03 January 2014

SQTF 71: 2014

2014. Goodness. I look at that number, and am startled to realize how many New Year's Eves I can remember. A century ago, our lives would be half over by the time we were this old! What a morbid first thought about the new year, isn't that? I'm not actually unhappy about 2013 ending, really; just feeling thoughtful. Last year was a good one, all in all: Matt was hired as a regular employee by the university instead of just working for grants, and Little Bear was mostly healthy and learned and grew so much.

We used Jen's saint name generator to pick a family patron saint for 2014, and I'm so glad that we got St Isaac Jogues! I used to know much more about him than I can currently remember, so I suppose I have some research to do now. I do remember that he's one of the early Jesuit martyrs of North America, and I think he had something to do with St Kateri Tekakwitha's conversion...? Maybe? Full details when I get my act together and read up on him.

We had a wonderful Christmas break--it's so nice that Matt gets several days off from the university every year! A good friend came up for a week's visit and got to experience winter in Alaska... We had a couple of frigid days when he first got in, but by Sunday it had warmed up here and cooled down in Minnesota so much that it was actually much pleasanter here! He and Matt made a quick road trip down to Eagle River, outside of Anchorage, to visit another friend who is stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. They got some beautiful photos; it was so funny to see their photos looking north toward Mt McKinley instead of south! It's great that the mountain was out for their drive, though; it's said that fewer than 20% of visitors actually see McKinley while they are in Alaska, because the peak is so often shrouded in clouds.

Last year may have been the first that I actually committed new year's resolutions to paper---with the caveat that I had no illusions that I would really accomplish them---and I probably forgot what they were within the first week, but... let's see how I did anyway.

Get back in shape. Well, if by this I meant "get back down to my ideal weight," I did it! I'm not really in much better shape than I was a year ago, though, since I lost all of the weight by not eating anything for a week and a half after getting my wisdom teeth out instead of by exercising. This year: Matt and I have agreed to get a membership at the campus gym, even though it's dreadfully expensive, because we simply aren't getting enough exercise any other way, and it's important, and hopefully we will feel guilty about spending so much on a membership and that'll spur us to get there a couple of times a week!

Stop using bad logic. Oh, how I laughed when I saw this one. The example I gave last year of bad logic is word-for-word the same as the explanation I gave Matt just the other day for why I can't get in shape: "There are Christmas cookies in my house. I cannot get back in shape until the cookies are gone. Clearly, I should eat all of the cookies so that I can get back in shape." This year: Not even trying. I don't think I use this kind of bad logic about serious/important things, so I'm just going to accept that sometimes I say ridiculous things. It's part of who I am.

Be more social. Um, a little bit? I still really only see Matt in the evenings, my family one evening a week for dinner, and Matt's parents on Skype on Sunday afternoons, and I still grumble occasionally about feeling isolated. Last summer I was pretty good about going for walks with friends and their kids once a week or so, though, and we have had a few people over this fall/winter. Little Bear  is super fussy and clingy when other people are around, and I know that that means that we should do it more often rather than less, but it makes it so much less pleasant! This year: Keep trying, I guess. Maybe we will try to make it to at least one of the first and third Friday homeschooling families' potlucks after the noon Mass at my parents' parish each month. And there are three or four families with little kids at the university parish right now, and the priest last week brought up the possibility of family catechesis once a month after Mass, so if that winds up happening that'd be another good thing to become involved in.

Not terrible, especially given that I didn't remember that I'd resolved to work on those things! For this year, I have: Get back in shape; actually in shape, by exercising, and Make more of an effort to interact with other adults. Since those are both carry-overs from last year, and since I'm planning to build things into my schedule to make it hard to avoid accomplishing them (gym membership, parish commitments), I should probably add one more: Work on caring less about what others think of me, particularly in terms of my being a good wife, homemaker, and mother. I know it's easy, especially for women, to assume that others are looking down on us or judging us simply because they do things differently than we do. And I acknowledge that I'm particularly bad about worrying about what others might think: knowing that someone will be stopping by the following morning typically means that I'll spend the evening scrubbing the kitchen walls and sweeping behind the washing machine just because I "have" to make sure everything is "perfect" and they won't think I'm a terrible hausfrau. That's crazy. Who is going to check behind the washing machine? Who doesn't get lint behind their washing machine? I should work on that. Also on not letting lint fall behind the washing machine, because it's kind of a fire hazard, but that's not really worth being a resolution...

When are you celebrating Epiphany this year? I've mostly reconciled myself to the modern fad of moving the observance of so many feasts to the nearest Sunday, but moving Epiphany? No way. Christmas is twelve days long, and moving Epiphany this year take away the last day of Christmas! How can you have a Twelfth Night party when there are only eleven nights? You can't. We will go to Mass and hear the Epiphany readings on Sunday, of course, but I'm making the king cake and we are celebrating on Monday.

Head over to Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!

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