Posts Tagged ‘new years’


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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Two-thousand eleven was a good year. And as much as I’m sad to see it go (maybe or maybe not because that means I have to face 26 this year), I’m looking forward to 2012 and what adventures I’ll encounter. It’s going to be another good one. I can just feel it.

Now, I love making lists. I don’t, however, love having lists that never end up with lines all through it (or with other people’s handwriting, but that’s another blog). In past years, I’ve made Resolutions lists that look something like this:

–          Blog every. Single. Day. Without. Fail.

–          Read 4,867 books.

–          Lose enough pounds to equal another person.

Needless to say, my Resolutions lists have rarely made it to the “cross-off” stage. They just aren’t practical.

While it’s good to have specific goals and to challenge yourself, I’ve decided this New Year’s that I do want to compile a list of things I’d like to accomplish in the next 365 366 days, but I don’t want boundaries. I want this year to be about growth, love, fun and family. And if that means I take 14 pictures or 1,400, lose 10 pounds or just getting healthy. Whatever happens, as long as my family and I are happy, the particulars aren’t that important.

So. Here’s my 2012 Flexible Resolutions List.

On my blog. In my journal. On little pieces of paper to put in my kids’ lunches. I miss being creative with words and learning new words. I miss telling stories. I’ve thought about venturing back into reporting, but, let’s face it, the hours suck and the pay is ridiculous. Regardless of where my nonexistent career takes me, I want to put words on paper (or into the Interwebs). I have a lot to say, and I just know you want to read it.

I have a couple stacks of books on my nightstand that I’ve started to read and just became too bored with to really even care. Those? Are going into the closet until I have a library to showcase them. I’m over finishing books just because I’ve started them. Too much time is wasted on a bad book. A good book? Worth every minute (which ends up being hours because I just can’t put it down).

Take pictures.
While I don’t consider myself a photographer by ANY means, I do love taking pictures. (Having two adorable Mini Adult models doesn’t hurt, either.) Last Christmas – as in 2010 -, my parents got me a Canon Rebel, and I still have no idea how to do anything other than push the button that makes it go ‘snap.’ This past Christmas, Evan bought me a new lens. I couldn’t even tell you what kind. This is how horrible I am. BUT. I want to learn this year. I want to know every button, every setting. I might even start posting pictures on my blog instead of pages and pages of words.

Learn to sew.
I mean, I can reattach a missing button. I could even make an apron by hand if I had 12 years to finish it. But my parents gave me a sewing machine for Christmas, and I’m dying to learn how to use it. And I will.

Make our house apartment a home.
Renting, in no uncertain terms, sucks. Not only is it throwing away money each month just to be sheltered, but I’m not entirely interested in spending money to remodel, redecorate or beautify a place that I’ll never get anything out of. That being said, there’s a good chance we’ll be renting for a little while longer, and I’m desperate for a home. I want to do little things that will make our place – wherever we are – feel like it’s ours. Like it’s where you go to be comfortable. And loved. Thank God for Pinterest.

Love myself.
Although I do have a number in my head that I’d like to lose, I’m not going to let that be my boundary. Most of all, I want to be comfortable in my body and not feel like a lump of fatty disaster. If that means taking a walk with my dogs every day, running at the park on a snowy day, actually going to the gym that I pay monthly for – and just feeling better, then that’s good for me.

Don’t sweat the small stuff.
I stress. Easily. I get aggravated. Irritated. Mad. Easily. If Christian wants to hop around the house howling because he’s a wolf today – that should be okay. Even if I’m trying desperately to hear Ryan Seacrest tell me why Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphreys got a divorce. Sometimes … okay, most of the time, it’s just not worth it.

Hold family close.
I told you about how I was thisclose to losing my Mom (or at least thought I was), and how I did lose my Aunt Jessie last year. I’m not taking that for granted. When visiting family over Christmas, I literally hugged each and every one tighter. You never know when it will be the last time you’ll have the chance.

I really hate this one. Honestly. I love to spend money. But we are in a position where we can live comfortably and still get ourselves back on track financially, and we have to take this opportunity while we have it. If you have a good budget plan, please, please share. I’m going to need serious help (and therapy?) with this.

Be a good wife.
What? Wife? Yeah, more on that later. (giggle)

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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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