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Getting Things Done In 2021

This April, I’ve been thinking a LOT about goals. Obsessing about it a little, perhaps.

The thing is – it has felt impossible to set concrete goals for a long time. So, now that I am feeling more able to do so, my brain has shifted into overdrive. What do I focus on? What’s most important?

One thing that often trips me up is the distinction between a concrete goal – like, “I want to run five miles, regularly, without walking” – and an intention that I want to stick with daily – such as, “I want to be more present from moment to moment, especially while playing with my kids.”

The other thing that often trips me up is – beyond just writing the goals down here on the blog – how do I keep them in mind and make sure they actually get done?

The OTHER thing that trips me up is prioritizing goals. I have a few goals that are minor – like, reeeeally not a big deal if they don’t get done. For example, I am trying to get better at solving the New York Times crossword puzzle – on a three day streak as of today, say whaaaat! – but this is not a goal that needs to be at the top of my list. It’s also not totally in my control, because sometimes I just don’t know what the five-letter word is for a language written in the Devanagari script. (At this moment, my guess is “Hindi,” but I’m still working on that particular puzzle. You’re welcome for this possibly-incorrect hint, fellow puzzlers!)

So – what do I do to wrap my mind around my goals and actually get some things done in 2021?

This blog has always been a great tool for me to use to organize my thoughts and my life. So, starting today, I’m going to have a series of blog posts devoted to the topic of goals – to Getting Things Done In 2021, or GTDI2021. I wish I could share with you a detailed outline of what’s to come, but this blog is way more fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants than that.

Cheers to the return of hope and motivation in spring 2021 – and cheers to getting things done!

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Edgar’s Faves (Best Books for a 4.5-Year-Old)

Edgar continues to love books and reading. There have been two cool new developments.

First, we’ve started reading some chapter books together! I’ve read him The Fantastic Mr. Fox and several books in the Mercy Watson series. It’s such a nice change, as the grown-up, to read books with a little more plot and suspense.

Second, my mom bought a membership to a website called Readeo. It’s super cool – we basically are on a video call and she can read books to Edgar on the iPad while they can see each other on video! We also are able to scroll the Readeo library and read books on the iPad, just us, at other times. That’s been helpful, because sometimes he’s indecisive about what book we should read at bedtime, and bedtime is one of my crankiest and most impatient times of day! So we curl up with the iPad and have lots of books to choose from.

Here are a few of his current faves:

The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen. Edgar is really into boats, so this one was a winner. I’d put it in the category of “fun and cutesy for adults,” too, with a fun plot. It’s also a rhyming book, which is something I really enjoy, especially at bedtime.

The World Of Whales by Darcy Dobell. This one is long – 72 pages. It has a really cool picture-based table of contents, so Edgar can decide which whale or topic he wants to read about and we can flip to that page. Edgar continues to be REALLY into whales.

Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. We both LOVE this book. This is actually a book we used to read and love a couple of years ago, and now, via Readeo, it’s made a comeback.

What If Everybody Did That? by Ellen Javernick. This book is actually a book I’ve used previously for work. It’s meant to taught social skills and rules by exaggeration – like, what if everybody fed the animals at the zoo, or threw one piece of trash out the car window? Edgar mostly thinks it’s hilarious to see the potential consequences, which obviously isn’t the book’s intention, but he also never does any of The Things, so maybe the message is working subconsciously?

Off & Away by Cale Atkinson. Such a sweet book. Little girl takes over her dad’s job – delivering messages in bottles to their proper recipient via boat – and has an epic adventure.

Dude! by Aaron Reynolds. Edgar loves this book. The only word in it is dude – said over and over again in different inflections. He gets a kick out of “reading” the book to me.

Happy reading!

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Currently: April 2021

Currently reading:

This month, I finished The House of Silk and Moriarty, both by Anthony Horowitz, both Sherlock Holmes-themed novels. Currently I’m reading A Study in Scarlet Women – also a Sherlock Holmes adaptation! I’m on a Holmes kick at the moment. Prior to these, I read Too Good To Be True by Carola Lovering, which was a great page turner.

Currently listening to:

A lot of podcasts! I’ve been trying to zero in and get caught up on my favorites – Pod Save America, The Girl Next Door, The Mom Hour, and NPR Politics.

Currently watching:

I got on a kick of watching old episodes of How I Met Your Mother, and it’s been delightful. Enough time has passed that they feel new and extraordinarily hilarious. I also have been watching a few episodes of This Is Us – I think I stopped watching that show, last time around, at the beginning of the second season, and after it was recommended by another thousand people, I decided to give it another try.

Currently the boys are:

They like to pack up their backpacks and pretend they’re going to school or on a trip. They also are really into drawing and writing – they each have a “writing book” that they like to bring with them wherever we go. (THAT is a true sign of my influence!)

Currently grateful for:

SPRING! Warm weather, the spring equinox, and spring break!

Currently looking forward to:

I am getting so excited for our summer road trip and for lazy summer days at the new swim club we joined.

Happy April!

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5 Things I’m Grateful For (March 2021)

So much to be grateful for.

  1. Tamara getting vaccinated! So amazing.
  2. Jonas starting pre-school in the fall! He’ll be three in September, and he’ll go to the nature pre-school Edgar’s been attending this year. This school has been one of the greatest gifts of the pandemic for us. We had not planned on sending Edgar there, but we opted for an outdoor pre-school because it felt safer during COVID times. Now, we love the school so much, and we’re SO excited for Jonas to attend there next year. The reason why I’m grateful THIS month is that we just found out he got a spot after being on the wait list. YAY!
  3. SPRING. Y’all, January and February were ROUGH. The glimpses of warm weather and sunshine this month have been the best mood lifters ever.
  4. Planning for our summer trip. We’re doing a camping road trip this summer, and we’ve finally mapped it all out, largely thanks to TTODD. So excited to get away and to teach these boys how to camp.
  5. Being on the wait list for Baby # 3! I’m sure this will be a roller coaster ride of emotions as we wait, but for now, I’m grateful that all the paperwork and home study tasks are done and we are officially waiting for our third baby. Get here quick, Baby! We’re pumped to meet you.

It is SPRING, and I am ready for all the loveliness – warm weather, outdoor gatherings, bare feet, and NO winter coats. Happy March!

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Wow (Intentions for the Return to Somewhat Normal)

It’s March 16, 2021, as I write this. This week is my first week back in the middle school building where I work in a year.

This week feels big – a huge step toward a return to semi-normalcy. I’ve received the COVID vaccine, as have many of my family members and friends. We’re still wearing masks, and we’re all still being careful to socially distance. But it feels like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, for sure.

I love being a social worker, but I’m extremely sad to be returning to work. I have loved working remotely and having so much time with the boys. I’ve loved the flexibility of it. The thought of putting on real pants and leaving the house every day is exhausting to me.

That said, this feels like a fresh start – a “new year” at a time that’s not usually a new year’s resolution kind of time. I feel energized by the warm weather and optimistic about nearing (hopefully, hopefully, please) the end of the pandemic. It’s a good time to set a few intentions for myself as I return to semi-normal work life.

  1. Zero multi-tasking. For a year, I’ve been juggling working from home with caring for the boys. I have often felt pulled in several different directions. I love being at home; I don’t love having the lines blurred between work time and non-work time. So one of my intentions for this return to normalcy is to eliminate multi-tasking.
  2. Maintain the good habits. Throughout the pandemic, I’ve maintained several good routines – daily running/walking, three AA meetings a week, and a semi-tidy household. I want to keep up these habits as we shift back into normal mode.
  3. Healthy eating. My pandemic diet has been far from perfect – but, it has been convenient to have my entire kitchen available to me when I’m trying to make a healthy eating choice. Really would like to maintain a healthy-ish diet as I return to semi-normal work life.
  4. Stay grounded. I’ve known this previously, but during the pandemic it’s become even clearer – I am grounded by running, writing, and reading. I need to run (almost) every day, I need to write (almost) every day, and I need a good book within my reach at all times. If I don’t have these three things, I feel off and not like myself.

I’ll add to this if I think of anything new this week – because, really, it’s hard to even remember what intentions I NEED to set, after a year of COVID life! Cheers to the return of semi-normalcy – the good, the less good, and the all of it.

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