Posts Tagged ‘new years resolutions’


There’s something about a brand new year that makes my borderline-OCD heart happy. Maybe it’s the clean, not-pen-marked-or-ripped-off calendar. I do love that.

Maybe it’s the inspiration that comes with a fresh, new beginning, and a feeling that nothing can stop me from doing all things correct. (At least until the second week of January.)

But mostly, I think it’s just the excuse to make eleventy billion lists that makes me giddy.

Last year, I made a Flexible Resolution List.

It ended up being really flexible.

Let’s take a look at the outcome:

Goal: Write.
Outcome: Fail.

Goal: Read.
Outcome: Fail-ish.

Goal: Take pictures.
Outcome: Epic fail.

Goal: Learn to sew.
Outcome: Never got the machine out of the craft room.

Goal: Make our house a home.
Outcome: Somewhat a success, although I really owe all the credit to my Mother.

Goal: Love myself.
Outcome: Worse.

Goal: Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Outcome: Not too shabby, actually.

Goal: Hold family close.
Outcome: YES! I did this.

Goal: Budget.
Outcome: Cringe.

Goal: Be a good wife.
Outcome: Eh.

Maybe allowing my goals to be “flexible” wasn’t the right way to go about it. I let myself fail before I even started. I think that’s called laziness.

Even so, 2012 was great. I know that if I put a little effort into life, 2013 could really be wonderful.

So, I made a simple little list for the new year. I couldn’t not.

Live Proverbs 31. I have a post brewing on this, so I don’t want to go into detail just yet.

Eliminate idleness. This is an aspect of Living Proverbs 31, but it’s actually quite broad. I spend a lot of time doing nothing. I sit on the couch and watch Netflix. I get on my phone and jump from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram to Solitaire to Facebook to Twitter to… (you get the point). I walk through my house and think, “My goodness, this place is a wreck,” and do nothing about it. I want to do. No more being idle or, let’s call it what it is, lazy.

Well. At least not most of the time (because I really want to finish the seasons of Parenthood.)

Create. An apron using my sewing machine. A pie. Decor for my home. Anything. Everything. I pride myself in my creativity, so I really want to put that to use.

Give up grudges. I also have a post coming on this, as well, so I’ll elaborate later. But it’s pretty self explanatory.

Take care of me. I’m not talking pedicures and massages, new clothes and designer bags. In fact, I want to see how much of those things I can do without. (Well, I mean, I need clothes. For the public’s sake.) But, I don’t take care of my body. I don’t love what I see in the mirror, yet I allow myself to put way too many processed foods and carbonated drinks in my system. And then I wonder why my face is a mess and my jeans are tighter. Duh, Jen. But it’s not just about feeling and looking good. It’s about long-term health. I want to not only be alive when my kids have kids, but I want to still be strong and active enough to play with them. I need to start taking care of myself now.

So, there’s that. I want to take advantage of this life God has given me. It’s so short. I want to make sure I do it right.


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My new motto.

See, the other day, I posted my Flexible New Year’s Resolutions, which included “don’t sweat the small stuff.” I challenged myself to chill out; to just keep my mouth shut when Faith is singing karaoke way too loud, to not have an anxiety attack if there’s a blue DVD case in with the white DVD cases, to not scream and cry when Piper has whined in my face for 15 minutes …and counting.

The same day, the Devil logged on to Facebook and, scrolling down his news feed, saw my post for a new blog (I didn’t think about why I am friends with the Devil on Facebook before I started this story, but whatever). He was all, “So, Jen wants to have a better attitude about life, does she?” And then he laughed an evil laugh, and smoke came out of his nose.

First things first: coffee. I poured my Starbucks Thanksgiving Blend into my new camera-lens thermos Evan bought me for Christmas. Sniffin’ the bold, spicy aroma, I couldn’t wait to sit down in my office chair to read my blogs and drink my java.

I must not have been paying close enough attention, because at some point between my kitchen and my office chair, that mean ol’ Devil locked the lid. Tight. I tried with every muscle in my upper body (which really isn’t much, if you want to know the truth) to open that stupid thing -to no avail. As much as I wanted to throw that cup into the concrete wall, I muttered a couple goosfrabas and gently set it (with my piping-hot coffee just sitting inside) on the desk. (It is still unopened, by the way.)

Stupid Devil.

He recruited some helpers, too, in his journey to break me: The rude customer on the phone who interrupted me every time I started talking. My jerk-of-a-coworker who yelled at me when I asked him if so-and-so had kept their appointment. And, of course, every Ohioan behind the wheel of a car.

Every time, I just smiled and moved on.

At home, the kids were playing with the over-the-door basketball rim that we (unintelligently) bought them for Christmas. That thing is louder and more annoying that the 700 real-sounding power tools my Mom bought Christian. And please, just for a moment, imagine a 10 year old and 6 year old playing tackle basketball in the hallway, throwing a thick, foam ball at the door.

The Devil was in them.

I wanted to get on my knees and, with tears in my eyes, beg them to stop. But I remembered my challenge. Let them be kids. So even though I was sure, from two rooms over, that someone’s head was going through the wall, I let them have at it.

Come to find out, Christian’s head actually did go into the wall, which I realized when I heard the I’m-actually-hurt-and-not-just-whining cry. I picked him up and cuddled him instead of giving the “maybe you shouldn’t have been rough-housing” speech.

Actually, Faith got that speech. She was playing a bit too rough for 6-year-old inclusion.

My wall is okay, if you were wondering.

But the Devil wasn’t done. He kept thinking to himself, “How can I seriously provoke this girl? What really ticks her off? Loud noises? A messed-up linen closet? Evan yelling at the refs on FIFA ’12 for PS3 for making the most horrendous calls?”

(I do dislike all of those. He knows me well.)

“No,” the Devil said to himself. “That’s not enough. What does she hate?”

About that time, WVU scored another touchdown. (And about a million more after that.)

And even though those awful, terrible, blue-and-gold-wearing devil-helpers were hootin’ and hollerin’, looking happy and breaking bowl records, I simply changed the channel to more inspirational programming: a Lifetime original movie.

Take that, Devil. You got nothin’ on me.


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I haven’t blogged in such a long time. I don’t know what is up with me, but I have zero inspiration. Aren’t journalists supposed to find inspiration even when there is nothing to write about? Thank you, five years of Journalism school. Fail.

Christmas was good. Very good, actually. Best Christmas in a long, long time.

But Christmas is over. Decorations are put away (with no help from me), the White Trash my mom made is all gone and I’m so tired of hearing Happy Holidays I could pull my fingernails off with tweezers. Okay, maybe that is an exaggeration.

From one holiday to the next, though, and New Years is right around the corner. Or tomorrow night, however you want to look at it. And, as always, the turn of the decade year makes me think about the things I wanted to do, but didn’t. The person I planned to become, and haven’t. The decisions I meant to make, but couldn’t. It is certainly a little depressing, mostly because I go through this every December 31st or so. But who doesn’t right?

Looking back over 2009, it hasn’t exactly been ideal. Lots of ups and downs (emphasis on downs). I’ve made a lot of stupid decisions. Cried a lot. Wondered, “why me?” Felt bad for wondering, “why me?” when it certainly could be worse. Cried some more from shame. Repeat.

It wasn’t all bad. I had some happy times. Like Christmas. It was really good, did I mention that? And the Eight-Year-Old Teenager told me she loved me for the first time. That was really, really good. And the time the ManFriend said “I wanted to do a Tiffany Christmas present every year for you.” That almost made me cry. Very sweet.

I have good people in my life. My family is amazing and love me no .. matter .. what. That’s a good feeling.

But I think what really determines happiness is not what everyone else is to you, but what you are to yourself. And in that, I have failed miserably. It’s not a pity party day – just not in the mood. But I do have a lot on my mind that I want to do with my life. Even if it means just cutting out pizza once a week (down to only 17 times) or paying off a credit card. So many little victories I could have if I just set my mind to it.

For sure, though, I want to blog more. Even if I have no inspiration … just write. Anything. Here’s why:

That made me … so … happy. A lot of times when I write, I feel like it is all so juvenile. Nothing interesting. And on second thought, I’ll have to say that is probably the truth. But if just one person enjoys what I do, it’s worth it.

I don’t have a big blog community yet, but that’s another goal. I love the friends I have met, like Chelsea, Lauren and Meghan (although Meghan and I go way back, enduring the days of Burnis’ journalism classes), but I want more. Lots more. Is that greedy? I don’t care if it is. I love reading other blogs. Makes me happy.

So, it comes down to this. I’m not making New Year’s Resolutions because I never keep them (except for that one year I went an entire 364 days without drinking a sip of soda … until the ManFriend talked me into a Mountain Dew on New Year’s Eve). I’m going to make a list of “things to better my life.” If I don’t keep them, my life stays mediocre. If I keep them, life becomes all I have ever wanted. And I can only blame myself if it isn’t.

Lots of pressure for 2010. But I think it’s going to be a great year!

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