I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions. I may think of a couple just to have something to throw out when the inevitable question comes my way, but nothing about that clock striking midnight makes me want to overhaul my life. It was a surprise to me, then, that a mini life-overhaul is just what started happening this year. Completely unintentionally. After years of worrying about the direction of my life and then shrugging and letting the chips fall where they may, I’ve started doing things. It’s sheer madness, really. Stuff is actually getting crossed off lists, decisions are getting made. YOU CAN’T STOP THIS TRAIN.

Okay, you may be able to distract me momentarily with a cookie. But it would have to be a really good one.

Down 6 pounds, suckas. (it felt really unnatural to write that)
This may seem marginal, but let me tell you something. Two years ago I set the completely modest goal of losing five pounds. And then promptly gained 5 pounds. It’s that “chips fall where they may” mentality of mine. Most of them, it seems, land in my mouth.

For two years I have been leaning over my bowl of chips and queso to tell my long-suffering friends that I want to lose ten pounds, all the while body-blocking my strawberry margarita from anyone who might try to pry it from my fingers. It turns out with just a little moderation, 6 pounds isn’t that difficult to drop. I have high hopes for losing the last four or five. Before you pat me on the back for this one, though, it should be noted that when measuring from the point I was two years ago, I am still only 1 pound down. Two years = 1 pound. Makes me want a margarita.

Eating green things
It’s no secret I eat like a five year old. In fact, I know five year olds that eat better than I do. But I started using a calorie tracking app and noticed some alarming stats. For one, while cheese and bread obviously enjoy a leading role in my diet, my daily iron intake was clocking in at about 1%. Vitamin A, potassium, and protein all were limping along as well. I had this moment of clarity–dizzy spells, fatigue, headaches, randomly going white–gee, might I be malnourished much? Leisel has long been waving “clouds of cauliflower,” “tiny broccoli trees,” and “sparkling beet jewels” in front of my upturned nose, but I finally cried uncle. It turns out green beans are relatively inoffensive. Carrots, too, are fine. Fact: I love raspberries. I’m starting to shop on those outer shelves in the grocery store, learning to cook a few things, and so far it’s honestly not that bad. And I feel pretty good. If my mother were to read this, she’d probably throw up her hands in utter exasperation. Rightfully so, Ma. Rightfully so.

Learning stuff
At 2 AM one morning, in a fit of sleepless inspiration, I signed up for some online courses. Now, I’m learning HTML and CSS code. I know what hypertext transfer protocol means. I’m learning the difference between HTML and XHTML. I’m learning what it takes to build a website and not just manage one. And you know what? I’m going to learn more, dang it. I’ve hardly begun to scratch the surface of the world that is code, but just call me “techie” anyway. It makes me feel clever.

This little slip of paper is enough to deny me an Italian passport.

Closing Doors

Turns out, I don’t qualify for dual citizenship, after all (balls!). I finally set out to pursue that golden ticket and with a little research found out both of my grandfathers naturalized (renounced Italian citizenship) before my parents were born, making the entire endeavor pointless. It was disappointing, but good to know. I also emailed back and forth a bit with an Italian family in Rome looking for an au pair, but that didn’t pan out, either. It’s okay, though. I have a love of my family history and of Italy, but my life and friends are here in the US. For now, that’s where I need to direct my focus. And it’s going to be good.

But I’m starting up with the Rosetta Stone again. Because you never know.