happy birthday to me

I say, “I remember you.
You drive like a PTA mother.”


yep. today is my birthday. and, as your wildly narcissistic pal, i tend to really love the day because it’s all about me. (well, all about me and everyone else born on the same day… which, among my friends, includes three other people, particularly one high school friend born on the same day in the same year.  i’ve never established who was born first. me, i was born just after lunch, so she has the greater likelihood of being born before, i suppose.) in fact, i love the whole week before and the whole week afterwards as well. life is short. 24 hours is too little time to feel delighted to be on the planet another year.

this year is a somewhat big (though not ending in a zero big) year for me. so, now that i’m 25 (oh, stop it — i’m doing inverse dog years), i thought i’d put some goals together and put them out there. hell, it may keep me honest. and maybe, it will inspire someone else to put their goals on the road, too. sure, it’s over two months since new year’s, but my new year always starts for me on my day of natality.

so, as we celebrate what one of my beloved pals from grad school would refer to as wrekehavoc awareness day (and yes, her tongue would be so firmly in cheek that it would indent), in no particular order, the list of goals:

1) improve my health. well, we all know my health has been a struggle, thanks to a genetic crapshoot i lost. but (and with apologies to those doing the 12-step boogie)  if i can get some of that serenity to change  all the things i can change, then i need to exercise and lose weight. consistently. one of my friends has lost over 30 pounds; she has inspired me to take charge. and while i’m not using any particular diet program, i am watching my calories, using an online tool she steered me to, myfitnesspal.com. (no, this isn’t an endorsement. this is just letting you know what i’m doing.)

another friend — the wife of my husband’s best friend, which sounds scandalous when it’s put like that — has inspired me in the exercise department. i have always attempted the all-or-nothing approach which has yielded me exactly that — nothing. unless all consists of injured, disgusted, and not fit.  anyway, she has used her wii consistently and has lost 30 pounds over the course of a year. while it won’t make me the hottest bod in the land, it is certainly a great first motivational step toward bigger things. it gets me started in a way where i hopefully won’t kill myself in the first week.

as we all know goals don’t mean crap unless you operationalize them (thanks, grad school professors for that knowledge!). so the operationalization:

-work out three times a week

-write your food down at least 5 out of 7 days/week

2) institute a writing schedule. i blather, and i blather in a lot of places. this results in a lot of blather that isn’t really taking me where i want to be. if i make a schedule and stick to it, i might actually finish a new book by year’s end while continuing the quest to get the first book published.

yet i still love to blog; and after 8 years in the bloggy trenches, i am not about to give it up. but i think i ought to stick with a schedule for when i write to make sure that i contribute regularly there but not too much! that will be tough to stick to, i know. i love to blog. maybe i’ll only allow myself short bits on days when i am not scheduled to write…

(can you see me caving already?)

so. operationalization, please…

-work on new novel tuesdays and thursdays.

-blog mondays and wednesdays

-friday – open season! squee!

3) unplug the kids. since the snowpacalypse, my kids, especially my beloved son hellboy, have become much more plugged in. in fact, i fear one day that either the star wars video game or the wii lego batman will one day come alive and pull him into the tv to live forever, shooting at dog-knows-what. while i suspect my kids will not grow up to become serial killers (note to self: which parents think their kids WILL?), i need to make a concerted effort to find ways to occupy them — or, more to the point, get them to occupy themselves!

here’s the challenge. hellboy has no kids his age nearby. zero. zilch. nada. BC has one. of course, it’s easier to get BC out of the house and on her bike, especially since i am not as worried that she’ll be in the street when someone zooms up at 60 mph in a 25 zone. but what to do with hellboy? how do i get him into the backyard to play when he’s all by his lonesome? do i book up his weekends with playdates months in advance (since these kids all seem to have much busier schedules than mine do)? gone are the days when you could just run up to your neighbor’s door and ask him to come out and play. (and, in hellboy’s case, there’s no appropriate neighbor’s doorbell to ring.)

hmm. here goes nothin’.

1) look at the calendar at the beginning of the month and plan at least one playdate for the boy/girl.

2) research fun backyard things that the boy would enjoy doing. the girl is pretty good at occupying herself, but the boy will need more than a few slimy bugs to entice him away from luke skywalker.

okay. so three should be a start, right?

anyone out there have ideas to help me meet my goals? that goal three is a bear for me, and i know there are parents out there who do it all much better than i do. please enlighten me with ideas, websites, and hope.

and heck — share your goals if you have any. maybe new year’s came and went for you. so hell — you can say it’s your birthday today, too.

see, i’m 25 today, so i know how to share.

13 thoughts on “happy birthday to me

  1. Admirable goals, Sher! I’ve got similar ones (well, not #2 :). Just finished week 3 of a 9-week “Couch to 5K” program (using GetRunning app for iPhone/iTouch – info at http://splendid-things.co.uk/getrunning/ if you care!). I’m trying to watch what I eat (and still quite often do watch it, guiltily, as I eat something yummy). My goal is to lose [redacted] pounds this year and participate in the 2011 Reston Sprint Triathlon. Whee!

    Also trying to detach the kids a bit from electronics, but it’s hard going for a number of reasons (most of them pure laziness on our side). Unfortunately, I don’t have the excuse of no neighbors their age, but I DO have the excuse that these kids seem to have every minute of their lives already scheduled so playdates are hard to come by. I definitely miss the mentality that let us (as kids) just wander to a friend’s house, pound on the door (or, more often, just walk in) and find out who is available for hide-n-seek (in a 4-square block area), riding our dirt bikes up into the mountain, hiking to the pagoda on the OTHER mountain (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reading,_PA) or otherwise having random fun on a given day. We got them new bikes this Christmas, though, and they’re excited about trying them out on the bike trail where they can (try to!) keep up with me, so that’ll be fun.

  2. Well, happy birthday!! Hope you’ve got something truly indulgent and naughty planned. I know, that goes against at least goal number one but I think your goals should start as of tomorrow.

    I, too, need to establish goals and re-organize daily routines to make sure I’m making the most of the limited…okay, no time that I have to spend doing pretty much anything. Which is why I’ve started that second blog, you know…

    Good luck with the goals. I know you can do it. I will follow along with your fitness challenge and maybe some of that will rub off on me. Too bad we have so many freaking doughnuts up here in Canada…sigh…

    Have a fantastic birthday. Totally.

  3. May this day be everything you want it to be…happy birthday!!!

    I can’t offer a statistically valid sample to draw from, but if it is any consolation, unplugging boys is infinitely more difficult than unplugging girls. My DS, now 13, is Neo-esquely digital, and correspondingly lost in the cyberworld much too often.

    Best of luck with your goals…I hope to follow in your weight loss footsteps.

  4. Here’s my advice and comment, first I can’t believe anyone lost weight doing the Wii Fit. I did it regtularly for about a month and lost no weight, so it must be combined with a diet program or something. Second Can you get hellboy into a soccer (only because he is so young) my boys both enjoyed their soccer practice and games and met friends their age to share and play with after. Soccer is a fairly non-violent sport and gets him off the TV/Gameboy/Wii for awhile. – and if it doesn’t work you can revel in the fact that your son will have excellent hand/eye coordination!

  5. Happy birthday wreke! Wishing you a very happy day and the best of luvk in all your goals. I won’t make any comments about needing to unplug the kids, since I’m here reading blogs and making comments while sranding in line to get coffee. Hope you have an easier time unplugging the kids than I have unplugging myself.

  6. thanks so much you guys! and, if all else fails, i’ll move to canada where cynthia says there are too many donuts. how can there ever be too many donuts? 😉

    ahh, donuts. is there nothing they can’t do?



  7. Hey Wreke-
    I want to share with you that goals are a wonderful thing….but don’t use them as a bat you beat yourself with. If you feel you’ve fallen short, keep your eye on the prize, and just keep trudging the road to happy destiny…dog knows what awaits us tomorrow so make today as joyful as you can!!

    Much love!!

  8. Happy Birthday. I hope you meet all your goals and if you decide you dont like them, change them to even better (more realistic ones). You are a remarkable woman & a role model for moms & women everywhere.
    Enjoy your day

  9. aw, thanks! i’m just aiming high. that way, if i fall, i will still be doing ok… i think… 🙂

  10. Wreke:

    Who sings the song “happy Birthday to me? listed on today’s blog?

  11. cracker sings it. cracker is a band formed by former camper van beethoven frontman david lowery.

  12. Happy Belated Birthday! Love the new look.

    We’ve seen a huge increase in what we call “screen time” with Z, who is a little younger than Hellboy. Indeed, I often feel like it has taken over his (and our) life! A cousin recently asked him about his favorite thing to do and he said, “Screen time. You know, like computer, TV, Leapster.” Sigh. I’ve fantasized about saying that the computer was broken, but that just makes me sound spineless. So, no revelations here other than you are not alone and anytime you want a playdate with a semi-stranger, we’re up for it. (Social calendar is not that crowded yet.) 😉

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