22 in 22: Star Wars, Hankies and Kitty Litter

Yup yup yup. It’s one thing to come up with a massive list of goals for the year. Another one entirely to cut those goals up into bite-sized pieces with just the right motivation chaser.

I do love me a little cocktail of progress, hopefulness and expectancy. It’s enough to make me lose sleep from excitement. (Did I mention I’ve been too excited to sleep these last few days? Oh. Because I have not slept since the podcast launched. I just can’t!)

Like I said the other day, my 22 in 22 are not all earth-shattering objectives. Some of them are simply things that I am tired of saying, “I should really do that” about. Others are things that irk me so greatly as to literally be a reason I consider running away to join the circus (and you know me. I would actually do this.) Yet others are objectives that may have very little short term benefit, but that I know deep, deep, deep in my heart will bear fruit in the long run.

I need to talk some of these through, to articulate my why. Because, as Corinne Crabtree says, “ya gotta know your why.” (Also, if you don’t know Corinne Crabtree, and you don’t have delicate ears, and you need to get a kick in the seat, she’s the lady to give it to you. Her area of focus is weight loss, but my interest in her is her doctrines on how we talk to ourselves. She’s a matter-of-fact cuss-fest, and I treasure how she has been like a Fairy Godmother for me in this regard.)

So. let’s take a closer look at the 22 in 22:

#1 Connect better with the scalawags according to their Love Languages.


This is particularly a goal which concerns my eldest scalawag, whose jealousy of his brother and perfectionism in his own regard make me quite testy. Yelling doesn’t work. Scolding doesn’t work. Nothing “in the moment” works. So I need to start enriching the soil of our relationship…see if this might lighten the jealousy.

I read somewhere that perfectionism is born of a child receiving praise without experiencing a sense of connection to the person giving the praise. If I apply that to my little budding perfectionist, it’s clear that if I can work on the connection, I can perhaps help him redirect this branch which is growing in a direction I don’t like.

I know that his Love Languages are words of affirmation and spending time together. I’m an easy “words of affirmation” person. No problem there. What I do not love is spending time (with anyone, social anxiety oblige, but I digress.) So, I am going to desperately, this year, seek out ways to spend time with him doing things I don’t dread.

I do like to play board games, and he is at an age where that is becoming an interest. Chess, for whatever reason. I love Pigmania, Clue, Chutes & Ladders, Monopoly and Uno. Maybe I could get him interested in one of those?

Also, for whatever reason, he is obsessed with the Star Wars universe, and he knows a lot and wants to know more. I could, against the bidding of all my better angels who detest all things mainstream, become interested in what interests him. Just rereading that sentence reminds of the Bible verse that exhorts us to “Die to ourselves.” Being a parent suuuuuuuucks.

Now that I have a few ideas, I’ll need to see how I can implement them. More to come, no doubt.

#2 Do the heart work necessary for my marriage

I guess a person doesn’t stay married for twenty-three years without a certain amount of stick-to-it-iveness. But sometimes grit isn’t enough, and we need to re-establish our “why”.

This year, I want my husband to be really, really, really glad he married me. I have no idea what that is going to look like, or how I could possibly make that a reality. But I would like, just once this year, to feel like I made his world a better place. (Darn it. Didn’t expect to cry on that one. But, here we are.)

I would like, just once this year, to escape from the shuffling around of schedules and papers and boys and problems and just take a walk with him. Just the two of us. Nowhere to be, no one else around. No plans to make or conversations to be had. Just pretend it was the two of us again, back when we were happy.

Sorry. Need to go get more hankies.

#3 Scoop the kitty litter as an act of love

This one sounds so silly, but is truly going to be the one life altering thing I will do this year. For one, this is a chore that no one likes to do. It’s part of our “zombie olympics”, those things we do by rote after the boys go to bed.

Over these last six years of having scalawags in our lives, I seem to have forgotten to love on my furry friends. And I miss them. *

All the more that Thomas the Cat, the only denizen of our apartment who loves me unconditionally, is severely diabetic and I have to give him insulin shots twice a day and our relationship has become:
Me, chasing him.
Him running under the bed.
Me, reaching under the bed to catch him.
Him, just out of my reach.
Me, getting mad.
Him, coming for a snuggle.
Me, giving him is shot.
Him, getting mad.
Rinse, repeat, twice a day.

That said, Thomas is my sunshine, my unflinching admirer. I need one of those. We all need one of those. I want to honor him for loving me so much. (Cue me, singing through tears Thank you for loving me)

I want to do this one thing I hate doing, the litter, from a place of affection and honor and gratitude for all the joy he has brought me and continues to bring me every time he plops himself down on my lap while I am recording my podcast and he looks up at me adoringly, with loudest freakin’ purr imaginable.

That’s not all…

That’s only three out of twenty-two, but we’ll get there. I hope.


I’m not sure what you’ve been waiting for, but you should really listen to the podcast. You might just get to hear Thomas the Cat give his two cents. (Or not. Hopefully I’ve managed to edit all that out.)

Episode 31: Mental Health Sing With Your Feet

Talking Points: Rage; Sublimation; Mental Hygiene. Episode 31: Mental Health is part of our series on the Ideal Life Categories. The series began back in Episode 15: The One About Our Bodies, in case you want to get caught up. Links: The Great Bathrobe Refashion: https://lilyfieldschallenge.com/2021/05/18/the-great-2021-bathrobe-refashion/ Rage Refashioning: https://lilyfieldschallenge.com/2021/05/27/rage-refashioning/ Sublimation: https://lilyfieldschallenge.com/2021/06/09/sublimation/ You can contact Lily by email: lily@lilyfieldschallenge.com. A great big thank you to Seven Productions here in Mulhouse, France for the use of the song "La Joie" as the intro and outtro to the show. Thanks also to Matt Kugler who sang it and Claude Ekwe who wrote it.
  1. Episode 31: Mental Health
  2. Episode 30: Contentment
  3. Episode 29: Commitments
  4. Episode 28: Lucidly Ever After
  5. Episode 27: Passionately Curious

Published by Lily Fields

I am passionate about contentment. This is a challenge, because I am equally passionate about progress. I get up at 4:00AM to chip away at a solution to this monolithic problem: how to make progress on my contentment. Born and raised in the USA, I married a French philosophy teacher in 1999. We have lived in France since 2007. We stayed young and carefree until life threw us two curveballs in the form of little humans one after another in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Now I am a slightly older, slightly more exhausted version of myself, but with mystery stains on my walls and a never-ending pile of laundry.

4 thoughts on “22 in 22: Star Wars, Hankies and Kitty Litter

  1. As a counselor I realized I was paying more focused attention to clients than to my own children, so actually scheduled a weekly “Mommy Time” with each child. It made us all so happy. They were the guides, within limits of course. We were often going places or outside but the goal for me was their happiness at the end of our time together. Your goals are admirable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have long said I wanted to take each one on a “date” each month…I need to make this happen this year. Thank you for the idea…I don’t want to regret not having done it!

      Like

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