The temperature has risen. It has risen indeed! I’ve been stuck inside for YEARS, I tell you, YEARS!! Today was the first day in over a week that we reached and held double-digits. In fact, it was so warm today, Adam and I took a long walk and didn’t die! Yes, I’m being a little dramatic, but the weather here has been more dramatic than I could ever be. The wind chill one day last week was -27ºF, but consistently it’s been in the negative teens (windchill). The temperature itself has barely risen above 10ºF for the past two weeks or more. It’s literally (and I do not use that word lightly) impossible to breathe without a scarf. You choke on the cold. It’s amazing. People have been surprised at my pansy attitude, seeing as I lived in Colorado for three years, but HEAR ME, HEAR ME: that one day in Denver that the windchill downtown was -19ºF AIN’T GOT NOTHIN’ on this. I’m sorry to keep talking about it, but I just can’t overstate how shocking it’s been. I actually legitimately feel like I’ve been in a state of shock since we got back from Tennessee.
Anyway, it’s like Summer outside now, and holding, at a balmy 33ºF. Let me tell you just how heavenly today has been. I doodled and goofed off all morning. Adam and I walked down to the Bluebird Diner and shared a piece of cake and some coffee. I walked him to Film Scene and then came back home. Hmm. It doesn’t sound as glorious as it felt.. must’ve been the weather.. at any rate, I am in heaven right now. Just had a pb&j and am now listening to The Swan Lake in preparation for our viewing party this week.
So! It’s 2018. I’ll be a lovely prime number this year (31) and I’ve got to live up to it. The hussy and I were talking on our walk about things we wanted to work on this year for ourselves, and yes– I know the meaning of the word “hussy.” My belurved sister is reading Codependent No More, and it’s got me thinking about my genetically-engrained codependent tendencies. Adam, bless his beautiful hide, tenderly– if a bit codependently– has noticed that I will choose to maintain a status quo environment in our household if I fear that doing something for my health may inconvenience him. I will also choose to maintain a status quo if I fear that doing something for my health may embarrass me. The point is, it’s time to flush these excuses down the proverbial drain! This past year has been one of the weirdest and best of my life, mainly because I made incredibly difficult decisions for my future self, and now I am my future self, and I am so grateful, and I just want to keep doing kind things for Future Me. Feeling healthy and balanced in my mind and in my body is my sole aim this year. It’s become a popular thing to throw around on podcasts and such, but I’ve been saying it for years– you’ve got to put on your oxygen mask before you can even think about anyone/anything else. I mean, otherwise, you’re DEAD. Or unconscious anyway.
So here’s my Keep Gettin’ Healthy 2018 To-Do List:
☐ Do weekly therapy until it feels right to cut back.
I am seeing a therapist finally! I’ve only had one session, but immediately I already have the sense that she’s going to be a lot better than all of my previous attempts. Will update if it turns out she’s a hippie.
☐ Blog weekly.
This shouldn’t be a challenge, as long as I can overcome any insecurity that might keep me from the computer. I love writing. I think I must have always loved it, but I feel like my writing is getting better with age. Like a lot of things.. 😏
☐ Find venting activities and body-memorize their ignition sequence.
I’m thinking things like.. running maybe? I know my knees aren’t any good, and I have a huge fear of looking bad in athletic-wear, but exercise endorphins do help me blow off steam, better than most things. Drawing also helps. Well, whatever they are, I need to intentionally store in my body the directions for how to start them. This is so that I can access a therapeutic punching bag for my PTSD before I freak out on Adam. We’ll see how this works; I came up with the idea just now.
☐ Jraw every day.
Journal + Draw = Jraw, by the way. These are images only I see. They are touchstones.
☐ Meditate for 10 minutes, twice daily.
I am determined to be this woman. Eventually.
☐ Do 30 minutes of yoga every day.
I have the app. I have the time. I have the willpower. I need to flush the insecurity.
☐ Do 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise every day.
I’ve fallen off the gym bandwagon here in Iowa. I need to flush the insecurity. And also decide if I want to pay for a membership to the AWESOME gym, or keep going to the SHIT HOLE for free. Sorry, Parks & Rec, but your gym sucks.
☐ Read The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion again.
My LOTR fandom is rarely questioned at all these days, especially once I’ve demonstrated my best bar trick: writing a person’s name in Tengwar script (what the One Ring inscription was written in), but it came to my attention last year that I’m getting rusty, and that cannot be allowed to continue. Especially if Ogallala happens and Jon and I have a Battle of Wits. I’m reading my beautiful, prized second edition of The Fellowship of the Ring right now, aloud to Adam before bed. He’s into it, but my voice puts him to sleep, so it’s slow-going.
☐ Make one goddamn dress (what is the motherfucking hold-up).
I seriously don’t understand myself sometimes. I have so many beautiful dress patterns, and the material to to make them. Insecurity again?? AUGH.
☐ Meal plan and include Adam as much as he wants/is able.
This could be a full-time job. I need to figure out how to divide up the responsibilities so that I don’t spend a million lifetimes budgeting, recipe hunting, grocery shopping, cooking, and baking. I’ll probably blog about it. But I seriously love every part of this item. It’s going to be a challenge to include Adam, but I really haven’t been keeping up as well as I want to, so I’ll probably appreciate his help.
☐ Regulate and moderate stimulant/depressant intake.
The stimulants I tend to abuse are sugar and caffeine (no nicotine bitches), and alcohol is my depressant of choice. I know myself well enough to say, without a doubt in my mind, that if I don’t consciously check in with my habits on a regular basis, I will consume more than necessary of all of the above. However, if I do check in with my habits regularly, and follow a structured system of allowance (i.e. The Envelope System), I’m able (and surprisingly willing) to enjoy a smaller portion than my body thinks it needs. The system is actually a reward in and of itself, because overindulging in a good thing makes bad things happen, 99% of the time. The other 1% is called Heaven, btw, and it happened the night Anna Laura and Marshall got married and I drank an entire bottle of tequila and skinny-dipped and stayed up all night and ate at Waffle House and watched the sun rise and didn’t have a hangover because I slept the entire day. ☄️
☐ Regulate and moderate internet/social media usage.
W-hoa. I’m going to have to think about this one. Skip me.
☐ Assemble group of willing sounding-board friends, define perimeters.
This could belong in the next “My Loves” category, but I’ll leave it here for now. This is going to be fun, and probably very challenging. I think I’m at the point in my life where, regardless of whether I want it or not, I need honest input from trusted loved ones, on how to deal with difficult things. And of course it has to go both ways, otherwise I would be looking for a mentor, and I’m not. I’ve spent my entire life looking and praying for a mentor, and they do not fucking exist. I’m not bitter, I’m just ready to accept it as a fact and move on to things that are real. The name of the game is going to be honesty, vulnerability, and kindness. More details TBD.
☐ Find and commit to weekly social activity that doesn’t involve spending a million dollars.
Gosh, I really want to find something unique and ACTUALLY social, not an event with potential (like 1 Million Cups has turned out to be). I tried reaching out for a Scrabble Buddy on Craigslist, but a lot of weirdos sent me weirdo emails, and only one person was relatively normal, but he didn’t talk AT ALL. I need some social time on the reg. I’ll keep thinking.
☐ Write meaningful letters to best friends.
My handwriting’s like, “FUCKING FINALLY.” I mean, it’s a damn shame to let such a beautiful thing waste away. Lucky pen-pals of mine. smirk
☐ Write poetry for Adam’s songs.
At least one, by the end of the year. Did you know, Adam writes songs? Music mostly, with one or two lines of sometimes-meaningful, often-not lyrics. I used to write poetry. It was all terrible, but I still have in my head that I could write a decent set of verses. We’ll see. I really want this to happen. Adam deserves it. He’s actually very good at coming up with unique, fun melodies.
☐ Plan/budget/start saving for Siscapade.
My two oldest sisters are the best friends I have. My younger sisters are the best little sisters a body could ask for, but I’m much closer in age and experience to Erin and Anna Laura. We’ve been dreaming of a sister escapade, and I think it has to happen this year. Budget-willing.
☐ Plan/budget/start saving for Ogallala.
On Adam and my cross-country adventures, we haven’t met folk we love better than Jon and Jess. It’s been two years since we lived in the same city, and being so far away from them has made us weep uncontrollably, every night, until we’re dry of tears and cannot ope our eyes for fear they may shrivel all up when exposed to the harsh and bitter air of the Midwest. 👀 We figure if Ogallala’s good enough for Clara Allen, it’s a good enough middle ground for a friendcation. Budget-willing.
☐ Plan/budget/start saving for Christmas.
I promised myself last month that 2018 would see a new Carla– one that remembered the existence of Christmas before December 1st. I aim to follow through on that promise, and begin my Christmas shopping in July at the LATEST. Budget-willing.
☐ Find local artist counselor.
I’m not 100% what this means/looks like, but I’m determined to find someone/multiple people who can give me counsel in the realm of starting the kind of business I want to. Of course, this would include Cortnie from the White Rabbit, but– if possible– I want to find an artist who is doing exactly what I want to, and get them to tell me how it’s done. I know there are a few of these in Iowa City, I just don’t know exactly how to go about asking. I’ll figure it out.
☐ Do the Iowa City Farmer’s Market.
Yeah! So I already have my resale license, and as a sole proprietorship operating under my own name, I don’t need a tax ID for some reason (I may get one anyway just in case I need to hire someone), so all I need to do is apply, get a couple tables, and start stocking my shop!
☐ Do some live portraiture.
This would be me walking around the city with my ✨beautiful✨too good to be true✨ plein air easel and drawing people’s portraits for $20. I think I would definitely need a vendor permit of some kind though, so I’ll need to look that up.
☐ Get White Rabbit Printing rolling.
We’re still hashing out the details, but Cortnie (WR owner) has offered me my dream position, basically. I’m going to be working for her on a more consistent basis this year, still part-time, doing printing and sales, and I’ll still be able to use her print studio to do runs of my own work. I’m going to have to work hard at holding myself back on this one. I have a tendency to jump in and pull the kitchen sink in with me, when it comes to work commitments, and I know that I can’t do that here. Balance will be essential, but I know already it’s going to be hard. I want Cortnie to do so well! She damn-sure ties with Skye (at Tractor Brewing Company) for the sweetest and most deserving boss-lady evar. I feel so lucky to know so many awesome boss-ladies. Anyway. Gotta keep my head on my OWN shoulders. Balance, balance, balance.
☐ Start a Patreon.
Oh lord, I have no idea. I’ve been told I need to do one of these for a long time, but it just hasn’t made sense until now. I think I can do it, but it’s going to take chance and careful planning (Alice in Wonderland reference). Adam brought up the fact that it relies heavily on social media, and I’m trying to distance myself– or at least, my self esteem– from that as much as possible, so.. we’ll see..
And I think that’s it for now! I’m sure there’s more, but my eyes are starting to cross, and I need to do the dishes. Au revior, internet!