Thursday, January 3, 2013

Coming up in 2013

2012 was a tough year for my family.  Our family lost several of its oldest members.  My household saw the deaths of three pets.  Gene became a stay-at-home dad and we have squeaked by on my educator's income .  Gene's electric motorcycle business, while generating some great exposure and interest in the electric vehicle and motorcycle enthusiast worlds, hasn't yet generated a corresponding income.  I broke down and got a Costco membership.  We spent all of December fighting illnesses that went from bad to worse and eventually required doctors' interventions.  We had to cancel Kaelen's first birthday.  To round things out, Kaelen fell down a flight of wooden stairs to the concrete floor of the basement at a friend's house after someone didn't shut a baby gate properly.  He suffered only minor bruises and a bloodied nose.  But those were some of the most frightening moments of my brief stint as a parent.

I was so fed-up with 2012 that I went to bed at 11:50 on New Year's Eve, my way of flipping it the metaphorical bird.  Playing the exhausted and cranky host, I refused to see 2012 to the door and make sure it got to its car safely before I turned off the porch light.

There were definitely bright spots in 2012.  It was sometimes hard to see them when the darkness loomed so large.  The best moments definitely came in watching Kaelen grow and become his own little person.  New teeth, new skills, outgrown clothes, developing personality - all amazing to see.  He signed "eat" for the first time independently on 12/29, then signed it with gusto upon seeing cupcakes at our friends' house on New Year's Eve.  Seeing Gene fall in love with our son and be a patient but strict parent has been wonderful.  Introducing Kaelen to my grandparents and family in New England last spring gave me untold joy.  Watching my brother grow into his role as uncle - gentle, loving, attentive, sometimes even awestruck - has been so touching.  Marius came into our lives and we've been learning the ups and downs of parenting a teen.  And hey, we survived the purported "Mayan Apocalypse"!

Gene and I both have high hopes for 2013.  Here are some of my personal goals:
  1. I am working hard to get a new job.  I'm bored out of my skull at work.  I've been interviewing like mad and have my fingers crossed that 2013 usher me into a new professional role.
  2. My yard will be easier to maintain.  While I really attacked the inside of the house in 2012, I sorely neglected the yard.  I plan to whip it back into shape starting this spring.  In the back yard I'm going to remove some shrubs to enlarge the open areas, plant grass, and limit the chickens' access.  I'm not crazy about grass but Kaelen and Rosemary need a safe, chicken poop-free back yard where they can play.  I'm going to reclaim the front yard's raised beds from the weeds.  If finances allow, I'd like to terrace the front slope with a rock wall of some kind and use the terraces for veggies and herbs.  Managing plants on a slope has proven too high maintenance for my lifestyle.  If a rock wall isn't in the works, I'll reduce the garden area and increase the grass area.  Before you freak about grass, know that I don't put any weed-n-feed on my lawn and I don't water it (it greens up after the first good fall rain, so why bother?).
  3. I will manage my commitments better.  I've said "yes" to too many things.  For example, I'm thrilled to have hosted Marius and our lives have been enriched by having known him.  I've realized that parenting someone else's teenager stretches my time and attention too thin (also, I don't have the patience or energy to debate, discuss, and defend my every statement).  We've been asked to do it again and I declined.  On the other hand, I've just agreed to join the planning committee to help start a barter community in Tacoma and I've also rejoined a French conversation group. 
  4. I will make time for myself amongst all those obligations.  As I often tell others, "You can't fill others' cups if your own is empty".
  5. I will refocus my blog.  I started my blog out with great gusto.  Must write all the things!  My life has changed dramatically in the years since my first post.  It's a lot of work to maintain a blog, and I'm thankful to you for reading it.  I do this one for fun but sometimes it just feels like a burden and I get guilty for neglecting it.  My initial goal was to write about the trials and tribulations of living sustainably in a city.  I want to maintain and develop that general theme.  I am going to spend some time thinking about what I want this blog to be and would greatly appreciate your input on it. 
What are your goals for 2013?


  1. My main goal is to make more purposeful time for my family. I took a full time position as a 2nd shift RN this last August. I also enrolled in a BSN completion program. So without adding family to that mix I am pretty busy. We have 4 children who we have discovered really need to have their mom at home more so work is going to have to give a little. Until then I plan to make my available time with them count!

    My son was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome this fall as well so another one of my goals is to do some research and be a better prepared parent when we start his IEP process.

  2. Lindsay, those are good plans and I'm sure your family will be richer for having had your time and attention. Kind wishes to you as you work with your son's educational team on his IEP.