2009 Resolution#1 - Lose Weight... My Grade: C+
My goal: Sheesh, did I even set one? I think I had 20 pounds in mind for a challenging, yet achievable goal. For a while, it looked as though I had the ambition and willpower to do it, but then life happened. The official tally is...... 13 pounds. Which in itself isn't all that bad. I mean, despite hormones and a busy and stressful work situation this year, a little turmoil on the homefront and a smattering of depression here and there, 13 pounds is ok. What sucks is at one point I was at 18 pounds....ah well, thankfully I'm at the start of a new year, and I'm already plotting my course.
My BIGGEST downfall was not the two weeks of holiday baking I did at the end of the year - I really didn't eat many of those goodies. My downfall was exercise, or lack of it. My focus for my 2010 Lose Weight Resolution (of course there will be one!) will be on exercise - I need to get to the gym more, as that was where my most effective workouts take place. I might even have a little extra moral support, as we're doing this as a family. My husband's been doing great, going to the gym at least 2 or 3 times a week, gave up his beloved Diet Coke habit (yes, even though it's "diet" it's really not good for you - too many phosphates, especially when you drink 2 liters a day...) He's down about 20 pounds, and "on his last belt loop" meaning he'll be digging through that bin of clothes we packed away a couple years ago, unable to fit into them nor part with them.
Anyway, our social butterfly daughter is at an age where she wants to go to the KidWatch Gym at the Y, make friends and play while Mommy and Daddy go off to the Wellness Center. So I guess my Tuesday and Thursday nights are booked! My biggest stumbling block is my work schedule, but I'm working on that one too.
2009 Resolution#2 - Visit My Parents Once A Week ... My Grade.... B+
Started out strong, but as usual life gets in the way and there were a few weeks that a few phone calls had to suffice. Still, I am blessed with a wonderful mother and father, both of whom have had some health issues - some normal aged-related, and others more serious - but I have to hand it to them both - they keep on keeping on! My mother is a three-time cancer survivor - three different types of cancer (cervical, breast and colon), and while she had yet another scare this year (lung) it turned out to be negative. For now, anyway. My father, whose general health has always been pretty good except for high blood pressure, which he has controlled with diet and medication for the past forty years, has also had a few "blips" here and there, but is still doing well. His eyesight is failing terribly, but he can read with the aid of a magnifying device and has also taught himself to see using his peripheral vision. His hearing aid is tempermental, but he has taken to listening to music again and will always listen to his beloved Red Sox games. And despite the fact that he needs his walker to get around, he goes for several walks each day (and even did some gardening this summer!). He has to. If he doesn't, his legs and back stiffen up so badly he can barely move, so for a total of an hour each day, he walks, sitting down when he needs to, then climbs back up to my parents; second-floor apartment for a break.
Sometimes I get a little sad thinking that this is what his life has become. He turned 85 in 2009, and for the first time he's feeling what old age can be like. It's a very painful thing to witness, but on the other hand he lights up like a Christmas tree every time my daughter walks into the room, and better yet she has not been one of those kids who shies away from "old" people. On the contrary, she adores her Grammy and Grampy, and there is never that few minutes of "warming up to them" at the beginning of each visit, she just delves right in, dragging out her toys and recruiting them for games of cards (which my father can barely read!) Sometimes I join in, sometimes I sit back and watch, wondering if she has any clue how precious these memories will be some day.
(Excuse me, I need a tissue....)
Alright, let's lighten the mood a bit!
2009 Resolution#3 - Clean House My Grade: Incomplete
So many projects, so little time. Yes, I made a lot of headway into this one - that bedroom set, as predicted, made it's way into the Salvation Army truck, as did on old television set we were trying to give away but no one wanted. But no sooner do I get one corner cleaned up, another corner becomes a disaster. So give me a couple more weeks on this one. Things were looking good just before the Christmas decorations came out, and once they're back in their respective storage places I plan on finishing this one up to the point where I can...what's the word? Oh yeah! MAINTAIN. It sounds so simple.
2009 Resolution #4 - Visit Ten New Places My Grade: A
Let's see.... I blogged about the big trip - Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Buffalo, Niagara Falls. That's 50% of my goal achieved in one trip! Add in a few more local places - blueberry picking at Tougas Farm, finally visiting the Old Stone Church, a visit to the Children's Museum in Hartford, CT...I also walked around Newport, RI last May, when my sister-in-law was up for a visit. We've done the mansion and cliff walk before, but never the actual town. It was nice! Historic buildings, cobblestone streets, a nice seafood restaurant, a fudge shop....the weather was cool and rainy, and being slightly off season there weren't many tourists around, yet it wasn't deserted either. One more makes ten.....well, I know I went to at least two local restaurants that I had never been to before! Love those girls' nights out! One was a Mexican restaurant on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester, and the other an Italian restaurant that had just opened and has since closed. Both were great meals and great fun. Might be stretching it a bit, but overall I think I did well with this one!
2009 Resolution#5 - Read More My Grade: A
I blogged about my progress earlier this year and listed some of the books I had read. While my reading time kind of dwindled off a bit, I came back full force. In fact, this week on vacation I read three books...in three days!
First, "Mr Timothy" by Louis Bayard. I grabbed this one off my shelf as I headed out to wait for my car to be repaired...it was just a few days after Christmas, and the night before we had watched Scrooge, so I was in the mood for this one.
Set in the 1860's, this is the story of "Tiny" Tim Cratchit, grown to adulthood and trying balance survival and independence, while being haunted by his past, trying to separate himself from his benefactor, Ebenezer Scrooge and finding himself a sort of witness to a crime. The book captures what life was like during those times for those less fortunate, and the story is suspenseful and entertaining.
My daughter got a Playmobile boat and submarine set for Christmas (because Daddy wanted to play with it), and at some point Christmas morning, while a rescue was underway in my living room, I uttered the quote "Gloucester! They're always from Gloucester!" from "The Perfect Storm". I thought of that when I chose this book:
The Hungry Ocean by Linda Greenlaw
If you've seen or read "The Perfect Storm" about the tragic last journey of the Andrea Gail, lost at sea during a violent storm, Linda Greenlaw is the real-life captain of the Andrea Gail's sister ship, Hannah Boden. In this book, she chronicles a typical month-long fishing trip in the north Atlantic, including a few flashbacks into her childhood and early fishing career. While there's no real plot or story line, this journal of a fishing trip was very interesting. She explains the process of fishing, the technical and scientific side of running a fishing boat, and shares some stories of her very respectable career. Good book - I have her other book, "The Lobster Chronicles" waiting on my shelf and am looking forward to reading more about this really interesting person.
And this tearjerker I finished up last night, standing by the stove making popcorn and bawling my eyes out.
Chosen By A Horse by Susan Richards
A very poignant memoir of a woman who survives an abusive childhood, battles a drinking problem, emerges from a failed marriage to a life centered around her horses and her job as a social worker. When she takes in an abused and neglected horse, her outlook on life gradually changes. While the horse heals, the author also begins to heal and in her 40's returns to the dating scene. Just as the future seems to brighten for both, an illness rears it's ugly head. The most empowering aspect of this book is that the author decides not to run away from this problem as she always had in the past, but to embrace the heartache and pain of loss as an example of her own capability to love.
I needed tissues at the end of this one.
Well, all in all, I think I did pretty good! While the weight loss is still a problem for me, I keep chipping away at it, keep getting back up on that horse (oh that HORSE!!!! Waaaah! Seriously, that book killed me). But as I review 2009 I realize I got the scale to move in the right direction, I broadened my horizons in travel and literature, reminded myself to appreciate my family and even cleaned a little house!
I'm trying to think up a few specifics for 2010 resolutions, but to summarize: lose more weight, travel more, read more, live, laugh and love more.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!