Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Series 35: New Year's...er, aspirations

A New Year

There's nothing magical about a new year.  Just like there's nothing magical about a wedding ceremony for two people committed to entering into marriage together (you better already have it because saying some words in front of a pastor isn't going to inspire it!).  However, it *feels* good to say, "This is where we began" and "This is a fresh, new start."  I also have a dislike toward the notion of a "resolution."  It feels too solid, too written in stone.  So, somewhat alternatively, I'm going to make some gentle suggestions to myself to aspire to the following this year (the asterisked items are ones I usually do anyway, but am going to be more purposeful in doing more consistently):
  1. Make my bed every day.* 
  2. Read 2-3 books a month.  I'm currently working on my list of 35 books toward this end (I'm at 16 or 17 and could really use more recommendations!).
  3. Read to my children every day.* 
  4. Do something creative with Will (and Lucy when she gets there) every other day:  Play-doh, coloring, etc.
  5. Plan my menus and do my grocery-shopping in advance of each new week.* 
  6. Develop and implement a housekeeping notebook/system.  This is a trendy thing in the blog world right now, but I'm going to differ with mine in two major ways:  1) I'm not going to spend more than $5-10 on a notebook and some paper (I unashamedly scoff at the $50 versions!), and 2) I'm not going to be a slave to it, but rather use it as a guide and gradually work my way up to a good pace.  I've seen the need for this over and over in my daily duties, as I tend to triage and well, if you only ever triage, you never get to cleaning those baseboards!
  7. Spend less time on Facebook.  This won't be easy, as I often feel the need for some outside connection, but it's too much of a timewaster.  I've often flirted with the notion of cutting it out completely, but that would be unfair to several friendships that require (and deserve) the perpetual nourishing I can give them through Facebook.  So, I'll just be more efficient and strategic with my time on there!
  8. Go "deeper."  There's been a recent trend on Facebook to choose a word to describe how you want to approach 2012, and this is the word I chose.  Simply stated, I want to seek greater depths in all my relationships, and also in my own understanding, knowledge, wisdom, compassion, and love.
  9. Be better about remembering birthdays with at least a timely card.
  10. Schedule (and keep!) appointments with my doctors and dentist.  I've been woefully neglectful here.
  11. Have dinner at least started by the time Marty gets home.
  12. Stop and play or read or snuggle with my kids when they request it.  Everything else can wait.
  13. Pray more purposefully.  This is another area where I tend to triage!
  14. Make some peace with the phone.  I'm not sure why, but I actually despise talking on the phone.  Obviously this is not a workable situation!
  15. Attempt storytime at the library again, even though it is stressful, upsetting, and most often seemingly not worth the effort.  But it does my children good to get out of the house and interact with other kids, so I think we should try, try again.
  16. Attend church every Sunday.*
  17. WORK ON MY MYSTERY NOVEL.  The one I'm writing, that is. 
  18. Seek small freelance projects to supplement our income and use my brain and (rusty) editorial skills.
  19. Nurture friendships where there is evidenced mutual affection and begin to let go of "friends" who don't really keep in touch, despite efforts made.  The people who give are the ones who deserve the attention.  That's not meant to be mean-spirited, just...realistic and fair.
  20. Establish a good relationship with Will's new speech therapist and work with her on homework/goals for him.
  21. Potty-train Will.
  22. Wean Lucy from the bottle to a sippy/straw cup.  Also eliminate baby food from her diet (even though if this takes all year, I don't mind).
  23. Drink more water.  I have a super tall cup that I shall fill and empty each day.  By drinking it, of course.  :)
  24. Cut back on diet Coke.  (It just pained me greatly to type that.)
  25. Exercise.  I want to lose some weight but don't necessarily want to watch the scale to track it.  I might step on once a week or so just to gauge my efforts, but I'm not going to obsess.
  26. Continue to live a mostly TV-free lifestyle for myself, and really cut back on TV for the kids.  I don't use it as a babysitter (indeed, what would that even look like???) but I do rely on it in order to get something done, or for a break here and there.  I don't imagine I could cut it out, but a scaling back is in order, methinks.
  27. Find a way to get away with Marty.  We tried -- and failed -- to take a mini-vacay this year and we are starved for it now.  Finances are always tight but it's time to apply some creativity to this goal and get it done.
  28. Get back into couponing, though perhaps be a bit less fanatical this time.  I don't *have* to buy it just because it's BOGO.  Right?
  29. Alternate work and rest for naptimes; i.e., today I'll get caught up on Lucy's laundry, but tomorrow I'll take a nap myself.
  30. Grow a garden of some kind.  If we're still here come spring, we'll have another potted garden on the deck, but I want to include a couple more veggies besides tomatoes.  Green peppers?  Herbs?
  31. Continue to take time to be purposely grateful by writing my "Multitudes on Mondays" posts and in other ways.
  32. Clean out the basement storage room.  (Bleech.)
  33. Practice grace and forgiveness, including (and especially?) toward myself.  I am *not* instilled with superhuman powers.  Get over it, Becky.
  34. Keep as current as possible with the Shutterfly albums I compile for each year of my children's lives. 
  35. Purge all that's unnecessary from our home, for simpler living and saner housekeeping.
I actually wondered how I would get to #35, but now that I'm here, I find I could probably keep going!  And of course, I don't think I will be successful at every line item, but if I give each a purposeful try, then I'll certainly have a better 2012 than if I had not done this exercise.  Wish me luck!


Kate said...

I love lists like this. And when you sit down to write them, taking the time to think through every corner of life to find where you could improve or grow, suddenly the list can get long quickly!!
Best of luck on every single one. I particularly loved #8. Good word for the year.

Kristen said...

Your blog inspires me. Much love!