I'm joining Gretchen Rubin and making a list of things I'd like to do this year - my 19 for 2019.
During the last few months of 2018, I had a lot of doctor appointments. For months I'd just been feeling abnormally tired, my hair was falling out at an alarming rate, and I felt terrible. I'm not quick to run to the doctor and I like to try things like essential oils and herbs first. However, despite my efforts to eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep, I just wasn't feeling any better.
After many appointments and a lot of tests, I finally got some answers and they weren't what I was expecting at all!
It wasn't my thyroid. It wasn't hormonal. I wasn't sick. All of my tests were normal and the basic verdict was that I'm perfectly healthy. So, why have I been feeling awful for so many months? Why is my hair falling out?
The short answer? Stress. They told me I'm stressed.
And that probably should have been obvious, but I think I've been too busy to notice. I'm a single mother with four kids and that's a world full of responsibilities heaped on my shoulders.
So yeah. Stress. I think I can see that now.
Ever since that diagnosis, I've been trying to figure out how to be less stressed. It's going to take a lot more than candles and bubble baths. In fact, it's going to take some real effort on my part to figure this out so that I can feel better before I go bald. That's my big goal for the year.
In the meantime, I made a list of Easy Goals for 2019. I'm a huge fan of Gretchen Rubin's Happier Podcast and I loved their idea to pick 19 things you want to get done in 2019. But this is not the year for pushing and stretching. This is the year I go easy on myself.
So, my 19 for 2019 are all simple things that I think will be fun and contribute to my overarching goal to relax.
My 19 for 2019
1. Hang Picture Book Shelves
Gretchen Rubin recommends having something on your list that you can cross off right away. I got this done the first week of January! Aren't they beautiful. These are the shelves I used - only $12.99!
2. Read At Least Five Classics
This was actually one of my reading goals last year and I didn't do it. But I know I'll enjoy it so this is take two. I'm going to start with the 5 books I set out to read last year. I'm already 250 pages into The Brothers Karamazov.
3. Find my Enneagram Number
I love a good personality test and I always think it's a good idea to get to know yourself better. I keep hearing about the enneagram and I want to know more.
4. Paint My Closet Door
There are a lot of house projects I want done, but most of them involve $ and outside help. This one is easy.
When I bought this house, the previous owner, in getting it ready to sell, brought in a paint sprayer and sprayed every square inch of this house the most awful color of peach. Every wall, ceiling, door, outlet, switch cover, and piece of trim.
I've repainted everything in this house. I've replaced all the switch covers and outlets. I've replaced all the doors. Except my closet. It's still a good door, it just needs paint. This is the year.
5. Knit 12 Things
Last year I made a goal to knit more. It was obviously too vague because I knit two sweaters . . . and that's it. So this year, I'm aiming for one knit/month. This month I've got this sweater on the needles.
6. Hang Tea Cups
Because what good is a beautiful tea cup collection if they're always in a box.
7. Write Thank You Notes
I have so many people in my life that I'm grateful for and that do lovely things to help me out. But while I do FEEL so much gratitude, expressing it properly gets pushed aside far too often. I know I'll feel better saying Thank You more this year.
To get started, I'm using these gorgeous cards from Rifle Paper Co.
8. Make Photo Books
I used to love making Photo Books (even though I am woefully behind). But then My Publisher went out of business. Not knowing where to print the books meant that I haven't made a photo book in a long time.
Over Christmas I used Mixbook and made a photo book for a friend and I think I have a new printer that I like. I can't wait to dig into the family photos again.
9. A Plant in Every Room
Yep, I want a live plant in every room of the house. Right now I have 4 live plants in 3 rooms. 5 rooms to go!
10. Smart Bulbs Everywhere
We have 2 rooms with smart bulbs and/or plugs and I love it. I want to make every light in this house smart and completely end the struggle with my kids to remember to turn off lights.
11. Reorganize Kitchen Cupboard Shelves
I've been watching Marie Kondo's Tidying Up on Netflix. I read her book a few years ago and loved it, but it's a whole new kind of fun to actually watch people tidy their homes.
On one episode, there's a closeup shot of an organized cups/glasses cupboard. I paused on that screen and stared for at least 5 minutes. I NEED a cup cupboard that looks like that.
Also, this may be a slightly devious goal on my part because I'm pretty sure I'm going to use it as an excuse to buy these glasses that I've been drooling over.
I know I live in the desert. I just want a little bit of grass. This has been on my list every year for a decade though. I keep putting it on the list because it's a dream I can't give up on. If I could finally make it happen, I'd be so very happy.
13. Plant a Garden
Grass may be a challenge, but I've tackled the garden enough years in a row now to feel confident about this one. I didn't have a garden last year though and I missed it so much. I'm getting the seeds planted indoor already!
14. Rearrange My Bedroom
It's been a while. A refresh will feel good.
15. Go to the Georgia O'Keefe Museum
I keep meaning to go . . . and then I never do. This is the year. I love Santa Fe and it's only 45 minutes away, but I just don't go as often as I'd like.
16. Unread Shelf Project
I don't usually have a lot of books on my shelves that I haven't read. I really only buy books that I already know I love or that I'm nearly 100% certain I will enjoy. But last year, I really got off track.
I made a list over on goodreads of all the current library holds I have, all the books I own but haven't read, and a few books that I've been meaning to reread. I'm not going to buy, check out, or read any other books until I've read all the books on this list.
17. Get Glasses
My glasses broke when Ada was a baby and I haven't ever replaced them. She'll be 9 in a couple months! I'm nearly blind without my contacts in, so not having glasses has been a huge pain.
Before this year is over, I'm going to scrape up the money and make time for this!
I used to go to the most wonderful yoga class every week, but I haven't done yoga in years. I think yoga will be a step toward a less stressful year for sure. I'll probably just do yoga at home and find a good app or online class.
19. Bullet Journal
I used to. And then I didn't. But now I will again.