Posted in Life


December 30, 2011 - 10:06 am

I am doing something uncharacteristic for me, and setting goals going into the new year.  I *think* the timing derives more from having a couple weeks of reflection time than from some sense of seasonal obligation.  I know myself well enough by now to be aware I will only make changes if they are internally motivated.  Extrinsic factors like the social pressure to make “New Year’s resolutions” or to lose weight for someone else or the like simply don’t work for me.  I also know I need to begin quietly, test how things feel, find my way into the new patterns before discussing them with the world.  It’s been a week now, more or less, and I’m ready to share.

I have begun to add two things to my routine:

1) Belly dance.  Because I need to remember to take joy from movement. 

I expect I will reap benefits in health and self concept, but the impetus is joy.  I want to move, I want to dance, and I have always absorbed the message from my parents and others that I’m too fat to dance without looking ridiculous.  Fuck’em all. 

2) I will do one thing I have been procrastinating each morning before noon.

Taking something off the “later” pile and doing it NOW is so good for me.  Not only do I accomplish the thing itself, I reduce the emotional pressure of all the things I feel I ought to do but haven’t, and I increase my confidence in my ability to do all the things, or at least more of the things. 

This past Saturday I organized my sewing station, which has never been properly set up since I moved in here but rather piled in a disorganized heap.  As part of cleaning up and organizing I decided to complete a bathrobe for D which was meant to be a present last winter- he’s scarcely been out of it while in the house since. The impetus of the clean-up effort got me to complete it rather than put it away unfinished. Riding the momentum of success, Sunday I picked up a quilting project that had been in my pile of unfinished things for a decade, sewed up all the pieces I had cut, and here is the outcome:

Quilt progress

And this is the schematic for what it will become:

Quilt schematic

The colors aren’t reproducing very well on my screen at least- each block has a saturated and a pastel half, as well as a cool and a warm half, with all 4 variants- cool/pastel, cool/saturated, warm/pastel, warm/saturated. This is a variant on a Log Cabin Barn Raising pattern, arranged to also evoke something like an oriental carpet.  It will be a bedspread.  The blue areas will be solid panels quilted color-on-color, so they will be about texture, not color. It’s going to be awesome, both in terms of the amount of work required and the eventual FO.

Monday I tackled some healthcare nonsense from the very large stack of procrastination represented by the pile on my desk, and then dug out another half completed sewing project long overdue to a good friend, which will be mailed out today.  I think they’ll be happy with the outcome.  🙂

Tuesday was more healthcare stuff, and I started working through another thing off the paperwork stack.  I also started investigating belly dance.  I found both local classes and online video classes.  This series is awesome, for anyone else interested in joining in on belly dance exploration with me.

Wednesday was, alas, more of the healthcare crap.  Good gracious I loathe the pharma-health-insurance conglomerate.  It is just WRONG that I’m one of the fortunate few with “good” health insurance, and yet I can’t get some of my doctor’s prescriptions covered.  The tests he required to determine what was wrong with me last month are also being contested as “not medically necessary.”  Afterwards I tried the belly dance videos for the first time, and more work on the quilt.

Thursday I completed some minutia at work I’ve been procrastinating for months, then practiced dance for an hour, followed by picking up the Blue Mud project again and knitting a couple inches on the sweater body.

This morning I gave the kitchen a deep down scrubbing, removing everything from the surfaces and cleaning, wiping cabinet faces, scouring the sink.  I am determined we will get back in the habit of cooking more meals than we eat out.  I was dancing around the kitchen while I cleaned, practicing the exercises I’ve been learning and shaking out the inevitable stiffness that comes along with a new routine.

I feel good.  I feel VERY good.  I have awakened from the vitamin D deficiency fog, and I’m in the process of clearing the backlog of cruft that’s accumulated while I was effectively absent.  I’m moving again, I’m creating again.  I am moving into the new year in a new frame of mind, both back to myself and more myself, or perhaps more aware of what it means to be myself than I have been in ages.  If ever.  It’s a beautiful place to be; life seems full of good possibility. I am looking forward, and moving forward, with confidence and joy.




December 30, 2011 10:06 am

That is a very cool start to a quilt. And yay! for clearing out old procrastinated-upon projects – I, too, know how good that feels.

Leyla Najma

January 1, 2012 10:06 am

Hello Jennifer,
Congratulations on your goals! This is going to be a year of self discovery and the journey is going to be amazing. You are starting off with a bang and I am so thankful and grateful that this year is starting off being apart of your journey. May we share our thoughts with each other and become good friends!

Blessings and Hugs,


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