2014 – The Year of Jen!

I am going to start this off by letting you all know in advance that I don’t have a plan for this particular post, and am hoping that I will find a path to go down as I explore all the different stuff happening in this mind of mine. Hopefully I will stumble upon a point. If not, I apologize for rambling.

***I would also like to add  a little disclaimer before you all read on. After re-reading and editing, I came to the conclusion that there may be some hurt feelings and thoughts of “fine, if you don’t want to be there for me, just say so” and a little harrumphing. Please, friends, do NOT take this post as anything more than me dedicating the year to taking better care of myself. I love you all and am honoured to be your friend. I am happy to talk to you, be there for you, and to run to you if you are in need. ***

I don’t know how I feel about “resolutions” for the New Year, which is why I’m not going to claim to be making any. I feel like setting resolutions for ourselves is just a fancy way of setting ourselves up for failure. If you are anything like me, the sting of failure settles in and resurfaces every time you set out to do something new. I still have flashbacks of the time my alarm didn’t go off when I was doing my student teaching practicum, and I arrived with a minute to spare before the bell. My associate teacher made me feel like an absolute ass for it, despite me calling, and convinced me that if that happened in the “real world” I would be fired on the spot. I still feel sick and anxious when I think about this, and it was more than five years ago. So, in resolving to do anything, if I fail, I know that sinking feeling and that gut-rot feeling will resurface and sabotage my efforts. I’m very self-aware tonight, apparently.

So. I am not setting resolutions. I am, however, making a conscious decision to make 2014 the year of Jen (a la “Summer of George!”). I spent a lot of 2013 helping other people, and doing for others and spent very little of 2013 worrying about myself and treating myself well.

I am not sad to see 2013 go. It started off with me in full grief mode. While dealing with the passing of my step-dad, I found out that my Gramma had a stroke. She has been in and out of the hospital, and has been moved into a nursing home. Wesleigh’s Oma was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and it is progressing quickly. I found out that I wasn’t hired for the LTO list, due to so many political issues that I am not going to get into on this forum. I wasn’t approved for my EI claim this summer, and missed it by four hours. I found this out in October, and to be honest, just couldn’t be bothered to call them and fight it that far out. Money was, as a result, extremely tight. Add family issues to the mix.

There was positive in 2013, most of it toward the end. Some extra funds allowed us to breath a bit financially speaking, I got a promotion at Oxford, I’ve been getting lots of supply work, and my side business was busier than ever.

I really feel like 2014 is going to be a better year – it has to be, right?

So, the year of Jen.

My word of the year is going to be NO. I do a lot of saying yes because I am afraid that others will not be happy if I don’t. I haven’t quite grasped that making other people happy / pleased / helped can’t happen at the expense of my own happiness. I feel like I focused more on others than on myself. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – I enjoy helping my friends and family, and feel honoured that they come to me for my wisdom (haha) and advice. I just need to find balance. If I don’t have time, a true friend will understand if I say “I can’t today, can we make another day work?” A client will understand if I say “I’m sorry, I don’t have time to add your order to the other three I have this weekend. I won’t be able to offer you quality product” instead of me staying up until 5am to get everything done to my standards.

I was told a few years back, by a doctor running a weight loss group, that I need to say no more often. I was taken aback, and to be honest, a little offended. I got my back up and stopped going to the group. I realize now that, perhaps, he was right. See – self aware!

In putting myself first, I will be making that time to plan meals and exercise. I will not put off my exercise or meal prep. Instead, I will say “I’m busy right now, but I’ll be able to help you out in a few hours.” I will make the time and put in the effort to haul my ass off the couch and get my act together. If I am not spending so much time in the kitchen and out of the house, I will not be so drained and just “done” by the end of the day.

In putting myself first, I will be making time to sleep on a regular schedule. Staying up until 2am and sleeping in until 11 is not the way I want to live my life. Sleeping the day away and staying up until the wee hours is not ideal. Sleep is such a key component in weight loss, and I don’t get nearly enough of it. I would like to set a goal to get up earlier, especially on the weekends, and I’m hoping that comes naturally with going to bed earlier. Eating better, exercising, and taking my vitamins and supplements will help me to sleep properly and have the iron and the energy I need so that I don’t need to sleep ten hours a day. Sleep is so freaking wonderful though…

In putting myself first, I will ensure that I am better with money. I will not be buying fast food and stuff I don’t need. I will keep my goals (ie: debt repayment, house, wedding) at the forefront of my mind and will ask myself if I really NEED what I am purchasing. We are going to be doing the 52 week money challenge, and at this time next year, we should have just under $1400 to have some fun with – a trip, a shopping spree, something for the house – who knows!? All I know is that I’ll have something to look forward to and that will help keep me on track.

In putting myself first, I hope to reach some of the goals I set out for myself in the past. I still want to be “thin by thirty” – I have ten months to get my act together. Even at a rate of about a pound per week,  I should be able to hit that 50 lbs lost mark by my birthday. That would be a major accomplishment, and halfway to my ultimate goal. I can be on board with that.

So, without further ado, let the year of Jen begin! I hope to be blogging a LOT more this year, and with my hard work and motivation, it should be good news!

Tomorrow is “before picture” day. I will also be weighing in and doing measurements and keeping close track of my progress. I am a little afraid to step on the scale (I haven’t since November), but the year of Jen has no room for fear. If I’ve gained it all back, I’ve gained it all back. If I’ve gained it all back plus more, then that’s just a little bit more work I’ll need to do.

So, farewell, 2013. It was a roller coaster of a year, and I am not sorry to see you go. I welcome you, 2014. Let’s kick some ass!

Until next time,

Jen