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February 1, 2015 by 8junebugs

2015, this is your word.


I’ve loved this print since the first time I saw it on, and it’s lived in my home office since 2008. It sits, framed and ready for hanging (after I make a painting decision), on the floor behind my desk, one of the first (and few) pieces of art to which I’ve managed to commit.

Last year was a year to restore, reevaluate, and reset this little life, and it feels like that happened. Like, for real. I settled in to being a mom. I chose the next branch on the twisted path that is my beloved career. I tried rowing and freaking loved it. I had to get over some fears (OMG 8 PEOPLE ARE STEPPING INTO THIS SKINNY-ASS BOAT AT THE SAME TIME WTF WAS I THINKING?!?) and take a few leaps and figure out Who I Am and How We Do This.

Which brings us to this year.

Who am I? I’m Grayson’s mom and Graham’s partner. I’d rather go to the park than blog about it (maybe not all the time, but most of the time). I’m a reliable and mostly consistent novice rower. I’m a content strategist who makes a living asking questions and working to Make It Better. I’m an Autodesker…which means quite a bit to me — I like the people and the mission and the work. I’m an apologetically inconsistent friend and more uncompromising when it comes to my kid than I expected. I take responsibility, but probably more than I deserve and less gracefully than I would like.

How do we do this? Carefully, and with some help, a lot of luck, and the occasional, mildly reckless decision to just DO something already. Is it the best time in our lives to have both of us engaged in a sport that’s more lifestyle than activity? Maybe not, but the benefits have far outweighed the absurdity. Can we really afford to have someone come in and clean every 2 weeks? Barely, but we have her focus on the areas that stress me out — not having to vacuum or clean the toilets is worth more to me than we can pay her. Is it a good idea to have painting projects going in 3 rooms at once, plus an old door that’s getting painted and sealed and turned into an outdoor easel? Hell, no, but there’s a method to my madness, I promise!

Also, Zillow thinks our house value has gone up $100k since we bought it, and Zillow hasn’t even seen what we’ve done with the place (hint: we did NOT spend $100k on it). So…long view, right? (Coming soon: Light fixtures that actually light rooms!)

So! Time to zero in. FOCUS. What does that mean for 2015?

1. Focus on being a rockstar at work. I’ve loved my work for years, but it’s been a while since I’ve faced a challenge that really engaged me all the way to my Puritanical gut. This is my (current) dream job, so now it’s time to zap the low-hanging fruit and set up some goals for the next year or so,

2. Focus on making this home our own. We’ve been coasting a bit, taking care of things that couldn’t wait (or shouldn’t) and putting off the things that make a home a comfortable representation of the family that lives in it. We bought the appliances and got some painting done. We futzed with furniture, but not that much. We hung up about half of the pictures in our collection and prioritized the tech that supports telecommuting and not having cable.

It took us a while to get used to the idea that this is a bit more than a starter house. We’ve done the math — this is the most house we will ever own here. We’ve done the research — there really are some good schools in our little piece of Oakland. We’ve settled in more in the last 6 months than in the first 18…mainly because PREGNANT, then NEWBORN, then WORKING MOM + SAHD WHAT ARE WE EVEN DOING?! This is now our home, not just the house we bought, and it’s time to make that come through better.

3. Focus on fitness and form in the boat. Reintegrate rowing into my life after a big holiday derail. Practices are in full swing and sprint season is looming, and my goal remains clear: Train to row well in any seat, and be the person everyone’s glad to have in the boat. That doesn’t mean being the strongest or the leanest or the tallest. It means working together and making the boat go. (So far this year, I’ve rowed with every squad but the men’s team, so…this work has already begun, apparently.) It means being quick, finding the rhythm, anticipating and matching stroke seat (or sitting in it, depending on the day), and giving everything I’ve got. When I lose focus, I flail.

These look like resolutions, but I promise I’m still just doing a word. No big Life List plans, no major travel, no looming decisions or moves…

I’m building up the foundation that holds the rest of me together when things fall apart a little bit.


2014: Reset

2013: Family

2012: Home

2011: Courage

2010: Whole


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