fitness · holidays

Best self-gifts this year, and wish list for 2020

I’m writing this blog on Christmas afternoon while the rest of my family is either napping or gaming. It’s been a great day– gifts and food and family and kids and selfies with my mom, which I showed her how to do and send to others on her new iPhone. I may live to regret this… 🙂

It’s been really nice to receive gifts from folks. I got a new groovy bluetooth speaker (in red!), baking accoutrement (in honor of my late-to-the-party-but-sincere love of the Great British Baking Show), and assorted other fun or useful items. I love giving gifts too. My 14-year-old nephew got one of the xkcd comics guy books–What if? from me, which I think will help him cultivate his excellent geeky side.

Apart from things, though, the gifts I am giving my family this year are: 1) passports for everybody so we can travel outside the US this summer (watch out Canadian friends– we’re headed to Ontario in August!); and 2) experiences involving fun to be had together. We are headed to the beach in South Carolina for a few days, to ride bikes, swim in an indoor pool, eat copious amounts at a breakfast buffet, walk on the beach, play games, snooze, and make idle chit chat.

Yes, all this may seem altruistic, but it’s really a gift to myself. Why? Because I’m in a stage of life where I want to spend quality time with family and friends when I can. This means cycling trips, beach trips, book club weekends, family vacations, and combining conferences with active fun (preferably on two wheels) whenever possible.

So my big gift to myself this year was spending money and time on being places with people I care about, doing activities that are fun and offer us ways to deepen our relationships with one another. Like on these trips:

2020 promises to be a good year in one big way. As of Feb 1, I will no longer be doing two very big volunteer service jobs– member of my university’s tenure committee and co-warden of my Episcopal church. Both have been time-consuming, important, and rewarding. Stepping down from them will open up a lot of practical and psychic space for me. This presents an opportunity for me to turn back to my own life to see what I want. And what do I want for me, from me in 2020?

strength training: I did a bit of it in 2019, and I purchased an online 12-week program, which I started, but didn’t follow up on. I’ll resume that program, and start looking around for weight training classes.

saddle time: I set up my bike trainer before I left for the holidays. Now I’d like to use it. Lately I’ve found myself shying away from riding in cold weather. Yes, I’ve got the gear. Yes, I’ve got friends to ride with. But if all that doesn’t get me out the door, there’s always the trainer. In the past, I’ve found short workouts (30 mins or so) to be pretty satisfying. Let’s see if I can give myself the time and focus to do that again.

cooking on the weekends: I love it when I have ready-made lunches and some dinners in my fridge and freezer Sunday night. Sundays became work days for me this year as warden (horrible term, but it just means you’re keeping lots of things running smoothly at church). When I got home, I was depleted. What I want to give myself is more time to spend on things I love to do for myself, for my house, for my body, for my friends, etc. Preparing and eating happily and healthily-to-me lays a foundation for everything else.

I don’t think this self-gift list for 2020 is too much. I’ll be reporting back from time to time on how I’m doing. Let me know what you might like for yourself in 2020; we’d like to hear how you’re doing, too.

Oh– one last thing; I’d like a Bianchi e-road bike.

Bianchi Aria e-road bike.
Bianchi Aria e-road bike.

It’s worth putting it out there… 🙂

3 thoughts on “Best self-gifts this year, and wish list for 2020

  1. Love this list, Catherine! Yay for more time to focus on new priorities!
    I prep food on Sundays, and I love it! I find it so reassuring that I don’t have to think about breakfast and lunch all week, it’s all just there, waiting for me to heat it up! Any idea what’s going to be on the menu?

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