Suck It Up, March


How is March mostly over?

WTH, 2017? How is a quarter of the year over? I do not understand.

Anyhow, here is my monthly check in to see how I’m doing with my yearly goals, aka: My Year of Sucking it Up.

1) Take family and personal health seriously.

What does that look like? I want to:

a) Cook at least 5 meals a week. 

You guys. I am rocking this shit.

I have stopped tracking what days I cook and how often because I pretty much cook every day, twice a day. It’s now easier to track which days I eat out (which is at most, once a week).

I am SO PLEASED.

Plus, I know I mentioned it last month, but my kids are actually eating vegetables and food without much complaint. In fact, Cookie Monster has turned into a little food critic. He’ll beg to check out the food, smell it, taste it, and then say, “Oh, this tastes pretty good.” or “It’s not bad.”

It’s hilarious.

My kids clearly watch too many judged cooking shows.

Also also? Since January, we have only been to McDonald’s once and Burger King once. 

We used to go to one of these places (mostly McDonald’s) at LEAST once a week. And now, down to maybe once a month. Yay!

b) Be active once a week.

So, I let the two Groupons I bought expire. I just couldn’t muster up the energy to go and I was worried that I would injure myself. I am one stupid move from re-injuring my shoulder and since Hapa Papa is working so much, I can’t afford to get hurt.

Thus, we said goodbye to our monies. It doesn’t matter if I can still use the funds at the businesses at a later date. It’s not gonna happen.

However, now that the sun is back out again, we have been meeting up with friends to go to the park almost every weekday. We’ve also gone back out to hike paved trails. And since I have to lug around my hefty Sasquatch in the Ergo the whole time, I figure that’s enough for physical activity.

I’m doing pretty well in this, considering.

c) Wash face and brush teeth twice daily.

Yeah. It’s best not to mention this anymore. But for the interest of consistency, I’m including it. But yeah. No good.

d) Take vitamins and supplements.

I’m still remembering to take these most days. I consider it a win.

e) Go to sleep when the kids sleep 4x a week.

Nope. I’ve sucked major donkey balls at this.

The problem isn’t so much that I’m not sleeping when the kids are sleeping. The problem is that I wake up after sleeping for three hours and then can’t fall back asleep.

This is the same problem I had in Taiwan last summer. It’s like self-induced jet lag.

I’m a consummate idiot.

f) No texting while driving.

I did better this month. Not as cold turkey as January – but not as horrible as February. So,  um, maybe lukewarm turkey.

2) Take my responsibilities as a grown up seriously.

I owned it this month. But mostly because I realized I had to hand in my tax documents to my CPA by March 18 in order to file on time so it took me 4-5 hours to gather all of it. I also finally changed our life insurance beneficiaries. (Turns out only Cookie Monster was a contingent beneficiary. FAIL.)

Also, finally opened a 529 account for Sasquatch as well as another living trust account for me to hide money from myself. I even finally rolled over Hapa Papa’s SIMPLE IRA from his previous company to an IRA Rollover. Now, to transfer it to our Schwab accounts. (I hate you, Fidelity, for making this entire process so cumbersome.)

I also submitted my health insurance claims and FSA claims for Hapa Papa’s old insurance.

I even submitted claims for our NEW insurance. (Because the out of pocket expenses before receiving the new insurance cards were high and painful.)

People, it was painful but it was done.

BOW BEFORE MY ADULTING.

3) Write.

I have barely written this month. Any of the posts that posted this month were written last month. (Well, I suppose except this post.)

I’m tired. I keep saying this, but it bears repeating.

I’m really tired.

So, I’ve shoved writing to the back burner for now because LIFE.

Alright. That’s it for this month. How did you do for March? Are you even still tracking with your goals? If not, there’s no time like the present to start up again.

Suck It Up, February


How is February mostly over?

2017 is 1/6th of the way done and I feel like all I did was blink and stare blankly at the page.

Anyhow, here is my monthly check in to see how I’m doing with my yearly goals, aka: My Year of Sucking it Up.

1) Take family and personal health seriously.

What does that look like? I want to:

a) Cook at least 5 meals a week. 

Still going on strong! I now cook almost every single day and have trained my children to if not like, at least mostly eat, the food I make. I am hoping this will lead to good dividends when we head back to Taiwan this summer.

My kids currently love any and all vegetables that taste like “nothing” once I cook them in my Instant Pot. (Nothing in the sense that the veggies end up mushy and soak up the flavor of soup. We are working on them eating veggies prepared in stir fry.)

I am also now very reluctant to order out. Why? Not because of any health reasons. But mostly because it isn’t any faster than me cooking at home. In fact, it often takes even longer and then I stress out about finding foods my kids can and will eat.

b) Be active once a week.

I have improved. This month, I went a few times with the kids and friends on hikes at local regional parks.

Of course, buy “hike,” I mean walk on paved paths. I’m not wandering through the wilderness or anything. Let’s not get crazy.

Plus, on occasion, we have walked to local parks to meet up with these same homeschooling friends. Cookie Monster actually really enjoys walking and hiking so I expect this to continue.

Of course, I still haven’t redeemed my groupon to Krav Maga. I think I like the idea of being a badass more than the work it takes to become one. I have until March 10.

c) Wash face and brush teeth twice daily.

Same as before. I think I will just have to adjust and say that I will brush my teeth and floss ONCE at night.

I’m sure it’s gross but TOO BAD.

d) Take vitamins and supplements.

For the most part, I have been good about taking my vitamins. I hate taking so many. (Seriously, the doTerra vitamin regimen has me taking approximately 15 pills a day.)

e) Go to sleep when the kids sleep 4x a week.

Although doing slightly better, I have been staying up later and later because I just want some time to myself. In silence.

Beautiful, beautiful, blissful silence.

f) No texting while driving.

Sob.

was doing so well. Then February hit and I slid back into my naughty ways. FOMO reared its ugly head with a vengeance. I found that my need to respond right away to texts returned.

So, here’s my reminder to kick my own ass and say, “Hey! My friends don’t need to me to respond, ‘HAHAHAHAHAHA!’ right away to their comments. They can wait the 15-20 minutes it takes to get to where I’m getting to.”

Also? LIKING SOMEONE’S STATUS ON FACEBOOK CAN WAIT.

2) Take my responsibilities as a grown up seriously.

Although I’m pretty certain I’ve still been adulting, I don’t think it stood out as much this month. Possibly because we didn’t visit the doctor much in January so I didn’t have to take care of any medical bills (and we all know that’s what ultimately kills me).

However, since we went several times in February, I guess I get a chance to apply this again in March.

Also? I think I forgot to do my receipts for homeschooling. So, um, whoops. I still have a day or so left in February.

Oh crap. Just remembered I still haven’t opened up additional accounts or changed my life insurance beneficiaries. Blargh.

I CAN DO IT.

I AM A GROWN UP FOR REALZ.

3) Write.

Due to Hapa Papa’s new job and him needing a lot of time on the weekends, as well as the craziness of our weekends this past month, I did not write much.

Truthfully, I also did not feel like it. Although, I did start a quick and easy new series, the 5 Minute Book Reviews. Those have made me happy because they’re quick and dirty to put out, I don’t feel pressure on having to have in depth and perfect reviews, and I am experimenting with posting videos of my children reading excerpts.

Why is that important?

Mostly because I have been semi-reluctant to post their reading videos up in case they’re not as good as I think they are and have people secretly judge me for their perhaps not as stellar as I think Chinese.

I worry because we all know that I am totally judging other kids’ Chinese. Which is stupid because as long as I can understand a kid, that’s the ultimate goal of learning language, right?

Also? What does another child’s success/failure with Chinese have to do with my own children’s abilities?

ABSOLUTELY  NOTHING.

Anyhow, I didn’t really have any new posts for about two weeks and I feel sucky about it.

Also also, I just realized that I set myself a goal of finally finishing my ebook by the end of Q1. Which is in a month.

What the hell, self?

However, I am proud of myself for two things I did writing-wise this month (in addition to the 5 Minute Book Reviews).

One: I submitted a speaker proposal to a conference I am attending this spring. I don’t think I will get it, but hey. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Two: I started some pitches that I want to do for my blog. I have since done NOTHING (such as submitting these pitches). but whatever. I DID a tiny bit of SOMETHING.

Alright. Thus ends my monthly check in. It was not as awesome as I had hoped, but at least my cooking is hitting it out the ballpark. If 2017 only had this to show for it, I would still be reasonably happy.

How are you doing on your 2017? Let me know in the comments.

Suck It Up, January

How is January mostly over?

Somehow, I have a feeling this is how I’m going to feel at the end of every single month. In fact, I might just decide to start with that sentence variation every time because stupid things like this amuse me.

Anyhow, I thought I’d take a page from Wil Wheaton’s Life Reboot Series and do a monthly check in. After all, what’s the point in having a yearly theme if I don’t follow up on it?

So, without further ado, here is my first official check in (even though I’ve been actively trying to change my lifestyle since December 2016 when I came up with the theme).

1) Take family and personal health seriously.

What does that look like? I want to:

a) Cook at least 5 meals a week. 

Surprisingly, I’ve been doing quite well in this area. I have been cooking a lot more in the Instant Pot (affiliate link) – not recipes because quite frankly, I am not a fan of following recipes on a regular basis. I much prefer to dump a bunch of stuff in the Instant Pot and set it to soup or stew. I either add pasta or pour it over rice.

A corollary to this goal is to limit my eating out to at most, once a week. (As well as to limit my boba purchases because my teeth are rotting and who needs empty calories, I guess.)

Incidentally, what I define as cooking is to make something that is not prepackaged. (Dumplings or pasta count as cooking.) I am more trying to avoid having kids eat nuggets or frozen pizza or quesodillas or dried cereal as much as possible.

b) Be active once a week.

Uh, utter fail.

I bought a Krav Maga groupon at a local studio so eventually, I will make it there on a weekly basis.

I may just have to remove this goal because I’m not really into it. And I know that if I’m not into it, and that it’s just a token add, that I will not do it.

But maybe I will love Krav and then fork over the ridiculous amounts of money to go. (I doubt it, but I want to kickass and you can’t do that sitting on your ass, afraid to look foolish in order pick up a new skill.)

c) Wash face and brush teeth twice daily.

Um… 50% for effort?

I still can’t manage to do this in the morning. I’m sorry. I just want to maximize my in bed time.

However, I have much improved into doing so at night. YAY! (Also, I think I really do have several cavities that need to be taken care of.)

Also, I have been much relieved to hear from many of you dear readers that you, too, have difficulty remembering to brush and floss and wash your face.

Is it any surprise that you are all SAHMs?

d) Take vitamins and supplements.

I am a little more consistent at it. I think there is a good reason Sasquatch was my largest and fattest child and that my body has recovered faster than my previous pregnancies and births. It is all due to the supplements I have been taking. And the iron pills. And the calcium.

Here’s to hoping that my bones are not nearly as hollow as they were after having Glow Worm. I think he was the smallest (though fattest at the time) for a reason – I did not take good care of my body and four years of back to back pregnancies and breastfeeding did a number on me.

Even though Sasquatch is my last baby, I need to make sure that I take my health seriously. After all, when Mama’s down and out, Hapa Papa has to pick up the slack (like he did the back half of my pregnancy).

e) Go to sleep when the kids sleep 4x a week.

FAIL! UTTER FAIL!

I was doing pretty good about this in December, but ever since Sasquatch has been sleeping through the night, I have failed. FAILED.

Also, I blame adulting.

I have been doing very well in the adulting department. But as such, my “free” time during the day is now taken up by cooking, cleaning, bills, etc. instead of whatever mindless activity I am now doing at night.

No. It is not all playing Two Dots. Sometimes, I’m playing its sequel, Dots & Co.

I kid. I kid.

I’m not really clear as to what I’m doing late at night, but it involves food and reading (either on a screen or in a book), and sometimes, it also involves Two Dots.

To solve this for February, I have been trying to ease the kids into sleeping 30-60 minutes earlier. That way, even if I stay up a few hours after their bedtime, it is STILL early enough that it won’t kill me on lack of sleep the next day.

f) No texting while driving.

I’m doing AWESOME on this one.

Seriously. I never thought I’d get rid of FOMO enough to do this. But it turns out, I can receive (and skim) texts while they come in (my phone is on a stand on the dash) and NOT respond. I can also NOT READ them!

AMAZING.

2) Take my responsibilities as a grown up seriously.

You guys, you guys!! I HAVE BEEN ADULTING ON A REGULAR BASIS.

It’s sad that this makes me feel so proud, but I do something at least once a day! I’ve kept on top of bills and mail and doing things that are due on a more immediate basis vs letting it procrastinate and pile up and make me feel like crap due to guilt.

Dr. T is totally right.

For me, self-care equals taking care of my adult responsibilities instead of hiding from them and acting like my middle child, Gamera.

Also, HuffPo agrees.

Of course, this does cut into my ME time, but ultimately, I feel a LOT better about myself.

3) Write.

I didn’t write much in December, but I am slowly getting back into the swing of things in January.

Because I usually write at night or on weekends, I was limited by Sasquatch’s feeding schedule. But now that I am pumping consistently and Sasquatch is a little easier, Hapa Papa is cool with me leaving for about three hours at a time so I can write.

I have to be much smarter about my time as I write, but I think this is a good thing. Procrastinating will literally kill what little time I have to write so I am better about putting away distractions.

Incidentally, the side benefit of me sucking it up thus far is that I am far more conscientious of Hapa Papa, his feelings, his desires and needs (HE ACTUALLY HAS THEM??), and making sure that I am not taking advantage of him.

On the days that I go write, I try to make sure that I give Hapa Papa an almost equal (I am, after all, still myself so I am still more selfish than the average person) amount of time for himself to either spend on work, watch football, read sports, or do whatever it is that he does when he has alone time.

Also, I know it bothers Hapa Papa that we have freezers (yes, plural) full of “food” and yet I keep buying more stuff every week at Costco. So, in an effort to reduce spending (because I single-handedly keep Costco and Amazon in business), as well as cook more, I have resolved to follow in the footsteps of my friend, Fleur.

Instead of buying more stuff at Costco (other than the weekly barrage of fruit I purchase), we will be “shopping” in our freezer. I have already begun to use up the items in our refrigerator’s freezer. When we eat through that (I went crazy the other day and reorganized the whole thing so I could actually see what we have), we will start eating through our chest freezer in the garage.

I have a feeling we will be eating stuff that I bought 2-3 years ago.

It’s a deep freezer. It should be fine. (Likely, it is full of the green part of the watermelon rind because I used to keep those parts to put in juice. I know. I’m weird. I dedicate lots of freezer space to random bits of veggies and fruit that I will eventually put into smoothies. It has been YEARS.)

Also, since Hapa Papa bears the sole burden of providing financially for our family while I bear the sole burden of spending financially (and saving and planning and EVERYTHING ELSE), I am actually listening to his request to save more.

Now, we are already saving 20-25% of our income, so that’s not too shabby. But since I made the mistake of telling him that a friend’s family saves 50-60% of their income (seriously?? WTH, people??), he wants to save an extra 5% this year.

This would totally be doable if I weren’t addicted to doTerra essential oils and their supplements. However, as it is, I have trick myself into saving because I am used to seeing the cash level in our main account at a certain level. And I work really hard to spend our cash until I hit that level. (The sacrifices I make, people.)

So, I am opening up another account into which I will siphon off a set amount each month. Because I am an infant playing Peek-a-boo, if I don’t see it, it isn’t there. (And thusly, won’t spend it. I know. I am an ass.)

I would report on this monthly except that it isn’t anything I am actively doing. Once I open the account and set up the monthly transfer, I will never have to think about this ever again. (Except when trotting out the account at the end of the year as evidence that I do, occasionally, take Hapa Papa’s feelings and thoughts into consideration. I try not to make it a habit.)

Also, Hapa Papa has picked up a side gig consulting at another company and once I pay our property taxes and fund our IRAs (SAHMs, you especially need to fund your IRAs), I will put all his consulting money into this side account, too. (I swear, if you’re lazy like I am, the key to financial stability is to marry a workhorse.)

Anyhow, looks like Suck It Up 2017 is off to a great start. How are you doing on your goals for the year?

How to Jumpstart Your Kid’s Chinese

**You can find an updated version of this piece, along with exclusive new chapters, in the ebook, (affiliate link) So You Want Your Kid to Learn Chinese.

It’s been awhile since I posted about Chinese language acquisition. I try not to post about this subject unless I actually have something either new to say – or more likely, a new way to present classic truths.

And today is that day. Lucky you!

Since 2017 just started, I figure many of us are taking stock over our past year and planning for the new one. And perhaps, like many of us, your kid’s Chinese has started to backslide and you want to kick it back into gear.

Well, without further preamble, here is the absolute, top, most effective, number one thing you can do to help jumpstart your kid’s Chinese (waitforit):

Speak Chinese to your children. 

I know. Collective groans from both speakers and non-speakers alike.

I get it.

Unless you immigrated over relatively later in life, English is likely your dominant language (or at least, the dominant language you think in and communicate with your children).

The thought of communicating in Chinese with your children is likely exhausting (it certainly is for me), and requires constant upkeep and vigilance. The ease and speed at which I slip into English with my kids is something to behold – and really hard to correct course after awhile.

But it can be done.

And then, of course, if you don’t speak Chinese yourself, the possibility of communicating in Chinese with your children is improbable and implausible (though not impossible, I suppose). This article will have limited application for you, but all is not lost. You just have to be more creative and likely, have to pay for it.

Look, I am totally beating a dead horse and Captain Obviousing it here, but seriously: Speak Chinese to your children.

Your common sense likely confirms my brilliant advice.

How did your kids learn English? They heard you speak it. They heard everyone around them speak it. Everything they consumed speaks it.

Thus, the quickest and most efficient way for your kids to learn Chinese is to hear you speak it. The more Chinese they hear and eventually comprehend, the more likely they will speak it. (After all, how can you expect them to speak Chinese if they do not have the vocabulary to express themselves in it?)

I could spout all these language acquisition facts at you and they would most likely bore you to death.

Also? It probably won’t change your behavior because facts without a plan of action don’t really do anything.

So, how can you change your Chinese speaking (or lack thereof) habits?

Here then, are some of my tips:

1) Start small.

Perhaps start off by speaking to the kids for 15 minutes a day and then increasing by 15 minute increments each week. Any time increment will do.

Or maybe, speak only Chinese at meal times. (Although, if your kids are picky eaters and every meal is a battle, don’t add this additional stress to your life. It just isn’t worth it.)

Or maybe, read/tell Chinese stories before bedtime. (Again, if bedtime is normally a contentious time, don’t add more pain to the routine. Choose a different time.)

The point is to just start small, do that consistently, and when you start getting good at that, to increase your Chinese speaking time.

2) What if you can’t speak?

Hire a tutor to just TALK with your kids and play and read or discuss things or go out to eat. Hire someone to do “life”with your child except do life in Chinese.

Hire (or ask family members or friends or beg/borrow/steal) someone to do the activities I listed in the previous point with your children. This can be in person or via Skype or however you manage to do it.

Yes, this sucks that you will have to work harder that parents who speak Chinese don’t have to deal with. But hey, that’s life. We all have different advantages and disadvantages. But somehow, we make it work!

3) Speak Chinese.

I know. Captain Obviousing again.

But really, after you start small and scale up, there really is nothing more to it than the doing of it.

No amount of media, playdates, whatever, can replace you just speaking Chinese to your kid already.

You are the easiest and quickest source of Chinese for your children because you are in their lives and have to be with them.

Speak Chinese to your children.

Yes. I know. My tips suck today because really, other than the “Start Small” piece of advice, I don’t have anything else.

I have totally misled you.

Sorry. (Not really.)

But, Mandarin Mama, you say. My kid won’t speak back to me in Chinese! How will me speaking to them improve that?

Welp, its hard to speak a language and have a conversation if you don’t have the necessary vocabulary with which to speak. Many children aren’t willing to speak Chinglish and use Chinese for the words they know and subbing English for words they don’t.

In that case, just repeat what they said in English in Chinese. Offer them the vocabulary they need.

But what if my Chinese isn’t good enough?

Hey, I get that. And really, the only solution to that is to speak and get better. 

What? You have to expend effort?

I know.

This is how I feel about most parenting and adulting.

Sucks.

But the more you do it, the easier it will be.

But what if we talk about complicated stuff I simply don’t have the vocabulary for?

Hey, I get it. If I have to talk to my kids about the Birds and the Bees or even bullying, I likely will not be able to with any semblance of nuance or sophistication.

I can choose one of three options:

a) Conduct the conversation in English. 

This is the easiest option and totally legit. After all, this is likely not a full time experience and will not affect your children’s overall Chinese fluency.

b) Conduct the conversation in Chinglish. 

A little more difficult (and likely, what I end up doing) and subbing complicated vocabulary with English. At some point, it may become ridiculous. Then switch to English.

Again. Unless 80+% of your conversations are deep and complicated, I think you will be fine.

c) Conduct the conversation in Chinese. 

Of course, this requires a lot more preparation and work. I am not a fan of this option but I am a lazy sort.

If you are confident enough or want to take the time to do this, by all means! That’s great.

But again, choose what works for you.

Look. Speaking Chinese all the time (or as much as possible) is a lifestyle change.

It will be uncomfortable and awkward. And then it will become easier. And then it will be normal.

Before Cookie Monster (7) was born, I rarely spoke Chinese. I hadn’t really spoken Chinese on a daily and regular basis since I left for college at seventeen. That’s over a decade of not speaking or dealing with or thinking in Chinese.

So, when I had Cookie Monster, I figured I would just copy my parents and speak to him in Chinese and that’s how he would learn to speak and understand it.

I did not realize how difficult it would be.

First of all, I felt ridiculous speaking to my child at all since he was an infant.

Second, it was really hard to switch from over a decade of speaking and thinking predominantly in English to Chinese. It was really hard.

And who would blame me if I slipped up and stopped speaking in Chinese? It’s not like it was a cornerstone of good parenting. But it turns out that teaching Chinese to my kids is a super hardcore value of mine and eventually, it took over my whole life.

Now, I’m not saying you have to be like me and revolve your life around Chinese. But I am saying that it requires effort and intention and continual follow-through.

And now, seven years later, my Chinese vocabulary has expanded, my literacy has (mildly) improved, and speaking in Chinese to my children is like breathing.

To be honest, it is STILL hard. I am constantly looking up words and translations and yelling at my kids to speak in Chinese and to remind myself to speak Chinese during Chinese playdates with my mommy friends.

But overall, it is now a way of life. A conscious way of life, but completely doable and attainable.

It just takes time and consistency.

Speak to your kids in Chinese already. 

Suck It Up, Buttercup

I can’t believe 2016 is almost over. My Year of Risking Dangerously is almost at an end – and for the most part, unchanged since I last checked in at the end of August. (Well, with the exception of Sasquatch’s appearance. However, he doesn’t count exactly as a risk.)

Anyhow, since it is practically Thanksgiving (HOW HAS THIS HAPPENED?!), it has gotten me thinking about 2017 and what I would like my word or phrase to live by for next year to be. 

Yes, yes. These clichés are annoying when you see them as memes and repeated ad nauseam on Facebook, but hey. Who cares? 

It can be useful. 

So this year, I think I did a reasonably OK job and got myself a C in my year of Risk. (I am totally ok with this passing grade, BTW. I have to say it because I am trying to be more gracious with myself.)

And even if I am not entirely satisfied that I did all that I could, I still ended up doing more than what I would have. 

Does that even make sense at all?

Anyway

!

Last week, I was complaining to Dr. T about my inability to adult again (eg: paying medical bills on time, going through mail, cooking for the family, taking care of my responsibilities) and though she said I should cut myself some slack since I just had a baby (yay, baby!), she also said, (and I quote), that I just had to “suck it up.”

And so, after much thought, I have decided that 2017 is going to be The Year of Sucking It Up (aka: The Year of Being a Grown Up). 

What does that mean, exactly?

Welp, there are a lot of things that I have been wanting to do for myself and for the family but have been too lazy and procrastinaty to do. And really, the only thing for it is to just do them. 

So then. Here are my goals (thus far) for 2017:

1) Take family and personal health seriously. 

What does that look like concretely? 

Cook at least 5 meals a week. 

My kids are currently 1/3 chicken nugget, 1/3 pizza, and 1/3 whatever. I know eating and health habits are established when people are young humans. I would like my children to not have sludge for blood. 

Be active once a week. 

Yes, yes. Weak sauce. But currently one time more than I am doing currently. And let’s be real. I set a real low bar on the activity scale. This will do for me. 

Wash face and brush teeth twice daily. 

Omg. This is mortifying that this even has to be a goal. But, um, yeah. I will attempt to be a kempt human. 

Perhaps I should also add “Brush hair daily.”

Seriously. I have problems. 

Take vitamins and supplements. 

My body is falling apart. This could be a problem if I want to be alive to see my grandchildren. 

Go to sleep when the kids sleep at least 4 nights a week. 

Because I have a newborn. And I homeschool. And I have four children. 

I really shouldn’t be staying up late playing Two Dots or reading or writing or watching TV or Facebooking because lack of sleep makes me really, really grouchy. 

No texting while driving. 

Yeah. I know. I am a horrible human being. 

2) Take my responsibilities as a grown up seriously. 

This is sad that it even needs to be a goal. But be that as it may, these are the practical ways in which to manifest this “easy” goal. 

Pay bills, go through mail, do shit (eg: insurance reimbursements, opening accounts, any outstanding administrative tasks) ONCE a week. 

I would add more but FFS, this is enough to kill me. 

This actually should cut down on clutter (I am looking at YOU, dining table piled with paper). 

3) Write. 

Whatever I want to write – to WRITE. I did a good deal of it this year, I plan to continue it next year. 

This, of course, includes publishing an ebook by end of Q1. (Since I have totally put it off because I am lazy. I am 95% done. Just need to act like a big girl and do it.) 

It also includes writing for my blog (and perhaps other people’s blogs). I have tabled my goal of being internet famous for now. (Don’t get any ideas that I am somehow less narcissistic. I am just succumbing to the reality of NEW BABY.)

Will I be able to do this? Who knows? But Dr. T says to imagine how much happier I will be if I do end up doing some or all of these things. 

I am reminded of something I read on Wil Wheaton’s blog: Do one thing that will make your future self happy. 

Seems unnecessarily complicated regarding time travel, but the sentiment resonates. 

So, off we go, hurtling towards the future, one inevitable second at a time. If I even accomplish half of my goals, I will still be better than where I started. 

Who’s with me? What are you hurtling towards for 2017?