Sunday, January 19, 2014

My Least Favorite Month

I am not a fan of January. Usually, it's kind of gloomy and cold - well, cold for southern California. This January is not like that at all. We haven't had any rain since mid-December, and the days have been hot and dry. This is called a "Santa Ana condition", and high winds are also part of this weather condition some days. Last week the governor announced that we're in a drought. Not good. It leads to things like horrible wildfires in our local hills. I do hope we get some cooler weather and some rain in the weeks to come. March can sometimes be very wet.

One of the things I do like about typical Januaries is that it's a good time to cook soups and other comfort foods. Being that this is a three-day weekend, I had hoped to do some of that before going back to work on Tuesday. However, with temps close to 80* I really don't think I will turn on the oven this weekend.

I'm keeping up with my Couch to 5k. I took two weeks on Week 1 of the program as I tried to figure it all out. Turns out, running with a stroller is really hard. Turns out we're having a heatwave, and running in a heatwave is a deterrent for wimps like me.  So, I've been using a pass to my dad's gym the last three running days instead, and that's worked out well. I'm thinking about joining a very affordable gym in the neighborhood with childcare so that I can continue to run despite the weather, and without Michaela and the stroller. However, I would like to work up to running with Michaela and the stroller in time. When the time comes to run a 5k, I'd really like to run it with her if I can.

We are making really good progress with potty training. For a while there I could get Michaela on the toilet when I caught her at just the right time, but she really wasn't letting me know when she needed to go. When I went back to work, another teacher said that she had little books about going potty that her daughters had read when they were training. I came home that day and ordered two of them. Once they arrived, we began reading them and they made a big impression on Michaela. In the last few days, she has been very good about saying when she needs to go. I'm so proud of her! She receives gummy bears each time she uses the potty successfully, and she knows she will get a play kitchen when she's in big girl panties all the time. We're both excited about that!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Out with the Old, In with the New!

Every day is a new beginning truly, but it does feel good to start a whole new year today. I was not a fan of 2013. I am not sorry to see it go. When I celebrated our birthdays with Teresa last week, I asked her what she considered to be her high and low for the year.

Although I asked the question of her, I was the first to answer as she pondered her responses. I said my low was the entire experience I had with a misogynist cultist certain individual from the East Coast. I am still processing what happened there. Just so weird. A musician friend of mine and Michael's came by recently to look at a couple of guitars I'm selling, and we ended up having a great talk. He and his wife were also nearly caught up in a cult through the deceptiveness of people they trusted.

I felt much better about my own situation after hearing their story, especially knowing that he and his wife are intelligent, successful people, and committed Christians. Another friend who is a psychologist had also told me not to blame myself as manipulative people can be very hard to discern. I guess the outcome is all that matters, and the outcome is that the Lord opened my eyes and protected me and Michaela from a miserable situation.

As for the high, I think our week in Kauai qualifies for that honor. That was a practically perfect vacation. Thanks again, Mom and Dad! Teresa pointed out that my high probably wouldn't have happened without my low. Mom turned some travel arrangements that were made earlier in the year for "other reasons" into a family vacation.

There were other good things in 2013, for sure. Michaela is a delight each and every day. I'm so blessed to be her mom!

Moving forward...

I am not big on resolutions, and yet I find myself sort of making them each new year. It's just a good time to take stock of things, and decide what to throw out, what to keep, and what to add.

It has been several years since I've been able to do much in the way of exercise. At 46, and the mother of a very young child, it's becoming more important to me to be fit so that I can keep up with Michaela. I can keep up with her now no problem. But what happens when she wants to do some of the things I did in my childhood like skiing, horseback riding, or other outdoor activities? (Please, don't ask to go camping, Michaela!)

So, fitness is going to be a focus for me. My fitness goal is to start running. This is a big challenge for me, but I'm going to use the Couch to 5k program and I hope that will be a good way for me to get into it. I will be pushing Michaela along with me in our jogging stroller. We start tomorrow. She is excited. I'm trying to psyche myself up. My short-term goal is to be ready to run a local 5k the first weekend of April. I really need to do this. I used to set big goals for myself (they just weren't fitness goals!), and I met those goals. But it's been a while since I had a personal goal.

Another focus is going to be serving others and sharing God's love with them. I've got some ideas for how to do this, but I'm praying that the Lord will bring opportunities into my life as the year progresses.

Then there's the usual: 
  • save more, spend less
  • read more, Facebook less
  • get more organized
  • eat healthier
  • cook more
  • drink more water
  • blah, blah, blah

What I know for sure is that 2014 will do its own thing, and I'm along for the ride. So I pray for the grace and wisdom to navigate through the lows and highs as they come.

Happy New Year!