Hello, 2014.

New Year

I know it’s already more than a week into the new year, but I just got myself organized enough to draw up my list of goals for 2014. I spent a lot of time thinking about them this year, since I wanted to come up with things that were realistic, in light of the limited time I feel like I have lately.

My number one priority is to be a good mom to Little B and to work with Chester on making a nice life for our little family of four (yes, I count the dog. She was our first baby, after all). For the most part, the rest of my goals are pretty much aligned with that theme, with a couple of selfish things thrown in.

I realize that I can’t always be my number one priority anymore, and I’m totally fine with that. But, I need to do a few things to keep myself healthy and sane if I’m going to be able to take care of the more important things in my life. And, hopefully writing them down here will be a way to hold myself accountable.

So, this year, I plan to:

Stop losing my shit when things are less than perfect.

A few weeks after Little B was born, I mentioned that one of my greatest challenges in becoming a parent was reconciling my need for control and perfection with the chaos that a baby brings.

Four months later, I’m still coming to terms with the fact that my house will always be slightly (or more than slightly) messy for the foreseeable future. I still beat myself up when when Little B is crying or has food and/or drool all over her face and shirt, because I assume this must mean that I’m a terrible mother. I still expect that I’ll be able to check everything off my to-do list, every single day, in spite of the fact that I have a lot more on said list now than I have ever had in my life.

Hopefully, by the end of the end of the year, I’ll have an easier time just letting things go.

Be Present.

This goal is somewhat related to the first one, in that my tendency towards perfectionism sometimes keep me from just living in the moment.

I know that Little B isn’t going to be a baby forever and I want to make sure that I’m not so busy worrying about what happened in the past, what is going to happen in the future and how I can get a million things done all at once that I miss out on all of the amazing things that are happening right now.

I hope to be able to do this, not just by taming all the noise in my own head, but by minimizing the distraction that comes along with technology. Even if I decide to sit on the couch and do nothing after Little B goes to bed, chances are I’ve got my phone in my hand to check Facebook or Google stuff that I just have to know the answer to right at that moment. I need to get used to just being, and not always doing.

Take care of myself.

I have been so focused on taking care of Little B that I haven’t quite worked out how to do what I need to do take care of myself, too. I need to figure out how to get back into a gym routine, get enough sleep and eat more sensibly so that I can be on top of my game for her. I need to keep reminding myself that coffee is not a meal replacement, that it will be okay if I take a little bit of time away from Little B to go to the gym and that there is nothing that can’t wait until tomorrow if I decide that I want to go to bed at 8 p.m. because I am just really, really tired.

Come up with a five-year plan for my career.

I was lucky enough to fall into a field that I love, almost immediately after graduating from college ten years ago (Yikes). Along the way, I was also lucky enough that the right opportunities always seemed to materialize at the right time. I’ve never really had to have a plan, because as I went down the path I never doubted that I was exactly where I needed to be at the time.

This year, I really want to make a conscious effort to plan for the next phase of my career. Like all of the other changes in my life, part of this renewed focus on my work has to do with Little B. If I’m going to spend a huge chunk of the day away from her, I want to spend that time doing something that is meaningful, satisfying and allows for a balance between work and the rest of my life.

This doesn’t mean that I want to stop doing the kind of work that I’m doing–I love what I do. But, I want to figure out how to leverage the skills and experiences that I’ve gained over the last decade so that I can keep progressing. Are there other areas of my field that I would like to explore? Do I want to go back to school, in order to open up a whole new set of opportunities? I don’t know. Either way, I think it’s time to really think about what I want to do when I grow up.

Invest time in this blog.

I’ve said it before, but maintaining this little corner of the Internet is one of my favorite things to do. I have a list of things to write about collecting dust on my computer, so I would like to try to turn those ideas into actual posts. In addition, I hope to work on my photography skills and hopefully even learn a bit about design so that I can make a few improvements around here.

Read more.

I used to read a book a week before Little B came along. Now, even if I have time, I’m usually to exhausted to concentrate on anything and opt for mindless activities, like checking to make sure that the Internet is still there and watching crap TV. I miss escaping with a book and want to try to at least get through one book a month this year.

So, that’s what I have on my plate for the year. How about you? Any advice for meeting my goals?

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