Saturday, January 15, 2011


One of the most inspirational people in my life (other than my mother) is my dear friend, "W", who I have known since we were sorority sisters in college.  As college kids we shared a lot of the same plights: wanting to meet boys, wanting to fit in, wanting to figure out a path in life, wanting to attain a better figure, etc.  While I gradually found my way post-school into my career in Planning/Zoning and eventually met my husband and settled down, it took her a little longer to find herself and be happy.

Fast forward to the last few years, and she has turned into the most incredibly amazing woman.  She is an FBI agent, and is part of a very exclusive "team" therein which I will not specify out of her need for anonymity, she had the sense to request assignment to sunny Florida, met and married her wonderful sweet husband, has a beautiful house with an amazing backyard pool "oasis" in a fabulous neighborhood, and they now have two absolutely priceless twin baby boys in their lives.  

She has always been the pinnacle of organization.  When we shared an apartment for a year after college, her area was always spotless and just so, and I used to drive her literally UP THE WALL with my much sloppier habits in comparison, especially when it came to leaving dirty dishes around.  Later, after the birth of my son she came to visit and she and my mom spent an entire afternoon trying to organize my house with all the new baby stuff and getting the nursery set up while I napped off my stressed out and sleep deprived haze.  The things she/they did definitely helped get a better handle on things, too.  About a year later when she again came to visit we had just gotten through some really rough family-wise illness in the middle of the winter, and it was so tough on us we were in a bit of a funk.  She pulled me together and suggested that no matter what kind of chaos I was undergoing and trying or not able to keep up with, that if I would just make the bed every morning and keep the bedroom tidy, at least that would be one restful spot on the house and it would gradually spread.  Organization is key to mental restfulness.  Do you know that to this day 4 or so years later I have made my bed every day since?  And gradually, as we've gotten a better handle on things, and especially as our house is in currently in "showing" condition, it truly is a reality that tidiness=peacefulness.

So, now that she is a new mother of twins, I had told her I would visit her as soon as she wanted/needed me to pay back the love and support she had given me as a new mother.  She's sounded pretty together this whole time on the phone, even with the boys being born early and spending a month in the hospital.  So, here I am to visit, and I am stunned:  even with having two new babies in the house, in addition to 4 cats and a husband, she has it completely together.  And I mean, COMPLETELY.  There is not one speck of dirt and not one thing out of place.  The kids rooms are organized, the play areas are organized, the kitchen is tidy and immaculate, and even though she and her husband are juggling the pair of them and frequent feedings, etc., she absolutely puts every single thing in its exact rightful place the second she is done with it.  Their house looks like it could go on the market with 15 minutes' notice, no exaggeration!!  In addition, she has lost enough of her baby weight that if I hadn't seen pictures I'd never believe she had given birth recently, never mind that they were twins.  She is completely put together, too, with cute hair and makeup.  The house in in perfect shape, as well, no projects "waiting to be done", she does all that kind of stuff immediately, and she knows how to fix everything from plumbing to electrical work to carpentry to cars.  I am totally in awe.  She is relaxed, happy, and efficient.  It truly makes me want to better myself as a person and live my life like that, with a perpetually organized and efficient life.  At a healthy weight.  Something to strive for, with an example of how seemingly easy it can be!

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Nine Hour Weekend

Well, ok, nine hours on Sunday plus an evening with friends on Saturday, but truly it only felt like the weekend started at 4:30 on Sunday afternoon. Hence why I am awake in the wee hours of the morning Monday, because I just couldn't bear to have it be any shorter than necessary.  We had our house shown a bunch of times on Saturday and an then an open house on Sunday.  Well attended for a change, thankfully.  And I'm just now getting through all the laundry and stuff for the week as a result.  Missed most of the football games, just caught the highlights.  Have a four day workweek coming up, which normally would sound like a good thing, but I'm a little busy/behind in my work right now, am fighting off a sinus infection for which I need to visit my doc, and it's supposed to snow on Tuesday, all of which could disrupt the week into being even a little bit shorter.  And the added stress of still having the house stuff up in the air and stealing our relaxing at home time that we badly needed is driving me/us to the crack point.  I guess the good thing is that I will not be home this weekend, so although I won't be home I will get some time to relax, to myself, in a warmer place...

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Different Kind of New Year

Every single year since I can remember, I have made New Years' Resolutions.  Sometimes they are broad, like "Take Better Care of Myself" and sometimes they are more specific, like "Lose X Pounds by X Date".  But I have always been motivated by a chance for a fresh start, a new Monday, a new month, and the first Monday following New Year's has always been the mother load.

This year is different.  I have three resolutions, of sorts.  The first two are rather concrete, and a little bit of a departure for me.  The first is "Get an in person sight/smell of the ocean at least once a month." Why?  Because it is my happy place, my zen core, and I feel healed and renewed every time I encounter it.  I have a concrete and realistic plan for this, with a little help from my parents' beach house and a friend in FL.  The second Resolution is also quite concrete- "Run or compete in at least one physical event per month."  I also have a plan for achieving this for most of the months, although January is going to be a little dicey.  There's only one event I'm interested in and I'm not sure yet if I'll be free.  But I'm registered for events in February and March, and have plenty of planned options for April and beyond.

The third is kind of my usual deal, but is already shaping up differently.  I want to take better care of myself, like I often aspire to, and part of that is achieving my weight loss and fitness/health goals.  This is especially important to me in this year of turning the big 4-0.  But even before the new year turned over I was already resigned to a couple of things on this front.  One, I am mentally not in a place to be trying hard-core diet programs right now.  Our house is on the market, and adding that to my already full plate of mommyhood, work being fairly busy, etc. has me maxed out mentally.  Two, every year this "all or nothing with a deadline" approach has consistently and reliably failed.

So, I am actively pursuing the first two concrete resolutions.  And the third?  Well, I am thinking about ways to take better care of myself, and I am working up to the kind of healthy eating I want to be doing. I am trying to reduce any unnecessary obligations, and focus my time on the stuff and people that are important to me.  I do hope that I will be able to make some progress before all of the milestones I have coming up, and it would help a whole freaking lot if we could sell our house and get to buy and move into the one we want and be done with it.  But mentally I am in a whole different place than usual, and maybe being forced to sneak up on this goal gradually instead of boxing myself into a "diet" plan and schedule will actually help, for a change.