January: Good, Bad, and Ugly

I'm not a fan of January--I'm sure you can look back through this blog and find plenty of posts describing all the reasons why this is not one of my favorite months. It's long, cold, and doesn't have any birthdays or anything to make things exciting. The first part of the month is always swallowed by recovery from Christmas break, and I always set too many high expectations for the new year.

This January was a mixed bag. The weather was ugly--the entire western part of the country has been stuck under a high pressure ridge that's pushing all the cold and snowy weather to the east. It's been a moderately cold, hazy, polluted month around here. I've barely seen any rain or snow, and it's gotten warm enough for trees to think they need to pop out some buds. I like winter weather and feel sad that we haven't had any this year. 

I've settled into work and made plans through the rest of the year. At the end of last November I interviewed for a position in different department, but I finally found out this month that I didn't get it. That is all a very long story and I felt a bit disappointed for a few days. In the long run it's really not a big deal--I like my current job and there is nothing wrong with sticking around in my current position for a while longer. Last week we also had a meeting that discussed some upcoming changes in my department, so I may have some new opportunities after all.

School started last week and I feel good about my decision to just take one class. I'm taking a class called the "History of Books and Libraries" and so far it is a lot of fun. There is quite a lot of reading, and I'm glad I can put all of my energy into just focusing on one class this time around. I still feel a bit behind because life this week was crazy, so hopefully my slightly relaxed schedule won't lull me into a false sense of security and I'll still keep up on my homework even when I'm not too stressed. 

My parents came up here for a few days over the holiday weekend and we had a good time together. It was a few days after my dad's birthday so I had an excuse to make a delicious chocolate cake. On Monday morning we went bowling together and had lunch at a restaurant before they left to go home. I love that they live close enough that my kids get to see their Grandma and Grandpa regularly. 

Mr. Fob got married this month--I wasn't surprised by this since had been dating his partner for two years. I was surprised, however, by the fact that it did bother me a bit. I didn't expect it too--it might also have been the fact that the day of the wedding coincided with my monthly one-day PMS angst fest. I think the weirdest thing for me is accepting the fact that my kids have a stepfather and stepsisters--before, all that just seemed temporary, but obviously it's not. Oh well, I'll get over it and life will just keep moving on. It always does. 

In general, January was really not too bad. Last week I had to give a talk in church and I think I did a great job. I got a lot of compliments from people in my ward--a number of people were also impressed that I was the concluding speaker and took a full 20 minutes (the bishop thanked me for that too). I was asked to base my talk on a talk from General Conference by Carlos A. Godoy about seeking the Lord's guidance in making decisions, and obviously that is a topic I have thought about and written about quite a lot in the past. I wish I knew what I actually ended up saying--I just had some notes and quotes prepared before I got up to speak. I enjoyed preparing for the talk and it motivated me to remember times in the past when I have been better about praying, studying my scriptures, and writing in my journal. I know I can do better than I have been lately. 

One other positive thing I did this month was recommit to cooking healthier meals. I made a monthly menu plan--weekly plans don't really work so well since the kids are gone at least one night a week and sometimes more. I had the month planned out and I made some things ahead of time that were ready in the freezer, so we were able to eat a lot of good, healthy food. Last year I got in a bit of rut by not planning ahead, so that by the time I got home from work I often ended up just throwing together things like pancakes or grilled cheese sandwiches. The kids got excited about seeing the month planned out as well, and with a plan they can sometimes start getting dinner ready while I'm on my way home from work. 

That was my successful goal for the month. My regular goal of getting to bed on time didn't work out so well, yet again. I'm still trying to solve that puzzle. I also tried setting a goal of writing in my journal, and even tried saying that I would have to write in my journal before I got on the internet to browse random sites. It didn't work. I think I'll try it again next month. February is always more fun--and this year Valentine's Day is on a Saturday and I have the kids so I'm looking forward to doing fun things like heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast. Goodbye January--you won't be missed too much.

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