Turning it Over

I’m all on top of the new year goals/hopes thing that I do usually sometime in early February. The idea is not exactly to set goals that I can meet on my own steam, it’s more to express hopes that I can do something about, but need a little involvement from above to fully complete. I like to look at last year’s goals/hopes first, to see how they held up.

Take a sabbath every week.
I’ve been more or less successful at this. With the baby, my sabbath looks like about 90 minutes at a diner eating pancakes every Saturday. The weeks I missed going to pancakes were weeks we had company or Ben couldn’t watch the baby. Because of how much company we had this year, I’m now working on going out to pancakes (by myself) even if we do have people over.

Have a date night every week.
This one didn’t go as well. We did go on many dates, and probably a lot more than a typical couple with a new baby, but we’ll try to do better next year.

Exercise at least three times a week.
Nailed it. I went through Power 90 after my surgery, did about a month of P90X, and now I workout five or six days a week at the YWCA (which is awesome).

Write 500 new words five days a week.
I’ve averaged 565 words every weekday since March 21st, which is when I started writing again after the baby was born.

Sell 10,000 books.
Not even close. Sad, sad day. So far, none of my ideas to sell books have sold very many books, but luckily, I’m not out of ideas just yet. Onward ho.

So, kinda mixed results last year, but I’m still pretty proud of myself considering I was dealing a new baby and a small case of cancer. We’ll call it a win. Here’s what I’d like to try next year.

Finish the book I’m working on. I have a workable draft, and if I make good on Pearl’s naps, I think it might be doable.

Be able to play “Boston” by Augustana on the piano. Right now I’m working hard to pick out “twinkle twinkle,” so this is a big goal. But I have an awesome keyboard to practice on, and an even awesomer mother-in-law who I think might help me out.

Finish the YWCA indoor triathlon. For this I must learn how to swim a lap with some kind of efficiency or at least an itty bit of dignity. I don’t think my dog-paddle laps are going to cut it.

I will also be declining to weigh myself at all this year outside of the doctor’s office. Since it’s hard for me not to care about how much I weigh, I can help myself care less by not knowing how much I weigh. I want to stay in tune with my body and judge my health and fitness by how my body feels.

Sell some freakin’ books.

Spend as much time as I can with the most beautiful little girl in the world, who just happens to be my daughter. See the picture below for undeniable proof.

Pearl the Minnesotan Princess
Pearl the Minnesotan Princess

Sabbaths, date nights, and daily exercise are still a thing, they are just incorporated enough into my regular life that I don’t feel like they need a resolution of their own.

Luck vs. Blessing

I got very lucky with my baby. I was worried before giving birth that I wouldn’t be able to be around another person all the time, much less a demanding baby. Pearl is relatively easy to be around, and creates much more joy than inconvenience.

It’s easy to feel like we’re just lucky, like it is by sheer chance that Pearl is so happy. It’s more politically correct to view the situation that way. It would be judgmental of me to say that Pearl is happy because I’m such an amazing mom, or because I breastfeed, or because we used this or that sleep training program. And if I say that Pearl is this way because God intentionally chose to bless us with this happy person in our lives, what does that say about women who have more challenging infants?

The problem with viewing Pearl as luck is that luck is so easily broken. Because of my continuing cancer treatment, I’ll have to stop nursing Pearl in a few months. What upsets me most about this development is that I’m afraid it will upset our balance. If I can’t nurse Pearl, maybe she’ll stop being so happy. Maybe without that comfort, I won’t be able to get her to sleep at night anymore. Maybe our bonding will fade and she’ll feel unsettled and frightened. Maybe our luck will break.

As controversial as it may be, I choose to believe that Pearl and her happiness are blessings from God. A blessing doesn’t break so easily. If God intended our lives to be peaceful and happy, that peace and happiness will endure the weather. If it is God’s doing that has brought my life to this moment, I can continue to ask him for what I need or want and hope that he will hear and respond. I can hope that God means to bless my life, and that those blessings will endure beyond any curse, even cancer. I can believe that light will make the darkness flee, even at sunset.