Baby steps. (Not a pregnancy announcement.)

This year has both dragged on endlessly and flown by, I am in such a different–and better–place than I was last Christmas, but it has taken a lot of ups and downs, mostly downs, to get there.

Yesterday I decided to pull up my list of 2014 New Year resolutions and see what the damage was, I knew I wouldn’t receive any gold medals (or bronze medals) for my superior Crossing Off of Resolutions this year, even though I was pretty intent on crafting resolutions that I would be manageable but require some growth. I spent a couple of weeks finalizing my goals and an action plan for completion of each one.

People, I did not fulfill a single one of my resolutions. Not a single one.

Are there reasons for that? Absolutely. Will I get in to them here? A bit, yes. It also helps explain my spectacular radio silence for the last 8 or 9 months. January came and everything got worse. A lot worse. Multiple panic attacks a week, often times once or twice a day, and some not-bloggable bombs sent me reeling. I spent a lot of time at the doctor and psychologist’s office, and I started taking some anti-anxiety medication to help me function on a regular basis. My health was…not good. My emotional health was worse. I just…goodness, I was a complete disaster most of the time.

Spring came and with it a huge amount of work responsibility, I had spent years taking on more and more projects and had finally created enough of a demand for my services that a promotion was in order, which is–on the surface–really terrific sounding. But right under that glossy new title was months and months of 10 and 12 and even 14 hour days, trying to both hire and train a replacement in addition to carving out a new position, and launching two enormous state-wide programs and initiatives that made headlines for weeks and gave me lots of warm fuzzies and lots of work-stress nightmares.

It was the best of times and the worst of times, and that enormous work stress ball lasted from February until Thanksgiving. With the help of my boss I carefully laid out about a million steps and tasks for success with draft and final deadlines built in. I put my head down and got to work. The good news is that my program launch in November went so much better than expected, our new hire is up to speed and absolutely awesome, and I am back to working 8 hour days and leaving at 5:15 on a regular basis. And they pay me more than they did a year ago. So, awesome.

Um, yes. And also, kind of no.

The thing is, I feel like I’ve lived most of this year in a stress and panic-induced fog, but a fog where I got a LOT of stuff done–none of it on my resolutions list, but even so, I accomplished a lot this year. My to-do lists were the only thing that kept me going and I’ve gone through pages and pages and pages of tasks large and small, crossing them off one by one. I’ve just started to really enjoy the clearer air and blank to do list and….and I feel like I need a new project because I am somehow, suddenly, stagnant. I feel like I’m not moving forward. I’ve had a few weeks of “normal” and I feel like I’m floundering. When everything was overwhelming I forced myself to be very efficient with my time, which helped me see consistent progress, and now I have all the time in the world and I feel like I am doing nothing worthwhile.

So…I guess it’s good news that last week we put in an offer (which was accepted) on a fixer upper house 700 miles away.

Touche, 2015.

Harriet sig

Ringing in 2014 with a To Do list

I am totally behind in my resolution posting, but I have just finalized these (it usually takes me a week or three to get back to the daily grind) and I want to have a record of them somewhere. There are a few resolutions from the last couple of years that I will continue, but they are habits now and don’t really need any extra effort to maintain. (Examples include monthly book club, extensive reading (50+ books per year), sending birthday cards to all my siblings, in-laws, nieces and nephews, and making real dinner at least twice a week.)

This year’s goals all seem to revolve around this quote by Madonna Badger:

“Go to wherever the light is, because anything else is darkness.”

This is the year to sweep away all the heaviness, the darkness, and the unhappiness, and to focus on the good things. This doesn’t mean ignoring the ugly or nasty that will inevitably come along, it just means I don’t want to dwell on it or allow it to consume my life or my heart (too much of that last year).

2014 Resolutions

  • Date night every week with Mr. Blue Eyes, something more than “just dinner.”

  • Plan one Harriet-Blue Eyes vacation

  • Sweat three times per week (good weather/air permitting, once a week outside)

  • Hike a mountain, a big one (at least 12,000 feet)

  • Train for a half marathon in the fall (!!)

  • Consistent meal planning, reduce wasted food

  • Invite people over for dinner once a month

  • Revamp and reassess emergency kits & emergency plan

  • No extra spending in March (more about this in a later post)

  • Save $$$/month to savings account – change in HR for direct deposit

  • Contribute $$$/month to  retirement account – change in HR for auto deduction

  • More experimentation with the big camera and new lens

  • 3 posts per week at

This is quite the list, and some of these seem lofty (mountains, (half)marathons, etc). Others I think are quite manageable and one email to HR will cross off two for the entire year. Many of these will lead to consistent behaviors and habits that I know will make me happier, i.e. regular date nights, having friends for dinner, eating healthier and exercising more regularly, the accomplishment of hiking a mountain and the satisfaction of improving my photography.

Yes, 2014 will be all about inviting more happiness into my life and side-stepping as much ugly as possible.

What are your resolutions?

Harriet sig