I have gotten way off track over the last few months. Once I ran my 5k, I seemed to decide I deserved a vacation from everything I had dedicated myself to. I say seemed because there was no conscious thought about this; I just stopped. But I’m sick of spending every morning planning the things I am going to change and spending every night lamenting my failure to make the changes I planned. I figure making public declarations of my intentions will hold me accountable to them. Apparently, I need accountability beyond myself. I too easily justify not living up to my own expectations by providing the ever-ready excuse of having too much to do and too little time. But it’s not true. I waste more time than I use and even if I didn’t, life is all about priorities. It is time I adjusted mine to reflect the things that are actually important to me. This list is an attempt to put my life back into its proper order.

-I will make time to write every day. I will write something, anything, whether it be blog posts, expansions of my current work, or new stories for later use. I must become disciplined at this if I want to be successful.

-I will submit work for publication every month. It is no longer enough to just write for myself. I have had three semesters of ego stroking by professors and writers better than I. It is confirmed; I am actually good at writing. Now I have to get my words out there. I need to submit everything, anything and accept the inevitable rejections that go along with it. I am not that frail; I can handle being told no. I figure it is just a numbers game and if I am persistent, I will eventually get published. Because if you throw enough shit at a wall some of it has to stick eventually, right?

-I will exercise every day that I am not in school for at least thirty minutes. I don’t care if I walk, run, do sit ups, or yoga, I have to get back on track and stay consistent with exercise. I feel better mentally and physically when I do and I have more energy to get the rest of the things I have to do done. This is not negotiable.

-I will eat healthy food in reasonable portions. I almost always eat healthy, I have for years now and I prefer baked chicken breast and vegetables to burgers and fries anyway. My main problem is limiting myself to just enough. I have long used that feeling of fullness from eating as a substitution for satisfaction in other aspects of my life. And when I am disappointed in myself, I use the denial of food as a form of punishment for my failures. Food should not be used as a weapon or a reward.  I know I do this and I keep doing it anyway. Balance is what I have been craving for a long time and this is what I aim to achieve with the food I consume. Not too little, not too much, just enough to meet my needs. To learn to be satisfied with just enough is a lesson I have long needed to learn. Now I am dedicating myself to this goal.

-I will get David potty trained and sleeping in his own bed. I have put off both of these issues because, honestly, I haven’t wanted to deal with them. It is easier to let things go on as they have instead of fighting about it, but I see how this pattern is setting me up for bigger battles down the line. The potty training may have to wait till winter break so that I can stay home with David as long as it takes to get him to start sitting on the toilet, but this will get done. I am so tired of sleeping with a foot in my back and scrapping shit off someone else’s ass I could scream.

-I will make time for my friends. I spent the first year-and-a-half living here being very lonely. The only people I seemed to meet ended up being complete wack jobs. Fortunately, despite the wack jobs (or because of them in some cases), I have met some absolutely amazing women. Women who I have been neglecting undeservedly. I am blessed to know the people I know, here and far away. I will no longer let emails go unanswered, plans go unmade, and phone calls go unreturned. I am rededicating myself to the people who have made my life a rich and full as it is.

That’s it for now. I’m putting my priorities out into the world in the hopes that the collective knowledge of my goals will help me in attaining them. Isn’t this what Oprah says you should do? Oh please, great power of Oprah, help me stick to my list and keep the promises I made to myself. And if you find it in your generous spirit, also send me two tickets to your “Favorite Things” show. I could really use a new blender and comfy pants made of the finest cashmere available. That is all.