Today marks the first day of summer, and as we’re also right around the halfway point for the year, I feel like it’s time to do a little goal check-in and assessment of how things have gone so far – particularly since I haven’t been keeping up with my monthly goal and wrap-up posts.
2018 has been a bit of a rollercoaster in a lot of ways. Emotionally, I’ve been pretty all over the place. On a personal level, I can’t deny that it’s been a pretty great year. Jim and I are finally settling in our own home, and the difference that shift has made in me finally feeling settled and secure and keeping my anxiety at bay as a result has been astounding. We’ve also added little Haruka to the family – and for as impossible as she can be sometimes, she’s still added such joy to our lives. And so 2018 on a personal level has been filled with some amazing high points.
But at the same time, there’s been some pretty serious lows as well. I’ve written about this both explicitly and obliquely in the past, but the reality is that the political situation in our country and current events this year have both really had an unexpectedly visceral effect on my wellbeing, and that’s taken a toll on my everyday life in unexpected ways. The violence, the trauma of school shootings, the rhetoric around it all, the most recent shit-show of interning children… as someone who in large part identifies herself as an educator, I have an emotional and intellectual connection to it all in a way that makes me just absolutely exhausted. And that’s on top of the everyday dumbf*ckery of politics in general – something which quite frankly has been draining enough on its own for a while now.
Falling Short on Established Goals
And so, despite the highs, I really can’t pretend that the lows haven’t effected my productivity and my progress towards making 2018 what I wanted it to be personally. A lot of the goals that I originally set for myself linger in limbo even now that we’re at the half-way point. For example, while I finally got new dyes and got my pysanky setup all put together, I haven’t had a chance to actually make any yet. I did well with my reading goals early in the year, but progress slowed down the last two months of the semester and into the first part of summer – for various reasons. I have yet to start training for that 5k, nor have I picked up the bow and arrow once. Cooking and meal planning has had varying periods of success and failure, and overall staying positive has been… hard. Very, very hard.
Some Forced Progress
But that’s not to say they’re all a bust. Haruka has basically mandated that I make progress on the whole establishing routine thing – although even that has been an unpleasant struggle. Having relatively set wake-up and bedtimes, even on weekends, and even when I’m not working is something that every cell in my body seems to want to strain against. But as a doting dog mom, ultimately I push through it as best I can for her sake. So there has been some progress on those original goals – just not wholly pleasant or voluntary progress.
Routines aside, ultimately we’ve reached the halfway point with very little positive progress on any of the things I originally wanted to achieve… so what now? Well that’s the great thing about doing a halfway point assessment… there’s still another half to go. And so I’m sticking to that last goal in this instance and staying positive. As Haruka gets bigger, I’ll be freed up a little more to spend my downtime as I please as opposed to tethered to the computer doing work as I keep her in my peripherals – and so some of that progress on my hobbies is absolutely still attainable.
But really, in order to get anything done at all – to utilize the rest of 2018 in a more productive, positive way – I’m going to have to add another goal. And specifically, I’m going to have to try to make a concerted effort to not let things in the news get to me the way they have.
Now by that I don’t mean that I need to learn to ignore it. I feel very strongly that ignoring it all is dangerous. What’s going on the world today needs witnessing. It needs vigilance. And it needs active resistance. So ideally, I need to figure out how to manage it better. I need to find an outlet for these frustrations – some sort of tangible action that I can take to feel like I’m making a difference, since I have no money to donate to the organizations and causes I wish I did. The biggest challenge ultimately is going to be finding time to do that, and figuring out how to balance that with my introversion. Because while I refuse to just stick my head in the sand, it’s undeniable that I do need a healthier way of handling it.
So while 2018 hasn’t been at all how I originally imagined it, I feel like I can still make it a good year going forward. And really, it’s the sum total that counts in the end, isn’t it?
How has your 2018 been so far?