As mentioned in my previous post, I already have much of my goal-setting broken down into various categories, so I’m using my well-established headings that work for me.
I always struggle with this category from a philosophical perspective. “Family”, as a category, is not particularly amenable to goal-setting. But some parts are, and it those parts, i.e., organizing myself better, that I am targeting. This year, most of the effort is going to focus on five areas.
First and foremost is emotional, mental, and physical support for Jacob. We’re working on some potential surgical options for him for later this year, and while the surgeries are relatively straight-forward, they are hard for him to understand and process in advance. He’ll need help and guidance with that so that he’s comfortable with the decisions and the process. However, far more importantly, the potential rehab activities afterward can be quite extensive for some of the options. It’s a potentially tough road ahead, or at least some serious bumps, and he’s going to need every ounce of support we have to get through it in a positive mindset. On the more mundane side, we also need to set up an appointment with a new dentist for Jacob.
Secondly, I think there is a grouping of activities around “projects with Jacob”. We certainly have new Lego kits to build, including a couple of large ones. Other projects include assembling a robot, fixing J’s remote control car, constructing a paper penguin, some “Sonic Dad” projects to do with Jacob, and Jacob has a new paper airplane calendar that looks fun. I’m also hoping to do some monthly challenge ideas with him. Andrea does jigsaw puzzles with him, so I think those are “covered”, as they have a bunch to do. I have a bunch of Kiwi kits for Andrea and I to do, but I suspect those will be awhile.
The third area is grouped around the games we like to play as a family, as Jacob has been wanting to teach me Fort Nite for awhile and we do have Pokémon cards to try at some point. And we want to design some new cards and cheat sheets for a couple of our existing board games (Dice Forge, Q of Q). But Jacob has also taken board game design at summer camps and we want to transform two or three of them into actual printed games. Overall though, I think I might start blogging about board games too, based on perhaps a series of in-house family game tournaments we might play throughout the year.
The fourth area is larger, more about our family events. Most of them depend on a vaccine letting us return to travel, but we’ll likely take a decent trip once everything is “over”. Depending on surgery outcomes and recovery, of course.
The fifth and final area is about larger family stuff. I’d like to do some ancestry stuff that I’ve been putting off, and miscellaneous family stuff here and there.
This area is huge. In fact, it is so massive, I’m not even sure sub-categories help me weed through. I’ll separate it from large-scale “home” changes requiring contractors vs. internal reorganization of various rooms by us. I’ve blogged before about feeling overwhelmed, and well, now you’ll see why.
a) For outside, we had initially planned some landscaping work before COVID. Some better setup at the front of house, edging perhaps, maybe some flower bed-type edging in the backyard. We also need to fix our fence (it hasn’t been replaced since the original build, 20+ years ago), and while the back is in good shape, the two sides need a lot of refreshing. We’ll likely just replace the whole thing. We’ve talked to the neighbours already, and one asked us to wait until Spring as they have some stuff just inside the fence they didn’t want disturbed before Winter. Since they’re also willing to pay half for their section, it’s all good.
Then COVID hit, and we’re considering a pool. The pool, though, is the easy part to design. The real challenge is the location of the heater and pump, in relation to the existing deck, fences and house. We can do “a pool”, but keeping all the other dimensions in play may make for a smaller pool than we might want. If we can’t get it done, we’re likely to go with a trampoline for Jacob and back to an observatory for me. Farther out, we would also like to redo the main bathroom upstairs plus the ensuite, but that also has some implications re: surgical rehab, so not sure how we’ll get to that soon. Two other things that were on my list were xmas lights (we didn’t get them up early enough this year so just gave up on them) and additional roof vents (identified as beneficial way back in our home inspection). We’ll likely have to redo our roof at some point, so we might be able to combine the timing for those two things.
More simply, we are also looking forward to eventually getting back into having cleaners come to the house, even if just for the bathrooms and kitchen primarily. And be more engaged to do this frequently ourselves in the meantime.
b) That first area ranges from minor (trampoline) to major (pool). This second area is about a massive reorganization in the house, with changes in contents for the basement, first floor, second floor, and even the garage & shed. Some of it is already done, but the huge list is intimidating.
Basement: As I mentioned early, I now work out of the basement. I have the basics of my office organized for work, but I’m still tweaking the setup for my home PC as well as filing (two things to be moved from the top floor and one to be assembled), lighting, hanging pictures, and curtains. Mixed with my office is a built-in crafting space. Adjacent to the office is my “fitness area”, with a Bowflex and an exercise bike to be assembled. I have my old stereo sitting in a cabinet, ready to be hooked up and configured so I can stream from my phone, but haven’t got to it yet. When I get to my media area, i.e., the TV room part, I don’t currently have my internet running to the VMedia box nor a PC set up to stream to it. I also have multiple video game systems to attach, although at least I have the TV stand already assembled from earlier in the summer. Somewhere in there I have to purge a bunch of old electronics, set up one of the Amazon Echoes that are waiting to run, sort through my movies, get rid of all our old CDs (once the library takes donations again), and clear off an area where we / I can display our various projects that we’ve built, aka a trophy area.
Laundry room: Our laundry room doubles as our basement storage area, and we have some camping equipment in there, some housewares, some basic household maintenance stuff, and long-term storage of some older electrical and computer equipment. I have a bunch of books in there to purge, but at least I’ve started on that, even though it is a longer-term project (3-5 years). Two things are hiding in the back area, hinting at larger projects. First, we have a replacement sink for the laundry tubs. Something a bit cleaner than the older one that looks like it was used to clean paint buckets at some point. In an ideal world, I’d love to have BOTH hooked up, one clean and one utilitarian, but that’s probably overkill. I’ll need a contractor at some point to do that, and we’ll likely use whoever does the upstairs bathrooms. I also have a small project to do, likely myself. Jacob and I bought Andrea a Christmas carousel last year (or the year before???) and there is “some assembly required”. Basically a bunch of pieces need to be formally glued in for the thing to work safely. We just have never got to it, nor even had a space for it. Oh, and I almost forgot. There’s a small access panel / window into the laundry room from a hall, and I have a couple of parts to install on it to stop the door from falling off. 10 minutes work if I can get all the parts and tools in the same place at the same time!
Garage: My garage is currently a disaster zone with a ton of dominoes to fall in order to finalize the layout. I had a small brain-fart earlier today that may upset half my design, I have to do some measuring first. But WHEN I do decide on the final layout, I have to store some sports equipment and tools (we already have the bookshelves assembled for those), and I have some decent options for my astronomy equipment (although a future observatory option would solve most of that dilemma, while ANYTHING is better than it currently sitting in the playroom). But what is outstanding is a decision about the workbench that I have that was a gift from my in-laws. It’s a great workbench, just can’t decide if I use it enough to justify the amount of space it takes. And I could put it in the basement instead but I’m loathe to do that and lose use of it for woodworking projects (I wouldn’t want to blow sawdust everywhere down there).
Shed: My backyard shed is relatively straightforward, I mostly use it to store my snowblower in the summer and my lawnmower in the winter. Plus various seasonal things that don’t have other places to go (like bicycles and sometimes golf clubs). Jacob has new golf clubs and unfortunately, I have three mixed sets spread between the shed and the garage which need to be consolidated and sorted. Plus for fun, my summer tires are stored in there during the winter.
Front hall with a small alcove: Back inside the house, we want curtains for the front closet, I have to relocate my drone to somewhere more appropriate, and come up with a new storage option for the bookshelf that is there (I’m thinking an old-fashioned desk of some sort would be really nice there. Maybe a roll-top? Not sure I can sell Andrea on that config). Oh, and I have a new e-deadbolt to install when I remember.
Living room: Our front room is not spared from the list. Most of the basics are covered, but we need to hang some pictures and paintings, I’d like new curtains for the bay window that will go close to full dark, and then just for fun, we probably need some new seating (couch or chairs) along with a new coffee table, and potentially an end table.
Playroom: The room next to our kitchen is where Jacob does his daily schooling, it’s our home for our annual Xmas tree, it houses all of our game collection (which is still growing), and a table for ongoing crafts and projects like puzzles or Lego projects. It needs a good vetting of content, as well as improved lighting, hanging some pictures, regrouping of games and trivia collections, an Echo set up for the first floor, and new window coverings for it plus the adjacent kitchen (either curtains or blinds that match).
Andrea’s office: While the basics are covered with a decent design, the room would benefit from hanging some pictures, setting up an Echo for her while she’s working, hanging a map, and getting new curtains for the West window and potentially the East too.
Guest room: The GR is functional, but would benefit from hanging some pictures, and adding new curtains. There are also two projects hiding in the room — one to repair a Casio organ whose speakers are dislodged, which should be an easy fix, and a much larger clothing purge for some of my old clothes.
Main bedroom: Like pretty much everywhere else, I need to hang pictures and curtains. We also need to come up with some sort of reading chair option for Andrea, purge some contents from bookshelves and then move them elsewhere in the house, and purge more clothing.
Stairwell: You might be forgiven for thinking the stairwell escapes modifications, but I’d like to hang some pictures on the walls.
Yep, that’s a really long freaking list. No wonder I’ve been overwhelmed.
With that long to do list, who has time to read? I do! I do! 🙂
At least I hope I do. The main “thrust” for my reading for the year is my own PolyWogg Reading Challenge, and for January, the books are:
- A. Reader’s choice – any book
- B. Category: Humour
- Book 1: Any book by David Sedaris (Amanda Graham’s suggestion: When You Are Engulfed In Flames)
- Book 2: Any book by Harlan Coben (My suggestion: Deal Breaker, the first in the Myron Bolitar series)
- C. Challenge books
- Book 1: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
- Book 2: A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
I’m reading Harlan Coben at the moment. We’ll see if I get to any of the challenge books. I also have a bunch in my TBR pile, including some gifts. So those are on my list. A separate list, but “on the list” nevertheless.
I’ll keep the Reading Challenge alive for the year too as it provides a small measure of socialization too.
Other reading include lots of things I’ve saved in my email in a “bloggable” folder about a variety of topics. I’m hoping to curate those saved files over the course of the year, but maybe that is more about “writing for my blog” than simply reading.
And I should also mention I’m running the Penguin and Penguee Book of the Month Club for Jacob and Andrea all year.
What am I going to do in January?
So that’s my big list for the year. What am I going to include for January?
- Start a medium-sized Lego kit with Jacob
- Paper airplane calendar with Jacob
- First monthly challenge — memorization
- Play Fort Nite
- Cheat sheets for Q of Q
- Clean house more regularly
- Finish organizing garage
- Finish organizing office area of the basement
- Make a list for curtains and blinds
- PolyWogg Reading Challenge
- Book of the month club
Do you have any plans this year for family, home or reading?