Monday, January 02, 2012

The Requisite Resolutions Post

Before we had kids, my husband and I had a tradition of taking a long walk on the beach on New Year's Day. In fact, we often took long walks on the beach- that is one of the things I miss about our pre-kids life.  We did a lot of talking and planning on those walks. We got engaged on one. We hatched our plan to take an extended break from work and travel around Asia and the Pacific on one. We also discussed more mundane concerns, from finances to career goals to the fact that one of our favorite restaurants was in a 'black spot"- a location in which restaurants never seemed to survive (this one didn't, either, but it lasted longer than most).

I'm sure that we will eventually be able to incorporate our kids in this tradition, but so far, we haven't done so.  Therefore, it was a special treat to get to revive the tradition this year. Our day care was open today, but our work places were closed, so Hubby and I had the day to ourselves. We decided to head down to Pacific Beach and go for a walk. We parked in one of the lots by the bay in Mission Beach, walked along the bay and then up to Law Street checking out the changes in our old neighborhood, then headed to the beach. We stopped for lunch, and then walked back along the beach to our car. It was wonderful, if a bit windy.

Note that I did not pose for this picture. This is what my hair looked like as we walked south.

True to tradition, we discussed the state of our finances (pretty good) and our financial goals for the new year (we probably need to get a new roof- we'd love to be able to connect our house to our garage first). We also discussed possible vacations for 2012 (we think we'll try to go earlier this year, to take advantage of our last year in which we can plan vacations without regard to school schedules) and random other things.

So, I've been in a New Year's sort of mood, and have decided to write up my resolutions for the year. I actually have intentions, not resolutions, but taking some advice from Laura Vanderkam's Just a Minute newsletter, I've decided to try to make one specific, positive goal to go with each.

1. Be happy with my appearance again

Sometime in 2011, I gained 10 lbs. I either need to lose them (and preferably an additional 5 lbs) or make peace with the fact that I'm not going to lose them, and go buy clothes that fit and look good on that weight.

I also need to make peace with the fact that I'm going to be 40 this year, and that I no longer look 21. I need to find my grown up style and be comfortable in it.

My specific goal: I've read that exercise makes you feel better about yourself whether or not you lose weight, so my specific goal is to do something active every day, with two serious workouts per week.

2. Figure out my five year plan

I'm working in a job that is literally the incarnation of the job description I imagined for myself when I left graduate school 10+ years ago. And something is missing. I need to figure out what that is- do I need to aim for a different level of job in my current track? Do I need to do something different in my same industry? Do I need to make a far more drastic change?

My specific goal: I use this blog to figure things out, so my specific goal is to finally write the career introspection posts that have been on my future posts list for months and months.

3. Enjoy the journey

It is my blog tagline, but I have to confess that I sometimes struggle to do this. I'm not sure what the specific goal is for this one (that's probably part of the problem!) but I suspect it involves slowing down and enjoying scenes like this more:

This was taken on New Year's Day. Pumpkin is working on her resolution, which is to read more books on her own (she says that she wants to surprise her Kindergarten teacher with all the words she can read). Petunia just wanted to be like her big sister.

There are more things I plan to do this year, but I keep a revolving list of goals/tasks, so they aren't really resolutions. No doubt I'll write about them anyway at some point!


  1. I'm so glad you were able to revive your tradition! DH and I also do a lot of talking/problem solving/coming up with ideas on walks. It's wonderful.

    Good luck with your resolutions!

  2. the milliner9:57 AM

    Don't you love it when you can do something together - just you and your DH - and it's not chores or errands? (Though doing that alone can sometimes be a treat too).

    DH & I try to take a Friday off every quarter or so to go to our favorite spa an hour outside of our city. I love those days.

    Happy New Year & looking forward to those career introspection posts. I'm in a similar position as you are and about 1/2 way (I think) through the process leading up to making my next move.

  3. Happy New Year! Your beach walk sounds like it was amazing and rejuvenating. We always chuckle to ourselves when we suddenly realize "Hey! we're actually doing something we used to do pre-kids! Yay us!" So, yay you!

    Two suggestions for you for resolution #1 - hire a personal trainer (DH did that last year and he looks amazeballs - I'm saving up for one this year), and 2) check out Alison's Wardrobe Oxygen blog - I really dig her outlook and realism on fashion issues:

  4. Happy New Year Cloud!

    Hubby works from home on Fridays now and so we finally have a day a week we can run together, something that would otherwise be impossible for us seeing we don't have hubby's mum babysitting anymore. This has done wonders for our relationship, actually.

    Good luck with all your intentions, especially no.1, which is something I haven't had the courage to face yet either.

  5. ooh, you did finally get your day off together! Nice.

    I totally hear you about #1, except for me it's more like 40 lbs, which is highly unrealistic. But I think it's really important to get to a place where I'm happy, and be done with the "oh I should lose..." crap. My plan is to do it, or just decide I'm done and try to stay reasonably healthy.

    Re: getting to grown up style - I'm just a couple of years younger than you, and having the same issue. I find Nordstrom is helpful, as long as you stay out of the juniors section (Brass Plum/BP). A lot of the other stores - Express, Limited, Abercrombie, etc are just too young.

    I love Pumpkin's resolution.

    Happy New Year!

  6. I'm with you on resolutions 1 and 2.
    As for 1, I have joined a local fitness franchise, for $400 I get 10 weeks, 6 times a week, kickboxing and resistance training -- it's a 10 week challenge and whoever improves most in "stats" (weight, pushups, body fat, how long it takes you to run a mile etc) gets a $1,000 prize! This was my "sabbatical resolution" -- to try to get into shape. The only reason why I can pull it off is because I don't teach so I can make the 9 am morning slot after kid drop off. I'm a bit scared, but I paid the money already so that's an incentive. They assign you a "group coach" who calls you if you miss a training etc. I have issues being motivated on my own, while the thought of a personal trainer (just for me) scares me. Btw, it's 10 weeks so a nice finite amount of time to a fitness goal.

    Good luck with your resolutions!

  7. Thanks for the good wishes, everyone!

    @Alyssa- I do my best thinking while walking. Which is why when I'm smart, stress at work = more lunchtime walks, not fewer.

    @the milliner- I love the idea of taking a day off to just go hang out. We won't be able to do that until we're out of the baby/toddler vortex of eternal sickness, though!

    @hush- thanks for the blog link! She does have a good eye for outfits.

    @paola- I'm glad you and your husband are getting to run together. Even pre-kids we never did that- I'm too slow.

    @Anandi- my go to stores are Nordstroms, NY and Co (and I'm old enough to remember when they were Lerners!), and Ann Taylor Loft (although I find less there these days).

    Good luck on the weight loss and/or acceptance. It is a hard thing, isn't it?

    @GMP- that sounds wild. I've actually had a personal trainer before, and it was aweseome. My big problem right now is that the best way for me to get/stay in shape is kickboxing. I love it, it is a great work out, and hitting things is very therapeutic. But I can't find a class that is remotely doable schedule-wise. I got a wavemaster heavy bag for Christmas, and I had a pretty good work out using it today. I'll see how this goes!

  8. Zenmoo10:11 PM

    Happy new year! A walk on the beach sans kids sound pretty good. I have to admit I'm a little annoyed with myself for organising a playdate on Thursday morning, when I could have dropped M off at daycare and done some shopping by myself for a few hours... But I still need to sort my wardrobe out to see what I need before I buy anything new. Except black or charcoal grey pants for work. I've needed them since the start of last year and just can't find any that work for me with out being hideously expensive.

    Anyway, enough about me. I second @hush on Alison from Wardrobe Oxygen as a stylish blogger - I also personally like Tara from She's a 30ish teacher and wears a lot of colour and a lot of LOFT/Ann Taylor. I can't imagine getting away with some of the stuff she wears at my work- but other outfits, I really like. I'm big on bright colours and I'm about the same weight & height as her so it helps to get an idea of what clothes *really* look like on, rather than on a model.

    As for the fitness, well, I'm with you on trying to build that habit. I'm just doing a weekly schedule now to try and work out where I can fit it in....

  9. A walk on the beach? Sans kid(s)? That sounds utterly fabulous! I'm so glad you were able to do that.

    I'm also jealous, but who wouldn't be?

  10. Thanks for the shout out. I am trying to take my own advice, and instead of just stating that I need to lose weight, committing to lift weights 3-4x per week, run 5x per week, eat more vegetables and don't snack after dinner. Progress is slow, but at least it's progress. The walk on the beach sounds awesome.


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