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I Turned Myself to Face Me

There is going to be a lot of ch-ch-ch-changes in 2019. There's my big, bold projection.

As a country, I expect we will finally see some checks and balances on our incredibly inept and embarrassing president. Go get ‘em, Nancy. We'll probably all overdose on regular news of some other democrat throwing their hat into the 2020 ring. It's going to be a whirlwind, but in a good way, I hope.

Also, can 2019 be the year that we just say "their" instead of "his or her"? My professional communicator opinion is that we have successfully achieved they/their as singular/plural.

My husband is starting a new job that will eliminate his need to travel so much. I know this will be a welcome change for him and frankly the dogs and I will all be glad to have him around more.

My job will see many operational changes in the new year. I came to corporate communications six and a half years ago from a background in agency and nonprofit, and I love my job - it is undoubtedly the best job of my career - but priorities and direction can change rather drastically in a company of this size. I have good managers on both the communications and operations side so I have complete faith that we'll roll with these changes, even if right now I'm suffering from Impostor Syndrome. Surely this year and its changes will be the year that everyone realizes I have no idea what I'm doing.

Last year, I had resolutions to have regular yoga practice (in order to improve chronic pain issues) and to de-clutter around the house (to improve my mental well being). I did pretty good on the yoga until we went on vacation over Memorial Day. We went to Sedona and I brought my yoga paraphernalia because I thought for sure I could do my daily practice there, in view of the red rocks. Surprisingly, there was not a single convenient location to practice yoga at our hotel. It was all downhill from there, with my fragile new habit broken upon return.

The de-cluttering thing is just an ongoing battle. In early December I did a good number on my bedroom, cleaning out dresser drawers and cluttered piles in preparation for the new bed we bought ourselves for Christmas. It will require constant vigilance to keep it that way. I'm making no promises.

We had some great vacations last year: Sedona and the Grand Canyon for our anniversary, an epic New York City Broadway trip for our birthdays, and two weeks as a family in Costa Rica over Christmas. (I don't think we've spent that much time together as a family since Elijah was in elementary school.) I am aware of how many, how far and how extraordinary those getaways are. It's the payoff for my husband spending some 300 nights in hotels last year. He's reached such a Marriott points status that he has his own Marriott concierge assigned to him. It's a tough way to live - for us here, but especially for the traveler - and believe me when I say that I am grateful for the vacations it afforded us.

My resolution for 2019 is to adjust to all these changes with some new, organized plans.

The first is to create a new working morning routine where I do yoga, my husband and I share the care of the dogs, both have access to some sort of healthy breakfast and everyone gets to work on time. Mornings have been a challenge for me here alone, and Chip is rather used to living in a hotel where everything is done for him. So striking some sort of balance of morning duties is going to be paramount to achieving domestic harmony, where he's not yelling, "Quit telling me what to do!" and I'm not countering, "Why aren't you helping me??"

For those of you who don't know (because the gods know I've complained to plenty of you), we have a fenced back yard but our house does not have a back door that opens into it. Our "back door" is actually a side door out of the kitchen and it opens onto the driveway. I have to put the dogs on leashes and walk them to the back yard where they can be released. Bandit is an unfixed male (because of dual heart conditions) so I can't leave him alone back there or he figures a way out. So taking the dogs out is more like living in a NYC apartment than in a Louisiana house. In addition, we have three dogs that each weigh 50-60 pounds. Any one of them is stronger than me; I certainly can't control more than one of them at a time on a leash. Gods forbid they were to see a squirrel. Since they're inside alone all day, they really have to go out twice before I can leave for work. I'm practically those U.S. Army guys who do more before sunrise than the rest of the world does all day.

The other thing we have to figure out in 2019 is eating healthy (and somewhat cheaply) at home. I mentioned breakfast, but also lunches. Chip will be working locally although his location does afford him more healthy lunch options than mine. Where I work it's basically fast food or nothing. So I suspect there will be some planning, shopping and packing lunches involved if we want to eat healthy and not blow the budget.

Dinners...ugh. I don't even know. We've always had a hard time cooking dinner at home with both of us working outside the house. We had some luck for a while there with meal delivery services like Blue Apron. But then Chip's travel increased so that he was hardly ever here and too many of the dinners rotted uncooked in the refrigerator. I've considered going back to one of those services but the business of them in general seems to be floundering now so I'm not sure how long that will be a viable option.

What I do know is that planning meals, shopping for them and preparing them is not a sustainable plan for me. It is a lot of work - kudos to those of you who are able to do it but it's way too much for me to keep up with while also working full time. Chip lost 50 pounds this year when his doctor put him on a vegan diet. He's now been allowed to add back lean proteins like chicken and fish so that makes meals a little easier. But we simply have to find a dinner solution so that we don't undo the good he's done for himself, or otherwise break the bank eating out every night.

Then again, we could just get a credit card that lets us build airline miles out of our restaurant tabs.

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