What i’m doing in 2016… Isn’t everyone?

With my son sharing tales of his Drill Sergeant’s philosophy  during basic training in 2013, I got started with my annual list of priorities. A means to keep the important self-improvement issues on the front burner. Resolutions? In a way. But that has such negative connotations – who actually keeps resolutions?

These are goals – which require some degree of metrics, and accountability. By posting my annual goals, and then holding myself accountable to report out how I’m doing every quarter, it’s been helpful to keep me on track, working on the things I most need to work on.

For 2014, i focused on unfucking myself a bit. My possibly broken finger (and easy one to start with), my space (cluttered, heavy with stuff), and my body (fat, weak). Some progress in all three areas, but I wasn’t done at the end of the year with two of those…

For 2015, i focused on repairing important relationships that i’d blown up, continuing to get rid of the stuff that weighs me down, and keep working on being healthier and less fat. Some progress in all, but clearly not done with all of that.

What is common for the past two years? My health and fitness – this will likely be a lifetime pursuit. Well, it’s not exactly something i’ll need to worry about after i’m dead. i also need to get rid of ‘things’, organize what remains, and be ready to die.

What does this mean? i must optimize for life AND death.

The fitness habits forged over the past two years is entrenched. Three days a week, Studley and i do cardio on our lunch hours at a nearby fitness center. i am still riding a horse every week – and my instructor is fond of ‘calorie burner’ lessons. Balancing in the stirrups at a solid trot is a bit of work… Weather permitting, i’m on a bicycle at least 2-3 times a week.

Adding two high intensity interval training classes to my week this year, i’ve started lifting weights – and i love it! Muscles? Hello there! It’s been awhile! And my ass no longer brushes the back of my thigh in the shower! i look forward to these classes! One of my gym buddies uses the phrase “Harder to Kill”, and that really captures what i want – stronger, faster, more resilient…

Preparing to die is a bit harder. What are my goals for being dead? Not being a pain in the ass to my children. This has a few elements involved – minimizing my physical footprint (ie: purging stuff), financial planning and organization, taking care of unfinished personal business… i’ve been working on this, but it remains seriously undone.

This year i’m going with two goals – things that have really been at the core of what i’ve done for the past two years. i shall Prepare to Die while simultaneously making myself Harder to Kill.

harder to kill

 

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No Regrets – Year End Wrap Up

Time to close out old business, and tackle the blank sheet of paper that is 2016. A year ago, i launched a plan to keep myself focused on three areas of my life that might lead to regrets if i don’t pay attention:

Bridges – getting broken relationships in order…

Ducks – getting my affairs in order…

Vessel – getting my body in order…

Posting quarterly updates here has helpful in keeping me on track. After a solid start in the first quarter, i stumbled and splattered a bit in the second quarter. Fearing disaster, i regrouped in the third quarter.  As i hit the homestretch, i was able to maintain focus, despite eating like a garbage disposal, and drinking without restraint for the past three weeks.

Here’s my summary regarding “No Regrets” for the quarter, as well as thoughts on the year.

Bridges: Watching Mom die, i realized that one of the things keeping her from a peaceful departure were several unresolved issues in important relationships in her life – my brother being at the top of the list. Unlike my father, who told me from his deathbed that he had no unfinished business…

i had good luck reconnecting with some of the wonderful people who have wandered off, or i’ve lost touch with through the years. That part wasn’t hard – just jumping on an opportunity presented, or tackling someone in the aisle of a grocery store. Follow up, phone calls, e-mails, and lunch dates…

But there were bigger, smellier demons here. i have slammed a few doors in my time. Unresolved issues, discarded, buried and burned. People who would crowd my thoughts when drifting off to sleep. Over the course of the year, i was able to reconnect with one of them. Conversations have happened… i even sent him here and explained that he was one of my demons! i count this as a win…

There was another demon. i started off with an e-mailed birthday wish in January, after a couple of years of silence. Polite, surprised, response. Follow up e-mails… short, polite, discussion of our shared passion for things with engines and wheels… Each volley would end on his side of the court.

i was working on that bridge, one or two boards at a time. He was on the other side of the chasm, methodically disassembling the refreshed structure. Sometimes? The person on the other side of the fractured relationship needs to maintain the divide. Whatever narrative he’s crafted, whatever means of processing what happened between us? It’s important to him to let it be over.

And so i shall leave him be… and accept that this demon is probably coming with me…

Ducks: My office is still a disaster area, cluttered with shrapnel from Mom’s estate, as well as my own crap. We got through most of the large stuff in the rented storage locker with the rest of Mom’s belongings. My niece had a yard sale, and liquidated it all – anything unsold went to charity. Photos, memorabilia remains, and we’re planning another work day to get through that…

Did NOT update my will, but have a plan for what will be done, and discussed it with my children. Had a call from my favorite attorney, Ken (Mom’s lawyer) and we’re planning to go out to dinner soon. i will likely retain him as my own attorney, and have him work estate details for me. There’s still lots to do here… but i made some progress in the first three quarters, so there’s that.

The unexpected win in this category? A new project, launched with the assistance of a young man recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The son of a friend, he was looking for ideas for a home-based business. i mentioned that i would love to find someone to scan in the stacks of family photos cluttering up my basement. So i hired him, offering myself as a test customer, allowing him as much time as needed to tackle the project, develop strategies and methods, and get up to speed…

For Christmas this year, i was able to deliver two flash memory drives with several years worth of photos to both of my children. i gave them their childhood… or at least part of it. Gave one to my ex-husband, too. The project continues, and may eventually expand to some of the family history photos we excavate from Mom’s archives. Starting this project is an important, non-financial part of getting my ducks in a row, and i’m happy with how the year ended.

Vessel: Fuck, this is hard! Continued progress, stepped up workouts, and location of muscles i’d forgotten i had! i am stronger at the end of this 12 months than i was when the year started. i am 25 pounds lighter, and my heart is healthier. Perhaps most importantly, i have worked fitness into my daily routine, and maintained the habit. Now, if i could stop bashing the sweets and bread and cheese and chocolate and…

beads

Here’s to a clean slate, a new year, and a fresh start! Wishing you health, peace and clarity of mind as you tackle your own demons. i’ve got a plan for 2016, and will get my thoughts organized on that over the next week or two. And one item on that list? Catch up on my reader! i miss you guys!