I don't make New Year's resolutions (invitation to fail, anyone?), but here are some of the things I look forward to in the next several months:
- Getting a job. Yes. A job. A real, paying job. I'm flexible on whether it's full-time or part-time, at-home or in-an-office. But I want to stretch my mental muscles and I need to interact with adults on a regular, non-child-centered basis. I have my resume out for a few positions already, and I plan to start getting in touch with my old networks after next week.
- De-cluttering my house. I got a good start on getting rid of unnecessary things when I moved, and I kept up the good work when I got some of my mother's things. But I got stymied after a bit when I couldn't move computer boxes, etc., into the garage because the garage was leaking. Now that the leaking roof is finally fixed, I want to get back into the groove and clear the junk out. I've become a big fan of Freecycle, by the way. If you have stuff to get rid of (or if you're looking for stuff for free), I encourage you to check it out.
- Socializing. I have so enjoyed being back East among my friends. It's been good for me and good for my kids to have an active social life, to be engaged with a variety of people, from lots of different parts of my life. Church friends, neighborhood friends, work friends, widow friends, old friends, new friends: They enrich my life. I've also reconnected with some almost-forgotten friends, and that makes my heart smile.
- Strengthening relationships. My sister and I are finding our way with each other, and I know that will continue. My sister-in-law and I are enjoying each other's company more than either of us had expected. This is good; very good and unexpected, indeed.
- My nephew's wedding. My youngest nephew is getting married in Arizona in May. The boys and I will fly out for a long weekend. We won't have a lot of time out there, but it will be good to celebrate with my family. We didn't get to do a lot of "celebrating" while I was living there.
- Gardening. I cannot WAIT for spring. After four years in the desert, with nothing but rocks and sand, I am so eager to get my hands into fertile soil, that I can practically smell the dirt right now. Pansies. Petunias. Tomatoes. Where's my seed catalog?
- But before Spring ... SNOW. We got flurries a few days ago, and I was so happy. I will admit to having enjoyed the mild Tucson winters, but I really like a good winter storm, including the shoveling of snow.
- Eating right. One side benefit of having my sister-in-law live with us is that I've had a reason to cook real meals again. It's hard to muster energy to cook for small beasts who would rather eat frozen pizza and cold cereal. Being back in the church community has also helped: The Eastern church follows a pretty strict fast in preparation for major feasts. While we were in Arizona and not part of a faith community, it was just too hard to do in isolation. Being back in Maryland, when the whole church is aware of the Nativity Fast, for example, it's so much easier. And lo and behold, my kids really like all the yummy vegan food I know how to make and ask me to make some of the dishes. "Vegan: It's not just for Lent."
- Exercising more. Okay. I'm not looking forward to it, but I know I have to get more active, and I have to tell myself it will be great fun.