Hi! It’s JUNE! Which means that we’re entering the latter half of 2018. Isn’t it still 2001? Wasn’t I just sitting in my inflatable chair, listening to N*SYNC and reading a Dear America book (please tell me you read those, too)?
Nope. It’s SUMMER 2018. We’re halfway through the year that we promised would be the best ever
How ya doing? How are those intentions that you set with me back in December? I’m going to be real honest and say that I am doing MEDIUM. A solid C+. I may be doing well, in general, but I am not killing it when it comes to the intentions that I set.
But I’m not going to feel bad about that. Not even for one minute. Can you imagine how much work you and I would get done if we didn’t waste a single second wallowing? Life is hard enough. We should be our own best cheerleaders, not the jerk that won’t shut up about our failures. And “failure”? Failing isn’t a negative thing. It’s a learning opportunity. If you fail at something, it means that you were trying to grow. Without failure, growth isn’t possible. Mistakes are mandatory.
This year has been full of mistakes for me. I’ve overslept, skipped workouts, chosen T.V. over writing, snapped at my husband, left dishes all over the kitchen (and living room).
But it’s also been full of triumphs, ones that make my eyes tear up as I type this: we’ve hosted friends and family in our home, regardless of its imperfections. We celebrated a perfect anniversary weekend. I pushed myself to do Facebook Live, something that made my heart jump out of my chest. I ran four miles without stopping.
Life is to be LIVED, not obsessed over. There is such a fine line between living with intention and living with restriction. Finding the balance is incredibly personal. I know that I will always struggle with this — I do so well with schedule and routine, that I immediately give up if even one thing goes awry.
If I injure my foot and can’t exercise, I might as well eat like crap all week, too. If I oversleep and miss a morning of writing, I might as well skip tomorrow as well.
This is bullshit. It’s holding me back. It’s making me believe that I can’t do hard things when I know that I can. I can do hard things. I can get back on track.
And the first step to get back on track is giving myself credit where it’s due. Even though I haven’t been perfect, I have done a lot this year.
So, here it is, a mid-year check-in on my Fruitful Intentions for 2018:
GROW THE FRUITFUL BLOG
This is going pretty well! I’m making changes, working hard, and I’m currently typing this from a writing retreat that I booked myself to get AHEAD on this goal.
But here’s the reality of growing a presence online: It is a LOT of work. A lot of work that has nothing at all to do with writing. A lot of research and online classes and scheduling Facebook posts to publish at peak times.
There’s a lot of stuff that goes into making sure that the words I write are being read. Stuff that I’d rather not do. I let that bog me down a lot in the earlier part of the year, but NO MORE. I’m moving forward because I know that I have a message to share. I know that my words will help women, and that means I should keep moving, even if that means doing the parts I’m less interested in.
One of my intentions was to take a class monthly, and I have NOT been keeping up with that. I am, however, taking a class today (Sunday), and I took one last week. I share that example to say: if you haven’t been meeting your monthly intentions all year, SO WHAT. Start now. Don’t wait until January so you can have a “perfect year.” That’s not how it works, and you know it. The only way real change can happen is NOW, today. So just start.
INVEST IN OUR MARRIAGE
This is also going medium! Haha. We’ve had a lot of fun dates this year, and even a couple trips. We’ve also had weeks where we’ve barely seen each other and plenty of weeks with no purposeful date night. I’ll make sure this changes.
We also haven’t even picked up one marriage or relationship book, so, um… I’ll work on that as well. It seems like just another thing to add to the to-do list, if I’m being honest. But I think it will be useful, so we’ll make it happen.
COZY OUR HOME
This is going really, really well. Projects are moving along, furniture is being purchased, and we’re using our home to entertain like we never have before.
Decluttering is going very, very slowly. It basically only happens if I have a free Saturday, and that hasn’t happened in a good while. G and I have joined forces, though, to rid our house of junk. Slowly but surely.
GET EVEN STRONGER
I’ve had some major fitness wins this year: running the hilliest 5K I could imagine in the Ozarks, running a four-mile race at my personal best mile time, beating my best distance in spin class.
But I’m also in the middle of an exercise-free spell. And not to rest from running a marathon or anything. I’m just not exercising.
I do the best when I exercise every day. I feel more mentally clear, I’m less tempted to eat the junk food that wrecks my skin and my focus, and it keeps me emotionally stable. Sundays are my day of rest, but I should be sweating every other day.
Knowing that this is true about myself doesn’t mean that I stick to it well or easily. An extra hour of sleep or some time with my current novel often sounds more appealing than an hour on the spin bike (plus the time in the car and the extra time getting ready). But that doesn’t matter. Exercise is good for my heart and my body and my relationships. It should be a high-priority task.
This is perhaps going the worst of all. I have no excuses, just the reality: I bought a lot of stuff in the beginning of the year. And I used the excuse that we’ve had lots of people over for dinner to totally bust my grocery budget.
So here I am, recommitting to my spending goals. Starting this week, I will get back on my budget, back on my thriftiness, and back to saving as much money as I can.
I started by NOT going grocery shopping this week at all. We’ve got plenty of food in the house, and we’re going to eat it all before I by more, goshdarnit!!!!!
Pantry meal ⤵⤵⤵
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Macaroni and cheese is my ultimate comfort food, and having a dairy-allergic husband will NOT stop that. 🧀🧀🧀 My very favorite recipe from the Fruitful Blog is my vegan mac and cheese, which I made here with just pantry ingredients (I did NOT have the pumpkin or the roasted garlic that the recipe calls for, but it was still delicious). The recipe is in the #linkinbio, and I sautéed some chickpeas with salt and pepper, defrosted some green beans, and hit the whole thing with @franksredhot 💋👩🏻🍳
Say it with me: LIFE IS TOUGH, BUT SO AM I. We can do this. We can recommit to our goals (or continue to SMASH them). We can revise as necessary, but never quit. We can make 2018 awesome, even though it’s halfway gone.
Perfection isn’t a real goal. It’s totally unattainable. Life is constantly changing around you. People change, circumstances change, and you change, too. Those changes mean that every day is a new challenge. Under those conditions, I think a C+ is just fine. As long as I’m constantly striving to do a little better tomorrow, my average will always be improving.
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