I’m not an old dog, you cad

I’m a little late posting my School Year’s Resolutions this year. As mentioned in my previous School Year’s Resolutions posts, instead of making goals I like to choose a word to live by. Last year my word was Go and go I did! I had some exciting career developments which led to a whirlwind trip to NYC. I did more hiking with my family (before the air quality plummeted due to the BC fires) and we spontaneously drove from Scottsdale to Las Vegas for a night. There was much Going to be had this past year, professionally and personally.

Last night as I was trying to get to sleep and not succumb to the rabid anxiety that’s been plaguing me this month, I brainstormed a new word to live by. I decided to go with Intention. When I was an actor, it was required by Cliché Law that I often asked myself, “What’s my motivation?” Every move, every line needed to be executed with intent.

This year I’m going to write with intent. I’m going to parent with intent. I’m going to exercise and read and snuggle my husband and kids and sometimes just breathe with intent.

But it isn’t just the new school year that has me feeling reflective. I celebrated my birthday a couple of weeks ago. MLC celebrates his in a week (I like to warm up our new age before he arrives so it’s nice and cozy, waiting for him).

For some reason turning thirty-eight reminded me of this retreat I went on when I worked as an administrative assistant/spy for the provincial government years ago. I don’t remember why, but there was some exercise where we had to write down some life goals. A few bucket list items, if you will. Here are the three I remember writing:

  1. Become fluent in French: I did end up taking some French courses through the university around that time but, despite getting straight A’s, I don’t see myself ever making it past the “able to talk about the weather/order at a restaurant with proficiency” stage.
  2. Live Abroad: I still carry this romantic notion of MLC and I packing up the kids and living in England or Thailand or some other land for a year or two. This one probably isn’t going to happen either. Because life and work and school, etc.
  3. Write a Novel: Hooray for me! I’ve completed five novels since then and written partials of a handful of others.

Reflecting on these goals got me thinking about all the things I haven’t accomplished yet. Sure, there are the big ones; I’m still working towards getting one of those novels I’ve written/started writing published. But there are also smaller, more surmountable tasks I need to master as well. Ones that, at my seasoned thirty-eight years, still allude me. I’m not an idiot, I just can’t seem to get a handle on these things. Here they are:

  1. Finally remember whether the word is “stigmatism” or “astigmatism.” I have one of these. It’s in my right eye. I think I know which one is right and then the word comes up in conversation and I don’t know whether I’m supposed to say, “a stigmatism” or “an astigmatism.” Dammit. I really thought spellcheck was going to help me out here, but it isn’t underlining anything in this paragraph. THANKS FOR NOTHING, SPELLCHECK.
  2. Spell the word “occasion” correctly on the first try. Hey! I did it that time! If I do it a few more times, I’m removing this one from the list.
  3. Figure out the difference between a honeydew and a cantaloupe. Yes, I know one is orange and one is green. And I’ve had people give me little tricks to remember (maybe a rhyme that says something about bees?). But my brain refuses to retain this information. You know what I can remember? Every lyric to every song from two Rick Astley albums. Why has that information stuck around? The honeydew/cantaloupe thing feels more relevant to my life than Rick Astley does these days.

Maybe by this time next year I’ll be typing a blog update in French from my flat in Brussels. And then I’ll cut up fresh melons for my husband and children as I talk about how my eye problems still bother me on occasion.

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