Blog Archive

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Do you think I'll stick to my resolutions if I publicly announce them on my blog? It's worth a shot, right?


First, this year has been a whirlwind of excitement, travel, home improvement projects, challenges, and a lesson that life never slows down. In fact, I think each passing year speeds up.

Excitement: watching Eddie grow up before our very eyes. It is fun to see each new milestone and bewildering to discover that Dave and I have a lot to learn from our little Eddie.

Travel: Eddie and I went to so many places this year and Dave came along on many of our trips (France, Reno, Iowa, Georgia, Long Beach, I'm sure there were others that I can't remember right now). I love traveling but traveling with a child is SO MUCH WORK. I miss being able to read a book and sip my Starbucks or even sleep on a plane without having to juggle a kid and all his stuff. Even with my mom's help on all those trips it is still a lot of work. Next year I plan on going to the Soils conference alone, without Eddie. It will be in San Antonio and I can't wait.

Home improvement projects: Dave and I get so much joy from our home. And not just from watching movies in our comfy living room or cooking food in our well appointed kitchen. We love fixing, improving, and modifying our home because it allows us to spend quality time together and fix, improve, and modify ourselves and our relationship while doing it. Most projects are done together and it is often the only "us" time we get during the weekends. New to our home this year are a chicken coop (and 4 birds), garden irrigation and raised beds, some windows, indoor panel doors...and probably more.

Challenges: In the last 12 months I've had to navigate the overwhelming world of being a working and mostly-single mother. I've also had to learn to care for other people's children in order to earn extra income during the week (and how to give myself a break and let one of the kids go because it just wasn't a good fit). We've learned how to share our home with a tenant and give up a whole room of our house for the year--along with that I've learned to adjust my standards of how my house is organized and maintained. Having a housemate (a male one at that) made me relax my ideals of cleanliness, noise, etc. Above all else, Dave and I continue to deal with the challenges of living apart for work reasons. It is becoming more and more clear that this situation isn't sustainable emotionally--financially it is the only way to go right now. Hopefully something will change soon.

Life never slows down! I keep hoping it will so I can stop to smell the roses, but I know it won't. (I actually DO stop to smell the roses and I'm surprised by how few of them actually smell good. That must be a metaphor for something.)

Okay, now on to my resolutions.

1. To stop using Dave's work situation (him in Gualala, me in Davis) as an excuse to hold me back from moving forward with my degree. I don't mean this in a bad way toward Dave at all. But I think a year of moping is enough--I need to buck up or back down. I'm not much for backing down (especially after this much work) so buck up time is here. I don't think anyone (except maybe my dad and brother...) would hold it against me if I chose to quit school so I could move up with Dave. Our situation puts a lot of pressure and responsibility on me. But since I'm pursuing my Ph. D. only for myself, I'd only be letting myself down. Dave supports me in every way a husband and friend can: emotionally, physically, financially. The synergy of our marriage is intense; even when he's not here he is supporting me and my wants/desires.

We took this picture of ourselves on December 15, 2005...just over five years ago. I'm happy to report that I love him way more today than I did back then.Anyway...back on track: I had a chronological list of things I thought I needed done in order to move forward: have Dave get settled in a job "down here," then have my heart procedure, then study for and take my oral qualifying exam (I was afraid that I'd set off the heart problem again with all the anxiety of that exam), finish my experimental research, and write my dissertation while applying for post doc positions or teaching jobs. Well, the first one hasn't happened and I can't sit around waiting forever so I decided that I just need to move forward with that list. Life's all about adaptation and resourcefulness, right?

We all choose our own paths in life, and for some reason I chose to let my husband be happy by quitting his terrible/awful/shitty corporate job to do something that fulfills him (working for/with his dad in his hometown, doing work that betters his community and will ultimately benefit our entire Bower family)...and since his daily happiness truly makes me happy, then I know I have the personal capacity to do the same for myself. We are all aware that no one else can make us happy, only we can make ourselves happy. I chose the path I'm on so I'd better suck it up and make it work. And I will be happy doing it, goshdarnit.

2. I will wean myself from keeping my hair up in a ponytail all the time. There are two things I ALWAYS had with me up until about six months ago: chapstick and a hairband. Always. Meaning that if I forgot one of those things and was too far from my dorm room or house to go get it, I'd stop at a store and buy one. Eddie is obsessed with my chapstick tubes--he likes to gnaw on the rough plastic on the twist-up end--and since he was always taking them from my pockets and key chain and losing them I was forcibly weaned from using chapstick all the time.

This past week I have been forcing myself to keep my hair down and get used to the way my hair feels on my neck. I usually having a band on my wrist for dangerous situations: cooking over an open flame, dealing with chemicals in the lab, etc.

Why bother? Well, what's the point of having longish hair if I'm only going to keep it up? It looks nicer down.

3. I will make a conscious effort to have fewer "Jane" moments and more "Avis" moments. If you don't know what that means, don't worry about it.

This is my Grandma Avis: I should probably have a resolution about motherhood on here, but numbers 1 and 3 will definitely benefit Eddie for the rest of his life (assuming I follow through).


mu rye uh said...

Better self better life (and yes better kids :) And go you! Its hard to let go of some grudges I think it gives us an excuse. Hahahaha and soooo true not many roses actually smell good! Ok so mind my own beeswax but K and I have a 'love' journal we've been doing it a while and we write love letters back and forth and on days when my eye twitches in angry at him I read one of his letters it helps. Yes I am notorious for long comments. PP personal problem

Kelly said...

Great resolutions Julie, thanks for sharing :D