Monday, June 11, 2012

Optimistic...or Crazy?

Either way, I'm going to change my life.  I will either create change in a beneficial way, or I will convince myself of an alternate reality in which that happened.

I am 43 years old.  I will be 44 in a little over a month.  I am hoping I live until my late 80s, early 90s, so that means I am close to reaching my mid-life point.  Hence the title of this blog...I have a 3 year old.  She needed a heart transplant at 4 months old.  She just had her second open heart surgery two weeks ago to repair a damaged valve.  I want to be healthy enough - financially and physically and mentally - to help her through whatever medical challenges lay in front of her, of which there are sure to be many.  My mom is currently taking chemotherapy for her fourth round of cancer treatments.  I want to be healthy for her as well.  My dad has dementia and struggles to do everyday things.  I want to be healthy for him (and to help my mom take care of him).  My sister is 13 years older than me and has been taking care of my parents largely on her own (she retired early and I live three hours away and work full time other than in the summer).  She is tired and frustrated and I would like to be able to help her.

My life is kind of a mess.  I don't have any routines to speak of.  I don't have financial control or enough knowledge about what we spend on what.  I have large aspirations and low follow through.  I lack a support network in my hometown because I don't have the consistency or make the effort to have a lot of friends.  I do not exercise regularly.  I eat out a lot - and its not all that healthy.  I don't sleep enough most nights - sometimes because of my daughter, but often times because I choose not to.  I am behind in paying bills.  I forget about appointments I've made.  About the only thing I do really consistently and well is give my daughter her medications (she takes five medications every morning, three in the afternoon and another six every night) and make her doctor's appointments.  I guess that little bit proves to me I CAN do it, I just don't choose to in other areas of my life.  And I am now frustrated by all of it.  I feel like I need to be in a different place in my life as I reach mid-life.

So, this blog will be my "diary" of how I get to where I want to be as I reach mid-life.  My life is a total crisis, but its close enough to justify some BIG changes.  I hope to use this to inspire others, develop online support and as the saying goes, "get 'er done"!  So, if you are feeling frustrated with where you are in life - whether you are on the verge of mid-life, just starting out in adult life, or finishing up adult life, let's see if we can make life better.  Let's see if we can just forgo the fence and live life where its greener...

The areas I will focus on in this blog will be fivefold -

(1) Money - the root of all evil...perhaps, but necessary.  This is an area I need to really prioritize as it has been spiraling out of control for a while.  I want to divide this area up in to a few subareas:
     (a) Cutting down on spending (couponing, reusing, etc.)
     (b) Putting away for a rainy day (emergency fund)
     (c) Saving for sunny days (vacation, college, gift, etc. fund)
     (d) Managing money (tracking spending, budgeting, paying bills on time, etc.)

(2) Parenting - this is where I feel like I have some strengths, but I'm still really inconsistent.  I think as of now, its really just establishing routines.  But, that is enough of a challenge for now.

(3)  Work - I have a love/hate relationship with my job.  So, I ponder making a change to a different job...but, often come back to all I love about my current job and the threat of not loving as much about a new job.  So, I guess I have some sub-areas:
     (a) Exploring other opportunities
     (b) Establishing routine at current job
     (c) Delegating more at current job
     (d) Managing responsibilities at current job
     (e) Establishing more and better relationships at current job

(4) Caregiving - This is an area that has become front and center with my daughter's heart problems, my mom's cancer and my dad's dementia.  I need to figure out how to be more helpful to my sister and how to be most beneficial to my parents.
    (a) Time management
    (b) Get a new rental (to allow my parents to come and visit - need a one story)
    (c) Information management

(5) Achieving Dreams - This is something that is way more esoteric, but that I feel is necessary for an almost mid-life crisis.  I would like to at least focus on some fun and adventurous things!  A "bucket list" so-to-speak.
    (a) Figuring out what's on the list of dreams
    (b) Working on achieving dreams one step at a time

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