Happy New Year (The Year of the Dragon, Cissell III)

Can you believe it’s already the year of the dragon? That’s full on bananas. Every month, I promise myself that I’ll be better at blogging – get back into old habits – but for some reason, it’s just not resonating with me.

I mean, I have a whole new blog layout (that I’m feeling pretty iffy about at the moment) and it’s not like I’ve been going anywhere or doing anything lately…

The gif of Kristen Bell laugh/crying is getting a lot of work this year

My goals list for the last year made me a leeeeeeetle sad, too. A year ago, the husband was gearing up for a trip to Germany – a trip I decided was financially irresponsible to join him on. After all, I reasoned, why not just save up for my 2020 trip abroad (and the kiddo’s first passport usage!). Now, my passport’s expired, and I haven’t slept anywhere but my own house for almost a year. Thinking of sleeping in my car tonight, just for the vacation aspect! (Kidding! Mostly!)

It’s been a challenging year (again!), but this time, you all got to come along for the ride.

Let’s see what my Cissell II: Year of the Unicorn goals looked like, shall we?

  1. Find a fairly inexpensive place to vacation abroad. (Don’t want to break my streak of getting a passport stamp every year since 2016). – fuck you 2020!
  2. Finish the Eleanor Morgan series and add at least one Oracle Bay book to my list. – Oracle Bay book added! Belle of the Ball came out in December. As for Eleanor, book 6, The Iron River, was released in May, the Raj novella, The Throneless King, came out in March, and The Dark Throne is in progress…so maybe 3/4 of a win?
  3. Work on marketing skills. – ummmm…other than the fact that I did just link 3 books in the previous paragraph, I can’t say that I’m better at this.
  4. Use CPAP machine religiously and find out what it’s like to be rested again. – I hate this thing with a fiery passion. In fact, I was probably asking for it when I used the word “religiously” to describe my planned usage, as I have about as much desire to CPAP as I do to church. Oops.
  5. Learn to be more vulnerable. Strength /= lack of emotion. Ask for and accept help. – I’m sure that everyone I know will attest to the fact that I’ve nailed this x100. (Or that I just am a seesaw of emotion and can’t find that balance.)
  6. Make time, 3-4x/week, for exercise. Even if it’s just 20 minutes. – FUCKING NAILED IT! I am walking 5-6x/week, usually about 45 minutes.
  7. Rediscover my love of the trails, whether it’s hiking with my daughter or running by myself. – I have not. I keep making time for other things and not taking time for myself. 
  8. Biweekly swim dates with the child. – I was doing a great job of getting my kid wet a couple times/week (swimming lessons) and packing my own swim bag and trying to be brave enough to do it (WTF Amy?) and then, the pandemic. Now there’s nowhere to swim. Except my backyard.
My super posh backyard inflatable pool...
My super posh backyard inflatable pool…all it lacks is a reliable pool person to refill my drinks and reapply sunscreen.
  1. Monthly blog posts – lolz
  2. Quarterly fancy dates with my husband – We were doing quite well with this. But then, March happened.
  3. Stop frequently and watch in awe as my daughter grows up and completes second grade. Be there when she needs me, but staying a few steps back when she doesn’t. (Also, force her to ride her damn bike already, I mean I was riding before kindergarten C’MON!) Let go of the things that don’t really matter (biking) and work on the things that do (swimming) and find a way to enjoy soccer momming. – She just keeps growing and I can’t stop watching her with awe. She won’t ride her bike yet (and it drives me bonkers, but I’m trying to let it go). She made great strides (strokes?) on swimming before it was all shut down. Soccer momming wasn’t too bad. I got a lot of reading done, anyway! She’s been with me 100% of the time since 3/31 and although it’s had its ups & downs for both of us, I love it. I love having her here all the time. She’s grown so many inches and shoe sizes (my feet fit in her shoes now) and as a person. We’re both nervous about what 3rd grade at a new school with 100% distance learning will bring next week, but I know she can handle it.
  4. Court balance and self care. – I try. It’s still hard to do my own oxygen mask first, but I’m trying to spend more time on mindfulness, exercise, yoga, sleep, and sitting in my pool.

Bonus: spend more time in the water, whether it’s ocean, lake, river, or swimming pool. Water is my happy place. – I made a trip to the coast in November and have spent a lot of the summer in my fancy pool. I’m trying to figure out what I can do to make water accessible in the winter when the swimming pools still aren’t open.

It’s been a weird year, and 2020 isn’t done with us yet. I’m not sure 2021 has better plans, either! At least not initially. But regardless, the world will (probably) keep turning…and Cissell III is beginning.

a river surrounded by craggy peaks. There are two dragons flying over the river and the text reads: "Cissell 3, the year of the dragon." At the bottom are a phoenix and a unicorn, representing years 1 & 2.

This is a year to be fierce. To advocate as strongly for myself as for others. To not accept always being pushed backwards when I am as deserving as friendship and love as anyone else. To stop volunteering for everything just because it looks like no one else will. To push back (kindly, obvs) when necessary. I’m 43. It’s probably about time I learned to take care of me.

As for specifics?

  1. Successful head-shrinking appt where I get to try new drugs & can find a way to finagle my insurance into letting me have effective therapy (the insurance is against long-term therapy or tailoring therapy to work with an individual’s crazy, so it is a battle).
  2. Make/execute my “winter water” plan. Just keeping sitting in the inflatable backyard pool? Shell out for a hot tub? Take up self-taught SCUBAing in the Columbia? Lay out on the lawn on every rainy day? The possibilities are endless. Kinda.
A wheelbarrow with a bonfire inside is parked in an inflatable pool.
There’s no way this could go wrong…right?
  1. Learn to do the things I want done so I don’t need to rely on other’s timetables to finish them.
  2. Add regular yoga to my current routine.
  3. Once a month trips to the trees, minimum.
  4. Develop a skin-care routine. And then follow it.
  5. Publish 3 books. (Eleanor the last, Secret Project the first, Oracle Bay the 4th.)
  6. Further refine my schedule (to fit in with the spawn’s school schedule) so that I have time for writing and time for me…and me time shouldn’t be last on my list of priorities.
  7. Plan a couple trips. One with the family (to use the kid’s passport) and one just for me. I’ll probably invite the husband on that second one. He’s a pretty great travel companion.
  8. Speaking of travel, I need to renew my passport. I had all the paperwork prepared and was gonna do it while on post-surgery medical leave, but…
  1. Weekly one on one time with my kiddo that has nothing to do with school. And hopefully nothing to do with Percy Jackson. *fingers crossed*
  2. Work on language – I need to pick one and practice instead of jumping around like a frog in my homemade hot tub. It’s down to this now: Spanish or Portuguese? I’m hard leaning Spanish because (a) I have a background in the language and (b) my daughter speaks Spanish and will have less instruction in it this year in her new school. But…kinda want to move to Portugal in 10 years (+/-). I’ll decide by 9/1/20 and get after it.

Now that we’re in year 3, and a lot of dreams and plans have been put on hold, what are you cautiously hoping to accomplish in the next year?

Let me know! I can’t wait to cheer you on.

Happy New Year!

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