If 2020 has taught me anything it is that I have much less control over my life than I could fathom. Without further ado, my somewhat boring goals for 2021!
1. Build proper storage in our garage &/or attic (to finally get the
stuff junk out of all our closets)
Will organized our current storage to maximize the space we have before we manage to build more/put planks down in the attic.
2. Travel outside the state of Florida at least once.
Well, no, not this month. I was thinking of maybe doing a small trip this spring break or summer but now we might get some stuff around the house done (like a kitchen remodel???). We shall see.
3. √ Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
I was really good on break with this, probably because I do not have to wear a mask in my own home -___- Once back to work, this was much harder. Wearing a mask to teach all day is exhausting & I have a very strict rule with my kids that no one takes their mask off in the classroom but they are allowed to pop into the hall at their leisure to eat or drink with the door propped open. The reason I have this rule is that I teach 15/16 year olds and I KNOW if I let them take their masks off in class to drink they would be “sipping” water all class period & I refuse to sit there and yell at them for a 100 minutes straight to put their mask back on. I do not have time for that.
I model my own rules with my students, but now that I no longer have an intern who is teaching my honors classes for me, I can’t go all day without drinking (I am stuck at my computer with the webcam I cannot just “pop into the hallway” to have a sip). I told my students that since I have a plexiglass shield (thanks to my principal!), and I am more than 6 feet away, I will take my mask off when lecturing to be able to drink water frequently. This is really helping me stay hydrated all day.
Read more: 2020-2021 School Year: Thoughts on Week 1
4. √ Spend an average less than $650/month on groceries.
Ok so I think my biggest problem with grocery shopping is going off list, which happens a lot lol. This year, instead of just listing what I spend at each location & date, I am going to put how much I spent on things “on my list” & things “off my list.”
Week 1, January 1-3
- nada, I did a trip right before New Years 🙂 (cheating? maybeee)
Week 2, January 4-10
- On list:
- $70.29 Aldi
- $49.33 Winn Dixie
- Off list:
- $58.59 Aldi (my only excuse is that I do not go to Aldi’s often & they have such cool things)
- $22.39 Winn Dixie (Café Bustelo was on sale, so I got 2 of the party size, should last us over 2 months)
Week 3, January 11-17
- On list:
- $59.11 Publix
- $24.32 Publix
- Off list:
- $8.29 Publix (stupid snack stuff like chips & salsa)
Week 4, January 18-24
- On list:
- $96.02 at Aldi
- $40.44 at Publix
- $38.23 at Winn-Dixie
- $57.21 at Winn-Dixie
- Off list:
- $20.94 at Aldi (mostly silly things I love like Crab Rangoon dip, coconut water, steak & cheese frozen burritos, raspberry cookie dessert & a bribe coffee drink for going to the grocery store)
- $18.98 at Winn-Dixie (fancy almond milk drink, pizza cuz I didn’t defrost dinner stuff on Thursday, & my favorite fancy olives because they were BOGO)
Week 5, January 25-31
- On list:
- $90.32 at Winn-Dixie
- $55.61 at Publix
- Off list:
- $2.62 at Winn-Dixie
- $14.43 at Publix (mostly things were BOGO that we normally buy so I wasn’t going to pass up on that)
- Monthly Grand Total On List: $497.45
- Monthly Grant Total Off List: $146.24
- MONTH GRAND TOTAL: $643.69 (under budget by $7!)
*Note to explain how we do food shopping: Will and I make 2-week lists and I do all the non-perishable/things I can freeze shopping on the first Monday, so that trip is much more expensive than the others. On Thursday, I pick up stuff for Thursday-Sunday and then the following Monday/Thursday I just pick up perishables for the second week. This may seem complicated but it cuts down on my meal planning time, how long I spend in the grocery story, AND how much food we waste. Win! Win! Win!
5. √ Write 2 art history blog posts a month.
- #35. Helios, horses, and Dionysus (Heracles?), Parthenon. Acropolis. Athens, Greece. Iktinos and Kallikrates. c. 447-410 BCE. Marble.
- #35. Plaque of the Ergastines, Parthenon. Acropolis. Athens, Greece. Iktinos and Kallikrates. c. 447-410 BCE. Marble.
6.√ Keep my potted herbs alive (& maybeeee add more green things to my backyard).
They’re still alive but I should probably google what to do in cold weather to keep them that way.
7. Use my slow cooker at least every other week.
- Week 1, January 1-3: When I made this list I had already planned out my first 2 weeks and I did not incorporate a slow cooker meal into that planning.
- Week 2, January 4-10: When I made this list I had already planned out my first 2 weeks and I did not incorporate a slow cooker meal into that planning.
- Week 3, January 11-27: no.
- Week 4, January 18-24: Yes! Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup (tastes much better day 2)
- Week 5, January 25-31: no.
8. Go for a jog or long walk every week.
- Week 1, January 1-3: Sunday, 25 minute jog
- Week 2, January 4-10: Wednesday, 2 hour hike with a friend
- Week 3, January 11-27: Wednesday, 1 hour walk with a friend
- Week 4, January 18-24: Wednesday, ~2 hour hike with a friend (we busted our butts!)
- Week 5, January 25-31: I had a million doctors visits this week (3 to be exact!) so I was swamped this week but Will & I went on a 2 mile walk Sunday morning
9. √ Practice yoga at least twice a month.
- Monday, January 18: Prenatal Yoga for Core Strength (32:14)
- Saturday, January 23: Prenatal Yoga for the Lower Back and Sciatica: Spinal Health (23:37)
- Sunday, January 30: Prenatal Yoga: Meditations (16:47)
10. Read at least 5 books classified as “classic literature.”
Will vetoed The Silmarillion as classic literature (besides, I’ve read it already) & he suggested I pick up Catch-22 so that is the first work of classic literature I am going to read this year. I’m not actually looking forward to it but I think it’ll be good for me.
11. Grow my emergency savings account to at least $5,000.
At the end of the month my emergency savings account was at: $1,416.28.
*Note: don’t fret, this is not our *only* 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, 2 savings at two different banks, & our mortgage/tax escrow account.
12. ~Vacuum at least once a week.
- Week 1, January 1-3: because we were still home on winter break we vacuum a lot
- Week 2, January 4-10: does running the Roomba while I take the tree down Sunday night count?
- Week 3, January 11-27: I vacuumed on Monday (I’m sure I’m going to be finding Christmas tree needles until July)
- Week 4, January 18-24: Vacuumed on my Monday off for MLK
- Week 5, January 25-31: Vacuumed earlier in the week and ran the Roomba on Sunday
13. √ Focus on working out my arms more.
I started off the year right with an arm workout on day 1! Yes, I know this goal is vague: what does “more” mean?? But I currently do nearly zero things for my arms, so more is literally anything.
- January 1: 20 Minute Dumbbell Back and Biceps Workout at Home (23:11) + about 10 minutes of arm work after my workout to finish out my Podcast episode
- January 9: 4 hour kayaking trip that definitely killed my arms
- Tuesday, January 19: Nike Training Center 10-Min Bodyweight Burn: Shoulders (13:06)
- Sunday, January 24: putting up a ceiling lamp, this may sound lame if you’ve never done it
- Sunday, January 30: Prenatal Yoga: Meditations (16:47) – don’t laugh, look at the video – this is not the “meditation” I thought I was getting lol
14. ~ Finish our patio decorating.
Getting the cushions upholstered this month!!! Next, we need to put cases on the pillows & buy a few more big square ones for the backs.
15. Spend an average of LESS than an hour and a half on my phone per day.
With the Iphone it is super easy to keep track of this, every Sunday morning I get a report on how I did that week. So the data below is reflective of that Sunday report:
- Week 1: an average of 1 hour 36 minutes/day this week 🙂
- Week 2: an average of 2 hours and 30 minutes/day this week (soooo I did terrible this week because um HELLO the Capitol was storm by a Trump-loving fascist mob. . .so woops!)
- Week 3: an average of 2 hours and 47 minutes/day this week (terrible!!! I was watching impeachment stuff like crazy, ok I need to get back on track)
- Week 4: an average of 1 hour & 56 minutes minutes/day this week (getting down to my goal)
- Week 5: an average of 2 hours & 34 minutes minutes/day this week (I was doing REALLY great this week & then called all the family to tell them the good news, scroll down to find out, so unsurprisingly that took up hours of this week on the phone)
16. Buy no books (unless I have a gift card of course).
Luckily I received a few books for Christmas this year & gift cards to Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I am going to try to hold off on using the gift cards for books for later when something comes across my path that I *must* have. I do, however always have a running list on Amazon.
ok so I caved once on Feastday.co because I wanted free shipping & I needed to spend a bit more to get it (I fall for this every time!). The book is The Catholic Catalogue: A field guide to the daily acts that make up a Catholic life.
17. ~ Do no school work on Sunday.
A few years ago I had a mental break down with work; I was miserable & extremely overworked. I made the bittersweet decision to leave that school & position to start over elsewhere. One of the most important things I realized for my work/life balance was not doing school work on Sunday at all. No matter what I had left to do. It was a slow process getting there but learning about the Jewish concept of the Sabbath, going to mass more regularly, and reading the book The Sabbath World all really helped solidify the day of rest concept.
Even if you divorce it from any religious concept, the idea of needed rest is enormously important. Even the weeks I was “swamped,” taking a rest day allowed me to tackle the rest of the week less frazzled. Ideally I would like to expand this goal to “do no school work on the weekend,” but as an AP teacher (& overachiever) I know I won’t keep to that & I am ok with that. As long as I am happy with the boundaries I put into place then it’s ok with me.
- Week 1, January 1-3: I spent an hour on Saturday making sure my lessons were ready to go after winter break so I could rest on Sunday before Semester 2 beings
- Week 2, January 4-10: I actually did no school work this whole weekend (I create my lesson plans on a two week cycle) & it was fantastic!
- Week 3, January 11-27:We had a 3 day weekend so I did a little school work on Monday, but I just haven’t been feeling it.
- Week 4, January 18-24: I made the decision to take less work from students because I wasn’t able to keep up & keep the work life balance I want. But I still grade/look at at least 2 items per week to keep them accountable.
- Week 5, January 25-31: I worked on my next unit plan for World History on Saturday & wanted to finish a PPT I was in the middle of so I took 30 minutes from Sunday to do that
Read more: I just want to be a Teacher.
18.√ Call someone out of the blue to chat at least once a month.
I definitely called a LOT of people to deliver
good great news, scroll down to the last goal to see what that was. 🙂 Although, if you read goal #9 closely you should already know.
19. Finish decorating our two extra bedrooms.
Over the MLK long weekend we went through the closests & sent stuff to Goodwill we know we don’t want. Now to go through the rest to see what we do with the stuff we do want.
I also scored an amazing Facebook Marketplace find! We bought a fantastic all wood 62″ dresser for one of the extra bedrooms. (I’m accidentally setting a goal to decorate my whole house though Facebook lol)
20. √ Organize an intentional date with my hubby once a month.
I didn’t organize it, but Will got us tickets to see the Pompeii exhibit at the Orlando Science Center (the last weekend they were in town no less!).
22. √ Start a family.
Before you read the story of our struggles, I have good new! By the time this gets published I will be 13.5 weeks pregnant. :))))
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 more: I 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.
So, if you’ve read this far, please keep this in mind: each pregnancy will always be bittersweet for us. The smile will be mixed with tears and everyday will be a new flip of the coin.