Ten Goals for 2010

Rediscover my musical talents, particularly piano, voice, and bass guitar

Give up texting while driving

Give up 32+ ounce diet sodas

Lose at least 10% of my body weight

Visit 2 states I’ve never been to (Currently need to hit AK, AL, LA, NC, DE, VA, WV, MD, ME, ND, SD, VT, NH, OK and NM) and a new country (Hoping for Mexico, Japan, or Australia)

Complete my CPC medical coding certification

Read the Book of Mormon cover-to-cover

Learn MAD PhotoShop Skillz

Be SOMEBODY’s bridesmaid

Be in control of my finances, with an acceptable debt-to-income ratio

Enough bills to make you ill

I have a secret confession. In the past year I have acquired an unhealthy anxiety about opening my mail. As a teen, I LOVED to check the mail. I retained a healthy bunch of pen pals when I moved from Oregon, and I received real, live letters fairly often. Now it seems that all I get are bills I can’t pay…mixed in with a couple baby/wedding announcements. When I arrived in Utah this summer, I wasn’t handling stress in a healthy way. I coped by avoidance. I didn’t turn in my postal change of address form for almost a month. I stuffed the pile of bills I brought from Georgia on a shelf on my closet, not to be viewed for weeks. I went as long as 10 days between the 30 second walks to the mailbox. I made myself believe that if I didn’t open the mailbox, the bills wouldn’t exist. Email is no problem, it’s just the snail mail that gets me.

In counseling to overcome my period of depression, I made goals for each week. At first they started out really small; Be out of bed by 11:00 am, make one phone call per day, walk outside for 10 minutes, call a friend to make a social arrangement to get out of the house. It was dealing with the bills that caused the anxiety. Between 8 student loans, credit cards, insurance statements, several bank accounts, and tying up loose ends in Georgia…I had a LOT of letters to open. I made arrangements with most of my creditors, explaining my current unemployment, and most were easy to work with. But even once a loan was put into forbearance, the creditors have continued to send out letters frequently (sometimes 2-3 per week).

I decided to tackle the dreaded pile tonight. Junk mail, statements, bills, magazines, receipts…I was determined to open every single envelope (some still unopened from July!) I opened over 200 envelopes. In two hours, I had made 33 piles on the floor. My next quest is to actually LOOK at the mail, figure out what payments are due, and file them in an orderly way. I’ve NEVER gone this long without organizing my paperwork…and I couldn’t take it anymore!

I will leave no letter unopened for more than a week
I will do a thorough filing and/or scanning of receipts and bills monthly
I will be organized enough to send out Christmas cards this year (email me your address if you want one, and I’ll reply with mine)

Nicole’s state of the self 2007

Current mood: determined

I just walked back in the house from saying goodbye to Taylor. He is leaving for 3-5 weeks for Sheble’s Flight School in Kingman, AZ. This weekend has been hard, knowing that we’re about to embark on the longest seperation that we’ve had so far in our marriage. He was gone for about a week in October 2005 when he was finishing his Private Pilot License at Sheble’s. And I was in California for two weeks in May 2006 as Taylor was finishing up moving from Utah….but we saw each other for the weekend between at Andrea’s wedding in St. George. So 3-5 weeks seems like an eternity. He will return for a few days once he finishes his Commercial license to take his FAA written flight instructor test. And if he’s away for my birthday in February, we’ll spend a conjugal weekend in Laughlin. Until then, I’m a pilot widow.

This weekend I’ve been noticing how many things he does for me to make me happy. While he is gone, I’ll have to do all the dishes, cooking, cleaning, and Rosie-taxiing. I’ll have to double check the lights and locks before I go to bed. I’ll have to sleep in a bed only warmed by blankets and my own body heat. I love him so much and I know that this training will advance him for his future. So I’m a bit melancholy, but I’m sure I’ll be fine.

We had a wonderful trip to Utah for Christmas. It was great to see my family, friends, and old co-workers. I had lots of wonderful food that I can’t get in Cali (Leatherby’s, Famous Daves, and especially Cafe Rio (twice!!) When it was time to come home, I felt refreshed for a few more months.

Work is going fine. I’m working a little more at Chino Valley Hospital lately. It’s a longer commute, but I feel more appreciated there. Again, the new year of paychecks is a bit disappointing…..I’m making less this year than last because of benefit premium increases (and no raise.) C’est la vie.

Healthwise I’m doing okay. I saw the doctor last month and had a full lab workup. All tests are normal, which is good because I had been suspecting diabetes for a few months. I’ve lost about 17 pounds on Weight Watchers since October, which has helped my general well-being. I’m going to have to try harder to get to the gym while Taylor is gone. I’ll miss his babysitting for my gym visits. It would be good if I get into better shape while he’s gone and he notices my improvement. I can do it. I can do it. I can do it.

Rosie continues to love Kindergarten. It’s fun to see her learning how to read. Now there are no written secrets…she will spell out words on my secret notes to self and figures things out. School starts back up again, so she’ll thrilled.

So that’s the state of me for January 2007. I’m surviving, but not quite thriving. Will be better when my husband is making money. Yay!

Currently listening :
Finally Woken
By Jem
Release date: 23 March, 2004