So 2013 wasn’t my year of blogging. I only managed 4 posts. Instead, I was busy living (and very much enjoying) life. Last night, we pushed through the jet lag (we only landed back from London on the 30th) and spent the evening with some of our favorite friends. It was nice to have a low-key evening (especially since we weren’t entirely sure we’d stay awake until midnight), while also enjoying the company of others, since we spent the two previous years celebrating on our own (which we also enjoyed).
Once again, I am reflecting on the resolutions I made last year and thinking about my goals for the coming 12 months. While I can definitely say 2013 was a wonderful year, how’d I do by the resolutions?
Re-establish routines. Some new routines (like actually showering every day rather than sitting around in yoga pants half the time) naturally developed when I started working again in February. Unfortunately other routines (like getting back into running or general gym activity) didn’t quite develop the regularity I maintained in London. San Diego also feels less conducive to walking than our former home, but in the last few months, Mark and I have started going on shorter (2-4 mile) walks in our new ‘hood. More often than not, we just walk up the hill to Starbucks, grab coffee, and come back to get ready for work. Other days, we have a meandering stroll throughout Tierrasanta. Since resuming work and moving into our new home, my cooking has also become less regular. We’re finding ourselves dining out a couple times a week, which I’d really like to scale back (especially since I already eat non-homemade food for lunch 5 days a week at work).
Eat for health (not for vanity or impulse). This has also been a mixed bag. As noted above, I’m not cooking quite as much as I used to, and eating out tends to be (and make me feel) less healthy. The biggest food struggle I’ve had this year has been work-related. I love the perk of free lunch, and don’t really want to pass it up. Unfortunately, where we eat any given day is nondeterministic (it’s chosen on the fly by whoever was the first to arrive in office). We have some weeks full of yummy, filling salads, but others include multiple days of Mexican food. While yummy, it’s caused me to gain back half a stone (7-ish lbs) I lost before leaving London. Since I don’t snack often, and our at-home dinners typically consist of some sort of grilled fish/meat and lots of salads and veggies, I never really had to think about what I was eating and never felt guilty about indulgences when I had a standard breakfast (eggs, berries & coffee) and lunch (veggies and grilled chicken with lemon). Now, with more indulgent lunches, more meals out, and less walking, I feel less healthy and my jeans have become more snug. On the up-side, I have remained fairly gluten- and lactose-free, which has helped me feel better than years past. Also, my recent annual physical revealed I’m still in good health, aside from my cholesterol having increased a little since last year (though still very much at a healthy level).
Find a job I enjoy (or make peace with being a housewife). This happened. I feel so fortunate to have found a job early last year that I love. I genuinely like my coworkers, respect and admire my boss, feel valued and fulfilled, and also feel like I am working on my own terms. For the first time in a long time (or maybe ever), I regularly look forward to going to work. When our recent holiday to England came to an end, rather than lamenting the need to go back to work, I looked forward to resuming routine and getting back to hanging out with my coworkers during the week while doing something productive. Mr. O is also enjoying his professional life more than ever, so it’s nice to be able to cheer each other’s professional successes
Explore our new ‘home’. I feel like we did this pretty well, but that there’s always more to see. We did a nice bit of So Cal exploration, with our trip to Palm Springs and two trips to LA. We also started exploring and going out downtown (especially thanks to my new job, which is located downtown). We explored more of San Diego and its surrounding areas while house hunting. Friends organized regular beach days (including BBQs), prompting us to enjoy the ocean even more and finally take a dip in the Pacific for the first time since moving here.
Be assertive about my wants. Sometimes this takes a little time for me to do (mostly because I’m not good at identifying my needs or before feeling frustrated or run down). However, Mark and I did a nice reshuffle of the ‘family chores’, and I generally feel things are more balanced now. Mark has become more proactive at taking on tasks, and I think we’re trending toward a nice balance. Since I’m working (and therefore earning) again, we’ve also built in more ‘fun allowance’ to our budget, allowing for a little extra splurging (read: new iPad Mini and some new clothes).
Also during 2013, we:
– Bought a new home (and enjoyed watching it be built from the ground up), moved in, finished decorating, hosted a couple parties, and started meeting our neighbors.
– Made some really amazing friends (admittedly some we met in late 2011) and now feel like we have a really awesome (and nicely diverse) social network here in San Diego
– Travelled a little. We scaled back from our insane 2012 travels, but did visit Chicago & Buffalo, Cabo San Lucas (Mexico), and the UK in addition to the trips around So Cal.
Reflecting on the year, it feels less like a year of big, bucketlist-style to do’s, and more a year of enjoying life and feeling increasingly happy and enriched… and I’m happy with that. For 2014, my list of goals/resolutions is brief, but meaningful:
– Exercise more. My goal is 3-4x/week, including long walks with Mr. O and gym sessions/yoga.
– Resume cooking regularly & figure out how to balance the convenience of free lunch at work with being & feeling healthy. This may involve a combination of adding a green smoothie to breakfast (to make me more full/less likely to eat the big portions we sometimes get) and bringing my old standby (veggies and chicken) to eat on days we order from ‘heavier’ places.
– Become a ‘good manager’. I was recently promoted to manage a team of people on the trading floor and tasked with improving some processes at work. I’d like to be the kind of manager I admire – one that enables and guides my team while allowing them to feel autonomous and motivated. It may be a challenge initially, with no structure or process currently in place, but if I can nail it, it would be a huge accomplishment and very rewarding personally and professionally.
– Grow our family. Yup, Mark and I are starting to feel ‘ready’ to reproduce. With me turning 30 in July, it feels like a good year to start our journey to parenthood. We’ve seen our friends take almost every imaginable path to parenthood – some who got pregnant right away and others who suffered miscarriages or fertility issues and spent years trying to conceive. I have no idea where this journey will take us or how long it will take, but I (possibly naively) believe we are as prepared as possible as both individuals and a couple to handle whatever comes our way.