Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Happy New Year!

We made it to the new decade – happy 2020! How was your New Year’s Eve? I was/am still on the mend from some virus that Joanie and I passed back and forth all December. I got hit with it particularly hard on Christmas Eve and it basically knocked me out for a week. I guess I passed it back to Joanie before the month ended because she woke up yesterday threatening to puke. So, we decided to stay in for NYE — which, let’s be honest, was the plan all along.

I wanted to make it a special night for the kids, so I picked up some confetti cake at one of our neighborhood’s many bakeries, some bubbly for everyone (sparkling cider for the kids), told everyone to get dressed up, made shrimp cocktail and heated up some pigs-in-a-blanket (Jackson asked if this was a traditional NYE meal and I told him it was because why not), and then we watched John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch (highly recommend whether you have kids or not) and the NYE countdown special that Netflix is kind enough to put out every year for parents who want to trick their kids into thinking it’s midnight when it’s actually only 8 pm. I threw in some noise makers, we had a toast at 7:30, and the kids totally bought it!! Well, Joanie did, anyway (it helped that she did actually puke during the festivities and was genuinely ready to go to bed shortly afterward) and Jackson was thrilled to be part of tricking Joanie and then continued to play along by actually going to bed when she did (though he stayed awake reading books for a couple hours because 2019 was the year he decided he LOVES reading, much to my delight). All in all, it was a pretty great NYE (some of which you can see in my Insta-stories), and here are a few photos that my kids gave me permission to share:

We’re probably keeping it low-key today on account of the aforementioned holiday virus of 2019, but that’s ok. The kids go back to school tomorrow and, for once, I’m not on pins and needles for them to get out of my hair. It’s amazing what a difference it makes when they mostly get along, which they have this break, and when the meltdowns and tantrums are minimal to non-existent. Could this be it?! The magical time that people have told me is coming when parenthood finally gets easier?! After eight years of some really, really challenging times, I would very much welcome the kind of breather this past week and half suggests is possible. Oh, please, 2020, don’t let me down!

Anyhoo, I don’t have any resolutions yet, but maybe I’ll come up with something today. Last year I resolved to read 25 books and I pretty much succeeded. I finished 23 (and shared some of my faves here), but there was an additional 12 or so that I partially read and I think that should count for something. I guess I’ll continue the reading resolution for this year but boost it up to 30 books. I just finished Fleischman is in Trouble, which I really enjoyed, and now I’m reading this one. In addition to reading, I want to commit to pilates classes twice a week, which I’ve been pretty good about since summertime but could use an extra push to stay committed to. And I want to write more — maybe like 3000 words a week not related to/posted on DW. So… I guess I do have some resolutions, after all!

Another thing I committed to in 2019 was self-care, but not just the kind that was previously called vanity and has been re-marketed to make us feel ok about it. I’m talking boring stuff, like skin cancer checks, regular dental visits, therapy, consistent exercise, drinking more water, and finally getting my blood pressure under control. (After almost five years of hypertension, I started medication a month ago and already feel better.) I also lost a little weight, but I didn’t obsess about it. I feel good about all that and want to continue the boring and not-so-boring self-care into the new decade.

So, what about you? What are your hopes and dreams and plans and goals for the new year and the new decade?

24 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Sandy January 1, 2020, 9:33 am

    I’m so glad the we aren’t the only family whose holiday traditions include at least one kid barfing!

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      Helen January 2, 2020, 7:45 am

      I’m going to look into this! I’ve been devoted to my month at a glance paper calendar forever, but I’ve recently started my cleaning business up again and want to utilize the alerts and reminders that digital calendars offer

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      • avatar

        Helen January 2, 2020, 8:31 am

        Oops I replied to the wrong comment! I’ll figure shit out one day

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    ktfran January 1, 2020, 11:11 am

    Happy New Year! I enjoyed your Instagram stories last night Wendy. Looked like a fun evening.

    We played it low key this year, but have a busy month coming up so needed a break.

    I think my only wish for the new year is to keep better track of things. Birthdays. Events. Life in general.

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    • avatar

      Kate January 1, 2020, 1:09 pm

      So, if you don’t already have a system that works for you, I have two recos. 1) I used to print the *monthly* calendar page off Outlook and put it on a clipboard. I write everything in pencil because bitches always change things. You can plan out the whole month and keep adding to it.

      2) For the past 6-7 years, my dad buys me the Anne Taintor Engagement Calendar for each year. You can get it on Amazon. Each page is a week, so you can write to-dos on each day, and it has a notes section on the side for other things you need to get done. It’s a spiral bound book, not too big, that you can carry in your bag. It has snarky captioned 50s lady pictures. I write all work and personal stuff in it. It works like a charm. I’m very very organized and it’s no effort.

      I also carry a notebook all the time at work and write everything down.

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      • avatar

        Kate January 1, 2020, 1:11 pm

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        ktfran January 1, 2020, 2:47 pm

        Thanks!! I’ll check it out.

        I’ve tried apps and they don’t really work for me. I’m prob better at writing down so thank you!

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      • avatar

        Kate January 1, 2020, 2:58 pm

        Yup, I’ve been writing everything down in pencil ever since college when I was getting super overwhelmed about everything I had to do, and my mom was like, get a calendar book that shows a month at a time, and just write everything you have coming up, when it’s due, and each thing you need to do to get there. I instantly felt in control. And pencil keeps it neat because you can just erase. I don’t think an app would ever work for me, but to each their own! Whatever actually works, seriously. I know a guy who does literally everything in Teams, and it’s beautiful. Just not for me.

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        anonymousse January 1, 2020, 6:56 pm

        I write everything down, too. It helps me remember and to feel on top of everything, all I need to do is look. Using a pencil is a good idea.

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        ktfran January 1, 2020, 8:29 pm

        Ordered because it looks fun! And I do remember better if I write down.

        Also, I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s dad and what he has to deal with.

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  • avatar

    Kate January 1, 2020, 1:03 pm

    We went out last night but were in bed early because my husband had to do half the drive to Ontario today for his company’s planning meeting or whatever. He has to drive because he takes boats back and forth. Anyhoo. I put on a Free People sequin dress I have, and some flashing 2020 glasses I bought on the street, and ate crab legs and drank champagne. I feel pretty fine today.

    Honestly, I feel like I’m already doing the best I can. I read a lot of books, I stay fit, I get my hair and nails done, I dress well and on the cheap with the help of Haverdash rental, I am trying to be a supportive spouse for my husband whose father passed away two weeks ago and his mom is acting like worse than anything you read in the forums. I have a good contract job that pays the bills and has a 401k, while I also work on a startup. Did puppy kindergarten and now we’re moving on to dog training.

    Like, could I do even better? Sure, but it would take a level of effort I just can’t give. So I just do the best I can.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy January 1, 2020, 3:23 pm

      Kate, I’m so sorry about your husband’s dad.

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        Kate January 1, 2020, 3:39 pm

        Thank you. The situation is such a mess, you wouldn’t even believe it. His mom is a very… special lady. Like if I wrote in about it, everyone would just be like WTF with nothing to say. My husband doesn’t deserve this bullshit, no one does. My best guess is serious personality disorder.

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      anonymousse January 1, 2020, 6:54 pm

      So sorry, Kate.

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  • avatar

    Fyodor January 1, 2020, 1:55 pm

    We went on an Israel tour for SoF’s winter break and fell asleep early on New Year’s Eve, but we SoF up earlyish in the morning Israel time on January 1 and watched the ball drop in New York.

    My new year’s resolution is to manage my time better and manage my anxieties better so that they don’t detract from my quality of life.

    Happy new year everyone! I wish everyone a happy and healthy new year full of adventure and intrigue.

    *Spawn of Fyodor

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  • avatar

    Ange January 1, 2020, 5:02 pm

    We didn’t do much. We live not too far from the devastating Australian bushfires and the mood over here is pretty somber, we had to cancel our Christmas plans as we couldn’t risk being cut off from our house so it just hasn’t felt very celebratory. I’m back at work today and checking in with clients who were in the thick of it just up the road.

    Some positives though: we bought a pool table that doubles as a dining table cheap (pool is our favourite hobby) and finalised our bookings for our Hawaii trip so that’s something. As that trip is all about sport I guess I better figure out how to get my body into gear for a week solid of it!

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    • avatar

      Helen January 2, 2020, 8:36 am

      The pics I’m seeing from the Australian bushfires are unreal! How devastating! Stay safe

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      • avatar

        Ange January 2, 2020, 7:16 pm

        Aside from the loss of human life the loss of wildlife is absolutely heartbreaking. Koalas could nearly be called functionally extinct after this, they were decimated right in the middle of their breeding season. Estimates are at nearly half a million animals gone total.

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        Ange January 2, 2020, 7:19 pm

        Sorry, I meant 500 *million*

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy January 2, 2020, 12:09 pm

      Thinking about you all close to the fires. It’s so devastating.

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  • Copa

    Copa January 1, 2020, 5:24 pm

    I have so thoroughly been enjoying my time off work! Not going back until Monday and have had several moments of truly not knowing what day of the week it is. It’s been glorious, but I don’t do well without structure and while I could go a little longer without working, I miss my routine.

    We kept things low key last night. Had some friends over to my boyfriend’s. Appetizers, drinks, games. I went to bed at 1 and my boyfriend stayed up until 4 with the friends who spent the night.

    I never really set major goals. I’d like to get back into running and run another half marathon. I also changed some settings on my phone to curb my mindless scrolling on certain social media apps (looking at you, Insta). I’d like to volunteer more. That’s about it!

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    allathian January 2, 2020, 4:01 am

    I’m having all week off this week (from my vacation days), in addition to Dec. 24-26 off last week. One of the advantages of working for the government in a traditionally Christian (but largely secularized) country is that we get lots of days off, including some very minor holidays such as Twelfth Night (Jan 6).

    We had a great (child-free) new year’s party with around 15 guests. Fun to finally get an excuse to extend our dining-room table. Normally it seats eight, but with the extensions we can fit 14 people around it with a bit of goodwill. Finger foods and drinks were enjoyed by all, and our ten-year-old enjoyed his NYE with his grandparents, too.

    I went back to school in the fall for a work-related certificate. So my goal is to get decent grades in that.
    I need to get better at dealing with stress. A year ago I started doing taichi and it has done wonders. But I need something more than that…
    In the last two years or so I’ve been using mobile gaming as a way to wind down. My new year’s resolution for this year is to get out of credit card debt, so I canceled my VIP subscription to two games that I decided to quit cold turkey, because they took up far too much of my dispensable income. It was fun, but I needed to quit before it became an addiction.

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    Helen January 2, 2020, 8:14 am

    I ignore any holiday I don’t have to preform for my kids. Because I’m sober now! 6 years. Holidays are such a temptation. I’m so relieved when normal life starts again in January. October thru December is hell for me. Hopefully one day it won’t be so.
    2020 is already presenting me with obstacles & opportunities. I’ve always been extremely opposed to my 19yo joining the military, but after a semester dealing with America’s college system I’m realizing it’s his only option. I kept reading about the student loan crisis and thought he could just get some of those. He was going to a community college so it would be minimal. Wrong. Somehow we make too much and at the same time are too broke. I was foolish. Now I’m trying to direct him to the best branch for post military employment & least chance of PTSD & drug addiction. He already struggles with the family curse of depression. Please vote for anyone who isn’t desperate to start another war to boost his deplorable ratings.
    All that said I do feel fortunate. All my kids are healthy and a good man loves me. My parents are still around. After taking 5 years off to raise my younger kids I’ve started my cleaning business up again. Doesn’t sound like much, but I enjoy being a small business owner. Happy New Year!

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy January 2, 2020, 12:09 pm

      Happy new year! October to December is always hard for me, too, so I’m also glad it’s January and life will quickly be getting back to normal!

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