I write posts in my head

I write a lot of things in my head and never manage to actually get them down somewhere more permanent. Sometimes I wonder if other people live like this, with a constant stream of narration in their own heads. I don't usually talk to myself directly and I feel weird doing that, but I like to comment on my day, analyze things, and describe them to other people. I've always liked to process things out loud, and since getting divorced this has been a lot harder since I don't have anyone around to do this with. Hence, trying to get back into blogging and journaling. I just need to sit down more often to write out the things I'm thinking. 

We had a good Christmas this year. I hadn't been feeling much of the Christmas spirit since our schedule was compressed and the kids and I were at work and school through the 22nd. During the earlier part of the month I was also still recovering from my surgery, and so we didn't do very many festive things like we usually do. I even procrastinated getting our annual family pictures and preparing a Christmas card. But, on the morning of the 23rd we headed off to the photo studio and had a great time. Then I dropped the kids off at Mr. Fob's for the afternoon and finished up my shopping and cleaning. My parents showed up that night, and then we spent Christmas Eve baking goodies and watching Christmas shows on TV. Christmas day was both low-key and fun. We opened presents, ate breakfast, and went to church. The kids spent the afternoon with Mr. Fob before coming back here for the night. I spent the afternoon just hanging out with my parents, including setting up the new TV for Christmas. 

I had two paid holidays this week and then I took the other three days off of work, and it's been rather nice. Sometimes when I have time off work I create too many expectations for myself and try to cram a bunch of things in. This week I didn't make a lot of plans other than spending time with the kids. We've gone out and done some fun things, we've stayed in to play with new toys and watch movies, and we've done a lot of cleaning and organizing. Generally it's been an enjoyable, relaxing week. 

As mentioned, I got a new flat-screen TV from "the kids", which really means it came from Mr. Fob. I was pretty sure that's what it was when they dropped off a giant box a few weeks ago. It used to bother me when he bought big presents for me, especially since I don't reciprocate and the kids just get him little things, but I've decided that I don't care. I still had the old TV we had received as a wedding present back in 2001, as well as the entertainment center we bought a short while later when we first graduated. It was a little bittersweet to haul both of them to the dump on Monday; those two items have been to a lot of places with us and played a big part in our lives for a long time. But, last night I was able to stream the Christmas special of Call the Midwife from my phone to the TV and I thought "man, I'm living in the future!" and it was pretty amazing. 

I'm feeling excited about setting some goals for 2017, but I'm still not sure if I want to set some concrete, specific things to accomplish or just have some guiding principles. I tend to do a little better when I keep expectations low and don't stress myself out too much. This past year I have accomplished a few things successfully. In May I bought a five-year journal at Blackwells in Oxford as a souvenir, and I've kept it up for the rest of this year. It's easy to do since it only takes a minute or two at night and once I got momentum it has been easy to keep to going. I've also started reading my scriptures at night again over the last few weeks. For a while I was doing a more intense study regimen with a notebook and everything, but it was really hard to keep up and I finally just didn't even read my scriptures anymore. I'd like to do that kind of study again, but just getting back in the scripture habit has been working. Now that I don't have to do schoolwork in the evenings anymore, I've started staying off the computer after dinner and reading on the couch instead, which means that when I get in bed I'm not as tempted to read other books and can just read my scriptures for a bit before going to sleep. 

Better sleep habits and starting an exercise routine are at the top of my list for goals for next year, but I'm undecided about the best approach. When I think about goals to set, what keep coming to mind is that I want to be more productive and more connected. I think I might just stick with those ideas and see what happens. Being more productive would mean focusing on consuming less and producing more. More self-reflection and writing, more exercise and self-care, more hobbies and crafts and less time wasted with online reading and social media. Being more connected would mean more time spent connecting to my emotions, more connection to God through better scripture study and temple attendance, more social engagements and spending time with friends, and better parenting to connect with my kids. 

This year I don't have the kids for New Year's Eve and I'm undecided yet about staying up. I've had a few late nights this week so I might just get to bed on time in order to have a fresh start for the new year tomorrow. My other goal for the next few days is to get my yearly review of books up, as well as a post about reading goals. I may not set concrete goals in other areas, but this year I'm going to create my own reading challenge in order to be more intentional about what I read.


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