Tuesday, July 11, 2017

2017 Goals: Mid-Year Review

I made six public resolutions here on the blog back in January, and seeing as we've passed the mid-point of the year I figured it was time to check in on them and see how I'm doing. Let's get started.

1. Read 52 Books. According to Goodreads, by the end of June I'd read 33 books which puts me slightly ahead of schedule. I'm hoping that even with school starting up, I'll be able to keep up with audio books during my commute, so I think there's a strong chance I'll be able to accomplish this one by the end of the year. Yay!

2. Finish Draft of Book. Yeah, this one is not looking good. I can barely find time to write here on the blog, let alone on that book project I started last year. And I don't think starting a PhD is going to help anything on this front. So, we'll see what happens by the end of the year.

3. Re-establish Self-Care Routines.  This one was all about getting back into the groove of regular scripture study/meditation, yoga/exercise, etc. I probably should've called this goal "Become a Morning Person Again!" because what I really want is to reestablish my personal morning time for all this stuff. I used to be such a morning person. I'd wake up, do my scripture study, write in my journal, do my yoga, eat a good breakfast, shower, maybe even find some time for homework or reading before heading out to school or work. It was so lovely.

Then I had babies. Children have made me not a morning person. Part of it is all the shenanigans I have to deal with in the middle of the night, but even in those brief periods of my life as a mother where everybody is sleeping through the night fairly reliably (and I'm not pregnant), we've lived in small enough apartments that I couldn't so much as go to the bathroom in the morning without waking up my light sleepers. My morning routine is only bliss if there aren't children running around begging me for breakfast, so it was easier to just stay in bed. Plus, I'm just way more exhausted all the time, and disinclined to wake up any earlier than I possibly have to.

This baby in particular is kicking my trash when it comes to reestablishing routines and trying to do things in the morning. Both my boys were sleeping twelve hours through the night consistently by her age, so I figured I knew how to sleep train a baby. But this little chica has her own thing going. She's given me 12 hours a couple of times, so I know she's capable of it, it's just that 3:30 in the AM feeding time seems to be her absolute favorite (seriously, most of our feedings are short and efficient and she's on her way to play, but that middle of the night feeding is slow and lingering and she just luxuriates in it, I'm never going to get her to drop it). Then, her wake-up time is super erratic. Sometimes she wakes up at 6:30, sometimes not till 8 AM (and then this makes the rest of the day's napping schedule a guessing game too). I'm just unmotivated to wake up early and start my own routine when I don't know when I'm going to be interrupted. Plus, still super exhausted ALL. THE. TIME. (Seriously, I've got to get her sleeping through the night before school starts, or I might go crazy.)

I was making some progress toward getting back into a routine groove (just not an early morning one) after the craziness that is the newborn stage, but then the move happened and yeah... I still have some work to do here. But! I'm determined to reclaim my morning routines! I might just have to make peace with exhaustion to do it, but by the end of the year this is going to be a thing!

4. Blogging Routine. Ideally, I want this to be a morning thing, but see above. Hasn't happened yet, so my blogging time is still just whatever random minutes I can steal from the rest of my to-do list.

5. Memory Keeper Routine. Okay, I've actually made some progress on this. I've been way more on top of keeping up my kids' journals than I have in the past, but I'm still behind on the other memory-related projects I wanted to tackle this year (baby books, etc.). Maybe if I ever get that morning routine in place, I'll find the time... (wishful thinking).

6. Post to Instagram Once a Week. So Instagram tells me I've posted 33 times this year, which means I've posted slightly more than once a week. I still feel so stupid that this is a goal, but I will say I have been more motivated to get my camera out and capture memory moments because of it. I'm not sure if I've accomplished much on the "upping my photography skills" part of this goal, but at least getting the camera out more is a step in the direction I want to go. It's mostly personal stuff over there, but feel free to follow me (as long as you're not a total creeper).

Anyway, there we have it. Right on target with some, lots of work on others. If you couldn't tell, my overall theme with all of these goals was about establishing routines, finding regular time to devote to myself and my hobbies. I've just had such big transitions this year (a new baby, an interstate move, and one more big one of starting a freaking PhD program) and I knew they were coming, and I know nothing helps me get through huge changes better than getting back into routine as quickly as possible. So I'm still feeling a bit scattered and out of control at the moment, and like there's too much to do and not enough time (or sleep) to get them all done, but if I can get back to healthy routines, with set times dedicated to all the things that keep me grounded, life will feel so much more manageable.

How are your goals coming?


  1. No way! I didn't know you were going for a PhD! In what?! That's really exciting. I've always wanted to get a PhD, but after watching a couple of our friends get theirs, now I'm not as sure, ha ha...I mean, I knew it would be a ton of work, but I guess I just didn't realize how INTENSE it would be. But I'll be eagerly awaiting to hear your take on the experience.

    And I found myself laughing and nodding along when you said that you used to be a morning person before kids. Totally true for me, too---except my problem is that since my daughter goes down so early (around 7), I feel like nighttime is my best "me" time (and the only time I have to spend with just my husband and I), and so we tend to go to bed waaaay later than we should every night. We need to work on it.

    Best of luck with the second half of the year with your goals! Sounds like you're still getting a lot of stuff done, despite having multiple kids needing your attention at any given moment and a big move under your belt!

    1. Yes, I'm getting my PhD in English! (What else?) Me getting into this program was actually the reason for our move, my husband didn't start looking for jobs till after I'd already accepted (eek!). You can check out this post (http://www.suchstuffbooks.com/2016/08/my-career-path-part-2-divine.html) for the backstory on this decision. And yes, there will be plenty more coming about this whole crazy experience.

  2. You summed up my thoughts on a morning routine perfectly. I want one so much, but if I can't have it without my kids, then I'd rather just stay in bed. (Also, I'm laughing that I read this at 3:30 in the AM.)

  3. Glad someone else is sharing my nocturnal hours! And seriously, early mornings are amazing without kids, completely horrible with them (why is that?).