Week 30: Anniversary and Golden Data

This year, I set myself 22 little goals to pursue throughout the year. I call them the 22 in 22. Once a week, I take a few minutes to check my progress on a few of my goals.

#2 Do the heart work necessary for my marriage

Sing With Your Feet, the podcast, will be back on September 1. If you will remember, we were in the middle of a 19 episode-long series about the Ideal Life themes. Our first episode back will be about…you guessed it….Marriage.

It is during this season right now that I am often thinking about marriage. For one, with a teacher for a husband, we get to see a lot of each other during the summer. For two, our anniversary is smack-dab in the middle of summer.

It was our anniversary this last week. Twenty-three years. Twenty-three years!

That either sounds staggeringly like more than half my life, or like a drop in a bucket compared to a couple who celebrated their seventy-eighth wedding anniversary earlier this year. There is no middle ground on this for me.

In any case. we’ve never been very on-the-ball about anniversary gifts. There might be some flowers, or “here are those socks you need” kind of thing. I might have gone out to buy myself a little something at his urging to mark the occasion. But truly, anniversaries have never been much of celebration.

Well. This year, my husband had a brilliant idea.

Him: “You know what we should get for our anniversary?”

Me, all ears: “Do tell.”

Him: “New sheets.”

Aha! The man is brilliant. You may remember last year, during my “buy no clothes in 2021” challenge, I took to mending everything. Socks. Underwear. Jeans. Tank tops. I even branched out and started mending our sheets in that slapdash, visible mending is cool kind of way that I was perfecting.

It just so happened that the mended parts of the sheet were all on his side, and that he is the one who makes the bed in the morning. So apparently this reality, besides the half hour I spent mending the sheets, has impacted him more than it has me.

The last time we bought sheets was at Target in 2003. So. Yeah. We needed sheets. We’ve talked about buying sheets for years. But, y’all, sheets are expensive. I mean, real sheets are expensive. I’m not talking about the grocery story brand, not even about the Martha Stewart specials we bought at K-Mart in 2000. Those Target sheets in question were more the more “luxury” Target brand at the time, but I bought them heavily discounted. They were still expensive.

However. I had a bundle of cash that had been gifted to us. So, fresh with my husband’s brilliant idea and blessing to go pick out something perfect for our twenty-third anniversary, I went to a little shop in town, which carries only French-made linens. I knew for a fact I would be walking out the door with new sheets, real sheets, real French-made sheets and would be paying cash for them.

There is a special kind of power in that. It is not something I get to experience very often. It is a life to which I would love to become accustomed. But it is likely never to be mine. Nonetheless.

The woman was typically standoffish when I disrupted her coffee break in the absolutely crickets and tumbleweed shop. When I wouldn’t go away, and when she finally deigned to ask if I needed any assistance, I told her: “It is my twenty third wedding anniversary, my husband said we need new sheets and, oh, by the way, do you take cash?”

Then suddenly, she was helpful. Imagine that.

“Oh, your husband had a wonderful idea! I mean, the bed is the one place where you are both together! Isn’t that a wonderfully brilliant idea he had! Oh, let me help you find just the right thing.”

Which she did. The absolutely perfect thing. She even wrapped it prettily.

I will write an ode to my beautiful bed in a future post, but needless to say, I am very thankful to my husband for having this really great idea to buy real sheets that I suspect will last us the next twenty-three years.

#17 Track steps, water intake, monthly(ish) cycles

Last week I wrote at length about how the Fitbit has revolutionized how I track all my trackables. But what is astonishing to me is that it also has the ability to track my sleep. I can set a goal for how many hours I want to sleep, and then, as a function of my movement and heart rate, can “tell” if I am actually sleeping during the night or am restless and moving around a lot.

This should come as no surprise, but I am a very very bad sleeper. But pre-Fitbit, without actual data in front of me, I had no idea just how very very bad a sleeper I was. I don’t yet know exactly what to do with it, but having data puts something behind the “I didn’t sleep well last night” daily ritual conversation I have with my husband every morning. Now, I can try different things. Like a chamomile tea, to see if it helps the restlessness. Or different bedtimes. Or room temperatures. Anything. Everything, and see if anything actually improves the 4+ hours of restlessness every night.

Data is worth its weight in gold.

Episode 32: Environment and Ecology Sing With Your Feet

Talking Points: “Not on my Green Parenting Bingo Card,” LiElla is back!; Geeking out and going out green. Episode 32 is part of our series on the Ideal Life Categories, this week's theme being "Environment and Ecology." The series began back in Episode 15: The One About Our Bodies, in case you want to get caught up! Links: Learn more about LiElla Kelly, Death Doula, on her website and blog, Leaving Well…The Blog. or on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leaving.well.death.doula/ or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=leaving%20well%20end-of-life%20planning You can contact Lily by email: lily@lilyfieldschallenge.com, or find her other work here: https://linktr.ee/lilyfieldschallenge
  1. Episode 32: Environment and Ecology
  2. Episode 31: Mental Health
  3. Episode 30: Contentment
  4. Episode 29: Commitments
  5. Episode 28: Lucidly Ever After

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.

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