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Closing Out 2013

Did you know that even at the start of 2013 I kept thinking it was 2014? I even wrote it at the end of last year’s post and then went back and edited. My goals for myself in 2013 were short and sweet. I knew that the year was bringing an addition to the family and a lot of my day to day was going to be wrapped up in Gabe, so I didn’t want to start piling on the unattainable. I gave myself a bit of a break. Making a human and keeping him alive seemed (and was at times) pretty overwhelming.

So! I wanted to keep all of that in perspective and I focused on:

  1. Doing 1 thing just for me. (Score!)
  2. Feel good about my body by Christmas. (Yay!)

Going into 2014 I need to sift through a) the long term goals, things I want to be able to put on a yearly to-do list, but can’t at the moment (like plant a garden, take a skills class, refine my French, go to Italy) b) super short term goals (like find a daycare, move, unpack, get settled, get a JOB, etc) that are very much on my mind but are things that will happen during my every day life without extra thoughtful effort and c) the medium length goals that are attainable within a years time, specifically this next year. What are those? What do I want for myself? What will help me grow as me? What will help me become a better person? What challenges can I set up for myself?

Well… first, I want to get my writing back on track. I gave myself a reprieve while I juggled a new human, but now it is time to stop messing around. Part of my issue is that I do not feel inspired. There have been times in my life where I have too many stories piling up inside myself and picking just one seemed so disappointing to the others. At the moment, though, I am empty. Absolutely dried up of stories. So I signed up for Alice Bradley’s “A Year of Writing” course. Every week I will be sent readings, prompts, etc. And I’ve worked out with Kamel that every week (I think it will be Tuesday evening, but that is still TBD) I get 1 evening where I am off baby duty and get 2 hours to myself to work and think and make pretend worlds happen. I am planning on not missing a week (unless for travel, a sick child, or some unforeseen disaster). I’ll be keeping track.

I’m also planning on attending AWP (which happens to be in Seattle this year!) with the ever lovely Margaret!

Second, I want to take a trip away with just Kamel. We are planning a trip to Maine in the summer, but because of all of the moving shenans we have not been able to lock it down like I hoped we would by now. So, if it isn’t Maine, I want it to be at least somewhere, for at least a long weekend.

Third, and sort of on the same vein, I want to be better about using willing friends and family as babysitters for Gabe. I have no issues leaving him with others, but I do have incredible guilt about burdening others while I am totally capable of taking care of him. I feel guilty asking for a date night from even those who have offered. I thought it would be better now that we are in Seattle, but … it’s not. I need to get over it. I know that it makes me a better mom and a better Lauren to have time away, and I know that it is the best thing ever for my marriage to have time away with Kamel. So, I’m working on it.

And I think that’s it! Aside from getting a new job, settling in, and all of the other normal things. What are you working on? How do you want things to change or stay the same in 2014? What do you want for yourself? What do you not want? What did you accomplish in 2013 off your to do list?

Oh, and of course! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

17 Comments

  1. I could have written the paragraph about babysitters, we have so many offers of help and yet we still feel guilty everytime (well the 1 time) we take someone up on that offer. In 2014, I’m going to accept this help because like you said it will make us better parents!

  2. Yes! AWP! I’m pretty excited. I may go and look at the GIANT list of panels and discussions, now, though who knows how I’ll ever figure out how to attend everything I want to.

    I am ALSO super pumped to see your new place and see Kamel and Gabe, too (HI BOYS!).

  3. Happy new year! I have that feeling too, that sometimes I am a fountain of stories and sometimes there are just no good ones to be had. New ones will come, and that class sounds really good. I hope it inspires you!

  4. Oh hey, I’m going to AWP, too! I am both excited and nervous.

    I love that you’ve already set a night aside for writing. So smart. I may steal that idea from you.

    2014….I want to work on my running and become a better runner. I want to figure out how to edit/revise effectively. I want to figure out the right balance for myself between hermit and doing ALL THE THINGS, so I don’t end up totally wiped at the end of the year (hello, 2013…)

    • If you need help revising, I would be more than happy to look over sections etc etc!

      • So sweet of you! I may take you up on that….when it’s at a point that I’m not totally embarrassed by it :P

  5. Who are you? Whoa am I? What is happening? Good questions. I will get back to you on that :)

    Willing babysitters and date night: good goal, pick me!

    Goals for this year:
    -get into grad school or start taking classes at UW, whichever works out
    -trip to Mexico (or somewhere tropical) with L. Weeee.
    -making thursday evenings as set aside for workouts. Having a buddy to keep me accountable is going to be helpful, but maybe equally annoying, me thinks.
    -do my dishes more regularly. I dread them.
    -start up ballet again on mondays, at least 1 8 week session per season
    -read more fiction

    Hold me to this?

    ps: refining our french! I’m down! Let’s do it!

    • Those are amazing goals!! Working out! YAY! Ballet! YAY! School! Exciting!!

    • Having a workout buddy is both the best and worst thing that has happened to my running ;)

  6. I’ve never been much for new year’s resolutions, but I like your idea much much better! Reflect on what’s important and actually make a point to MAKE those things the real important things in your life, rather than the little things we get wrapped up in day after day. I’ve been mulling over similar ideas the last couple days for my own upcoming blog post, and remembered that just a couple weeks ago I erroneously wrote “2012″ as the current year…clearly I’m not ready for 2014?! Welp, this gives me…less than 14 hours to get myself ready I suppose!

    • I always hated resolutions – they always seemed like such a joke as a kid, a cliche that everyone was doomed to fail. Somehow these goals for the year help me to be mindful and work out so much better! Plus they make me happy instead of making me feel like a looooooooooser.

  7. Goals for this year:

    1. Be debt free! For reals this time. I was so close in 2013, but then we moved… haha

    2. Be fit! Again, so close in 2013, but then the holiday/move madness began.

    3. Be completely 100% unpacked and moved in to our new apartment!
    a. This means, no left over boxes. No crap we don’t need stored away. Everything setup as final (no loose wires, no half assed lighting, framing, art setups, etc.)

    4. Finish at least 10 games from my backlog. Games released in 2014 do not count.

    5. Watch at least 10 of my already owned movies. New movies bought in 2014 do not count.

  8. This is attempt 4 at responding so I’m resorting to bullet points

    So happy for all your happenings!

    My 2014 looks like your 2013
    -doing 1 thing for myself (hopefully the Illinois women’s ultimate reunion game in April)

    Leaving babies more. But sitters are $$$$$$! And my parents and a brother are both walking distance and no one offers to come play with them, so be thankful you have lots of offers!!!

    I want to start running again and do another half marathon.

    Travel w kids on a mini vacay

    Put house numbers on our house so people know where we live instead of passing it every time

    Cheers!!!

  9. Yaaay! I’m so excited that you’re prioritizing your writing. So important to have space/time to be creative.

    Re. offers of babysitting — I *love* it when my parent friends take me up on babysitting offers. Jason and I are getting more excited at the prospect of having our own kids, but there are so many things we need to get in order before that happens (finding [and affording OMG] a slightly bigger place, me getting further on my dissertation, etc. etc.) that it is seriously a treat to get to spend time with babies and toddlers. Remember that your friends and family love you and love Gabe and it’s good for everyone if you and Kamel can get alone time together!

  10. All the best wishes to you, Kamel and little Gabe. Know that if you “cross the pond” you have babysitters over here too, while you travel around (seriously!).
    As for 2014… the main thing is going to be finally meeting our little girl, and then figuring everything out, sleep, keeping her alive, and all those things I can’t even think of now.
    And hopefully I will get my drivers’ license too (Since the Mexican does not work over here).
    We also want to go back home as we did not go this year…. and we’ll see, but I am feeling the new year full of surprises!

  11. I wish I lived closer (or you know, in the same country) so I could come over and babysit for you, because you just know I would show up and shoo you guys out of the house and not take no for an answer so you could go to the freaking movies or out for a nice dinner :) people with no babies who love babies (well, me, anyway) LOVE LOVE LOOOOOOVE looking after other people’s babies! I consider it a privilege and a joy when I get to babysit my friends’ kids. I hope that hearing this helps with your guilt! And I wish I could come visit you guys and Gabe again. Hoping to come to Seattle in July… we’ll see! xx

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. A Year Of Writing: Month 1 | I'm Better in Real Life - […] as mentioned before, I’m taking an online “class” of sorts with Alice Bradley. She writes very funny […]
  2. The Space Between Rest and Race | I'm Better in Real Life - […] Anyways, so the year is half gone. Poof. And I’ve been thinking about the goals I’ve set for myself …

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Who the hell is she?


Lauren

I am a writer living in Seattle and I believe that life is a grand adventure and only boring if you believe it to be. Plus! You don't need money to have fun.

I live with my husband, a photographer by education and a maker-of-video-games by trade, and a baby named gabe in an apartment on the hill.

I am romantic about most things and I cry... about almost anything. I tell stories to entertain you, I spread stories to keep you in the loop. I am not a grammar freak, but I do know how to spell it. I am exceedingly proud of my scrambled eggs and I really could eat an entire pan of cupcakes. If I met me, I would be my best friend. I tend to be irreverent.

If you would like to chat with me or see what else I'm up to you can follow me on Twitter (betterinrealife), on facebook, or email me at betterinrealife at gmail.


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