Goals

In process

Wait, Why Did This Get All Serious?

28. Find a life coach/therapist that doesn’t start a session with “I want to talk about how something you said last session upset me personally” and talk about all my feelings at least four times

I found a therapist via PsychologyToday.com. Actually, I sent inquiries to two people, and one responded within minutes. I looked for a female therapist that specialized in weight management and couples therapy. At the time of my online search, Team McJohnson was in the throes of deciding where Josh would work post-clerkship. The process was slightly more stressful than I anticipated for a variety of reasons. In the end, Josh had two choices and chose the job where a tattoo was unnecessary. But I wanted to leave the door open for therapy as a unit if need be. So far, we have not used that resource. The law firm decision is made, and as always with life, more pressing concerns have already taken hold. For the time being, my “therapy” for our current familial problems is sending the same text message over and over to my mother: I would trade any of the problems* you had with Dad’s family for the ones** we face with Josh’s.

That only costs me my cellphone data charge.

My therapist has an office in Dupont Circle, which should be noted because it is not the closest therapist to my office. That is how I chose my LAST therapist: proximity to work. It worked out worse than you could imagine when using such high level vetting. This therapist is pretty great because she uses techniques in her therapy. For a while now, I had been thinking that one of the best ways to deal with some of my emotional issues was to become like one of those kids that has to be brushed to calm down his sensors. Emotional Freedom Technique may seem a little wacky (wish I could see McKatie and Mum’s faces when they read this). I am ready for a challenge beyond talky therapy.

I’ve had three appointments, with a fourth on the books for this Thursday. She suggested coming weekly, not every other week like our original schedule “to see faster results”. After the initial intake appointment, where I spent a lot of time saying “I had a therapist tell me this and that and another one said this.”, I realized I might be overwhelming for this therapist. She’s been licensed for a few years now, but seems just a tad bit green. But! Lucky for her, I’ve always been a very introspective patient and can easily move the conversation where it needs to be. I could seriously spend every weeknight seeing a therapist to work out all my issues: discussing my childhood, my anger, my self-esteem. But, I’ve chosen to use my $130 (srsly, mental health care has GOT to start getting full coverage in America (as I type this on the day of another shooting rampage)) and discuss why I am so fat right now.

Of course, you are not suppose to say fat. Overweight, which is actually what it says on my medical chart because that is what I technically am. This is a lot for me to handle. Actually, that phrase doesn’t give this situation the correct weight (pun intended). I’m someone who will easily admit that doing laundry is a lot for me to handle, so managing my weight is actually A LOT FOR ME TO HANDLE. I’m about 13 pounds overweight, more like 20 if we want to be honest, and if we want to be REALLY honest, I’ve gained 30 pounds since I’ve moved to Washington, DC in 2008 at age 24. A little over 5 pounds each year. If I keep up that rate, I’ll be in Homer Simpson/Henry VIII mumu territory before Hillary wins her second term in office. (Yes, I went there.)

King Size Homer typing
Me, typing on my blog in the year 2020

Have I lost any weight? No. Have I gained weight? Always. I’m working on it. For the first time in my 10 years of on-off therapy, I’m actually addressing an issue that has to do with me. Not others’ perception of me, not my perception of them. Not the unknown future or stagnant past.

We’ll see how this goes.

Editor’s Notes:

* problems = personality clashes
** The way to best describe it is that line from Juno where she says: Oh, just out dealing with things way beyond my maturity level.

Accomplished:

I Am Not A Robot

9. Go in for a regular physical not an OB/GYN appointment and make sure my shots are up to date

I went, but this of course merits a longer post. For those keeping score at home, I have 3 Thirty Before Thirty longreads to write:

1. House hunting
2. Concert going
3. Doctor visiting

In process:

Gettin’ Physical, Physical

4. Finish C25K

Josh is doing this with me, and we are about to start week 3. There is a print-out of each workout on the fridge, and Josh writes in the dates we complete each workout. Without this, I would still be running the first week’s cycle over and over. Something about running messes with my memory.

Disposed Income

18. Buy underwear that fits and toss the old that was purchased on sale at Victoria’s Secret during college

Josh and I took a mini-weekend trip to Palm Beach for a golf adventure post-clerkship this past month. I realized two days before we were leaving that maybe I could be an adult woman and buy some underthings that 1. fit and 2. looked cute. So I spent over an hour shopping by myself in Victoria’s Secret after work one night. I gave myself no budget for this shopping spree, which is a feat for my penny pinching self.

I love shopping for undergarments, underwears, pajamas. I have drawers full of items at the apartment and in Flower Mound still. But I noticed that my shopping priorities have shifted in the last few years. Probably for a variety of reasons: weight gain, no one new to impress in the bedroom, money. So as I strolled Vicky’s (without a free panty coupon!), I kept telling myself “You enjoy this, relax.” This is actually something I learned from Maggie Mason. Sometimes you just have to tell yourself to chill out.

This goal is marked as “In Process” because I really need to clean out my entire underwear drawer. Then it’s back to shopping for more drawers to FILL those drawers!

Accomplished:

Wait, Why Did This Get All Serious?

29. Stop doing things I no longer want to be doing and have no desire to be doing just because I have some sort of death-wish or guilt complex that I can’t even identify the source of

Youth, My Youth

30. Go to one concert and enjoy myself like it’s 2003

I have photos for the concert(s) I attended, so that will be a later post. For now, a few more words on number 29.

I received a text from a friend who works at the Cathedral. It read: Got the official notice that you are stepping down. How does it feel?

It feels like nothing, which is perhaps the greatest feeling of all.

This all started in the fall of 2010, when I realized that I needed to get more involved at the Cathedral if I wanted our wedding to be personal and to have my voice heard while wedding planning (bridezilla, much?). That part worked out perfectly! I did a few tiny volunteer things in the months leading up to our wedding. In the two years since our nuptials, the ministry and planning needs intensified. I ended up leading the organization (along with the support of a few others). It took time away from work, my time with Josh and honestly, it never really aligned with my interests. I was an almost thirty-year-old married person planning events for mainly singles closer to college age.

Whenever things got stressful (Remember that time I had a kidney stone shortly after Easter? That was not entirely coincidental.), I kept asking for permission to stop doing this. There were more than a handful of times when I felt like doing this.

Here is where I should say that I regret my behavior, my inability to cultivate leadership among the other participants in the group earlier, and my inability to really ever enjoy any of the activities (save the yearly Nats game). But I think that’s the wonderful gift of being almost thirty: you just stop caring about things that are of no interest to you. Specifically for me, that is leading a group of 20 somethings all connected via their religion.

My impending birthday into a new decade was a great excuse to push the group into new leadership or to “quit” as others are perceiving the transition. Not a single table was flipped during the process. The group is in great hands now, and I am leaving this project without any regrets. I still love planning events and meeting people. I am looking forward to taking some time to discover new volunteer opportunities that resonate more with my current interests where I can use my skills.

But I can’t lie, I’m also looking forward to being more open about my liberal leaning tendencies in public forums like Facebook. The best was when a woman who works at the Archdiocese of Washington said she spotted me at the Prop 8 and DOMA opinion readings at the Supreme Court and said “Wasn’t that just an awful decision?” I flubbed my response at first, but quickly recovered to say “Actually, at my house, we are fortunately for gay marriage.” That felt awesome to say, and she respected my opinion.

Again, no tables were flipped.

Accomplished:

Gettin’ Physical, Physical

2. Go soda free for three months

I usually only buy 100 calorie cans of regular strength Coca-Cola, and I don’t drink a Coke everyday. But, one of my favorite pleasures is a bubbly fountain Coke. Recently, those all-in-one soda machines started to descend on my favorite fast food joints. Nothing tastes correct coming out of one of those. A may have ordered and paid for food at a restaurant only to turn around and be confronted with one of these machines. I left. Without my food.

I started this challenge on Ash Wednesday to coincide with Lent. Previously, I gave up soda for Lent in 2010 and 2011. This time, the entire 90 days was challenging. Within the first week, I wanted to break down and have a Coke. I rationalized that I could just start the clock over again! I have plenty of time to find 90 days before November 18! About two weeks into the challenge, I downloaded a countdown app for my iPhone and this helped tremendously. Everyday, I could see the number of days left in bright red on the front of my phone. It was encouraging. I wanted to cheat, but quickly snapped out of it because I had no desire to start the clock over again. All those previous days would be a wash!

To deal with the cravings, I started subbing 100 calorie slim cans of Perrier Pink Grapefruit. They were light, refreshing and contained the all important bubbly carbonation for my taste buds. But again, I wasn’t drinking one of these a day.

I broke the fast with a Coke out of a can at lunch during work. Very anti-climatic. I should have waited until I could enjoy a delicious fountain Coke, but those are becoming harder to find. After completing this challenge, I realized I never wanted to develop an addiction. The pangs during the 90 days were present, and I was by no means hooked to Coca-cola. I could only imagine the withdrawal actual addicts go through.

Accomplished:

Be a Grown-up
12. Go to an open house in DC with Josh to look at local real estate

Disposed Income
19. Get a blowout at Drybar

Visitors & Travel
26. Get Dad (and Mum, but mostly Dad) to come to a Supreme Court oral argument

All of the above deserve their own post, and will hopefully get one by the end of May.

Working towards Number 29:

Last Simple Lenten Meal served: Friday, March 8, 2013

First, in a series, of final Taste of the Nation volunteer e-mails sent: Monday, March 11, 2013

Accomplished:

Be a Grown-up
13. Pay off at 1/4 of my student loan with money that is solely mine and not combination Mc/Johnson

My holiday bonus plus my Bonus Jonas (a referral bonus for submitting a resume and that person being hired) from work all went to paying off my smallest loan, which also had the lowest interest rate. I was avalanching, not snowballing. I am now viewing this as monumentally stupid. Team McJohnson is just a little “cash poor” these days. We have a few large expenses on the horizon in addition to visitors every other week for the next two months. It would have been better to keep that cash free to spend willingly this Spring.

In process:

Gettin’ Physical, Physical
2. Go soda free for three months

Started on Ash Wednesday. I downloaded a countdown app for my iPhone that let’s me know how many days are left. Currently there are 73 days left.

Visitors & Travel
26. Get Dad (and Mum, but mostly Dad) to come to a Supreme Court oral argument

They are down in the book for Monday, April 22. They just need to buy their plane tickets and reserve a hotel.

Accomplished:

Be a Grown-up
14. Combine all McJohnson financial accounts, including investments, in Mint.com

I combined all of our investments, including our health savings accounts (which I am going to categorize as investments) into our joint Mint.com account.

Sidenote: Mint.com needs to create a way to combine two existing .com accounts into one once people get married. I had to create a new McJohnson account to get everything in one place. You could just add one spouse’s information to another, but then you have more history for the original owner of the account. That isn’t fair.

I also took the time to create a proper budget using the Mint tools. Josh took a stab at creating a budget before he went to the Court in July, but it was way too general. It didn’t include some of our now standard expenses like Sprint for our cellphone plan and the monthly housekeepers who scrub our toilet and baseboards. January was our first month living by this new budget, and we spent $329 less than what was budgeted. This includes saving money for two savings goals that are also plugged into Mint.

The goal with this budget and seeing all of our finances in one place is to make the few months when Josh leaves the Court and interviews for a new job/we go on an adventure/he starts a new job as comfortable financially as possible. So if that means one less $9.99 sale shirt from the GAP, then that is what it means.

Disposed Income
20. Redesign this blog

This was the most stupid thing I have ever done. I found every step of this process aggravating. I think I should have abandoned the long-form blog post style for tumblr, oh sometime in 2008.

But now everything looks different! It was (maybe) worth it.

Youth, My Youth
30. Go to one concert and enjoy myself like it’s 2003.

At the end of December, I saw Ian MacKaye perform as the Evens with Amy Farina. I think this checks something off the DC Bucket List as well: See Ian MacKaye perform.

Ed. Note: This is a living, breathing document (just like the Constitution). Subject to change.

Gettin’ Physical, Physical

1. Lose 20 pounds
2. Go soda free for three months
3. Eat breakfast at home for two weeks
4. Finish C25K
5. Go swimming for exercise, not fun
6. Spend a week not eating after 7pm
7. Stop drinking from plastic water bottles at work

I Am Not A Robot

8. Visit the new dermatologist with the new insurance before July 1
9. Go in for a regular physical not an OB/GYN appointment and make sure my shots are up to date

Be a Grown-up

10. Get out of bed before 8am on weekdays and get to work before 10 (yes, I know)
11. Leave the house with dry hair, always
12. Go to an open house in DC with Josh to look at local real estate
13. Pay off at 1/4 of my student loan with money that is solely mine and not combination Mc/Johnson
14. Combine all McJohnson financial accounts, including investments, in Mint.com
15. Go to one quarterly meeting for my union
16. Work, at work, and not use it as a headquarters for my volunteering activities
17. Start implementing a career plan

Disposed Income

18. Buy underwear that fits and toss the old that was purchased on sale at Victoria’s Secret during college
19. Get a blowout at Drybar
20. Redesign this blog

Rumbly In My Tumbly

21. Make a monthly meal plan with 30 dinners that aren’t BLTs and fresh tacos
22. Make definitive plans to dine at a restaurant that requires advanced reservations and funds for my 30th birthday: Minibar, Inn at Little Washington, etc.
23. Eat at Little Serow

For Something Completely Different

24. Write a piece and submit it to the Hairpin/Awl/Billfold
25. Keep a gratitude journal for a month and write one thing I was grateful for that day

Visitors & Travel

26. Get Dad (and Mum, but mostly Dad) to come to a Supreme Court oral argument
27. Go to Europe with Josh, go to Europe with Josh, GO TO EUROPE WITH JOSH

Wait, Why Did This Get All Serious?

28. Find a life coach/therapist that doesn’t start a session with “I want to talk about how something you said last session upset me personally” and talk about all my feelings at least four times
29. Stop doing things I no longer want to be doing and have no desire to be doing just because I have some sort of death-wish or guilt complex that I can’t even identify the source of

Youth, My Youth

30. Go to one concert and enjoy myself like it’s 2003


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