New Year’s Resolutions, 2018


JC Schildbach, LMHC

Gettin’ down to it a few days into the New Year:

  1. Finish the damn downstairs. At least for the time being, I’m back on a four tens schedule (four days a week, ten hours a day), which leaves me three days off. For the last year, that’s not been the case (was working 5 8s in the evenings), and I’ve had difficulty getting any sizeable chunks of time I could devote to working on finishing renovations we started downstairs years ago when my MIL was planning to move in with us. Way back when, we put together a bedroom down there (walled off a room and framed in a closet, among other things). Then, when the MIL decided not to travel half a world away to torment herself and us, the remainder of the project lost its urgency. Numerous other things made the project less important, like the kid becoming an adult, and the assumption that she would move out. But now, it would be nice to have a clean, open space, with a really nice TV and toys, so I need to make this happen, if for no other reason than to keep one of the dogs from pooping down there amongst the rubble.
  2. Every Day is Halloween. Stealing the idea from a Ministry song, but it works, nonetheless. I do a big Halloween display each year, but mostly dedicate only a few weeks in October to making it all happen. Funny thing is, making the new decorations is one of the most fun times I have. So, I want to make sure I’m working on new decorations (and repairing old decorations) throughout the year, especially during the summer when I can be out in the workshop with an open door, and free-flowing air, rather than in the colder months when I have to run a heater, and frequently have to wander away to avoid succumbing to excessive dust and toxic fumes.New Year Martini baby
  3. Read/Write—don’t watch/scroll. Okay, in the course of writing this post, I’ve gone on Facebook twice, in part because they sent me notifications, but also because it’s become habit to bounce onto the Internet every 27 seconds, just because. In the past month (or less) I did a little experiment about picking up a book every time I’m tempted to log on or turn on the TV, and I’ve read a fair amount more than I’d become accustomed to (I mean, books, not Internet articles). Not sure how I’m going to work this one, since I keep breaking my personal promises to only go online for a short stint, but I think I can pay a little more attention and do a little more book reading than post-scanning.
  4. No more hair resolutions. Ok, I’ve had my fun with the hair jokes. But now that my hair is thinning for real, and…well…the joke is played out, this is the last hair-based resolution I’ll make (unless I can think of some more amusing ones in future).
  5. Be better to those closer. I talk a lot of sh*t at the people who are closest to me (the ones who live with me or interact with me out of friendship or family ties), while engaging a saintly amount of patience towards those who are more tenuously connected to me. This is not to say that I should abandon the patience I exercise toward those who are already the beneficiaries of my kindness, but that I should just plain be kinder to everybody…be it my immediate family, my extended family, my pets, my friends (who, I guess, are part of my extended family). You always hate the ones you love, or some such…

Happy New Year, Lovelies!!


2017 Resolutions, Year in Review


JC Schildbach, LMHC

I usually get this annual exercise out of the way on New Year’s Eve or before, but hey, you can’t properly review an entire year until it’s over, right? And besides, I didn’t get my New Year’s Resolutions posted until about two weeks into 2017 anyway. So, here we go. Last years resolutions and how well I did with them…

Father time

My first goal was to “Use real bookmarks, ffs.” I said I was starting with a “totally doable” goal, and this proved to be something I (mostly) stuck with. Occasionally, on starting a book, I would still grab the nearest scrap of paper, but that was usually only until I got up from where I was reading and went to find another one. I even bought a nifty magnetized bookmark while on vacation in Hawaii, and located most of my other favorite bookmarks. Currently, I have five different books going at varying degrees of involvement, and they all have honest-to-God bookmarks in them. I wasn’t going to comment about the sixth book I’m about halfway through, that M decided to read as well, and how she lost my place in that book and so I just took the bookmark out since I wasn’t going to get the book back for a long time anyway, but I guess I did.

My second goal was to “Be in the world…at least a little more.” It’s hard to judge this one all that clearly. Part of the reason I was planning on this was because I had moved off of an overnight schedule. So, simply by default and being more available, I got at least a little more time in with friends, and had somewhat regular forays out into the world. By dint of working during days (well, afternoons and evenings) I interacted with more people on a regular basis, and wasn’t constantly struggling to be awake during the day. I did take trips to the aforementioned Hawaii, and to California. I met a few new people, some of whom I actually see socially from time to time, and reconnected with some people I’d fallen out of touch with. Still, I went through the summer without getting out on a kayak, which I kept pestering M about, or without biking, which M kept pestering me about. And, because our days off didn’t sync up too well with when we had the energy to do things, M and I spent a lot of our time together watching movies and TV, or shopping, or just sitting in the same room reading or goofing off on the Internet. So, I’ll pronounce my progress on this one, “good enough.”

Goal three was to “Be in the world…like, beyond the personal.” The basic idea here was that I wanted to engage in more community involvement, beyond just making monetary donations to causes. Abject failure on this one. In part, I blame working in the evenings Sunday through Thursday. Not that it’s impossible to engage in community activities on Fridays and Saturdays, but a whole lot of organizations hold their meetings at other times, and, being that this was the first time in years that I was working an 8-hour/five-day-a-week schedule, I got a bit selfish with the two days I wasn’t obligated to be at work, and never quite worked out a sleep schedule that gave me much time, except late at night.

Because I have always included a hair-based goal, resolution four was to “Go full Bob’s Big Boy with the hair.” I got close a few times, because of laziness around getting a haircut, but never really committed. But, because I enjoyed it so much, I’m going to re-post the image that accompanied that resolution last year. You’re welcome.


Finally, resolution five was to “Write more, write often, write regularly—or alternately—Less wasting time on social media…more clogging up my small corner of social media (as well as writing for reasons beyond social media).” I made a few stabs at this, but never really got it going, even to the point where midway through the year I made an amended resolution to try and get two posts done each week. That didn’t happen. There were entire months (including December, and I don’t want to check which others) where I didn’t do a single post, or really write a lick of anything, aside from documentation that’s required as a regular part of my job (and which I am barred from ever putting on social media by legal and ethical constraints). I spent (and continue to spend) an insane amount of time just scrolling through things on Facebook, and occasionally Twitter, and a few other sites. Still trying to figure out a good plan for cutting back. But, given my ongoing need for escapism, I’m not going to expect much on this front.

Anyway, 2017 is behind us. I don’t know that I’m ever happy to say a whole year has passed, even the ones that were particularly painful and/or stupid. But there you have it. 2018 resolutions to come shortly.


New Year’s Resolutions 2016


J.C. Schildbach, LMHC

In years past, I put my (mostly self-deprecating) resolutions out into the world via fairly constrained social media channels, with limited commentary, where those who encountered them would likely have some idea of what I was talking about. But, since plenty of the people reading this (or rather, the teeming tides of people who could potentially read this) don’t know me personally (unlike most of the tiny trickle of people who actually will read this) I figure some explanation is probably in order. Plus, a list of five short items, presented as a blog post, hardly qualifies as making an effort.

Baby New Year

Resolution 1: Be less informed.

This might not sound like a particularly noble goal. But given that we are under a constant barrage of information, I, like Donald Trump, feel the need to put up some walls. See, I don’t even have to explain that wall comment, because of the useless information we cannot avoid. Of course, knowing about Donald Trump’s litany of offensive statements is, I suppose, important, in that his stupidity is impacting the attitudes and behavior of like-minded idiots—and it’s usually good to be aware of the relative threat level posed by idiots. So, bad example, I guess.

Resolution 2: Take better care of my toenails.

I’m not entirely sure how I’ve made it this far in life without developing a better plan for addressing the menace that is my rapid-growth, super-strength toenails. Generally speaking, I don’t bother to cut them until I’ve, yet again, found myself having to carefully extract the threads of a frayed (by my toenails) sock from the gnarled, cracked, and dangerously sharp tangle of keratin protruding from the ends of my lower phalanges. It’s something of a wonder my wife hasn’t bled out in the middle of the night just from brushing against the things while sleeping.

Resolution 3: Read books, not Internet comments sections.

This is probably self-explanatory as a basic concept. But I’ve developed an unhealthy addiction to reading the comments sections following articles on the Internet—despite knowing exactly what those comments sections hold in store. It has gotten so bad that, even when websites have made it rather complicated to find the button to bring up the comments section, and take inordinate amounts of time to load the comments, I will squander precious minutes of my dwindling time here on Earth to gain access to those comments, even when much more rewarding reading material is immediately at hand. Heaven help me.

Resolution 4: Enjoy what I ingest.

I am extraordinarily blessed to have access to a wide variety of foods, from wonderful nearby restaurants, to farmers markets, specialty shops, and ‘international’ grocery stores, to fruits and vegetables we grow in our own yard. My wife, daughter, and I all know our way around a kitchen—or at least how to follow a recipe. Yet, a great deal of the time, I treat eating like an annoying task to get out of the way in order to avoid passing out in the middle of whatever else I’m doing. I will pause in front of the pantry to choke down a small stack of saltine crackers in order to stave off my hunger and save the time it would take me to microwave and eat last night’s leftovers. (Just now, I would’ve gone to the refrigerator and eaten a couple slices of deli ham if M hadn’t brought me a surprise platter of food). I’m not quite at the point where I think I need to count how many times I chew each bite–but that doesn’t sound like a bad ‘eating mindfully’ exercise for me.

And finally…

Resolution 5: More pretty bows?

It’s something of a tradition for me to include a hair-based resolution each year. Now, I could argue that that’s already been addressed (sort of) by that toenail resolution, given that hair and toenails are basically made up of the same thing—but I’m not sure if my adoring fans are willing to make that leap. I could go really basic, like resolving to get my hair cut at reasonable intervals. But that’s no fun. And anyway, I like the sound of “more pretty bows” as a kind of mission statement. I’m not sure exactly what I mean by that—take a little more time to pretty things up a bit? Imagine the world as if everyone had pretty bows in their hair? I’m not going to actually start wearing pretty bows in my hair, even though I have been known to sport a tiara in public. I guess I have a year to figure out just what I mean by this and to put it into action (or not).

new year me

Happy New Year!