Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Home Improvement

Jill over at Baby Rabies has thrown down the New Year's Resolution gauntlet, encouraging her fellow bloggers (of which I am barely one) to come up with 12 resolutions for 2012. Digger over at Life After Jerusalem noted she doesn't make resolutions, she makes (and meets or fails to meet) goals. I usually don't make real resolutions, because the second I do I start feeling preemptively guilty for not fulfilling them. I never fulfill them.'s hard to reach a goal if you never set it, so I might as well. Putting them on the internets will help keep me honest.

1. Sleep at least one night a week. Meaning: kids go down, I shower, brush my teeth, read a bit and turn off the light by 9 at the latest. I depend way too much on coffee as things are now.

2. Have a tough conversation or twenty. I hate conflict and I hate disappointing people. I manage to make and enforce immigration and nationality decisions with applicants, but in all other things I need to grow a backbone.

3. Learn to garden. My stepmom generously gave me a bunch of both functional and adorable gardening gear. We have a large yard with berries and apple trees, and plenty of space to grow a few tomatoes and some other useful produce.

4. And then I will can it. I will make and stock salsa, tomato sauce, etc. You just cannot buy edible salsa here.

5. Spend more date nights humoring my husband. Or, even better, just have more date nights. Nanny returns to the U.S. this summer, and we'll miss having a readily available babysitter in the evenings. While I'll never be able to stomach much violence, I need to accompany Husband to his movies and his restaurants of choice more often. It'll make him happy. I will not, however, start watching Terra Nova.

[Pause...12 is a higher number than I thought it was.]


Yes! Okay, I've got it.

6. Make academic goals for Boy. He's in preschool, but not in a very academic environment. He's not really learning anything new, even though the social practice is priceless. I want to ensure that he is challenged and interested. He's a smart kid with a lot of questions in his little brain and I don't want to squander that.

7. The dreaded baby books. In Boy's case, started and abandoned. In Girl's case, entirely theoretical. This must change before they hit middle school.

8. Spend more time moving, and less time sitting. We have a Wii and, thanks to Grammy, now an Xbox. I have no shortage of exercise options right on my very own TV. I really have no excuse.

9. Make a financial plan and stick to it. We save for retirement and college. We pay our taxes and Nanny's salary. That's all well and good, but we are hoping to make some significant changes after Tallinn and that will require significant preparation.

10. Read more from our bookshelf. We have a lot of books, just billions, and I haven't read many of them and I've forgotten several that I have read.

11. Be a better emailer. I like living in Estonia, but I desperately miss my friends. My life is the same: kids, work, kids. Plus I have the Facepage and this trusty blog to keep them updated on all things mundane and fantastic. That's great, but I want to hear about them, which means ditching the mass messaging now and then and just typing out an old-fashioned email. I'd write letters, but considering my mom's Christmas presents are still in a box in my sewing room, I wouldn't hold my breath on getting those out the door. Speaking of...

12. Celebrate milestones on time. Mail those gifts a month in advance, actually send a card, order the right thing two weeks before. I miss a lot of big events and even more little ones. I want to be able to celebrate in this little way.

That's it, my thoroughly unexciting resolution list. What can I say? I'm thirty and in many ways I peaked long ago. Skydive? Check. Travel? Check and, well, that's our entire lives. Can applesauce? Hasn't happened.

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