Okay, Here I Go

According to Oprah, when you write something down, you make a commitment to that thing. This has not, um, proven especially true for me in my life but I am willing to suspend my eye-rolling, cynical outlook (well, okay, my cynical outlook. The eye rolling seems to happen anyway.) in order to commit to my New year's Resolutions.

It's an odd thing, though. Normally, I'm all full of Pollyanna-esque optimism and motivation and self-help jargon when it comes to New year's resolutions. I do love a good start to things. But this year, I guess I am more realistic about what I want to achieve in 2009 and the amount of work it's going to take. What I feel is more like resignation.

Ah, well, we can't all be Pollyanna every second of the day. Not even me.

Drum roll, please. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the Barb Cooper 2009 New Year Resolutions! Ta da!

1. Get fit and healthy Announcing the End to the Wallowing. I've been wallowing around in all the things I can't do and how awful I feel in my skin but I haven't been DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT! I haven't explored a lot of alternatives when it comes to the chronic pain of my rebuilt foot. I haven't tried a lot of different forms of exercise now that I can't run or walk. I haven't come up with a better eating plan. I've been just wallowing around in self-indulgence and wine. Now, my friends, the time has come to DO SOMETHING. I am serving notice --2009 will not be the Year of the Couch. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt, done with it. So far, the first bricks of my new resolve are to get at least 30 minutes of cardio training six days a week, to do some strength training twice a week, to explore yoga and Tai Chi and standing on my head, if I have to, until I find the form of exercise that I feel passionate about enough to, well, you know, DO IT.

As far as food goes, it's kind of tricky with me. I think I do better with either a semi-conscious attempt to just cut down, or one of those plans that provides the food for you so you don't have to think about it. The more I think about food, the more I eat. I'm going to try just eating half of whatever it is. If that doesn't work, I figure something else out. Also? I'm going to break the nightly wine and cheese habit.

2. Write something besides the blog I've been given this enormous opportunity with this move to New York. I'm not that involved with the schools. I don't have a big social circle. My husband travels a fair amount. Life is pretty simple right now (famous last words) and I have the luxury of time for the first time in decades. I'm going to finish my book "Making Roux." And, after I finish it? I'm going to actually shop it around to some agents.

3. Become a REAL knitter. I want to take my knitting to a higher level so I can hang with the cool cats at Knit Night. So far, I've knitted socks and a couple of baby hats. I want to take on sweaters and cables and I want to learn to read knitting charts. I want to learn how to REALLY weave in the ends (instead of what I do, which is, um, without real technique and mostly resembles cutting the yarn short and hoping no one notices.

4. Hire someone or find some other way to get organized. You know, I have the genetic predisposition (German) to be able to keep an organizational structure going. But I seem to lack the ability to set one up! I am going to find someone to help me come up with a system for dealing with the six million pounds of paper clutter that comes home from my children's schools. I'm going to find a way to make it easier for my kids to organize and store their toys. (Ditto husband.) I'm going to get our closets organized and install new cabinets where we need more storage. I do so much better, feel so much better, think so much better and am HAPPIER when I am in clean, organized surroundings and I'm willing to work hard to keep them that way. But first, I need a system.

5. Finish our basement. This one could actually be part of number 4 but I've listed it separately because it's a big undertaking. My kids need a playroom and we need a guest suite and I'd like for our home gym to be a little nicer than some machines sitting on concrete in a cold and damp space. It's going to be costly because we have to have an egress window and we have to address the inadequate electricity and the propensity for flooding and also, I want a bathroom down there. It needs to happen, though, so I'm writing it down. Maybe this is the year I learn to install dry-wall!

6. Plant a huge freaking garden. Okay, so this isn't really a New Year's Resolution --more like a reward for all the other stuff. Oh, how I loved my garden last year! This year, it's going to be bigger and better!

and, um, are you ready?

7. Get a puppy in the spring or summer. I know what you're thinking: why set myself up again for certain heartbreak? But the thing is...there's just something missing in our family now that Sydney is gone. And oh, you guys, I miss her so much. So. Much. After the last snow melted, I was walking in the back yard and saw her grave and it seemed like my heart broke all over again. Don't get me wrong, I love Scout but he's just...not sufficient for me. We'll have to think hard about the timing of things since we're planning a few trips in the first half of 2009 and puppies need so much in the way of care and interaction and training. We're planning sort of a longer trip in July and maybe the puppy will have to wait until after that, I don't know.

So, that's it. I'm sure I'm forgetting something huge, but it's a start. I know you all will hold me accountable, just in case the fact that I wrote all this down isn't commitment enough.

Happy New Year!


Anonymous said…
Wow! I am impressed! What a nice, balanced, positive, do-able list of goals! You go, girl!
Miri said…
(searching for pen)

Can I borrow some of your goals? Just for a minute...

LOVE the list. Can't wait to read the rest of "Roux." I too need the organizer so I have a system to follow. Way behind you on the knitting, but YOU GO!

I know you can do this.
Take down the Making Roux blog!

Publishers want first rights, and you can't offer them if you've already published electronically. Blogging counts as electronic publication. Really.

My typical pollyanna-ish-ness seems to be missing, too. What's up with that?
Anonymous said…
I don't know if your desire to get everything organized might entail someone else getting your stuff set up and then you maintaining it. If not and you're all for doing the dirty work yourself, in a sensible, totally non-overwhelming way, you should check out :http://www.clutterdiet.com/. I really love the approach she takes and the weekly plans she provides.
Candi said…
You are inspiring! I'm right there with ya babe on everything but the new puppy - and that's only 'cause we got our puppy last spring when our 15 year old cat was on her last legs.

Keep on keeping on!
Unknown said…
very do-able.

and I totally understand the new puppy thing: I have not replaced my darling Juicey-cat because my husband feels "over-petted" and I agree, it would be so much easier to just have dogs and no cats, but I so want another Orange Tabby. I'll just have to live through yours vicariously.

for the new dog, may I suggest a golden? I love mine...
Kathy Ireland said…
So I came to brag.

Mark and I have been "healthy-izing" our lives since about Jan 2nd. We are doing 30 min. of cardio everyday (well, Mark is - me, not so much. I'm doing about 2 to 3 times a week, more when I can) and we've cut way back on carbs. We've been eating lots of veggies, salads, smoothies for breakfast. My hubby has visibly lost. Fu&ker.

I'm down 7 lbs. Which is o.k.

Mark is eating small meals "grazing" he calls it, but trying to keep each "meal" under 300 cal. Even if he eats 6 meals a day, he's still doing o.k.
MadMad said…
It's a very impressive list. And well thought out. Well, other than that puppy thing...
Mary Ellen said…
A very ambitious list, but if anybody can do it, you can. I'll be looking forward to updates, and maybe I'll be inspired - I didn't make even one resolution!
I'm exhausted just thinking about your list, but it's exhaustion tinged with envy. I, too, find that wine is a gateway drug leading to cheese. The easiest way to cut 340 cals out of my day was to first cut the 120 cals associated with wine. When I get those last ten pounds off, I'll add back some wine, for the cardio benefits, but still try to forgo the fat (did you know that the risks of tee-totalism are the same as the risks for obesity?).

And good luck on the novel!
Ann in NJ said…
Hey, great goals! I have a friend who has lost a LOT of weight. I asked her if she was following a plan, and she said it was the "Don't Eat Crap, Eileen" diet. Emphasize protein, vegetables, and fruit, no refined grains, reasonable amounts of whole grains.

That's not a plan, that's a lifestyle. And that's a GOOD thing.
Anonymous said…
What a great list!

I'll share 2 websites you might find helpful (you might not too; different people react differently to impersonal help).

I've lost 10 pounds, including 3 during the holidays, following (not religiously) the plans at www.sparkpeople.com. It's not a diet, it is a lifestyle and thought change.

www.flylady.net annoys me no end, but her tips for decluttering and organizing are first rate.

Good luck! Especially good luck with the puppy...
Mrs.Q said…
You go, girl! I myself hope to actually finish a sweater this year. Maybe even two, but I'm not holding my breath. As it is, the enormous tube that is the beginning of the Viking Sweater of Doom hardly counts. (Though I suppose it says a lot for my stamina. Or battiness.)

(As for the rest...I have no doubt that you'll accomplish it all and then some!)
The Gossiper said…
I think yoga might be your friend if you find the right teacher. There are even work-arounds where you woudln't use your foot at all! Of course, it means finding the right teacher.

Your goals look awesome, courageous but not crazy.