Tuesday, January 01, 2008

My friends, I have big plans...

I hereby declare the year 2008 to be...

(wait for it)

(drum roll, please)

The Year Mary Gets Her Shit Together.

After a year that I was not sad to see the end of, I am happy to see that 2008 has arrived. And I would like to start off this year by resolving to stop living a life bred from fear. I think that it is quite true that fear in some way dictates many of my actions...specifically a fear of change and a fear of doing things differently than I have before. How are those different? Let me explain...

A fear of change is pretty self-explanatory, I think. I don't like when things change. I don't deal well with new challenges. That can be a new house (still recovering from that one, and I have lived here since July 2006), a new marriage (still getting used to that one, a mere fifteen months in), a new job (almost one year down at this one, but still having plenty of anxiety about it), a writers' strike (WHEN can I get a new episode of The Office?), and anything in between. I have actually changed a lot of things in the past year and a half or so, and I am not completely paralyzed by those changes, so maybe I am doing okay. But maybe I also need to stop fixating on something that happened 18 months ago...maybe.

A fear of doing things differently than I have before is both broader and narrower than just a fear of change. This fear encompasses every little thing that happens in my life. I have to take care of a baby on a ventilator? Scary. I have to call someone I have never called before? A little scary. I have to stop using my credit cards and realize that just because I want a new pair of boots, I don't really need them? Scary. I have to actually pay attention to what I am eating and exercise a bit because I want to live a longer, healthier life? Scary!

The two biggest things I would like to tackle in 2008 are (I think you will be shocked) my over-all physical health and my over-all financial health.

My plan for the first is to go back to Weight Watchers and do my best to follow their program. I also plan to take my dog for walks at least four times each week (good for both Otto and me) (oh, and weather-permitting). And I plan to get back in the gym, which will cause me to no longer just be wasting those $50 per month and will get me in better shape and better spirits.

My plan for the second is to realize that I have some debt to repay, and I need to repay it. I don't need to buy new boots or a new purse or multiple lenses for my new camera. I don't need to go to Target weekly and spend $100 I don't have on stuff I don't need. I don't need to stop at Wawa every time I am on my way to work to spend $10 on snacks and drinks for the night. I don't need to stop in at CVS for a magazine, a pen, a lip gloss, and a Sudoku book. I don't need to eat McDonald's several nights per week. What I do need is to budget realistically. I need to look at the bills I have to pay each pay period, stick them in a spreadsheet (done), include other expenses like groceries and gas for my car (done), and actually follow that budget as religiously as is possible. When I pay all my bills and realize I have $400 left over for two weeks, I need to remember that other expenses will crop up before my next paycheck appears, and I should not commence spending said $400 on things I don't really need. I have spent a long time surrounding myself with things...and I am definitely scared about not doing things the way I have before. But I am more scared of my mounting debt and what it will mean ten years from now if it is still sitting there, compounding itself. Therefore, I have to take care of this now so I don't have to take care of it later.

Here's to getting my shit together in 2008! Here's to a life without (as much) fear! And here's to the 366 days we have to get it right before we celebrate New Year's all over again!


Jen said...

Good luck! Getting one's shit together is a lofty goal, but you can do it if you are committed.

Rebecca said...

Best of luck with WW! I lost 108lbs on the flex program. My hubby and I are working on our financial health this year as well. I hope that goes well for you too!

P.S. I found your blog through Jody's. I enjoy reading your comments about nursing/medical care. You provide a great perspective!