Family, Lifestyle

2021 All Year Reflection

2021 All Year Reflection
Totally forgot to publish this in January…better late than never!

1. Build proper storage in our garage &/or attic (to finally get the stuff junk out of all our closets)

I can confidently say I got 50% of this done. Because of the baby, one room closet was totally cleared of our junk; now it just has the baby’s lol. The reason I feel we only got 50% accomplished is that the other guest room closet is disgustingly full. While pregnant I used it to store clothing I could no longer fit in and with my postpartum body I haven’t cared to clear it out. But honestly, a lot there needs to GO. Like out of this house GO. I hate throwing away good stuff so I need to find places to donate or consignment.

2. Travel outside the state of Florida at least once.

Maybe I was silly for having this as a goal: pregnant + pandemic. But I reallllly thought we could travel somewhere in 2021. The thing is that we found other things, mostly baby things, taking the little free time we had. Plus with my high risk pregnancy I did not want to risk being on a plane or with unknown doctors if an issue arose.

Read more: Travel Tips: Trip Planning during COVID

3. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.

I really didn’t track this one, which was stupid if I really wanted to check my intake. I do think I had at least this much water per day, especially while breastfeeding but I can’t say for sure.

4. Spend an average less than $650/month on groceries.

I decided to track “on list” & “off list” spending because I noticed a trend: I would blow the bill on things that I wasn’t intending on buying by caught my eye or “were good deals.” Now around September we started using Kroger Delivery for our once a week shopping, while still supplementing with a small trip a week to fill in the rest. Kroger was a game changer in the “off list” cost department! Absolutely well worth the $79 free delivery subscription fee.

January

  • On list: $497.45
  • Off list: $146.24
  • Monthly Total: $643.69

February

  • On list: $618.43
  • Off list: $176.56
  • Monthly Total: $794.99

March

  • On list: $706.61
  • Off list: $102.15
  • Monthly Total: $808.76

April

  • On list: $551.49
  • Off list: $92.51
  • Monthly Total: $644.00

May

  • On list: $434.59
  • Off list: $46.28
  • Monthly Total:$480.88

June

  • On list: $429.68
  • Off list: $96.81
  • Monthly Total: $526.49

August

  • On list: $422.41
  • Off list: $21.34
  • Monthly Total: $443.75

September

  • On list: $330.02
  • Off list: $70
  • Monthly Total: $400.02

October

  • On list: $503.09
  • Off list: $79.30
  • Monthly Total: $582.39

November

  • On list: $660.42
  • Off list: $101.88
  • Monthly Total: $762.30

December

  • On list: $445.80
  • Off list: $15.46
  • Monthly Total: $461.26

GRAND YEARLY TOTAL: $6,548.53

Woooooo!!! This actually works out to just over $545/month. I did it!!! However, the birth of the baby & all the kind meals we received certainly helped us edge out the cost here.

5. Write 2 art history blog posts a month.

So I did less than half what I wanted to. This is a definite fail BUT not as bad as I thought I did!

  1. #35. Acropolis Athens, Greece. Iktinos and Kallikrates. c. 447–410 BCE. Marble.
  2. #35. Acropolis Plan. Athens, Greece. Iktinos and Kallikrates. c. 447-410 BCE. Marble.
  3. #35. Helios, horses, and Dionysus (Heracles?), Parthenon. Acropolis. Athens, Greece. Iktinos and Kallikrates. c. 447-410 BCE. Marble.
  4. #35. Plaque of the Ergastines, Parthenon. Acropolis. Athens, Greece. Iktinos and Kallikrates. c. 447-410 BCE. Marble.
  5. #35. Temple of Athena Nike. Acropolis. Athens, Greece. Iktinos and Kallikrates. c. 447-410 BCE. Marble.
  6. #35. Victory adjusting her sandal, Temple of Athena Nike. Acropolis. Athens, Greece. Iktinos and Kallikrates. c. 447-410 BCE. Marble.
  7. #36. Grave stele of Hegeso. Attributed to Kallimachos. c. 410 BCE. Marble and paint.
  8. AP Art History Hunting in Athens, Greece
  9. AP Art History: Cultural Contexts of Early European and Colonial American Art

6.Keep my potted herbs alive (& maybeeee add more green things to my backyard).

Things are definitely alive, some different things in December from last January…but things are staying alive longer than they used to.

7. Use my slow cooker at least every other week.

So I was pretty good about this but not consistent, meaning one month I’d use it a lot but others not so much. Obviously the baby was going to throw this for a loop (considering I did not really cook for 6 weeks), but post-baby, it was a renewed goal of mine & will continue to be one in 2022.

8. Go for a jog or long walk every week.

Oh I KILLED THIS GOAL butttt only the walking part, which I totally knew I could do. I love walking the neighborhood. A lot a lot. My husband describes me as a dog wagging their tail to go outside. I didn’t walk much right after baby playing it safe but I totally could have done more.

9. Practice yoga at least twice a month.

I fail at my yoga goal every year. And I think I finally know why. I hate doing yoga alone. I don’t know why. Probably has something to do with distractions, but I like a buddy and considering I have to drag Will kicking and screaming to do yoga with me, I don’t have one readily available. I am keeping this goal, modified, for 2022 but I’m not going into the new year hopeful.

10. Read at least 5 books classified as “classic literature.”

  1. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (book & audiobook)
  2. Time Machine by H.G. Wells (audiobook)
  3. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (book & audiobook, terrible audiobook) – started it but didn’t finish after baby was born
  4. Homer’s The Iliad and the Odyssey: A Biography (Books that Changed the World) by Alberto Manguel (audiobook)
  5. The Bible: A Biography (Books that Changed the World) by Karen Armstrong (audiobook)
  6. Dune by Frank Herbert (audiobook)

I expanded my definition as “classic literature” to get this done. But I technically got it done. It’s my blog & I said I got it done.

Read more: 2021 Book Review

11. Grow my emergency savings account to at least $5,000.

Ok sooo I SHOULD have known this was going to “fail” because this emergency savings was for baby. Since the great state of Florida does not give paid maternity leave, we used this account (planned) to help cover expenses of my 1 month of UNPAID leave. Therefore I drained this account, consolidated it into my checking, and used the money. But please don’t worry! This is not our our emergency/retirement/slush fund account; it’s just the one tied to my personal bank account.

Between Will & I we have:

  • 2 Roth IRA accounts
  • 1 investment retirement account
  • 1 pension account
  • 2 checking accounts at 2 different banks/credit union
  • 2 savings at two different banks (well, now only one)
  • In addition to our mortgage/escrow accounts

12. Vacuum at least once a week.

In GENERAL, I stuck to this; obviously baby threw a wrench into my *perfectly* clean house. lol

13. Focus on working out my arms more.

I pretty much copped out August -December saying that carrying a baby totally counts, and I’m not saying it doesn’t count, but that is definitely not what I had in mind when I made the goal

14. Finish our patio decorating.

I didn’t define what “finish” meant, so I decided in like March I was “finished.” But  of course that’s never really true when you own a home is it? We still want to add 2 hanging plants, touch up/change out our outdoor side table, & add more plants that I get to keep alive.

15. Spend an average of LESS than an hour and a half on my phone per day.

oooo helllll no. Breastfeeding = play around on phone but that’s about all the phone time I get and I am ok with that.

16.  Buy no books (unless I have a gift card of course).

Here are the books I bought without a gift card that broke this promise:

Read more: 2021 Book Review

17. Do no school work on Sunday.

I did great with this & it is single handedly the best goal on here. It’s important to take rest, no matter how much work you “have to do.” I find that when I rest, I am better able to tackle work. This goal was definitely practice for baby. I refuse to slave away, ignore my family, for a job that doesn’t care if I am gone the next day. Work to live, don’t live to work.

Read moreHonoring the Sabbath

18.Call someone out of the blue to chat at least once a month.

19. Finish decorating our two extra bedrooms.

Yes, mostly. I am so not an interior designer, that’s Will’s forte. But the rooms are totally passable as organized, decorates spaces. Are there things I wish I “finished,” yes, am I going to bother finishing a guest bedroom? No. And I’ve learned the baby’s room will now be in a constant state of flux as we use it differently as he grows.

20. Organize an intentional date with my hubby once a month.

We are terrible at this!! Our marriage is very strong, but I know it has to be cultivate and worked at. Will baby make us better at this, maybe? So far, the baby has functioned to get us to slow down, “waste” more time together & that is important.

Read more: Fifth Wedding Anniversary

22. Start a family.

I am currently working on the birth story blog post (6 months later).

And here is the brief story of our fertility struggle:

The past year and a half we have struggled through 3 miscarriages. This puts me in the glorious 1% of women to have what’s called recurrent miscarriage without any successful pregnancies. Awesome right? Also shitty is the fact that insurances won’t pay for any fancy testing until you’ve had three in a row so it wasn’t until this past November that we could even find out why this was happening over and over again.

Long story short, I will always have a 50% or so chance of losing any and all pregnancies. We found out I have two major conditions affecting this: 1) a genetic issue, a balanced translocation of chromosomes 1 & 7 and 2) APS blood clotting disorder. Neither issue affects my life in anyway except in the realm of fertility. The genetic condition means every time we get pregnant it’s a flip of a coin if the baby will survive past week 8. And the blood issue means that I will have to do daily shots & baby aspirin to reduce the chance of miscarriage & preeclampsia later on. All of this, plus my asthma (for which I do weekly shots) & heart condition (SVT) will make me a high-risk pregnancy which increased chances of birth complications and risk of pregnancy loss the whole way through.

Read moreI wish I was the 99%

So what does all this mean? Well this means that I have very little influence over keeping any pregnancy viable & beyond the things described above. I can’t really do much to increase my chances above 50% early on. Am I mad? Oh hell yeah! Am I sad? You bet. But in some ways going through this arduous journey + 2020’s shitshow has forced me to accept that I have no control over things I always thought were in the realm of my influence.

JMF

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