feels weird to be back in the same place I left about two years ago.  I'm working as a HUC and CNA.  Mostly CNA.  And mostly on overnights, which is a new "adventure" for me.  When I took the job, I was told there'd be "some" nights.  I was thinking about two a week, but in reality it's been mostly nights with a few PM shifts here and there.  I'm not a night person.  I'm normally in bed by 11pm, so it's been weird to be going to work at that time.  I've gotten better about napping during the day and sleeping longer when I get home from a night shift.  (When I started, I was lucky if I could make it till noon before waking up, now I can go till about 2pm.)  But, as soon as I have more than one day off, my body kicks back to an awake during the day, asleep at night schedule.  I don't hate it, but it's definitely not something I would have chosen.  But, shift differential pay is nice and nights are either pretty mellow or pretty busy.  There seems to be no middle ground.

I wasn't a CNA until about 6 months ago.  There was such a shortage of nursing home CNAs that the state of Wisconsin would pay for your schooling if you agreed to work in a nursing home for six months afterwards.  I really had no intention of going anywhere, but the stress got to me, so I left after my six months to return to the hospital.  But, my instructor for the CNA program encouraged me to look into nursing, and I had been pondering it too, so I started with summer school to take a couple classes, took two more this fall, have two this upcoming spring semester, and then I should enter core nursing in the fall of 2019.  I have lots of feelings about this and I'm not sure they're entirely trustworthy, so I won't get into it here and now, but it is a new adventure of sorts, that's for sure.

Weird work schedules and stress have not been kind to my body.  I'm the heaviest I've been- ever!  And I have heartburn a lot, foot problems, and other problems that could be solved if I could get the weight off.  Which I intend to do this year.  It's an urgent problem that needs to be dealt with because if I don't set up good health habits now, by the time I'm in school full time in the fall, it's only going to get worse.  I have a plan and I feel optimistic. 

On the mental health side, my depression has been pretty much kept at bay so far this year.  I feel like I do much better if I keep busy and feel like I have some control over life, so here's hoping.  It's been almost a year that I've been off my antidepressants, which feels amazing some days and foolish others.

Ah family.  My husband is still working the same job.  He's got some health issues too, but we're dealing well enough.  My dad recovered from his heart attack last winter, but had back surgery around Thanksgiving.  I guess he's recovering well from that too.  My mom and brother are both doing fairly well.  We all got together for Christmas which was nice, even if I had only gotten a couple hours of sleep beforehand.

Well, with going back to school, I had to make some adjustments.  My reading time has been limited, and my sewing time was pretty much nonexistent.  So, I moved my sewing related things- fabric, notions, patterns, etc. down to the basement or packed up into the closet in my office.  It was sad, but also liberating, because not having the table and machine set up in my office made much more room and it was nice not to be reminded of the half finished projects waiting for me everywhere.  I fully intend to get back to sewing some day, but a this time in my life, it just really isn't going to happen. 

I do want to get back to writing more regularly.  And, since winter break runs until January 21, I'm trying to get a lot of reading done, and get my currently reading list back down to just a few books.

As far as traveling goes, it seems I never get to do as much as I want.  I did get to Michigan's Upper Peninsula, which I feel like is where I belong.  A friend and I went for a couple days and we had a great time.  I rented an apartment with AirBNB and we were a block from a Mexican restaurant, a couple blocks from a used bookstore, and a coffee shop was about a block the other way.  So basically, everything my little heart needed was within walking distance. The area had horrible flooding while we were there, and it was very weird driving home.  We stopped at Bond Falls, which is normally a nice peaceful, but large waterfall.   This time it was roaring.  Water was running down the steps and it just felt angry.  But still beautiful. 

So that's the gist of the last  year.  Nothing too remarkable, but looking forward to more adventures in 2019.