So Basically It’s A Camp For Semi-Introverted Adults Who Believe In Magic.
An unmistakable look of panic overtook her facial features as she put a hand to her throat and ran towards the bathroom.
I dropped whatever it was I’d been holding, maybe a fork or a priceless crystal heirloom, and the three of us who’d been abandoned at the table ran after her shouting senseless things like, “Are you okay?” and “Should we call an ambulance?” and “I don’t have an EpiPen!”
It’s possible I was actually the only one shouting these things while Jason, my sister’s fiancé, raced to her side and Justin, who’s always collected in a crisis, was likely mentally locating his car keys while he grabbed a box of Benadryl from the cabinet.
As Kelly, who had no known food allergies right up until eating my salad on the evening of December 25th, 2015, assured us that her throat had opened back up and she no longer felt like she might die, I stood there with a metaphorical dribble of urine running down my leg wondering how it is that I’ve managed to turn 33 and still remain utterly useless in an emergency. And not only in an emergency, but basically any type of domestic situation that requires social interaction combined with meal planning, putting myself together, and maintaining a minimum level of sobriety to make it all happen.
I took stock.
My level of inebriation was post-drivability but pre-anything I’d be embarrassed about later. I’d done my makeup and was wearing a nice blouse, but my hair was tossed into an unruly pony-knot and I looked down to discover I was still wearing pajama pants dotted with particles of diced pear and parsnip puree. The coq au vin I’d spent three days preparing looked watery and brown and entirely unappetizing, while the homemade rolls, which I’d prepared ahead to save time and removed from the freezer hours before, refused to provide any indication that they would, in fact, rise sometime this century.
“The salad was really good, though!” My sister said reassuringly.
The thing is, I’ve never really been a holiday-loving adult. It might have something to do with being a child of divorce or fairly anti-consumerist with a dash of SAD thrown in for added spice, but this December-ish time of year just isn’t my bag.
I want it to be, but it’s not.
Neither, really, is goal-setting or excessive reflection, which is why I’d prefer to wrap myself in a cocoon of blankets (even though the temperature here in Virginia has remained stubbornly cranked to the mid-70’s for much of this holiday season) and wait this thing out.
Still, if I make myself think about it, 2015 and I had some good times. Some of my favorite moments included eating dinner with a family of strangers in Sweden, celebrating the weddings of Justin’s two best friends, and forcing my friend Angie’s 19-year-old daughter to stay up and watch GHOST with me one night because she’d never seen it. (For the record, she enjoyed it.)
And then there are the goals.
Rather than goals, I usually set a word for the year that describes my intention and then supplement it with little “goal-ettes,” if you will, or general ideas of things I want to do or ways I want to be. Here they are from the last few years:
Granted, I didn’t set the bar terribly high for 2015, but that was kind of the point. I wanted to coast and see where that took me. When I managed to let go of everything — expectations about where I should be in life, pressure to grow this blog, and most of the guilt for dropping my solid career, good things began to happen. I won a trip to Sweden. I landed another couple of clients. I was accepted onto the planning committee for WITS (have you bought your ticket for the next one in Irvine??). I started writing a book, got over halfway through, quit, then started a new one.
Not everything has to go smoothly the first time around.
And how did I do on my little goal-ettes?
Carrie, who’s been reading Domestiphobia for years, recently wrote me a really nice email wondering where the hell I’ve been. (Okay — she was so much nicer about it!) I love getting emails like that. It validates why I spend time here, when I do. But I told her honestly that with all of my commitments, Domestiphobia has had to take a bit of a back seat as of late. I have been writing more, just not here. I don’t plan on disappearing from here completely, but I hope you understand.
Be genuinely happy for people. (Envy is a serious creative buzzkill.)
This one is tough, but I’ve been doing pretty well. It’s so difficult to stop comparing ourselves to others, isn’t it? And I don’t know about you, but my initial reaction when I hear good news for someone when it’s something I want for myself has often tended to be anger and jealousy. And that’s not okay. But by becoming more aware of my emotional reactions and checking myself, I’ve actually improved immensely in this arena and I’m a happier person in general because of it.
Accept the curveballs.
This goes along with coasting, and for the most part I was good. When we found out we had to replace our HVAC and the home warranty company wasn’t going to cover it (we’re now 2-for-2 in replacing HVACs in homes we own, in case you’re counting), I didn’t hire assassins to take out the entire company. I didn’t even yell at anyone. So that’s progress.
Oh hey, Sweden. And Boston. And New York. And Kansas City. And thanks to a couple of sisters getting married, we have some fun trips planned for 2016 as well.
Figure out and embrace my personal style.
Apparently my personal style is a nice blouse with pajama pants. It took me until Christmas to figure that out. Consider it embraced.
Get the house ready for re-sale.
I have to put together an entire progress list for you, but we did a lot by way of getting this house re-sale ready this last year. In fact, there are only really a few small items left. I don’t know whether we’ll have to sell or move anytime soon, but if we do (yay military), we’ll be ready.
So what about 2016?
- I’m going to commit to writing a book. Maybe two. They might not be good. They might not be publishable. But dammit, I will write.
- I’m going to commit to doing even better for my clients. As a freelancer in various fields, it’s difficult sometimes to switch between tasks. I’m going to make sure I’m fully committed to everything I do for everyone.
- I’m going to commit to the more effective allocation of my time. Justin and I watch way too much t.v. (And we don’t even have cable.) If I applied half the time I spend on television to learning the guitar, learning Italian, or… I don’t know… writing that damn book, I’d be a fluent Italian speaking guitar playing novelist by now. You know?
- I’m going to commit myself to contentment. To happiness in my home. To letting go of consistently wanting anything I cannot immediately have because, if you think about it, that’s the only reason any of us are ever unhappy to begin with.
- I’m going to commit to my mental and physical well-being. I’ve been doing a lot of yoga lately, practicing at home with this lovely lady, and you guys. I feel so much better. I never really understood yoga before practicing with Adriene. But after several months of solid work, I’m aware of my body in ways I never was before. I can’t really explain it. It’s just something you have to decide to do and then do it.
She’s starting another 30-day challenge on
January 2nd correction: January 1st (I SWEAR she said the 2nd in the initial email because, you know, hangovers.) and I’m on board. And when I have to take time off to travel to Austin for work (which happens to be where Adriene lives — is it too stalkery to ask her to lunch?) or anything else that comes up, I’m not going to sweat it because that’s not what yoga is about. I mean it’s about sweating it but not. Because sometimes I sweat. Like a lot.
Anyway, she’s calling the new challenge “Yoga Camp,” and really you just change your mind and your life by practicing from home. So basically it’s a camp for semi-introverted adults who believe in magic, which is pretty much perfect for me. And from what I can tell it will all be free and available on YouTube like her other 30 day challenge (which I’ve done twice), but you can also sign up here for motivational emails if you’d like. I know I’d like. I’d like that a lot.
And no, I don’t work for Adriene. And I don’t get anything for waxing on about her site except for the self-satisfaction in knowing I’m spreading a good thing. Which, after the turmoil the world has seen this year, makes me feel good.
Unlike almost killing my sister with a pear-gorgonzola butter lettuce salad.
So yeah. Let’s add not doing that to my list of goal-ettes for next year as well.