New Year’s Resolutions. Where optimism reigns.

by Edie Wadsworth on December 28, 2008

It’s getting dangerously close to January 1.  The day we all collectively sign on the dotted line of those New Years resolutions we intend to make.  I’ve always been a ‘resolutions’ kind of a girl.  I love fresh starts, new beginnings, second chances.  And reading Jen’s post inspired me to write about the things I want to change.  There’s something kinda vulnerable about making your resolutions known.  They seem more ‘official’ and thus the guilt begins to creep in because I know don’t have the best track record of keeping them.  The one I seem to keep fairly consistently is exercise.  So I always hate going to the gym on January 1st with eight million people I’ve never seen at the gym before vying for the same set of dumbells.  The comfort is, I know they won’t be there on Feb. 1.  And similiarly, my impeccably organized pantry on Jan. 1st will look like twenty toddlers have been rummaging around in it by Feb. 1st.  I slowly seem to make some good lasting changes but I’m not setting any records here.  I’ll let you have a peek of my preliminary list….and maybe you can help me.  
1.  I need to lose a little weight.  I have gained 8-12 pounds since I quit working.  Depends on what time of day, what day of the month, you know what I mean.  My fat jeans are a little snug.  I’d like to lose 10-12 pounds but I have a serious sugar addiction…..and reactive hypoglycemia.  I exercise regularly and will begin training for a half marathon next week.  But I must find a way to cut out sugar.  Today is the first day I haven’t had ‘my quota’ of sugar and I felt really well all day. But I have intense cravings.  Like a meth addict.  Or worse.  This resolution though seemingly vain has far reaching effects sometimes.  I think about ‘the fix’.  I get the ‘fix’ (fudge or cookies or whathaveyou.  I’m on a high.  I crash.  I’m irritable until the next ‘fix’.  It’s a vicious cycle that drives me crazy.  I cannot continue to be home 24 hours a day if I don’t find a way to control this. And I’ve tried pictures of  skinny 18 year olds in bikini’s on the frig door.  Doesn’t work.  I find myself talking to her and saying things like:  ”Yeah, enjoy it now.  But you just wait til you have four kids and an addiction to sugar.  And you know what, you’re too skinny anyways.  You look like a 13 yo boy.  I like my curves. Now move out of the way so I can get some ice cream, sister.  Got any other suggestions?
2. I have to start planning for Taylor’s graduation.  My son Taylor graduates from high school this May.  I have a party to plan, a scrapbook to finish, pictures to scan,  a video to make, and various other fun things I’d like to do for him. Plus a million more tears to cry.  This kind of life change is stressful enough so I’d like to minimize the chaos toward the end.  Help me plan.  He’s a musician and a runner so I’m trying to come up with a clever ‘theme’ for the party.  I cried during High School Musical Three ’cause Troy was graduating….and Taylor looks like Troy to me….’cause he’s a boy…..and has dark hair. So, what about a HSM 3 party?  There’s plenty of party favors to be found, that’s for sure. (My sister is laughing profusely).  Don’t like my idea?  Well give me some so that I can begin to work on graduation announcements.  
I wanted to teach him ballroom dancing before he graduates too.  But that’ll be hard since I don’t know how.  Should we take a few lessons together?  Am I too ambitious?
3.  We need a little more structure in our homeschool. Overall, I love homeschooling.  Love it.  We’re having a ball.  But it’s hard to gauge how we’re doing.  I could do a better job at planning.  The problem is I’m a very enthusiastic starter of things. And often a very poor finisher.  We have been doing a very laid back grammar program and I’m starting Shurley Grammar in January.  My school room needs a little work too.  I did a great job getting it organized, but keeping it organized is another story.  I’m not sure it’s realistic for me to write down lesson plans……but I need a little more structure. I need a teacher’s aide.  That’s what I need. Any takers?  The pay is lousy but it’d be fun.   
4.  I could tweak my meal planning a bit to include more low fat options. My meal planning is pretty good but since I’ll be working on #1 I’ll have to make some changes in the content of the food.  Maybe I need some new lighter recipes…..with a little less butter and cream.  More protein shakes and bars for meal replacements.  I LOVE to cook and cook a lot.  But I spare no fat.  My family can tell too…..if the recipes’ been ‘lightened’ up. They’re like detectives.  Maybe I’ll just have to cook normally and eat very small portions.  Or gnaw on carrot sticks while they eat creamy cajun pasta.      
5. I’d like to have a more structured Bible reading scheme.  I use Treasury of Daily Prayer for daily devotions.  I’d like to, in addition to that, read the Bible through chronologically.  There are online sources that give a schedule but if you have any suggestions, let me know.  I’m compiling my reading list for ’09 but I’m not done yet.  Do you have any awesome, life-changing books I need to add? 
6.  I’d like to become a better writer. Blogging has made me realize how much I love writing.  Deep down, I’d love to write a book someday, but for now, I’d settle for a  published article.  I’d like  to take a creative writing class but how do you do that and keep up with home activities?  I’ve been reading a lot of online articles about writing which only increases my appetite for more.  And then watching Marley and Me this weekend made me wanna have my own column.  And made me cry profusely for 45 minutes, but that’s beside the point.  I have started a ‘writing’ journal’ where I will keep ideas for ‘blogs’ or articles and also great quotes or paragraphs by other authors.  Any other suggestions?  
The other blogging related resolution I have is to get more organized and efficient with how I spend my computer time.  I keep finding more blogs I like to read…..and keep thinking of more things I like to write, but my family needs to eat and wear clean clothes and live in a clean house, so I need to be more purposeful about it I think.  What’s your system or do you have one?  Do you subscribe to blogs in a reader or just bookmark them or what?
7.  I want to be more purposeful in serving my neighbor.  I need to find some nursing home people for the girls and I to visit regularly.  Maybe volunteer at the local soup kitchen. Service projects of some sort that the girls and I can get involved in.  Any suggestions?
8. I need more organization in my home.  I need a professional organizer to come to my house and order me around.  My house almost always looks clean and organized so I’m pretty good with the big picture.  But the details, now that’s another story.  This is probably where I need my ultra-organized and tidy neighbors Sue and Leigh Ann to come over and help.  My new ADD book  said in big bold letters: DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BUY ANY MORE PLASTIC CONTAINERS.  I rolled into the floor laughing.  Apparently all people with ADD have this misconception that the problem with their lack of organization is the supplies they’ve been working with…..so we go buy more containers with every confidence that this will be the solution we’ve been needing.  No kidding, I’m a container freak.  And yet if you ask me to find say, the red polka dotted scrapbook paper, I’d  hunt for an hour and then I’d get sidetracked by my old yearbook that I happened to run across and you’d find me sitting in the basement laughing hysterically.  Then you’d have to remind me what it was I was looking for in the first place.  Such is the life with ADD.  
But I’m not discouraged.  I’m an optimist.  This is gonna be my year.  To get organized and charitable and skinny and spiritual and to become very teacherly.  That’s why I love resolutions. Despite any past failures in these areas, I am fully confident that strides will be made and goals accomplished.  You pessimists out there are shaking your heads, aren’t you?  You don’t even make resolutions because you’ve seen the outcome too many times.  You will sit on the resolutions’ sideline and just wait to see how long it takes until I’ve given in……when I’m only in the book of Exodus is July…….and I can’t find Taylor’s senior picture in May…….and I’m joining Weight Watchers in March.   But that’s okay.  I love having tasks and goals.  And if only one of them ‘sticks’…..well, that’s better than nothing.  
Good thing God doesn’t use ‘resolution theology’ with us.  He knows us too well.  So he designed a plan that didn’t hinge on our sticktoittiveness.  He went the whole way.  Accomplished it all for us so that even when we fail, he forgives and gives us  ’new mercies every morning’.  Even with our ‘mostly likely to fail’ list of changes we intend to make, He has a plan that never fails.  I think schemes for personal improvement can be valuable.  I’m just thankful that’s not how my relationship with God works. 
So, what’s on your list or have you forsaken ‘the list’ altogether?

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica December 28, 2008 at 1:58 pm

My list looks much like yours. I love the plastic container point…so true. I love goals and resolutions too, problem is we try to do too many things and spread ourselves too thin, only to then feel like failures. Try to focus on maybe three of those things, keep the others in mind but don’t be too hard on yourself. As for the weight, I too have put on pounds since homeschooling. I know I can’t be happy homeschooling if I keep it up so I am working out more regularly and cutting back on the sugar. My addiction has become rediculous. My neice Carly read The Sugar Solution and lost 15-20 pounds and has kept it off for a few years. Good luck, especially with Taylor’s graduation…that alone would make me binge on chocolate! :)

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2 gina December 28, 2008 at 2:27 pm

Lovely list but #8 has me CRACKIN’ UP- I am a container junkie and yet chaos reigns…lol. too funny that they actually wrote that in the book.

Good Luck and I can’t wait to see where 2009 takes us all…

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3 cindy December 28, 2008 at 3:08 pm

A couple thoughts on a couple of your resolutions….
#1. Yeah me too! Hate it when the fat jeans are snug….Country Music in April????
#2. I bought a black and silver shiny “2009″ – first party decoration. And the HSM theme….only do that one if Taylor agrees to learn a little song and dance number.
#4. Don’t ruin your delicious food – 8 or 9 pounds isn’t that bad – we’ll go shopping for a bigger “fat jean”
#7. I love this idea – we did this a lot more back in Cali but I think because I had a friend who was really into it and was always bringing me and the kids along.
#8. Just when I think I am not ADD you go again with diagnostics….just yesterday I was assessing the various piles and deciding just how many more containers I was going to need.
Happy New Year! Love ya!

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4 Michelle December 28, 2008 at 5:21 pm

Try Ellie Krieger for some great low-fat recipes. Best of luck on your resolutions.

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5 Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam December 28, 2008 at 8:16 pm

Oh my – I could just copy/paste most of yours and call them my own..except for the plastic containers. For me, I just buy new book shelves – seriously – not good.
Just found out that you are going to Blissdom….yea! It will be so fun to meet IRL and just tell your non-blogging friends that you are going on a “retreat.” That’s what Kimba and I are doing. :)

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6 Do it yourselfer December 28, 2008 at 11:11 pm

Great Post! I was laughing out loud, not at you, but with you! Your list seems about what I want. I don’t have any resolutions at this time except that I’d like to live in faithful expectation of what God is going to do next! I just feel like there is a big surprise right around the corner! When you get all that other stuff figured out…let me know! I’d love to know the secret to it all! I think I may have some roomates, but if something happens, I will let you know! Your family is so stinkin’ cute! Can’t wait to meet you at the conference!

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7 Thrifty Miss Priss December 29, 2008 at 1:17 am

I just recently stumbled across your blog and I just love it! I have to agree with most of your list….although I already joined Weight Watchers and did well…until November! The number one thing on my mind today as I look at Christmas clutter….”Gee, I bet all those rubbermaids are on sale now”! AND I’m now CONVINCED I have ADD too…because me? I’d be on the basement floor looking at the yearbook too!

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8 Michele December 29, 2008 at 11:03 am

First of all you are soooo funny! Your blog always makes me laugh out loud. I love New Year’s resolutions even if I don’t stick with them. It helps me to focus on how I want to be better. To me, even if I don’t accomplish what I want, then if I am better at something in the new year than I was in the old year, then I win!!

As far as your sugar addiction – you gotta’ eat some protein girl and lots of it!! Starting your day with protein is a MUST! I boil a whole bunch of eggs and keep them in my fridge. That way when the hunger pains creep on, I eat one, chase it with 16 ounces of water and I am good to go for a couple of hours. I try and follow Bill Phillips eating/exercising plan at http://www.bodyforlife.com. You get one day a week where you don’t exercise and eat anything and everything you want; it is a must! Also, lots and lots of water. I drink about 100 to 120 ounces of water a day – would the doctor in you tell me it is too much? I also put lemon in it to help with the lack of taste.

Maybe for Taylor’s graduation you could do a running theme with runners medals? Each of you could give Taylor a medal on what you are most proud of him for, whether it be a character trait or an accomplishment. You could get old tennis shoes and clean them up, put some greenery in them for table arrangements. You could use small water bottles as place cards. Maybe for fun everyone where a headband? You could even play great running songs like the theme song to “Rocky”

My list for the new year is long but here are a few:
-eat healthier and feed my children healthier (this one makes it every year)
- try and read my Bible in a year (this was one I had last year but didn’t accomplish)
- making more time for reading period!!
-try and treat others they way Jesus would, especially those in my family who are really hard to like.
- take more time to “smell the roses” and SLOW DOWN!!
-be MORE ORGANIZED (this is somewhere where I struggle constantly)

- Oh yeah suggestions for books – if you love to read fiction, “The Mitford Series” by Jan Karon is AMAZING!! It will make you grin and giggle everytime you turn a page. I also just got “Honor’s Reward” by John Bevere which I have heard really good things about. It’s nonfiction though.

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9 Mrs. Dunbar December 29, 2008 at 7:27 pm

Very good post. I have been writing my resolutions on stick it notes for about a week now, too afraid to put them all on one list. I may subconsciously be trying to change me.
Anyhow, I think most women generally have the same resolutions or similar themes, yours are very good and funny.
With the schooling thing, I would totally suggest doing some lesson plans, you don’t have to write it all out minute by minute. But I’ve found that if you plan out say a week or a month (with the end result in mind, you will be more productive in your school days. Good luck.

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10 Dreams of a Country Girl December 29, 2008 at 7:47 pm

mmm kay — sweets….will those sarah lee nonfat desserts dot he trick? they help me. sara lee saved my life. god love her

meal planning — add chicken stir fry — low fat and the kids WUV it

bible reading — kenneth copeland PURSUIT OF HIS PRESENCE…amazing and daily and short and sweet and biblical and GOOD

love ur neighbor — adopt a family….seriously…i think u can really make a difference with ONE family than spreading it all around….seriously…they will annoy u at times…but that is what family does. and edie? ya know what life is all about? OTHERS! of course u know that!

organization — if you have not used it in ONE YEAR __ THROW IT AWAY seriously

ps i used shurley when i taught….i can so sing a song about prepositions like nobody’s bizness.

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11 Musings of a Homeschooling Mom December 29, 2008 at 9:24 pm

I loved reading this post! I am definitely an optimist(most of the time) and love to make resolutions! I love that the beginning of the year is a fresh start. My BIL preached about second chances Sunday. My list looks a lot like your’s. I need to lose a lot of weight instead of a little! But weight is weight! I need to go to the gym way more often than I am. I love the endorphin rush, it’s just getting my lazy butt up and going! I want to read the Bible through. I want to kick this coke addiction!!! That meth addict comment really hit home! Coke is my weakness. I want to stop eating out so much. I do love to cook, but in the evenings when the baby is tired and cranky, cooking is the last thing I want to do! I want to feed all of us healthier. I want to focus more on showing the kids by example how important exercise is. I am horrible there! I want to be a better friend.

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12 Scot K December 30, 2008 at 1:06 am

Good comment about the Treasury! Thanks. The daily readings in the Treasury will take through about 1/3 of the Old Testament and 80% of the New Testament in a year’s time.

As for book recommends? I would offer Grace Upon Grace: Spiritutality for Today available at cph.org .

Happy 2009!

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13 "Hello... It's Me Again..." December 30, 2008 at 2:12 am

I love your list! It is so honest! I love the way you write too. I don’t know how I ran across your blog, but I love it!

By the way, I am guilty of buying 3 new plastic storage tubs today so I could organize my Christmas clutter.

I’m going to have to give my resolutions some thought. Now you have me thinking!

Happy New Year!

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14 Jennifer December 30, 2008 at 5:01 am

I’m a little stressed now, reading your list. Wow. But you have enough energy to actually do it, that’s the scary part. :)

About the 10 pounds: me, too.

About the bible reading plan: I have a chronological Bible on my dresser upstairs. You can find it pretty inexpensively at amazon if you’re interested in actually buying something.

About a good book: I finished a book this year that was awesome called Age of Opportunity, and I just started another by the same author (Paul David Tripp, I’m sure you know of him) titled “Instruments in the Hands of the Redeemer.” So incredibly good, biblical, and practical: it’s written for counselors OR anyone who finds themself in the position of being a counselor to a friend and that would be all of us, since as he makes the case, “we all influence or are being influenced at all times.” :)

Highly recommend them both.

I look forward to seeing how your year shapes up. Looks like it will be eventful! :)
Happy New Year!
Jen

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