Saturday, December 31, 2011

Resolved to Resolve

I've avoided thinking about resolutions--they are almost cliches--lose weight, exercise, eat better, stop smoking. All but the last could be my resolutions. In fact, they have been my resolutions over the years Of course, I added write more.

Reviewing 2011, I found that I didn't accomplish much. But then I realized that I hadn't set specific goals for myself. For example, in November, I thought about NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) but didn't commit to it even to myself. My November posts were sparse.

Earlier tonight, I goggled SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely. That's what I need to do if I really want to make resolutions or goals for 2012.

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Trap of Holiday Expectations

My favorite blog Shakesville recently had a discussion post about holiday dread

We are under so much pressure to make the season bright and most of us fall short.

I remember bursting into tears at a shopping center on Christmas Eve; I had been too busy with college exams to shop and was exhausted.  During my first semester of law school, I was stressing about exams over the holidays after being diagnosed with hepatitis. Another year I was frustrated by relatives who spent Christmas day watching a Rambo marathon.

I realize these are minor concerns. The Shakesville thread made for some tough reading.

The thread got me thinking about all the pressure holidays generate. For Christmas you're supposed to buy gifts--maybe expensive or trendy, maybe meaningful, maybe personally crafted. There's also baking, decorating, cooking, throwing the perfect party. On New Year's Eve, you're supposed to be at some fabulous event preferably with a significant other to share a New Year's kiss. Let's not even get into Valentine's Day.

I think the worst part of these unrealistic expectations is that they are media or marketing created. Retail makes most of its annual profits after Thanksgiving. It's difficult to go out to dinner on New Year's Eve or Valentine's Day without a special (expensive) menu, Flower prices are hiked for Valentine's and Mother's Day.

Consumption rules.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Worst Is Over

Our renovations are almost complete. The last major part was the hardwood floor installation last Monday. Unfortunately, we need to deal with all the television cables that have been unearthed in the process. The cable guy who came this Monday was less than helpful. In better news, we've had our windows measured and ordered shades. They will take about four weeks.

I was overly optimistic and a bit naive about the recovery process. I had hoped that I could quickly put each room back together after its renovations were complete. But when you have only about 1,000 square feet, there's not a lot of leeway. And I want to do this right--make a conscious decision to keep every item we put away. I've trashed some items and have a box of clothes and linens for the Thrift Shop or Goodwill.

My friend Elaine said do a little each day. I would be fine with that normally but it's almost Christmas. I can't put up decorations when the condo looks like half of its contents have been vomited around the unit.

I'll just have to take some small consolation that it's now only half the contents.