Pandemic check in #8
Keeping my nails and cuticles lovely



Hey, 2022! Come on in. And please behave yourself; we've had some trouble with your predecessors.

This blog started with a post about my goals for 2011 so writing this annual post always reminds me of sending my words out into the internet for the very first time. I'm so glad that I did. Keeping up the practice of reflecting, setting goals and intentions, and capturing my thoughts on life as it happens has helped me to live more intentionally, to find community with people who I would otherwise never be able to connect with, and has lead to other creative endeavors, most importantly my Girl Next Door Podcast, which continues to be something that I love to do. I'm so very thankful to you for reading my words whether this is my first post you've ever read or you are a long-time reader.

I started to reflect on my goals for 2022 in the fall of last year, as is my habit. I love the act of thinking and processing before deciding. I kept a running list for 2022 on my phone of ideas both for a one-word intention and for specific goals. I also did some journaling on a few occasions. I asked myself, "what do I need more of right now?" and "what do I want less of?" It was interesting to see where those questions led me.

Looking over all the ideas for 2022 that I had collected I could see I was trying very hard to tell myself something: several times on this list I had written in capital letters words like REST and LESS in between ideas for specific goals. The repetition told me how much I was craving those things in my life. I knew that I needed to listen.

If you're interested in hearing more about my process for setting new year intentions and goals, Erica and I had a great conversation about this in an episode of The Girl Next Door Podcast called How We Set New Year Intentions. We also have an entire episode sharing our intentions and goals for 2022.


NOURISH for 2022

As I thought about "rest" and "less" neither word felt like the right spirit that I wanted for my one-word intention for the year. The idea I kept coming back to is a desire to focus my energy on the things in my life that are the most important and bring me the most fulfillment (family, writing, podcasting, taking care of myself) and simplifying everything else. After some brainstorming and thesauraus-ing  the word NOURISH clicked for me.

In setting my intention of NOURISH for the year, I want to remember to reflect on what activities and things bring me the most fulfillment. I want to give my time and energy to those. I want to work on letting go and simplifying things and commitments that do not nourish me. I want to feel permission to say no to anything I feel pressured to do because I think I "should" but which doesn't actually make my heart sing.




Personal Care & Growth

+ Prioritize prepping breakfast and lunch for myself. I want to literally nourish myself this year with breakfast and lunch. I've noticed that these meals can be an afterthought for me, put off in order to feed someone else or to make use of every work minute that I have. Instead, with a little forethought, I can have easy, tasty, and healthy breakfasts and lunches on hand. I'm thinking overnight oats for breakfast (I love to eat these) and simple lunch spreads à la Trader Joe's like crackers, cheese or spread, and fruit.

+ Paint my nails more often. I love having my nails painted. It's a small joy and I love the look. Plus keeping my nails short and painted helps me to not pick my cuticles. I'm developing a Tuesday evening ritual of painting my nails after bedtime while watching a couple episodes of a show. (I'm currently still working through Schitt's Creek.) This ritual feels restful and productive which I love.

+ Take REST. My default mode is efficiency and productivity. This serves me well in many regards but rest is also a type of productivity too – and a necessary one at that. To take more rest I'm checking in with myself before I transition between chunks of my day, such as after I put Maeve down for a nap or after I've finished a block of work time on a daycare day. If I feel myself craving a break I'm working on listening. I remind myself that rest can look like 15 minutes of sitting and reading. When I get to the end of a day I feel more taken care of and have a better reserve of calm if I've taken some rest for myself.


+ Strengthen my pelvic floor with regular exercises. I worked with a physical therapist last year to strengthen my pelvic floor. She said that what makes the biggest impact is doing exercises daily.  So I've set my FitBit to vibrate every day at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. This give some two daily reminders to do kegels exercises. I'm definitely doing them more often with the reminders!

+ Increase my running pace at Orange Theory. There are three speeds used during Orange Theory treadmill workouts: base pace, push pace, and all out. Currently my paces are around 6 mph for base pace, about 7.2 mph for push pace, and 8 mph or a bit higher for all out. By the end of the year I'd like to be comfortably running faster than I am now. I'm not sure how much to expect over a year so my goal is to be mindful of my speeds and to bump up my speeds .1 or .2 mph every few weeks and try to maintain those.



+ Be present in parenting and know that parenting is my most important job right now. I want to remember that whatever parenting task is before me, no matter how "un-fun" like refereeing a sibling squabble to searching for a lost toy, is more important than my to-do list.

+ Brush and make Maeve’s hair most days to get her used to having her hair up. Maeve is rocking a toddler mullet that is long enough for styling but she is pretty opposed. My goal is to get her used to having a pony tail or clip in her hair by the end of the year. I've never done this before so your tips are welcome!



+ Weekly mini-dates with Chris. We're around each other all the time yet quality time is hard to come by! With daycare three days per week and our both working at home we can totally fit in a quick coffee date, longer lunch date, or just an uninterrupted conversation more easily. What helps is planning ahead because once I get going working it's hard for me to switch gears. We also have family and non-family babysitters ready to watch the kids and are getting back to some occasional day dates (please don't make me stay out past 8 p.m., thank you).



Creative Work

+ Complete and publish Maeve’s birth story. I have a good start on this and want to publish it this year in April around Maeve's second birthday.

+ Don’t put additional expectations on writing or podcasting. I love seeing growth and I often look for it in my writing and podcasting in terms of doing something more or different. However, growth comes in many forms. For a creative endeavor I am remembering that growth can also be expressed through process and the quality of the output. This year I want to enjoy the process of creating without expectation. My intention of nourish and doing less of the things that take me away from creating will help me in this goal. Interestingly, the more time and fewer expectations I give myself for creating the more my creativity flourishes. Simply put, by doing less I produce more. How lovely.


+ Streamline and de-stress our meal planning, grocery shopping, and dinner routines. So many preferences and factors go into meals. And it turns out that everyone wants to eat multiple meals every dang day! For this goal what I want are some improved systems for planning dinners and better-collaborating with Chris to grocery shop and cook dinner. I probably need to refresh my recipe binders. I definitely need some lists in Google docs. And if my two older children could just enjoy eating dishes that include things other than pasta, beans, and cheese that would also really help. Too much to ask? We'll see!

+ Optimize organization and storage throughout our home. This is somewhat of an ongoing goal every year since I am always seeking optimized efficiency. A few areas of our home in particular that I hope to declutter are my closet shelves and perhaps our whole closet, our new laundry room cabinets (thanks to Chris!), and our front hall closet.

+ New floors! We had planned to do this last year but this year we really mean it! I'm caught up on picking the actual flooring which will be luxury vinyl plank. I want a light wood look with warm undertones. So many of the options have gray undertones that I don't like. Anyway, if I can choose a floor from the sea of choices, Chris is ready to do the installation.


+ Weekly budget meetings. We go through phases where we're good about regular budget meetings. And then life gets busy! To commit to these we've put a recurring meeting on our calendars for Thursdays. These weekly touch-bases help us to stay on track with spending and saving which translates to achieving bigger financial goals, like a buying a second home. When we're in the habit of checking in on finances I feel a strong sense of being on the same team with Chris which is how I always want to feel.



That's what I've got for 2022! I would love to hear any intentions or goals that you have for 2022 if you'd like to share.


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