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

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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?

Scattershot

My mind is totally everywhere right now and while I’m sure each individual thought is snowflake-esque and definitely brilliant material enough to generate a post of its own because I am a font of hilarity, alas, it is not to be.

And so you, Dear Reader, are forced to read only half germinated thoughts and be satisfied with being genius adjacent versus actual witnesses.

Anyway…

Here then is another one of my lists of random thoughts. You’re welcome.

1) I have been super cranky with the kids lately. So much so that even Hapa Papa thinks I’ve gone a bit nuts. (He particularly thinks it’s bad that I’ve stopped caring about swearing in front of the kids. My thinking is, that ship has long sailed away.)

2) I’m really enjoying my “looser” schedule for this homeschooling year. Still a lot of crap and driving – but much easier than last year and I better remember to keep all that “empty” space open. Easier to homeschool when there is actually time to do so.

3) I’m about 6 weeks out from Induction Wednesday.

I thought it was going to be Induction Tuesday. I am beyond sad that Induction Day has been pushed back an entire 24 hours.

Look. Obviously, I know that babies are better growing on the inside of my uterus. No lectures about any prenatal health, etc. This is my FOURTH kid. Keep your scintillating knowledge to yourself. I likely have read it at least a hundred million times.

HOWEVER.

I’m at that point where I really no longer wish to be pregnant.

I am constantly in a state of discomfort. (In fact, I think I’ve been uncomfortable almost every single day of this pregnancy.) And truthfully, I have had a very easy and uneventful pregnancy (as were my other three).

Obviously, super grateful for healthy babies and pregnancies and all this healthy stuff.

AND STILL.

I look like I swallowed a basketball.

Everything hurts.

I am ALWAYS uncomfortable.

I want to be unpregnant.

4) Of course, then I remember that to be unpregnant, I will have a newly minted NEWBORN in my life again. Which, although lovely and wonderful and yay for new baby smell and potential new fat baby snarfing, OMG WHAT HAVE WE DONE WE ARE THE STUPIDEST OF HUMANS WE HAVE RUINED EVERYTHING.

I mean, um, YAY BABIES!

5) Seriously. WTF HAVE WE DONE?

6) Oh, and remember when I mentioned that my vagina constantly feels like it has something stuck in it? According to my OB/GYN, that is totally normal because my vaginal tissues are swollen and full of blood because of this pregnancy – and each pregnancy increases the swelling. So, the reason my vagina feels full? IT IS. FULL OF THE BLOODS.

You’re welcome for that fun factoid.

7) When my mom comes by and takes all three kids out to dinner and they come back fed and happy and tired and slightly wired from froyo?

AWESOME.

8) Even better when I’m not home when they come back and Hapa Papa bathes them and puts them into bed and I come home after consuming unholy amounts of boba and beef stroganoff (I was on a mission today to get some and get some I did) and hanging out with a friend and all I have to do is look at their angelic sleeping faces.

That is the only time they are still, angelic, or silent.

9) Baby4 better be an extrovert or they’re going to have a rough go in this family. Because for realz, there is NEVER silence. They will NEVER be alone. It seems cruel to bring an introvert into the house.

10) Speaking of boba, I was at my local boba place and clearly, I wandered back in time to when every single asshole Asian dude I remember hating in college was in the parking lot showing off their shitty sports cars.

Sorry. Just because your Kia Rio has fancy lights on the outside does not make it cool. Or hot. Or sexy. It makes you sad.

11) That said, I suppose it’s rude to judge people by their outward appearances. And prejudiced. And really, why can’t I let them live? Who cares if they like to show off sub-par cars or the cars their parents bought them? What’s it to me?

Nothing. Nothing at all.

But I still judge. Because FFS.

12) I take an inordinate amount of pleasure in denying people membership to Facebook groups when they do not follow the very simple and specific directions I post as an admin.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before.

It bears repeating.

I know. I’m petty. No one is surprised.

13) I’ve been MIA from blogging because I have been busy working on my ebook that I want to get out before Baby4 shows up (at which point, everything will grind to a halt). I’m at the 90% point but definitely at the point where all the low hanging fruit has been picked and everything left is either hard or tedious.

I WILL FINISH THIS OR DIE TRYING.

14) Ok. Maybe not die.

15) When I start online shopping, I shop like I’m trying to win an award or something for most things purchased in short order and without much consideration.

I really should stop doing that.

16) My awesome Black & Decker handheld vacuum that I got for $25 years and years ago died today. I felt my soul cry. Then I had a soul cry that I had a soul cry about it.

17) What’s that you say? Just replace it?

I am. But it is no longer $25. It is considerably more.

This just compounds the soul cry.

18) Ever since I’ve cut down on my kids’ screen time, they play together a lot more and play with our toys a lot more. I know it’s obvious but why do I always forget?

19) I am always thirsty.

20) Corollary: I am always peeing.

21) According to Hapa PapaGlow Worm has seen lots of zombie related videos because he is often pretending to be a zombie. He also pretends to EAT YOUR INTESTINES.

Glow Worm is three.

We win at parenting.

22) When I was showering with Gamera the other day, she pointed to my nipples and asked why they were like the nipples on the goats they milked the other day. She said mine were the same color just not as long.

I blathered something about mammals and milk.

I tried not to laugh and despair simultaneously.

23) Then, Glow Worm decided he wanted milk from my breasts. I thought he would nurse so I said, go ahead. He said he was scared. I told him there was nothing to be scared about.

He came to me and squeezed really hard on my breast. Then, he said, “Not working!” when no milk came out.

He nursed for over 2.5 years and clearly has no memory whatsoever of the experience.

Apparently mammary glands (mine, specifically) were the educational topic of the day. Homeschooling WIN.

24) I really want to see every Daniel Wu movie ever made because he is so hot and even more so now that he is in his 40s.

Oh, who am I kidding? I rarely watch films because I am so lazy. (You have to be a special type of lazy to be too lazy to WATCH a MOVIE.)

I will just stare at pics of him on the internetz instead.

25) I currently sound like a person who smokes two packs a day. I’ve been fighting a sore throat on and off for about a week. Nothing terrible and the essential oils have been helping. But I still sound like Selma on The Simpsons.

26) I always have the most fun with these types of posts because I indulge in pretty much every non sequitur comment that passes through my brain because I find it funny.

Yeah, I said it. I’m my own biggest fan.

Alright. I think I have burbled on enough and will let you lovely people carry on with your Mondays. Have a great day.

Checking In on My Year of Risking Dangerously

I briefly mentioned it in Monday’s blog, but a college friend recently approached me to ask me about blogging. He wanted to know how to make money with the blog, increasing visibility and readership, how to make his blog better, and general advice (like writing) for his blog.

I had a really great time discussing the business side’s minutiae and dispensing advice.

Ok. I won’t lie.

I LOVE dispensing advice regardless of the topic. I am definitely my own favorite echo chamber.

But anyhow, after texting with him over the course of several days, it reminded me of my lofty goals at the beginning of the year and kinda lit a fire in me again.

Now, I’m not saying that my goals are now exactly the same because, HI BABY4! But I didn’t want a pregnancy and subsequent new life form to be an excuse. (Even though it’s been a very handy excuse.)

As a result, I thought I would check in on my Year of Risking Dangerously and see how I was doing.

So, here are a few things I mentioned that I wanted to accomplish this year, as well as some goals I had written for myself in my planner.

1) Become “internet famous.”

I’m not sure how to gauge this exactly. I definitely haven’t gone viral or won any awards or taken the internet by storm.

However, in my little niche of Mandarin stuff (you like that technical term?), I seem to be “famous” enough. And although it’s not the same as going viral on HuffPo, it’s acceptable to me.

Of course, if HuffPo comes calling, I’m not gonna object. So, you know. Get to working, internet.

2) Submit my work to online publishers.

I was pretty good with this the first few months of the year.

I pitched Postpartum Progress and they published an article of mine on How to Get the Most Out of Your Therapist

I was interviewed at Moms and Biz about Chinese homeschooling and loved my two minutes of fame. 

I also submitted to a few other places, and although it’s technically not an online publisher, I auditioned for Listen to Your Mother and made their San Francisco cast. (You can see the video and read the transcript here.)

So, even though I didn’t do much else after that due to my extreme fatigue, I am satisfied. I may get my act together enough to submit a few more articles, but truthfully, I probably won’t.

I am content to hold off for now (unless I start getting some second or third wind).

3) Create and publish ebooks from my Chinese (and other) series.

I have TOTALLY dropped the ball on this. Like, completely.

I deluded myself into thinking that I would do this during my Taiwan trip, but mostly, I just focused on eating my own weight in shaved ice.

However, after talking to my friend, I am newly re-inspired.

So, I will definitely try and make this happen before the end of the year. (Heck, even if it means squeaking in just under the wire or right at the new year.)

Of course, to get it out in time, I have to let go of my perfectionistic tendencies and maybe not have the ebook be as completely re-written as I’d hoped.

But sometimes, good enough is still good enough.

4) Create material for and launch my own YouTube channel and series. Start a podcast.

Total fail.

I did record some videos, but I don’t think this will realistically happen this year or the next. UNLESS I stop caring about the “professional” look of the videos and just post whatever. Like, Facebook Live quality types of videos.

We’ll see.

Otherwise, I’m content to let this go for the next year or so and wait until Baby4 is a little older.

5) Take myself seriously by owning my talents/abilities/influence and acting like a professional.

Although it did not quite manifest in the ways I originally had in mind (such as starting a newsletter, revamping the website, making it more businessy by getting sponsors or ads), I did start participating more in online communities, subscribing to blogs and Facebook pages and interacting more with the writers.

Also, I’m not sure what it is exactly, but my personal attitude about my writing and abilities has shifted. For some reason, I no longer feel embarrassed (not even sure if that’s the right word) about blogging.

Instead, I’m confident in my writing and my voice.

I don’t know how it happened, but I like it.

So, I give myself a C. I did well on certain tasks, but others, I completely failed. It kind of averages out, right?

Ok. My brain is mush. Introspection apparently hurts me. But thanks for reading anyway! We’ll see if my sudden surge in energy is going to last long enough for me to get things done to my satisfaction.

Otherwise, I’m ok with letting things go.

See you Friday!