I See Optimistic People

My life isn’t a bed of roses. I have a chronic illness that ravages my body on a daily basis. I spend every waking moment in pain. My skin often has rashes, itches, or just plain hurts. Choosing to make plans with others is a challenge because most mornings I wake feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck. There are times when my mind doesn’t want to function with clarity because it is so preoccupied with this ache or that that I can barely focus on anything else (doubly a challenge with an active toddler and school work to think about).

I am a new military wife (but not a new wife, we’ve been married for 5+ years) who has entered this life much later in life than most of my contemporaries. My place in the scheme of things on base is such that other wives my age have husbands at a higher rank and different point in their career than my husband. Those in the “same boat” as me are often so much younger that my interests and education set me apart from (but NOT above, never “above”) many of them. I feel like an outsider every single day here.

I had to leave “my” seminary where I was working on a graduate degree and studying theology with plans to become ordained within my church and work as a pastoral counselor. Now I’m “across the pond” and thousands of miles from my school, my church, and my cohorts. I’m adapting to a new school, doing half my degree online and facing the future worries of making it to campus in a state separate from where we will ever end up stationed for the other half.

All of these facts I face daily knowing that I live literally half way around the world from about 95% of my support system of the past 29 years. I turned 30 in a new country, on a new continent, in this new life I did not actively chose with a husband who is trying to find his way in this military life, too. We’re both fish out of water here (which has had some benefits to our relationship) and sometimes it feels very much like we’re flopping around on shore trying desperately to find our way back to the water so we can “breathe” again.

That said, I love my life. What? Yes, you read that correctly. I Love my life. I could list a litany of complaints. I could recount worries and concerns to fill a multi-volume tome on “how difficult my life is.” But couldn’t we all? Yes, I’ve lived more years as “the sick girl” than I ever was a “normal, healthy” person. My family makes sacrifices daily so that we can serve our country and my husband can help do the work that helps keep America free. My career goals are put on hold for this very thing. My son is so far away from all the family with whom I had hoped he’d share much time in his early years. And yet, I love my life.

I do because, while I have worries and concerns, I also have so many blessings. By God’s grace, I was born into a loving and devoted family, found a wonderful husband, had a beautiful child, discovered my calling, and built an incredible system of close friends. I am blessed to live in an age where technology can keep me close to these people and help me accomplish great things despite my challenging obstacles.

You see, I chose happiness. I seek out optimism. I look for it in new friends, spend more time with family members who show it, and often find it in my entertainment. When I look to my future, though there are certainly possibilities for horrible events and outcomes, I make a genuine attempt to “find the fun” (Buffy quote, LOOK OUT!). I can’t say I don’t worry. I do. I have much to worry about. But I also have God to share that burden (and sometimes to carry it completely so I don’t have to).

As Buffy so aptly put it at the end of season five,

“The hardest thing in this world is to live in it.”

Life isn’t easy. I’m not sure where we ever got the idea that it ought to be or that we were entitled to an easy road. We all have our proverbial crosses to bear. But we do it because we have to. Only we don’t have to do it alone. People laugh at my pop-culture obsessions. Some giggle about it as though I’m some ignorant nerd minion who is choosing to waste her time on trivial and silly television shows and films. But you know what? Those trivial story lines about silly characters have lent themselves quite well to building me into the person I am today. That very nerdy influence has helped bring me closer to my spiritual core and deepened my relationship with God. Those geek-influences have helped me explore life’s meaning and “find the fun.” So laugh if you will, the joke’s not on me.

I urge you to “find the fun” for yourself and, as the subject line suggests: See Optimistic People, experiences, and facts of life. Acknowledge the negative influences in your life, they’re there. They’re there for all of us. But they aren’t all that is there. Where’s the good in your life?

Find it.

Focus on it.

Thank God for it.

Our little family 9 months ago, before we became military. We still "find the fun."

Jessie’s Favorite Television Shows of 2011

Once upon a time, I wrote “Top” and “Best of” lists. Top Movies, Top Television Shows, Top Albums, etc. On further consideration, I have arrived at the conclusion that I was not so much making “Top” or “Best of” lists, as much as “favorites” lists. I am no more qualified to make a best of list than I am qualified to write a weighty tome on astrophysics. I do not have experience with all of the entertainment releases of the last year, so I am hardly qualified to write a “Best of” list. However, based on my limited exposure (even less so since having my son a year and a half ago), I am uniquely qualified to write a list of my favorites of a given year, and that is what you will find here. Today’s topic: Television shows of 2011. I watch a lot of good TV, so limiting this to 10 was difficult. If I’m speaking strictly of these shows based on episodes they released in 2011. I am ranking them 10-1, but it’s impossible to choose the order, so take that with a grain of salt and know that it might very well have been different had this list been written or published even an hour later. The absence of Mad Men from our televisions in 2011 and the decline of The Office left some spots wide open. Here’s my list:

10. Modern Family and The Big Bang TheoryMF is a consistently funny sitcom whose heartwarming moments never feel contrived and are always just what they aim to be. With so much consistency, it’s hard to chose a favorite episode. They all just roll on through and make me laugh and cheer each week. BBT has been back on its game the past two seasons with the addition of Amy and Bernadette. I’m not wild about the whole Howard dates Raj’s sister storyline, but it doesn’t take much from the rest of the show. This rag-tag bunch of geeks gives me some of the biggest belly laughs episode after episode.

9. Bones – Bones and Booth sleep together and we don’t see anything? On any other show, this might have really irritated me. With Bones steady ways and intriguing character development, I was merely slightly annoyed. The kicker of season six came in the last few minutes of the finale: finding out Bones is pregnant and seeing the look on Booth’s face. It is a delight to watch as this season unfolds and the relationship between them so seamlessly (in terms of the show, itself) falls into place. We’ve seen all the joy and appropriate conflict we would expect of a coupling between the two – and those kisses and hugs add to the quiet, shared tender moments already so characteristic of Booth and Bone’s relationship. I’m intrigued to see how Bones fares with a child of her own to wave her phalanges at.

8. Chuck – Chuck and Sarah planning their wedding whilst still carrying out the spy life? The lovely and talented Lauren Cohan appearing in the role of Vivian Volkoff? Ellie and Awesome with a baby? Come on, what could be better? I’m behind on this final season because of our move and its complete lack of iTunes availability, but you can bet I will be downloading it just as soon as it’s available.

7. Vampire Diaries – If this show upped the ante any more, I’d fall off the edge of my seat. Having Lauren Cohan on another one of my shows as yet another favorite (if short-lived) character was just another highlight in a stellar second season. Season three has proven just as surprising and enjoyable. Down deep, I don’t see so many similarities to draw between this and my favorite show ever, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but in terms of how the show has continued to get better in its first three seasons and how it wonderfully bends genre norms to appeal to the masses open-minded enough to give it a go, it is certainly similar. I find myself rushing to watch this as soon as it’s available. I’m addicted. As a die-hard Buffy/Angel shipper, I never thought I’d ship Elena/Damon… yet I am. I am shipping them hard. And um… despite the wicked-weird eye thing that he does, I can’t get enough of Somerhalder as Damon. Cannot. Get. Enough.

6. New Girl – It’s Zooey Deschanel at her goofy, happy, optimistic best. Some of the funny bits are hit or miss, but I find myself unable to stop watching and have gone back to re-watch each episode of this multiple times. I think my favorite episode so far is Naked, in which Jess sees Nick naked and is completely unable to say the word ‘penis’ – “Bonjour le pene!” Oh, I love it.

5. Big C and Californication – Easily my favorite of the cable comedies this year. Had I seen Laura Linney as Cathy last year, it would have been my favorite somewhat-dark comedy of 2010, too. And oh, Hank, how do you find yourself in these bizarre situations on Californication? I felt the return of Hank Moody was truly inspired and loved watching the drama, action, and comedy of season four unfold. I always find myself saying, “This could only happen to Hank.”

4. Happy Endings – I have watched every episode of both seasons of this show multiple, (multiple!) times. I LOVE it. I can’t stop watching. It is 2011’s answer to Friends if ever such a feat were possible. I go back and forth on which character is my favorite, but I can’t say any of them are my least favorite. Together, this band of six thirty-something buds makes for a uniquely hilarious show, funnier with each re-watch. I simply cannot get enough.

3. Ringer – “OMG, SMG!” My best friend and I uttered this little saying the day the pilot aired and have probably used it at least two or more times per episode. Each time we think it can’t get crazier, it does. I won’t say the writing is special, but the ploting and performances are fun and its wildly unpredictable nature keeps me coming back week after week. Is it the “best of” 2011, probably not, but it’s compulsively watchable and highly enjoyable and thus certainly one of my favorites of 2011. I have the highest admiration for Sarah Michelle Gellar, so it’s no shock that this show would be on my list. I can’t help it, I just love the insanity. OMG, SMG!

2. Revenge – Oh what a tangled web we weave! When I first saw the teaser for this show and heard Angus and Julia Stone’s beautiful “For You” playing in the background, I knew this show would be something special. It did not disappoint. I wasn’t sure it would be one I’d go back to re-watch, but I have. I love the complex plot, the surprising twists, and the delightfully wicked smile that spreads across the face of our villainess, Victoria Grayson (played with graceful aplomb by Madeline Stowe). Emily VanCamp was one of my favorite parts of Brothers and Sisters (her absence was one of the many reasons I didn’t watch much of the final season), and she’s given real room to shine here as the lead. Is she a villain or a hero? Can we possibly cheer for someone with such nefarious intentions? Happily, the answers to those questions are both and yes. Somehow, her back story and the way she goes about carrying out her plan despite the conflict she’s clearly feeling about the effects of her actions make her character someone to watch, cheer for, and marvel at. What makes this “nighttime soap” even more enjoyable is that it doesn’t take itself so seriously. Some things are clearly unbelievable, but we go with it. Revenge is a ridiculous ride we are more than happy to climb onto.

1. The Good Wife – It was tough for me to make a choice between my favorite new show of fall 2011, and a show that is just of such top quality episode after episode. In the end, I went with experience, because “Revenge” has only just begun. Julianna Margulies continues to shine in the role of the good wife. She has made Alicia into someone more than just a wronged woman making her way in the world, and we delight at where her journey will take her next. Archie Panjabi as Kalinda broke our hearts as we watched the strain and fallout from revalations about her prior “dealings” with Alicia’s husband. Her one friend in all the world that she’d betrayed before they even knew each other–and yet we root for her. We root for Alicia. My one request for this season would be more Chris Noth as I enjoy the tension when he’s on screen with… well… anyone, but especially Ms. Margulies. I’m excited to see where this season takes us.

Honorable Mentions to shows that didn’t have their most stellar years last, but ones I still make it a point to see: Supernatural, Dexter, Weeds, Nurse Jackie, and The Walking Dead.

The jury’s still out on American Horror Story (but in the 5 or 6 episodes we have seen, it’s easily the most shocking show of the year). Two I did not include here are Homeland and Once Upon a Time, each of which seem truly special. But only having seen three episodes of each, I’m hardly able to make a real assessment. I’m not sure which I would remove from up there to include these (I’d probably just combine them with another one) if I love the remaining episodes as much as I did the first three.

Hope you enjoyed reading any or all of this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. I’m waiting to do a favorite films of 2011 post until I’ve seen a few more from last year (one of which is Moneyball, which I just purchased this past weekend). Till next time 🙂

With Everything Gone What’s Left?

I’m going to reblog (almost word for word, but not quite) my own blog over at tumblr, despite the fact that I prefer to keep my entertainment obsessions and my personal musings separate. I’m doing this because in this blog post, I explain very briefly why I am so enamored with the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I did not set out to write about it, rather I just wanted to add a comment to a picture from one of my favorite scenes in the series. When I started writing, this short note poured out of me. This is not a “Christian” show, in fact, it was created by a self-confessed atheist. But I’ll be darned if it isn’t one of the most profoundly spiritual shows ever created… and entertaining to boot!

Pivotal Moment for the Buffster

People always ask me why I love a television show about vampires so much. One person was even outraged that I would choose my son’s middle name from a “devil worshiping show.” My oh my. How sadly misguided these people are.

Those who know the show know it’s far from that. Those who know me and the show, can completely understand. For the rest of you, allow me to explain.

This photo captures what is perhaps my favorite moment from any episode of any television show ever. “Becoming” is often named by me as my favorite Whedon episode. It is the very first one that pops into my head each time the question is asked. It is always “Becoming.” The entirety of the season 2 arc leads up to this episode and to the moment when Angelus has surely beaten Buffy. He stands before her with a sword as she sits on the ground, literally backed against a wall:

Angelus: Now that’s everything, huh? No weapons… No friends…No hope. Take all that away… and what’s left?
Buffy: Me.

I’m not sure if Buffy knew she could win until just this moment. She summons up all the strength within herself and finds the will to stop Angelus… to kill the love of her life to save the World. In that quiet moment when her eyes are closed and she sits there facing certain defeat, she reaches into the slayer spirit and into her soul and discovers that she has the power to stop him. How many of us have this strength? Does this power lie in us all, or just in champions like Buffy?

I think it’s there—the potential for it, anyway—in all of us. Sometimes we have to reach a breaking point to find it. When I reach moments that mirror this one (at least in a metaphorical sense), I always strive to reach within myself and recognize that I was divinely created to overcome moments like these. I realize that I was given my life–as it is and as it changes–because I have the unique gifts to handle it. In my belief system, I was created by God to live this human life. In Buffy’s world, her powers are the result of actions and a made up rule from “a bunch of men who died thousands of years ago.”

I’m not writing this to preach to you or sway you toward my point of view. Rather, I’m writing to encourage you to recognize that regardless of where you think your power comes from, it’s there. One of the many things Buffy taught me was that I can summon that power, that strength, to battle my own personal demons. They may not be literal vampires, but sometimes it does feel like my life’s struggles (one of which is SLE-Lupus) are draining my life force. When my physical body fails me, that is when I call on my inner-Buffy. When I feel like I can’t take another step, that is when I close my eyes, breathe, pray, and reach deep. When all else is gone, what is left? My soul. What’s left is me. And by God’s grace, I find the strength to keep going.

 

Making the Kind of Sense that Doesn’t

My goals are often much more lofty than I can ever hope to live up to. Some, however, end up being fulfilled despite me (Hello, Europe! I’m living in you!). I might start to beat myself up for faltering on my “write something–anything–each and every day” goal, but I will not do that. If it was an easy goal, would it even be one worth setting?

I ask this because most goals aren’t meant to be accomplished all at once. Even short-term goals take time to reach. It’s not as though I can write something each day all at once, right? I mean, that really makes the kind of sense that… well, doesn’t.  If I’m being technical about it, I write something every day. Usually it is in the form correspondence of some sort to someone. My goal, however, involves the kind of writing that gets my thoughts out of me and onto paper (or screen). The trouble I’m having is that I have too many thoughts and they all seem too complicated or unfocused to record. As it turns out, sometimes writer’s block occurs when you have too much to say.

I did manage to cook something new each day last week. My conclusion from this little experiment is that this is a terrific way to discover new recipes and that cooking most days of the week is a much more cost effective way to feed us not just for dinner, but also for my husband’s lunch. It boggles the mind to think of all the money we will save by him not buying a lunch on base each day.

I think this experiment also gave us an appreciation for simple meals (and I’m not just talking about giving me a break). Sometimes it’s okay just to have beans and rice for dinner. We’d had so many simple meals, eaten out so much before the Christmas holiday (because we were moving to and getting settled in our new home in Europe), and were so eager to be able to have nice home-cooked meals, that we’d forgotten what peace can be found in simple or quick meals for our sanity’s sake. My husband and I decided that we’d like to order out or go out to eat one day each week (when that’s possible). This week, that will happen on Saturday.

Last week, I was just discovering cooking new things. This week, I actually focused on cooking new, but healthy things. I adapted some recipes and made little substitutions here and there to cut out unnecessary fats and the like. Which reminds me, though I’m an omnivore by nature and enjoy some sort of meat in my meals, I saw a segment on one of the morning shows recently about the benefits of eating vegetarian meals a few times a week and was intrigued. We’ll never be completely vegetarian, but I can’t help by think about how it would benefit us to have a meal or two per week incorporating proteins that are not meat focused. Thus, I am on the hunt for some vegetarian recipes. What are some of your favorite non-meat based meals?

So, to sum up: it’s important to hold oneself to the goals one sets, but not to be unreasonable about it and not get discouraged when you get off track. Next week’s goal will be this: write something each day. Have I already set that goal? Yes. But this is more clearly defined and easily measured. For one week, write something every. single. day. In fact, I’m opening a whole new Word journal .doc just for this purpose. If I think what I write is worth sharing here, I will copy and paste. Also to come next week: my list of favorite TV shows of 2011. I know you’re waiting with bated breath at the prospect.

Have a great weekend, all!

 

Missing from my Goals

Ah, writer’s block, that all-consuming, creativity-stifling, impossible to comprehend phenomena that we “writers” can face at any given moment. It’s suffocating to feel the need to write, to know you are destined to write something, to understand you’re breaking a promise to yourself (or others) by not writing. Yet your eyes glaze over as you stare at the screen, hands at the ready, failing to put together so much as a subject and predicate.

I’ve always fancied myself a writer from as far back as I can remember. I love it. It’s a passion of mine. I’m passionate about a few things in life, and writing is chief among them. All too often, however, I sit at my computer, prepared to bang out a weighty tome, and my mind goes blank or wanders to complete and utter wastes of time on the internet (Hello Facebook, you have nothing new to offer me, and yet I compulsively click my “bookmarks” bar “just in case”). If I add up the amount of time I waste “surfing” the web on any given day, I’d probably be surprised at how much more writing, reading, or bonding with little Weston I could squeeze into that time.

My solution to this is to limit the temptation. Sure, it’s not exactly like it’s reasonable to expect that a writer, in this day and age, can stay away from computers. I’m not going back to the typewriter or word processor. I certainly cannot go WAY back to writing by hand as that would wreak havoc on my arthritis-ridden hands. My solution, then, is rather simple. There are several different desktops on my Macbook Pro with which I can work (thank you OSX Lion). Switching between them is rather simple, but each one can have it’s own distinct look. I also run any one of three separate browsers (Firefox, Safari, and Chrome) depending on what I’m doing. I’m going to designate two or three desktops and one browser solely for writing and research purposes. Why multiple destops? Well, the further away I put the “fun” stuff, the better. I’m not even going to bookmark Facebook, tumblr, or twitter in whichever browser I designate for work purposes.

I realize I’m giving you much too much information. You don’t need to know my plan, but I’m writing it in the hopes that, should people I know be having the same struggle with writer’s block, they might either find these suggestions helpful—or lend me some of their own.

My inspiration today comes from two sources. One: my complete lack of writing since my last blog has caused a pang of guilt. It’s pathetic, really. I have no excuse. Sure, I was cooking new recipes all week. Sure, I have a toddler with whom I must keep up (and you thought the Kardashians were hard to keep up with – yuck). I didn’t forget to write, I just didn’t. I couldn’t come up with anything interesting and didn’t want to bore anyone—including myself. I ignored one of my chief goals (to write every single day), because I was blocked and distracted.

My second source of inspiration for todays post: my good friend E, who penned a lovely and inspirational little post on her blog about her own 2012 resolutions (all of which I feel like stealing, if I wasn’t already planning on doing them). She was rather precise in setting her goals, and it makes me wonder if I was as precise in setting mine. I said I wanted to write at least a paragraph a day (which I have kept to, but only if you count Facebook comments). I want to complete all the books I start this year by reading at least a little bit each day (but how MANY books do I want to read? E’s goal is 10. I’m certain I’ll read that many in seminary courses alone (likely more than that, actually, but only because they’ll be assigned… yikes). This makes me wonder if reading for leisure is a responsible goal. And I think it is, because I need fun stories to keep my reading brain fresh (same as I need more than school writing to keep the creative juices flowing) but I may not get through 10 books given all that will be on my plate, and I need to accept that.

Still, I wonder if NOT expecting that so many books will be read is selling myself short. Should my goals be loftier? Or do I expect too much of myself? My how we could go round and round answering those loaded questions! In the end, I suppose it’s important to recognize my limitations and know that, while it’s nice to WANT to do it all, there may be times when I can’t, and that’s okay. It’s okay not to be perfect. I’m not God, and I’m fairly certain God doesn’t expect me to be.

Given where this meandering and, at times, rambling post has taken me, it might be vital to set one more VERY important goal. An addendum, of sorts, to my writing and reading goals: include God on this journey. I didn’t exclude the Almighty, to be sure, but my language may not have been inclusive in what I wrote above. I spend a healthy amount of time each day ruminating on what God wants me to do, even worrying about it. But I don’t spend enough time reading and writing for inspiration about it. I think I spend so much time focusing on God as an entity apart from myself, that I don’t invite God in and let God carry some (or all) of that burden for me. If I spent as much energy letting go as I do trying to control it all, maybe things would get a little easier. Maybe I would feel less stifled by everyday concerns or by those things about which I can do nothing, and free up my mind for enjoying my time with my little family and indulging in writing, reading, and entertainment for its own sake.  

And that is all I have for today, friends!

Supposed Former Disorganization Junkie

Another day, another blog post.

I’m searching my brain for something interesting to write. So far, all I’ve got is that I succeeded in cooking new dishes two nights in a row now. Lemon-herbed chicken yesterday and pork loin and sauerkraut in the crockpot today. Both were resounding successes, though I think I’ll put a little less seasoning than called for on the chicken next time I make it. I’m not entirely sure which meal I will be cooking up tomorrow. Last night I sat down and planned meals for the week, but did not decide which day would be which meal. Today’s commissary run was successful (if long, who knew they’d be so understaffed the day after a holiday?). I’ve always found it difficult to determine tomorrow’s meal the day before–how will I know what I’m “in the mood for” a whole 24+ hours in advance? Now, with a family to think about, I have forced myself to plan things out a little bit more so than in the past.

Speaking of planning and organization, throughout the spring/summer of 2011, I’d been periodically reading/referencing a book by Maria Menounos called, The Everygirl’s Guide to Life. I’d heard about it on some news show I was watching on its release day back during hubby’s BMT or tech school phases. You know, it was that time when I was doing the single-mom thing and trying to keep myself busy, while planning ahead for military life. I didn’t know much about Menounos before reading it other than seeing her everywhere on television shows interviewing people. She seemed busy and interested in what was going on with Hollywood, which is a much loved a preoccupation of mine (big-time film and TV geek that I am). So, I picked up here book and used it to find great ideas about organization that might help us as a military family (but really, they could help ANY family or person get it together).

I quickly realized during the whole “packing to PCS overseas process” that I was woefully disorganized. As a result, I’m making every effort to set up our new home in the most organized fashion possible. This brings me around to Menounos’ book and the need to revisit it. We are still buried under boxes here in our bedroom, hallway, and livingroom area. I’m desperately feeling the need to get rid of these boxes and get organized, but finding it difficult to really dive in because the task seems just *so* intimidatingly big. It would seem that revisiting her organization tips might help provide the necessary motivation and direction to get this place where I want it. The biggest problem area is the bedroom/closet issue. Getting that sorted out would make a world of difference, so I think that’s where I’ll begin tomorrow.

Another topic she discusses in her book regards being charitable and giving of one’s time to help out those less fortunate (in whatever way). We made an effort to contribute how we could to charities last year, but I think we could do better this year. My husband and I have discussed volunteering our time in various capacities, and I think that’s a real family goal of ours in the coming year. It’s always a challenge to work in time like that when you have a busy little toddler, but I’m sure we can squeeze it in. After all, what better example to set for children than to model charitable behaviors?

What ways have you gotten involved with helping those in need?

Everything In Its Time

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

See how I’m already keeping with one of the goals I’ve set as part of my resolution? In truth, I didn’t write yesterday, good thing it wasn’t 2012 yet!

I’ve set a rather ambitious goal for myself: make one new meal for my family each day this week. So far, I’ve planned four meals and am excited to get to the commissary tomorrow to get groceries for the week. I’m not a great cook, but I’m genuinely trying to become one. I’ve got the genes for it, I come from a long line of fantastic family cooks on both sides of my family. I just need to explore it more for myself and find my groove. It’s challenging as I have never thought of cooking as something to which I should aspire. When my husband and I first married, we were gifted a many kitchen and cooking utensils, several of which I have used sparingly or not at all until we began to settle in here in Germany. I no longer have Mom to rely on and I have a little belly to feed. He needs nutrition, as do my husband and I, so I am trying to take care of this. Why didn’t I aspire to really learn to cook? It may have been the ever-so-slight hint of feminist in me that rebelled against this whole “work of cooking” in the past. That rebellion seems futile. I am a wife and mother now, and I do have responsibilities to my little family. If my husband is going to be the one going out and bringing home the proverbial bacon, well, then I must fill the homemaker role that is (gasp!) traditionally assigned to women. I sometimes like to think of myself as unique and rather unconventional, but conventions serve a function, too. It’s okay to give in to some of them, isn’t it? I mean, I’m still a big-time geek and do often march to my own drumbeat (it’s a catchy one, you ought to try it sometime!), so giving in to some of these feminine conventions is acceptable.

On the topic of goals, there are moments when I wonder if there’s time enough in my life (or anyone’s) to accomplish all the things I have it in mind to. I remember seeing TV shows and films where characters prepare a list of things to accomplish by the time they’re a certain age (I’m thinking specifically of a ‘Friends’ episode wherein Phoebe had such a list). I’ve never felt compelled to limit myself by setting a deadline. After all, if there’s one thing that chronic illness teaches you, it’s to set goals, but not deadlines–everything in its time. There are enough arbitrary and necessary deadlines imposed by society and life in general, why put more pressure on one’s self? Still, it couldn’t hurt to make a list of long-term, non-specific deadline (except, maybe in “this” life) goals–things I’d like to accomplish. This isn’t meant to be part of my ‘resolve to be resolute’ plan, but rather just an idea and one that I think could be rather fun and inspiring. Could be that this is more accurately classified as a “dreams” list, though, I’m not saying these are things that are only possible “in my dreams,” they are merely things that I’d like to get around to doing/seeing/experiencing. Imagine the possibilities!

Do any of you have one of these lists (with a deadline or without)? What are your thoughts on such lists? Useful? Waste of time?

As to our family goal–at least one PT day a week–well, we’ve faltered slightly on that (but then, the new year has only begun today). We had hoped to do that today, but got to the business of working on the apartment (and I *had* to watch Crazy Stupid Love and try a new recipe for Herbed Lemon Chicken). I suppose we got a workout through all of that work, but it wasn’t dedicated PT work. I suppose that’s now on our list for next weekend (and each week after that).

So that’s all I have for today. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it!