Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Excerpt from a yearly letter....

To P. Every year at Christmas/New Year's, I write a letter to Peter telling him what happened during the year, how he changed, etc. This is an excerpt from this year's letter, written today:

Today I watched you navigate the rock wall at the park (successfully!) and I must have had a "goofy mom" look on my face, because this kid--about 6 years old--starts watching me watch you climb. He moved slightly closer to you, as if to help you--you have that kind of charisma, you pull people to you. When you reached the top safely, he immediately looked at me to see my expression. I am sure I was beaming ear-to-ear. I am so proud of you, Dragon Fighter Chocolate Milk Boy Spiderman P Lightning McQueen (yes! you make us call you this!! Geez, kid!), and I always will be.
Thank you for making my world a brighter, prettier, more challenging place.

I love you.
That kid sure does make me happy.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Cast of characters

So that you know who I am talking about.....

There's me, bellacola. I'm the main character in this little saga. I'm a high school biology teacher with a PhD in Evolutionary Biology (yeah, I know). I have a little boy, P, who I'll talk more about in a bit. I'm married to J, who will also get a nod here. My current ambitions are to become a homeschooling SAH mom to at least two kids and become a yoga teacher. I'm one of those people who does not have a set direction: I change my mind about what I want to do at least once a day, more if I'm bored. I have finally come to accept myself in a world full of people who ask 5 year olds what their life's ambition is (I'm guilt of it, too, I admit!). If you had asked me a year ago what my ambitions were, I would have told you that I wanted to defend my dissertation and become a high school teacher. Well, blammo! I got those crossed off my list, and now I'm ready to move on! I like to think of myself as an adventurer, someone always ready to grab life by the horns. I may be completely delusional, though.

P is my son. He's nearly 4 and just cute as a button. He's also pretty hilarious, and will dance on command, which is wonderfully entertaining. I spend a lot of my time kissing him, since I know there will be a day when he does not like it when I snuggle his hair and kiss him all over. Boo-hoo! He's the kid I hope to homeschool in a year or so.

J is my husband. He's currently a "high powered executive" which means that while he is technically the boss at his job, he's basically the guy cleaning up ALL the messes. He works a lot, but he seems to dig his job a bunch, and I'm hoping that it will one day support my desire to loaf about the house in nigh but an apron and a smile (ok, realistically, baby puke stained sweats and a sleep-deprived grin, but it still sounds more appealing that work attire). We've had our ups and downs and are currently not living together, but we should be again this summer.

The animals: we have a dog and four cats (two at each household). They are annoying and seem to constantly make messes. They may make occasional appearances.

Friends and relatives: well, we are a pretty simple bunch without any close living relatives (I essentially don't have any relatives, making for little drama, but few Christmas presents and fights over the drumstick at Thanksgiving, as well) or very many friends. When the friends and relatives to pop into the saga, I'll be sure to protect their privacy with badly disguised versions of them.

Now you have a little primer on the crazy 'cola household(s). Back to your original program!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

101 goals in 1001 days

Hmm. So, the way this works is that instead of setting one or two NY's resolutions that I am likely to break, I should set 101 goals that I will be less likely to break? Huh. Let's learn a bit more, shall we?

From Day Zero, the official home of the project, we get this:

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as New Year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Some common goal setting tips:
1. Be decisive. Know exactly what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it.

2. Stay Focussed. Any goal requires sustained focus from beginning to end. Constantly evaluate your progress.

3. Welcome Failure. Frequently, very little is learned from a venture that did not experience failure in some form. Failure presents the opportunity to learn and makes the success more worthy.

4. Write down your goals. It clarifies your thinking and reinforces your commitment.

5. Keep your goals in sight. Review them frequently, and ensure that they are always at the forefront of your thinking.
Ok. Well, that clears things up a bit. And doggone it, I just love to bite off more than I can chew, just to see how long I can keep the balls in the air before they come crashing down onto my upturned face, so you know I am down with this! Party time!

I don't have all my goals yet. In fact, I don't have a single goal. But I will! I have narrowed these 101 goals into 4 categories, each of which will contain approximately 25 goals. Handy, eh? And good with a calculator, too.

My four goals:

1. Health

2. Finances

3. Love Life

4. Personal

So, you can see that these four categories are relatively free to interpretation.

1. Health includes my weight, what I eat and do not eat, HOW MUCH I eat, medicine, dental, working out, gaining flexibility, preparing my body for a new pregnancy (eek!!), and self-care, too!

2. Finances. Oh, what to say about these little lovelies? Paying off debt, saving money, practicing being income free next year by living off J's income alone, saving for a vacation, selling this house!, having a baby!

3. Love life. Titter! Getting my marriage back on track (it's there right now, or at least moving swiftly in a good direction, but I feel like it's on a ledge), date night. Hmmm. Is this one going to warrant 25 goals? Maybe I ought to let J help with this section.

4. Personal.....the hodge podge category, if ever there was one. Spirituality (I think I want to explore pagan/wicca traditions again!), self-growth, education, career, meditation, learning to play the guitar, updating a blog, etc!

Over the next few days, I'm going to create my list. If you have any suggestions, feel free to chime in!


Friday, December 26, 2008

So what gives with the name?

About the name: Well, you know how some people will read the last page of a book first, to try to predict what is going to happen? I've always disliked those people, even while fighting the urge to do it myself. I want to enjoy the journey, yet I'd still like a glimpse of the nature of the future: Gentle or harsh, loving or unyielding?

I've realized that we already KNOW the answer to this big puzzle (and it's a happy ending!) but it's the JOURNEY we are unsure of. So, the temptation to "peek" at the end (by worrying, overthinking, and nagging) are fruitless, since I can't know the journey till I walk it and I already know the end is full of soft fluffy pillows and piles of gushy Ambrosia salad. ;)

This blog is going to help remind me that I don't need to look at the last page first. I need to look at the page I am on today.



To my *mumble, mumble* attempt at starting a blog. Sigh, you say, How long will THIS one last? Well, I don't know, but that's half of the fun of reading, right? Will it still be there tomorrow? Will she EVER update again?

Oh, burning questions. Makes life interesting, yes?

In this blog, I am going to chronicle the events of 2009 that lead me to my goals.....numerous and poetic all, but they mostly fall under one of two umbrellas: Losing Weight, Saving Money. So, that's what I am after: I want to be healthy again and not feel so icky and I want to pay off some of this darn debt already!

My big plans include trying to conceive (eep!) a baby this summer, paving the way towards being a radical, homeschooling mama who rocks, and having a relationship worth fighting for (you'll be happy to know that it's there right now, but I don't know how wide a platform it's on. My goal is to build that platform so it can't fall off!).

So, stay with me as I slog and jog towards all that I desire, as I'm sure some of the falls along the way will be quite spectacular (but with no lasting damage, I hope!).